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Healthy Ketchup!

Here are THREE good reasons you should try this homemade and healthy ketchup recipe:

healthy ketchup

  1. No high-fructose corn syrup, and you get to control how much–if any–sugar goes in.
  2. Homemade really does taste so much better than bottled ketchup.
  3. With just 4 basic ingredients, this healthy ketchup couldn’t be easier to make!

Once you try homemade ketchup, you’ll never want to buy store-bought ketchup again.


When I was little, my mom joked that we should’ve bought stock in Heinz for how much ketchup I ate.

Looking back, I think the issue was that I really never liked the taste of meat.

So I’d put a ton of ketchup on my burgers and then they wouldn’t taste like meat… they’d taste like ketchup! Smile

homemade ketchup

Healthy Ketchup

Loosely inspired by a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens

  • 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (450g)
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion (35g)
  • scant 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) (12g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sweetener of choice, to taste (or omit for unsweetened ketchup)
  • 1/8 tsp powdered ginger (omit if desired)
  • optional pinch garlic powder or minced garlic

Healthy Ketchup Recipe: Preheat oven to 400 F. Roast first two ingredients 40-45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are shriveled and most of their liquid is absorbed. Then blend with all other ingredients. Let cool before putting in the fridge, and for thickest results leave uncovered a few hours even after putting in the fridge. (Recipe yields 345g, or about 1.5 cups.)

View Healthy Ketchup Nutrition Facts




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Published on August 5, 2012

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  1. Samantha D. says

    I’m actually really excited you posted this…i LOVE ketchup.. it grosses the boyfriend out that i put it on literately everything..even my salads haha

  2. Anonymous says

    I see you say it “can be sugar free!” but I don’t see sugar in the ingredients….Am I blind? What you’ve posted IS sugar free 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Somehow, I’d left it out of the recipe ingredients! So weird, because I know I wrote it. Must have lost it somehow when I was moving things around while writing the post… Thanks for letting me know. It’s fixed now :).

  3. Honeybird says

    Great! I never made my own ketchup before, though I intend to do it 😛
    Ketjap (sweet soy-sauce) and ketchup are my favourite sauces!
    The knife in the first picture, looks exactly like the ones we have (I live in the Netherlands), lol :).

  4. Kendra says

    Wow, that looks like a delicious ketchup recipe! Though I rarely use ketchup, I may try out this recipe, just to experiment:) It’s not as though I HATE ketchup; I just prefer using other condiments:) We normally buy the Hunts ketchup made without high-fructose corn syrup, but I am sure that homemade ketchup would be less expensive…

  5. Rachelle says

    I’m so excited! I have been talking about making homemade ketchup a lot lately, but didn’t have a recipe. Now I can!

  6. Jill says

    Thanks for this. I have a homemade ketchup recipe but it came out ver watery, more like salsa. I think roasting like you said may be the trick.

  7. Sherry says

    I love ketchup too and in the past have made my own but now can’t have tomatoes due to sensitivities and tomatoes being part of the nightshade family doesn’t help my inflammation 🙁

    So… I make Apricot ketchup! It tastes a little exotic and if you add in allspice and a touch of cinnamon (to this recipe) it really does taste like ketchup. Oh, and of course no HFCS!!

  8. Jade C says

    Looks like a great recipe and I have been looking for a better tomato ketchup recipe lately, you read my mind 😉 .
    Just wondering, if you know, how long this would keep for?? Want to know how much to multiply the recipe 😉 ..

  9. Kate says

    This is awesome! Thanks so much for posting I cannot wait to try it!!! I used to put ketchup on everything when I was younger too…heck I still do somedays lol

  10. Rebecca says

    @Tanya: Tomatoes (especially when roasted) are actually pretty sweet already. You’d be surprised.

