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Tomato Harvest Ketchup Recipe


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Tomato Harvest Ketchup

Yield 2 quarts

Here’s a full-flavored tomato ketchup that comes right out of the garden.

This recipe combines just picked tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and celery. It’s thick and smooth with a rich, complex flavor you’ll never find in store-bought ketchup. (If you want store-bought flavor add double or triple the amount of sugar in the recipe.)


  • 1 tablespoon olive or other oil
  • 8 pounds tomatoes (24 medium), cored and quartered
  • 2 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup roughly chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1-2 cups cider or wine vinegar
  • 1½ inches stick cinnamon, broken
  • 1½ teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped or 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Core and quarter tomatoes; drain. Chop the bell peppers, onions, and celery.
  2. Place olive oil in an 8- to 10- quart stainless steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy kettle or pot or large saucepan and turn heat to medium-high. Combine the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, and celery. Cook covered about 20 to 30 minutes stirring often until tomatoes have broken down and the vegetables are soft.
  3. Press tomato and vegetable mixture through a food mill or sieve. Discard skins and seeds. Return the pulp and liquid to the kettle; stir in salt, sugar, and cayenne. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until reduced by half; stir as needed to make sure it does not stick.
  4. Combine the vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and celery seeds in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Use a strainer to pour vinegar mixture into the tomato and vegetable mixture discarding the spices. Simmer, uncovered about 30 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring often. Taste and add the remaining vinegar if the mixture is not tart enough.


Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, or can or freeze.

To Can: Ladle hot ketchup into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars; leave a ½-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (start timing when water returns to boil). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

To Freeze: Place kettle in a sink filled with ice water; stir mixture until cool. Ladle ketchup into half-pint freezer containers; leave a ½-inch headspace. Seal and label. Store in the freezer for up to 10 months.

Tomato articles at Harvest to Table:

How to Plant and Grow Tomatoes

How to Choose a Tomato for Your Garden

Heirloom and Hybrid Tomatoes

Tomato Seed Starting Tips

Growing Tomatoes in Containers

Growing Early Season Tomatoes for Great Taste

How to Prune Tomatoes

Grow Tomatoes on Stakes

Epsom Salt, Milk, and Organic Fertilizers for Tomatoes and Peppers

How to Prevent Blossom Drop – Tomatoes and Peppers

How to Harvest and Store Tomatoes

How to Ripen Tomatoes

Nine Ways to Cook and Serve Tomatoes

Tomato Harvest Ketchup Recipe

Garden Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Sauce–Basic, Herbed, or Vegetables Added

Corn, Herb, and Tomato Relish

How to Make Tomato Juice Simply

Basil and Tomato Soup

Tomato Varieties Harvest Time

Tomato Flavor Explained

How to Home Can Tomatoes for Beginners

How to Sun Dry and Oven Dry Tomatoes

How to Freeze Ripe Tomatoes

Tomato Growing Problems Troubleshooting

How to Prevent Tomato Blossom Drop

How to Identify Early Blight, Late Blight, and Leaf Spot

Tomato Hornworm Organic Pest Control

Garden Planning Books at Amazon:

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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