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Homemade Ketchup takes just minutes to stir together and is made with only a few basic pantry ingredients. You can tweak the seasonings and sweetness to suit your tastebuds. But when you see how to make ketchup with no added sugar or other funky ingredients, you’ll forget all about the bottled stuff. Let your kids dip to their hearts’ content or slather it all over your burgers because this DIY catsup recipe practically counts as a serving of veggies.
Originally published in 2013. Republished on May 24, 2016 with the addition of a video.
Easy Homemade Ketchup
Today I am bringing you a recipe for homemade ketchup. No fancy flavors, no unique twists. Just plain old ketchup.
Yes, you can make your favorite condiment at home. No cooking, only basic pantry ingredients, and ready in minutes. And without added sugar (unless you want to sweeten it up a bit) or preservatives, it’s a healthier option than that stuff in the bottle. It practically counts as another serving of veggies! Naturally gluten free and vegan too.
Because if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll eat anything when it is dunked in or covered with it. But when you read the labels and see all the sugar and preservatives and other stuff in there, well, let’s just say that I was starting to feel like I should just let them skip the veggies versus getting them to eat them covered with all that stuff.
So I set out to make my own ketchup. But many recipes called for simmering and straining and spice packets. I just wanted a quick and easy dip I could stir up in no time. I finally found one on a blog called Fix Me a Snack which doesn’t exist anymore, so I’m glad I saved that recipe. Since it starts with tomato paste, which is essentially a can of simmered and reduced tomatoes, there really is no need to go through all of that extra work.
Just stir in all of the other ingredients that give it its characteristic tangy, smoky, savory flavor that you can adjust exactly how you like. Then eat it right away, let it sit in the fridge to all blend together for a bit, or make a double batch to keep in a bottle for weeks so you always have some on hand.
On a serious note, what I said about it counting as a veggie is totally true. I mean, it’s tomato paste with spices and some vinegar. Pure, concentrated tomato. And plenty of zing, which is totally essential for ketchup, from apple cider vinegar. It brings so much flavor to this simple recipe. And all you have to do is stir everything together. Here’s what you need…
- Tomato paste
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dry mustard powder
- Dried oregano
- Black pepper
- Water – if needed to replace some of the vinegar and/or to thin out the consistency.
- Sugar, molasses, brown sugar, honey, or a combination – only if needed and you don’t want to keep this a no sugar ketchup recipe. See tips below.
How to make ketchup
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Serve it right away or let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the flavors fully develop.
Tips for Success
It’s super easy to adjust this ketchup recipe exactly the way you like it!
Too vinegary? Some people have commented that they find this homemade ketchup recipe too sharp or vinegary. The instructions have always said, but I will mention it again here, that you may want to use half the amount of vinegar the first time, and then add water for the balance of the liquid.
Too thick? If you want it thinner or more pourable, you can also as more water, about a tablespoon at a time to reach your preferred consistency.
Too smoky? You can omit or lessen the amount of cumin. Cumin is a typical ingredient in ketchup to give it a bit of smokiness, but some people (typically those who also don’t like cilantro) find it too strong. A few drops of liquid smoke is an alternative for that flavor.
Not sweet enough? I still prefer making this ketchup recipe with no sugar or other sweetener. If you want it sweeter, you can add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, molasses, brown sugar, honey, or some combination of those to suit your taste. To keep the carbs lower, you can even use Swerve Erythritol Sweetener or Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement.
Make ahead and storage
You can use it right away, but it is also good to let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors fully blend. And if you put it in a jar, bottle, or another airtight container, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
What to eat with ketchup
From mac and cheese to meatloaf, people love ketchup on so many things. But here are some of the all-time favorites.
The most classic thing for dipping in ketchup. Of course, you can just make some frozen or simple air fryer French fries. But you can also get creative and try these.
Just like the fries, there is nothing wrong with getting a bag of tater tots out of the freezer. But you can also sneak some veggies into the mix.
Hot dogs and hamburgers
Just toss some burgers and dogs on the grill and put out some ketchup. Or get creative.
Little kids, little food, and some ketchup go hand in hand.
This is a controversial take, but many people love ketchup on their eggs. Make some breakfast sandwiches or try these.
- Pineapple and tomato cheesy scrambled eggs
- Broccoli ham and cheese egg muffins
- Bacon cheeseburger crustless quiche
Variations of Homemade Ketchup
Once you’ve tried this traditional ketchup recipe, you can swap the liquids, herbs, and spices to make all kinds of gourmet variations of ketchup!
