Homemade Ketchup

We are big ketchup eaters at work. And by we, I really mean me and the kids from my personal chef job. We love ketchup. We put it on our grilled cheese, eat it with mashed potatoes, drizzle it on potato gratin – you name it and I’m pretty sure we’ve tried it! Last week the unthinkable happened. We ran out of ketchup. Talk about the world coming to an end. Rather than running to the store to pick up another jumbo bottle – we made our own. TOTALLY SIMPLE. Oh my goodness – it totally rocked my world and I’m never going to have to buy the stuff from the store again. Plus this way, I get to control how much salt is actually going into the sauce – because the stuff from the store has an outrageous amount of sodium.

We whipped up this slightly spicy homemade ketchup in no time and then roasted some potatoes to eat with it. I mean we didn’t want to just eat the ketchup with a spoon. (Although I’ve totally done that before!) Everyone was completely impressed. Not only does it have the same consistency as store bought ketchup but it tastes ah-mazing. It’s fresh and tangy with a little kick of spice.

And here is the best part – my boyfriend, who is a self proclaimed ketchup hater and won’t even touch something if it has been on the same plate as something else with ketchup… well, he even liked it! It was a small miracle :)

Homemade Ketchup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: Serves 16

Homemade Ketchup


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until for 5 to 8 minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic and stir together. Add the tomato purée, brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, mustard, cloves, allspice, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 60 minutes until it is thick like ketchup.
  2. Using an immersion blender, food processor or blender, puree the mixture until smooth.
  3. Adjust seasonings if needed and pour ketchup into a container and seal. Can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

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  1. Omg I love ketchup. I could have a little food with my vat of ketchup. This looks amazing!!!

    I really should make this….soon!

    And I am all signed up and set for the San Diego bake sale….yay for local bakers and bloggers!

  2. i never thought to make my own ketchup…but just realized that i’ll probably have to make this recipe this week! weird thought for a gal who used to hate it (i know, i know…i’ve seen the error of my ways :))

  3. That looks really good. Last week we were having hot dogs and we spiced them up by making them Indian hot dogs. We mixed curry powder with ketchup (Heinz, not homemade) to make a mock currywurst sauce. Then we made an Indian slaw by mixing cabbage, mustard seeds cooked in olive oil, diced jalapenos, sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Slaw and “currywurst” sauce went on the dog with extra slaw on the side.

    I’ve made BBQ sauce plenty of times, this ketchup looks like an easy transition for me. Thanks!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to try it. We are big ketchup fans at home, especially the hubby and the lil one. They could eat ketchup just by itself. I’ll probably have to cut back on the red pepper flakes and ceyenne pepper for my 2 year old, right?

    1. Maribel – for a two year old I would def cut back on the red pepper flakes and cayenne! Maybe just a pinch of both :)

  5. There is something so wonderful about making your own condiments. It elevates an ordinary thing into something extraordinary. The ketchup recipe sounds wonderful, and I’m sure my heat-loving 4-year old would love the kick from the cayenne and red pepper flakes.

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe! I don’t like buying even organic ketchup in a plastic thing…this is perfect! I use mason jars for my homemade condiments – pretty and no plastic!

  7. When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to make her own homemade ketchup. When I tell people I remember waking up early at her house and smell the wonderful smell of ketchup cooking, they look at me like I’m nuts. I guess most people never even think of making the stuff. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  8. That is a lot of ingredients for ketchup….who knew? I though it was all tomato, water and SUGAR…I’m interested in cutting out the sugar.

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  10. Hey Gaby, I looked up ketchup recipes online and was so excited to see one come up on my Google search from you website! I think that means you have arrived. The reason I need to make my own ketchup is because of my daughter’s special dietary needs. She can’t have any polysaccarides. OK, no sugar. But we can use honey in place of the brown sugar. So I am going to give it a try. You don’t happen to have a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce, do you? Thanks! PS. Say hi to your mom for me.

  11. I’m making my own ketchup this month because I’m participating in October #Unprocessed. Going to give your recipe a try. By the way, I always dip my grilled cheese sandwiches in ketchup. LOVE it!

  12. I followed Nicole over here to try out your recipe. I made it tonight. I made it without any cayenne and red pepper flakes, so my two little ones would eat it, and after I was done blending it, I put half in a mason jar for the kids, and the other half I added cayenne and red pepper flakes to for my husband and I. Blended it for a few seconds, and then put it in the other jar. The recipe was great. Thanks so much.

  13. oooh this looks great! I had been looking for something like this, so glad I stumbled on this recipe. I was just going to mix some puree with a little spices and hope for the best. But this sounds more yummy! thanks!

  14. I made a batch of this spicy ketchup recipe last week. I really like the result, much more to my taste than the store-bought stuff! I whirled the ingredients in a food processor prior to cooking, and did a quick pass at the end with my immersion blender. I also replaced the red pepper flakes and the Cayenne pepper with two fresh seeded red jalapeños, whirled in the food processor with the tomatoes, for that fresh flavour.

    Although we’re used to sweet ketchup, I think I will reduce the amount of brown sugar next time, I’m not that big a fan of sweet condiments.

  15. Hey Gaby, I am so glad I found this recipe! I was wondering if you think I can make it using fresh tomatoes from the garden instead of the can of tomato puree? What do you think I’d need to do differently?

    1. I bet that would totally work! I could just puree your fresh tomatoes and use equal proportions and give it a try!! Keep me posted :) I’m going to try it too post wedding :)

  16. I want to make the homemade ketchup in September. Will it keep for Christmas? Does it need refrigeration?

    1. Hi Kimberly! The ketchup usually stays good for about 3-4 weeks… so if you wanted some for Christmas – I’d recommend making some now so you can enjoy it this fall and more around November for best results :)

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