How To Make Tomato Ketchup At Home, Tips To Use It Better

Tomato ketchup is a common and much-loved condiment that may be found in many different types of cuisines. You can't go wrong with ketchup as an addition because of its versatile flavor profile—tangy, sweet, and somewhat spicy. But it's common for store-bought ketchup to have added sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives. When you make your own ketchup at home, you get to choose the ingredients, which means it's healthier and more customized to your tastes. 

Making your own ketchup has several advantages, one of which is that it helps cut down on food waste. During the peak of tomato season, in particular, the fruit can ripen at a rate that exceeds human consumption. Making ketchup out of these tomatoes is a great way to use them up instead of throwing them away. In addition to preserving the tomatoes, this process brings out their greatest taste, making for a ketchup that is both rich and fresh. Another advantage of making your own ketchup is that it may be adjusted to your liking in terms of sweetness, heat, and consistency. 

Take a look at this easy recipe for homemade tomato ketchup and some creative ways to use it to make your home-made ketchup taste even better on a variety of meals. 


1.5 kg ripe tomatoes, chopped 

1 large onion, finely chopped 

2 cloves of garlic, minced 

120 ml apple cider vinegar 

100 g brown sugar 

1 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp black pepper 

1/2 tsp allspice 

1/2 tsp ground cloves 

1/2 tsp paprika 

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional for heat) 

1 tbsp tomato paste (optional for added richness) 


Prepare the Tomatoes 

Start by washing the tomatoes thoroughly. Remove the stems and chop them into small pieces. If you prefer a smoother ketchup, you can blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins before chopping.   

Cook the Base 

In a large saucepan, combine the chopped tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture begins to simmer. This should take about 20-30 minutes. 

Blend the Mixture 

Once the tomatoes and onions are soft, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool slightly. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, a regular blender or food processor will work just as well. For an extra smooth texture, you can strain the puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds and any remaining skins. 

Season the Ketchup 

Return the smooth tomato mixture to the saucepan. Add the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, allspice, cloves, paprika, and cayenne pepper if using. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.  

Simmer and Reduce 

Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ketchup thickens to your desired consistency. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. If using, add the tomato paste at this stage to enhance the ketchup's richness and depth of flavour. 

Adjust Seasoning 

Taste the ketchup and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You might want to add more sugar for sweetness, vinegar for tanginess, or spices for additional flavour. 

Cool and Store

Once the ketchup has thickened and the flavours have mixed, remove it from the heat and let it cool completely. Transfer the cooled ketchup to sterilised jars or bottles. Store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to three months. 

Different Ways to Use Tomato Ketchup 

Classic Condiment: The most basic use for ketchup is as a condiment for popular dishes like burgers, hot dogs, and fries. Its tangy sweetness pairs perfectly with the savoury flavours of grilled or fried foods. 

Cooking Ingredient: Add ketchup into your cooking for a depth of flavour in various dishes. It can be added to sauces, marinades, and curries. For instance, ketchup is a key ingredient in barbecue sauce, providing a sweet and tangy base that complements grilled meats. 

Pizza Base: Use ketchup as a base for quick homemade pizzas. Spread a thin layer of ketchup over pizza dough, then top with cheese, vegetables, and meats of your choice. The ketchup adds a subtle sweetness and tanginess to the pizza. 

Topping for Eggs: Ketchup makes a great topping for scrambled eggs or omelettes. Its acidity and sweetness complement the creamy texture of eggs, making for a hearty breakfast or brunch dish. 

In Sandwiches: Add a dollop of ketchup to your sandwiches for extra moisture and flavour. It works particularly well with cold sandwiches, grilled cheese, and chicken sandwiches.