Homemade ketchup (unsweetened options!)

I ran out of my unsweetened ketchup a few days ago, which makes it hard to eat my lovely kabocha fries.  Instead of paying another $5 for another measly bottle, I decided to make my own with an 89 cent can of tomato paste.  Sagan suggested this, and I’m so glad I tried it.

I really can’t get enough of this ketchup.  It’s awesome.  It has a lot of spices in it, and they really make it great.  Bobby kept stealing some to have on his rice (it was that good).  The spices I used are very interchangeable – just use whatever you like, and use as much or as little as you want!

Maggie’s Homemade Ketchup



  • 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste (I used Trader Joe’s organic)
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup water (I used close to 3/4 cup; just depends on how thick you like it)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • NOTE – the following spices are all up to YOU and YOUR preferences
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons spice mix (sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion) – I like to use a lot.


  1. Mix everything together.  Add more water until it’s the right consistency for you.  My tomato paste was very thick, so I added a lot of water.
  2. Optional – add sugar (up to 1/4 cup or so).  I’m trying to stay away from sugar.
  3. 13-kabocha-ketchup

EAT!  With kabocha (pumpkin) fries is my favorite way to do so.  What’s your favorite thing to have ketchup on?  Do you like it sweetened or unsweetened?

35 Comments on Homemade ketchup (unsweetened options!)

  1. MichaelSeiler
    17 February, 2009 at 9:56 pm (8 years ago)

    Ketchup? Whassat? You mean hotsauce, I think. The answer is, “Everything.”

  2. Erin
    17 February, 2009 at 10:17 pm (8 years ago)

    I didn’t know ketchup making was so easy! I am definitely doing that. I have never eaten much of the stuff until I started consuming butternut squash fries at an alarming rate. So excited about this recipe!

  3. annie
    17 February, 2009 at 10:19 pm (8 years ago)

    i sort of like ketchup and it definitely has to be unsweetened! i usually do a little dot on my fries of ketchup cause it’s overpowering! haha

  4. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    17 February, 2009 at 10:21 pm (8 years ago)

    Oh, and I like ketchup on everything. I love Annie’s and Westbrae fruit sweetened, but I’m like you…do not want to spend $$$ on bottles of ketchup anymore!

  5. Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    18 February, 2009 at 12:01 am (8 years ago)

    I like ketchup on my ketchup.

    I am SOOOOOO making this!

  6. Leng
    18 February, 2009 at 1:05 am (8 years ago)

    wow Maggie, I am impressed! Making your own ketchup! I never thought of that. Whenever ketchup is out over here and we’re makin’ fries, everyone is scrambling for the last dip. haha. this is so simple to make. Thanks for the recipe. I’m sure I’ll have to refer to it some day, but I’ll probably have rice vinegar (so Asian tehehe) or Distilled vinegar on hand instead of apple cider vinegar.

    P.S. I love how your site is developing!

  7. coco
    18 February, 2009 at 3:36 am (8 years ago)

    good job with the ketchup, especially with kabocha fries, that’s my weakness! hahha….. what’s your method for making fries? I’m looking for a really easy one! 😀

  8. VeggieGirl
    18 February, 2009 at 5:49 am (8 years ago)

    Fun recipe!!

  9. Shelby
    18 February, 2009 at 6:20 am (8 years ago)

    Umm, I love ketchup on everything! My two currant favs are sweetp fries and burgers. But my old favorite used to be as a dip for grilled cheese =)

  10. Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    18 February, 2009 at 6:34 am (8 years ago)

    mmmm ketchup… i’m a purist and like it on french fries and hash browns!

  11. FoodsThatFit
    18 February, 2009 at 7:02 am (8 years ago)

    That is so awesome you made your own ketchup! I love it when you know exactly what is in the foods you eat, esp. the ones you eat regularly!

  12. lauren (athlEAT)
    18 February, 2009 at 7:14 am (8 years ago)

    this looks really good….and easy! i will have to try it!

  13. Diana
    18 February, 2009 at 8:10 am (8 years ago)

    You made your own ketchup! That’s so cool…you go girl!

    My fave thing to eat ketchup on is probably french fries…mmm… 🙂

  14. Sharon
    18 February, 2009 at 8:25 am (8 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, that is awesome – thanks for sharing Maggie!

  15. gary
    18 February, 2009 at 8:28 am (8 years ago)

    YOU are so smart and I like it spicy!

  16. Sophia Lee
    18 February, 2009 at 9:28 am (8 years ago)

    boy, am I glad to see this! I love ketchup, but hate the HFCS crap they use in it…I’m definitely gonna make a huge jar of this! thank you so much!

  17. K
    18 February, 2009 at 10:09 am (8 years ago)

    That sounds great!

  18. fitforfree
    18 February, 2009 at 10:30 am (8 years ago)

    What an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

    I love love ketchup on butternut squash or sweet potato fries 🙂

  19. HangryPants
    18 February, 2009 at 11:08 am (8 years ago)

    I made ketchup once (Bobby Flay recipe), but it goes bad quickly. What about yours? I love ketchup on fries!

  20. Caroline
    18 February, 2009 at 11:01 pm (8 years ago)

    I’ll put ketchup on just about anything, but I used to put in on Stouffer’s mac & cheese all the time. Since adopting my healthier ways, however, I really like it on butternut squash fries.

  21. Lara
    19 February, 2009 at 3:23 am (8 years ago)

    I am a ketchup freak. I should probably switch to something more pure like this. It’s not that I put it on a bunch of weird things, it’s that I use TONS of it when I do use it! This is a great idea!

  22. Jasmine (Sweet and Fit)
    19 February, 2009 at 8:23 am (8 years ago)

    this is so neat! I was actually just looking at an *organic* ketchup bottle in my parents’ fridge, and I was kinda surprised at how much sodium and sugar are in there. I am definitely going to give this a try! thanks =)

  23. Christina
    19 May, 2009 at 12:06 pm (8 years ago)

    I normally just use ketchup on fries, hashbrowns, and hot dogs.

    We’ve been buying the organic unsweetened ketchup, but it’s so pricey! Cool to have a recipe to make it at home – never knew it was so easy!

  24. GIGI
    3 December, 2009 at 9:32 pm (7 years ago)

    Ketchup goes on EVERYTHING in my world!! I love ketchup & spinach or cabbage or spaghetti squash or ANYTHING! ha ha! I am obsessed with Heinz Sugar Free Ketchup these days! But this recipe sounds awesome!

  25. Alfreda Weigert
    7 March, 2010 at 4:43 am (7 years ago)

    thanks, Keep up the Great work 🙂

  26. Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss
    5 July, 2010 at 6:51 pm (7 years ago)

    Homemade ketchup? What a great idea! I’m going to try this one sometime … soon. How long does it keep in the fridge?

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