Replacement for Ketchup

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Ketchup is one of those condiments that seems to be hiding in the refrigerator all the time, even if you can’t remember the last time you purchased any. Since it is such a continuous presence, you may take it for granted, always assuming that your beloved ketchup bottle will be full and ready whether you have French fries or a meatloaf in need of a glaze.

So, what do you do when your ketchup bottle is down to the last drop (or completely gone!) in your hour of need? Is there anything that can successfully substitute ketchup? Absolutely! Whether you need a substitute that is as similar to the genuine thing as possible, or you need a replacement due to an allergy or aversion, one of these ketchup alternative ideas will do the trick.

What is Ketchup?

Tomato ketchup, being one of the most popular condiments of all time, needs no introduction. This sauce, also known as catsup, is made up of a thick, smooth puree of tomatoes and additional components including onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. The general flavor profile of ketchup varies by brand, with some ketchups having a mildly spicy flavor and others having a more acidic tang.

While it may be found in the same aisle as mayonnaise and mustard, ketchup is much more than a condiment. Ketchup is used as the base of many various sauces, recipes, and cuisines, in addition to being used as a sandwich topper or dipping sauce for a number of foods.

What to Consider When Substituting Ketchup

While looking for a ketchup alternative, there are various variables to consider before making your decision.

  • Intended Use: How do you intend to use your ketchup substitute? If you’re using it as a dipping sauce rather than in a dish, your perfect alternative may differ.
  • Food Allergies or Aversions: If you avoid ketchup owing to food allergies, particularly concerns with tomatoes, this will have a significant influence on your decision. Many of the greatest ketchup substitutes are tomato-based, but there are some delicious tomato-free choices as well!
  • Texture is important because ketchup is unusual in that it has a velvety, creamy, and thick texture. This texture is critical in certain situations, but in others, you may get away with a replacement that has a comparable flavor but a distinct textural character.
  • Significance of Flavor: Do you want a substitute that tastes exactly like ketchup, or are you open to (or actively seeking!) alternative flavor profiles? If you dislike the taste of ketchup or want something a little different, we have a few unconventional ketchup replacements for you.

Best Tomato-Based Ketchup Substitutes

When it comes to ketchup alternatives, the good news is that you have a lot of possibilities! First, we’ll go over various ketchup alternatives that are tomato-based or otherwise include tomato components, and then we’ll go over some tomato-free solutions in case you have a tomato allergy or aversion!

Barbecue Sauce

Barbeque sauce is hands away one of the greatest ketchup alternatives, since many kinds depend on ordinary ketchup as a basis component. You may use whatever barbecue sauce you have on hand or purchase a bottle of your favorite brand. Homemade BBQ sauce would also be delicious!

Remember that most barbecue sauces are more heavily seasoned than ketchup and may be smokier, sweeter, spicier, or otherwise more robust than ketchup. Despite these taste variations, barbecue sauce is a great ketchup alternative since the texture is frequently quite comparable to ketchup: smooth, glossy, and thick without being too paste-like.

How to Substitute:

Barbecue sauce may be used in lieu of ketchup as a standalone condiment or as a cooking component in a 1:1 ratio! But keep in mind whatever other tastes the dish asks for, maybe reducing the quantity of other spices and condiments since the barbecue sauce will bring a lot to the table.

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a great method to get tomato taste in a ketchup replacement! This pantry staple is produced from tomato concentrate that has been reduced until it has the consistency of a thick, velvety paste. Because of the richness of the flavor, this choice is much too potent to be used as a condiment, spread, or dipping sauce. It is, nevertheless, ideal for use in recipes! You may certainly use basic tomato paste for ketchup in a recipe, but it would profit immensely from some experimentation and taste enhancement.

To make the tomato paste taste more like ketchup, you may add apple cider vinegar to improve the acidic flavor, Worcestershire sauce for some umami, honey for a touch of sweetness, and any spices like onion powder or smokey paprika. You may also add a few drops of olive oil to thin down the tomato paste and make it simpler to integrate into your dish. You may flavor your tomato paste as you like, but if you want a detailed recipe, read down to the bottom of our post!

How to Substitute:

To substitute ketchup in sauces, marinades, and braises, use canned tomato paste or your spiced-up version. This option is best utilized when the food will be simmering for a long time, as it will assist to cook out the canned tomato flavor. To prevent overpowering the tomato taste, start with half the amount called for in the recipe.

Chili Sauce

The term chili sauce may apply to a variety of goods ranging from sweet to hot. This may be confusing, but the good news is that any of them will work well as a ketchup alternative!

