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My Homemade Ketchup

I love mustard but, ketchup is an American icon for hamburgers and French fries!

Years ago, Dad not only had the garden at home but after his retirement, he started the first community garden in Louisville and had a garden plot there as well.  The amount of tomatoes he raised was amazing.  

Mom canned a lot of tomatoes, made tomato juice and then she made ketchup.  Bubba reminded me of how much he likes homemade ketchup and that I haven’t made it in a long while.  So, yesterday I made ketchup.  The aroma of it cooking is unbelievable, very spicy and good. 

This is sweet, tangy and spicy and it takes time for it to cook down.  It’s easy but, it’s definitely not for an impatient cook because it takes time!  I ended up with close to 3 pints of ketchup from this recipe.  

I let it cook down until it was very thick, mainly because Bill likes it thick, not “runny” like Mom made it.    If you don’t want it so thick, cook a shorter period of time and you will have a higher yield.  Another good thing is that you know exactly what is in it, no preservatives!

If you like ketchup, you should really try the homemade kind!  Add more sugar if you like it sweeter, more vinegar for a bite and then start in with the spices until it suits your taste.  Add more red pepper flakes if you like some heat with it.  Experiment!

Waiting to be skinned and chopped

Cooking with the spice bundle

Strained and cooking down ~ dark, rich color from the spices

Ummm, mmmm!!!

My Homemade Ketchup


½ bushel canning tomatoes, about 30 pounds
3 large onions, cut into large chunks
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons allspice
2 tablespoons onion powder
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground coriander
10 garlic cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
5 tablespoons peppercorns
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons celery seeds


Wash, peel and chop tomatoes.
Add to a very large heavy pot and bring to a boil.
Add onions, vinegar and sugars.
Lower heat to a simmer.
Stir in next 9 ingredients.  Mix well.
Cut a square of cheesecloth.
Place on the cheesecloth the garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, mustard seeds and celery seeds.
Tie into a bundle, drop into tomato mixture.
Stir it all well.
Cook for about 1-2 hours until it is about half of what you started with, stirring frequently.
Remove cheesecloth bundle, set aside.
Carefully put tomato mixture through a sieve into a large bowl.
Return strained mixture and cheesecloth bundle to pot.
Continue to simmer, stirring very frequently so as not to burn.
This could take another 30 minutes to an hour, depending on heat level and how thick you like it.
Cook until it reaches the desired consistency.
Pour into sterilized jars.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate.

It’s lick-your-lips delicious!

Visit my friend, Linda’s blog, My Kind of Cooking, for the prize winning recipe at the fair and for a chance to win her great cookbook!


  1. This is great! I love making things like this from scratch!! I never thought about making ketchup! I will have to try this recipe out!!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try to make my own ketchup.

  3. MMMMM I cant wait to make some spicy ketchup!

  4. Wow, this sounds so good! I've always wanted to try making my own ketchup ... so this post is very inspiring. Thanks! I love the mix of spices - the flavor must be incredible!

  5. What a beautiful jar of ketchup! My grandmother used to make it and it tasted wonderful. I love the all natural ingredients-there's no high fructose corn syup to be found!

  6. This is really cool! I don't know if I have ever thought about making ketchup... but why not!? It looks great!

  7. Looks delicious - thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. So much spices you used! I can imagine how delicious it is!! This is a very useful recipe for me! I'll certainly use this if I plan to make ketchup myself. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Awesome recipe! It almost looks like BBQ sauce int he picture. Definitely on my list of things to try. Thanks!

  10. I saw a shirt on a kid at the bus stop the other day that said, "I put ketchup on my ketchup." Both of my kids are of the same bent.

  11. I also make ketchup but never have strained it; sounds really good with the combination of ingredients and those tasty spices.

  12. Oooh, homemade ketchup...I love, love, love ketchup! I need to make this.

  13. Fun recipe Pam! I did a little bit of canning last summer with friends and have been meaning to get back into it again. This sounds absolutely fantastic. I just wish my backyard (well, deck really) tomatoes were bigger so I could use them for this recipe.

  14. Gosh, I'm probably too lazy to make this, although I seem to remember doing homemade ketchup once long ago. The fun thing is you can tinker with the flavors.

