I have to be honest. I’m not a big ketchup fan. Some may dip everything from fries to eggs to their fingers in the stuff, but not me.

I’m a mustard girl.

I’ve been getting so many requests for a sugar-free ketchup recipe, though, that I finally just buckled down and made the darn ketchup!

This is for you, Celeste, and all the other ketchup-lovers who challenged me to create this recipe.

(pic source)

My recipe is a whole lot healthier than regular Heinz, too. Just about every bottled ketchup you buy from stores contains added sugar, usually in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Here is the ingredients list from the famous Heinz:

Tomato concentrate from vine ripe tomatoes, Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring.

The third and fourth ingredient of ketchup is sugar made from corn.

This ketchup isn’t exactly like the ketchup you buy in bottles, but personally, I think it is a whole lot better! It tastes more savory than syrup-y, and has a bit more of that vinegar tang. If you really want it to be sweeter like Heinz, try adding a couple drops of pure stevia extract.

I’ll actually dip my (sweet potato) fries in this ketchup….along with a whole bunch of mustard.

Homemade Sugar-Free Ketchup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3 cups

Homemade Sugar-Free Ketchup

~Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, corn-free, and sugar-free ketchup!


  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 cup+2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk until combined. You may wish to blend in order to ensure the spices are evenly mixed throughout.
  2. It is best to let the ketchup sit together in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight, before serving so that the flavors blend together well.
  3. Store in an airtight container in fridge.


Check the ingredients of your tomato paste. The only item listed should be tomatoes.


This recipe is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

Health Benefits:

  • Tomato: Best known for its high lycopene content. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may reduce incidences of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration. Tomatoes are especially high in vitamin C and A as well.
  • Cinnamon: Studies have shown that it can help lower LDL cholesterol, help regulate blood sugar levels, has anti-clotting effect on blood, and it can boost cognitive function and memory.

Ketchup for Fry-Dipping:

French Fries are the obvious pair for ketchup. Why not try these exciting twists on the classic?

Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day: 

Are you a mustard or ketchup person?



97 Responses to Homemade Sugar-Free Ketchup

  1. AikoVenus says:

    This is so simple, I love it! ^^ I’ve been wanting to make some sugar-free banana ketchup lately but I’ve been worried about the sugar content. Thank you so much for this recipe and lovely blog! ^^

  2. This is genius! Although I have to say I’m much more of a mustard girl myself (in true Chicago fashion, haha). Although I may just have to give this a try, if it’s as good as it looks 😉

  3. This is AMAZING! I’m a huge ketchup fan, and could always used the challenge of making my own 😉 Thanks, Alex!

  4. Tina says:

    Looks great! The only question I have is: Is the mustard in this recipe “prepared” or “dry”?

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      I used prepared, regular yellow mustard. If you have dried mustard on hand, you can use that! Simply mix the dried mustard with the proportion of water (according to your label) in order to get the amount needed for the ketchup.

  5. Cindy says:

    I’m a mustard girl, but can’t wait to try this with some fries. I do like ketchup with my twice a year fried!! I’ll probably leave out the salt too though since I have to watch that. Nice to have options.

  6. never made ketchup before seems pretty easy 😉

  7. Jenny$1983 says:

    A bit of both, but mostly ketchup to be honest! I’m so happy you’ve given in and created this recipe 😀

    Do you have any idea of the expiry date for this please? Thanks again! 🙂

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Hi Jenny,

      It has been in my fridge for a few days without expiring. I’ll let you know when it does expire, though. I would say that it would stay for at least a week if not more. Make sure you keep it in an air-tight container, and if you won’t use it for a while, try freezing.

  8. Carol Ann says:

    Love both! Nice to have a recipe I can use even if my tomatoes fail again this year! They got Potato blight last 2 years, will use the front garden this time in hopes it’s free of it.

  9. Clair says:

    Believe it or not, ketchup was one of the hardest things for me to give up. Seems like it just made everything taste good. This looks amazing! Someday I’d love to learn how to preserve things so I could jar this up and always have it on hand.

  10. Celeste says:

    I am the happiest girl in the world right now – thanks for making my Friday! I’ll be making this tonight 🙂

  11. marla says:

    Alex, this looks like the perfect homemade ketchup!! Go you. Gonna share on FB now 🙂

  12. Karina says:

    I don’t care for ketchup, either, but I do use it as a base for barbeque sauce, and I would love to use this stuff instead of bottled! Especially after I read somewhere that the average American eats 2 pounds of sugar from condiments alone every year.

