Minimal Monday: Homemade Ketchup!

Ketchup is a complex and venerable old sauce with a ton of fascinating ingredients — no one is quite sure where it originated, but everybody agrees it’s an absolute necessity in the kitchen. Make it yourself for a real treat!

This is just so much fun. It’s a bit like a witch’s brew…a little of this, a little of that. I do admit, though, I got somewhat carried away. I added some molasses. Then I added some rum. A pinch of allspice, a dash of cardamom. A jalapeno. But I didn’t make all this up, ketchup is a venerable old sauce, and before you start waving your flag and claiming that good old American ketchup can’t have all that crazy stuff in it, let me remind you that ketchup dates back to 17th century China and Malaysia. And back then it was made with pickled fish.

Don’t judge. Just slather some on that burger and then get back to me.

5 from 3 votes

Minimal Monday: Ketchup!

Author Sue Moran


  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 jalapeno pepper rough chopped
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp amber rum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a inch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • a pinch of allspice
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • a pinch of paprika
  • a pinch of celery seed


  • Put the onion, jalapeno, garlic and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until minced. Then add the can of tomatoes and process for at least a minute, until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Add the vinegar and water and pulse to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
  • I know that seems a little excessive, but these old sauces were real concoctions. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for about an hour to an hour and a quarter. You don't have to hover over it, just stir occasionally. But like all good tomato sauces, it does have a tendency to splatter, so I used a splatter screen.
  • When the sauce is thick enough for you, taste to check the seasonings, and pour it into clean jars. Let it cool before refrigerating. It should keep at least a month in the fridge.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 18, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I just made your ketchup without the heat and it is really very good. I am sharing it with my daughter as she will not be making ketchup soon.

    • Reply
      May 18, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Oh that’s good to know Charlotte, thanks!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    I was wondering if I could put this into jars and can it? This would make wonderful gifts!

  • Reply
    Lynn Franger
    June 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I would love a recipe for Ketchup without tomato, as I am allergic to tomato. Do you have one?

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    May 30, 2012 at 1:58 am

    second post today that Ive read on homemade ketchup..I LOVE condiments of all kinds, especially ketchup! I love that you added molasses and rum…oh boy!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

    What a treat! Your recipients must have been delighted.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I’ve made the Saveur version before as well and it rocked. I usually tweak it a bit, but never quite so much as your version. I love how versatile sauces and condiments can be!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      May 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      It’s funny because aside from the kick from the jalapeno, it pretty much tasted like ketchup, (only better 😉

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    May 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve been on a crazy sauce-y/condiment binge lately, but this is so easy, I think you’ll have a blast making it—Happy Memorial Day!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    May 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I’m in! I have to make my own ketchup! Pinned.

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