    @ChocolateCoveredKatie: I am glad I am not the only nut who makes her own ketchup! Roma tomatoes work pretty well also (especially for stewed tomatoes—yum!). I mostly take the lazy way out and use tomato paste (super-concentrated, just sweet enough tomato-y taste) and sometimes doctor it up with a bit of vinegar, a few spices or occasionally a SLIGHT pinch of stevia (although usually doesn’t need it)

  11. Jacki says

    I’m going to have to try this with all the tomatoes in the garden right now. Is it okay if you don’t use grape tomatoes, I’m not sure what tomatoes my mom planted in the garden? Thanks for the great sugar free ketchup recipe, now I can eat ketchup again!

  12. terra says

    I used to do the same thing! I hated meat as a kid and smeared my chicken and everything in tons of ketchup. I still love ketchup, but I haven’t had to eat meat for 15 years.
    Can’t wait to make this ketchup! Thanks for sharing.

  13. jo @ including cake says

    I recently made homemade ketchup and to get the sweet heinz taste try using plums for part of the recipe (i can’t remeber from memory what ration of tomatoes to plums probably 4:1 ish) it really does make the difference in terms of sweetness!

  14. Cat @sugaraddictanonymous says

    I think I did the same thing when i was younger! I hated steak and my family would have it constantly and I wasn’t allowed to leave the table without eating, so naturally, I doused it in ketchup and didn’t have to taste it! I am definitely going to try this recipe! Thanks!

  15. mary b says

    This recipe came at the perfect time since our garden is just overflowing with cherry & grape tomatoes!! (well that & we ran out of ketchup this week).
    Cannot wait to try it! I think we’ll have to divide it up and test out different spices in each.

  16. Alanna says

    I love ketchup, but my boyfriend isn’t a fan (he doesn’t really like tomatoes in general). I also rarely have foods that go with ketchup at home, so the bottle in my fridge is usually suspiciously old, lol. I have a cherry tomato plant in my AeroGarden now, so once it starts bearing fruit I’ll have to give this a try!

  17. Lisa @ The Raw Serenity says

    This came at just the right time!
    I was just telling my family that tomato sauce is u healthy when you buy it.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    I may just put it in the heinz bottle so they will have a healthy surprise hehe

    • Jade C says

      Hmmm I really like your idea about putting it in the Heinz bottle 😉 – my Dad has soooo much tomato ketchup and only ever uses Sainsbury’s own-label, even more sugar, less tomatoes!! So I may just have to try this with his ketchup…. 😉

  18. Samantha says

    As you know, I am a big fan of your blueberry ketchup. 🙂 I will have to try this one. I actually like ketchup but don’t crave it the way some people do so it is not uncommon for me to go months and months without eating it.

  19. Catherine says

    What a coincidence! I might just make this for lunch tomorrow!

    I was eating my dinner this evening (yummy quinoa stuffed red pepper with kale and cheese- yep, only vegetarian..) and my sister was using ketchup with her homemade chicken nuggets and chips.

    As per usual I look at the ingredients of everything, I read the Heinz ketchup ingredients: Tomatoes, sugar and additives and spices…
    Anyways, yummy looking forward to making yours 🙂

  20. Jolene (Homespun Heritage) says

    I am so exited about this recipe! Thank you Katie!

    My mom (bless her!) was a terrible cook and I had to use ketchup to cover up the non-existent taste of her food…they had the same pepper shaker (unused) for 20+ yrs! My mom just didn’t season anything! Ever! Such a boring culinary life!

    Oddly enough, I too, am vegetarian (not vegan yet), now. Interesting how that happens!

  21. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles says

    I love ketchup – I was the kid who put it on absolutely everything. Now I don’t eat it as much, but fries without ketchup are unacceptable.

    Love this idea!

