Homemade Heirloom Tomato & Herb Ketchup (Sweetened with Dates & Honey)


For the past week, my entire neighborhood has smelled like one big, backyard barbecue, and that makes me very happy!  It seems as if every time I go outside {which is often because my puppy has a slight obsession with walking/running together – he would go every hour on the hour if I would take him (!)} someone, somewhere, is grilling something; mostly burgers if my sense of smell is correct.  And what burger – or barbecue in general – is complete without ketchup?

I love ketchup with standard grill fare (and a giant plate of fries!) , but I will freak out if it touches anything on my plate that should not be doused in sugary-tomato-sauce (I am looking at you, salad!).  Ewww.  I also freak out a little bit when I consider the ingredients in most big-name ketchup brands.  Double ewww.  The good news is, this stuff is so simple to prepare at home, and is about 1,000x more delicious than anything you can buy in a bottle.  For real, since making a batch, everyone in my house has been asking “What else can we put ketchup on?”.  It’s that good.

For this version, I used a mix of heirloom tomatoes, and canned.  I like to add the canned for color and texture purposes, but you can certainly use all fresh if you like.  Instead of sweetening it with sugar, I threw in 1/4 cup of honey and a few dates (If you want to keep this Vegan, you can omit the honey and double the number of dates).  I think the dates were the thing that sent it over the goodness edge, because they essentially taste like candy in natural form.  I finished the ketchup with some fresh herbs for brightness.  I honestly like this combination so much that I might even be okay with it touching everything on my plate.  Maybe : )





Homemade Heirloom Tomato & Herb Ketchup (Sweetened with Dates & Honey)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Things in Jars
Serves: 3 cups
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced (You can use yellow or red!)
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
  • ½ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • Pinch of Allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 14.5-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes with Liquid (Look for a brand that is BPA-free!)
  • 3 Large Heirloom Tomatoes, Chopped (You want the equivalent of approximately 2 cups of chopped tomatoes.)
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 4 Medjool Dates, Chopped
  • (Optional) 2-3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (I used Lemon Thyme), 4-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
  1. Place the oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook until translucent, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, spices, and tomato paste to the pan, and cook, stirring, for an additional minute so that the spices become fragrant.
  4. Pour in the vinegar. Add the tomatoes, honey, and dates to the mixture, stirring to ensure that everything is combined.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low, and allow the mixture to cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 45 minutes, it should be thick and have taken on a ketchup-like consistency.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs, if desired. Using an immersion blender, puree the ketchup until smooth (You can also use a standing blender, but be careful when pulsing, as the hot liquid will expand, and you do not want it to explode all over you!).
  7. (Optional) Pass the blended mixture through a mesh sieve to remove any seeds.
  8. Store in clean jars, in the refrigerator for up to one month.
To make this ketchup Vegan, you cam omit the honey and double the number of dates used, as sweetener.



(Kitchen Towel >> Here) (Slate Board >> Here) (Glassware >> Here)

4 Responses to Homemade Heirloom Tomato & Herb Ketchup (Sweetened with Dates & Honey)

  1. This looks so delicious! I need to make it. Love your blog! – Lizzie

  2. wow this looks really amazing! I can’t wait to make it :)

leave a comment