Easy DIY Ketchup

We’re not a huge Ketchup family….I’ve never really liked it, even as a kid.  It’s good on a grilled cheese and possibly a hotdog roasted on a stick over an open campfire, but beyond that I could take it or leave it.  And, now that I read labels and am more conscious of ingredients like sugar, salt and hydrogenated oils, it has even less appeal.  The girls will eat it on burgers and hot dogs and with grilled cheese as well.  And it’s practically unavoidable at a backyard BBQ.  And really, once in a while it is what it is.  We won’t beat ourselves up about it.

That being said, it is often a base “ingredient” in a lot of slow cooker recipes or sauces.  A number of Epicure meal solutions designed for the slow cooker will even call for ketchup in the prep mode.  So I set out to create an alternative that gives great flavour and doesn’t rely on packaged ketchup because I just don’t want to be using a cup of that stuff in an otherwise delicious recipe!  

I get asked for this one often so I figured I might as well share it here!


5 minutes

Bake time



1.5 Cups


  • 1 can organic, no salt added tomatoe paste.
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C water 


  1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients.
  2. Add enough of the water to reach desired consistency.
  3. If more sweetness is required, add 1 tsp more maple syrup.
  4. Add chipotle aioli mix or cayenne if more spice is required. 


Store in a glass jar with lid in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Add salt to taste if required.

Try smoked paprika, garlic aioli or minced onion for a more BBQ sauce flavour.

Use anywhere traditional ketchup is called for. It may take time to adjust to the flavour/texture if your family is a hardcore store-bought ketchup crowd.  Especially if using it in place of store bought ketchup on its own (like for dipping French fries, on burgers or hotdogs or with grilled cheese).