Homemade Ketchup

I like Heinz ketchup, it’s really what I (we) all know ketchup to be. However, I’ve heard that store-bought ketchup tastes nothing like homemade ketchup, so I wanted to put it to the test. I recalled Jamie Oliver making homemade ketchup and figured that would be a good place to start. I used his recipe as a foundation, I removed certain things (if I couldn’t find them) and added some other ingredients because I realized that ketchup is ketchup when it has tomatoes. Everything else that goes into it is up for interpretation and preference.

So how did it turn out? Well, for starter’s it doesn’t taste like Heinz! It was very good, but definitely different from what we’re accustomed to. Although, I didn’t get that famous red color, the taste of tomato is prevalent, although, mine was slightly overwhelmed with the taste and scent of vinegar. Once I balanced it out with some more brown sugar, it was perfect. Even though I put it through the sieve twice, I did not get that silky, smooth feel of store-bought ketchup which was disappointing. On the positive side, I’ve had the homemade ketchup with meatloaf, burgers, grilled cheese and it’s passed the test!

The end result is that i’ll make it again and tinker with it along the way, but it’s tough not loving the ketchup I’ve grown up with.

By the way, the recipe did not call for mustard powder, I just thought it would be fun and ironic to toss mustard powder into a ketchup. Maybe it’s just me who found that amusing.

Homemade Ketchup – Adapted from Jamie at Home

Makes about 1 litre


  • 1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ a bulb of fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1.5 litres of canned whole tomatoes
  • 200 ml chardonnay vinegar
  • 70 g soft brown sugar


  • With olive oil, toss the onion, fennel, celery, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, basil stalks and mustard powder in a large saucepan with salt and pepper.
  • Stirring often, let it cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and 350 ml of cold water. Bring it to a boil and simmer gently until it reduces in half.
  • Add the basil leaves and then blend the sauce. I used my trusty Magic Bullet for the job, but a food processor (or hand blender) would be easier.
  • Push the sauce through a sieve twice to begin making it smooth and shiny.
  • Put the sauce back into a clean pan and add the vinegar and sugar.
  • Simmer the sauce until it reduces and gets to the consistency of ketchup.
  • Season to taste.

I planned on using it all rather quickly for a variety of things, but you can also follow Jamie’s directions for storage.

Spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles (see page 324 for ways of doing this), then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge until needed – it should keep for six months.



Filed under Heinz

18 responses to “Homemade Ketchup

  1. There are a few places in the area that make their own ketchup… and it’s fantastic. While I grew up with Heinz, I don’t have a particular connection to it (or the flavor) which may be why I’m really intrigued by the idea of making it.

  2. Mmm ketchup. I made my own this summer and love it! No, it doesn’t get super smooth but I actually prefer it with slight texture.

    I don’t know about Jamie’s directions to “seal tightly” – it probably needs to be put in a water bath to be safe.

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      If your ketchup turned out like mine, i’m happy:)
      I’ve never done any canning before, so I’m not really sure what the proper procedures are.

  3. i always wanted to try to make my own ketchup..i will try this recipe out..it looks so good.

  4. gingerbreadcake

    I have a serious addiction to ketchup and always use Heinz ketchup. I’m impressed that you made homemade ketchup, it looks wonderful! Now I’m super curious as to what it tastes like.

  5. Homemade ketchup is a completely different animal then store-bought, a good article in the Wash Post on the topic – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/10/AR2010081003564.html
    I made some over the summer that included apples, it’s very sweet http://spoonandchair.com/2010/07/06/tomato-tuesday-real-tomato-ketchup-recipe/

  6. Hey! I love your blog, so I decided to give you an award. 🙂 You can pick it up here! Thanks for posting!

  7. I need to make me some homemade ketchup, methinks… Looks like one recipe you would need to work on for a while until you get it right. I am intrigued though…

  8. Very cool. I’ve never even considered ketchup as being something that I could make myself! Did you know that just this past year (maybe even month) they have just finally started making ketchup in Australia? Before now they have always just had tomato sauce which is totally different!
    So weird 🙂 Glad you succeeded! 🙂

  9. I grew up with homemade ketchup, not store bought. So I have a draw to the store bought stuff. My mom’s always had bits and pieces in it. She put cloves in hers, but I like the jalapeno in yours.

  10. I was sure I left you acomment on this post. When the holidays are said and done this is one project I am taking on. Love it in my mind it is artisanal! Great job Ethan!! Shulie

  11. LOVE the idea of the mustard powder- not just you that finds that amusing, I promise….

  12. Pingback: Homemade Ketchup

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