Normal chili sauce (such as Heinz’s renowned type) has about the same tomato taste as ketchup, but with extra seasoning and a slight heat from the inclusion of warming spices. Yet, in general, this form of chili sauce is not considered hot. Hot chili sauce, on the other hand, is a form of spicy sauce produced with chili peppers and, in some cases, tomato components. Sriracha is a well-known chili sauce noted for its deliciously spicy-sweet taste.

How to Substitute:

Whether you want it sweet or spicy, chili sauce is an excellent substitute for ketchupas either a condiment or in sauces and other dishes. When using conventional chili sauce, a 1:1 ratio of replacement will suffice, but when using the hot stuff, start slowly to prevent overheating!


Despite the flavors of salsa and ketchup vary somewhat, the fundamentals remain the same. Salsa is just another salted and seasoned thick, liquid tomato product! Depending on whose salsa you choose, the outcome may be considerably hotter or less sweet than ketchup, so sample before proceeding.

You may use whatever salsa you choose, but avoid anything that says chunky since it will add huge bits of onion, tomato, and peppers to your meal while ketchup is smooth and silky. Another method is to puree your salsa in a blender or food processor until it has the consistency of conventional ketchup.

How to Substitute:

Salsa works well as a ketchup alternative (French fries dipped in salsa? Sure, definitely!) as well as in 1:1 ratios in recipes. If your salsa is moderate to hot on the heat scale, you should decrease any additional heat-inducing components in the recipe to balance things out.

Tomato Sauce or Puree

Alternatively, paprika. Whenever tomato paste is used as a replacement, tomato sauce (also known as tomato puree) will work just as well. Tomato sauce has a greater water content than tomato paste but a comparable flavor. As a result, you may add comparable flavoring elements as described above, such as cider vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, onion or garlic powder, and so on.

If you want to go the additional mile, you may simmer your tomato sauce or puree in a small saucepan on the stove. This will help to remove some of the water, thickening the final product to a consistency similar to ketchup.

How to Substitute:

If you’re going to use the tomato sauce as a condiment or dipping sauce, seasoning and thickening it ahead of time is excellent, but it’s not as vital if you’re going to use it to replace ketchup in a dish. A 1:1 replacement ratio will suffice here, but keep a watch on the recipe to ensure it does not get too watery.

Tomato Jam

Tomato jam, out of all the various ketchup replacements, has the most ketchup-like taste. Nevertheless, the reason it is at the bottom of our list is because it is not a popular product, which means you may not always be able to buy it in the grocery store, much alone have any in your fridge or pantry.

If you do, consider yourself fortunate since this substance is ideal for substituting ketchup in all scenarios! But keep in mind that tomato jam has a coarser texture than ketchup and is sometimes considerably sweeter.

How to Substitute:

Despite its sweetness, tomato jam may be used in savory meals to substitute ketchup in a 1:1 ratio, from topping scrambled eggs to producing barbecue sauce. You may also use tomato jam as a dipping sauce or spread, although it will be a bit sweeter than the taste you’re looking for with ketchup.

Tomato-Free Ketchup Substitutes

Here are several alternatives to ketchup that don’t use tomatoes! Always read the ingredients list on every specific item to ensure there are no allergies that are of special concern to you.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

When contemplating ketchup substitutes, sweet and sour sauce may not be the first thing that springs to mind, but believe us when we say that it works! Most store-bought versions acquire a salty-savory taste from soy sauce, a sweet-tartness from pineapple juice, and an outstanding thick consistency from cornstarch.

If you are replacing ketchup due to a tomato allergy, be sure to carefully read the label of your sweet and sour sauce, since some store-bought versions of this sauce do include ketchup as an ingredient or may contain other tomato products such as tomato paste.

How to Substitute:

In circumstances when you desire a sauce with a comparable flavor and texture to ketchup, sweet and sour sauce is a good 1:1 ketchup equivalent. Sweet and sour sauce is excellent as a dipping sauce in place of ketchup, but it would also work great in virtually any dish!


Now, this one is a little different, but stick with me because, shockingly, hummus ticks a lot of the same boxes as ketchup! It has a savory and sweet flavor and is thick, making it perfect for use as a spread or condiment. Moreover, hummus is a great ketchup alternative since it has significantly less sugar than conventional ketchup and adds fiber and protein from the chickpeas.

There are several hummus tastes to pick from, and the path you choose is totally up to you. If you’re not allergic to tomatoes, sun-dried tomato hummus is an excellent option since it has a tomato flavor and a similar hue. Along the same lines, roasted red pepper hummus is one possibility, but feel free to branch out with roasted garlic hummus, lemon hummus, or artichoke hummus depending on the other flavors in your dish!

How to Substitute:

This alternative is a little more freeform, since where and how much hummus you use to replace ketchup relies on a variety of circumstances. Needless to say, we do not advocate using this alternative in sauce or glaze recipes since the flavor and texture are just too different. But, it makes a delicious, if surprising, substitute for sandwiches and burgers!

