Substitute for Ketchup

Ketchup is a flavour in paste form. It is arguably the best in the market, and people prefer using it due to its unique acidic, sweet characteristics. Ketchup is very affordable. However, your supply may run low, or you forgot to stock it up. Then, you will need an alternative you will get from the illustrations below.


1. Salsa

Salsa was at one time the most preferred condiment in Western countries, especially the US. It is made differently hence putting different flavours of salsa out there. However, the sugar content in salsa cannot be compared with ketchup. Like ketchup, salsa can be used in meals such as hotdogs and chicken nuggets.

Furthermore, you can make salsa from scratch on one of your DIY lessons. You simply need common ingredients such as tomato paste which is readily available in your local; store and can be easily made in your kitchen.

2. Tomato jam

Tomato is a close alternative to ketchup. In that, it is made by tomatoes which are mixed with sugar then cooked down. Since both depend on the tomato flavor, tomato jam becomes the closest you can get to ketchup. The only shortfall may be an absence of vinegar in the mix. But, they are pretty close.

To improve its quality and taste, you can add a few flavors such as cloves. These spices can enhance the flavor of the jam, which makes it more acceptable than ketchup.

3. Homemade tomato paste

Many people recommend that you can make your condiment without necessarily buying ketchup. So, in cases where you run out of ketchup, you can make your own by following these simple steps.

Avail tomato source or paste. You can get this from home by chopping tomatoes and boiling them while you add glucose syrup or sugar. When the paste forms, add vinegar and spice, preferably cloves. Cool your paste and use it domestically.

4. Red pepper mayonnaise

This may not be your preferred primary alternative for ketchup. Still, it works since finding a successful ketchup replacement is tough. You will need some red peppers you need to deseed by roasting them. Chop some garlic and shallots, add sugar, and blend them while adding olive oil. Add the red pepper and continue mixing until you achieve a fine liquid. At this point, you will need to acidify it. After it cools, add some vinegar. This is basically chilli sauce, but the ingredients are different.

The bottom line

Ketchup is still the best condiment out here; however, if you want to prepare an alternative, you will need to be clear on the use. Some people may be allergic or just don’t like experimentation. That is why tomato jams and salsa are your best bet for an alternative. This, however, does not you from experimenting on your own sauce. These pastes have one thing in common, and it is tomatoes. Therefore, get spices, sugar, vinegar or lemon juice and try mixing your “ketchup” at home.

Nutritional Facts Table

Item Calories (per serving) Total Fats (g) Carbohydrates (g) Proteins (g) Source Works Best In
Salsa ~10-15 0-1 2-3 0-1 Tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro Tacos, nachos, grilled chicken
Tomato Jam ~40-60 0 10-15 0-1 Tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice Toast, pastries, cheese pairing
Homemade Tomato Paste ~20-30 0.5-1 4-6 1-2 Tomatoes Pasta sauces, stews, soups
Red Pepper Mayonnaise ~80-100 8-10 1-3 0-1 Red peppers, egg yolks, oil, vinegar Sandwiches, wraps, burgers


What can I use if I don’t have ketchup?

If you don’t have ketchup, you can use tomato sauce with a bit of extra stuff to make it taste similar.

What can I use instead of 1 cup of ketchup?

If you need 1 cup of ketchup, you can mix 1 cup of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. This will give a similar taste.

Can I use tomato sauce instead of ketchup?

Yes, you can, but ketchup has a sweeter and tangier taste. You might want to add sugar and vinegar to tomato sauce to make it more like ketchup.

What does ketchup do when cooking?

Ketchup adds flavour to food. It’s sweet and tangy and makes dishes taste better. You can use it in sauces, marinades, and to make meat tastier. It’s like a yummy helper ingredient in cooking.


No matter what your taste, there is sure to be a substitute for ketchup that you will enjoy. So next time you are looking for a condiment to add to your food, don’t forget to explore some of the many great substitutes for ketchup. You may just find a new favorite!

Yuki Tanaka

Written by Yuki Tanaka

I'm from Utashinai and I love tasty food and nice words. I also write blogs, take pictures of food, and create recipes. Cooking and baking are my favorite things to do!

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