homemade ketchup

Homemade ketchup is one of those things we never think to make because it’s so readily available and we all grew up thinking ‘there’s no other kinds’… I couldn’t help myself – lol.

My fascination with making homemade ketchup happened after I watched the opening scene from the 1944 Judy Garland film Meet Me in St. Louis. The housekeeper and the lady of the house are making ketchup in a stunning copper kettle on a wood burning Enterprise stove. The scene was magical to me. Each one of the family members tasted the homemade ketchup with the same wooden spoon, I had a heart attack every time they dipped it back in the kettle. Despite their lack of food safety concern, I loved the idea of wanting to make your own ketchup rather than buying it. The film was set in 1904 so Heinz Ketchup was definitely available.

A more notable reason to make your own homemade ketchup is the shelf life of commercial ketchup. The commercial stuff lasts forever which is kind of scary to think about the preservatives used to give it endless life.

Homemade ketchup is a breeze to make and absolutely delicious!


  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 dried red Thai chili
  • 1 – 796 ml can finely chopped tomatoes, [Polpa]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Anaheim chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed


  1. Wrap cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, celery seeds and dried chili in a double layer of cheesecloth.
  2. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat with tomatoes, salt, vinegar, sugar, onion, chili, garlic and spice bag and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cook, stirring often until onions and chilies are really soft – about 1 hour.
  4. Remove spice bag then using an immersion blender blend until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use your food processor.
  5. Decant into bottle, allow to cool then refrigerate.
  6. Will keep up to 3 weeks.

THE LOVE: If you like your ketchup a little sweeter, gradually add more brown sugar, while it’s simmering, until you taste the magic.

Thanks for reading.