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      I also have a bbq sauce recipe here: http://www.spoonfulofsugarfree.com/2011/05/26/beware-of-the-bbq/ If you want to give it a try…

      But 2 pounds just from condiments? Wow! I believe it, though, with all the sugar they put in salad dressings, ketchup, and any other spread.

      • Janet McConnaughey says:

        Good stuff! For chili sauce, just take as much ketchup as you need for whatever the recipe may be and add prepared horseradish to taste.

        I’ve checked out your barbecue sauce recipe. Just out of curiosity, what would you add to this ketchup to adapt it as barbecue sauce?

  13. […] Homemade Sugar-Free Ketchup […]

  14. Jane says:

    This is awesome!! I am a ketchup lover 🙂

  15. […] fries pack so much flavor I can even enjoy them without ketchup!  Though there is a recipe for sugar-free ketchup I read at Spoonful of Sugar Free that I wouldn’t mind trying… Share […]

  16. Lauren says:

    I’m a mustard girl all the way!! but my kiddos and husband LOVE ketchup so I’ll be making this asap 🙂

  17. I really love this, eager to try it and put it over on the kids!! I am featuring this recipe this week on AFW!!

  18. I am also featuring this awesome homemade condiment on AFW this week 🙂

  19. Amber says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us last week on AFW! Be sure to check back this week for reader favorites and hostess picks.

    Be Well,
    –AFW Hostesses

  20. Emma says:

    Wooh so excited about this! Ketchup all the way–when I was little I refused to eat chicken unless I had ketchup to dip it in haha

  21. […] Homemade Sugar Free Ketchup @ Spoonful of Sugar Free: Making my own sounds good to me!  Easy and more control on the sugar. […]

  22. […] Condiment: Sugar-Free Ketchup @ Spoonful of Sugar Free Please visit the other 6 Allergy-Free Wednesday hostesses (blog links […]

  23. Crystalyn says:

    When I was in high school I came home to my mom making ketchup from scratch and our entire house smelled like the stuff… She handed me a big spoonful and said “here try it!” Now, I like ketchup and all but I’m not going to eat it with a spoon!! I like your recipe for homemade ketchup better, it looks so easy! My husband is a ketchup guy for sure. I bought him a shirt that says “I put ketchup on my ketchup” haha

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      hahaha…that is too funny! I was never a ketchup fan, either. I might have gagged if you put a spoonful down my throat!

  24. Sherry Blust says:

    I just made it, and it tastes wonderful. I would cut down on the mustard just a smigin (I used prepared mustard)because I can taste the mustard. I had gastric bypass and can not have sugar so I am very grateful for this site and I can’t wait to try more things.I have tried a BBQ sauce from a different site and it doesn’t taste quite right. yours is so much simpler and I cant wait to make it.

  25. Jenna says:

    My husband made this tonight – he added onion powder (same amount as garlic powder, and two packets of stevia (he also cut the recipe above in half). Everyone loved it!

  26. Terry says:

    FYI – This is NOT sugar-free. This is no sugar added. The tomato paste is about 60% natural sugars.

    That being said – it’s pretty good, and a good way to cut the actual sugar content from regular ketchup.

    • Sara says:

      By sugar we all know that means the sort that comes in a packet and that is added to coffee, cakes etc…. Natural sugars in foods are fine, they come with fibre and other nutrients that slow down the digestive process. It’s ridiculous to exclude these forms of sugars unless there is a medical reason for doing so. Otherwise lets not bother eating apples, pears, oranges and bananas all of which are very nutritious and really should be part of most peoples diets. Along with vegetables which also contain ‘sugar’ of course.

  27. Leo says:

    I eat ketchup almost everyday, and have recently been cutting back on how much sugar I consume daily. So I decided to opt for a homemade sugar-free recipe and this one was just perfect. It made the transition really easy as it still has that tomato flavor except it tastes less sweet and more rich with spices. After a few weeks, I think I even like it more! The rest of the household enjoys it as well. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  28. Kate says:

    This recipe sounds great but I had to ask about the tomato paste and mustard. Those two ingredients if bought from a supermarket (my supermarket) are both high in sugar. Both the tomato paste and mustard, so therefore its not sugar free. How do I get around this? Do you know a sugar free paste and mustard?
    Thank you

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Sorry, Kate, your comment went to spam and I just fished it out. Mustard should not have any sugar in it if you check the ingredients. Also, there are several brands of tomato paste with no added sugar. Please check the ingredient lists!

