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Homemade Tomato Ketchup

recipe at a glance
Rating: 4/5
2 reviews
1 comment

ready in: 2-5 hrs
serves/makes:   6 pints

recipe id: 17148
cook method: stovetop, oven

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24 pounds ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onions chopped very fine or pureed in a food processor
1 head garlic (pressed)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups cider vinegar (white will do in a pinch)
4 teaspoons whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon broken up
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
3 tablespoons celery seed
1 tablespoon whole peppers
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt


Peel and quarter the tomatoes OR (better) pass them through a tomato food-mill. In a large non-reactive kettle (remember the vinegar coming later) start frying the onions in the olive oil. After a minute or 2 add the tomatoes and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

While the tomatoes are simmering - put the spices in a bag (I use a tea-strainer). In another non-reactive pot boil the vinegar with the spices in it. Once it has boiled for a minute you can turn off the heat. When the tomatoes are ready remove the spices and add the vinegar to the tomato mixture.

Bring back to a boil and simmer for another 30 minutes. (It will start to make wonderfully messy bubbles at this point). Let it cool for a bit (or be REALLY careful) and puree the mixture thoroughly in a food processor or blender.

Pour the mixture into a wide oven-proof (and still non-reactive) pan or pot and put it in the oven at 300 degrees F (the wider the better). Let it reduce in the oven by about 50% - check every 20-30 minutes. This may take up to 2 hours, but is considerably easier I find then the alternative of stirring it on the stove top for 30 minutes. When it is done it should mound up on a spoon without separating. You will probably need to remove a thin skin the will have formed on the top of the ketchup. (Which you can throw between two pieces of bread at eat - yum yum)

This can be canned in pint jars with processing in a boiling water bath 15 minutes.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg, and Beatrice Vaughan.

cook's notes

This ketchup looks and feels just like Heinz but taste as if someone had turned the volume up to about 11.

It takes several hours to make this - but you can do other things at the same time and the result is great tasting ketchup for the year!.

I use 75% ROMA or other Italian sauce tomatoes and 25% big beefsteak or pink - something with solid flesh

added by David d'Anjou ddanjou


20 calories, 0 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein per tablespoon. This recipe is low in sodium. This recipe is low in fat.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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Guest at

REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating
End result was terrific, but it took 1t least 10-11 hours to cook down. Also, we found we had to add more sugar and change the spice amounts a bit to our taste. The recipe itself is a bit vague in a few places, so I used my best judgment. Overall, my hubby EATS it, so it is a success!

Guest at


Hi There ! I have a feeling that "24 pounds of tomatoes" should read "24 toomatoes" ? You'd have to boil things down considerably to get 24 pounds into 6 pints. I really do think it would make life much easier if people used grammes and litres : "cups" and "spoonfuls" make very vague quantities - or maybe people feel that's part of the charm of home cooking ?

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
Teaspoons, tablespoons and cups are standardized American measurements, not vague amounts.

Guest at

REVIEW: 3 star recipe rating
Directions should have said when to add garlic and to what. Spices steeped in vinegar are VERY SPICY! More like a cocktail sauce so I used it for shrimp.

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