Smooth, tangy, and just a bit sweet, this Paleo Ketchup is as satisfying as the real deal. Make ketchup from scratch with a handful of pantry staples and applesauce! Doubles as vegan and Whole30 ketchup.
Is ketchup paleo? It depends. Ketchup is commonly packed with refined sugar and funky additives, but making it from scratch gives you the capability to use sugar-free, paleo (and Whole30!) compliant ingredients.
I’ve tinkered with using dates to sweeten homemade ketchup, but I prefer the flavor and texture unsweetened applesauce achieves. Not to mention, applesauce is less expensive than dates.
The best part? The ingredients are mainly pantry staples. There is nothing out of the ordinary necessary! You can have your ketchup ready in a cinch to use with just about anything. Ketchup is an all-purpose condiment if you ask me!
🍅 Ingredients & Tools
- Canned Tomatoes: For a subtle smoky flavor, fire-roasted tomatoes are perfect. You can use regular canned tomatoes. Just know fire-roasted tomatoes will add more full-bodied flavor.
- Tomato Paste: builds on the sweet and tangy umami flavor and helps thicken.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar is essentially what sets ketchup apart from tomato sauce. It builds on the flavor and helps preserve the ingredients.
- Smoked Paprika: enhances the flavor and deepens the color. Sweet paprika works too.
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce: Typically, bottled ketchup is loaded with sugar (amongst other weird things). Unsweetened apple sauce sweetens just as well without the need to add a ton of sugar.
- Coconut Aminos: to build on the sweet and tangy umami flavor. You can also use The New Primal Classic Marinade here.
- Recommended Equipment: To make homemade ketchup, you’ll need a saucepan, a high-speed blender (or immersion blender), and a sanitized glass jar or bottle.
📖 How To Make Ketchup From Scratch
2️⃣ Cook ketchup mixture.
Then, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and continue until the raw tomato flavor cooks out (about 10 minutes).
3️⃣ Blend until smooth.
Transfer to a high-speed blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend into a smooth, dip-like consistency. Let cool before storing.
👉 Recipe Tips
- Too thick? To loosen it up, whisk in about a tablespoon of water at a time until the ketchup thins out.
- Too thin? To thicken your ketchup, continue simmering over medium heat to cook out more of the liquid.
- For Paleo & Whole30 purposes, be sure to use unsweetened applesauce. Whole30 applesauce is super easy to make from scratch.
🌶️ Flavor Variations
Give your ketchup some flair by adding flavor. Check out the list below for ways to enhance paleo ketchup.
- Curry-Spiced – Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of curry powder (more to taste).
- Garlic – Add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or about a 1/2 tablespoon of finely minced garlic).
- Hot & Spicy – Give your ketchup a kick with a pinch of cayenne, sriracha, or your favorite paleo/Whole30 compliant hot sauce.
Ketchup is tasty on its own, but any condiment lover will tell you it’s better mixed with more condiments!
- Swap the tomato paste for ketchup to make a thousand island.
- Mix it with barbeque sauce.
- Make mayochup! Stir ketchup into whole30 mayo.
- Make whole30 cocktail sauce by mixing paleo ketchup with horseradish, hot sauce, coconut aminos, and lemon juice.
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: After cooling to room temperature, pour the ketchup into a sanitized glass jar or bottle with a lid and store it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Freezing: Freeze in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. The ketchup most likely won’t stay stable once thawed. If it appears watery, you can simmer it over medium heat to rethicken it.
Keep your ketchup in the fridge, and it will last up to 3 weeks. The flavors get even better once they’ve had a few days to mingle.
It sure is (especially compared to paleo and Whole30 approved ketchup bottles). With a handful of clean ingredients, you can make it at a fraction of the cost.
Most ketchup on grocery store shelves contains sugar and sneaky sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, so they’re out for your Whole30. However, you can easily make it from scratch with approved ingredients.
Yes. You should always double-check the ingredients just in case, but tomato paste is almost always made from just tomatoes and citric acid.
🫕 More Sauces & Dips
- 1 saucepan
- 1 high-speed blender or immersion blender
- 1 glass jar or bottle
- 8 ounces fire roasted tomatoes canned
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ cup applesauce unsweetened
- 2 tablepoons coconut aminos or New Primal classic marinade
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and continue to simmer until the raw tomato flavor cooks out (about 10 minutes).
- Transfer to a high-speed blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend into a smooth, pourable consistent.
- Let cool before refrigerating in a glass juar or bottle for up to 3 weeks.