pressure cooker ketchup recipe

Make your very own ketchup from scratch in minutes of pressure cooking (and some simmering).  Start with fresh tomatoes, add a few ingredients and spices to get a rich, sweet and tart condiment that rivals the gold standard of ketchupdom: Heinz. Seriously!

It’s easy to make at home without any specialized tools  (you already bought the immersion blender I recommended, right?). That being said, I do a few unexpected things in this recipe.

pressure cooker ketchup recipe

First, I don’t brown the onions.  I know that browned onions are the holy grail of cooking bases but I’ve been experimenting to replicate the flavor of popular “canned” products and using raw onions seemed to get the closest- we’re just adding onion “undertones” to the ketchup it will be nearly undetectable in the finished product.

Then, I use raisins.   I learned about the thickening power of dried fruits back when I was perfecting the super successful pressure cooker BBQ Sauce – in addition to sweetness,  dried fruits also add body and fiber to this condiment. Use white raisins to keep the color of the ketchup bright,  or add extra depth using regular (brown) raisins.

I don’t puree’ all of the ingredients until after I’m done pressure cooking. This ensures that the pressure cooker can easily reach pressure, and it makes the last reducing step faster and hands-free – it can go by itself with no stirring on a low flame or using the electric cooker’s “saute'” mode.

Lastly, I added an optional ingredient – corn starch. It’s optional because what little liquid is left in the tomatoes will eventually separate from the pulp. If you’re game to give your ketchup a vigorous shake before setting it on the table there is no need to use it. If you do use starch, it  really ties together the tomato puree and makes it behave more like traditional ketchup (see the end of the video to understand what I mean).

Enjoy your homemade ketchup with my easy-to-make toaster oven fries.

real ketchup from real tomatoes!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger none 5 min. High(2) Normal

4.9 from 10 reviews
Pressure Cooker Fresh Tomato Ketchup
 
Author: 
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: about 3 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories: 6.8
  • TOTAL Fat: .1g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 1.7g
  • Sugar Carbs: 1g
  • Sodium: 50.8mg
  • Fiber Carbs: .2g
  • Protein: .1g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Recipe type: Condiment, Pressure Cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
If you'd like commercial-quality smooth ketchup, simply pass through a sieve - but this is not necessary it's still plenty smooth when blended with and immersion blender. Nutritional information does not include corn starch - which adds .02 grams of carbohydrates and .6 calories per serving (1 tablespoon).
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon clove powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ⅛ onion, wedged
  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • optional: 1 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon of water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Put all of the ingredients into the pressure cooker - except for the corn starch and water.
  2. Use a potato masher and squish everything (it won't truly mash because the tomatoes are not cooked) until enough liquid comes out of the tomatoes. If your pressure cooker base has a measuring scale, squish/mash until you get to the 2-cup or minimum liquid requirement mark. If your pressure cooker base has a mark and you don't feel comfortable eyeballing it, pour the liquid into a measuring cup to see if you've reached your pressure cooker's minimum requirement (usually 1½ cups).
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  4. Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 5 minutes pressure cooking time.
  5. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Normal release - release pressure through the valve.
  6. Let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes until it is almost reduced by half (there is no need to stir).
  7. If using, mix corn starch it with water into a slurry and pour into the tomato mixture.
  8. Using an immersion blender, puree the contents until smooth.
  9. Pour in a freshly-cleaned glass bottle or jar and seal.
  10. Let cool and refrigerated before using - it keeps in the refrigerator for about 6 months or store in the freezer in a freezer bag for about 12 months.

pressure cooker ketchupmake ketchup in the pressure cooker from scratchreal ketchup from real tomatoes Ketchup Pressure Cooker RecipePressure Cooker KETCHUP!

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88 Comments

  1. This does look very yummy and I’m not a big store bought ketchup fan. Was kind of shocked when I saw the raisins but after reading your article it makes perfect sense. You’re utilizing the natural fruit pectin. I will be trying this soon. I don’t have an immersion blender, any reason I couldn’t just pour it into my Vita-mix?

    1. The problem with using a blender is that you need to be careful when using it to puree’ hot liquids. Maybe try simmering in the corn starch in the tomatoes for about a minute before blending (using the proper precautions) and see what happens. Keep an open mind about the outcome as I have not tested this recipe with a blender. I’m concerned about the temperature of the tomatoes dropping and not activating.

      Don’t forget to come back to tell us if it worked!