- 6 oz. tomato paste 1 small can or 3/4 cup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar see Note 1
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- water see Note 1
- sugar, molasses, honey, brown sugar, or a combination see Note 2
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
More homemade condiments and sauces
- Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Thai Peanut Sauce
- Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
- Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- Homemade Peach Barbecue Sauce from Kiss My Smoke
we have been using your tomato recipe for several years and love it. thank you x
There are a lot of other options than Sugar, if it must be sweeter, naturals like Stevia, Natvia, just to name a few 🙂
Great recipe! I adjusted the amount of a few things to taste. So much better than store bought ketchup. Thank you for sharing!
Looks like an easy ketchup to make-
and I just happen to have all the ingredients.
Being a 1001 curry chef- the cumin sounds right up my alley.
I’m out of ketchup and am planning on using it in a ham glaze tomorrow.
Oooh, a ham glaze is an interesting idea!
I like this recipe! I was looking for a no cook tomato packed ketchup recipe that did not taste like a tin can or Like tomato salad deessing!! I totally understand some comments not liking it due to the cumin but cumin is personal like cilantro. you like it or you don’t! I love it in curry and appreciate the flavor blend in ketchup but like it more in the background versus the front.
I did an 1/8 teaspoon of cumin, 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 oregano and kept the other spices the same adding 1tsp. Sugar,and 2 tsp of my homemade Worcestershire sauce, 2 splashes of hickory smoke flavor and 2tsp of mustard powder. Soooo delicious! Thank you for such a great recipe that leaves room for customization!!
Afte Reading the comments, I used 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup Worcester sauce. It is awesome! I will be buy ketchup again! Thank you for the recipe!
*Never buy ketchup
Making homemade ketchup is the only way to go for our family now, Kerry! 🙂
This does not taste anything like ketchup. I feel like I have a pretty open palate and I am very open to trying new things. I hate to say it but this tastes really bad. I think it is all of the apple cider vinegar and the cumin. I added just a little less of the apple cider vinegar because I like vinegar and thought it wouldn’t be bad. I think it is the cumin that really makes it taste nothing like ketchup though.
I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. We’ve been making and eating it for years, but it is definitely a good base to adapt to your taste. Commercial ketchup contains sugar, so you could always cut the cumin and sweeten it up to make it more like the bottled ketchup.
I love this homemade recipe because it has so much less salt than store bought ketchup!
This recipe is so creative! Thank you for sharing. ?
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, Summer! Until I started reading labels closely, I didn’t realize how much additional sugar is in condiments that we use every day. Thank you for rating the recipe!
Going to make it without salt for a kidney patient.
This is a brilliant recipe – I am definitely going to try it. ?
Thank you… I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I made this tonight for burgers and fries. it doesn’t really taste like store bought ketchup, but it is really good! Much stronger flavor, and the tomato really shines through. I liked it a lot, especially how quick it was to make.nice sharing. thanks for the recipe. good one.?
Thank you so much. I’m glad you like it.
Love it! We’ve made it several times. We have onion and garlic intolerances so finding a recipe without is wonderful. Although my husband and I loved the tangy flavor, my kiddos found it a bit acidic. So I have been adding a tablespoon of agave nectr and now, they lick their plates! Thank you for a great recipe!
I’m so glad you were able to make the recipe work so that everyone in your family can enjoy it! Thanks for rating the recipe, too. I appreciate it very much.
Wow! I was so excited to try this recipe. Wow. How horrendous, can’t believe this has so many upvotes. Wow. Just wow.
Sorry you feel that way. I’ve been making it for years! But we all have different tastes. Anything you would change?
Thanks for sharing the secret recipe with us. The tomato ketchup recipe looks thick and flavorful with those lovely ingredients. It sounds wonderful. It would be helpful for everybody, who would like to cook tomato ketchup recipe. As usual, the pictures look stunning.
Thanks a lot Anders! I love simple recipes so much ?
How long does this last? Can it be made ahead?
If kept refrigerated, the ketchup should stay good for 2-3 weeks.
The recipe was delicious and worked like a charm! I did want to see if you’d had any experience with the ketchup congealing after sitting overnight in the fridge. I’ve made it 3 times now and had the same, consistent response. Any thoughts on why that might be happening and how to avoid it? Thanks so much!!
Hmm, I have not had that issue. As it gets cold it definitely “firms up” a bit, but you can either bring it back to room temperature or thin it out with a little water.
