How to Make Ketchup at Home

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jan 25, 2023
3 minutes read

Some people use ketchup for everything, especially children, and it’s always been a popular choice at mealtimes. If money is a little tight, there’s no need to go without a firm household staple. Despite food prices rising and supermarkets taking the condiment off special offer, there are ways in which you can get around this. By making your own ketchup at home, you can save money and marvel at the superior taste.

Here, we’ve provided you with two ways in which you can create your very own tomato sauce at home without much effort at all. What’s more, making it yourself is the healthier option; you’ve got complete control over what goes inside it. Say goodbye to massively high sugar content and too much vinegary tang for an aftertaste. Following a recipe and making your own ketchup is the best way to go.

Even though ketchup is one of those condiments that’s readily available in the shop, it couldn’t be simpler to make it at home. What’s more, you won’t add any preservatives and will only use natural ingredients, so you can be sure that you’re not being unhealthy. As with any recipe, you can customise it and make it your own. Find out what makes your ketchup tastier than anything on the supermarket shelf by getting creative.

Explore what works for you and try out a secret ingredient. Once you've mastered ketchup, why not branch out and try making your own barbecue sauce or salad cream? Once the cookery gates are open, the world is your oyster.

The Non-Cook Version

This recipe is extremely quick and can be prepared in a matter of minutes. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Tomato paste

  • White vinegar

  • Water

  • Onion powder

  • Garlic powder

  • Cinnamon powder

  • Maple syrup

  • Salt and pepper

The easiest way to make ketchup is by throwing all of the ingredients into a blender and blitzing until it’s at the desired consistency. While the measurements don’t exactly matter, you can add as little or as much as you like as you go until it looks and tastes like ketchup. For a little extra flavour, you can add a pinch of nutmeg or chilli powder if you’d like a bit of a kick.

Be sure to secure the lid before you use the blender, and keep hands of little ones away when in operation. Handheld blenders can also be used but just be careful with the mess that they can suddenly create if you're not careful!

The Cook Version

Even though you’ll need to cook this on the hob, it will be done in around 40 minutes. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 800g tinned tomatoes

  • 1 onion

  • Olive oil

  • 80g brown sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 120ml white vinegar

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 1 tsp black pepper powder

  • Grated nutmeg or chilli flakes

Heat a saucepan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and cook for several minutes until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes, then stir in the sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Simmer for around 40 minutes on a low heat, stirring frequently until thickened up.

After it’s ready, you can add nutmeg or chilli flakes if you’d like a bit of a kick to it. The final step is to purée it all together using a blender or food processor. You can always use tomatoes instead of tinned ones, but they’ll need to be boiled first and have their skin and seeds removed if you don't fancy it being bitty. Using them whole retains all the goodness but the consistency and texture will not be what you're used to.

When you've got the finished product, allow it to cool. You can use it straight away, but just be mindful that if it's been cooked, it will be hot. To make sure it lasts, keep it stored in the fridge. You are able to store both of these recipes in the fridge for at least two weeks. If you have an empty ketchup bottle, you can use a funnel to refill it with your homemade version, but it’s best to keep it in an airtight container. If you don’t use ketchup that often, you can always make it as soon as you need it, and in small batches.