How To Make Ketchup

A reader recently asked how to make ketchup.  Great question!

Despite the fact that my two youngest like to dip pickles in ketchup, we don’t generally use a lot of it here.  Nevertheless, I was on a recent meatloaf and hamburger kick, so we went through quite a bit of the red gooey goodness.  In fact, we ran out often, and there was no way I was dragging myself to the store just for ketchup, so I made some.  It takes less time and effort for me to make ketchup than to go to the store and buy it.

There is another reason to make your own ketchup.
  If you read the back of a ketchup bottle, you will notice corn syrup in almost every brand.  Brands that do not have corn syrup have quite a bit of sugar.  And some have both!  We only buy ketchup without corn syrup, but that doesn’t negate the quantity of sugar.  I like to control the amount of sugar my family consumes…although I don’t think they necessarily like that aspect of me.

Here is how to make ketchup with our quick(ish) and simple homemade ketchup recipe, adapted from an overly sweet find.  Linda, this one’s for you!

How To Make Ketchup
Recipe Type: Condiment
Author: Christy, The Simple Homemaker
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
This homemade ketchup recipe is an easy and healthier alternative to store-bought ketchup.
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or rapidura, muscovado, or your sweetener of choice—I use a little less than 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar (I’m an apple girl)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons molasses (I sometimes use more—hey, it contains iron)
  • 1 cup water
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and simmer on the stove for up to an hour or until it reaches your desired thickness. Cool, and adjust seasonings and sweeteners to your taste. Makes about a cup of ketchup, depending on how thick you want it.

The issue I have with simmering for an hour is that I usually notice at the very last minute that there is no ketchup, you know, when I reach in the frig to grab and use the ketchup.  That means I don’t have time to simmer…so I sometimes don’t.  If I’m not going to simmer, I only add enough water to get it as thick as I want it.  Nevertheless, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s best to simmer so the flavors can mesh.

I double this recipe and store it in a pint-sized mason jar, but you could put it in an empty ketchup bottle.  (I say “I,” but my girls usually make this cool condiment.)

Lacto-Fermented Ketchup Recipe

A better approach is to plan ahead and make a healthier ketchup.  Gnowfglins, a fantastic site for painless education in wholesome food prep, has an excellent recipe for lacto-fermented ketchup.  This is a very simple method of adding healthy probiotics to your homemade condiment selection.  Once Upon A Plate has a slight variation of this same simple fermented ketchup recipe, and a bit of an explanation for extracting whey from yogurt.

These lacto-fermented ketchup recipes are my first choice for a healthy ketchup recipe.  Fermented ketchup is not difficult to make, and you don’t need special equipment, so don’t be intimidated by the term “lacto-fermented” or the two-day fermentation period.

One More Ketchup Recipe

If you have a hearty tomato harvest and want to go completely from scratch
, you can either make your own paste or try this ketchup recipe from  Read the reviews first.  This is not a simple recipe, and has some strong flavors you may wish to adjust or leave out entirely according to your family’s preferences.

So there you go, Linda and friends!  Now you know how simple it is to make ketchup.  Thank you for sharing your questions.  Please submit any other questions you may have, and I’ll answer them as quickly as possible.

If you try this ketchup recipe, let us know how it goes! Come back and leave a comment and rate this recipe.

This post is linked up to:

Teach Me Tuesdays, Raising Homemakers’ Homemaking Link-up, Works For Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Full Plate ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayTurning The Table ThursdayPennywise PlatterThings I Love Thursday,  It’s a Keeper Thursday,  Frugal Food ThursdayFrugal FridayFood Trip Friday, Weekend Whatever