Make it at Home: Whole Tomato Ketchup

Do you have an abundance of tomatoes either from your own garden or from a CSA? If the answer is no, then ask your local farmer if he has any “grade B” tomatoes. It’ll be worth it, trust me I was able to get 25 pounds of Grade “B” tomatoes from a local farmer for $10. I was expecting at least a 10% loss due to spoilage, Grade “B” does mean they’re unsellable. I think we threw out 4 tomatoes from the whole batch, what a deal!

I was able to get 25 pounds of Grade “B” tomatoes from a local farmer for $10. I was expecting at least a 10% loss due to spoilage, Grade “B” does mean they’re unsellable. I think we threw out 4 tomatoes from the whole batch, what a deal!

Homemade Whole Tomato Ketchup

13 half-pints

approximately 25 lbs. tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup ACV
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed, placed in a knotted cheesecloth bag
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard seed
2/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon sea salt

Prepare the Tomatoes

Set up station: One bowl/box with tomatoes in it. A pot of boiling water. Tongs to retrieve tomatoes. Large bowl/strainer to receive the tomatoes. Your “final” pot in which you’ll cook the ketchup.

With a sharp knife, put a small slice or poke into each tomato. This will speed up the blanching process and make the skins easier to remove. Place several tomatoes in boiling water for about 30-45 seconds, or until they begin to “bob”. Using tongs, place in strainer/bowl.

After each batch, take tomatoes to sink and remove skins. Careful, they will be hot! After removing skin, break apart tomato with hands and squeeze out as many seeds as you can. This takes practice, it’s okay if you don’t remove all the seeds. Place the skins and seeds in a separate bowl. These can be used in compost or placed in the freezer with other veggie scraps to make Vegetable Broth.

Place the “meat” of the tomatoes in the final cooking pot. Repeat above steps until all tomatoes are processed.

Now your tomatoes are ready to be made into ketchup!
Sautee onion, pepper, and garlic for a few minutes in a skillet, then add to your tomatoes.

Allow tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic to lightly simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Now, we need to blend. Here are someoptions:
(1) ladle mixture into your blender or food processor
(2) use an immersion blender
(3) use an old-fashioned potato masher

I used my immersion blender. Everyone should have this handy tool in their kitchen. While I wouldn’t recommend using a potato masher, if that’s all you have it will work.

Once mixture is blended, add remaining ingredients. Mix together and cook over medium-low heat. Let sit and cook down for at least 3 hours. 4 would be better.

Just enjoy the wonderful aroma of homemade ketchup cooking!

You will see the level of the ketchup going down, which is what you want to happen. It should reduce quite a bit.

Grab a spoon, have a taste. Add anything you deem necessary. The amounts of ACV, spices, and honey can be adjusted some.

After you’ve got the flavor right, remove the small bag of celery seed, and blend again (optional).

If canning: prepare jars and lids by heating them in your canning pot or dishwasher. Place hot ketchup in hot jars (remove ONE jar at a time from the pot or dishwasher…trust me!) and place the hot jars in your water bath canner (with hot water). Process pints for 30 minutes or half-pints for 15 minutes.

Healthy Ketchup Companions

Healthier French Fries, Kid-Favorite Chicken Nuggets, and Turkey-Veggie Meatloaf all from The Nourishing Home


5 responses to “Make it at Home: Whole Tomato Ketchup

  1. Let me know what you think. It's different than the batch we made, I can't pinpoint why. If you figure it out, let me know and I'll change the recipe.

    I did two things to the recipe after trying ours: decreased cayenne and increased ACV.


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