Made with a combination of fresh tomatoes and tomato paste, this homemade ketchup is begging to be used with your next batch of fries! Homemade ketchup is definitely worth making at least once in your life. It's easy to make, tastes better than store bought ketchup, and gives you the ability to control what goes into it (aka not a boat load of sugar)!
Tomatoes are at their peak right now and it would be a shame to let summer end without using them for homemade ketchup. This recipe is the best because it's healthy, made without corn syrup, has no refined sugar, is quick to make, and is safe for canning in a water bath canner!
Here's what you'll need:
- Fresh Plum Tomatoes: using fresh, ripe plum (also called rosa) tomatoes is what gives this ketchup such a great taste. You can definitely use a large can of tomatoes but I find using fresh, especially while they're in season, yields the best flavor.
- Tomato Paste: to help thicken and enhance the flavor of the ketchup.
- Garlic: obviously!!
- Ginger: just a pinch for added flavor.
- Onion: for added flavor.
- Agave: to act as our natural sweetener.
- White Vinegar: to help preserve the ketchup. If you're canning your ketchup, this is especially important!
- Spices: we'll be using salt, pepper, a pinch of paprika, and all spice to season our ketchup.
Homemade ketchup is incredibly easy to make but does require a little bit of patience, as we'll have to simmer it for some time to allow it to thicken up to a classic ketchup consistency.
- In a 4 quart pot or larger, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and all spice and cook, stirring often, for another minute.
- Add tomato paste and stir, cooking until it turns to a burnt orange, about 2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes (and the juices), agave, white vinegar, salt, and pepper and cook until the tomatoes are soft. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Puree the sauce in the pot using an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender in batches, blending until smooth.
- Strain the ketchup through a fine mesh strainer back into the pot to remove any seeds and tomato skins. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ketchup for another 20-30 minutes, or until thickened to your preference.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
I love this recipe as is, but ketchup can be made it so many different ways! Let me know in the comments if you try out any of these:
If you don't have fresh tomatoes, feel free to use 1 (28 oz) can of peeled tomatoes or 6 oz of tomato paste and ¼ cup of water instead. Using tomato paste only cuts out the need to puree and strain.
Use real sugar instead of agave. If you eat honey, you could also use that.
Make this recipe even simpler by using spice powders instead of fresh garlic and onion.
- Use an immersion blender for the best results. Normal blenders are not usually equipped to handle hot liquids. If you choose to use your blender, divide the ketchup into a few batches and don't fill it to the 'max' line.
- Simmer the ketchup for at least 20-30 minutes after straining to reduce the water content. This will help to achieve the traditional, thick consistency of ketchup.
- If the ketchup is still too thin after simmering for some time, add a tablespoon of cornstarch. If it's too thick, add a bit of water.
- Be sure to strain the ketchup to remove the tomato seeds.
Ketchup will stay fresh in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Yes! This homemade ketchup can be water bath canned. If you're not familiar with water bath canning, check out this tutorial.
Anything you serve store bought ketchup with! I love to pair mine with french fries, burgers, breakfast potatoes, vegan chicken tenders, and more.
You might need to simmer it for a big longer to evaporate the water content. If that's not working, add some cornstarch to thicken it up.