The Best Homemade Ketchup Recipe | How To Can Homemade Ketchup

The Best Homemade Ketchup Recipe | How To Can Homemade Ketchup

Homemade ketchup is easy to make and better for you without high fructose corn syrup. Learn how to can homemade ketchup with this recipe.

I have wanted to make homemade ketchup for years now. We grow a lot of our own produce here on our small homestead and can most of our tomato products with the exception of ketchup. It has been the one tomato product we buy at the store so I am glad to have found a recipe to replace it and reduce our grocery list.

In the height of summer when I can’t get to processing all of our tomatoes, many of them end up in the freezer. I simply core them and throw them into freezer bags so I can use them at a later time. The great thing about this is as you thaw the tomatoes, a lot of liquid drains off which helps tomato products thicken up faster and it also saves me time when I am busy. I still have tomatoes in our freezer from last summer, and we are well stocked on other tomato products we use frequently, so I thought it was the perfect time to experiment with homemade ketchup.

Is It Safe to Can Homemade Ketchup

Yes, it is safe to can homemade ketchup if you are following a tested recipe. Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to adapting tested canning recipes, and I am confident in the safety of this recipe. This easy ketchup recipe is adapted from this tested ball canning recipe. I adjusted the recipe to fit the amount of tomatoes I had to use and the seasonings to our preferences to make this a copycat Heinz ketchup recipe. I kept any ingredients that affect the acidity the same, and only adjusted the seasonings. Here is some information on safely adjusting canning recipes.

Ingredients Needed To Make Homemade Ketchup




White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar (must be 5% acidity)

Sea Salt

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Black Pepper

Celery Seed


Ground Mustard

Ground Cloves

All Spice

Tools Needed To Can Ketchup

Pint Jars

Jar Lids & Rings

Jar Funnel

Canning Rack

Canning Pot

Jar Lifter

How To Make Ketchup Video

How To Make Homemade Ketchup

Start by adding the tomatoes to a large pot. You want the tomatoes to be cored, but it isn’t necessary to chop them. You can use fresh or frozen and I prefer to use frozen then thawed tomatoes for convenience sake.

Bring the tomatoes to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce the heat to medium low and use a wooden spoon to mash the tomatoes up a bit. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, then add the onions and simmer 30 minutes more.

Now that the tomatoes and onions have softened, put them through a food mill. This will remove the skins and seeds to make a smooth ketchup.

Add the tomato and onion mixture back into the pot with the sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne, mustard powder, ground cloves, and all spice then stir together and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and allow the ketchup to simmer for 3-4 hours or until thickened. If you are using fresh tomatoes it may take a bit longer.

How To Can Homemade Ketchup

Prepare the pint jars and canner. Fill clean, hot pint jars to 1/2 inch of headspace and remove any air bubbles, a chopstick works great for this. Adjust headspace if needed and wipe the rims well with white vinegar or hot water. I like to use white vinegar when I am canning anything that might be greasy or sticky to ensure I get a good seal, but you can use hot water. Place lids and rings on the canning jars to finger tip tight.

Place jars in the canner ensuring that they are fully covered with water then bring the canner up to a boil, and process for 15 minutes. Make sure to adjust processing time as necessary based on your elevation, information on this can be found here.

When the canner is done processing, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow the jars to sit in the canner for another 5 minutes. This slowly brings the temperature down which helps avoid siphoning in the jars.

Remove jars from the canner and allow to sit undisturbed for 24 hours and then remove the rings and check the seals. Clean the jars well and store.

Yield: 3 Pints

Homemade Ketchup

ketchup in a regular mouth pint canning jar

Homemade ketchup is better for you with better ingredients than store bought!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes


  • 15 lbs cored fresh or frozen and thawed tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup white vinegar 5% acidity
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/16 teaspoon allspice


  1. Add tomatoes to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 30 minutes. Add onion, and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Put tomatoes and onions through a food mill to remove seeds and skins. Add mixture back to the pot.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 3-4 hours, until ketchup has thickened to desired consistency.
  6. Fill the canning pot with hot water.
  7. Ladle ketchup into hot, clean pint size jars to 1/2 inch headspace.
  8. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if necessary.
  9. Clean rims of jars with white vinegar and apply lids and rings finger tip tight.
  10. Place jars in canner enusring they are completely covered.
  11. Bring canner to a boil and process 15 minutes.
  12. When processing time is up, turn off heat and remove the lid. Allow jars to sit in the canner 5-10 minutes before removing.
  13. Remove jars from canner and allow to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Remove rings, clean jars, and store.


If using fresh tomatoes, it may take longer to reach the desired consistency.

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