    • Mariella says:

      Make sure you are reading the ingredients list and not the nutrition label. The nutrition info will list “sugars,” as all fruits and veggies have natural sugar in them, but the ingredients should not have a form of sugar listed. Mustards rarely have sugar added and I’ve not seen a tomato paste that had it added, either. I think a lot of people get confused about something being “sugar-free” because they are using the nutritional info instead of seeing what’s actually in the product.

  29. Ali says:

    This is wonderful. Thank you so much!

    I am Turkish, and all the ketchups there use FAR less sugar, all-natural, much thicker, savorier, and it’s 100% common to find spicy ketchup alongside any ketchup. Whether it’s in the market or someone’s house. Those spicy ketchups are usually made with Serrano peppers, might wanna give that a try as well.

    I’ll be sure to add em to this recipe! =D

  30. Maggie says:

    Thank you so so so so much for this recipe!!!!!! I’m a ketchup girl and the heinz stuff and the organic stuff has wayyyy too much sugar so thanks for posting this!!!

  31. Vee says:

    I would kill for a totally natural recipe…ie from fresh tomatoes………..not paste or puree

    pretty please

  32. Malki Zee says:

    Seems that you are using prepared mustard in this recipe. Is that right? I’ll have to try it.

  33. Joan says:

    I will try this recipe and cut it in half since it isn’t that time consuming. Also with the vinegar I doubt very much if it will spoil anytime soon. I never refrigerate my ketchup or mustard and now I see that Kraft has mayo that needs not refrigeration. What will be next? lol

  34. Nicole says:

    I am a ketchup lover, so no offense, but this recipe was absolutely gross. It tasted nothing like ketchup. I followed the recipe to a T, and it was very bitter with a strong taste. My husband begged me to never make this again, and believe me, I won’t. If you are a mustard lover, than you probably wouldn’t recognize how bad this truly was. Sorry 🙁

  35. Frank Kelland says:

    Excellent flavor for an uncooked ketchup.

  36. LauraAnna says:

    As far as the salt, if it’s iodized, be careful if you choose to use it and have allergies with corn. Iodized salt contains dextrose, which is derived from corn.

  37. Nancy says:

    recently diagnosed with sugar cane allergy. Have been off sugar for over 4 months. Biggest surprise – there is sugar in a can of kidney beans. there is some type of sugar is almost everything. My husband asked if there was a ketchup I could make! Voila!!

  38. Alicen says:

    I couldn’t help but be ecstatic when I stumbled onto your post. After a suspect experience with some Walden Farms cocktail sauce I vowed to find a way to make my own ketchup and cocktail sauce that wasn’t loaded with weirdo ingredients and didn’t have sugar. Thank you for sharing!

  39. Rudi Pittman says:

    Your yield of 3 cups seems to be slightly off…seems more like 18 oz. Oh and the 4 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar = 1/4 cup. Thanks for the recipe..I can’t speak on it yet as I’m letting it sit in the fridge overnight. 😉

  40. Rudi Pittman says:

    I added 5 drops of liquid sucralose to the recipe as well as adding probably another 1/4 cup and a bit more of additional water because the ketchup was way to thick for my purposes…I also added some “french fry seasoning” which had some extra salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder etc….all in all it tastes just fine…I prefer adding some tobasco to mine to make “spicy ketchup” but I leave it out for my relatives who don’t appreciate it….the ketchup had a nice spicy taste that I think I like better than regular ketchup but it DID need the few drops of liqued sucralose (25% solution so equivalent to about 1.5 packets of splenda without the extra carbs from the maltodextrin and the liquid has no aftertaste according to a friend who dislikes the packets)for my personal taste. Thanks for giving me a great starting point!

    It’s possible the walmart brand “great value” tomato paste I purchased was thicker than some other brands so some may not require the water.

    Would cooking it on slow extend the “shelf life” in the fridge?

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Hi Rudi,

      Glad you enjoyed it! I’m really not sure if cooking it would extend the shelf life, but freezing it and then thawing when needed would probably work.

