Chipotle ketchup changes everything

Chipotle ketchup DSC6271

I was talking to a friend on the phone last night and he asked what I’d eaten for dinner. “Ketchup,” I replied. “And what else?” he said. “And nothing. Just ketchup,” I said, “though I suppose onion rings would have been nice.”

I am in love with ketchup for the first time. And yes, I could be biased because I made it but no matter—I think it’s the best ketchup I’ve ever had in my life.

Have you ever made ketchup? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. You get to control the sweetness, the spice and you can even make it fiery if you desire, as I did with mine by adding chipotles.

Chipotle ketchup recipe | Homesick Texan

I make salsa at least once a week and I’ve even been known to whip up mayonnaise or Hollandaise when I had a craving for the good stuff. But for some reason homemade ketchup never crossed my mind. Like most people, I ate Heinz my whole life, until I decided that I didn’t want to eat a condiment made with high-fructose corn syrup. I then switched to Whole Foods’ version, which is made with cane sugar instead. And it’s good. But not as good as mine.

There are countless recipes floating around, but the one thing they all adhere to is the use of vinegar and a sweetener—usually brown sugar—as it’s this combination mixed with the tomatoes that gives ketchup its distinctive flavor. From there, you can do anything you like, making your ketchup as simple or sophisticated as you desire.

For mine, I diced a 1015 sweet onion and cooked it in olive oil until it was just starting to brown. I then added a 28-ounce can of Roma tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and a bit of molasses. I threw in some chipotles for smoke and fire, some cinnamon and cloves for spice and some celery seed for brightness. I let it cook for a couple of hours and then pureed it and let it cook some more. My yield was about a pint, though it could have been more if I hadn’t been constantly spooning it out of the pot to taste.

Chipotle ketchup recipe | Homesick Texan

And yes, I do believe that a spoon is an acceptable vehicle for this condiment. But I have over six pounds of 1015 onions that are just begging to be made into onion rings, and I just know that they’ll go beautifully with my homemade chipotle ketchup.

Chipotle ketchup DSC6271
4.5 from 4 votes

Chipotle ketchup

Servings 1 pint
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. On medium-low heat, cook the diced onion in the olive oil in a medium-sized pot just until the onions start to brown a bit on the ends.

  2. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

  3. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, chipotle chiles, cinnamon, cloves, celery seeds, and salt, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and then simmer uncovered for an hour, stirring occasionally.

  4. After an hour, puree the mixture, and then continue to cook on low heat until it reaches your desired thickness. Adjust seasonings to taste. Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 

  1. Oh, that looks amazing! I am addicted to chipotle right now. I used it last night to make a POM chipotle glaze for steak. Just reading about the spices you used is making my mouth water. Yum!

  2. Yum! I have made ketchup for years and I do like the ability to control the flavor. This sounds awesome. 🙂

  3. Oh my that sounds absolutely delicious!! thanks for twittering about this. I want ketchup with a spoon! 😉

  4. This looks terrific! I always go overboard with ketchup and have to resist make a meal out of it. Adding chipolte would make it even more delicious!

  5. tbsamsel

    But you have sriracha, don’t you? That’s what goes with onion rings..


    (the chipotle ketchup sounds great, though..)

  6. Recipe sounds good. Did you find it on the spicy side ?

    I’d bet that would go well with so many more things as well, especially grilled burgers.

    Don’t be surprised to see Bobby Flay derive inspiration from it.

  7. Holy wow. I started drooling just reading this. I made enchilada sauce last night with the same sort of “wow – why haven’t I made this before” discovery. And as an odd coincidence, I just ordered a bag of chipotles from Penzeys. I think I know what I’ll be making when they come in!

  8. knitalot3

    Wow! I’ll have to try that. It looks yummy. I made ketchup when DH first when on the low iodine thyroid cancer diet. We have also made mayonnaise, alternative butter spread, and some other things I wouldn’t have imagined you could. Many of the recipes are really good. We have also made and canned our own barbecue sauce for years, YUM!!. I am allergic to onions so DH leaves them big and I pick them out. Thanks for sharing the chipotle recipe.

  9. This sounds so good! My grandparents used to make ketchup all the time, and I loved it.

    Thank you for this post. I’m inspired to try it and it brought back memories.

  10. TheKitchenWitch

    I LOVE ketchup. And I love chipotles. I definitely want to try this. I have a bit of a fear of canning things, but this might tempt me to give it a go.

  11. I love the smoky flavor of chipotles. They must give your ketchup great flavor. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  12. Anonymous

    Ah, yes. This looks good and will make a mess of beans perfect. (Sorry — I’m still unreformed.) Cheers from Austin, deep in the heart of… Keep up the magnificent work.

  13. Claudia Riley

    This sounds really good. I’ve made guava ketchup, but it was a lot of work, and didn’t keep well. This I might try.

  14. Alisa - Frugal Foodie

    This looks amazing!

  15. Sharon M

    You found 1015 onions in New York? Bravo!!! They really are the best, and they don’t make me sob like a little girl when I cut them 😉
    My husband doesn’t like ketchup all that much but I think that even HE might try this, especially with homemade onion rings. Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  16. Culinary Wannabe

    I bet the men reading this are just dying. Isn’t it every woman’s story how when she first met her boyfriend/husband he had nothing but beer and ketchup in his fridge. I know my hubby would certainly eat this by the spoonful, no onion rings necessary.

