Make Your Own Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup

If you’re participating in October Unprocessed this month or are just looking to cut some processed foods out of your diet, you might be wondering how to replace some of your favorite store-bought condiments.  One condiment that I had never made myself was ketchup, so I decided to give it a try with a little help from a fellow food blogger.

For me, ketchup has always meant Heinz.  I grew up dipping my french fries in it and have always had a bottle stored in the door of my refrigerator.  I don’t use ketchup that often, but I do like it on burgers, fries, and in homemade barbecue sauces.  I’ve also been known to dip grilled cheese sandwiches in it, but that habit is reserved for diners where I occasionally break down and order a grilled cheese on white bread with American cheese. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

For the last several months, I haven’t been eating ketchup at all due to the sugar content (actually high fructose corn syrup, in the case of original Heinz).  But now that I’m adding small amounts of certain sweeteners back in, I decided it would be fun to make my own ketchup that includes ingredients I’m comfortable with.

I searched through several different recipes before deciding on this Spicy Ketchup from What’s Gaby Cooking.  I had the pleasure of hanging out with Gaby in Portland recently, so I thought it would be fun to try one of her recipes and pass it on to the rest of you.

This ketchup couldn’t be simpler to make since it starts with canned tomato puree.  For October Unprocessed, I’m allowing good-quality canned tomato products, but it would be easy enough to cook down some whole tomatoes to make your own puree if you have the time and inclination.  One change I did make for October Unprocessed was to use Muscovado sugar in place of standard brown sugar.  Muscovado is much less processed than brown sugar and has a deep molasses flavor that I thought would work well in the ketchup.  It worked perfectly.  Other than that one small change, I followed Gaby’s recipe to the letter and I loved it.

True to the name of the recipe, this is a very spicy ketchup.  If you’re making this for kids or you want something that’s a bit more all-purpose, I would stick with this recipe, but leave out the cayenne pepper and reduce the amount of crushed red pepper.  It’s much easier to add heat at the end than it is to take it away.  The same goes for the sugar – this is definitely a sweet ketchup (which, if you’re a Heinz lover like me, you’ll appreciate).  If you want something less sweet, just start with less sugar.  This is what’s great about making things from scratch – you can and should adjust for your own taste.  Make it your own!

Now head over to What’s Gaby Cooking to learn how to make your own ketchup.  And if you’d like a cute bottle to keep it in, I got mine at Sur La Table.

Spicy Ketchup Recipe at What’s Gaby Cooking
More info about October Unprocessed
at Eating Rules

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  1. Phil

    This is one spicy number! 😀

    3:23 pm  Oct 3rd, 2011
  2. Jessica

    My sister eats ketchup by the gallon, and I have tried making it for her in the past and it wasn’t “the same”. But your’s looks so dang perfect, I am going to try again!

    Next time she comes to visit, I will be making a giant batch and disguising it in a Heinz bottle! 😀

    5:32 pm  Oct 3rd, 2011
  3. Andrea Meyers

    I so need to make this. At the rate my kids eat ketchup they could do with a little less processed.

    5:47 pm  Oct 3rd, 2011
  4. Rhonda

    never really thought to make my own, thanks for the idea!

    5:52 pm  Oct 3rd, 2011
  5. Geez Louise

    this is definitely something i’ve been meaning to try… fun! french fries are my weakness.

    6:11 pm  Oct 3rd, 2011
  6. kellypea

    I’ve actually thought of doing this. I’m not a bit ketchup fan until it comes to fries, then I like a few with my ketchup. It’s going on my bucket list (which is only about food!)

    6:55 pm  Oct 3rd, 2011
  7. rachel

    Hello! Thanks for posting this! I am an avid lover of ketchup (and most sauces for that matter) and hated the thought of being without it, but equally hated the thought of being so dependent on processed condiments 🙁

    will definitely try it soon!

    4:19 am  Oct 4th, 2011
  8. Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty

    hey now – grilled cheese = chocolate milk dunking. Or grilled cheese dunking into chocolate milk anyhow. Again, processed to crap but “don’t knock it till you try it”.