  41. Sharon says:

    Hi Alex,

    Just started going sugar-free following some insight from David Gillespie of Sweet Poison fame and have tried your ketchup recipe as this is one thing I always like to have with chips (fries). But as I am in the Uk ingredients do differ slightly. I used passata which I think us the same as your paste and it is sugar free here. But the ketchup is actually quite runny although I cut down on the water added, is your paste quite thick as I might have to use half paste half passata otherwise. It’s like soup at the moment!

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      Yes, my ketchup is usually pretty thick. Maybe try cutting out the water completely or straining the passata before using? Sorry I have never heard of that before!

    • Cath says:

      Hi Sharon, try it with tomato puree rather than passata. I made it with that and got proper ketchup consistency.

  42. Danielle says:

    Hi there, How long will this last in the fridge? I want to make it but am curious if you noticed the expiration time on it.

  43. beau says:

    Read the instructions and the comments and wish to thank Danielle and those who added ideas by commenting. Thanks!

  44. David S says:

    Thanks for sharing, but I have a question. What brand or where do you find tomato paste WITHOUT sugar? You said that the tomato paste should only have tomato as the ingredient. Everything I have found is either full of sugar, salt, or both! Do you have any recommendations of brands or places to purchase the correct paste. Thanks you for the wonderful site!

  45. Cath says:

    Fab recipe, thank you. Even my 6 year old thinks it is great and he is a serious ketchup fan.

  46. carlos says:

    good recipe but yes most tomato products in a can have sugar added so you have to find a tomato paste that is sugar free as well or use fresh tomatoes.

  47. Rachel says:

    Just made this ketchup last night. It came out perfect! Just like store bought except without any preservatives, additives or sugar. I halved the recipes which made enough to last me for a a week or two. Plus I used mustard seeds, which I crushed, instead of the mustard sauce and I add some onion powder.

  48. Carolyn MacNeil says:

    I liked this recipe but it’s so thick so I added another tablespoon of Worcestershire and it’s wonderful. I also took about 1/2 cup of it and added horseradish for an awesome cocktail sauce! Just play with it until you get it to your liking.

  49. Elizabeth says:

    I could only find garlic paste in my local supermarket. Would i still use the same quantity of this as the powder?

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      I don’t have much experience with garlic paste, but I would assume that garlic powder would be stronger. Start with the same amount and work yourself up with needed. Good luck!

  50. Pammy Jay says:

    This recipe is World Series “knock it out of the park” excellent! Thank you thank you thank you!

  51. Tim says:

    The problem is the tomato paste is sweetened.

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      I found tomato paste that was unsweetened, just pure tomatoes. Check the labels!

      • Malinda says:

        Hi Alex – Love your site. Where did you find the no sugar added tomato paste? I’ve searched and searched to no avail. Thanks so much!

        • Sugar Free Alex says:

          Hi Malinda,

          I’m not sure since it has been a while, but I think I looked at the labels of a few cans in a regular grocery store and found one. Good luck!

  52. :D says:

    Not bad – I added 2 Tbsp. brown rice syrup, additional 1/4 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. onion powder to the recipe. Pretty good. For the mustard, I used deli-style spicy brown mustard.

  53. :D says:

    This is not bad…I added 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, additional 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. onion powder to the recipe. Tasted pretty darn close to Heinz only it is thicker and not as smooth.

  54. Mark says:

    Lovely recipe but it is not sugar free but rather no sugar added as there is still sugar in the Tomato Paste: http://www.unico.ca/products.php?id=31&catid=16

    So people like me who are on the Dr. Poon Diet can’t have it 🙁

  55. maggie says:

    I was curious how long it keeps in the fridge for.

  56. Misty says:

    I’m also a mustard girl myself =) I’m not too big on ketchup since I find it too acidic.

    Could you tell me which brands of tomato paste and mustard you use? This recipe is really interesting!

  57. A. A. says:

    Clove powder or actual cloves? Thank you!

  58. sinead says:

    Can you tell me does this quantity make 1 jar?
    How long roughly should it keep for?
    Presumably the cloves ground?


  59. Megan says:

    How long will this last?

  60. Mars says:

    I’m a mustard girl myself too, but many things require ketchup in their recipes. I specifically want it for sugar-free bbq sauce (which, I realized as I was typing this, is also your recipe)! I tried to find store bought unsweetened ketchup, but even those that I can find online have malodextrin in them, which supposedly has a higher glycemic index than sugar! BTW, I never comment on blogs, but I’ve really found yours inspiring as I’m on my way to a healthy diet!

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