Homemade Ketchup


This homemade ketchup is so easy to make from scratch in a slow cooker. It does come close to those name brands in terms of taste, texture, and color. I've never had a tomato paste-based ketchup that I liked so I decided to cook down crushed tomatoes instead.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
12 hrs 10 mins
3 cups

Skip the bottled stuff and learn how to make ketchup at home. This top-rated recipe is beloved by the Allrecipes community for a number of reasons: It's incredibly easy (thanks to your trusty slow cooker), it's made with kitchen staples you likely already have on hand, and it's absolutely delicious.

close up view of homemade ketchup in a small bowl, with french fries in the background
Chef John

What Is Ketchup?

Ketchup is a tomato-based condiment that's primarily used for dipping or spreading, though it's also commonly featured as an ingredient in other sauces and dressings. It's usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices and seasonings.

Who Invented Ketchup?

Early versions of ketchup weren't made with tomatoes. The original ketchups were fish-, mushroom-, nut-, or fruit-based. Before the 19th-century, "ketchup" could refer to any number of sauces with a thick consistency. An American scientist named James Mease is credited with inventing tomato-based ketchup in 1812. His formula was tweaked over the years and in 1876 the famous company, Heinz, debuted its beloved bottled ketchup. Heinz still leads ketchup production today, selling more than 650 million bottles per year.

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients

Perfect homemade ketchup is easy to make with kitchen staples. Here's what you'll need:

This ketchup recipe starts with crushed tomatoes, unlike many other recipes that start with tomato paste. This ingredient swap will get you closer to the flavor and texture of bottled ketchup.

Distilled white vinegar is essential for ketchup's signature tanginess. Plus, it elongates the shelf life.

White sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar while offering a hint of sweetness.

Spices and Seasonings
This flavorful ketchup recipe is seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, celery salt, ground black pepper, mustard powder, and one whole clove.

How to Make Ketchup

In this recipe, we opt to cook the ketchup in a slow cooker instead of on the stove. Not only does the Crock-Pot take out a lot of the legwork, it also ensures the perfect thick consistency every time. You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this ketchup recipe:

Pour the tomatoes into the slow cooker, mixing ¼ cup of water with each can. Add the spices and seasonings, then stir to combine. Cook uncovered on high until the mixture is reduced and thick (10 to 12 hours), stirring frequently. Smooth the finished ketchup with an immersion blender and strain.

Does Ketchup Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes, homemade ketchup should be refrigerated. Store your ketchup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Can You Freeze Ketchup?

Homemade ketchup will freeze well for up to six months. You can freeze it in zip-top freezer bags.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Wow," raves angie. "This recipe came out great. I have two little kids and wanted to make a ketchup without high fructose corn syrup, and to use in our homemade BBQ and sloppy Joe sauces. It tastes just like the bottled stuff."

"Great tasting ketchup," according to Sandra Hagan. "Didn't turn out as thick as I liked so I put some of the ketchup in a sauce pot and thickened it with cornstarch. I stirred it into the rest of the ketchup and it was perfect!"

"Great recipe," says Melissa Buckler. "I had to change a couple of things based on what I had in my pantry and I cut the sugar in half. Love it though! So happy to have found an easy AND tasty recipe for ketchup."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

  • ½ cup water, divided

  • cup white sugar

  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt

  • teaspoon celery salt

  • teaspoon mustard powder

  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper

  • 1 whole clove


  1. Pour tomatoes into slow cooker. Swirl 1/4 cup water in each emptied can and pour into the slow cooker. Add sugar, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, celery salt, mustard powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and whole clove; whisk to combine.

    All ingredients combined in a slow cooker.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Cook on High, uncovered, until mixture is reduced by half and very thick, 10 to 12 hours. Stir every hour or so.

    Ingredients cooking on high until reduced.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Use an immersion blender for about 20 seconds to smooth the texture of the ketchup.

    Immersion blender being used to smooth the texture.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Ladle ketchup into a fine strainer and press mixture with the back of a ladle to strain out any skins and seeds.

    Ketchup being strained through a fine strainer.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Transfer strained ketchup to a bowl. Cool completely.

  6. Taste and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper as desired.

    Close up on a small ramekin of homemade ketchup, surrounded by fries.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

16 Calories
4g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 48
Calories 16
% Daily Value *
Sodium 139mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 1mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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