  22. Melissa (Better Fit) says

    You know, it’s funny, I’ve never thought of making homemade ketchup! I guess I think of it more as an unnatural food (one that I definitely eat!), but of course you can make the real deal! I’d love to try a homemade version- I bet it tastes great. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. connie says

    im going to try it without the sweetner, i figure the tomatoes roasted and onions roasted should make it sweet enough, really trying hard to stay away from sugar even stevia, bought the ingrediants, just waiting for it to be cooler here before turning my oven on for 45 mins at 400 even with the airconditioner on high its 73 degrees in here…so will wait till later on tonight, so excited, hubby and i over last week have started eating differently and we are trying no dairy, no sugar,we dont eat red meat and only carbs we are eating is daves killer bread and sprouted grain, and sweet potatoes, he wants sweet potatoe fries and was just saying this morning how he missed ketchup…you posted this right in time…thank you

  24. Chelsea says

    Gosh, I might as well drink Trader Joe’s organic ketchup! The stuff is amazing. But I’ve never made my own, and I think you’re recipe is probably more amazing. 🙂

  25. Jenna says

    I used ketchup to smother the flavor of beans when I was a kid. Now I love beans and don’t particularly like ketchup! But my kids and hubby all love it, so I will have to try this. I am trying to cut out all added/processed sugars from our diet as much as I can, so this is perfect. Now to see if they approve!

  26. Angel says

    I just made this, added in some jalapeno’s to make spicy ketchup. It tastes very good! Can’t wait to taste it when it’s cold!

  27. Debbie says

    I can’t wait to try this. When I was young I smothered hot dogs in ketchup bcause I really disliked the taste of them.

  28. The Blissful Baker says

    I’m SOOOOO in love with ketchup! Put in on everything! 🙂 Your homemade recipe looks great-I should really try it out-I’m sure it’d save me a bunch of money!

    Check out my latest recipe, review & giveaway @ Baking Blissful

  29. Mike says

    Just wanted to point out that if you’re making homemade ketchup just to get rid of the “stuff” that in regular ketchup, Heinz does have an Organic Ketchup product and we use it at home. I don’t think it was any more expensive (or very little) than the regular kind but the ingredients list has no Corn Syrup or HF Corn Syrup.

    But I’ll see what my wife has planted in our garden this year and see if she wants to give this a try. 🙂

    Regular Heinz:

    Organic Heinz:

  30. ashley says

    Its so funny that you said you used so much ketchup so you couldnt taste the meat. I use to do the same thing, i’d slather any meat with whatever kind of sauce i could, ketchup, hot sauce, bbq whatever i could. Now i’m a vegetarian lol

  31. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning says

    I’m a MUSTARD girl through and through. I love all different types and can’t get enough! Even on pizza (yes- really. Try it.). But, I do also like ketchup- but don’t use it nearly as often.
    Making my own mustard and ketchup is on my to-do list and you make it not seem so scary!
    I love the protein fries too.. I’ll never turn down some great baked tofu!

  32. Sarah @ Let the Good In says

    This is one of the first ketchup recipes I am actually wanting to make from scratch! I too am a life-long Heinz lover. When I buy it now though, I buy Organic Heinz (no HFCS) or Simply Heinz (also no HFCS, though I don’t believe it’s organic). Homemade is definitely almost always the best way to go with just about any food, but if store-bought needs to happen, at least there are some lesser evils out there with Heinz ketchup 🙂

  33. Jessica says

    This looks like a great base for homemade cocktail sauce. I can’t wait to try it. My sister is getting 3-5 lbs of tomatoes every day from her garden. I’m sure she could spare some for this experiment. 🙂

  34. brianna says

    I can take or leave ketchup, especially on fries. I prefer ranch for that (or sweet potato fries if I’m going to eat them at all). However, my brother considers ketchup a vegetable. We went on a cruise when he was little and the people at the table next to us in the dining room joked they were going to buy stock in it because he had used so much.

  35. Taylor @ Nuts for Apples says

    such a great idea! I hate having sugar in ketchups so I definitely have to try this recipe. Whole Foods has an unsweetend ketchup which I like but like you said, everything is better homemade 🙂

  36. Ann says

    I was with you, smothering meat with sauce as I never really cared for it. I have recently had to start eating some animal protein again due to major dietary restrictions I now have and still don’t care for most–I usually add a lot of salty seasoning or tamari. And since I avoid added sugars homemade ketchup will be a great condiment for me! Hadn’t thought about making it. Thanks for the recipe!

