Recipe for Homemade Ketchup – Sugar Free!

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.

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

Bowl of french fries with sugar free ketchup recipe

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to make homemade ketchup, then read on for our tips:

How to Make Homemade Ketchup

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 bought two and did a taste test. For this recipe, we both liked the Colavita.

Taste test of two balsamic vinegars for sugar free ketchup recipe

Tips to Make Homemade Ketchup

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

Ingredients for sugar free ketchup recipe

Spices for Homemade Ketchup

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!

Star anise is best freshly ground in a coffee grinder for sugar free ketchup recipe

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)!

Use a coffee grinder for star anise

Prep Ingredients

Get all your chopping and measuring prepped.

chopping onion for sugar free ketchup recipe with cloves of garlic waiting to be cut

We add the two vinegars to the same bowl.

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

Bowls of Swerve, vinegar and spices for sugar free ketchup recipe

Cooking the Aromatics

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.

Cooking onion for sugar free ketchup recipe

Prevent Ketchup 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.

Cool the Ketchup

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.

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!

Sugar free ketchup recipe shown in a bottle and a single serving glass dish, served with french fries

Homemade Ketchup FAQs

How long does homemade ketchup last?

You can store this sugar free ketchup for up to 3 – 4 weeks.

Can you freeze homemade ketchup?

Yes, portion the ketchup into individual servings; an silicone ice cube tray is helpful for this. Store in an air tight container or Ziploc bags in the freezer for up to 6 months.

How do you thicken homemade ketchup?

There’s no need to add thickeners or tomato paste; just reduce the sauce on the stove until the liquid is reduced.

Pin Recipe for Homemade Ketchup

Pin this recipe for later!

Get your cook on! Subscribe to Birdz of a Feather and check out our recipe category, The Unknown Chef! You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

* [If you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered (disclosure): Clicking on the affiliate links below means we may receive a commission. But don’t worry, you don’t pay a cent more and it helps us make more unique crafts to share with you! Thanks for helping to support our blog!]

Recipe for Homemade Ketchup

Making your own homemade ketchup couldn't be easier with this recipe!
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword Ketchup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 1.5 cups


  • Splatter guard
  • Saucepan


  • 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.

2 thoughts on “Recipe for Homemade Ketchup – Sugar Free!

  1. A recipe I will actually try. I hate cooking but I do keto and really miss my ketchup. Thanks for sharing. 😍

    • It’s pretty easy, so if you hate cooking it’s worth the effort 🙂

Leave a Reply