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How to Make Your Own Ketchup

How to Make Your Own Ketchup

Sir Kensington’s artisanal ketchup helps us use more ketchup in the kitchen


You may be asking yourself, why make your own ketchup? The popular condiment is easily found pretty much anywhere, whether in a grocery store or on a restaurant tabletop, and pretty much all variations of it taste alike, so making your own from scratch at home may not seem like it’s worth the time or the effort.

Click here to see How to Make Your Own Ketchup at Home

Enter Mark Ramadan and Scott Norton, co-founders of Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Ketchup, who had a perfectly good reason for making ketchup at home. After graduating from Brown University together and working for a short time in finance, Ramadan and Norton decided that in the face of mass-produced ketchups, with their corn syrup-bases and processed ingredients, they wanted to create an all-natural, hand-crafted sauce that glorified the condiment. Unlike the leading, mass-distributed brands, their ketchup would be a homemade and flavorful product made from all-natural and unprocessed ingredients.

Click here to see 5 Great Recipes That Use Ketchup

Along with the obvious health benefits of making your own ketchup, Ramadan explained that artisanal ketchup goes better with artisanal foods. Making your own, rustic variety is a way to dress up your dishes, even though at the heart of it, they're still paired with a basic condiment. They had us convinced that making our own ketchup was well worth it, and while they wouldn’t share their secret recipe, they gave us a few helpful hints to get us started on our own version. Along with how to make your own, they shared several recipes, from traditional to non-traditional, that take ketchup outside of its condiment category, and make it a very key and flavorful asset in the kitchen.

Click here to see a Ketchup Recipe

Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce

This homemade ketchup chips recipe will sooth your homesickness&mdashand hunger, too

Ketchup chips are extremely popular all over the world. You can find them in stores in Canada easily, but not so much in the United States, which means for ketchup chip stans out there, it can sometimes be difficult to find your favorite sweet and vinegary snack.

The good news is that it’s SO easy to make ketchup chips at home. With a few ingredients you probably already have your kitchen—think brown sugar, paprika, and apple cider vinegar—you can quickly bake up your own chips whenever you want. So grab a bag of potatoes and start slicing, because homemade ketchup chips are here to cure all your hunger cravings. And sure, they already taste like ketchup, but doesn’t hurt to add an extra side of the condiment, too.

Watch the video below to find out how easy it is.

So, what is ketchup?

These days, particularly in Western culture, ketchup has come to mean a sweet-sour-salty recipe made with tomatoes, but historically it was a much broader church of savoury condiments, and originally it was based around fermented fish.

Salt is still a key ingredient in any ketchup, but original forms would have been much saltier, making them definitely more of an ingredient than something to put on your chips.

Make Your Own Low Sodium Ketchup

The best advice I will give you today though, is to make your own. It is a lot easier than you think and quick too. The absolute coolest thing about making your own ketchup is that you can make fancy “gourmet” ketchups that are kicked up a few notches, and are great for BBQs, picnics, and any other occasion. My base recipe for the best low sodium ketchup has honey as the sweetener, cider vinegar, cayenne, ginger, paprika, garlic, onion, and liquid smoke to give it a roasted tomato flavor.

Homemade Ketchup in Just 5 Minutes!

Probably the most famous tomato sauce in the world, ketchup is super versatile and can be used in a lot of different recipes.

Obviously, the best way to enjoy it is with french fries together with some good homemade mayonnaise.

An all-time-favorite among kids and grown-ups, ketchup is a staple sauce for so many dishes, just think about chunky hot chips, hot dogs or burgers.

But have you ever tried making your own?

Homemade vs Store-bought

Store-bought ketchup contains some ingredients that I tend to avoid, such as high-fructose corn syrup and a list of preservative.

The homemade version, on the other hand, is cheaper and all about natural flavouring, ingredients and spices.

It really takes very little effort to make and tastes so much better than supermarket ones.

Some pretty good reasons to choose to make homemade ketchup over buying it!

Two ways to make it at home

Ketchup recipe (slow-cook version)

Total time: about 1 hour


  • 2lb (800gr) Plum canned Tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 Onion, medium and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 oz (80gr) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 fl oz (120ml) white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper powder
  • grated nutmeg and chilli flakes to taste

Heat a large saucepan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat, add chopped onion and sautée until translucent.

Then pour in the pureed tomatoes.

Add brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, cinnamon, black pepper and salt to taste, and mix well.

Cook for about 40 minutes on very low heat, stirring often, until the sauce thickens.

Once it's ready, you can add nutmeg and spicy red pepper flakes according to your taste, to give your sauce a little bit of heat.

Then, simply blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Pour your tomato ketchup into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly and place in the fridge until needed.

No-cook quick ketchup recipe

If you're looking for a super quick alternative, go for the no-cook route, which calls for tomato paste and a little water instead of canned tomatoes.

I use this method every time I'm in a rush, it's a bit mild in flavour but still delicious and still better than the store-bought version.

Why Use Tomato Paste in Ketchup?

