Homemade Fresh Tomato Ketchup photo
Homemade Fresh Tomato Ketchup
Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, or as needed
  • 1/2 -1 white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 lb tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup coconut water vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Melt coconut oil in a large saucepan and add onion and garlic. Sauté lightly for about 20 seconds. Turn heat off and stir in remaining ingredients.

Simmer over medium low to low heat until ketchup becomes thick and reduces by half, approximately 2-4 hours. Stir every once in awhile as needed.

Purée ketchup in a blender, and then strain through a mesh strainer. If you wish, adjust seasoning to taste and if the ketchup isn't at the thickness you want, return to the saucepan and simmer until it's just the way you want it.

Cool, and then store in the refrigerator.

Don't let the long ingredient list fool you. This recipe is actually very easy to make. I just got a little carried away with the spices.

But really? Allspice? Cloves? Are we making pumpkin pie? No, we're not. Trust me, they all work together. It doesn't taste like ketchup made with pumpkin pie spice mix. It's really, really yummy.

You can give and take on the spices, if you want. But if you have all the ingredients on hand, make it just as is first and see if you like it. There isn't much of each spice, so they all work together to create that ketchup flavor. If you think you can make it better to suit your taste buds, go right ahead! Then let me know what spices you did or didn't use, and how you liked it.

The aroma of the sauce as it simmered on the stove was amazing, I kept coming back to taste it...and add salt. I'm not sure how much salt I ended up using (I kept adding a little more at a time) but just go by taste.

Since this uses all fresh tomatoes, it's a great way to use up your summer crop if you're growing a garden this year. And like I said, it's easy. Really. For real. It's one of those recipes that pretty much does it's own thing and fills your house with nice smells in the process.

Oh, and another cool thing about this recipe? It uses honey as the sweetener (I used raw honey). I kid you not, my jaw literally dropped to the floor when I saw how much sugar some of these homemade ketchup recipes use. It really doesn't need that much. Just a small amount of honey gave it a nice, sweet (but not too sweet!) flavor. Yum.

And for all you visual (and non visual) learners, we have a video for you today that will take you through the recipe step by step.

Happy ketchup making!


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Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
This looks really good. Do you have to let it reach room temp before using?
# Posted By PinkKitchen | 6/1/11 11:34 AM
How long would this ketchup keep in the frig? I currently buy organic ketchup and once the bottle is open it takes a few months to use it all up. How would this ketchup compare? I wondered if the vinegar in it would give a good length of refrigerated shelf life?
# Posted By Wendy S | 6/2/11 2:10 PM
How long does it stay in the refrigerator after making a batch?
# Posted By Neil | 6/2/11 4:15 PM
PinkKitchen: Nope. Just use it like regular ketchup.

Wendy & Neil: I'm not sure how long it'd last. At least a week or more if stored properly (tightly sealed jar or container). Just keep a close eye on it and if it starts to mold, smell or taste "off" don't eat it.
# Posted By Sarah:) | 6/3/11 12:26 AM
There's no reason why you couldn't just cold process this for storing. Canning tomatoes , with their high acid content, requires very little processing time and would make good use of summer's organic harvest.
# Posted By Libby | 6/4/11 3:13 PM
I am wondering if you taste the fennel? I just hate the licorice taste. I noticed they used fennel in another ketchup it is something you hardly taste or do you recommend just to omit?
# Posted By bella | 6/9/11 4:53 PM
Can you substitute the coconut water vinegar with another vinegar(perhaps white wine vinegar)?? I don't have any of the coconut vinegar & haven't come across it in any of the stores I've been to.
# Posted By ColleenP | 6/18/11 12:16 PM
Do you know how much ketchup this recipe yields? And I'm assuming it can be canned just like tomato sauce.
# Posted By Heidi | 9/23/11 12:37 PM
I bet you could freeze part of the batch if you were worried about using it all up before it spoils.
QUESTION: What else could substitute for the coconut water vinegar- apple cider vinegar?
# Posted By Sarah | 9/23/11 1:33 PM
Heidi: It yields about 3 cups worth. And yes, canning would be a great idea.

Sarah: Freezing will work but it may change the texture a bit. Apple cider vinegar will work, you can experiment with different ones.
# Posted By Sarah:) | 9/23/11 8:10 PM
I am not able to sleep tonight, because Iam hurting,so I am looking at recipes at 2:45am. I can hardly wait to make several of these.Yum!! I have just recently started using coconut oil. I would love to use it for everything.
# Posted By Jackie | 2/10/12 2:51 AM
Should you remove the cloves before blending? I'd be inclined to, but there's no mention of it.
# Posted By Julie | 8/3/12 10:49 AM
I am also wondering about removing the whole cloves before putting in the blender.
# Posted By Sharon | 10/4/12 4:14 PM
You don't have to remove the cloves. A good blender should blend them up, but if you're unsure feel free to take them out.
# Posted By Sarah | 10/8/12 11:36 AM
Could you ferment this recipe?
# Posted By Suzan R | 11/4/13 10:13 AM

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