      Ciao,

      L

      P.S. You should really consider getting an immersion blender – in the fall you can start blending soups right in the pressure cooker. ; )

      1. A vita-mix is fine with blending hot foods, after all, you can make and cook soup in it.

        1. A Vitamix does not “cook” foods, it heats them up with friction from cold. Adding hot foods to blend, even to a vitamix, could be dangerous. Here’s an explanation as to why and how to do it safely (if a stick blender is not available):

          Ciao,

          L

    2. @Larry – I can assure you that Vitamix or Omega blenders are perfect for this job, much faster and better than an immersion blender. No need to pass anything through a sieve either.
      BTW, I use San Marzano tomatoes for my ketchup.

    3. Hand immersion blenders are readily available at almost every 2nd hand store out there and usually cost a whopping $5 or less.

      1. @Steve Yoder – For $5, I doubt that you can set your hands on one that has a metal immersion stick. I certainly would avoid using those plastic ones when immersing in very hot liquid ingredients in hot containers. You’ll discover that they melt easily. Just my 2¢ bit.

        1. I’ve used my plastic ones for blending soups that were boiling on the stove. Never a problem.

    4. We picked up an immersion stick, a well known brand name, for $10 something at Sears on clearance. It came with just the immersion stick, a plasticjar to use and lid.

      Works fine, we take care not to run it for long periods of time, let it cool, especially when doing soups that need thinning, creaming out.

      Oh, the marking on the jar are no where close to accurate, used for rough gestimating. We were rather shocked at this.

  2. I look forward to making this recipe. Have you tried using other tomatoes for this? Thank you!

    1. I’ve only tested this with plum-type tomatoes – they are the fleshiest, driest tomatoes and what is usually used in Italy to make puree and paste. A salad tomato,for example, will have more water and seeds than a plum. You could still try it – but you may have to simmer for MUCH longer!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. @nancy martin – If I may add, not only would the simmering take longer, but one would get much less purée (and taste) in the end. San Marzano, Romanella and Super San Marzano are most likely the best choices for ketchup (in that order). BTW, I find North-American grown tomatoes fabulous. :-)

      1. Thank you for that tidbit! I’ll have to see what varieties we have in the midwest at farmers markets. I refuse to buy at the supermarket, as they never seem as good. I did get less volume, but the taste is amazing! Next time, i may try another variety.

  3. Hi Laura,
    Will try this recipe later in the summer when we get fresh tomatoes up here in “We The North.” I smiled when I saw you trying to get the ketchup to pour out at the end of the video. Our former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, once demonstrated for the press the correct way to conquer the recalcitrant ketchup: hold the inverted bottle in one hand, and strike that hand’s wrist in an upward motion with the fist of the other hand. What this action does is to jerk the bottle upward; inertia causes the ketchup inside to lurch downward toward the mouth of the bottle. Try it! It works like a charm.

    1. Thanks for tips, Stuart. I purposely filmed shaking the bottle to show how the end result resembles classic, store bought, ketchup in every way. ; )

      When I researched non-pressure recipes online I found ones that had you scoop out homemade ketchup out of a jar (like jam) or drizzle it on food (like sauce). Those visuals didn’t convince me that the final consistency was right – which is just as important as the flavor in my opinion.

      My first ketchup trials just ran out of the bottle. They were pretty thin. When I was getting closer to the right flavor and thickness, I felt that I was on the right track when I could remove the lid, turn the bottle upside down and have the ketchup stay right where it was (once it cooled, of course, don’t try this right after bottling).

      Ciao,

      L

  4. Oops! The first step in the recipe says to put “all” of the ingredients into the pressure cooker, but I think the cornstarch and water are supposed to be reserved for later, right??

  5. No need to peel or remove the seeds from the tomatoes?

    1. @Kevin – Why bother? All is pulverized and puréed in the end. Using the tomatoe’s natual juice avoids having to substitute water. Steaming and reducing the liquid are important parts of this delicious ketchup recipe. (Just make sure you add your thickener once the pressure cooking is done.)

    2. … and, according to Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen, the seeds and particularly the gel around them, are where the most flavour is!!

  6. I made it today with farmers market tomatoes that look a lot like Romas, and the woman at the stand said she uses them in the same way as she does Romas. It is wonderful! I did have to cook it down a bit longer, and I used whole cloves (that’s all I had) and hammered them as fine as I could get them. Howerver, I still saw small pieces in the final product after using the immersion blender. After whirring it in the stand blender after it cooled, it was perfect. Will definitely make it again. Thank you for another great recipe.

    1. That’s great! If using whole spices, use double the amount (because of the short pressure cooking time) and put them in a tea ball or other container you can remove after pressure cooking.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Great idea; I will do that next time. I used all of the small amount of cloves I had to get at least a little of the flavor into the mixture. But I like your idea of the tea ball. I LOVE your site; it is my primary source for all things pressure cooker; and have referred many others to your site; and am proud to be responsible for many friends and family members for getting a modern PC. My son and wife call it their time machine. :)

        1. That’s great to hear, keep up the good work Nancy! : )

          Ciao,

          L

  7. Would this need to be canned (water bath) to keep for a longer time? I usually have a lot of tomatoes and DH goes through Alot of ketchup.

