Homemade Ketchup – Sugar Free!

1.5 cups
30 min

We’ve never attempted a recipe for homemade ketchup – until now. Although we’ve been health conscious for years, we’ve tried some of the best organic and keto ketchups – but finding a great commercial one with no added sugar has been elusive. Truth be told, I’ve never really enjoyed the overly sweet Heinz ketchup, even when we weren’t sugar free. I don’t know why it took us so long. Making your own recipe for homemade ketchup couldn’t be easier!

Just because it’s ‘sugar free’ though, doesn’t mean the recipe isn’t sweetened at all. We’re using brown sugar Swerve, and raisins with natural sugar, to balance the acidic vinegars.

Watch the video below to see just how easy it is to make your own ketchup!

Before we get into the recipe details, we're excited to share that we've been nominated for an Amara blog award! Please take a moment to support our nomination and vote for us here :). Voting closes September 9th, 2021.

This recipe calls for two types of vinegar: apple cider and balsamic. You can pay up to $70 or more for an aged balsamic, but for everyday ketchup, a reasonably priced balsamic vinegar is fine

We like the taste of fire roasted tomatoes in this recipe. The raisins not only add natural sweetness, they help thicken the sauce.

All spices, with the exception of the star anise are pre-ground. If you’d like to use more whole spices, feel free to substitute!

It just takes a minute or two in a coffee blender and is worth the extra effort (especially if you love the smell of anise which smells like liquorice)!

Get all your chopping and measuring prepped.

Swerve, vinegar and spices are ready to go in with the tomatoes once the onion and garlic is cooked.

Cooking the Onion and Garlic

One of my biggest pet peeves in following a recipe is when it directs you to cook the onion and garlic at the same time. In our opinion, that is a recipe for disaster. Garlic burns easily and when it does, it takes on a bitter taste which can spoil this recipe for homemade ketchup. Garlic really only needs 30 seconds at the end of cooking the onion to bloom in the oil and impart its flavour.

Prevent Splatter

I always find when simmering anything tomato based that it tends to splatter. All. Over. Our. Tile. Backsplash. Maybe that’s why we’ve avoided homemade ketchup in the past.

But there’s a simple fix! The best solution for that is a silicone splatter screen like this one. It keeps the mess contained. A splatter guard is an invaluable tool in the kitchen.


After reducing the ketchup, to speed up the cooling process, put the saucepan into a cold water bath. Fill a sink with cold water. We recycle water bottles and freeze water in them for this purpose; add them to the water as cold packs.

Blitz up the recipe for homemade ketchup in a blender until it reaches your preferred consistency. We like ours a little chunky.

Since we like our ketchup thick, and we want to store it in this glass bottle, our funnel will need a wider mouth than the one shown below. I ended up having to spoon this recipe for homemade ketchup into the bottle.

A few days ago on Hometalk, we showed you how to remove the label from this bottle to recycle it. It does a great job of storing this recipe for homemade ketchup!

The true test of a great homemade sugar free ketchup recipe is to try it on french fries. And I have to say, it’s got the Unknown Chef stamp of approval!

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Homemade Ketchup – Sugar Free!
Recipe details
  • 1.5  cups
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion dices
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar with mother
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar Swerve
1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 star anise pods ground in a coffee grinder
  • 1/4 tsp harissa powder
  • One 14-oz can whole crushed or diced plum tomatoes (fire roasted)
  • 2 Tbsp or boxes of raisins

Add the oil to a medium non stick saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last 30 second of cooking, add the garlic.
Stir in apple cider and balsamic vinegars, and Swerve. Increase the heat and reduce liquids for two minutes.
Add the spices, tomatoes with liquid, and raisins. Simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
Let cool, then blend in a blender until smooth.
Notes: To speed cooling, place saucepan in a sink filled with cold water and ice packs.
Refrigerate over night to let flavours meld together before serving.
  • Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks.
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