Seriously Good Homemade Ketchup

Homemade ketchup is a must make. It’s so simple, flavorful and easy to spice up or change up based on what you love.

Watch the Video

Easy Homemade Ketchup Recipe Video

Related: We love these baked french fries.

How to Make Seriously Good Ketchup from Scratch

If you’re up for cooking an onion until sweet, adding tomatoes and some spices then simmering until thick and shiny, then you’re up for making your very own version of homemade ketchup. You’re looking at just over half an hour from start to finish and the ketchup will last about 1 month — although, we’ve never been able to stay away from it that long. Sure grabbing the store-bought bottle is easier, but we wouldn’t be telling you to make your own ketchup if the taste wasn’t worth it.

How to Make Seriously Good Ketchup from Scratch

This tastes so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Plus, you get to tell your friends that you made it — all by yourself. They’ll think you are awesome (because you are!).

Ketchup starts with an onion that’s been cooked in a little oil over medium heat until soft, sweet and lightly browned. Then we add a generous amount of garlic, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes and allspice.

Since the spices are added before any liquid, they toast and become even more flavorful than they were to begin with. Think about the difference of toasted almonds and blanched almonds. Both are almonds, but they taste different. The toasted nuts are nuttier, buttery and more flavorful. Same thing goes with spices.

Tomato paste goes in next — that’s to make the ketchup taste extra rich. We like to cook it a bit before adding anything else. It should transform from bright red to a burnt orange color.

Making Seriously Good Ketchup

Then comes the rest — a big can of tomatoes, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and some salt. We let everything cook at a low simmer until thickened and shiny. This is a great time to grab a spoon! I know it’s ketchup, but we happily eat this stuff by the spoonful. Once it’s done, blend it up. You can blend as much or as little as you like — we like it pretty smooth so we break out our blender, but an immersion blender works perfectly well.

Blending hot liquids can be a little tricky. If you plan to use a blender, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Fill the blender less than halfway when what you are blending is hot — so you’ll probably need to do this in a couple batches.
  • Before hitting any buttons, remove the center insert in the lid, grab a kitchen towel and cover the hole then blend away. This helps release some of the steam generated by the hot liquid and prevents any chance of hot liquid flying all over you and your kitchen.

Once you’re happy with the consistency, throw it into a container or jar and keep in the fridge up to one month.

What To Serve With Ketchup

Perfect Baked Sweet Potato Fries that are caramelized and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. No fryer needed here.

Rosemary Roasted Potato Wedges  are so simple to make! Try substituting other herbs and spices for the rosemary, there are so many options.

Crispy Baked Portobello Fries that are juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. We lightly bread them in breadcrumbs. They are so easy to make and truly delicious.

Homemade Baked Tater Tots are easier than you might think. Say goodbye to that store-bought bag.

Crispy Baked Fish Sticks that are flaky and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Ridiculously Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets made with crushed potato chips as the crunchy breading.

Seriously Good Homemade Ketchup Recipe

Seriously Good Homemade Ketchup

  • PREP
  • COOK

Ketchup is very simple to make and is so much more flavorful than anything you can buy at the store. We don’t like it to be too sweet and like to add only 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar to the pot, but if you prefer, add a little more to make the ketchup sweeter. The sweetness of tomatoes can range, too, so it really is best to taste the ketchup and add the sugar to taste.

You can also play around with flavors, this version has a kick of spice from crushed red pepper flakes, but you could add fresh jalapeño, chipotle or hot sauce to transform it into spicy ketchup. Other spices are nice, too — try curry powder or garam masala for an Indian-spiced version.

Makes approximately 3 cups

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced into half moons

2 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

One 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional for spicy ketchup

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice

2 to 5 tablespoons brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like your ketchup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


    1Heat oil over medium heat then add onions and cook until they are softened, sweet and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and allspice then cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

    2Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until it turns from red to a burnt orange color, about 2 minutes.

    3Add the can of tomatoes with juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, cider vinegar, a generous pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir, and then taste to check and see if you need to add more sugar (we usually end up adding a total of 3 to 4 tablespoons).

    4Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat slightly and cook at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and shiny, about 20 minutes. Taste then adjust with more sugar, salt or pepper.