I was trying to make ketchup for a friend who is allergic to onions. Unfortunately this doesn’t really taste anything like ketchup. Tastes more like barbecue sauce.
I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy the homemade ketchup, Kate, but I appreciate your feedback and comment.
So…where’s the recipe? Is it just in the video?
Somehow the recipe disappeared! I am trying to get it fixed now! In the meantime, you can find it along with some other varieties of ketchup here –> https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/homemade-ketchup-variations/
Thank you. I was just going to comment asking about the recipe. lol can’t wait to get it!
Thanks for your patience, Rachelle. We’re still working on getting the recipe issue resolved. It’s being stubborn!
I adjusted the servings for a BBQ, but it still says only 6oz of tomato paste – is that true? everything else increased in amount but not the tomato paste…
Debi, increase the tomato paste in proportion to the other ingredients. So if you doubled the amount of vinegar, you would double the amount of tomato paste as well.
I see that everyone is super excited to try this out for themselves, and so am I, but im curious why not one comment, and I read more than my liking, did not comment or at least come back and opinonate on the taste of this recipe. I say this only cause there are many other recipes out there which many noted are more involved cooking and time wise and so the ease of this is almost a “too good to be true” kind of thing. I really just wanted to see more comments on how the taste was in relation to say a bottle of reduced sugar/organic bottle of Heinz for example and also if anyone tried adding worchestershire sauce or just overall. With all this said, ill be giving the recipe a go and will do my best to report back on the taste and flavor aspects.
I have a picky toddler who just loves ketchup, probably for the addictive sugar reasons which is why I tend to go for the reduced sugar versions so that’s why this is so appealing to me. I just hope my toddler will enjoy!
Thanks for the recipe and I’ll be back to give my results!
Hi David! I would love to hear your thoughts on the ketchup recipe after you’ve tried it! Regarding the use of worcestershire, I created another ketchup recipe that does use it, so great minds think alike I guess. 😉 You can see that recipe here.
So I tried this “Ketchup” – It tastes nothing like Heinz, Hunts or any other store bought ketchup IMHO.
While I would say it it not too bad…. It has WAY too much apple cider vinegar(ACV). Unless of course you like the taste of ACV by it’s self. The ACV flavor takes over and that is all you taste. After I made up a batch and tried it, I doubled all the other ingredients. It helped some but was still very overwhelming.
For your toddler I might recommend adding only 1 Tbsp of ACV and a little sugar at first to ween them off of the sugary ketchup. If you add a little less sugar each time you make it (as well as limit what other sugar they have) their taste buds should adjust.
I do actually mention that you can use less vinegar and adjust the thickness with water. But feel free to adjust as needed for find another recipe. We eat this frequently.
This worked well but I used about 1/4 c of apple cider vinegar and added about 1/4 of pureed crushed tomatoes in lieu of water. I also did not have mustard powder but it works well with my corndogs! Thanks!
So glad you were able to make this recipe work for you based on what you had and your preferences!
I made this ketchup recipe the other day using triple concentrated garlic and herb tomato paste oh my goodness it was the best ketchup Ive ever tasted thank you for the amazing recipe I’m already onto my second batch !!
I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the recipe, Candice!
I was wondering if you could store the ketchup you make??
I have stored it in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.
This did not taste anything like ketchup. It could be passed off as a good chili sauc. The cumin destroyed the ketchup flavor.
oh wow, i remember making these as a kid. Old school classic.
I love that there’s no added sugar! Great recipe!
Love this, can’t wait to try it! My kids LOVE ketchup!
Great and easy recipe! I love your photos and the way the ketchup tastes. No excess amounts of sugar? Yes please!
Thanks so much!
This ketchup is yummy! I’ve been looking for a sugar free ketchup at the stores and stumbled upon this recipe. I’ve made it 3x already this month! I use the full 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. It’s addictive! I love the tangy flavor! Thanks for sharing!
Oh yay! I love the tangy flavor, but I do tone it down for my kids.
Do you know how long it will keep when refrigerated?
I’ve kept it for a couple weeks!
I made this ketchup tonight–it tastes subtly sweet and I was amazed at the depth of flavor I could taste! I was pleasantly surprised as I thought I would miss the sugar present in ordinary ketchup. I used organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s) and Kirkland organic tomato paste. Thanks for the recipe!
I usually use the Kirkland tomato paste too. So glad you liked it!
