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8 Best Tomato Ketchup Substitutes You Can Try

8 Best Tomato Ketchup Substitutes You Can Try

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Today we are going to discuss the much-loved tomato ketchup substitute. Pizza, pasta, burger, and french fries are incomplete without tomato ketchup. So let’s examine tomato ketchup, its uses, health benefits, and its substitutes.

Tomato ketchup is not hard to come by. You can easily get it anywhere near you. But there will be situations where we could be out of tomato ketchup, and if that happens, then this post is going to save you as this is all about tomato ketchup substitute!

So are there any good tomato ketchup substitutes? Some of the best tomato ketchup substitutes are barbeque sauce, mayonnaise, mustard sauce, sriracha, tomato jam, and apple cider vinegar.

Before reading about its substitute, let’s read a little bit about tomato ketchup itself. A better understanding of tomato ketchup will definitely help you to choose the best substitute.

What’s In The Post

Quick Peek: Tomato Ketchup

Tomato Ketchup

 This section is all about ketchup. We will discuss its taste, use, health benefits, and much more. So let’s start.

What Is Tomato Ketchup

Tomato ketchup is a culinary ingredient that is made with tomato, sugar, and vinegar as its main ingredient. Apart from that, nowadays, tomato ketchup carries many more ingredients for commercial purposes.

Sometimes people mistake tomato ketchup for tomato sauce. But they are not the same. Tomato soup contains just tomatoes, and some spices are mostly served hot.

Describing Tomato Ketchup: Flavor And Texture

Tomato ketchup has a sweet and tangy flavor with an underlying sweet tomato taste. It has a thick consistency and a consistency between paste and sauce.

Tomato ketchup is often cooked with tomatoes. Tomatoes are cooked and smashed before making them into a puree. Sugar, vinegar, and many more spices are added to it. Hence some ketchup will be on a lightly spicy flavor.

Uses Of Tomato Ketchup

Tomatoes are an extremely versatile ingredient, and for this reason, they are widely used all around the world. The same goes for tomato ketchup. It is widely used as a side dip for various food items. 

Even though ketchup is often used as a side dip, it can also be the main ingredient. Whenever we run out of tomatoes, we look up to ketchup to fill its place in our dishes, and most of the time, it is the world.

However, we all know these things, but did you know that ketchup can be used to clean things? If you want to polish your old silver bracelet, just drop some ketchup over it and rub. Wash it after some time to see its magic!

Ketchup also works great over copper utensils. If you have heavily tarnished copperware, just pour some ketchup and salt over it. Keep it for some time and wash it off to get a glazing copper pot.

Tomato Ketchup On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Tomatoes are loaded with health benefits. However, tomato ketchup has no health benefits due to the presence of sugar and vinegar. However, we cannot ignore some of the health benefits of ketchup.

Tomato and its products are said to have lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. It helps to reduce the risk of having heart disease. 

Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin A. Thus eating tomatoes and tomato ketchup might help you in having good eyesight. Above that, it also contains lutein, which is great for the eye’s health.

Last but not least, it makes all food edible. If you hate eating salad, just add some ketchup, and it becomes tolerable. Thus we can say it helps us eat healthy things regardless of being a less healthy condiment.

Why Use A Substitute For Tomato Ketchup?

Some of you might think it silly to use a substitute for tomato ketchup because it is a necessary component of many sauces and seasonings. I can, however, provide you with a few compelling arguments for using a replacement.

First of all, you could be allergic to tomatoes. You heard it right! Some people are extremely allergic to tomatoes and cannot include them in their diet; if you are one of them, use a tomato ketchup substitute.

Even though tomato ketchup has a universal taste all across the globe, sometimes some variants might have a more sour taste. If you can’t stand it, don’t because you can rely upon a tomato ketchup substitute.

There will be very little time when we will be running out of tomato ketchup, but if we are in that situation, you don’t need to run to a shop; instead, you can use a tomato ketchup substitute from your pantry itself.

I hope I have given you enough reasons why to try a tomato ketchup substitute. So, without taking much of your time, let’s look into some of the most suitable tomato ketchup substitutes.

8 Best Tomato Ketchup Substitutes

The top tomato ketchup substitutes are presented in this section. Along with their substitution ratios, you will learn how each alternative can be used in place of tomato ketchup.

1. Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam

Tomato jam and tomato ketchup largely contain similar ingredients and also have a similar flavor profile. Hence tomato jam can be used as a tomato ketchup substitute.

Tomato jams contain tomatoes, garlic, green pepper, and sugar as their main ingredient. It is slightly thicker than the tomato ketchup. It also has a more sweet flavor than tomato ketchup.

Tomato jam is an ideal tomato ketchup substitute for dips and spreads. 

2. Salsa


Salsa is a sauce made of tomatoes, green chilies, spices, and lime juice. It has a savory and zest taste that is comparable to the taste of tomato ketchup and hence can be used as a tomato ketchup substitute.

Salsa means sauce. However, it has been used as a dip for a longer time. It can be raw or cooked and has different textures. When you need a dip for your french fries or chips, you can safely reach out to salsa as a tomato ketchup substitute.

You can either use a store-bought one or if you have all the ingredients, you can just cook some at your home. Salsa can be paired with salads as well as meat dishes. Moreover, it is a very healthy tomato ketchup substitute.

3. Barbeque Sauce

Barbeque Sauce

Barbeque sauce has a smoky-sweet taste with little tanginess. It also has tomato as one of its main ingredients and works well as a tomato ketchup substitute. It is also one of the most readily available substitutes for tomato ketchup.

