The great thing with making homemade ketchup with hidden vegetables, is that there is no sugar, no wheat, no grains, no HFCS, no additives, no preservatives and the best thing? You can hide all the veggies you like inside, and no-one can tell.

Watch and see how easy it is to make homemade ketchup with hidden vegetables – what would you hide?

A bowl of homemade ketchup sitting on a blue cloth

Homemade Ketchup With Hidden Vegetables

If you need to be shocked into giving up store bought ketchup, check out this post which is the Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Sauces. It may help you to ditch the ketchup once and for all.

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I call this homemade ketchup with hidden vegetables, but really it’s a tomato sauce or a marinara sauce that can be used for topping anything. Serve it warm on tuscan meatballs, two cheese pesto chicken, or  bacon wrapped meatloaf.

While cooking the sauce, add grated/shredded vegetables which will disappear when cooked, and once blended with a stick blender you can’t even tell they are there. This is just another way to get a greater variety of veggies into your children.

Store bought ketchup contains a whopping 25% sugar. So for every one tablespoon of ketchup, you are actually giving your children a 4g spoon of sugar! And most children I know can’t stop at 15ml tablespoon. They drizzle it all over their food, and then go back for seconds.

This homemade ketchup with hidden vegetables is packed with nutrition. You can be happy serving them this homemade ketchup, knowing what went into it, and more importantly, what didn’t!

A bowl of homemade ketchup sitting on a blue cloth

Homemade ketchup recipe (with hidden vegetables)

Homemade ketchup with hidden vegetables is the basic recipe to which you can add your favourite spices and vinegars. I like to add a little chilli.
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Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain free, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Paleo, Wheat Free
Keyword: Sugar-free ketchup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 60 tablespoons
Calories: 7.8kcal
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  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • 1 or 2 cloves for an authentic ketchup flavour
  • 800 g tinned/canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar I used apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste check it is sugar free
  • 1 carrots
  • 2 grated/shredded zucchini
  • add more extra virgin olive oil during cooking


  • Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft but not browned.
  • Add all the other ingredients.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • During the cooking add more extra virgin olive oil, which improves the texture and taste.
  • Remove from the heat and puree with a stick blender using a blade attachment. The smoother you can make the homemade ketchup, the more appealing it is.



Nutrition facts show per tablespoon. Extra vegetables will be in addition to this base recipe.


Serving: 1tbspCalories: 7.8kcalCarbohydrates: 0.8gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.5gSodium: 24.1mgPotassium: 35.3mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.5gVitamin A: 193.8IUVitamin C: 1.5mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.2mg

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  1. Hi Libby, do you know how long this would keep for in the fridge? Thanks

    1. Hi Jenna, I keep mine for a week in these tiny bottles, and could probably keep them longer but it gets eaten before then. Some recipes state you can keep homemade ketchup for up to a month, but I am more cautious, and those recipes canned the ketchup in sterile containers. Thanks. Libby 🙂

  2. Hi all, actually with the vinegar and salt assisting by acting as natural preservatives – if you sterilised the bottles and lids by immersing them in very hot (even boiling) water and fill them with sauce while it too was hot – you could easily keep them 6 months and more. This process is used in the food industry and is called “hot fill”.

      1. Deniseregina says:

        Coming to the conversation late. But I think the added zucchini would decrease the acidity to unsafe levels to water bath can. Pressure canning would be the safest.

        1. Deniseregina says:

          PS, in these amounts, salt is NOT a preservative.

  3. I Would love to substitute the canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes from my garden. Any ideas on how to do that? I plan to use my zucchini in this.

    1. Absolutely. That would be even more nutritious and wonderful to be made fresh from your garden. I would chop up the tomatoes into chunks in place of the tinned tomatoes, and do the same with the zucchini. They will get pureed to a smooth paste anyway when you use your stick blender with the blade attachment.

  4. Hi, I am guessing the +/- 2 cloves is 2 cloves of garlic….is that correct?

  5. Jane Cray says:

    I thought I would just freeze extra…has anyone tried that? Any quality issues after freezing?

  6. Hi Libby, can this be done with fresh tomatoes and zucchini in the crockpot? How would I go about cooking them? Thanks in advance. You make my keto a happy one with all your yummy recipes!

    1. Hi Suparna, yes you could cook the tomatoes and zucchini in the crockpot with your favourite herbs and spices and it would be amazing. I would pop everything in (grate/shred the zucchini) and set on HIGH for 4-6 hours or LOW for 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally and enjoy. Thank you for your kind comments about my recipes, I’m glad I am making your keto journey a happy one 🙂

      1. Do you mean high for 4-6 or low for 8-10?

  7. This point seemed to be covered but I wanted to make sure I understood. The cloves are broken up blended into the ketchup with the hand mixer, correct? One does not remove them from the sauce at the end of the simmering stage and blend the remaining ingredients.

    1. Gosh I haven’t made this in so long. It would depend on how strong you like the taste of cloves. They are easy to remove from the sauce, and the simmering would allow the cloves to have already flavoured the ketchup. If however you preferred a stronger clove taste, you could leave them in and when you puree the mixture using a blender, the cloves would be pulverised into the ketchup.

  8. How much oil is added during cooking to yield the given nutritional stats?

  9. Hi there! I don’t have a stick blender and was hoping this would honestly work in a blender that is similar to the NutriBullet? It’s a Farberware brand, but has the same looking attachments, blades, and cups as the NutriBullet.

    1. Yes you could throw this in the NutriBullet. Just allow it to cool before processing it. You don’t want your kitchen sprayed with boiling hot ketchup.

  10. Thanks Libby, this is such a great easy recipe as usual. And it tastes fabulous and the grandies approve. I so appreciate all the work you put in to make eating well so easy.

  11. Geraldine says:

    Does this freeze well

    1. Yes. It’s especially handy if you freeze it in ice cube trays so you can defrost a small portion at a time. It might need a quick stir before serving as the tomato has a tendency to separate sometimes.

  12. Just starting transitioning my family over to LCHF, and this looks as good a place as any to start!

    Re batch cooking and freezing, once defrosted do you think it would last for a week okay?

    1. Welcome Sara! Yes this should keep fresh in the fridge for up to one week, just don’t keep bringing it to room temperature on the dining table for long. If you need more tips for staring your family to become low-carb, why not join my support group and lunch box hacks group. I’ll see you there.

  13. Hi, Libby! I can live without ketchup, but my husband cannot. Lately, it has become increasingly hard to find ketchup with no fructose added. 🙁 I plan on making this, but was wondering … would this be something I could make in my Vitamix? One of the things I LOVE about your recipes is how many times steps can be removed and still turn out great recipes! I’m thinking you would still suggest cooking the onions, but would I also need to cook the zucchini and carrot? The Vitamix is a work horse at pulverizing food items, and if allowed to run for 4-5 minutes, turns out a piping hot soup, sauce, or whatever. Do you think this would work, or does this need to be simmered on the stovetop? Also, I thought to ask about an Instant Pot method, but using the Vitamix would really be a snap. Thanks so much, Libby!

    1. Yes, I think using your Vitamix would work brilliantly for this recipe (and yes, I would cook the onions first). Funnily enough, I have a recipe for Instant Pot ketchup coming up soon. By the sounds of things though, I need to get myself a Vitamix!