    1. Kay, it keeps for 6 months in the refrigerator. It sounds like yours might not last that long! : )

      This is not a tested “water bath” recipe so I would freeze it in plastic bags (so you can just cut the corner off and squeeze it into a glass bottle) or pressure can it if you want to keep it longer.

      Ciao,

      L

  8. Is this recipe in your book? I can’t seem to print this.

  9. Never mind. I did find the print selection. Still curious if it’s in your book though.

    1. No, Ginny. This is brand new recipe. Just invented! : )

  10. i have a lot of frozen roma tomatoes from last year.do you think they would work for this recipe?

    1. Absolutely! Defrost them enough to slice and mash.

      Ciao,

      L

  11. where do we purchase the cute ketchup bottle??

    1. Debra, I found similar bottles to mine on amazon – here you go! http://amzn.to/2aeaBoZ

      Ciao,

      L

  12. oh thanks so much!!

  13. Is it possible to make this with canned tomatoes in the winter if we drain the liquid? Looks like a great recipe, can’t wait to try it.

    1. This recipe works because you’re using the liquid from the fresh tomatoes to pressure cook them. It is this “lots of liquid, few solids” that keeps the mixture from getting too thick and scorching on the base during pressure cooking and reduction. Canned tomatoes are usually packed in puree – which is thick and more viscous than the juice from a fresh tomato.

      So, no, this specific recipe and technique will not work with canned tomatoes; but, it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible – it would just require different liquid quantities and reduction procedures than what is used here.

      I recommend searching non-pressure ketchup recipes and work from there – when I researched this ketchup I found lots of “homemade” ketchup that started with tomato concentrate or puree. Since tomato concentrate that does not have it provenance clearly marked can be of very bad quality (seriously, read here and here) I decided not to use it as the main ingredient in my ketchup recipe. If you’re using canned Italian tomato products – make sure they don’t say “Made in Italy” or “Produced in Italy” or “Packed in Italy” but instead “Made with 100% Italian Tomatoes”.

      If you figure out how to pressure cook ketchup from canned tomatoes please come back to share with us how you did it. ; )

      Ciao,

      L

      1. You might get away with it using pan in pot? To keep down burning.
        Just add enough water for the pot. Understand I use a 8 quart stove top pressure cooker, so lots of room and a solid pot that sits on a trivet. They should include one of these solid pots with pressure cookers. Not sure about electrics in 6 quart range in terms of room in the pot.

  14. What type of onion did you use? I’m thinking maybe a white onion for it’s level of flavor. What was your preference? Just got an Instant Pot 7-in-1 6qt and having a lot of fun with it.

    1. Hi Mike I used white onion – don’t worry because the flavor won’t be very onion-ny. Welcome to the fast side!

      Ciao,

      L

  15. White raisins?
    Missed that in the written instructions.

    1. You can use either kind, the color of the raisin will affect the color of the finished ketchup. : )

      Ciao,

      L

  16. Worst thing about this recipe is reducing it down. We thought we had it enough. It did thicken down a little when cooled, next time will pay more attention at this stage, “it takes awhile “.

    Also, it is the math major in me and having my ears pinged in school, especially in physics, many times; please add a leading zero to figures like .6, .02, .1, aka 0.6. 0.02. :) I really can’t believe that now bugs me. LOL

    It is very nice this recipe has no fructose sugar like the store bought.

    Going to try the BBQ sauce.

  17. Do you know if this freezes well?
    I made a batch 2 weeks ago using Early Girls with some cherry tomatoes to make up the weight. It turned out fantastic.
    I made 2 changes due to lack of ingredients:1) used dates in place of raisins so I didn’t have to soak 2) used arrowroot starch for the cornstarch.
    Put it in the Vitamix and let it sit a minute to cool off before blending.
    I would like to make another batch if it freezes.

  18. How would you increase the recipe for larger batches? I was to pressure can it. Do you know the pressure and time required?

    1. Donna, you can triple this recipe (to 6 pounds of tomatoes)in a 6L pressure cooker – but instead of just closing the lid and pressure cooking it, bring everything up to a boil before closing the lid. The pressure cooking time remains the same. Then, reduce for 40 minutes instead of 20 – if it has reduced at least to 1/3 the original quantity you’re good to go to the blending step otherwise make it go a little longer.

      You can follow the pressure canning times for “spaghetti sauce without meat” in the time table:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/#canning

      Alternatively, you can use this NCHFP-tested recipe (1/4 everything to get to 6 pounds of tomatoes) but follow the technique in this post (the flavor will be different, obviously) and then just hot water bath can it following the instructions in their recipe.
      http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_ketchup.html

      Have fun, and come back to post pictures!

