Could you tell by now that we’re sauce people? It’s a full-on obsession. And one of our most favorite sauces is ketchup, because fries exist and they can’t be eaten dry — that’s just a fact. That and burgers + ketchup = match made in heaven.
However, we hadn’t perfected a homemade ketchup yet, so we got to work. We tested so many variations: tomato purée vs. tomato paste, fresh onion vs. dried onion, dates vs. maple syrup, and more. And amazing news: We cracked the code!
This 1-pot homemade ketchup is so easy to make, fresh and bright with tomato flavor, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. The result is a perfectly balanced tomato ketchup with tanginess, sweetness, and saltiness. Swoon! Perfect for all your burger and fry needs and beyond! Let us show you how it’s done!
Who Invented Ketchup?
It’s believed that the word ketchup originated from the Chinese word kê-tsiap. But the Ancient Chinese condiment was much different than the tomato-based product we’re familiar with today. It was a salty, fish-based condiment, and it spread from China through British trade routes and evolved greatly along the way. Versions included a wide range of ingredients like mushrooms, walnuts, lemons, plums, oysters, and even anchovies.
So when did tomatoes come in? A Philadelphia scientist, James Mease, is credited with the invention of a tomato-based ketchup recipe in 1812. Soon after, in 1876, the famous Heinz brand introduced its version, adding vinegar for preservation. And today, ketchup is in 97 percent of US households, and Heinz sells over 650 million bottles each year! You can take a deeper dive into the history of this popular condiment here.
How to Make Ketchup
Our homemade, naturally sweetened (no high fructose corn syrup!) version involves simmering tomato purée (or crushed tomatoes) with vinegar, maple syrup, and spices. We prefer using a tomato product that contains just tomatoes because added citric acid can detract from the bright tomato flavor.
For vinegars, we used white vinegar for its classic, pungent flavor but also included apple cider vinegar for its natural sweetness. Onion and garlic powders, salt, and allspice infuse the ketchup with even more flavor.
Once thickened and cooled, it’s ready to use right away or store for later! It will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks but can also be frozen in an ice cube tray so it’s quick and easy to defrost a serving whenever you want one.
We hope you LOVE this homemade ketchup! It’s:
More Homemade Condiment Recipes
- Easy Vegan Aquafaba Mayo
- Easy Homemade Sriracha (15 Minutes!)
- Whiskey BBQ Ketchup
- Easy Vegan Tartar Sauce
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Homemade Ketchup (Naturally Sweetened!)
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomato purée or crushed tomatoes (make sure the only ingredient is tomatoes!)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 pinch allspice
- If using crushed tomatoes and you want very smooth ketchup, place all ingredients in a small blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Otherwise, proceed to step 2.
- Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir until well combined, then turn the heat on medium low. Stir gently until everything comes to a light simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low.
- Let simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until slightly reduced and darkened in color, stirring every 10-15 minutes to prevent sticking.
- Once reduced, use a teaspoon to remove a spoonful from the saucepan, and let it cool on the counter — you want to taste it cooled for accurate adjustment! Taste and adjust if desired, adding salt to taste, more vinegar (1 Tbsp at a time) for tang, more maple syrup for sweetness, or more onion powder for more savory notes.