    11:11 am  Oct 4th, 2011
  9. Gaby

    So glad you loved it!! Making ketchup is way easy not to mention so much better for you! I’m going to try it with Muscovado next time!! 🙂

    1:55 pm  Oct 4th, 2011
  10. Gluten free

    WOW ! this is amazing Ketchup.This is really good …………

    Gluten Free

    11:52 pm  Oct 4th, 2011
  11. Janelle

    Ahh … I love ketchup! I mean I seriously had an addiction. Now that I’ve gone grain, gluten, and sugar free I wasn’t sure there was a good substitution. I think I’ll try this recipe and add some honey or maple syrup instead of the sugar. Thanks for the idea!

    10:32 am  Oct 5th, 2011
  12. Cookin' Canuck

    The high-fructose corn syrup in ketchup always concerns me, so I’m thrilled to see this post. I’ll be heading over to Gaby’s site for the recipe.

    10:40 am  Oct 5th, 2011
  13. Stephanie@RamblingWren

    I’ve always wanted to try to make homemade Ketchup. I’m sure it taste so much better than store bought. I’m trying to stay away from high fructose corn syrup as well.

    2:11 pm  Oct 5th, 2011
  14. brandi@BranAppetit

    I love this idea! I’ve started making a lot of things at home the past year or so, but ketchup is one I have yet to try.

    And I love that bottle! I want some like that for homemade vanilla extract for Christmas gifts.

    5:07 pm  Oct 5th, 2011
  15. Kim @ Eat What You've Got

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try this!

    6:06 pm  Oct 7th, 2011
  16. Megan

    Lovely! There’s a restaurant by us that makes their own ketchup and it seemed so intense and flavorful- I’ll have to give this a try! Glad to see it.

    8:49 am  Oct 9th, 2011
  17. MaryT

    I’m always on the lookout for food to help lower my high blood pressure and I have to say that making your own condiments is a great way to do this! When you can control the ingredients, particularly the salt, food is just so much healthier for you.

    11:07 am  Oct 10th, 2011
  18. ryno

    Well pinch me ! I would have never thought of making my own ketchup, but here it is !
    Thanks ! I’m going to try and make some tonight.

    4:01 pm  Oct 15th, 2011
  19. BusyWorkingMama

    Yum, I love this! I will definitely try it out….will be curious how it goes over with my 4 year old 🙂

    5:33 am  Oct 17th, 2011
  20. Erin @ The Speckled Palate

    When we run out of the ketchup we have in our fridge – organic, since the whole high fructose corn syrup bit makes me uncomfortable – we will DEFINITELY be making some homemade ketchup! Who would have thought this would be so simple?!

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been trying to slowly rid our home of all kinds of processed foods, and it’s nice to know that other people are doing the same thing. Looking forward to some more posts this month!

    9:46 am  Oct 17th, 2011
  21. Lana

    I should have participated in October Unprocessed, as I am still in Serbia, making everything from scratch, but I do enjoy a bottle of Schweppes! Bitter Lemon in an outside cafe from time to time, as it is not available in the States:)
    I am also making all my condiments, and ketchup is the only one I have not tried to make (we are not ketchup fiends, but we eat it with french fries, along with mayo:)
    Thanks for the idea – as soon as I am back in the U.S., I’ll visit Gaby’s blog and make it:)

    1:39 pm  Oct 17th, 2011
  22. Mark

    Great, just want to make quick thank you to Admin for providing some good and different information. I always like this type of information that is true or new, and your blog is one of them. Thanks & Keep posting the great stuff!!

    12:28 am  Oct 21st, 2011
  23. Vanessa

    This is perfect! I am always so freaked out by all the ingredients in ketchup. ALMOST to the point of not using it. I will definitely be making this. Thanks for the post. =)

    2:19 pm  Oct 27th, 2011
  24. Aissa Galoso

    Love ketchup on anything, specially banana ketchup. Sometimes, I add a little Worcestershire or Tabasco or soy sauce to my daily ketchup just to change it up but seriously, if there was one condiment you can’t go a day without, ketchup would top that list.

    11:47 pm  Dec 22nd, 2011
  25. Noah Berkowitz

    Hi! I really appreciate your post it teaches me to create my own ketchup as what you intend for this post. Thanks for sharing such an informative and truly valuable post!

    9:10 pm  Jan 31st, 2012
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