Homemade Tomato Ketchup recipe

This is a recipe which is fairly flexible, it’s worth doing because it is so tasty and you know what has gone into making it, therefore, it’s ALMOST guilt free. As you will see by the colour it’s not what you get in the supermarkets, but if you wanted to make it bright red you could add more puree: but why would you?



1.5 kg ripe tomatoes roughly diced.

2 medium sized onions (could be red or white) roughly diced.

2 sticks celery.

2 cloves garlic peeled finely chopped.

1 sweet red pepper deseeded and chopped.

Up to 500 ml red wine vinegar (to taste)

500 to 700 g granulated sugar (to taste)

[Remember both the vinegar and sugar are the preserving agents in this recipe therefore you can't skimp on them too much.]

1 generous pinch cayenne pepper.

½ teaspoon chilli flakes (to taste)

2 tablespoons tomato puree.

2 bay leaves, slight grating of nutmeg. (Don’t forget to take out the bay leaves before you blend the ingredients).

2 reasonably sized glass sealable bottles or preserving jars (sterilised).


Put all the ingredients, apart from the nutmeg, into a large pan and simmer for about three hours (Fig 1 &2). Stir regularly with a wooden spatula to ensure it doesn't catch or burn on to the bottom of the pan.

Figure 1 Figure 2


Leave to cool slightly before putting the sauce through a food processor or a stick blender. This will leave you with a thick pulp (fig 3).

Add the nutmeg and stir. Run the pulp through a sieve into a jug (fig 4) then bottle using a funnel (Fig 5).

Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5


The ketchup is best stored in small stoppered bottles or small Kilner jars that have been sterilized. If sterilized and sealed correctly, the ketchup will keep in a cool dark cupboard or larder for 3 to 6 months.

Once opened, the bottle should be stored in the fridge and used within a month.