It’s fun and easy to make your own homemade ketchup. It has a lot less sugar than the store-bought stuff and tastes almost like it – but even better! This version is especially fruity and delicious with the addition of dried cranberries (you’d never know they are in there – they’re a magical secret ingredient!) Kids will love to eat this ketchup, especially if they helped make it. (Skip to recipe.)

healthy homemade ketchup is easy to make and tastes even better than store bought

Cooking with William

I didn’t even know you could make ketchup!  That was William‘s incredulous exclamation as we simmered up a potful of homemade cranberry ketchup one of the first times we cooked together. He was amazed with how easy the process was and how much it tasted like the store-bought version ‘only way yummier‘ (his words).

William having his ketchup on a tortilla dog

this homemade ketchup tastes yummy on my tortilla dog

What’s So Great About Homemade Ketchup?

  • ~ it tastes amazing
  • ~it’s not too sweet, but still sweet enough
  • ~ you can control how much sweetness goes into it
  • ~ it’s fruity and tangy
  • ~ it’s super easy to make
  • ~ kids can do the measuring and stirring, and love to eat it
  • ~ less salt than the store-bought stuff
  • ~ there are no fillers or gums in it
  • ~ no high-fructose corn syrup
  • ~ no other weird or unpronounceable ingredients, either
  • ~ you’ve got bragging rights for making your own condiment

How do you Make Homemade Ketchup?

It’s easy. Just measure out all the ingredients into a big pot.

scraping the honey into the pot for homemade ketchup

let’s scrape all that sweet sticky honey into the pot

Let them bubble away for about a half hour. You can come and check on it and give it a stir every now and then.

bubbling homemade ketchup

it plops and bubbles

Let the mixture cool. Then whiz it up in a blender. Pour it into an empty squirt bottle (an old, clean ketchup bottle works great) or into glass jars.

luscious puddle of homemade ketchup

look at that luscious sweet and tangy ketchup

And there’s your super yummy batch of homemade ketchup, ready to use on all your favourite ketchup-loving foods!

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: If you use quite a large saucepan, you will have less splattering on your stovetop when making this homemade ketchup. Your mixture should fill up less than half the pot to start with.

A little trick – if you coat the inside of the measuring cup with a thin layer of oil or cooking spray before measuring the honey, the honey will slide out easily.

*A handy trick for figuring out if your mixture has reduced as much as you want it to, is to measure out 3 cups of water (the amount needed to reduce to in this recipe) and pour it into the saucepan you will be using, before you start cooking. Use a popsicle stick or paper straw or even a chopstick or metal spoon. Hold it in the pot with the bottom end just touching the top of the water, then make a mark on it at the level of the top of the pot. This will now be your measuring stick. As the tomato mixture cooks down, you can measure how far it has reduced by sticking the marked stick into the pot so it just touches the surface of the mixture (take the pot off the heat first). Once it cooks down so the line is level with the top of the pot, you will know your ketchup has reduced as much as it needs to.

If you accidentally reduce the ketchup mixture too long and you have less than 3 cups, just add enough water to make three cups again.

ketchup squiggles

Homemade Ketchup

*use maple syrup instead of honey to make this recipe vegan

  • 1 large can (28oz/800gms) whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup (75gms) dried sweetened cranberries
  • ¼ cup (60mls) honey (use less if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup (60mls) apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper

Put all the ingredients into a large, deep saucepan or pot and set it over medium heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil, just until it starts to bubble, and turn the heat down to medium-low so the ketchup mixture keeps bubbling steadily. Cook, uncovered, for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the juices are thickened a bit and the amount is reduced to about 3 cups/720 ml (see a handy trick for measuring this in the notes, above). If the mixture splatters, too much, you can use a splatter screen on top of the saucepan.

Allow the tomato mixture to cool for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is warm to the touch.

Pour the contents into a blender canister and blend until smooth – make sure the lid of the blender is properly in place before you start it! Using a high speed regular blender will give you the smoothest ketchup. (If you use a regular blender and your ketchup isn’t as smooth as you’d like it, pass it through a fine meshed sieve.)

Scrape the ketchup into a clean, empty ketchup bottle, or into glass jars. Homemade ketchup will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months. You can freeze a portion of the ketchup in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months.

Makes about 3 cups (720ml) of tangy and delicious homemade ketchup.

Guten Appetit!


For more fun cooking projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series here.

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Easy Homemade Ketchup

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