This delicious homemade ketchup recipe is easier than you might think. Our recipe is simple, natural, and very delicious. We dare you to try it, no excuses!
My old college roommates will attest to the fact that I will put ketchup on anything! I once ate it slathered on a blueberry muffin. (Okay, so that was a dare – but well worth the $10 I earned.)
Why Homemade Ketchup?
Seventeen years after the dining hall muffin debacle, ketchup is still one of the most popular condiments in my house. So, being DIY Natural, we need to learn to make a homemade ketchup recipe. Although making your own will save money, for us it was more about avoiding certain ingredients and finding that perfect ketchup flavor.
Ingredients in Ketchup
Unfortunately, our favorite brand of ketchup from the store contained high fructose corn syrup, and when we started eating a more healthful diet and completely cut high fructose corn syrup from our diets we had to choose brands that just didn’t deliver the same flavor. Shortly after our quest for a good alternative began, our old favorite brand started making a “natural” version without the high fructose corn syrup. But wouldn’t you know – it contained lots of sugar, which is derived from GMO sugar beets. (If you’ve been following the whole GMO issue, you know that most of the sugar contained in processed foods these days is coming from genetically engineered sugar beets. And as of 2014, 98.5% of sugar beets are GMO. Not much better for you than high fructose corn syrup, right?) Good reasons to have a solid homemade ketchup recipe in your repertoire.
What’s the moral of the story? Don’t be fooled by brands that claim “natural” status, boasting things like “Made without high fructose corn syrup.” Because the sad truth is that most companies are looking to cut corners with ingredients, keep prices low, and profits high. So while they may not contain the one ingredient consumers are popularly starting to avoid, they’ll replace it with another equally unhealthy ingredient that many consumers have not yet been trained to sniff out. Ahhh, big business – you win the sneaky-sneaky award once again.
Trial and Error
But I digress – back to our search for decent ketchup. In between a few nasty batches of homemade ketchup, we finally took a break from experimentation and purchased an organic bottled brand of ketchup we absolutely loved. Glancing at the ingredients we noticed it was simple. A little tomato, a little vinegar, a little sugar, water, salt, and seasonings. We were going to give it another shot, replacing the sugar with a natural sweetener, and see how it turned out.
Our first batch was so sweet we could have put it on pancakes. (Hey – it probably would have gone great with that blueberry muffin!)
We finally knocked this recipe out of the park by using a little less sweetener. The result was ketchup that we like better than our old standby. (Should have known that would be the case, right DIY-ers?!?)
Homemade Ketchup Recipe
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 25 minutes
- Total Time
- 35 minutes
- 23 Tbsps
- Estimated Cost
Begin making your homemade ketchup by combining all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk to blend ingredients until smooth.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently and scraping around sides of the saucepan with a spatula.
Simmer until desired thickness is achieved (could take about 20-25 minutes or more).
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Transfer to a jar, cap tightly, and refrigerate.
In the fridge, this ketchup will last at least a month (ours has lasted much longer). You can preserve this recipe using the hot water bath method, just boil for 15-20 minutes.
Are you ready to try it?
Go ahead – use your new homemade ketchup recipe to douse your crispy baked french fries, perfectly grilled burgers, or anything else that goes well with this lovely red condiment. (Blueberry muffin anyone?)
- Sugar Beets. Non-GMO Project. Accessed July 2019.