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Homemade Ketchup (Corn-Free)

I’m not sure if it’s ketchup, catsup, or any other bizarre spelling, but if you are the parent of a child under the age of 10, then you always make sure that you NEVER run out of this key ingredient.  My kids put this stuff on everything, even foods that just don’t seem to make sense, like grapes.

So why am I now making my own ketchup?  One word: corn.

Even if a store bought variety doesn’t contain HFCS, I have yet to find a brand that doesn’t use distilled vinegar, which is usually derived from corn and well, I’m allergic!  Never one to do well with the words, “no forever,” I set about to make my own and after several attempts (creating recipes is a bit challenging when you can’t taste), the following is the recipe that won over my husband and kids.

In case you are wondering why I used a stock photo instead of my own, here’s a tip for ya…don’t leave your DSLR camera within reach of your 3 year old! :mrgreen:

Corn-Free Ketchup

Printable Recipe

2 (6-oz) cans Tomato Paste (I use the brand Bionaturae, since it comes in BPA-free glass jars)

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs)

5 Tbs. Agave or Coconut Nectar

1 tsp. Yacon Syrup (or Molasses)

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Onion Powder

3/8 tsp. (1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp.) Ground Allspice

3/8 tsp. (1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp.) Ground Cloves

1/2 stick Cinnamon

1 tsp. Sea Salt

2 1/2 cups Water

  • Combine everything in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until mixture has reduced to desired consistency, about 40 minutes.
  • Remove cinnamon stick and store in an airtight container (I use a glass mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.



  1. I've been thinking of making my own ketchup for weeks now and was set on doing it this weekend but couldn't get to it. So funny we're on the same wavelength!

  2. Oh, thanks, Heidi!! You're awesome(and I'm so glad I'm getting your posts again!) and I agree that you can never have too much of this on hand…my little one dips his carrots/cauliflower/toast in it,too…and sometimes a thumb!! I must make this soon!! Thanks.

    • Hi Deb!!

      Oh yes, ketchup makes most things taste good to the little ones, LOL! I'm happy to hear you're getting my updates once again (very weird, somehow my feed jumped back to my old blog on

  3. I also use Bionaturae tomato paste to make my own ketchup. I find that it's sweet enough without adding any additional sweetener. I would suggest to taste first before adding sweeteners. I ruined my first batch that way.

    I will have to try your spice additions though. I never though to add cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Sounds yummy!

    Actually your recipe is very close to something I call Tomato Onion Jam. Instead of the tomato paste and water, use 3-4 large tomatoes and one large sweet onion. Chop and saute then add the rest of the ingredients above. I also add fresh grated ginger. Cook down to the desired consistency. You can leave it chunky or buzz it up with an immersion blender.

    It cans and freeze well too. Due to a mold allergy I don't leave things in the fridge more than 24 hours.

    • Hi JK!

      Thank you so much for the tip on not using any sweetener, I will definitely try that (I'm working myself towards being as close to sugar-free as possible, outside of those naturally occurring in fruits and veggies). I added the cinnamon, allspice and cloves after doing some Google research (I was on a mission to clone the flavor of the bottled ketchup that my kids love so much), but now I'm ready to play and your idea to use fresh tomatoes and onion sounds right up my alley. I bet the ginger adds a wonderful depth of flavor too!

      Thanks for the tips on canning and freezing, last year was my first year learning how to can and I even canned my own tomato sauce…we've consumed all the jars I made and since we're all still alive (LOL), I'm gearing up for another season of canning…adding ketchup to the list! 😀

  4. Even though we don't have issues with corn, I've been wanting to try my own hand at ketchup for a while now and you just inspired me! Thanks!

    • AndreAnna,

      It's really easy and I can't believe I waited so long to try making it myself, especially with the cost of some organic ketchups, nearly $4.99 in my neck of the woods!

  5. Oh, I love ketchup, and this sounds awesome lady. Do you think I could use honey in place of the agave? We're not agave fans (including the agave ketchups – just don't like the taste) and I don't see myself springing for coconut nectar anytime soon (or at least when the husband is grocery shopping with me and eyeing what I put in the cart!), but I worry that honey might be too sharp. What do you think?

    • Hi Alisa!

      Let me jog my taste bud memories here, LOL! My thinking is that honey would be too distinct of a flavor. I remember trying to use honey in my homemade limeade last year and I could barely taste the lime over the honey. I wonder if using whole soaked dates (a high-powered blended might be necessary though) or date syrup would lend the right amount of sweetness to counter the acid of the vinegar? I think I will try that on my next batch and I will let you know how it works (I'm trying to cut back on my agave use too).

      • Do you have a corn free version now? I see you posted this recipe 2 years ago. My daughter is allergic to gluten, corn, and apples. Thanks for your help!

  6. Annie in Illinois says

    ??? What happens to the cinnamon stick?

    • Hi Annie,

      Great observation and thank you for bringing that to my attention! You need to remove the cinnamon stick once the mixture is done cooking, otherwise someone might not be too happy! 😀

  7. Yum!! This is delicious (and Kid-Approved ;))!!! THANK YOU for sharing your recipe!  I used raw honey in place of the agave and since I didn’t have a cinnamon stick, I just put in 3/8 tsp of ground cinnamon–worked great! I did end up simmering for an hour, but that’s no big deal! 🙂


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