Paleo ketchup recipe?

by 693 · November 12, 2011 at 02:12 AM

I'm the guy who puts ketchup on nearly everything. I've gone to non-HFCS brands, but it still has sugar. By eliminating a lot of the foods I used to put it on I've reduced my ketchup use, but I'd like to find a good paleo alternative. I've tried the recipe on MDA and it was OK. Does anyone have a really good paleo ketchup recipe or alternative?

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11 Replies

337 · November 05, 2010 at 07:56 PM

I've found that when I make tomato sauce, if I just cook it down a lot, it becomes super sweet like ketchup. I'd recommend buying a ton of tomatoes when they're ripe in late summer and cooking them down until it's nice and thick. Then add some vinegar and maybe some salt/pepper. Much healthier than ketchup and even tastes better if you use good, ripe tomatoes.

2218 · November 05, 2010 at 06:56 PM

Old cookbooks contain a wealth of ketchup recipes, tomato based and otherwise. Anchovy, walnut and mushroom ketchup varieties were popular in America long before tomato ketchup ever was. I've tried making some in the past and they were all yummy condiments, but no substitute for what we have all come to think of as "ketchup." The Heinz effect has really limited our scope! But there are traditional no sugar tomato-based ketchup recipes to be had in old cookbooks that might serve the purpose out there, too. I had one that got lost in a move in which the author prefaced his recipe by saying that in Maine sweetened ketchup is "regarded as an offense against God and man, against nature and good taste." It makes me proud to be from Maine, even though I still use sweetened ketchup from time to time.

I suggest you peruse the history and recipe sections in this book. Unfortunately the google preview leaves out all the non-tomato recipes (liver ketchup! blackberry ketchup! cockle ketchup!) but this question has totally inspired me to pick this up and hit the kitchen. Paleo-friendly sauces activate!

30 · November 12, 2011 at 02:12 AM

Now on the web is the paleo ketchup from Ray Audette’s NeanderThin book:


The book was published back in 1999 and is out-of-print.

He uses unsweetened fruit juice instead of vinegar.

154 · November 09, 2010 at 02:01 AM

ray audette had a ketchup recipe in neanderthin. since i just moved the book is still packed somewhere but someone out there must have it.

508 · November 07, 2010 at 12:24 PM


Almost No Carb Barbecue Sauce: 3/8 cup vinegar, 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce. (1 15 oz can), 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (part Thai Fish Sauce is good too), 1 1/2 tablespoon yellow hot dog mustard, 3/4 tablespoon Franks Hot Sauce (the chicken wing sauce), 3/4 tablespoon salt (optional), 1 dash cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring, (6 teaspoons Splenda), or acceptable-to-you sweetener to taste- I like Truvia

This is really good for most ketchup uses. Even my ketchup-addicted nine year old loves it.

13583 · November 06, 2010 at 08:03 PM

I've experimented with this. It's a decent ketchup-ish condiment.

First start with the base:

  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 125 grams apple cider vinegar

Whisk together until smooth. Then add to taste whatever seasonings and spices you want. I like onion and garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and a little hot sauce. If you add horseradish it probably comes out like cocktail sauce.

455 · November 06, 2010 at 12:15 AM

The best ketchup I have found is Annie's Organic on vitacost.com. It does have 4g of sugar but I put that in my "incidental sugar" category and do not worry too much over it. The taste and convenience won me over and we consume a lot of ketchup in our house; so it's a better choice over others for us.

1793 · November 05, 2010 at 11:14 PM

I've made my own ketchup a few times. Make tomato paste: cook tomato sauce WAY down. I'd toss in some vinegar, bay leaves, pepper corns, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, onion. For added sweetness you could try some dates or other dried fruit. Play around with it a bit. You could also do it with red wine- I bet that would be tasty. Maybe even some beef broth? Oh, and I've added some Worcestershire Sauce and that was tasty.... You get the idea. Strain it. Then you can store it in picking jars for a very long time.

Kamal, as for the nightshade-free... one reason ketchup is tasty is that tomatoes have a lot of natural glutamates. So you'd want something to get the same effect. One option might be shiitake mushrooms. Saute chopped shiitake with onion and garlic, maybe add some gluten-free soy sauce. Reduce, reduce. Dunno.

3482 · November 05, 2010 at 05:38 PM
10 · November 05, 2010 at 04:49 PM

This is the recipe from Dr. Cordain's Paleo Diet book:


3747 · November 05, 2010 at 04:32 PM

A quick google search pulled this up:


It looks OK.

Have you thought about salsa? Or perhaps just going cold-turkey and breaking that ketchup addiction?

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