Nothing this simple should taste so good. Most ketchup recipes take a long time to make. Easy Pantry Ketchup takes 15 minutes with ingredients you have on hand and tastes better than any ketchup I’ve ever tasted.

Easy Pantry Ketchup Recipe

My mom has a recipe for ketchup that she got from her college friend. Written across the top of the recipe is, “The Best Ketchup I Ever Ate.” I remember it—it’s incredible. It also involves stewing tomatoes and cooking them down for hours before adding the seasonings and cooking some more. Easy Pantry Ketchup is not that ketchup. However, it is a nod to it, using the general spice blend, with a few adjustments. And, Dear Reader, this Easy Pantry Ketchup recipe makes an incredible ketchup. No one is going to know that you opened two cans and cooked it for ten minutes.

Ketchup—the American beauty people love to hate on

I love ketchup. French fries, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese—all go better with a little ketchup (if you haven’t dipped a grilled cheese in ketchup, you do not know what you’re missing). People love to hate on ketchup, especially on Americans with their ketchup. It’s up there with peanut butter as a sign of an unsophisticated palate. As with peanut butter, I’m here to tell you that ketchup is awesome. It’s sweet and acidic, sometimes has a little kick, and it complements so many foods. Ketchup is not, however, a vegetable. It has sugar in it, and it needs it.

Spices

 

Raid your pantry for Easy Pantry Ketchup

As the name of the recipe implies, this ketchup recipe uses pantry staples and ground spices, all of which you likely have on hand. Instead of cooking down tomatoes for hours, this uses canned tomato sauce and tomato paste. The mélange of spices—this recipe might have the longest ingredient list of any recipe I’ve ever written—performs a magic trick. But measuring is the most work you’ll have to do for this recipe.

Take it easy with the cloves and allspice

The only trick with the spices is to take great care with the cloves and allspice. Both add a lot to the flavor, so I don’t recommend omitting them. However, you want something ridiculous like 1/16 of a teaspoon each. Any more, and you risk having cloves and allspice take over.

Adding a tiny amount of spices to the Easy Pantry Ketchup recipe. Image shows a quarter teaspoon measuring spoon about a quarter full with ground cloves over a metal bowl with spices on a wooden table

Make sure to taste as you go

The reason why I call for mixing the spices and vinegar separately before adding to the tomato in this ketchup recipe is that it’s a great time to make adjustments. The most obvious adjustment would be sugar—I arrived at the amount here by starting with a quarter of a cup and finding that it wasn’t enough. However, that’s my taste, and if you would like to start with less sugar, by all means, do so.

I would wait until you have everything combined before adjusting the salt, because the tomato sauce and paste have some.

Easy Pantry Ketchup cooks fast

A lot of ketchup recipes involve a longer cook time in order to reduce tomato purée to a ketchup consistency. Because Easy Pantry Ketchup uses a combination of tomato sauce (make sure to get it without any herbs or spices added) and tomato paste, the thickness is already just about there. Bringing it to a slow boil is all you should need.

No blender required

It will take longer for your ketchup to cool than it takes to make it. The texture is smooth from the get-go, so no need to blend, unless you really, really want that ultra smooth texture (personally, I prefer this the way that it is). We’re using onion granules here instead of cooked onion, so there’s nothing to blend into the ketchup.

And Easy Pantry Ketchup is sooo good

While an easy recipe is nice and all, making your own ketchup is still a waste of time if it doesn’t taste better than storebought. Dear Reader, I made Easy Pantry Ketchup as an experiment—I happened to have tomato sauce and tomato paste instead of tomato purée, and I was worried that it wouldn’t work. I was shocked that not only did it work, but that it made some of the best ketchup I’ve ever tasted.

A small-ish batch

I can’t say that this recipe is small batch, and, because we aren’t canning it, it should be eaten within three weeks or so. Having said that, the yield is a small-ish batch, certainly less than many recipes call for. There’s a lot of spices in ketchup, but the amounts are so small that reducing it further would have bordered on the ridiculous in terms of writing out the recipe.

If you need more Easy Pantry Ketchup, no problem. Just use the multiplier on the recipe card.

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The Easy Pantry Ketchup recipe makes a thick and delicious ketchup in minutes, as shown served on this grilled hamburger bun on a red plate

Easy Pantry Ketchup

Most ketchup recipes involve a lot of cooking down and fussing with blenders and strainers. Not this one. Open two cans, mix the seasoning, add everything together, bring to a slow boil, and you have ketchup! No high-fructose corn syrup, either. And, it's delicious!
Make sure to taste and adjust to your liking. If you'd like to use less sugar, you could start with ¼ cup and move up from there. I did this, and that's how I landed on ⅓ of a cup, but that's my taste.
Use extreme care with the cloves and allspice, as they can overpower quickly. Both really add to the flavor, but you want only a very small amount, think something ridiculous like a 1/16 of a teaspoon.
Note about metric conversions: Some of the spices are used in such small quantities that I did not trust myself to convert properly.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 2.5 cups

Equipment

  • 1 2 qt saucepan ketchup spatters
  • 1 clean glass jar with lid large enough to hold the finished ketchup
  • 1 small bowl to mix the spices and vinegar

Ingredients
  

  • 15 oz tomato sauce, plain 1 can, 425 grams
  • 6 oz tomato paste 1 can, 170 grams
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar 175 ml
  • cup granulated cane sugar, to taste 83 grams. You can start with ¼ cup and adjust, if desired
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp onion granules
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground mustard
  • ground black pepper, to taste think a good shake
  • ground cloves, used very sparingly, to taste Think about 1/16 tsp
  • ground allspice, used very sparingly, to taste Think about 1/16 tsp
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce, to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Taste it for any obvious adjustments (except for salt, as the tomato sauce and tomato paste have some)
    ¾ cup apple cider vinegar, ⅓ cup granulated cane sugar, to taste, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp onion granules, ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground mustard, 1 dash Tabasco sauce, to taste, ground black pepper, to taste, ground cloves, used very sparingly, to taste, ground allspice, used very sparingly, to taste
    Adding a tiny amount of spices to the Easy Pantry Ketchup recipe. Image shows a quarter teaspoon measuring spoon about a quarter full with ground cloves over a metal bowl with spices on a wooden table
  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan, a size larger than would be needed to hold the ingredients, add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Give it a good stir and add the seasoning mixture and stir again to combine. Taste again and adjust as necessary
    15 oz tomato sauce, plain, 6 oz tomato paste
  • Over very low heat, slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. You shouldn't need to cook it down too much, unless you want a very thick ketchup. Once it has boiled and has reached your desired consistency, remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Store in a clean glass jar, refrigerate, and use within 2–3 weeks. You know how to serve it
    The Easy Pantry Ketchup recipe makes a thick and delicious ketchup in minutes, as shown served on this grilled hamburger bun on a red plate

Video

Keyword ketchup
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

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