Best Homemade Ketchup: a tasty dipping sauce recipe made with fresh tomatoes

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
By Cookist
whole cloves
Bay leaf
cinnamon stick
celery seeds
1/4 tsp
whole allspice
1/4 tsp
roma or plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 pounds
Kosher Salt
1 1/2 tsp
Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup
Brown sugar
5 tbsp
yellow onion, chopped
anaheim chili, deseeded and chopped
garlic clove, minced

With its slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavor, ketchup is one of the most popular dipping sauces in the USA. Homemade ketchup is so much tastier and healthier than store-bought options, and the best part is that it's absurdly easy to make. All you need is fresh tomatoes, spices, a pinch of sugar, a dash of vinegar, and that's it!

Once you make this super simple homemade ketchup, you'll never waste your money buying store-bought ketchup again. Try and discover what makes homemade ketchup the best option out there!

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients

To make ketchup at home, you'll need some fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Brown sugar will bring that classic subtle sweetness we all associated with ketchup, while apple cider vinegar balances it out and gives your homemade ketchup a tangy taste.

You'll also need a variety of spices to season your ketchup. Spices like cloves, bay leaves, celery seeds, chili flakes, allspice, and chili pepper will add so much flavor and make your homemade ketchup far more delicious than store-bought ketchup.

How to Make Homemade Ketchup

Before you get started, you'll need some cheesecloth and kitchen twine. Pop the spices in the center of the cheesecloth and secure it with twine to form a packet. Place the tomatoes, onions, salt, garlic, chili pepper, vinegar, sugar, and spices into a large pot and cook everything for about half an hour, or until the tomatoes break down and the onions become soft.

Take out the spice packet, then blend the ketchup. Pass the ketchup through a fine-mesh sieve and pour it back into the pot. Cook the ketchup for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until it thickens. Let it cool and store, or use it right away!


Tips for the Best Homemade Ketchup

The best tomatoes for making homemade ketchup are Roma or plum tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are another great option if you want to make fancy ketchup. You can also simplify things and replace fresh tomatoes by using tomato paste or puree. However, fresh tomatoes always taste best.

If you want to make keto ketchup, leave out the sugar and substitute in your preferred sweetener. Either way, homemade ketchup is many times healthier than store-bought options.

Because of the sugars in this recipe, you shouldn't give homemade ketchup (or any ketchup) to toddlers.

For a richer flavor, you can use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. Red wine vinegar is a great option as well.

What to Serve with Ketchup?

Ketchup is an all-purpose condiment that goes with just about anything. Serve it as a dipping sauce with French fries, potato wedges, chicken tenders, or tater tots. Spread it over burgers or hot sandwiches, hot dogs, and more. Its sweet-tangy flavor is perfect for so many dishes!

How to Store Homemade Ketchup

Keep your homemade ketchup fresh by putting it in a jar or bottle with a tightly sealing lid and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Can I Freeze Homemade Ketchup?

Of course! Store your ketchup in the freezer for up to 6 months.

More Recipes You'll Like

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Homemade mayonnaise

Easy aioli

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Put the cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, celery seeds, chili flakes, and allspice in the middle of a piece of cheesecloth. Fold and wrap with kitchen twine to secure.

Place tomatoes, salt, vinegar, sugar, onions, chili, garlic, and spices in a large pot. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the onions are translucent.

Take out the spice packet. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer the ketchup back into the pot. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until thickened. Allow to cool, then store.


You'll need some cheesecloth and kitchen twine to make ketchup at home.

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