I just read about 30 comments, did any of you chicken heads actually make this disgusting recipe before you jumped on the band wagon? Honestly if you did , you wouldn’t be happy with it. 1/2 cup of cider vinegar…..Jesus were not pickling anything here.
As I mentioned in the note, we like how tangy it is with that amount of vinegar, but if you don’t you can use less and just adjust the thickness and texture with water.
I am so disapointed! This is not homemade ketchup. Use fresh tomatoes ween you make ketchup.
I’m sorry. Tomato paste is just cooked down tomatoes, so I saved myself that step. I figure that being able to make this in 5 minutes is better than the sugar-laden stuff in a bottle.
Canned tomatoes are often a better choice for cooking. They are picked at their best and immediately preserved. Whereas “farm fresh” tomatoes are picked slightly less fresh so they have time to ripen on your grocery store shelf, off the vine. Unless in a salad I mush prefer canned tomatoes. And as has been mentioned before unless you are buying the flavoured versions, canned tomatoes are just tomatoes.
My fiance is a HUGE ketchup fan. I mean, this guy cannot eat any meat whatsoever without ketchup. I’d like to try making homemade ketchup sometime! I use apple cider vinegar often in the morning for my morning “cocktail”. With 1 cup of water, half a squeezed lemon, and 1-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar.
I just started trying the morning cider vinegar thing, but I think I have to add some lemon or orange essential oil to make it taste better! Making ketchup is sooo easy!!
Have you ever tried freezing it? If so, did it freeze well?
I have not tried that. It lasts quite a while in the fridge, so we always use it up.
I just saw this recipe for homemade tomato paste. Passing it along in case someone would like it for making ketchup. 🙂 http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-tomato-paste-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-206853
I saw this recipe and being the DIY cook that I am came over to check it out. When I looked at the ingredients I thought “well, except for no sugar that is exactly the ingredients in my ketchup” I do not mind sugar, as long as it is sugar and not a fake excuse for sugar and I eat a healthy enough diet that I am not going to be concerned about the nutritional value of a T of ketchup.
And then I checked out the ingredients in my bottle of ketchup (which is now in the bin)! I am horrified. There are flavours and HFCS!!!! In England, Heinz ketchup is exactly your recipe with some (proper) sugar!
You Americans are being poisoned!
Going to make this tomorrow- to replace the bottle I just trashed! Thank you
Yeah, there is some funky stuff in ketchup! There are some good brands, but I prefer to make it. I hope you like it!
Definitely a better option than what can be readily found on the shelves in supermarket.
I love your recipes. Tomato ketchup is something that I have been making a couple years. I am concerned with “tomato paste from a can”. I have never found tomato sauce in a can that is BPA free. Due to the acidity of tomato products, I choose not to buy tomato products in cans. I choose to cook my own tomatoes. If you have a better solution, I would live to hear it. Thanks.
You make a good point. I suppose moderation is key for me – we don’t eat tons of it. I am sure you could make your own tomato paste, but you’d need a lot of tomatoes. I haven’t tried it myself.
See if you can find Bionaturae Organic Tomato Paste — it comes in glass jars. My local healthy food store sells it and I sometimes get it online from vitacost.com if I catch it on sale. See the bottom of the page at http://www.bionaturae.com/tomatoes.html
Great tip! Thanks!
Thanks for this, I remember doing something similar years ago when we’d ran out of ketchup, so I scanned the ingredients and made my own healthier ketchup! Just wondering why I didn’t continue making it fresh. Now I make everything I can myself. Actually, the only processed foods I buy, are bread and pain au chocolat for the kids, must attempt to make those myself! Great site Brianne.
Thanks so much, Petra! Oooh, pain au chococlat. Not sure if making that at home would be a good thing or a bad thing 😉
there is no ½ t dried oregano, ½ t cumin, ⅛ t pepper, or 1 t mustard powder in the ingredients in heinz ketchup. the flavor they put in it is alot of sugar and the salt. on the back of the ketchup bottle you can figure out exactly what they use in it by going by how much sugar they put in and other ingredients by the weight and “reverse engineer” it.
