Basic Catsup

In this basic recipe, the flavors come from the tomatoes, sugar and salt; the vinegar helps preserve the catsup; and the pectin helps thicken it. My favorite way to fancy up catsup is to add some heat to it—blended habanero, chipotle or Hatch chiles (if in season) are always great. Play around with ratios per your heat-comfort level. A milder pepper will need about a one-to-one ratio with the tomatoes, whereas it will only take one or two habaneros to kick it up a notch or three. Or consider adding a cup of smoked tomatoes from Farmer Larry at Boggy Creek Farm or Farmer Glenn at Springdale Farm. Smoky catsup goes great on bacon burgers.

1 batch makes approximately 2 quarts.

Super easy

Basic Catsup


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cups tomato paste
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cups fruit pectin
  • 1/4 cups sugar

Basic Catsup Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium stockpot, and let simmer on very low heat for several hours, until it’s nice and thick.
  2. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Catsup will keep for about a month refrigerated.

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