How to Make Ketchup with Pantry Ingredients

4.50 from 18 votes
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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.

Homemade Ketchup Recipe Image with title

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.

Bowls of homemade ketchup made with tomato paste


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
  • Salt
  • Dry mustard powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Cumin
  • 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.
Ketchup Ingredients to make your own

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.

Make your own ketchup by stirring together pantry ingredients

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.

White bowl filled with homemade catsup

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.

French Fries

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.

Finger Foods

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.

A paper cone of French Fries with a bowl of homemade ketchup

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!

A woman mixing food in a bowl and the cover of a cookbook called "One Dish, Four Ways".
A paper cone of FrenchFries with a bowl of homemade ketchup
4.5 from 18 votes

Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup is the perfect dip for your kids (or you) – no added sugar or funky ingredients, can be tweaked to your tastes, and it counts as a veggie!
Prep: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins


  • 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.


Note 1 – Some people find the full amount of aple cider vinegaer too strong, especially if they use a raw apple cider vinegar. You can use less, but then add water to total a 1/2 cup of liquid. You can also add additional water if you want a thinner ketchup.
Note 2 – while this is a no sugar katchup recipe, if you prefer it a little sweeter, you can start by adding a tablespoon of sugar, molasses, honey, brown sugar, or a combination of those, then adjust, adding more if needed.
Note 3 – Recipe keeps well in the fridge, so it can easily be doubled and stored for a few weeks.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Ketchup
Amount Per Serving (1 Tablespoon)
Calories 10
% Daily Value*
Sodium 157mg7%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Vitamin A 160IU3%
Vitamin C 2.3mg3%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


More homemade condiments and sauces


  1. Ole

    Note 2*

    There are a lot of other options than Sugar, if it must be sweeter, naturals like Stevia, Natvia, just to name a few πŸ™‚

  2. Joselyn Salazar

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I adjusted the amount of a few things to taste. So much better than store bought ketchup. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Derrick

    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.

  4. Rhonda

    5 stars
    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!!

  5. Kerry

    5 stars
    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!

  6. Crystal

    1 star
    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.

    1. 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.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      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!

  7. 5 stars
    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.?

  8. Yanic

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      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.

  9. 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?

  10. C S

    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!!

  11. Kate

    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.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy the homemade ketchup, Kate, but I appreciate your feedback and comment.

        1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

          Thanks for your patience, Rachelle. We’re still working on getting the recipe issue resolved. It’s being stubborn!

  12. Debi

    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…

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      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.

  13. david wood

    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!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      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. πŸ˜‰ You can see that recipe here.

    2. Joy

      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.
      Good Luck!

        1. Lia

          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!

  14. Candice

    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 !!

  15. Trisha thompson

    This did not taste anything like ketchup. It could be passed off as a good chili sauc. The cumin destroyed the ketchup flavor.

  16. Bear

    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!

  17. Becky

    5 stars
    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!

  18. paul

    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.

    1. Joanna

      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.

  19. 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.

  20. mandi

    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

  21. ed campbell

    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.

  22. Petra

    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.

  23. chris norton

    there is no Β½ t dried oregano, Β½ t cumin, β…› 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.

    1. 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.

  24. Jacquelyn Phelps

    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.

  25. Mary Sirisom

    Sorry probably a silly question… but what kind of vinegar do I use, apple cider or just the normal vinegar.


    1. pipi zaza

      Hi Kamay,
      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 πŸ™‚

  26. Gretchen

    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?

  27. Sandy

    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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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 Β love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there.Β 

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