Recipes - Pickles & Dips / Recipes - Vegetarian

Home-made tomato sauce (or sugar free healthy ketchup)

Too often we’re tempted to take cooking short cuts. Store bought chicken stock, pre made curry paste, tubs of hummus. Every short cut takes us another step away from a diet free of processed ingredients. That’s because most of what’s on supermarket shelves contains unnecessary added sugar and other nasties and is preserved to last for months.

But in reality, excuses to one side, it’s often really easy to prepare home-made versions of basic store bought staples. Indeed I was so surprised by the popularity of my recent post for sugar free beetroot relish that I decided to share another relish/sauce recipe.

home-made tomato sauce, ketchup, recipe, no sugar, sugar free

This one is for tomato ketchup. I’ve adapted it from a recipe I found in ‘Hamburger Gourmet’. The original recipe calls for a cooking time of 4 hours – but under pressure from my husband to get the burgers on the BBQ I experimented and achieved an impressive result in half this time. I also eliminated 200g of sugar in the process.


  • 1kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 brown onions
  • 1tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic crushed,
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika (smokey or sweet)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 200ml malt vinegar
  • Natural sweetener to taste (optional) – in place of sugar


  1. Chop the onions and garlic and sweat in a pan with a little oil.
  2. Add the cloves, paprika, salt and pepper and the chopped tomatoes.
  3. Simmer uncovered over a low heat for one hour, regularly stirring.
  4. After one hour add the vinegar and optional sweetener.
  5. Continue to simmer for up to another hour, until the consistency is thick.
  6. Allow to cool and then remove the cloves.
  7. Blend with a hand blender to create a smooth sauce.
  8. Add to a sterilised glass jar and store in the fridge for a couple of weeks.


  • If time permits reduce the sauce further after step 7 by simmering for another 30 minutes or so.
  • Experiment with different spices – you could replace the paprika with cumin for example.
  • If you don’t have fresh or ripe tomatoes to hand then use canned tomatoes.
  • It’s a versatile sauce so serve it with anything and everything – hamburgers, grilled fish, frittata, steak.

By Feast Wisely

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