Fermented ketchup is surprisingly easy to make. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together in a jar and let it bubble for a few days. The result is a flavor-packed condiment.
Best of all, you get to control the amount of added sugar. That’s a pretty important good thing if, like me, you use the red sauce to encourage your kids to eat their dinners. (Apparently, ketchup tastes good on everything from stirfries to broccoli!)
I realize it’s unusual to make fermented condiments. However, they are probably my favorite type of ferment. Here’s a few reasons why I make fermented ketchup:
- It’s a great source of probiotics!
- Fermentation means there’s no cooking involved. Just pack everything in the jar and leave it to do its thing.
- Homemade ketchup is a zero-waste alternative.
- The natural probiotic cultures are an easy way to preserve condiments. This ketchup will last in the fridge for upto 6 months! (Just avoid double-dipping).
However, probably the main reason why I always have fermented ketchup in my fridge is that I like all things fermented!
Quick ketchup alternative
If fermentation isn’t your thing, feel free to skip it. The ketchup can be mixed and used right away for a quick homemade ketchup alternative.
There’s only one recommend change:
- Only keep 1 cup of ketchup in the fridge at a time, and freeze the rest. Because this is a low-sugar ketchup made with real vegetables, it won’t last as long as store-bought varieties.
Whole Tomato Ketchup
The easiest way to make ketchup is with tomato paste. However, if you have a nice crop of Roma tomatoes, I recommend making ketchup with fresh tomatoes, since the flavor is far superior. (I’ve done it both ways).
It takes about 2 hours to cook the tomatoes down, so it’s a good thing to do while you watch a movie (haha).
Follow the recipe below, with the following changes:
- Replace the tomato paste with 7 lbs roma tomatoes, roughly chopped, 3 onions, diced and 1 red bell pepper, diced.
- Mix the vegetables in a large pot, and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are very soft.
- When the vegetables a cooked, push them through a food mill (affiliate link), and return the puree to the pot.
- Add the spices and simmer for an additional hour until the tomatoe puree has thickened.
- Allow the puree to cool to at least 100 F (40 C) before adding the culture. Then proceed with fermenting as described in the recipe.
Homemade ketchup is surprisingly easy. All you have to do is pack the ingredients in a jar and let the fermentation do the work. It’s got a ton of flavor and is healthier than store-bought ketchup.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
In the ferment
- 3 cups tomato paste
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar (see notes for alternatives)
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp each of allspice berries, cloves, mustard seed, black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup of water, as needed
- Mix together the tomato paste, onion, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Pulse until fully pureed.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and sugar to the blender and pulse to blend. This will act as the culture for the ferment, so it needs to contain a mother. See notes for more details.
- Scrape the ketchup into a 1.5 L glass jar for fermenting (or use two 1-quart (1L) jars instead). Add in the whole spices. Cap with a loose-fitting lid.
- Place the jar in a cool and dark to ferment for 2 days (a kitchen cupboard is fine).
- After fermenting, stir in the salt. Add as much water as is needed to make a sauce-like consistency.
- Strain the ketchup through a fine-mesh sieve (affiliate link) to remove the spices. I usually bottle it at this point.
- Store the ketchup in fridge for up to 6 months. It will slowly continue to ferment, so you may need to add more sugar as it ages. Alternatively, you can freeze smaller portions of ketchup for future use.
- The sugar is added to feed the ferment. If you don’t want any residual sugar after fermenting, reduce the sugar to 2 Tbsp.
- It’s important to use raw apple cider vinegar (affiliate link). Look for “unpasteurized” or “with a mother” on the label. Alternatively, you could use acidic whey, unflavored kombucha, or other unflavored fermented beverages.
Keywords: probiotic, healthy, catsup, red sauce, vegan, gluten free, low sugar, summer, fall, homemade, DIY, quick, no-cook, zero-waste