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Quick Homemade Ketchup

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Quick Homemade Ketchup

“Fifteen packets of ketchup, please”

An anonymous arm dutifully held the hot greasy bag out the window as I watched from the back seat. That, folks, pretty much sums up mealtime when my dad was in charge growing up. As you can imagine, things look a **little** different around here.

One night – I kid you not – Daddypotamus was teasing me about picking up something from Taco Bell or KFC because I didn’t feel like cooking. Katie’s response? “Dad, STOP! Those aren’t real places!”


Some things never change, though, like how much kids love ketchup. My little potami will eat it on ANYTHING, so I pull it out whenever a dish is moving a little slow on their plate. It’s kind of like a magic trick, you know? Kid doesn’t like dinner?  Put some ketchup on the table and POOF it’s gone!


Though I love fermented ketchup, sometimes I need to have a batch ready in a hurry. For those times here’s my quick and wholesome “go to” recipe. Enjoy!

Homemade Ketchup Recipe - So quick and easy!

Quick Homemade Ketchup


To Make

1. Place all ingredients in a small pot/pan and whisk together.

2. Place on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced to the consistency you prefer. Store in the fridge.

Shelf life: Many online recipes for homemade ketchup say they last in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. For batches that have a longer shelf life, try fermenting.

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50 Responses to Quick Homemade Ketchup

  1. Jade says:

    This is great! My kiddo is 16 months and he gets to eat what I eat. I don’t eat a lot of ketchup anyways but there have been two dishes this week that I cooked and it just needed a little something and that something was ketchup. This week I didn’t fret as I offered him to dunk his food in the little dollop of ketchup I gave him, but reading those ingredients vs. this recipes is way better.

  2. Heather says:

    Could this possibly be frozen to help extend its shelf life?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Heather, I’m not sure how well it freezes because with my kids a batch never lasts more than a week. If you’d like something that lasts longer you might try fermenting it – I linked to a great recipe in the post!

  3. Becky says:

    This is great! Thanks! I’ve read a few weird recipes for how to make ketchup. I guess some people think that have the *magic* recipe that will make you flip, but sometimes I just want some regular ketchup — nothing fancy like hot red peppers in it. :)

  4. Camilla says:

    Hi Heather! I hope all is going well with preparations for the baby! Do you know, I can’t find anything called tomato PASTE here in the UK, it’s all tomato PUREE, is there a difference? Maybe someone else knows?! Thank you

    • Mrs G says:

      Camilla, also where I live we have tomato puree (in the local language it sounds very similar to English). I use it every time a recipe calls for tomato paste and I have always had great results. It is very thick, much thicker than the usual sauce. You would use it when you need something more concentrate than the usual tomato sauce.

    • Diane says:

      Camilla, I was curious so I looked it up. It seems that what you call puree in the UK is what we call paste in the USA. So you’re all set! (And Mrs. G. is right.)

  5. Mandi says:

    I made this today and found the apple cider vinegar to be too strong for me. Could regular white vinegar be used in place of the ACV?

  6. April Burgener says:

    Yum! Our family has cut out processed condiments and this looks easy to make up! Thank you for sharing!

  7. R.Elizabeth says:

    what’s the best way to ferment this? Add whey?

    • Heather says:

      I haven’t tried fermenting it – on the days I am ahead enough to consider that step I use the recipe I linked to above :)

      • R.Elizabeth says:

        Which recipe tastes more similar to store bought ketchup?Fermented or non fermented? I’m trying to decide which way to make it first. I would like to please my kids off the bat with switching their ketchup from Simply Heinz to homemade. Thanks :)

        • Raquel @ Good Bad Food says:

          I make a fermented ketchup that replicates the store bought flavor, and it’s similar to the above recipe, but with whey added. If you’re going to ferment it, you may want to cut back just a smidge on the vinegar, because fermenting will add the tang. Also, if you really want it to give the impression of store bought ketchup, you might want to try using honey instead of maple syrup–it replicates the sheen and mouth feel that store bought ketchups get from corn syrup.

  8. Sarah says:

    Definitely going to try this recipe, but I must know where to get one of those glass jars in the picture. I need it. Pretty please.

