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The 5 Best Substitutes for Ketchup

Who doesn’t love ketchup? It’s the perfect condiment for burgers, fries, and so much more.

But what if you’re out of ketchup?

Or what if you’re trying to avoid processed foods? Luckily, there are plenty of substitutes for ketchup that can add flavor and depth to your favorite dishes.

In this article, we’ll discuss the five best substitutes for ketchup.

What’s Ketchup?

Most people are familiar with ketchup, but many don’t know what it actually is.

Ketchup is a condiment that is typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

It originated in China, where it was made from a variety of ingredients, including fish.

The word “ketchup” likely came from the Hokkien Chinese word “ke-tsiap”.

In the 18th century, ketchup began to be made with tomatoes instead of fish, and the dish became more popular in the United States.

Today, ketchup is one of the most popular condiments in the world.

It is often used on hamburgers and hot dogs but can also be used in other dishes such as macaroni and cheese or eggs.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ketchup

If you’re looking for a tasty alternative to ketchup, there are several options that can satisfy your cravings.

Here is a list of five substitutes that work great as an accompaniment to burgers, fries, and other classic dishes:

1 – Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is a thick, red sauce made from cooked tomatoes.

It has a smooth, velvety texture and a slightly sweet taste.

Many people use it as a substitute for ketchup, as it has a similar flavor but is not as tangy.

Tomato puree can be used in a variety of dishes, such as pasta sauces, soups, and stews.

It is also a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine.

If you are looking for a flavorful way to add some zip to your meals, tomato puree is a great option.

2 – Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is a staple in many kitchens, and for a good reason.

It’s versatile, flavorful, and easy to make.

But what exactly is tomato sauce, and how does it differ from ketchup?

Tomato sauce is made from tomatoes that have been cooked down into a thick, smooth paste.

It generally has a brighter flavor than ketchup, with a slightly acidic kick.

The texture of tomato sauce can also be thinner or thicker, depending on the recipe.

One of the most common ways to use tomato sauce is as a substitute for ketchup.

Ketchup is also made from tomatoes, but it generally has a sweeter flavor and thicker texture.

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to ketchup, try using tomato sauce instead.

It’s lower in sugar and calories, and it can add an extra depth of flavor to your favorite dishes.

3 – Salsa (for Dipping)

Salsa is a sauce made from chopped tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and cilantro.

It is typically used as a dip for tortilla chips, but it can also be used as a condiment for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.

Salsa is usually made from fresh ingredients, but there are also wide jarred varieties available in supermarkets.

When choosing a salsa, look for one that has a balance of acidity and sweetness.

You should also consider the texture of the salsa.

If you prefer a smooth sauce, look for a salsa that has been pureed or strained.

If you prefer chunky salsa, look for one with whole tomatoes and large chunks of vegetables.

Salsa can also be used as a substitute for ketchup.

Try using it on burgers or fries for a Mexican-inspired twist.

4 – Tomato Jam

Tomato jam is a type of preserve made from tomatoes and sugar.

Traditional recipes also include vinegar, onion, and spices such as cloves, cinnamon, or allspice.

It has a sweet-tart flavor and a thick, spreadable texture.

Unlike ketchup, which is made from cooked tomatoes, tomato jam is made with raw tomatoes that have been simmered for a long time.

This cooking process concentrates the tomato’s natural sweetness and gives the jam a deep red color.

Tomato jam can be used as a condiment on sandwiches and burgers or as an ingredient in sauces and marinades.

It makes an excellent gift for home cooks and food lovers alike.

5 – Barbecue Sauce

BBQ sauce is a staple of many recipes, adding a savory and slightly sweet flavor to meat, vegetables, and more.

It’s made with a variety of ingredients, including tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

This combination results in a sauce that is thick and tangy with just a hint of sweetness.

BBQ sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, a marinade, or even as a condiment.

It’s also a great way to add flavor to ketchup-based recipes.

Simply substitute an equal amount of BBQ sauce for ketchup, and you’ll end up with a dish that is delightfully zesty and full of flavor.

So next time you’re looking for a way to spice up your cooking, reach for the BBQ sauce.

You may just find that it’s the secret ingredient you’ve been searching for all along.


In conclusion, tomatoes are versatile and flavorful ingredients that can be used in many ways.

From tomato puree to salsa to tomato jam and BBQ sauce, there is an abundance of recipes that feature the tangy fruit.

Whether you’re looking for a condiment or an ingredient for your favorite dish, tomatoes are sure to add some delicious flavor.

So give one of these tomato-based sauces a try and see what you think.

You might just be surprised at how tasty they are.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ketchup

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ketchup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Tomato Puree
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salsa (for Dipping)
  • Tomato Jam
  • Barbecue Sauce


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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