Homemade Tomato Ketchup


Did you know that in 15ml of your standard Heinz Ketchup there is 1 teaspoon of sugar?!  That’s a lot of unrefined sugar and most of us wouldn’t dream of giving our child a teaspoon of sugar with a main meal!

I set about making my own homemade version for my daughter’s birthday party last year, we had a forest school birthday party in the woods in November, everyone thought I was crazy but it worked beautifully.  I decided whatever the weather they needed to have warm food and for a BBQ most 6/7 year olds demand ketchup so I had to create something that would pass the young person test! With this recipe I had not a single complaint, all was gobbled up and even the adults couldn’t quite believe it wasn’t Heinz!  The best bit, I didn’t have to use a ton of sugar or salt either.

My little secret!!…. Beetroot powder, not only does it give the ketchup the most authentic colour (goodness knows how Heinz achieves it but I’m guessing it doesn’t come from tomatoes) previously a paler orange in colour but it also adds a delicious natural sweetness to the ketchup.

I make my ketchup in an enormous batch (just over 1 litre size bottle) because, honestly I don’t have the time to keep knocking up ketchup but feel free to half or quater my quantities if you want to use less tomatoes.  The ketchup has kept fresh in my fridge for a good few weeks but I have been known to ferment it too by adding some kraut juice or goat milk kefir whey, leaving it out for a few hours and then transferring to the fridge.  I prefer the kraut juice to ferment with because I don’t like the slightly effervescent texture from whey in my ketchup, in my mind, credibly ketchup should taste silky in texture.


Tomatoes are full of health benefits, I buy on the vine organic tomatoes, I’m sure like myself you’ve realised the superiority in taste but this also allows the tomatoes to retain more nutrients and antioxidants, otherwise they are picked very early to ripen in stores.  Tomatoes are known for the nutrient Lycopene which is shown here and here to have cancer protective capabilities.  Lycopene has been shown to increase its bio-availability through cooking and it is also fat soluble so tomatoes need to be cooked with a fat like this recipe.  Tomatoes are also known for their anti-inflammatory benefits and high levels of vitamin C boosting natural immunity.


5.0 from 7 reviews
Homemade Tomato Ketchup
Cuisine: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 900g of large tomatoes chopped
  • 400g of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of beetroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of runny raw honey (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the tomatoes, red onion and celery and cook gently until soft
  2. Add the spices, salt and pepper and continue to simmer until the vegetable juice releases and the liquid halves in quantity stirring occasionally, allow this to take about 20-30 minutes
  3. Allow to cool and then blend in a liquidiser, I used my vitamix
  4. Add back to the pan and continue to simmer until the ketchup has reached the desired consistency, I like to thicken mine further
  5. Allow to cool again and add the balsamic, beetroot powder and raw honey, I shake mine in the jar to ensure it is well combined.
  6. A delicious addition to your every day meals and a firm favourite with children without the junk!


Join the Conversation

  1. I’ll bet that is the tastiest tomato sauce ever! I love all the spices and flavouring whilst at the same time healthy. Good one Vanessa!

    1. Thanks Donna.

  2. Beet root powder, eh? What a great idea! Looks like a delicious mixture of spices too – will definitely have to try this next time I make a batch of ketchup!

    1. Thanks Michele, it’s a useful hack! Hope you like it.

  3. I love that you put garam masala in your tomato sauce!! I need to make this.

    1. It’s one of my favourite spices!

  4. It’s amazing how much sugar conventional ketchup has. It makes me sick to think that it’s such a favorite condiment for kiddos and they are basically eating teaspoons of sugar.

    1. It’s shocking isn’t it! No wonder kids are all hooked on it.

  5. This. Is. Awesome. It’s very hard to find an organic ketchup these days that doesn’t contain sugar. I LOVE your recipe! So many beautiful spices in there too like the garam masala and coriander seeds.

    1. Thanks Emily, I know I’ve struggled too and even little bottles are very expensive!

  6. What a creative use of beet root powder, and the sauce turned out gorgeous too!

    1. Thanks Kari 🙂

  7. This ketchup looks so good! I love that it uses fresh tomatoes and is so minimally sweetened. Perfect for dipping!

    1. Thanks Jessica, we can get the sweetness from the vegetables if we know how.

  8. I should be making my own ketchup. This is perfect and will save me money. The one I’ve been buying is expensive.

    1. Yes that’s what I’ve always found too, little bottles and very expensive.

  9. Cristina Curp says:

    Love a good healthy homemade staple! Thanks!

    1. Thanks

  10. This came out perfect! It looks so thick and sumptuous!

    1. It’s very yummy!

  11. Love ketchup and now this Paleo version just makes it so much healthier and tastier.

    Yum !!

    1. Thanks.

  12. Ooh yum! Usually I don’t care for ketchup but I bet I would like this spiced version.

    1. I haven’t had it in a long time but now I’ve started making it, I realised I missed it!

  13. I love that you included garam masala!!

    1. It’s one of my favourite spices!

  14. OMG! Beetroot powder! You are a genius, my ketchup has always been missing something. this is going to be amazing!

    1. Thanks Holley, sometimes it’s great when you play and they just work.

  15. There’s literally nothing better than homemade ketchup and these ingredients are so wholesome too I love it!

    1. Absolutely!

  16. Ohh love the additions of the beetroot powder and garam masala! So cool!

    1. Thanks Dana.

  17. Wow! I had no idea how easy it is to make ketchup and how many health benefits there were in doing so. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Carrie

  18. This looks so good! I’m going to have to make some this week to use on all my favorite dishes.

    1. Yes it’s a family favourite.

  19. Wow! Wouldn’t have thought to add celery… what does it contribute?

    1. Thanks Rachel, celery is used as a base flavour for stocks and sauces for it’s aromatic flavours. Celery has great detoxification benefits as well as lots of fibre too but I add it for the flavour.

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