The Best Ketchup on Earth (VIDEO)

August 20, 2020

Here is my tested recipe and video tutorial teaching you how to make the best ketchup on earth! It’s made with all-natural sweeteners and tomatoe pureé. Easy, quick, and versatile, this healthy ketchup recipe can be used in a variety of recipes like my Best Veggie Burger, Lentil Shiitake Vegan Burgers, Stout Beef Burgers, and so much more. This from-scratch ketchup goes with loads of summer dishes and tastes worlds better than store-bought. You can also find the recipe and other pairings in my cookbook Feast by Firelight

Best Homemade Ketchup Video Tutorial

This kid-approved ketchup recipe includes molasses for depth and a touch of bitterness. Its flavor is clean, bright, and tangy, and the texture is silky and rich. Join Ayla and me in this fun ketchup cooking video. Laugh and learn a thing or two about your favorite condiment! 

Most people would guffaw over the idea of making homemade ketchup. After all, it’s one of the cheapest, most abundant condiments at the supermarket. But it wasn’t until I had my first daughter, Ayla, that I started scanning the ingredients in each bottle more closely. There was refined sugar in just about every brand! Now, I’m no stranger to sweets, but when it comes to my family, I like to be selective about how we’re consuming sugar and in what form.

I decided I’d much rather have a homemade version of ketchup that was (less) sweetened, with honey from my mom’s hives or maple syrup from a local sugarmaker. I began testing recipes, having Ayla taste every batch until I made one that she guzzled down.

I brought it to a friend’s potluck and set it out in a small jar next to another identical jar with Heinz ketchup. I didn’t tell anyone which was which, and at the end, asked for their favorite vote. It was unanimous in favor of the homemade version! So into my camping cookbook it went, for the adventurous folk who want to try making ketchup from scratch.

If you give it a whirl, I’d love to hear what you – or your kids! – think in the comments, and your favorite foods to pair with ketchup (other than burgers and doggies!).

Thank you for being here with me.

With love and gratitude // E

Reasons You’ll Love This Homemade Ketchup Recipe

  • Tangy, sweet, and rich flavor. 
  • Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
  • Only a handful of healthy pantry ingredients. 
  • No refined sugar, no preservatives, no artificial flavors.
  • Comes together in just two simple steps. 

Pomi Strained Tomatoes is the Secret

The secret to packing real tomato flavor in your homemade ketchup is using an all-natural tomato pureé. No artificial ingredients, just tomatoes. My favorite brand is Pomi, which my Italian mother first introduced me to. It’s Italian-made and adds that fresh-from-the-garden ripe tomato flavor to your ketchup. If you can’t find it, substitute Pomi Tomatoes with a 28-ounce can of puréed tomatoes, ideally Italian, or make your own! It’s a complete game-changer and improves the flavor and texture of ketchup. 

Homemade Ketchup with Pigs in a Blanket

Substitution Ideas 

Here are some ingredient substitutions for this ketchup recipe: 

  • Boxed Strained Tomatoes: Use canned pureed tomato or crushed, just make sure the only ingredient is tomatoes. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: You can use white vinegar or even balsamic to make it sweeter!
  • Maple Syrup: You can use honey instead of maple syrup, keeping in mind that the ketchup would no longer be vegan.
  • Molasses: You can use brown sugar instead, keeping in mind that you won’t benefit from the iron and minerals in the molasses.
  • Add-ons: 1 cinnamon stick, bay leaf, or whole clove will add a nice spiced aroma, just remember to remove them before blending.

How to Freeze Homemade Ketchup

To freeze homemade tomato ketchup, allow it to completely cool, then store it in a glass jar, airtight container, or ice cube tray. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Endless Uses for Homemade Ketchup

Unicorn Ketchup Art with Kids


The Best Ketchup on Earth

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Watch the video tutorial (above) so you can easily make this homemade ketchup with your kids! It’s tangy, sweet, and rich. Most important, this recipe is preservative-free and made with natural sweeteners, so you can feel good about putting it on anything as well as serving it to your kids.

  • Author: Emma Frisch
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 1/4 hours
  • Total Time: 1 hour + 30 minutes (mostly inactive)
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment


Units Scale
  • One box 750-gram box strained tomatoes, or 1, 28-ounce can tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic


  1. In a medium pot, combine all of the ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot every 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce reduces by half, about 1 hour; it should thickly coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. In a blender or with an immersion blender, whiz until ketchup is silky smooth.
  3. Store in a lidded glass jar or squeeze bottle in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Get more recipes like this in my cookbook Feast by Firelight. Buy it here.

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