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18 September 2019

Learn how to make ketchup at home with this homemade ketchup recipe. It’s made from tomato paste and other ingredients, and I’ll show you how to make a spicy version, too.

I am a sauce and condiment freak. If you’ve perused this web site, you’ll probably pick up on that pretty quickly. I love cooking foods of all sorts, but when it comes to flavors, condiments are where it’s at. A good condiment adds the final touch to many a great meal.

We’re talking hot sauces, sauces, relish, pickles, as well as some of the most popular condiments we’ve known since we were kids – Mustard and Ketchup. I’ve been making homemade mustard for years, so it’s time we made our own homemade ketchup to go along with it, right? Of course I’m going to make a spicy version, but you can very easily adjust that to your own preferred level.

Once you make your own ketchup at home, you’ll never want to buy store bought ketchup again.

What is Ketchup?

Ketchup is the star of American condiments. At its core it is a seasoned and pureed tomato sauce with a somewhat thick consistency made for squeezing over burgers, sausages, hot dogs and sandwiches. It’s a versatile condiment and can be mixed with other ingredients to form new blends, like homemade bbq sauce. The pureed tomato sauce is typically flavored with vinegar, brown sugar, and a mixture of seasonings.

Why is it Called Ketchup?

The name “ketchup” is derived from the Chinese word, kê-tsiap, which is the name of a fermented fish sauce. It is likely that Vietnamese seafarers introduced this sauce to China. The British discovered the sauce there and attempted to recreate this dark, fermented, flavorful sauce back home. Early failed attempts included ingredients like anchovies, walnuts and mushrooms, but eventually became the saucy condiment we know today when it was made with tomato.

Ketchup is certainly popular in America and around the world. It’s practically everywhere with mass market production, but like anything, it’s so much better when you can make it at home and control the recipe. So what do you think?

Let’s talk about how we make some homemade ketchup, shall we?

Homemade ketchup, ready to serve

Ingredients Needed to Make Homemade Ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional for a spicy ketchup – or use a hotter pepper for a spicier ketchup!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can tomato diced tomatoes (with juices, or use equivalent fresh chopped tomatoes)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or use cayenne pepper, or both!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon)

How to Make Homemade Ketchup

First, heat the oil in a medium sized pot and add the onion and peppers (if using). Cook them down about 5 minutes to soften them up.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute, stirring a bit, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.

Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, ground mustard, cloves, allspice, black pepper and salt to taste. Give it a nice stir.

NOTE: If you’re using fresh tomatoes, chop about 2-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes, add them to the pot, and proceed with the recipe.

All ingredients added to the pot to make homemade ketchup

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes (or up to 1 hour/60 minutes) to let the flavors meld and develop.

Cooking down the ingredients to make homemade ketchup

Puree the ketchup with an immersion blender, or transfer it to a blender or food processor and process it in batches until nice and smooth.

Simmering the homemade ketchup

Strain the ketchup through a fine mesh strainer to give it a nice, smooth texture. Discard the remaining solids.

Straining the homemade ketchup

Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator and use as needed.

If you’d like to preserve the ketchup for longer term, process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes and store in a cool, dry place.

This recipe will make you about 3 cups of homemade ketchup. Enjoy it however you’d like! Throw a ketchup party!

Recipe Tips

  • Straining. Store bought ketchup is very smooth and that is what most people are used to. You don’t have to strain it if you don’t want to. Enjoy it as it is if you’d like. However, if your resulting ketchup is too grainy for your liking, strain it through a fine meshed sieve again after the initial strain, until you achieve your preferred consistency.
  • Thickness. If you’re ketchup is too thick, thin it out easily with a bit of water. It will help it flow more easily from a squeeze bottle.
  • Tomatoes. I have made homemade ketchup with both canned and fresh tomatoes. I love both versions. Fresh tomatoes are great when you can pick them straight from your garden. I have used sweet cherry tomatoes as well as San Marzano tomatoes and thick, steaky heirlooms. If using canned, choose a good quality brand you love. Canned tomatoes are great because they are usually picked and preserved at the peak of ripeness.

Homemade ketchup on a spoon

Making Spicy Hot Ketchup

I like my ketchup to have a KICK to it. Give me a spicy ketchup any day of the week. I’ve found a few spicy ketchup products in artisan shops, but not very often in grocery stores, so I make them at home myself. Here are some ideas.

  • Spicy Ketchup. Swirl in a tablespoon or more of spicy red pepper flakes and or a tablespoon of cayenne pepper or spicier chili powder when cooking.
  • Jalapeno Ketchup. Incorporate jalapeno peppers at the beginning when cooking down the onion, like I did for this recipe.
  • Habanero Ketchup. Instead of jalapenos, use habanero peppers, which are much hotter, for a very hot ketchup.
  • Ghost Pepper Ketchup. Bring your spicy ketchup to a new level with the original superhot chili pepper, the ghost pepper.
  • Gochujang. Try using gochujang (spicy Korean chili paste) in place of the tomato paste for a spicy variation.

Of course you can go even hotter by using a collection of superhot peppers! Go for it, my crazy chilihead friends! I know you want to! It’s not just about the heat, but the ketchup taste.

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your homemade ketchup! Are you making a spicy version, like me? Or do you prefer a more traditional ketchup? Let’s hear it!

Try Some of My Other Popular Condiments and Sauces

Squirting some homemade ketchup into a bowl

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 1 vote
Homemade Ketchup Recipe - How to Make Ketchup
Homemade Ketchup Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
 
Learn how to make ketchup at home with this homemade ketchup recipe. It's made from tomato paste and other ingredients, and I'll show you how to make a spicy version, too.
Course: Main Course, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq sauce, condiment, ketchup, spicy, tomatoes
Servings: 48 tablespoons
Calories: 14 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped (optional for a spicy ketchup - or use a hotter pepper for a spicier ketchup!)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28- oz can tomato diced tomatoes with juices, or use equivalent fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or use cayenne pepper, or both!
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste I use about 1/2 teaspoon
Instructions
  1. First, heat the oil in a medium sized pot and add the onion and peppers (if using). Cook them down about 5 minutes to soften them up.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, stirring a bit, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, brown sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, ground mustard, cloves, allspice, black pepper and salt to taste. Give it a nice stir.

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes (or up to 1 hour/60 minuteto let the flavors meld and develop.
  5. Puree the mixture with a stick blender, or transfer it to a blender or food processor and process it in batches until nice and smooth.
  6. Strain the ketchup through a fine mesh sieve to give it a nice, smooth texture. Discard the remaining solids.
  7. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator and use as needed.
Recipe Notes

Makes about 3 cups.

USING FRESH TOMATOES: Chop 2-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes and proceed with the recipe.
PRESERVING: Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes and store in a cool, dry place.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Ketchup Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 14 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 40mg2%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 44IU1%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Homemade Ketchup Recipe - Learn how to make ketchup at home with this homemade ketchup recipe. It\'s made from tomato paste and other ingredients, and I\'ll show you how to make a spicy version, too. #Ketchup #TomatoSauce #Condiment

4 comments

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      There you go! Awesome! Fatali peppers will give you some wonderful heat. I love it. Glad you are enjoying it.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Henri. Cloves are a spice made from the flower buds of an evergreen tree called the clove tree. It’s a super unique spice. I suggest searching it out, but if you are unable to find it, try to use allspice. Nutmeg can work as well.

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