Homemade Ketchup: the easy recipe to make ketchup at home

Total time: 1H30
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 15 people
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By Cookist
Tomato puree
350 g
115 g
Wine vinegar
50 ml
50 g
Potato starch
1 tsp
2 g
Ginger powder
2 g
sea salt to taste

Ketchup is one of the most known and appreciated dipping sauces in the world, together with mayonnaise and mustard. With its incredible sweet, sour and tangy flavor, ketchup is perfect to serve burgers, fries, hot dogs, chicken. This homemade ketchup is very easy to make at home and has no additives or preservatives, to make a genuine ketchup much better that the store-bought one.

This basic recipe of ketchup includes many ingredients such as tomato puree, vinegar, sugar, onions and spices, but you can customize it according to your taste. Let's find out how to make homemade ketchup in a few simple steps.

Ketchup Origins

Even though many people think ketchup is an American sauce, in reality it has oriental origins. The word ketchup derives from the Malaysian kecap, that indicates a fermented sauce made of anchovies and soybeans. This sauce arrived in Europe in the 17th century and was customized by many chefs.

In 1812 James Mease created tomato ketchup by selling it to local farmers who were involved in the production of tomatoes. It was only in 1872, thanks to Henry Heinz, that the sauce was sold with a recipe made of tomato puree, onions, vinegar, sugar and spices, thus creating the sweet and sour sauce we all know today as ketchup.

How to make Homemade Ketchup

Making ketchup at home is easier than you may think. Start by cooking the onion in a pan, then add the tomato puree and spices and stir. Next, add the potato starch, vinegar, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Go on mixing and cooking for more than one hour. Finally, blend everything until smooth and let it cool in the fridge before serving.


– If ketchup is too thick, add about one tablespoon of water.

– For a smokier flavor, you can add cumin to the ketchup.

– For the best ketchup sauce, use simple ingredients and cook them slowly, stirring from time to time.

– To enhance the sweet and sour flavor, increase a little bit the quantity of sugar and vinegar, otherwise decrease them.

– Use red or golden onion to make ketchup. As for the vinegar, you can also choose apple cider vinegar for a healthier ketchup recipe.

– For a quick homemade ketchup, mix tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and spices in a bowl.

– To make a kid-friendly ketchup, use fresh tomatoes and honey instead of sugar. You can also replace wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar.

How to store Homemade Ketchup

You can store the ketchup sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.

If you want to make larger quantities, sterilize the jars, close them with the ketchup sauce while still boiling and turn them upside down to cool, so as to create a vacuum, and then pasteurize them. In this way you can store the ketchup for up to 2 months.



Peel and slice the onions. In a pan, drizzle a little oil and add the onions. Let them wilt for about 5 minutes, turning them from time to time.


Add the tomato puree, ginger, paprika and cloves and stir. Then add the potato starch, vinegar, sugar and salt and season with grated nutmeg. Mix and cook for about an hour and a quarter over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally.


Once ready, blend the mixture until smooth. Let it cool, then pour into a glass container and let sit in the fridge for at least half an hour. Serve and enjoy!

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