You can make your own ketchup from fresh tomatoes when they're in season, but you can also use tomato paste and make it any time of the year.

Of course, these days we have tomatoes year round in the grocery stores, but I really wouldn't recommend making ketchup, or anything really, with them.

If you've ever eaten a tomato fresh off the vine in tomato season, you know what a tomato should taste like. The flavorless "tomatoes" you'll find in the grocery store were likely picked when green and shipped from somewhere else.

When you take fruit (like a tomato) off the plant before it's ripe, the sugars haven't developed fully (and won't). That means you get very little flavor. And it's just not worth it, in my opinion.

So I like to use tomato paste. Specifically, I like using organic tomato paste where "tomatoes" are the only ingredient. We buy ours at Costco. Apparently you can buy it on Amazon too if you don't have a Costco near you.

Reviews (90)

Most helpful positive review

1/8tsp in a double batch), only 1 tb brown sugar, and 2tsp molasses. Tastes much more like ketchup, and less like a sweet tomato based dipping sauce. _______________________________________ FANTASTIC alternative to store bought ketchups! The add in/customization possibilities are endless as well. I think store bought ketchup is nasty, but I WILL use this. I did find this recipe a bit too sweet, but that&aposs no skin off my back. I&aposll just use it to make BBQ sauce, and make another batch with only 3 tb of brown sugar. Read More

Sugar Free: For this ketchup recipe, I&rsquove omitted the salt completely and used maple syrup instead of refined sugar.

I've tried and tested this recipe over and over to make sure it works perfectly and tastes great.

But feel free to tweak it to your personal tastes and preferences.


  • 6 cups tomatoes (cherry or regular)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • One whole clove
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder or cayenne powder

For a simpler recipe, use pre-made tomato paste and skip ahead to step five in the recipe below. Feel free to play around with different measurements of spices, too! The most fun part of homemade meals is personalizing the flavor to create a dish that you’ll really love.




Approximately how long does it usually take to reduce the tomatoes to 1/3 ? and are there any specific times for each section that says 'bring to a boil'? for how long? But this seems soooo simple to the one I attempted that took 12 hours! :)

Looks like a great recipe - any ideas on how to pull it off without a food processor?

You could probably use a blender.

Homemade ketchup is the best, add a little fresh jalapeno for some extra kick. Thanks for the recipe .

Nice. A question about yield. How many jars are filled from this recipe? They look like half pints from the photos but I am unsure. Also, I have been looking into this and have seen it suggested that rather than cooking and reducing from whole tomatoes to use canned tomato paste as a base. Would that work or does the scratch cooking make the difference? I want to make a few small batches of several types of ketchup and need to keep the ratios small. Thank you.

The picture shows square pint jars. I was able to get about 5 pint jars filled. It can vary depending on how much the ketchup is reduced. I actually have never used canned tomato paste when making ketchup, so I wouldn't know. I use this as a way to preserve the tomatoes I grow. I assume it would work to make the ketchup, but I'm not sure if it would work with canning the ketchup. There is a certain chemistry that needs to go in when canning to prevent mold and spoilage. If you found a recipe that uses it, go for it. I am always eager to try recipes that make the process easier. I have split the recipe in half to make a smaller batch and it turned out just fine.

Garden Girl, thank you for the response. As for tomato paste, I think the reasons for using was to save the time it takes to reduce the tomatoes. So yes, if you are growing them then it is a great way to preserve the produce.

Now as for canning things like tomato juice or ketchup, is it necessary to actually pressure can or will water bath suffice? I ask because it seems like most references seem to say high acid foods like fruit and tomatoes are stable with boiling water temperature baths. I am not 100% sure. I was under the impression that the mix of acidified foods like tomatoes with vinegar made a high enough acid content to ward off spoilage. I would be canning in used 'chili sauce' bottles like Heinz brand. The size of around 12oz and the shape of the bottles makes them perfect for these small batches. Thanks again.

You are correct. I have read the same about high acid foods. I have actually made this ketchup using both methods: water bath and pressure can. The first time I made it, I guess I didn't pay too much attention to the instructions and processed them in a water bath. We finished all the ketchup without any spoilage. I wrote that it should be processed in a pressure can because that is what the original recipe instructed.

Unless you can check the acidity of this recipe. and most tomato type recipes for canning have added lemon juice to get the high acidity , this doesn't fit for water bath canning. Just my opinion.

It's a good opinion. I have always learned not to alter a canning recipe. You can change the spices a bit, but it is best to follow them as described. I recommend following the instructions.

Love your simple photos and instructions.

How does the flavor compare to commercial ketchup? Is it as sweet/salty? I feel like the high fructose corn syrup in contrast with the saltiness of commercial ketchup is really what makes it so addictive.

Compared to commercial ketchup, I would say this recipes is on the sweeter side and is not as sour. The Tabasco sauce is the secret ingredient. If you forget it, the ketchup will come out strange and sweet. If you want it to be a bit more salty, you can always add more at the end that's the benefit of making it yourself.