    5Blend until smooth, let cool to room temperature then refrigerate up to one month.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Use fresh tomatoes: 1 large can of tomatoes is about 3 cups of fresh tomatoes. Use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes as a substitute.
  • A note about blending: You can use an immersion blender or regular blender. If you use a regular blender, it is best to blend in batches and not fill the blender as much as you usually would since the ketchup is so hot. We like to remove the center insert of the lid and cover it with a kitchen towel while blending — this helps some of the steam release and prevents the lid from popping off (which can be a big, hot mess).
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We assumed 1/4 cup of the brown sugar.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 2 tablespoons / Calories 23 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 4 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 3 g / Total Fat 1 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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58 comments… Leave a Review
  • Heather July 17, 2023, 4:17 pm

    I just made this recipe. Delicious!! I added bell peppers to the recipe and its great!! I also used fresh tomatoes and I did not peel then and they blended down no problem..

  • Tracy December 30, 2022, 11:10 am

    I was skeptical, but I made this for the Fall off the Bone ribs I made for Xmas dinner. This ketchup is amazing. My husband LOVES this stuff. He eats it with potato chips, like it’s salsa. It is so full of flavor, and goes well with just about anything you want to make it with. It would even be amazing as a shrimp cocktail type sauce. I won’t be buying store bought ketchup again. Yep, it’s that good.

  • William Morrissey March 15, 2022, 6:44 am

    The ketchup was very good. First time making it so the second time will even be better

  • Neil Jones September 27, 2021, 9:41 am

    Just made this to use up some of our own tomatoes.. excellent recipe. Also made a version with 300g chopped peppers and 300g tomatoes (liquidized) with 2 tablespoons of molasses sugar. worked well too.

  • CONNOR STANLEY March 26, 2021, 12:43 pm

    Do you really need to add any sugar to this at all?

    • Adam May 9, 2022, 3:16 pm

      Hi Conner, You can adjust the sugar amount to your tastes. The sugar listed balances out the spices and tomatoes. It also mimics what we are used to with store-bought ketchup.

  • antonia antal March 1, 2021, 10:15 pm

    can you freeze it for long term storage?

    • Adam May 9, 2022, 3:16 pm

      Yes, I’d imagine this to freeze well for 3 months or so.

  • Richard Tripp February 8, 2021, 1:10 am

    Really good. I made the recipe as written only made it low carb by substituting 1 tsp blackstrap molasses and 1/4 cup of granulated stevia — the kind that is a 1:1 replacement for sugar. If you don’t like it this sweet tasting cut back on the stevia but keep the tsp of blackstrap molasses. I’m diabetic so I have to watch every gram of net carbs and I really like ketchup.

    • Annette September 5, 2021, 12:26 pm

      This looks wonderful! Can you can this? If so how would you go about doing so?

  • Shaina Hauber November 2, 2020, 10:46 am

    love this site

    • Tabatha September 27, 2021, 6:10 pm

      When you use fresh tomatoes, do you peel them first? Or does it not matter since you’ll be blending it?

      • Adam May 9, 2022, 3:15 pm

        It is up to you. I’m fine skipping peeling the tomatoes since the sauce is blended, but it would not hurt to peel them if you’d prefer.

  • Becca Holcombe August 27, 2020, 8:55 pm

    I made the ketchup for a recipe that only used 3tbsp. Tonight I made spaghetti sauce and used the ketchup as my tomatoes. So Good! Rave reviews from the whole family…and I don’t even like spaghetti sauce.

  • Carmen Saumure May 14, 2020, 5:45 pm

    It’s absolutely delicious! Can it be frozen?

    • Joanne February 20, 2022, 3:08 pm


  • Joanne January 17, 2020, 1:48 pm

    Hi Freya, We are sorry that the ketchup was too sweet for you. The expectation for how sweet ketchup should be ranges from person to person — we’ve had some commenters say they felt they needed more sugar than 1/4 cup. To accommodate more preferences, I’ve added a larger range of sugar to the recipe and suggested to start with 2 tablespoons, taste and go from there. We usually end up with 4 tablespoons, but now the recipe is written so you can add to your own taste. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Brenda December 16, 2019, 9:07 pm

    Can’t wait to try the tater tot recipe and the ketchup recipe.


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