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Homemade Tomato Paste and Ketchup

I am a month behind on goals.  I should have done two last month.  But I just can’t seem to get caught up on anything.  So I am going to try again this month to do two goals. The first of my goals for the month is homemade tomato paste and ketchup.  The second is pretzels.  After watching an episode this morning of Good Eats where Alton Brown makes pretzels.  I feel better about trying it.  I will explain in that blog post why I was a little apprehensive of making pretzels.

My tomato plants took a while to take off.  But now I’m getting more than enough for us to eat before they go bad.  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making ketchup since The Hardworking Husband likes ketchup on so many things.  As I looked into making ketchup, all the recipes called for tomato paste.  So I had first figure out how to make homemade tomato paste and then ketchup.

Tomato paste is the more difficult part of this process, yet it’s not too bad.  A food mill is the key part of it not being too bad.  My mom had given me two a while back.  I haven’t used the one that attaches to my Kitchenaid in a while (before we moved), and I’m not sure where I put it.  But while cleaning out the garage, I found the other one she gave me.  But if you don’t have a food mill, you can use a fine sieve.  It will just take a little more time.

Tomato Paste

How to make Tomato Paste

10 lbs tomatoes*
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp citric acid

Preheat oven to 350

Wash and quarter tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a large pot. Simmer on medium until peels start to pull away from tomatoes.  

Put tomatoes (including juices) through food mill. Discard peels and seeds. Add citric acid and salt to puree and stir to combine. Pour tomato puree onto sheet pans. I placed the sheet pans in the oven first then poured. I had already made a giant mess and didn’t want any more mess. I split the puree into 4 sheet pans. I baked two at a time. Stir puree every half hour until it becomes thicker and doesn’t cover pan anymore. Combine the two pans and continue baking until it has become a paste still stirring every half hour. When finished it will be brick colored, shiny and reduced by at least half. There will be no juice separating from it when you stir it. 

You can use the paste right away, store it in the fridge/freezer or can it. If you want to can it, place in hot 1/2 pint jars with 3/4″ headspace while the paste is still hot. Place sterilized lids on jars and water bathe them for 15 minutes. Turn jars upside down on a towel for 5 minutes. Then turn right side up and allow to cool.

If you want to store in your fridge or freezer, fill 1/2 pint jars leaving some room. Pour a little olive oil over the top to create a thin layer. Cover with lid. Allow to cool completely and then place in fridge/freezer.

I chose to use a majority of the paste right away to make ketchup. 

*The yeild will depend on what type of tomatoes you use.  If you use Romas or San Marzano, you will get more paste because they are meatier tomatoes.  I used a combination of what I had and needed to use.

Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup


  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup brown sugar or light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Whisk together.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir often, scraping sides.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Place in a jar and allow to cool completely before storing in refrigerator.

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 This post is part of our Outside the Box Mondays series and my Cooking & Baking Goals for 2014.

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Tomato Paste

Homemade Ketchup

Healing Tomato

Monday 13th of October 2014

This is so weird. I, too, just made Ketchup on my blog. Your ketchup looks so good. I like the idea of using tomato paste only.

Virginia Bell

Monday 13th of October 2014

Store ketchup lasts for ages in the fridge. Do you have any idea of the lifespan of the homemade ketchup? I'd assume that it could be processed similar to the tomato paste for canning?

Kerry C

Monday 13th of October 2014

I'm sure it won't last nearly as long as store bought because there are no preservatives. But you can can it. I would put it in a water bath for 20 minutes for a pint jar. The Hardworking Husband really likes ketchup so it won't last long in our house.

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