The best tomatoes for homemade ketchup


We may think of ketchup as solely a condiment for sandwiches and a dipping sauce for fries, but it’s a key ingredient in many recipes, too. Think about it: tomatoes are used in sauces, meatloaf, barbecue, casseroles and baked beans.

You can make your own ketchup with garden-grown or fresh tomatoes from the grocery store.

Which tomatoes should I use to make ketchup?

There isn’t just one variety of tomato that’s best for homemade ketchup. The more flavorful the tomato, the more flavorful the ketchup will be. You can use beefsteak, cherry or grape tomatoes for making homemade ketchup. Use fresh, not canned, tomatoes when making ketchup.

More about tomatoes:

How to freeze whole tomatoes

How to pick ripe tomatoes

However, paste tomatoes are highly recommended for making sauces, including ketchup. University of Maryland Extension explains that paste tomatoes are less juicy and have meaty interiors, fewer seeds and lack a central core. They’re usually pear-shaped or elongated.

Consider using any of the following paste tomatoes to make your own ketchup:

  • Roma
  • San Marzano
  • Jersey Devil
  • Viva Italia
  • Opalka
  • Amish Paste
  • Heidi
  • Mom’s Paste

(Recommendations from the San Francisco Chronicle and University of California Cooperative Extension)

Make your own ketchup

Check out some reader-submitted ketchup recipes:

These recipes call for paste tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato juice as well as plenty of spices, vinegar, sugar and mustard.

What kind of tomatoes do you use for making homemade ketchup? Tell us in the comments section.

Get more Great Recipes in your inbox each week by getting
Around the Table.

It's a FREE weekly e-newsletter all about food. Sign Up Today!



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.