Homemade ketchup

Why bother?

I don’t know about you, but I believe that a good dollop of ketchup can improve virtually anything.  My daughter has inherited this viewpoint and asks for it on everything – fish sticks, chicken, rice, sausages, crackers, or just licked off her fingers….

With my new goal of eliminating processed foods, while still maintaining the kids’ interest in what I am cooking, this seemed like a good alternative to the mass produced sugar-laden version that we are all so fond of.

After doing a little digging online I found that it is not as complicated as I had feared, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I used The Pioneer Woman’s ketchup recipe as my starting point. I had most of the ingredients already at home so I gathered them together and worked around those I didn’t want to use or simply didn’t have.


  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 onion

  • 28 oz diced tomatoes

  • 1 small can tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp molasses

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Start by sweating down the onions until they are soft, about 10 minutes.  Given that I am not using oils in my cooking now, I used a little water in the pan to stop scorching, a low heat and kept the lid on.

  2. Add the crushed garlic and stir with the onions until fragrant

  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, molasses and vinegar and bring to a gentle boil

  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the spices

  5. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour to reduce and thicken.  Stir it occasionally to be sure that the bottom does not burn

  6. Blend with a stick blender off the heat (or by transferring in batches to a jug blender)

  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge – this made 2 two pint jars and one is in my freezer.



I love this condiment!!  It’s got a lot more flavor than what we are used to, so a little goes much further.  It tasted homemade, which was definitely a plus for my husband and me.  My daughter liked it but after a few times, she did ask for the ketchup ‘from the store’ (sigh..)

Next time I will make it more child-friendly by dialing down the spices and adding more sweetness with an extra onion. I would also take the extra step of straining it so that it is pefectly Heinz-smooth.

Would I also funnel it in to an old squeezy bottle, to further the deception and ensure that she’s not getting any of the dreaded high fructose corn syrup?  Probably 😉

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