Fresh Tomato Ketchup Recipe

August 6, 2019   20 Comments

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

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?

Fresh Tomato Ketchup Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

Makes 4 cups

Print  Pin


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.

Nutrition Facts

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. See all Snack Girl Recipes

Other posts you might like:

Use Those Beautiful Tomatoes in Gazpacho

If you haven’t tried a cold soup, now is your moment. As summer comes to and end, you cannot miss this experience....


What To Do With Fresh Tomatoes

Can you believe those colors? You know how they say to "eat the rainbow". Here is your chance!....

Get Free Email Updates! Yes please!


Looks easy enough to make. How long can I keep this in the refrigerator?

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.

@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!

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!

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.

Real tomato ketchup, Lisa?

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).

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.

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

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!

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

instead of balancing the lid on chopsticks you could use the tea towel trick,I assume you are doing that to keep out excess moisture?

Well, I have it all in the crock pot on low. Sudden rain storm gave me a bumper crop of tomatoes that swelled and cracked, so hoping this turns into a WOW recipe. I had everything except Dijon mustard, so improvised with white wine vinegar and yellow mustard, also blackstrap molasses. Excited!

This looks like the tasty and easy recipe that I've been looking for. Thank You! 2 questions though, is it really in the slow cooker for 15-18 hours total and could everything go through the blender right off the bat so there aren't any chunks or is there a reason for not putting the onion and garlic through?

@Becky - The reason it is in the slow cooker for so long is that the ketchup has to thicken - the garlic and onions dissolve by the time it cooks down. You can put it all in the blender - that is a good idea!

Thanks for your questions!

Thanks for your quick response. Does it thicken in the first 12 hours with the lid on or only cook off when the lid is not on tight?

I would say that it does most of its thickening when the lid is held up with chopsticks at the end of the process.

how long do you need to pressure cook ketchup in jars in the pressure cooker how many minutes velma.

So what happens to the skin of the tomatoes if you don’t peal them

How long is it good for in the fridge??

I don’t know how to can.

Add a comment:


(required, never published)

© 2024