Easy,  Great for kids,  Healthy,  Lunch box friendly,  Refined sugar free,  Staples

Homemade tomato sauce (ketchup)

A bottle with homemade tomato sauce (ketchup) with cork and scattered cherry tomatoes.

I don’t know why I haven’t made my own tomato sauce before now. I guess because I don’t eat too much of the stuff and my husband, who eats buckets, actually likes the salt and sugar version you can buy at the shops.

Plus, I guess if you asked me a few years ago about making my own tomato sauce, I’d probably laugh and laugh (and then laugh some more). There were times when making homemade ketchup would have been akin to making my own washing powder. I mean… right?

But since we have had the twins, I’m always on the lookout for new recipes involving natural ingredients and a very low amount of refined sugar. The kids don’t really eat a lot of tomato sauce but when I saw Lucinda Miller’s recipe while casually leafing through her awesome book The Good Stuff and tweaked how easy it actually might be to make my own at home, I thought – why not.

Containers with homemade tomato sauce (ketchup) on a table.

Can I make my own tomato sauce too?

Sure you can. This is a great recipe if you only have a few spare minutes as you pretty much throw all the ingredients (and there’s not many) into a pot and boil the mixture until it’s nice and thick. No tedious chopping or stirring required and it has no refined sugar.

What will it look and taste like when it’s done?

Actually, great. I was a bit worried that it would be runny but it’s nice and thick, just like the tomato sauce from the shops. And it tastes nice. Because it’s sweetened by honey and not white sugar, the taste is a little different. Definitely different good though, not different weird.

How long does the tomato sauce last?

I store mine in a glass corked up bottle in the fridge and the last lot lasted me about 6 weeks (meaning: that’s when we finished it). And it was perfectly wonderful until the end.

Hope you have fun making and eating your homemade tomato sauce with heaps less sugar and salt. Enjoy!

How I changed the original recipe

Not much actually, it is beautiful just as it is. But because you buy passata in 700ml bottles, I have adjusted the volume of each ingredient so that it’s appropriate for the passata amount.

A bottle with homemade tomato sauce (ketchup) with cork and scattered cherry tomatoes.

Recipe notes

Cook this recipe in a tall pot and cover the mixture with a lid while simmering. Once the tomato sauce comes to a boil, it spits everywhere. It’s easier to clean the lid than the whole stove!

This recipe is based on a delightful recipe from Lucinda Miller which appears in her book The Good Stuff.

Homemade tomato sauce (ketchup)

Author Katerina | Once a Foodie


  • 700 ml bottle of organic passata
  • 28 ml organic apple cider vinegar
  • 84 ml honey
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp mixed spice


  • Place all the ingredients into a pot with high sides and stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Once it starts boiling, cover the pot with a lid and turn the temperature down slightly.
  • Simmer over medium heat for about 12 minutes until nice and thick.
  • You can then add more water and let it simmer a little longer to give it a deeper flavour (I don't do this).
  • Leave to cool and store in a glass jar in your fridge.


This recipe is based on a recipe from Lucinda Miller which appears in her book The Good Stuff.
You have found this delightful recipe on Once a Foodie – onceafoodie.com. It was lovely to see you. Please come visit again.

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