  37. Lizanne says

    I roasted the tomatoes last night and whipped up the ketchup this morning. SO GOOD! Now I’m looking for ways to get ketchup into my mouth. Spoon is winning, but the next two dinners are totally planned around ketchup.

  38. Lizanne says

    Also — for whatever reason (possibly because my tomatoes were super ripe) mine looks just like ketchup in a bottle. Very red. I actually brought it in to work to show off.

  39. Lisa says

    I LOVE ketchup. Love love love. I try not to eat it much because of the sugar and HFCS! I love the idea of making my own and I have a ton of tomatoes in my garden so maybe this year I will….

  40. balancegirl says

    With so many fresh tomatoes around Ontario right now, this is a great way to use up those last few that are starting to wilt

  41. Liz S. says

    Ketchup and me are like best friends!! Nothing makes me feel better than a batch of homemade fries drenched in ketchup!

    How long do you think the ketchup can last in the fridge?

    Also,did you post the winner of the vita mix contest from a June??

      • Diane says

        When it’s four days old, you can send it to my house and I’ll finish it off in a few weeks. Save me the trouble of making it! =P

        Seriously, I’m sure you’re either erring on the side of caution to not be blamed if someone thinks they got sick from old ketchup, or perhaps you’re referring to a food safety site, but since tomatoes are acidic and it’s also got vinegar (and possibly sugar), I doubt whether this would spoil even in 3-4 weeks or more. I’ve never seen ketchup spoil (we all keep it in the fridge for weeks and months, right?), and as someone kindly listed the ingredients of commercial ketchup, and I don’t see any preservatives there, this can’t be very much different.

        Just a common-sense comment, I hope!

  42. Sugar says

    Okay, you are officially my favorite person in the world! If I weren’t already married (which I am – to an awesome man that wild horses couldn’t drag me away from), if I had a thing for girls (which I don’t – see previous comment) and if I didn’t live on the other side of the planet (which I do – Australia) – I think I might as you to marry me! (And you can totally take that with the comedic tone that was intended.)
    For about a month now I’ve been addicted to your blog and have been baking up a storm. My husband thinks I’m a super hero (woo hoo!) and my friends can’t understand why I’m not looking like a blimp and don’t have pimples everywhere.
    Thank you thank you thank you thank you for all of these AMAZING recipes. the help with our healthy change of life and the opportunity to give our kids treats that aren’t laden with junk.

    PS – This ketchup will be on our table tonight!… and tomorrow morning for the scrambled eggs… and for lunch with the burgers….

  43. Courtney Mayhew says

    that’s funny because I did the exact same thing. always hated meat so would cover it with so much ketchup and mustard that I wasn’t able to taste it! 🙂

  44. Jared says

    Holy cow… I am sending this to my wife immediately. I love ketchup with EVERYTHING in my diet. Tuna, eggs, chicken – it’s required. But definitely keen for a less sugar one. Thanks so much 🙂

  45. Bek @ Crave says

    We call it tomato sauce here in aus but I’m not a huge fan of it- it’s fine but I dont typically add it to my food. My younger sister use to HEAP that stuff on everything haha.

  46. Kate says

    Nutmeg! Ohmygosh, put nutmeg in there!

    That Heinz ketchup that we all know and love? Most of that taste comes from a teeny, tiny pinch of nutmeg. I add it to every batch of ketchup that I make and it’s ALWAYS good.

    Also, ketchup is traditionally the combination of vinegar, sugar, some sort of fruit, and spices. Sort of like all-American chutney. There are restaurants in my area that serve things like banana ketchup (yum), blueberry ketchup, MINT ketchup, and red pepper ketchup. They’re ALL incredible.

  47. sarah says

    I just made it tonight! It turned out great. I used the Roma & larger tomatoes from our garden. I used only 1 pk of sugar substitute, and it turned out great. Its great because my father can’t have a lot of carbs. Thanks! 🙂 God Bless.

