Contributor post written by Christina from Christina Maldonado Photography
There’s nothing quite like enjoying ketchup during the warm summer months. It’s the perfect condiment for a cook-out, or served as a dip in the kids’ lunch.
Summer is the time for plump and juicy tomatoes, and guess what ketchup is made from? You guessed it–tomatoes!
Growing up, I had a cousin who loved ketchup so much she would enjoy a spoonful over vanilla ice cream! I also have a love for ketchup–not enough to pour it over ice cream–I can’t resist a few spoonfuls drizzled over my favorite sweet potato fries. The sweet, yet sour goodness is the best.
My almost three year-old daughter is currently interested in helping me cook. I always like to think of fun recipes she can help me make in the kitchen. Homemade ketchup, made with fresh seasonal tomatoes, is a great recipe to make with the littles since it doesn’t require a lot of cooking time. And the best part? The excitement over taste-testing the ketchup once it cools is an experience they will always remember!
To make homemade ketchup you’ll need fresh tomatoes. I prefer to source extra ripe summer tomatoes because they are sweeter and easier to boil down. Once the tomatoes are diced, simply add the tomatoes and all the ingredients to a pot. Turn up the heat and watch the magic of fresh tomatoes boil into homemade ketchup! The more time you allow the ketchup to cook, the more the flavors intertwine. Once the ketchup has been mashed and cooled, a blender (immersion or tabletop) is used to blend the tomatoes together, creating the most divine ketchup ever! The final result is a nutritious (yes, that’s right–nutritious) and yummy ketchup my whole family loves. The cooled ketchup is stored in the fridge where the dark ketchup color we’ve all grown to love intensifies.
- 3 lbs tomatoes chopped, fresh ripe
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp kelp powder This ingredient may be skipped. I just like to sneak in healthy ingredients.
- 2 1/2 TB honey
- 1 tsp brown mustard
- 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup onion diced (about 1/3diced)
- 1 garlic clove This may also be skipped if you don't like the taste of garlic.
- Add all the ingredients to a medium-size pot.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the ketchup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the ketchup to a simmer and cook over low heat for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove the ketchup from the heat and mash the ingredients together with a potato masher (or the back of a fork). Allow the ketchup to cool. Once cool, blend the ketchup with an immersion or table-top blender to your desired consistency.
- Store in fridge in an air-tight container for up to 14 days, or freeze for later.
A Note From Kristin: If you’re feeling a tad bit overwhelmed right now by the idea of making one more thing, I have good news! Ketchup is usually on my “to buy” list, except when I have extra time during the summer (tomato season). Homemade ketchup is a an amazing treat with unbeatable taste–it’s worth making a few times a year, trust me, especially during burger and homemade french fry season! Even though I usually purchase good-quality ketchup (so I can focus on making other foods), it’s empowering to know I can make ketchup at home. Knowledge truly is power!
I made this ketchup today. The taste is really good but mine is very watery. I’ll let it sit for a few hours and if it doesn’t thicken I guess I’ll have soup or spaghetti base in the freezer and try again. I let it cook for 2 hours
It sounds like your tomatoes are very watery. Maybe try staining in a sieve to get some of the water out.
Let me know if that works!
I just made a double batch of this cause I have so many tomatoes from my garden this year! Ack! I ran mine through a food mill and added a bit of tomato paste (Which I was also making this morning:)) and it came our really yummy! It’s still a bit thin so I’m just cooking it down a little bit more before I freeze it. Thanks for the great recipe! Will definitely make again!
How many jars does this recipe make?
Hey Kelly, 3-pint size jars.
I tried your recipe and it taste fresh and delicious. I added some cilantro and roasted cumin seeds to get that south asian touch.
This looks like a great recipe. I like that it’s free if sugar. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
I’m really excited to try this. Our garden tomatoes are full throttle right now! Have one question. Did you leave the skins on your tomatoes?
Hey Amanda, The skins were left on for this recipe, but you could definitely remove them for a smoother ketchup.
Made the ketchup to see if I could find some low in acid. Grew my low acid tomatoes and didn’t want to waste them so tried it out. All I
Can say is yum. This also can be used as a base for sauce and tomatoe soup, hope I am able to finally have found a ketchup low enough that I can tolerate it.
So you just eat the ketchup with the seeds? Also, Mine came out a little runny, any suggestions? And I am super picky and mine taste too much like tomatoes! What can I add to make it more ketchup-y?!
Hey Jessi, If they are blended well, then yes. You could add tomato paste to help with the consistency, and some sugar to help with the taste.
Do u strain this or leave the seeds in!?!
Hey Christina, I haven’t in the past, but you definitely could!
Could this be processed in a canner to preserve?
Hey Falicia, I’m not sure. I’ve never tried canning this recipe.
hello kristin can I make it to be marketed ??????
Hello! Is it possible to omit the honey? Due to dietary restrictions, I can’t have any sweeteners, including honey. Do you think it would still taste ok?
I made this last week, put it into jars and then forgot to put them in the fridge before I went away for a week. My house is around 75 degrees. Is it safe to still eat?
Hey Thais, The vinegar may have helped preserve the ketchup, but I would be very hesitant without smelling the inside of the jars.
A sniff test should help determine if the ketchup has spoiled.
This sounds delicious! Do you boil and peel the tomatoes before you dice them or do you leave the skin on yours? It looks like you left it on in the pictures. But I’m just making sure since I peel mine before making salsa.
Hey Julie, You can leave them one for this recipe :).
Hi I am making this today and wondered, do you boil it with the lid on or off?
Hey Bethany, I recommend covering the pot to avoid any splatter :). Enjoy!!
How do you get that dark red color? I made this recipe today, but my ketchup came out light red and doesn’t look anything like your photo. It doesn’t look as thick either 🙁
Hey Mindy, I asked Christina, the author, to comment and offer help…she’ll pop in later. It sounds like the ketchup hasn’t sat long enough. Once it’s cool and settled the color should deepen. The consistency should also thicken.
The ketchup usually darkens as it settles and then thickens up a bit too. The only other thing that can affect the consistency of the ketchup is possible over ripeness of tomatoes (they tend to be a little more watery at that point.) You can try adding homemade tomato paste to thicken it up a bit if you like.
so delicious!! Cant wait till the weekend to make my own ketchup. Thank you very much !!
Thanks, Katie. Enjoy!!
We LOVE ketchup around here. I will add this to my list of recipes to try once our tomatoes are ripe. And I love that your almost 3 year old helped make it because I have an almost 3 year old who loves to help in the kitchen, too. 🙂
Hey Aileen, Three year olds are the very best kitchen helpers :). Enjoy the ketchup when the tomatoes come in–I think you’ll love it!
Love your site!! Question, do you think I could make a larger batch of ketchup and can it? I can a lot to tomatoes, make pasta sauce and salsa so wonder if I could can this as well? Thanks and God Bless
Hey Kim, I haven’t tried canning the ketchup, but I think it’s definitely possible. I found another fresh recipe with canning instructions that may help with guidance: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/tomato-ketchup.