Fresh Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Fresh Tomato Ketchup Recipe

August 6, 2016   11 Comments

Some of you may have too many tomatoes right now, wouldn’t you like a fresh tomato ketchup recipe?

Why make ketchup? You can find it in the supermarket and it is inexpensive. You can even find organic brands. Certainly there are easier things to do with tomatoes like making caprese salad or gazpacho. Making homemade ketchup is kind of like my personal Everest.

I have been thinking about making my own ketchup for years. Ketchup didn’t seem like a food you could make like roasted chicken or meatloaf. This iconic sauce simply sprouted in the supermarket and you tossed in your cart.

Except, I met someone who made her own ketchup and sold it for $12 bottle. What? Artisan ketchup? That seems like an oxymoron! But, if she could make it – so could I.

When I began to research homemade ketchup, it became clear to me that I was going to have to use my slow cooker as it cooks for hours on the stove. I don’t have hours to hang out waiting for the ketchup to be done so slow cooker it is!

It turned out that I had most of the ingredients for ketchup already. I vowed to use less sugar (surprise!) and tried to design it to suit my tastes. I like food fairly spicy so the addition of cayenne and black pepper seemed good to me.

First, I pureed the tomatoes in my Blendtec (high power blender like a Vitamix). Then, I added all the ingredients and cooked on low for 12 hours.

You don’t have to seed or peel the tomatoes so the time spent on this project was minimal.

After I finished cooking it, I tasted it and decided that the “no sugar” option was too extreme. I added a tablespoon of molasses and a tablespoon of honey at this point.

Then, I had to reduce it. I balanced the top of the slow cooker with chopsticks above the ketchup and kept it on high for 6 hours – stirring from time to time as I walked by – until I had a thickened state. I kept tasting and adjusting until I had the most intense ketchup of my life.

Oh yeah.

I spooned it into some jars and put in my fridge to serve with eggs, potatoes, hamburgers, hot dogs, meat loaf, or whatever you like to pour this sauce on.

Unlike most Snack Girl recipes, this isn’t fast but it is fun. My kids liked my ketchup (though they said it was a little too spicy).

If you are up for adventure (not unlike climbing Everest) go ahead and give this a try. Don’t be afraid to add more salt, sweetener, pepper, or whatever you like to make it yours.

Have you ever made your own ketchup?

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Fresh Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Makes 4 cups

5 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Put tomatoes in a blender and puree them until smooth. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar, mustard, molasses, honey, salt, cayenne, cloves, and ground pepper to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook for 12 hours on low.

Adjust seasonings and balance the top of the slow cooker above the pot with chopsticks or wooden spoons. Reduce sauce on high until you have achieved your desired thickness, 3-6 hours. Try to stir it about once an hour. Store in jars or old ketchup bottles.

One tablespoon is 9 calories, 0 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 2.0 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g sugar, 0.3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 78 mg sodium, 0 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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Looks easy enough to make. How long can I keep this in the refrigerator?

on August 6, 2016

I am going to use this recipe. Thank you so much! But, why do I need to elevate the crock pot above the cooker unit? Couldn't I just put it on high for a few hours and then turn it to low for the rest of the time? Thanks again, for all you do for those of us trying to eat cleaner and more healthfully.

on August 6, 2016

@annie - I want to say about 6 months because of the high acidity in ketchup BUT I have just put this ketchup in the fridge last week so I don't know if that is true. The safest thing to do would be to can it (seal it) to store the extra. If it goes off - I will comment again. Great question.
@Carol - after you cook on low - then you elevate the TOP of the crock pot so that you are boiling off the liquid in order to thicken it. I hope I am answering your question. Thanks for asking it!

on August 6, 2016

My friend and I experimented with Whole 30 recipe, which uses no sugar. We teeaked it a bit and we love it. But it doesn't use fresh tomatoes, uses tomato paste. Should I put the recipe we use here? It only takes a few minutes to make, too!

on August 6, 2016

Carol: I think top=lid; I was confused at first too. :)
Vicki: I would like to try this delicious-sounding ketchup but don't own a crockpot so would love your recipe using tomato paste with Snack Girl's spices.

on August 6, 2016

Real tomato ketchup, Lisa?

on August 6, 2016

My recipe is 1 C canned tomato paste, 1/4 C apple cider vinegar, 3/4 C apple cider (last time I made it, I only had apple juice and that worked fine), 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/16 tsp ground cloves, 1/16 tsp ground cumin. Mix together, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Then it's ready! The recipe we started with says it will be good in the fridge for two weeks, but I've kept it much longer. Also, I've put dollops on a piece of wax paper and put them in the freezer til frozen. Then stored them in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer (individual portions).

on August 6, 2016

Vicki-Thank you! I love the idea of homemade ketchup and these two recipes sound like they'd both be yummy. I think I'll freeze some in 2oz containers to have on-hand for shrimp cocktail sauce too.

on August 7, 2016

Do you think this would work with frozen grape tomatoes from my garden?

on August 10, 2016

Lori, Tomato paste has a particular flavour that is different from tomatoes. You could use a food processor or blender to get the tomatoes to a paste like consistency, maybe draining the liquid, too. And try it to see if you like the flavour. Let us know how it works!

on August 12, 2016

As for spicy, I've been using a prepared ketchup called Srirachup - you can imagine where its kick comes from!

on August 12, 2016

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