Making your own homemade ketchup with your own homegrown tomatoes is a great way to enjoy it without all of the added sugars usually found in store bought brands. Store-bought tomatoes works great too, but there is nothing quite like the flavor of tomatoes when they are from your own garden. Here’s a great ketchup recipe that will show you how to make the best ketchup from home.
How to Make Homemade Ketchup
- Prep the ingredients. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Chop up the Roma tomatoes. You can also optionally add a green chile that has been deseeded and chopped if you want to give the ketchup a bit of a kick.
- Add ingredients to the pot. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chile (if using), apple cider vinegar, and honey to a large pot.
- Prepare the spice bag. Place cinnamon the stick, celery seeds, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cloves on cheesecloth. Bring ends together and tie using kitchen twine or string. Add the spice bag to the pot.
- Cook. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes before removing the pot from the heat and discarding the spice bag.
- Puree the mixture. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Then strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Pour the mixture back into the pot.
- Cook again. Cook the ketchup again for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to your liking.
- Season. Season to taste with salt and then either serve immediately or store in a bottle for future use.
Top 5 Tips for Choosing the Best Tomatoes for Making Ketchup
The key to making a good homemade ketchup is to use high quality, fresh ingredients. Here are my top 5 tips for choosing the best tomatoes to make homemade ketchup with.
- Look for tomatoes with smooth skin. The tomato should be free of blemishes or bruises.
- Check the leaves if growing your own. If you’re using homegrown tomatoes, make sure that the leaves look fresh and green before you harvest them.
- Smell them. Tomatoes that are ready for harvest should have a mild aroma when you smell them. If the aroma isn’t there, it means that the tomatoes were harvested too young.
- Look for overripe tomatoes. Provided the tomatoes don’t have any mold on them and you use them immediately, overripe tomatoes are perfect for making ketchups and sauces with.
- Avoid using canned tomatoes. The tomatoes you use when making homemade ketchup should ideally be overripe or fresh. Avoid using store bought canned options.
3 Other Great Tomato Varieties You Can Use for Ketchup
I love making homemade ketchup using Roma tomatoes because I prefer their taste. With that being said, there are still a few other varieties of tomatoes that also work great for making ketchup.
Here are 3 other great tomato options you can use.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Grape tomatoes
Along with Roma tomatoes, they’re all fantastic options to use for making homemade ketchup. As an added benefit, using fresh tomatoes from your own garden means you’ll be making a tasty ketchup with proven benefits for your cardiovascular health. (1)
How Long Does Homemade Ketchup Last at Room Temperature?
Drastically extend your homemade ketchups shelf life by refrigerating it. When stored in the fridge, your ketchup can last up to two or three months.
Can You Freeze Ketchup?
While there’s nothing stopping you from freezing your ketchup, I strongly recommend that you do not do so.
When you thaw out frozen homemade ketchup, the texture is greatly changed. It ends up with a rather gummy consistency and loses much of its quality.
With that being said, with the amount of ketchup this recipe makes, and if you keep it stored properly in the fridge, two or three months should be plenty of time to finish a bottle.
More Good Tomato Recipes
- Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Homemade Garlic Croutons
- Thick Cut Oven Baked Fried Green Tomatoes with Avocado Garlic Aioli
OMG-worthy Homemade Ketchup Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Yield: 1.5 cups 1x
- 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 green chile deseeded and chopped (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp celery seeds
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ¼ tsp whole allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tbsp honey
- salt to taste
- Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chile, apple cider vinegar and honey to a large pot.
- Place the cinnamon stick, celery seeds, crushed red pepper, allspice and cloves on the cheesecloth. Bring the ends of the cloth together, and tie securely with kitchen twine or string.
- Add the spice bag to the pot.
- Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Discard the spice bag.
- Puree the mixture using an immersion blender.
- Strain the blended mixture through fine mash strainer.
- Put the mixture back to the pot.
- Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until thickened to your liking.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Serve immediately or store in a bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.