Ketchup could be one of the most popular condiments in the whole world, it’s known for its vinegary, slightly sweet flavor and thick texture.
It’s a perfect condiment for many foods out there, whether it be meat or vegetables and it’s sometimes added to sauces to help thicken it and add extra flavor too.
Although it’s so popular and readily available, sometimes you might not have it on hand when you need it.
Here are 12 of the best substitutes to ketchup.
1. Tomato Paste
Tomato paste is one of the best substitutes for ketchup due to its similar taste and texture. It’s a great substitute when adding it to dishes and using it in sauces, but it’s not good as a dipping sauce as it’s too strong.
2. Tomato Jam
Tomato jam is much sweeter than ketchup, it’s even sometimes referred to as a fancier version of its counterpart.
It’s much chunkier than regular ketchup too, so it can be great in adding texture to your dishes. It can be added to sauces, dishes or even used as a condiment for potatoes and other snacks.
3. Barbecue Sauce
This is another great substitute for ketchup, even though it has a completely different flavor profile. Adding barbecue sauce to sauces can sometimes diminish the flavor, so be careful when adding it. But it’s the best alternative to ketchup for dipping sauces.
Sriracha (see also ‘12 Best Sriracha Substitutes You Should Know About!‘) is a spicy condiment made of chili, and it’s become increasingly popular worldwide. It doesn’t actually contain any tomatoes, but it is made the same way as ketchup, just with chilis instead.
It has an acidity taste to it, much like ketchup, which makes it a great substitute for ketchup. You can use it as a condiment or add it to sauces.
5. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
These are a great ingredient to keep as they’re usually stored in oil and can last a really long time, they also add a nice tomato-y umami flavor to any dish.
They’re great in sauces and stews if you leave them to cook, but you can also blend them to make a paste-like consistency which can be added to any dish and be used as a dipping sauce.
Hummus? It sounds like an odd substitute for ketchup, but if you’re looking for an equally delicious condiment, then hummus is a great choice.
You can also buy different flavors of hummus, such as red pepper, which can have more of a resemblance to ketchup. Don’t use it when it comes to cooking, as hummus may ruin the flavor.
7. Red Pesto
Red pesto is almost like green pesto, except it’s made with sundried tomatoes, walnuts and garlic and it’s usually used on pizza or pasta. But it can be added to sauces for more flavor too.
It’s sometimes better than ketchup as it’s not as acidic and sweet, but adds amazing flavor to vegetables and sauces. It’s not usually recommended to use it as a condiment.
Salsa is much chunkier than ketchup, as you probably already know. But it’s also made with tomatoes and has a sweet, rich taste to it, which makes it an excellent substitute for ketchup.
It’s not recommended to add salsa instead of ketchup to sauces since it’s much chunkier, but if you need to, you can add it.
9. Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce is quite literally the next best thing if you want to keep that tomato flavor, but have no ketchup.
Jarred tomato sauce is an excellent alternative since it’s very rich and has that same tomato flavor, add a dash of apple cider vinegar and it’ll have that same unique acidic taste.
It is a great replacement for ketchup in a sauce, but won’t taste the same as a condiment.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Ketchup is unique due to its acidic, vinegary taste. So if you’re missing that flavor, just add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar instead.
It has a slightly sweet taste to it too so it will give the same flavor profile of ketchup, just without the tomato. Don’t use it as a condiment, as it will be too strong.
11. Chili Jam
Like tomato jam, chili jam is also known as a fancier alternative to ketchup.
It’s not made of tomatoes but it has a sweet, yet slightly spicy flavor and you can add it to your sauces for extra flavor, or use it as a condiment.
12. Make Your Own
Making ketchup at home is easy!
All you’ll need is tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and some spices and cook them down until they become a sauce.
Homemade ketchup can be used the same exact way as regular ketchup, feel free to alter the spices and flavor to your taste.
There you have it!
12 substitutes for ketchup that are almost as good as having the real thing, a lot of these sauces you’ll already have sat in your kitchen but with a lot of them you can just make them.