Ketchup is a classic condiment for most Americans. They cannot imagine hamburgers or hot dogs or french fries without ketchup. What happens when you start eating fewer carbs, reading labels, and lowering your sugar intake? You may not have realized it before, but traditional store-bought ketchup contains a lot of sugar. The traditional ketchup offered by commercial brands often contains not only sugar, but high fructose corn syrup as well.
If you are following a ketogenic diet or low-carb diet, this homemade sugar free ketchup recipe is sure to please. Learning to make your own ketchup is certainly worth your time and effort. Whether you have gone on a low-carb diet or keto diet to lose weight, control your glucose levels or just eat healthier in general, you will love this great recipe! It contains only fresh tomatoes, apple cider vinegar and spices. You can optionally add fresh onions too, even though this recipe calls for onion powder.
When made with fresh tomatoes straight from the garden, this low-carb ketchup recipe is better tasting than the commercial varieties available. You will be feeding yourself and your family with real, simple ingredients: no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial sweeteners. You can add a bit of sugar-free sweetener. I have found that using a variety of tomato types straight from the garden provides a robust tomato flavor that doesn’t need sweetener.
How Do You Make Sugar-Free Ketchup From Scratch?
You start by harvesting fresh tomatoes. They should be ripe or nearly ripe with solid red flesh and no soft or bad spots. Roma tomatoes are preferred if you have access to them, but other varieties will work too.
Wash and set aside for now. This is not a quick recipe, but it is easy. With a few basic ingredients, your effort will yield a batch of healthy homemade ketchup made from real tomatoes, ketchup whose only sugar content comes from the tomatoes themselves. It will have a bold tomato flavor, a fresher flavor than regular ketchup.
Decide if you want to freeze or can your ketchup. Wash and organize your equipment for whichever method you plan on using. I have both frozen and canned this recipe in 4 – 8 ounce mason jars. After opening it will keep for about 10 – 14 days in the refrigerator. Plan the size of your containers based on how quickly you expect to finish a container.
Many recipes you find start with tomato paste, or if they use fresh tomatoes, they will blanch the tomatoes to remove the peels. I don’t do either.
After washing, remove the stems. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Remove most of the seeds and liquid from inside the tomatoes. If there are a few seeds left behind, don’t worry about it. You will blend the ketchup after cooking, and this will take care of any strays.
Cooking Your Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe
Put the tomatoes in a large soup kettle or stockpot. Mix in all the other ingredients.
Place on the stove over medium heat or medium to high heat. Cook until it just starts to bubble. Change your burner to low heat to maintain a simmer. Continue cooking at a slow simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture has cooked down to the thickness of commercial ketchup. Your ketchup will also thicken a bit as it cools.
Finishing and Storing Your Homemade Ketchup
After the mixture is at the consistency you desire, use a food processor or an immersion blender to break down the peels and any stray seeds that remained. Continue to blend until you achieve a smooth texture.
If you are planning on water bath canning your Sugar-Free Tomato Ketchup, it is a good practice to check the acidity level of the tomatoes. This is done simply by using PH strips dipped in the final mixture.
Follow recommendations for acceptable PH level for water bath canning method.
Transfer your sugar-free ketchup into either freezer containers or canning jars. If you prefer, your ketchup can be canned by the water bath method, following instructions for tomato sauce.
The most reliable, up-to-date information about safe canning procedures can be found on University Extension websites, such as this one. A Google search for University Extension office – canning will yeild plenty of other options. I prefer the University information as they are likely than individuals to keep up with current research about food safety.
And of course, keep any leftovers out to use fresh!
If you like the idea of making your own keto ketchup, but find you do not have the time or it is the wrong season of the year to obtain fresh tomatoes, there are a few sugar-free ketchup brands available.
My personal favorite is Primal Kitchen. The main ingredients in Primal Kitchen ketchup are very similar to the natural ingredients in our homemade keto ketchup. You may be able to find it at your local grocery store, otherwise, it can be ordered online.
Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe
- large stockpot
- immersion blender
- canning or freezing containers
- 6 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Wash tomatoes.
- Cut tomatoes in quarters, removing cores, stems, seeds and liquid.
- Place all ingredients in a large stockpot or soup kettle.
- Heat pot over medium to medium/high heat until mixture begins to bubble.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture reaches the thickness of ketchup.
- Remove from heat.
- Blend the ketchup with an immersion blender.
- Prepare for storage, either canned or frozen.
- If canning, use the water bath method and follow instructions for canning tomato sauce.
Nutrition label is calculated by automated third-party services. The nutritional information provided here is an estimate only, for informational purposes only, and can vary depending on the specific ingredients, preparation and accuracy of the third-party system used for calculations. It is always best practice to confirm the nutritional calculations, especially if nutritional information is critical to your diet plan.