  15. I made ketchup years and it really was the best! I have also made cranberry ketchup!

    Love your recipes.


  16. Excelente tu ketchup, se ve delicioso y encima casero.

  17. wow that is so awesome!
    I am not the patient cook so i might ask my more patient cooking friends to make this for me!

    great recipe tho!

  18. Sounds lovely Pam - such a lovely idea, I bet this taste so great.

  19. This recipe reminds me of the beginning of Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland when the women are in the kitchen making ketchup. Your homemade ketchup looks so rich and full of flavor. MMMMM!

  20. Pam that is an excellent idea. i will bookmark this recipe. I love ketchup and a homemade has greater value for me. Thanks for sharing!

  21. HI Pam - Thanks for the memories. My mother used to make the best homemade ketchup. Twas better than anything we ever bought out of a store.


  22. I can't wait to try this once my tomatoes ripen!

  23. This looks like it would be good on just bread alone!

  24. Your ketchup looks so good. I must say that this is the one thing my Ma-Maw made that I just did not like. Her ketchup was too runny and didn't have much flavor. Hopefully we will have a garden next year so I can try this. Thanks for sharing.

  25. I would love to make ketchup at home, it looks like a big operation but I bet it's worth it!

  26. Making ketchup was on my list of things to do this summer, but I never got around to doing it. Your recipe looks so good I may have to devote a Saturday to making it!

  27. I'm saving your ketchup recipe! It sounds wonderful with all of the spices. I am most definitely a ketchup gal for burgers and fries!

  28. I actually don't like ketchup...but my husband makes his own and it's great! The spices and tang are what makes it, and it's hard to find that in a commercial brand-yours sounds great!

  29. Hi Pam. Never thought of making ketchup from scratch and this is so interesting. I must give this a try someday. Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog. I do hope you come and visit again.
    You have great day. Michael

  30. I tried out your peach cake was wonderful!!!

  31. Love this Pam! I would have never thought to make my own ketchup, but I bet it is wonderful, and I am really looking forward to trying it:)

  32. Wow, Pam, I love it when something like this is made from scratch! Nothing beats homemade. Beautiful!

  33. Looks awesome! I am definitely making this. Thanks for sharing.

  34. There cannot be any store comparison to a fresh homemade ketchup. Gosh, that looks good. I am loving it.

  35. I have never had homemade ketchup before, but it's something I'd love to try!

  36. I am a ketchup doubt. I often find myself craving fries and ketchup in the middle of the night. This recipe looks great...and well worth the time.

  37. I've never tried homemade ketchup. Never been a fan of ketchup...but I bet the homemade stuff might convert me.

  38. vedo che anche tu sei nella fase tua è deliziosa!

  39. Pam, I'm not a fun of ketchup but your home made one is fantastic!
    Let me try, I'm sure I will like it!

  40. oooh - I really do fancy this. Yummy

    30 pounds of tomatoes ? Like 14kilos ?? OMG - that's one heck of a lot of tomatoes !

  41. It never dawned on me to make ketchup, and today my father-in-law dropped off a basket of tomatoes from his garden, might have to give your recipe a try :-)

  42. I normally detest ketchup because it is way too sweet but seeing as how I could monitor the level of vinegar in it...I bet I would love this! All of the spices wouldn't hurt either.

  43. The photo of the burger smoothered in catsup has left me weak in the knees! I will most certainly use our tomato bounty for making this sauce. Thanks so much!


  44. Your spicy tomato ketchup really sounds good. Great way to use up the tomatoes from the vegetable garden.

  45. what a great treat! will be book marking this one! love it

  46. Wow this sounds incredibly delicious. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am glad to have found your blog. I will be browsing through it.

  47. Oh man, I would love to make homemade ketchup for my husband (I'm not a bigtime ketchup eater myself). He LOVES Heinz though so I'm not sure he'd be willing to stray from his loyalty to it.

  48. Home made ketchup is the best - I love the control over what goes in it.

  49. Homemade ketchup on a grilled burger? Oh yeah!

    How much does 30lbs of tomatoes yield at the end?

  50. Thanks to all of you!

    Chris, it made almost 3 pints. I cooked it way down so it is really thick; thicker than Heinz. If you don't want it so thick, there would be more.


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