Homemade Ketchup

5 from 7 votes
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This homemade ketchup recipe is so much better than anything you’ll find at the store. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make! 

A ramekin of ketchup on a plate of fries


I’m a huge fan of sauces and condiments. If you open my fridge you’ll find that it’s full of different dips, sauces, and spreads. And I’ve quickly learned that almost every sauce is best if you make it yourself. That’s why this homemade ketchup has become one of my go-to recipes.

This ketchup recipe has such a strong tomato flavor, with just the right amount of sweetness and acid. It’s got a little kick from pepper, garlic, and onion, and the texture is so smooth. I think it’s way better than the kind you buy at the grocery store. 

Why This Homemade Ketchup Recipe Is the Best

I always have a jar of homemade ketchup in my fridge. And once you try this recipe, I think you will too. Here’s why it’s so great.

  • Easy. It seems like making ketchup would be difficult, but it’s actually super easy. You only need 8 ingredients, and they’re all common pantry items that you probably already have. And it takes less than an hour to make! 
  • Better than store-bought. Simply put, this ketchup tastes way better than the stuff that comes out of a bottle. The flavor is stronger, richer, and more complex. I think store-bought ketchup is great … but this recipe is even better!
  • Impressive. Most people don’t ever think about making ketchup. This means that if you make this recipe for someone, they’ll probably be blown away. I’ve found that friends are always impressed when I say I made homemade ketchup. And they’re even more impressed after they taste it!
  • Easy to adjust. One thing I dislike about store-bought ketchup is that it doesn’t always have the taste that I’m craving. Sometimes it’s too sweet, or too salty, or not acidic enough, or just plain boring. The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily adjust it so that your ketchup is exactly the way you like it.
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for homemade ketchup: a bowl of canned tomatoes, a bowl of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, a bowl of sugar, and a glass of vinegar

Ingredients Needed

Here are all the ingredients that you’ll need to make ketchup at home. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.

  • Canned tomatoes – Use crushed or petite diced tomatoes. 
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper – For best results use freshly cracked black pepper. 

How to Make Homemade Ketchup

Here’s how to make ketchup. It’s super easy, and takes less than an hour.

  • Mix the ingredients. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan, and stir to combine.
A wooden spoon stirring tomatoes, vinegar, and seasonings in a pot
  • Boil. Turn on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Simmer. Lower the heat and simmer the ketchup for about 40-45 minutes, while occasionally stirring. It’s done when it’s thick and has cooked down by about half.
  • Blend. Use a stick blender to blend the ketchup until smooth. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can transfer the ketchup to an upright blender or a food processor.
A stick blender blending ketchup in a pot
  • Chill. Cool the ketchup and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. 

Tips and Tricks

Here are some of my go-to tricks when I make ketchup at home. 

  • Use cheesecloth for additional smoothness. Some blenders do a good enough job and make ketchup super smooth. But I’ve found that some blenders aren’t quite up to the task, and that can make the ketchup a little bit grainy. If your ketchup isn’t smooth enough, then line a strainer with cheesecloth, and pour the ketchup through it. You’ll need to use a spoon or spatula to force the ketchup through, but the result will be as smooth as store-bought ketchup. 
  • Adjust the thickness. The thickness of the ketchup can change depending on the heat of your stove, the time you cook it, and the kind of tomatoes you use. And of course, everyone has a different preference for how thick they want their ketchup to be. If your ketchup is too thin after blending it, put it back on the heat and cook while stirring until it’s thick enough. If it’s too thick, just stir in a little bit of water.
  • Go easy on the salt. It can be easy to over-salt ketchup because if you cook the sauce for a little too long, it can become too salty. Because of this, I like to start with a small amount of salt when I make this recipe. Then, when it’s done cooking, I taste it and add more salt as needed.  
A hand dipping a fry into a ramekin of ketchup, surrounded by more fries

Serving Suggestions

Anytime I make homemade ketchup, the first thing I do is make something delicious to dip in it. Here are some of my favorite things to put ketchup in or on. 

How to Store Leftover Homemade Ketchup 

Another great thing about this ketchup recipe is that it lasts for a long time. Just store it in an airtight container and it will last in the fridge for at least a month. 

Can This Ketchup Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes! You can definitely freeze leftover ketchup. Make sure to cool it completely, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. You may need to stir or blend it again after it defrosts. 

A ramekin of ketchup surrounded by fries

More Easy Sauces to Make 

Want to start making more homemade sauces and dips? Here are a few of my other favorite recipes.

Close up of a ramekin of ketchup surrounded by fries
5 from 7 votes

Homemade Ketchup

By Erin
Homemade ketchup is so easy to make. It's way better than the store-bought version, and it lasts in the fridge for a month!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 28 oz can crushed or petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and mix together.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and let the ketchup simmer for 40-45 minutes while stirring occasionally, until it's thick and has cooked down by about half.
  • Use a stick blender, food processor, or standing blender to puree the ketchup until it is smooth. If the ketchup is too thin, return it to the heat until it's the desired thickness.
  • Let the ketchup cool and store in the fridge until you're ready to eat it.


  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a month, or in the freezer for 4 months.
  • If you want to make the ketchup smoother, pass it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 234mg | Sugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: The Basics
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Calories: 31
Keyword: homemade ketchup, how to make ketchup, ketchup recipe
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. I love the substantial texture of this ketchup, and it’s so much more flavorful than store-bought. I will never get ketchup from the store again!

    1. Yes you can, it will just take longer to cook down. Because the canned are peeled, even though you puree it, I still think you would want to peel the fresh tomatoes just for a smooth texture.