Homemade Ketchup

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on March 27, 2011

Homemade Ketchup

So today I thought I’d share my ketchup recipe.  Just this last fall was the first time I made this and next year I will cook it more than I did last year.  This batch turned out a little watery and not at all ketchup-like but the flavor is great and without any funky ingredients.  It will be way better once it’s cooked more to reduce it to a ketchup-like consistency.  I have adjusted the cooking times to reflect that but feel free to test it as you go by dropping a little on a plate to see how it holds up. I know to a lot of people it seems tedious and unnecessary to make things like this when they’re so easily and cheaply bought at the store.  While being cheaper when you buy large quantities of tomatoes – or grow your own – it’s also amazingly satisfying to have made your own ketchup.  Who else can say that?  Not to mention you don’t need to worry about the amount of sugar or corn syrup in the final product because you can adjust it how you want.  You can also pick the ripest tomatoes and therefore not have to add as much sugar to make up the sweetness that should naturally be in the tomatoes.  You don’t need to worry about added colors and preservatives.  This is not something you have to wonder about where the ingredients came from which is a great feeling. While I canned mine, if canning makes you nervous you can always freeze it in small quantities and thaw it as needed.  It lasts in the fridge for quite a while after opened or thawed – I would say at least 2-3 weeks.

Homemade Ketchup


Homemade Ketchup
  • 10 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • dash cayenne
  • dash allspice
  1. First peel your tomatoes.  Have a boiling pot of water, slash a small X on the bottom of each tomato and drop into the boiling water for about 60 seconds.  Remove and plunge into cold water and then the skins should easily peel off.  If not, return to the boiling water for a few seconds.  

  2. Chop roughly and simmer the tomatoes with the onion for 30 minutes. Blend together using an immersion blender(this will not remove the seeds) or put through a food mill. Put the whole spices, cinnamon, cloves and the garlic cloves into a pot with the vinegar. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove the spices. 

  3. Meanwhile, boil the tomatoes till reduced by half, stirring frequently. Add the spiced vinegar(I pour it through a strainer to remove the spices), brown sugar, salt, paprika, mustard powder, and all spice. Boil over medium high for 20 minutes till thickened. 

  4. To can, pour the mixture into sterilized jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Put the lids on and process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. Should yield about 2-3 pints. I assume that you would be able to freeze this as well, making sure to cool completely before freezing, and stirring well after it's thawed to mix back in any water that has separated.

Recipe Notes

Process and original recipe from Stocking Up by Carol Hupping Stoner under the title Catsup.

Leave a Comment

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca March 28, 2011 at 16:42

This is a fantastic looking recipe and a wonderful picture. I am going to make some of this right away. Thanks so much.


2 thequirkykitchen March 28, 2011 at 14:17

I’m so glad I found your blog – it’s lovely! I stayed in a vegan hotel last year and they served home made ketchup. Now I can make some of my own! Great recipe and so much nicer than the bottled stuff!


3 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 29, 2011 at 09:21

And I’m glad you found me 😀


4 Tonia April 15, 2013 at 19:10

I just made your catsup for the first time! Thank you!! Just wondering though, how long does it keep in the fridge? I don’t want food poisoning, you know. Ha! ;). Thanks again!!


5 Allison March 28, 2011 at 12:10

I was hoping to getting around to canning my own ketchup last year, but didn’t have enough time! Hopefully I get to it this year, yours looks great!


6 Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls March 28, 2011 at 08:32

I had no idea it was that simple… LOVE this! I can’t wait to try it out!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls


7 Lori March 28, 2011 at 04:30

So glad you shared your recipe. This has been one of those things on my to-make list. I’ve only found one variety in the store that is HFCS free so I know it’s time to whip it out myself. Plus, this has to be so tasty!


8 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 29, 2011 at 09:22

Yes, it was on my to-make list for a while too. It’s so worth it 🙂


9 Ellie @ Kitchen Wench March 28, 2011 at 00:13

Okay, I’ve just bookmarked this recipe because unfortunately we’ve just passed tomato season (not that we had a fabulous tomato season anyway due to the crap weather all summer), but I’d love to try making my own ketchup!


10 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 29, 2011 at 09:25

Our tomato season wasn’t very good last year either. I like to grow my own but I had to buy some. I wonder if the recipe would work with canned tomatoes… But fresh is always better of course 🙂


11 simplynutritiouskate March 27, 2011 at 18:40

I need to start making my own ketchup it looks much simpler than I thought and so fresh!


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