Apple Cider Vinegar

We’ve spoken about apple cider vinegar as a flavoring component to increase the acidity of other ketchup alternatives, but it may also be used as a replacement on its own! Apple cider vinegar is a good ketchup alternative when you want the sharpness and punch of vinegary taste that ketchup provides but don’t want to sacrifice texture or tomato flavor.

You may also use another sweet vinegar, such as red wine or champagne vinegar, but we don’t suggest it since its sharpness is extremely powerful when compared to ACV or wine vinegars, and it lacks any sweetness at all.

How to Substitute:

In this scenario, you should absolutely start modestly to prevent over-acidifying your dish. Begin with a dash of vinegar (approximately a fourth of the ketchup amount asked for), then taste to determine if you want an even sharper flavor. This choice is best utilized in recipes rather than as a condiment substitute. But, vinegar and French fries are a traditional pairing, so instead of ketchup, try a little vinegar sprinkled over your fried potatoes!

Quick Homemade Ketchup Substitute

So far, we’ve addressed a few semi-homemade ketchup replacements that involve just adding flavors or sweetness to pre-made items, but here’s a simple method to make your own ketchup.

Just combine the following ingredients:

  • a cup of tomato paste (or thick tomato sauce)
  • 14 cup apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • To taste, season with salt and black pepper.

If the mixture is too thick for your needs, add additional warm water or olive oil and whisk until it reaches a creamy consistency. To create a delightful dip, add some chopped sun dried tomatoes (just in case you have some leftover after making our Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta) or roasted red peppers.

Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Substitute for Ketchup

These ketchup alternatives are here to rescue the supper just when you thought you were out of luck and would have to rethink your dinner plans! Whether you’re searching for a tomato-forward alternative for ketchup or a replacement choice for that tomato-allergy buddy of yours, we hope you discovered a ketchup stand-in that will fit the job.

If you have a little more time (and a few more ingredients), try creating your own easy homemade ketchup. With a foundation of tomato paste or sauce boosted by sweetness and flavors, you can trust that this sauce will accomplish everything your typical bottle of store-bought stuff does.


What can I use instead of ketchup?

If you have honey or maple syrup on hand, use the amounts listed above. You may also add some Worcestershire sauce. Pure tomato paste is very tasteless, but it can suffice in a pinch. Tomato sauce (in a cooked dish)

Tomato paste is the next best ketchup alternative. Combine vinegar and

What is a healthy alternative to ketchup?

Instead of ketchup, try these healthy condiments.
Mustard…. Soy Sauce…. Cocktail Sauce…. Hummus…. Salsa…. Hot Sauce…. Pesto…. Vinegar.
Aug 6, 2013

What is the substitution for 1 cup of ketchup?

2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar (for use in cooking). Catsup 1 cup + 1 cup tomato sauce

What can I use instead of ketchup for tomato allergy?

If tomato isn’t a key flavor in your recipe or you’re sensitive to it, roasted red peppers are a great substitute. Open a container or roast your own and blend in a food processor. They will provide a splash of color and taste but will lack the thickness of tomato paste.

Why avoid Heinz ketchup?

According to experts, store-bought tomato ketchup contains a number of chemicals and preservatives that are dangerous in a variety of ways. They are solely used to improve the flavor of ketchup. It is heavy in sugar, salt, fructose, preservatives, and corn syrup.

What is a good substitute for ketchup with fries?

Continue reading for more fascinating possibilities, as well as brand and recipe suggestions.
Comeback Sauce…. Mayonnaise…. Spicy Cheddar Mornay…. Chipotle Aioli…. Truffle Mayo…. Honey Mustard.
More to come…
•Jun 9, 2022

Is there a healthy tomato ketchup?

or without high fructose corn syrup. You may also make your own ketchup or use another condiment, such as salsa, in its stead. Ketchup with less sugar and salt, that is organic, is a healthier option.

Which is healthier tomato ketchup or banana ketchup?

A healthier alternative to typical tomato ketchup is banana ketchup. It has less calories, less sugar, and more vitamins and minerals. Bananas are high in dietary fiber, which helps decrease cholesterol and improve digestive health.

What is natural ketchup?

For the finest tomato taste, Hunt’s 100% Natural Ketchup is created with just 100% California vine-ripened tomatoes, natural sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic, and spices.

What is the trick to Heinz ketchup?

“The stamped 57 on the neck of the Heinz bottle is the best place to tap. Just apply a forceful tap where the bottle narrows, and the ketchup will flow more easily “According to the spokeswoman. Keep an eye out for the 57!

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