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  10. Karen Wood says:

    Oooo thank you! I needed a recipe for this for a while now.

  11. Lisa O. says:

    I have tried many recipes for homemade ketchup that is refined-sugar free. This one is the best I’ve made and it was the easiest! Thanks!

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  13. Shaina says:

    I made this today. It tastes like ketchup :) but I had to double the liquid in it and it’s still a little too thick… Maybe it was my tomato paste? (kirkland organic) Nonetheless, awesome recipe and thank you!

    • Heather says:

      Yes, it is probably just a difference in the thickness of the tomato paste. Mine tends to be more on the runny side :) Glad you liked the recipe overall!

  14. Fayme Reinhart says:

    Love cast iron!

  15. Loretta says:

    Hi there! Do you have any pointers if my batch of home made ketchup came out tasting more like thick marinara sauce? I can’t figure out how to get more of that “ketchup” taste, so I can get my family off of the store bought stuff. Thanks!

  16. saida says:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for home made ketchup and will be trying this out this week :) I’m really hoping that my kids and my hubby (who eats ketchup with EVERYTHING) won’t notice the difference too much! I also took a quick look at your fermented ketchup recipe and love that it has a longer shelf life. I’ve never come across raw fermented sauerkraut brine. Where would I find this? Do I need to visit a specialty store of some sort?

  17. Lalia @ Found Frolicking says:

    Love those glass containers! Where are they from :)?

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  21. Amber says:

    Do you think raw honey would be a dutiable substitute to maple syrup?

  22. Mindy Benkert says:

    That sounds great! I LOVE simple recipes :) Can’t wait to try it.

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  24. Aaron Grubb says:

    I just made this but I’m actually considering adding more vinegar…it did cross my mind, though, that I may have forgotten the extra two Tbsp of vinegar :\

  25. Lisa Allen via FB says:

    I absolutely love your ketchup and your bbq sauce made out of it. I am so thankful for both!

  26. Amanda says:

    My batch that I made was delicious, but so thick. I ended up having to add a ton more vinegar and even maple syrup. Would it change the taste too much if I used a can of tomato paste and a can of tomato sauce? Maybe that’d thin it out? Or do you have other suggestions on how to thin it out? Thanks!!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Amanda, the brand of tomato paste I buy is a bit runny so that may be the difference here. If it were me I’d just add a bit of water to thin it out.

  27. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    Woohoo! I am so happy to hear that, Lisa Allen.

  28. Elowyn says:

    Hi, this looks great! have you tried it with honey rather than maple syrup? would it be similar amounts?
    Also just a note on the whole tomato paste/tomato puree thing.. here in Australia they are two different things. Tomato puree is basically blended tomatoes, but tomato paste is more processed, it’s ‘tomato concentrate’; very thick, very red, very reduced down to a paste that doesn’t much resemble tomato anymore and you only need a little of it for a lot of flavour. So if you used one or the other you’d get quite different outcomes, which seems to have been the case judging by the comments above. I think I’ll try for a combo of the two. I just made sausages with natural casings and my new mincer/juicer, we were all so excited to have real sausages not just meatballs, but they were crying out for ketchup.
    Thanks again for coming through, there’s not a food I’ve wanted yet that you haven’t had a great recipe for, love your work!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks, Elowyn! I have tried it with honey and did not find the flavor very enjoyable, so I stick with maple syrup :)

    • Raquel @ Good Bad Food says:

      Just an FYI, I always make my ketchup with raw honey, and we love it that way! Not sure if it’s because of different flavors of honey, or just different tastes in food, but you might want to try it both ways and see which camp you fall into.

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  32. Fawna says:

    so just a question, is boiling it just to reduce it or is it for another reason? We felt it changed the flavor just a bit when boiled so just though we’d ask!

  33. Melanie says:

    I had to laugh at that Meme!!! This past Thanksgiving my nephew seriously had his plate covered in mashed potatoes with about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of ketchup on it! He puts it on Bananas, mac’n’cheese… EVERYTHING!

  34. maria ramirez says:

    why is their no printing button i want to print some recipies

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