Homemade Ketchup and the Secret Recipe Club


I was so happy when I received my first blog assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  I’m new to the group, hosted by Amanda at Amanda’s Cookin’, and have been looking forward to this event and to meeting new bloggers. Amanda’s concept is simple.  Each month participants are assigned a blog of a participating blogger and instructed to chose any recipe and write a post about it.  Our assignment is a secret and isn’t revealed until the day we publish our posts. I was thrilled when learned that my assigned blog this month is The Urban Baker and I had a difficult time deciding which of Susan’s many wonderful recipes to choose.   I first thought her Blueberry Crumb Cake would be a good choice, or perhaps decadent Chocolate Lava Cakes would be the way to go, but when I saw Susan’s recipe for Homemade Ketchup I knew I found what I was looking for.  My family likes ketchup, a lot, and as we get into tomato season I had been thinking that I would like to try a homemade version of one of our favorite condiments. I’m very happy I chose this recipe because it has so much more flavor than the bottled stuff and is delicious with meatloaf and schnitzel.  I served it with hashbrowns and eggs and everybody loved it.  I bet you will love it too.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Ketchup
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1-1/2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2-1/4 pounds tomatoes, stem removed, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 small hot chili peppers, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Combine cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, celery seeds, chili flakes and allspice in a layer of cheesecloth and tie into a little bundle.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, sea salt, vinegar, sugar, onion, spice bundle and chopped chili peppers. Using a garlic press, squeeze the garlic into the saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat, 35-45 minutes until tomatoes have broken up and onions are very soft.
  4. Puree the mixture in a blender. Press the mixture through a mesh strainer set over another saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 20-30 minutes. Taste for seasonings. You may want to add a little more salt or sugar.
  5. Let cool completely. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


I can’t say I won’t buy bottled ketchup in the future, but when I have vine ripened tomatoes and am looking for a delicious way to use them this is a recipe I will turn to.  I used the same ingredients that Susan used in her recipe.  I just assembled them a little differently.  Although Susan  strains her ingredientss after partial cooking I went ahead and peeled the tomatoes and removed some of the seeds before cooking.  It just takes a minute to drop them into boiling water for a few seconds and then cool them off in a pan of ice water.  When I tried to strain the mixture I found that my mesh strainer was too fine for the job and removed too much of the pulp so what I was left with was essentially tomato juice.  Since I had removed the skins I just blended the mixture in my blender for a few more seconds and thought it was perfect.  I like a little bit of texture to the sauce anyway. As Susan suggests, the seasoning can be adjusted after the mixture has cooked and at that time I added a little more sugar, salt and red pepper flakes because we like it a little spicy.  No question about it, this recipe gets two thumbs up!




  1. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    This sounds great Cathy! I haven’t tried to make ketchup before, if I fall into some extra tomatoes I’ll give this a try:@)

  2. says

    I LOVE home-made ketchup and your photo captures it so perfectly!
    I also LOVE the concept of the Secret Recipe Club ~ I have already asked to join, so we will see if I am successful or not!
    Great post as always Cathy.

  3. says

    Perfect timing! I have a huge bounty of tomatoes and was planning on looking for a homemade ketchup recipe. My search begins and ends right here. Yay!

    I’m revealing a SRC recipe today, too. It’s so fun clicking on all of the recipe links in the SRC blog roll. Glad I found you!

  4. says

    Hi Cathy! So excited that you are my secret gal. I had to skip this month as I have a big event the beginning of September and I am bit overwhelmed and one dimensional! Your blog is beautiful and it is groups like this that bring us together to support, create, and cultivate friendships. I am glad you liked the ketchup and I love that you peeled and seeded your tomatoes. Good Call! I look forward to reading more of your blog as well as sharing many recipes together!
    susan recently posted..Pizza Muffins – After School Snack IdeasMy Profile

  5. says

    What an intersting post and a fun experience. I am surely going to look inot this in the fall. I hve made green chow chow(ketchup), reslish and pickles but this recipe looks and sounds to good. Fanastic photo Cathy.

  6. says

    It hard to believe that you can improve on Heintz! I’m also not sure my DH would approve of me using up his precious fresh tomatoes for making ketchup. That said, if all the GREEN ones outside ripen at the same time, I’ll be BEGGING you for recipes & this one just might do.

    What a fun idea for a meme…I’m off to check out the entrants.

    Rettabug recently posted..Salad with Strawberries & Warm Bacon Salad Dressing ♪♫My Profile

  7. says

  8. says

    Lordy, I don’t know how I can put myself on the same page as you…you are such an awesome cook…but wanted you to know I gave you a shout-out in my post today. :))
    bj recently posted..My Silly MamaMy Profile

  9. Dzoli says

    I am not surprised they chose you:) Running clubs like that you like to have quality posts;)
    Love the salsa here;))

  10. Kris says

    Hi Cathy,
    Something must have been changed on your blog since it is not updating anymore on my blog Have you changed domains? When I click onto your blog, from my blogroll, it says 2 months since your last update. And then in the url it says permanently changed, or something like that,. Hmmm. I am going to erase the old and reinsert this new address…..just to see.

  11. says

    Oh the secret recipe club sounds like so much fun! Too bad I don’t have enough recipes on my blog yet to participate…. oh well, maybe someday. =]

  12. says

    Ohhh I will have to try this recipe out… my daughter LOVES ketchup so much… (way too much)! At least I would know that she’s eating a home made version! Great idea!

  13. says

    My family is QUACKY about ketchup. It’s a little sickness really. And I’ve got a boatload of tomatoes. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks.

  14. Pondside says

    Well, I’m thrilled to have another ketchup recipe. I make my own, using canned tomatoes, in the winter when I make Tortiere, Delicious!

  15. says

    This group sounds like so much fun….I am going to join once I have been up and running a few more months – can’t wait. My husband always tells me that his mom used to make homemade ketchup when he was young. How surprised would he be if I made this for him one day? I thought that all of the spices in this were interesting – cloves and allspice. I am curious to try this just to see the difference from the Heniz bottle:-). I can see us using this for special dishes like you had mentioned -meatloaf or homemade french fries.

    Also – good tip on peeling the tomatoes ahead of time. I can see how you would end up with juice vs. pulp if you had to put it through a real fine strainer.
    Becki@Becki’s Whole Life recently posted..Funfetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream FrostingMy Profile

  16. says

    Welcome to the SRC, Cathy! What a great first post!
    I was so bummed when our tomato plants didn’t produce nearly as much as we thought they would, but then again, it was our first go-round with growing them during an Arizona summer. NOT a good idea or we at least should have shaded them. Oh well, in cooler weather we’ll have to try again.
    I’m bookmarking this and being optimistic that I’ll be making it very soon with some fresh garden tomatoes!

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