      Ciao,

      L

  19. I messed up and it still turned out GREAT!

    I checked the video to see if you put it on manual or saute to simmer after the pressure cooking was finished. Saw you put it on saute and timer went to 30. So I did the same thing and thought I was supposed to leave it alone for 30-minutes. NO-O-O-O! I was supposed to let it simmer for 10-minutes!

    So, somewhere between 15 and 20-minutes I realized my mistake and turned it off. I then pulled out my immersion blender and attacked it. Looked too thick so I added a 1/4 cup of water and attacked it again. Was a little thin a this point so I added the slurry of corn starch. Corn starch slurry changed the color a bit from the vibrant red it had been without the corn starch, but got the texture just right.

    I let it cool a little bit and then tasted it. Taste was WONDERFUL!. I put some in a glass jar and some in one of those plastic squeeze-serving bottles. Now I’m wondering what to do with the commercial ketchup in our refrigerator?? My version is much better!

    1. Dan, what a great problem to have. So glad you enjoyed the recipe and were able to make the needed corrections.

      Ciao,

      L

  20. Hello Laura,

    Thanks for the awesome recipe. Can you tell me approximately how much 1/8th onion is in cups or grams? I have some very large and very small onions so that information would be very helpful.

    Thanks,

    Michelle

    1. Michelle, you can’t get this wrong. If you really like onions, use an 8th of the large otherwise use small. Either way, there won’t be a very strong onion flavor – it just adds “undertones” to the ketchup!

      Ciao,

      L

  21. @Michelle – When onion size is undefined or measurement is vague, you can safely assume that it’s a normal onion of average size and take it from there. Since Step 8 of the recipe calls for “puréing” the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth, the “wedges” will be pulverized anyway. Imagine that your “very large” onion is twice the size of a regular onion. You would want to cut it in half, where one half would become somewhat equivalent to the size of an average onion. Cut this half in half again to get quarters, then cut one quarter in half again to get 1/8. Wedges are like pieces of a pie, where your pie is cut into 8 equal pieces (1/8 each). I would say that 1/8 probably equals to 3 tbsp (or 45 mL = 0.1875 US cup = 0.18 UK cup) of finely chopped onion, or to your own taste. In this recipe, it doesn’t really matter whether you round up (or not) to 0.2 US or UK cup. As Laura pointed out, the onion just adds “undertones”. You won’t really taste it. This recipe is quite forgiving.

  22. Why glass bottles?

    1. Why not glass bottles?
      They are infinitely reuseable (unless you drop one)
      They contain no harmful ingredients (most glass anyway) unlike many plastic containers
      They look pretty
      They withstand moderate heat.
      If you received a bottle of ketchup as a gift what would you prefer it came in?
      They do not taint food.
      They do not pick up and hold on to odours

  23. Thank you for this recipe –I can hardly wait to try it! Maybe I’m just nit-picky, buy the typos are a little distracting. :-)

    1. Hahaha, that’s “but,” not “buy!”

      1. Touche’! I’d fire my editor… but it’s me. I think I got them all. ; )

        Ciao,

        L

  24. Awesome, I love homemade ketchup! You will NEVER go back to Heinz after you make your own!

    One quick note–regular cornstarch is fine if you’re going to use your ketchup right away. But if you can it–as I do–the FDA and USDA both say to use “ClearJel” instead of cornstarch. ClearJel (or Clear Jel, Clear Gel, etc) is exactly what the name implies–a clear cornstarch gel, and is safer to use for canning. I know–your mother/grandmother/aunt/whoever ALWAYS used cornstarch and “nothing ever happened.” Same here. But even with regular cornstarch, ingredients will still separate after canning. With ClearJel, they do not.

    1. Thanks for the info, Stephanie, BUT this recipe has not been tested for pressure canning and should only be refrigerated or frozen for storage. In addition to the optional corn starch, there are raisins which naturally make it a thick and pulpy consistency and could also conceivably interfere with the heat transfer inside the jar/bottle of a canner.

      For a tested ketchup recipe that is approved for canning, please follow the USDA-tested ketchup recipe:
      http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_ketchup.html

      Ciao,

      L

  25. I’m just waiting for this to reduce now, but thought I’d share a tip with everyone.

    Don’t use 1/8 of an onion and put the rest in the fridge.

    Do what i did…slice up the rest of the onion and place the pieces onto a steamer rack. Place this rack over your tomatoes before you pressure cook them.

    You end up with the most amazing ‘flavour infused soft onion slices’ that will be perfect for placing on your hot-dog with your new home-made ketchup once it’s reduced! ;)

    Thanks for sharing this recipe by the way. Cannot believe how easy it was!

    Chris
    x

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