How to Make Ketchup Just Like Heinz

So this is a first for me. Honestly, Heinz Ketchup is about as common a product as any in the Hunt refrigerator. So why on earth would I even think of making it myself? If you haven’t seen today’s headlines, brace.

The U.S. is experiencing a ketchup shortage. Not kidding. Ketchup! And specifically, our favorite brand, Heinz.

French fries with ketchup on wood tray

Packets, what packets?

Seems that manufacturing has not kept up with demand. With the pivot to drive-thrus and curbside pickup, Americans have fairly devoured the entirety of the national supply of those little packets of ketchup.

I don’t understand why Heinz et al could not figure out how to push the button on the packet-filling machine to 20,000,000,000 instead of the usual 2,000,000,000, but then I’m not in that business.

If news media are reporting this as the latest crisis we can blame on Covid, it’s a problem surely to hit consumers at all levels.

Bye-bye bottles

Restaurants, we read, are resorting to ketchup in bottles, opting to fill little to-go containers themselves. They’re clearing out the shelves at the big box stores and warehouses. You should assume they’re heading to a supermarket near you.

But not to worry! We can make it ourselves, and remarkably come out with a product that is very (very!) close to Heinz Ketchup, for just pennies!

How to Make Ketchup (Heinz Copycat)

You’ll need:

✅ tomato paste

✅ light corn syrup

✅ white vinegar

✅ water

✅ white granulated sugar

✅ salt

✅ onion powder

✅ garlic powder


French Fries with Ketchup
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Copycat Heinz Ketchup

This recipe was created by Todd Wilbur for his book "Even More Top Secret Recipes". You can find more of Todd's original recipes at
Now that the price of good ketchup is soaring, you can relax. Make it yourself! This is so close to Heinz, you're going to be amazed. And it's super cheap to make yourself.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 tablespoons
Calories: 23kcal
Author: Todd Wilbur


  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • ½ cup light corn syrup like Karo
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tspn salt
  • ¼ tspn onion powder
  • tspn garlic powder


  • Into a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, pour all of the ingredients.
  • Stir or whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture looks smooth.
  • Once the ketchup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes (be careful to not let it burn).
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Cover and allow to cool. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


  1. This recipe was created by Todd Wilbur for his book "Even More Top Secret Recipes". You can find more of Todd's original recipes at
  2. Store in a recycled Ketchup bottle or other covered containers
  3. My cost to make this recipe, using store-brand tomato paste about $.70. An equal amount of Heinz Ketchup, at about $.15 per oz at my supermarket, works out to $3.59 for the same amount—more than 5x this homemade version. Wow! What a savings. 
  4. Non-Fructose Version: Substitute blue agave sweetener for the Karo light corn syrup in the foregoing recipe. Everything else remains the same. 


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg




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  1. Becky says:

    I will definitely try this. My husband has stomach issues when eating food that has onion powder, and ketchup is one item I could leave it out of.

  2. Terri Riley says:


    I love your everyday cheapskate emails, but I wish you’d be more health conscious when sharing recipes. At least, perhaps, give a healthy alternative for those readers who care about their health. Corn syrup??? Seriously?

    • Mary Hunt says:

      I appreciate your concern Terri, but you have to understand this is not a food blog. There are many thousands of blogs out there devoted to food and recipes—such as vegan, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. The focus of this specific post is how to “copycat” Heinz Original Ketchup in light of a shortage of the product at this time, and at the same time to cut the cost significantly. It’s a DIY option. Hope that helps!

  3. Maryalice Rael says:

    Thank you Mary! My husband and I are not too big in using ketchup, but I love that you gave the recipe! I would like to try to eliminate the white sugar or at least cut it in half. Love your daily e-mails!

  4. Carolyn says:

    Hmmm, I would’ve thought you would prefer Hunt’s! (Sly wink). I live near “the world’s largest ketchup plant” (Heinz’s claim) in Fremont, Ohio and up until about 20 years ago they contracted with local farmers to grow their tomatoes. Now they ship in rail tankers of tomato paste from heavily subsidized farmers in California because they say its cheaper. But its still heavenly to drive past the plant and crave fries! Making ketchup at home always reminds me of the opening scene of “Meet Me In St. Louis” where the family cannot agree whether the pot of ketchup on the stove needs more vinegar or salt! Thanks for the recipe, Mary!

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Good one! Actually not a fan of Hunt’s brand ketchup. And I have no connection to those Hunts that I know of. But for those of you in So. Florida who might recognize the company, Hunt Windows, yep. That is my family by a coattail, but family nonetheless.

  5. Cally Ross says:

    5 stars
    I like that I can control the sugar and salt in this, with a diabetic hubby who salts everything, I love to make my own condiments, etc.

  6. Kim says:

    Thank you for this recipe. A bottle of Simply Heinz ketchup )the one without corn syrup) was $6.49 at my local supermarket. I left it on the shelf.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      The folks at Heinz say their original Ketchup (of which this is a clone) is good for up to 15 months when refrigerated. Since this clone has the same ingredients, I’d let that be my guide. Twelve ounces is a fairly small batch, not enough to last for 15 months in most households. It’s the vinegar and tomato sauce that give this such a long life—the acid in both stave off the growth of bacteria.

  7. Karen says:

    Professional chefs make their own condiments (ketchup and mayonnaise) all the time and they are sublime. Easy, quick, inexpensive, healthier (no corn syrup) and GREAT taste.

  8. Tom says:

    If it were that easy everyone would be doing it. I can buy a 38 oz bottle of Heinz ketchup for $1.99 on sale at a major supermarket in my area (it’s not one of the big warehouse stores) – so I buy 5-6 bottles at a time. No mess, no fuss, and always available on demand. Easy to store – and, pleez, don’t give me the best used by / expiration date nonsense that our FDA forces compamies to put on food products.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      That’s a great bargain, Tom … until that shelf mysteriously turns up empty. Hopefully you have a good stockpile there.

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