A basic barbeque smoke has tomato, liquid smoke, sugar, and vinegar as its main ingredient, which is almost similar to tomato ketchup. Barbeque sauce can be used in multiple ways, just like tomato ketchup. 

It can be used to marinate the meat dishes or can be used as a spread. It is an ideal replacement for tomato ketchup, especially as a dip or a spread. 

4. Mayonnaise


Mayonnaise has a smooth, creamy texture with a tart, balanced, clean flavor. When it comes to taste, mayonnaise is nowhere near tomato ketchup. But when it comes to its uses, it can replace tomato ketchup very easily.

Mayonnaise is one of the most popular condiments of today’s age. One reason for its popularity is its easy availability and also the ease of making it. You don’t have to cook to make some mayo.

All you need is some eggs, oil, spice of your choice, and a blender. It works great as a spread as well as a dip. Next time you are out of some ketchup, try some mayonnaise in its place.

5. Sriracha


Sriracha is a kind of sauce used in South Asian cooking. It has a slightly tangy-sweet taste with a note of garlic. It has a similar flavor profile and texture as tomato ketchup and hence can be regarded as a good tomato ketchup substitute.

Sriracha is named after its city of origin, sriracha, in Thailand and is widely used in Chinese as well as Taiwanese dishes. If you are a fan of spicy food, then sriracha is the perfect tomato ketchup substitute.

Sriracha can be used just like tomato ketchup. You can use it as a dip or a spread. However, since sriracha is spicier, use half a teaspoon of sriracha for one teaspoon of ketchup.

6. Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

Often people mistook tomato sauce for tomato ketchup. Tomato soup and tomato ketchup have similar flavor profiles and consistency; hence, tomato sauce can be used as a tomato ketchup substitute.

Tomato sauce is often cooked at home using tomatoes, olive oils, and herbs. Tomato sauce has a sweet and acidic taste. It has a more raw taste when compared to that ketchup.

However, we can totally substitute tomato sauce in place of tomato ketchup in most of the dishes. Tomato sauce works great as a base for many other curries which require tomato ketchup.

When compared to tomato ketchup, tomato sauce has a more watery consistency. Also, it will have a more bland taste. Therefore while using tomato sauce as a ketchup substitute, boil it to a thicker consistency and add more spices according to your taste.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is manufactured from fermented apples and has a fruitier flavor and tanginess. It’s widely available and can be used as a substitute for tomato ketchup.

If you are out of tomato ketchup, you can try adding some apple cider vinegar to your favorite salad bowl. It reciprocates the sweet and tangy flavor. However, apple cider vinegar cannot replace tomato ketchup in some dishes.

8. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is another widely available ingredient that can be used as a tomato ketchup substitute. It has a similar taste and can be used in various dishes that call for tomato ketchup.

Tomato paste, like ketchup, has an extremely thick consistency. It can be an ideal ketchup replacement in sauces as well as curries. Tomato paste adds tomato flavor without watering your dish.

However, tomato paste is not as flavorful as that tomato ketchup. Hence, adding more spice and sugar is very important to make it up for ketchup’s flavor. While replacing, follow the standard 1:1 ratio.

DIY Tomato Ketchup

Cooking brings people close. So if you have time and enough ingredients, you can always try your hands on some homemade ketchup. All you need is some tomato paste, salt, sugar, vinegar, and some spices (of your choice!).

Blend all of these ingredients in a blender and then boil for some time until you get the desired consistency. Voila! Your ketchup is ready to serve. If there is some leftover, keep it in the fridge and use it within the next two weeks. 

Short Recap Of Tomato Ketchup Substitutes

Not a very long list of substitutes for tomato ketchup, but still a decent enough list that will work in all recipes. So, I am sure you must have gone through them all by now. But, I will break it down for you to make it easier to pick your substitute. 

Best Easily Available Tomato Ketchup Substitutes:

  1. Tomato Jam
  2. Tomato Sauce

Most Suitable Tomato Ketchup Substitutes:

  1. Salsa
  2. Tomato sauce
  3. Sriracha

Substitute Options To Consider Last:

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Mayonnaise 

How To Use Tomato Ketchup Substitutes In Recipes

Tomato Ketchup Substitutes

Tomato ketchup is not hard to come by. You can easily get it anywhere near you. But there will be situations where we could be out of tomato ketchup, and if that happens you can always rely on a tomato ketchup substitutes.

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  • Tomato Jam
  • Salsa
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sriracha
  • Tomato Sauce
  •  Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Tomato Paste
  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.

Final Thoughts

With its sweet and tangy flavor, tomato ketchup just makes everything tastier. However, when we do not have tomato ketchup, look for its substitute. Most of the substitutes provided in this article are carefully chosen.

Hence, we really hope that whatever you choose from the list works well for your recipe. If you succeed or have an any better alternative for tomato ketchup in your mind, do let us know in the comment section below! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I replace ketchup with tomato paste?

Yes. You can use tomato paste in place of tomato ketchup. However, tomato paste is less flavorful and might need you to add some spices to match ketchup’s flavor.

Is ketchup and tomato sauce the same?

No. Ketchup and sauce are two different things and have slightly different flavor profiles.

What can I use in place of ketchup in meatloaf?

You can totally rely on barbeque sauce or salsa as a tomato ketchup substitute in meatloaf.

What is tomato ketchup made of?

Tomato ketchup is a culinary ingredient that carries tomato, sugar, and vinegar as its main ingredient.


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