Homemade Ketchup

We ran out of ketchup last week, and as I was writing the word on my grocery list, I thought, “I bet I could make that.” So I looked online and found a recipe that took two hours instead of two days and bought the ingredients instead of a bottle of premade. It was a bit more expensive this time because I only had about half the necessary spices, but next time it will be super cheap :).

So here we go. Recipe courtesy of JS Online.

2 cans (28 oz each) whole tomatoes OR 3 pounds roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp celery seeds
6 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp salt


Blend the tomatoes, with their juices, along with the onion and garlic (half at a time so as not to overload your blender) until smooth. Pass the liquid through a mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon as necessary. Discard solids.

*I don’t have a mesh strainer, so I skipped this step, and my ketchup is still delicious. It’s just not as smooth as factory ketchup. So know that if you opt out of this step, your ketchup won’t be ruined.

Pour tomato mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.


Continue simmering until it’s reduced by half. This will take 1-2 hours.


Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a second saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and turn off the heat. Let it sit while the tomatoes continue to reduce.


When the tomatoes have reduced by half, strain the spices out of the the vinegar; discard the whole spices. Stir the vinegar into the tomatoes.


See that black line in the middle? That’s my vinegar mixture :).

Continue to simmer the ketchup, stirring occasionally (but be careful not to let it burn!), until it is thick. This will take about 20-40 more minutes.

Taste for salt and spice, adjusting to your liking.

Let cool, then transfer to jars. The ketchup will keep in the fridge for 2-3 months.


I got 2-16 oz jars (a repurposed Alfredo sauce jar and a new jar). And let me tell you, this stuff is delicious! And the best part is that you can adjust it to your family’s liking. For example, I left the cayenne out altogether, but if you like spice, you can totally use more. It’s a wonderful recipe. It does take some time, but it’s not all hands-on time. Pay enough attention to keep it from burning, but other than that, it practically cooks itself.

I hope you “take the plunge” and try your hand at homemade ketchup once you run out of the commercial stuff :).



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2 thoughts on “Homemade Ketchup

  1. Sanz 06/03/2013 at 3:35 pm Reply

    I’ve never even thought of making ketchup! I’m impressed!

    • wendy 06/03/2013 at 4:15 pm Reply

      There are a lot of things I’ve only started to explore making. A year ago, I would never have dreamed of making laundry and dishwasher detergent, for example. Or no longer buying bread, but making it exclusively. But we’re even now – you super impressed me with your freshly milled flour :).

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