Homemade Ketchup Recipe, No Plastic Packaging & Sugar-Free

Ah, ketchup. The perfect topping for fries, hash browns, vegan meatloaf, and soy hot dogs! Refreshing, slightly sweet, and the perfect acidic complement to starchy foods. This condiment has been my favorite all my life.

Recently, I made the startling discovery that “ketchup” at the average American grocery store is mostly corn syrup. Or worse, high-fructose corn syrup. The point is, it’s not usually just tomatoes and seasoning so it tastes watered down and we don’t get the full, wonderful flavor that it should have. The plastic bottle is another strike against it as well.


Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash


The fact that I had been eating “ketchup” for years and actually had no idea what the real stuff tasted like was shocking! I found a few recipes online that called for fresh steamed tomatoes, but I am the only one in my house who eats ketchup so I didn’t want to make too much and have it go to waste. Without preservatives, homemade ketchup doesn’t last as long as traditional bottled ketchup. I settled on making it with a tomato paste base – canned, yes, but I’d rather recycle metal than recycle plastic. That’s just me though.


Here’s the recipe I use 🙂 It’s delicious, robust, and much more complimentary than bottled ketchup to the foods I would normally put it on.



  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 2 pinches of nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup of water

Put all ingredients except the water into a short, wide glass jar. Stir in the water slowly with a spoon or small rubber spatula until it is the consistency that you want. Put a few dollops on some hash browns and enjoy the flavor of real tomato ketchup! Store in the refrigerator and use within 14 days.

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