  48. Katie L. says

    I love ketchup!!! When I was little I wouldn’t eat broccoli unless it was dipped in ketchup (thank goodness I outgrew that!).
    I’m so excited to try this out, and I LOVE that it has no added sugar! Thank you, Katie!

  49. Laureen @FoxKitchen says


    I’m really not that big of a fan of ketchup but your healthy homemade one with roasted grape tomatoes could easily make me have a change of heart!

    Shared on my Facebook page 🙂


  50. trajayjay says

    I, too, like ketchup on my sandwiches and other things, but I just can’t get past the high fructose corn syrup crap. Thanks for the recipe.

  51. Kristina says

    Definitely worth taking the time to make this. It is way better than any ketchup I’ve ever tasted! Next time I will be making at least a double batch, maybe even triple!!

  52. Alex says

    This is such a great recipe, I’m gonna try it out this week! Ketchup is something that I love to eat but recently have found out how much sugar normal ketchup contains and it kinda grosses me out, so this recipe will be great! thanks for all your hard work and cool recipes 🙂

  53. Trajayjay says

    I like ketchup, but it has hfcs in it. I hope to make your recipe to make my burgers and chicken a little more tasteful. Thank you

  54. Ciera says

    Do you think I could just use diced tomatoes in place of the grape tomatoes? Would I still cook them? And supposing I was using organic canned diced tomatoes would I omit or reduce the salt? OR could I just take crushed tomatoes (how much?) and use that? OR would it just work to take tomato sauce and add the seasoning?

  55. adorpheus says

    Not sure if I already commented on this but I just wanted to say mine stayed good in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. It got stuck behind some stuff and I assumed it had gone bad but actually it was fine… Probably the vinegar in it. It was also delicious!! It’s so nice to be able to have ketchup on burgers and stuff again, since I can’t have sugar, I made mine with stevia and it was great!

  56. Bianca says

    Just made the ketchup, and it was delicious! It tasted fine without the sugar, but I did add 1 tsp of brown sugar for the benefit of my sister, who likes things on the sweet side. It’s so thick that we’re thinking of using it to top our spaghetti. 🙂

    I absolutely adored ketchup. When I went to McDonalds as a kid, I would dip the French fry in ketchup, lick it off the fry, then re-dip it. This would be repeated until the French fry was soggy and could no longer be used. 😀 Now that I think of it, I was pretty disgusting back then.

  57. Jóhanna says

    I’m like you, I put ALOT of kethup on everything meaty, so I wouldn’t taste the meat, but now as a vegan, I still put tomato sauce with alot of things, but I no longer do it to hide some taste:)

  58. Bri says

    Hi! I just have to say I love you website! I made like 10 of your recipes for thanksgiving!:) Just a suggestion though, you should try making a healthy teriyaki sauce! If that’s possible? Idk! I’ve just been craving teriyaki:)

  59. Elky says

    (Sorry totally off topic) Those knives are the best! I live in Australia but my parents are Dutch and I always ask them to bring a packet back when they visit! Can’t get good sharp paring knives like that here!

  60. Nathalie says

    your recipe looks amazing, I will try it but I was wondering if you cut the tomatoes before roasting them.


  61. zuleyka says

    Ohh my ohhh my Ohhh, I had no idea you had all these non dessert recipes on your website ha ha ha love it I must try!!!! Ohhh that’s what happens when you get used to the email subscriptions
    You are insanely awesome kid!

  62. germankate says

    I made a fermented version before christmas. I couldnt find fermentation starter anywhere so used sauerkraut as part replacement for vinegar and to add fermentation cultures. I loved the outcome tho my kids said it was too chunky. Maybe its time to invest in a better food processor…

  63. Amber says

    Do you peel the roasted tomatoes, or leave the skins on, before blending? Can’t wait to try this! I’ve been wanting to make homemade ketchup for awhile!

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