I wasn’t trying to “reverse engineer” Heinz. I was trying to make a yummy tomato-based dip, WITHOUT a lot of sugar or salt to make it healthier for my kids, and I am pretty their “spice” and “natural flavors” might include some of these seasonings. I think I succeeded, but feel free to make your own version. Or just buy a bottle.
are the measurements table spoons or tea spoons ? 🙂
Teaspoons! Sorry, I went back in and edited that. I posted that recipe before I knew that t vs T wasn’t as clear to everyone around the world 🙂
I actually took this recipe a little further——I added shredded celery, onions, garlic, bell peppers and a little maple syrup to the apple cider vinegar and other spices. Then, I cooked it for about 15 minutes. Cooled it. Put it in the blender, processed further, then poured into a jar. Everyone loves this! Thanks for posting it.
Sorry probably a silly question… but what kind of vinegar do I use, apple cider or just the normal vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar. Sorry, I wrote just cider vinegar.
So now how do we make homemade tomato paste 🙂
Now that I don’t know – probably have to cook down tons of tomatoes!
It is very easy to make your tomato paste. you don’t need tons, but you really have to cook it and let the water boil out of it. if you start with a few garlic on olive oil, it adds a special favour that the kids around me love.
If you have an other few minutes, you can easily peel the tomato after putting it in boiling water for a few seconds.
it takes 15 minutes.
you can also leave the tomatoes in your oven drying. of course not too dry. it is longer, but it also makes a delicious paste without adding anything.
to be honest i was very surprised seeing canned tomato in a diy recipe. If it comes to home made I am not joking 🙂
I am impressed! I DIY to a certain extent, but haven’t tried tomato paste 🙂
I’m looking forward to trying this. I thought I had to give up ketchup due to the HFCS in it and I was bummed. Do you have a recipe for barbecue sauce using this ketchup?
No, but that is an awesome idea!
I make nightshade free ketchup using pumpkin puree (tomato is a nightshade vegetable). A very similar recipe.
Interesting! I’ll have to try that!
Hi, Anita…I would love to have your ketchup recipe using pumpkin purée. Please share!
Oh, now I see you did make your own tots…which look fabulous. Good job!
Yep, we love our cauli-tots!
I thought it interesting you take the time to make your own healthier ketchup, but yet showed a picture of it with processed tater tots.
Maybe you should actually read the blog and then you would know that they are homemade cauliflower tots 🙂
Thanks, Rachel. 😉
What about the ingredients in the tomato paste?
Most tomato pastes are just tomatoes,sometimes a little citric acid.
Yep, just went and looked at the can of tomato paste with the same question. Tomato puree and citric acid.
Well, thank you so much for providing a recipe like this! I’m thinking this could jazz up a low carb or Keto meatloaf. I would love to use this in an upcoming post, giving you credit and linking back?
Yes, feel free to link back to my recipe! My friend’s daughter is on the keto diet.
Wow! I am so excited to find this. With all the high fructose corn syrup issues in ketchup these days I’ve been on the lookout for a possible homemade version to try. This looks perfect and so easy! I’d love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there.
Love it! I’ve been wanting to make my own ketchup for a while now. Thanks!
Ketchup….without sugar. Not just without HFCS, but actually without any sweeteners at all. This is amazing! I actually featured this post on my blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up today, and wanted to let you know in case you wanted to stop by and check it out (link below). Thanks for this fantastic recipe, and enjoy your weekend!
Thanks so much! I actually find that the tomato paste brings enough sweetness naturally!
I love that graphic–so cute! Homemade ketchup is totally my thing. I make big batches and keep them in the freezer. 🙂 And you’re right, it is way healthier than the store-bought version!
That is a great idea to freeze it! I usually make one batch at a time, since it just takes minutes.
This looks great! I love that there is no adde sugar since ketchup from the store has so much sugar and salt in it! I’ll be adding this to my “must make” list 🙂
Give it a try! So easy, and you can tweak it just how you like it.
I love your ketchup pictures. & I never understood who would want purple or green ketchup either. Or peanut butter & jelly in the same jar. Or yogurt from a tube. Ha, random things that gross me out.
LOL, yeah, I never got into that PB&J either. Maybe because I like more peanut butter than jelly 🙂
This looks amazing Brianne!! Love it!
I love these pics Brianne! Awesome, such pretty ketchup! This has been on my to-try list for awhile and it needs to happen soon!!
Thanks Kayle! I know there are other recipes that are more involved, but I like the simplicity of this.
Love this! I’ve always wanted to make my own ketchup.
Thanks Renee. I’ve seen versions that you need to cook, but I like that I can mix this up right before dinner and be good to go.
Wonderful solution to never being able to find it without sugar added. Thank you
I hope you enjoy the homemade ketchup recipe, Carmela!