Tomato Paste Ketchup is easy and quick to make, and has a great flavor. If you’re unexpectedly out of ketchup, are looking to use fewer commercially prepared products, or just looking for a tasty homemade condiment, then this copycat Heinz ketchup is for you!
This homemade from scratch ketchup with simple ingredients has a great balance of flavors, better than the too-sweet, too-salty bottled stuff.
This ketchup also answers the question, “can I substitute tomato paste for ketchup?” Tomato paste is very plain and bland, so your recipe won’t be as flavorful. With this recipe for homemade ketchup based on tomato paste, you never have to worry about that substitution!
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Ketchup taste test
Back in 2012 I had a ketchup tasting party. It was great fun, and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to play with our food.
This party came about because in 2011 I made my first homemade ketchup. Shortly afterwards, the National Post mentioned my ketchup & then they tasted my ketchup compared to two other recipes. I thought this was a fabulous idea!
A Ketchup Tasting Party! I mean, who doesn’t love French fries and onion rings. And, an excuse to eat them while doing “research” about best tasting ketchup, I’m all over it! So I made 5 different ketchups and use one store bought.
I decided to taste the Jamie Oliver ketchup that the National Post made, which I’ve since remade as Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce. That ketchup came in second place in our tasting of 5 different ketchups, with comments like good-looking, sweet, like BBQ sauce, dark and appealing, deep rich flavor but closer to BBQ sauce than ketchup, and too tangy.
I made this super easy ketchup made from tomato paste.
And remade my Homemade Classic Traditional Tomato Ketchup Recipe, one that you cook down the fresh tomatoes and puree them to get a thick rich catsup.
I made another recipe that turned out not to work at all, and I used Heinz (it is the best-selling ketchup) as my control tester flavor.
Ketchup Tasting Party
I made the taste testing into a blind taste test so that no one would feel too persuaded by any names associated with the various ketchups. We tasted with French friends and onion rings. I even made up “Tasting Notes Sheets” so that we could track our thoughts about each as we tasted. There was much tasting and discussing. It was great fun! Then, we had burgers (beef for the meat eaters and homemade veggie patties for the veggies) with the winning ketchup.
To my surprise, there was a clear winner: This recipe made with canned tomato paste! Everyone gave it the highest ranking, with comments like thick, good texture, tangy, complex, yum, perfect appearance, dark red color, and Perfect! And, it was the easiest and quickest one to make. I’m so excited that it was super easy and can be made any time of year!
Can this ketchup be customized?
Yes, you can easily adjust this simple recipe to suit your own taste, or make it a little differently each time. Some ideas you may want to try:
Do your kids like their ketchup a little sweeter? Add more brown sugar or honey
Mix in a pinch of Cayenne pepper or a dash of Tabasco for some heat
Stir in a little mustard powder for a mustard-y flavor
Mix in a pinch of cinnamon or allspice for an artisanal flavor
Add some curry to make a curry ketchup
Use apple cider vinegar for a tangier, lightly sweeter flavor
Cook it a little longer if you like a super thick ketchup, or a little less for a thinner ketchup
Add a little more vinegar for a vinegary flavor
Try adding some dried herbs like basil, oregano, or chives for an herbal flavor
Super simple to make, just place all the ingredients in a small pot and cook until thick.
How long will this last?
Cover tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month. If it separates a little, just give it a stir.
Pro tip: tomatoes have high acidic content and will stain plastic containers, so keep this stored in glass jars like mason jars.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, this ketchup can be frozen for longer storage, but the texture changes a bit after defrosting.
Can I can it?
I don’t personally can much of anything that I make, but, my understanding is that this type of recipe can be canned.
If you’d like to can/preserve ketchup, please follow the instructions from the USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation or the official site from the makers of Ball jars.
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Tomato Paste Ketchup Recipe
Tomato Paste Ketchup
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- ¼ cup mild honey
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. It should be thick enough that when you drag a spoon across the bottom of the pot, it leaves an empty trail that does not fill in right away.
- Remove from heat, and allow the ketchup to cool. Ketchup will thicken a bit as it cools. Chill and store refrigerated in a covered glass container.