Biscuits and gravy. Johnny and June. Front porches and sweet tea. Some things are just better together. That’s why we’re so particular about our condiments around here. For Southerners, condiments are not an afterthought, something you haphazardly slap on a sandwich or recklessly squirt on a plate of crinkle-cut fries. They are the main event. So when it comes to our spreads, sauces, and dips, we’re a pretty particular bunch: If we’re eating mayonnaise, it’s Duke’s; and if we’re eating ketchup, there’s a good chance it’s homemade. Sure, making your own ketchup is more time-consuming than running to the Pig and picking up a bottle, but the reward is oh so sweet (hey, sugar)—and a little tangy (that’s the vinegar). Plus, our recipe yields six 1-pint jars, so you can either stock up on ketchup for the foreseeable future or put that Southern hospitality to good use and share the tomatoey bounty with your neighbors.

Southern Living


Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 15 mins
5 hrs 5 mins
6 (1-pt.) jars.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine tomatoes and onions in 1 very large Dutch oven or 2 medium Dutch ovens. Bring vegetablesto a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, 45 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Process tomato mixture in a blender until smooth.

  • Place cinnamon sticks, cloves, and garlic on a 3-inch square of cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen string; place spice bag and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heatto medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Remove and discard spice bag; reserve vinegar.

  • Cook tomato mixture, uncovered, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often,21⁄2 hours or until reduced by half. Add reserved vinegar, sugar, and remaining ingredients. Cook,uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes or until thickened.

  • Quickly pour hot mixture into hot jars or bottles, filling to 1⁄2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in boiling-water bath 20 minutes, or if using bottles, cover and keep refrigerated. Makes 6 (1-pt.) jars.