  17. This sounds wonderful. I’ve been planning on making some ketchup this summer, and this may be the recipe I’ll use.

  18. Amy C Evans

    Unrelated, but I have to tell you that the baby is already a fan of your biscuits 😉

  19. Hey you could put this on cemitas. Why don’t you do a post on cemitas ? I think that would go over well.

  20. s. stockwell

    Now this is a real secret idea to enhance all savory dishes…chipotle rocks!! We have been adding it to so many things it's crazy. We bought some from New Mexico (hot & sweet) also use the canned kind? Thanks for this one! Best, s

  21. Brenda in Texas

    Hi Lisa, When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to make ketchup. I remember it being very sweet and tangy and I loved it.
    She also made mayonnaise and churned her own butter for years and years. She never threw anything away and I remember she made preserves for us kids out of apple peelings.
    When I think about all the stuff she did, she
    was really a little ahead of her time. Still miss her everyday. My most prized possession of hers is an apron and some of her hankies.

  22. I was just thinking about making ketchup the other day and then you posted this! It was like you were reading my mind! I’ve been a fan of yours for a while and being a genuine texas girl, I love ALL of your recipes!

  23. Lisa Fain

    Kelly–POM chipotle glaze on a steak sounds amazing! I’ll have to try that next time flank steak goes on sale.

    Marye–I’m a convert, I’ll never buy ketchup again.

    Carrie–You’re welcome–and eating it with a spoon is quite an experience.

    Phoo-D–If you love chipotle, you’ll love this ketchup.


    Tommy–I didn’t find it spicy, but I’m the kind of person that can eat a whole can of chipotles en adobo in one sitting. And yes, I plan on smothering this on burgers soon!

    Kara–I remember the first time I made enchilada sauce and had the same reaction–it was like cracking a code!

    Knitalot3–How do you make your alternative butter spread?

    KKryno–It always amazes me what how well our grandparents and great-grandparents ate, and how long it took us to get back to that way of cooking.

    TheKitchenWitch–I’d just keep it in the fridge for a few weeks and not mess with the canning. And if you don’t go through that much ketchup, you can make a smaller batch.

    Janice–I know–smoky chipotles are one of my all-time favorite things!

    Anon–Indeed, I was thinking the same thing. I’ll definitely be plopping this into my next batch of baked beans.

    Claudia–Oh! Guava ketchup sounds exotic!


    Sharon–Yes, I did! At my local Whole Foods–I bought about 10 pounds and have already gone through half of them. I swear I can eat a whole one caramelized by myself!

    Culinary Wannabe–Ha! I don’t know if all men were like that–heck, I had a boyfriend in college who had a much better stocked fridge than I!

    Melanie–Hope you enjoy it!

    Amy C Evans–That baby of yours has mighty fine taste!

    Tommy–You read my mind! As soon as I can come up w/ a good cemita roll recipe this weekend, I’ll write about them.

    S. Stockwell–I know, it’s my secret ingredient in so many things as well.

    Brenda–Oh, what treasures! My grandma has my family’s old butter churn, and I want to get that from her and try making butter the old-fashioned way.

    Amanda–I am indeed a mind reader!

  24. Brittany

    I LOOOOOVE chipotle ketchup! I’m so excited to finally have a recipe, I have been buying it for years. Amazing on scrambled eggs =)

  25. Anonymous

    Was ketchup really all you ate for dinner? Maybe it’s just because I’m pregnant, but that sounds a little light on caloric content…

    Does look like a tasty recipe, though – I’ve never had homemade ketchup before!

  26. I saw an episode of Diners,Drive-Ins &Dives where Fee-Etti focused on a Mexican place in Chicago that specialized in cemitas. I had vaguely heard of them before, but they looked absolutely scrumptious and the key to finishing them was Grandma's homemade chipotle "stew". I suppose a few of their regulars might call it chipotle ketchup.

    I look forward to your cemita feature.

  27. Scribbit

    I’ve got it on my list to make ketchup soon. I’ve never had chipotle before so this might be a good place to start.

  28. Farmer Jen

    I’ve made my own tomato sauce and salsa before, but have not tried homemade ketchup…yet. Thanks for the great recipe! Sounds delicious.

  29. dreamsanddecor

    YUM! I’m thinking homemade baked potato wedges on the side with this! I would never even have thought about making my own ketchup!—I just love your blog! Patti

  30. Yum. You’re making me want to have ketchup for dinner as well! Onion rings would be perfection.

  31. twobarkingdogs

    Do you hit this with an immersion blender to smooth it out? or leave it sort of lumpy with the onions?

    I think this sounds wonderful, and I’m going to keep this recipe in the back of my mind as the tomatoes hit the farmers market. I try to get there early on Saturdays so I can get the bags of bruised tomatoes for a dollar. This would be a perfect way to use them up. Thanks!!

  32. Heinz organic ketchup tastes more like regular Heinz than the Whole Foods ketchup does. I can't help it – I swear by Heinz ketchup and Hellmann's mayonnaise. But I might try to make a spicy ketchup. . .

    My husband gave his dog to the guy who developed the 1015 onion. He's affiliated with Texas A&M, so it's also the official Aggie onion, making it the official onion of my house. Not because I love the Aggies, but because I hate the Longhorns. I'm from Norman, OK, home of the Sooners.

  33. Oh my gosh, it’s never occurred to me to make my own ketchup! This spicy one sounds just amazing. Mmm, mmm, good!

  34. I’ll have to try this. My dad made homemade ketchup when I was a kid and it’s one of my fondest memories. A while before he passed away, I asked him how he did it and he didn’t remember. I was so sad. I’d love to be able to recreate his recipe. This might just get me off to an inspired start. Thanks!


  35. OMG this looks phenomenal! My husband is going to L-O-V-E this one!! 🙂

  36. Unless I’m at McD’s, I never eat ketchup in its pure form and always kick it up by adding whatever chili sauces I have at hand – be it Rooster Sriracha or sweet chili or homemade Guyanese pepper sauce. Mmmm.

  37. Scott at Real Epicurean

    OK, this does look amazing. I was looking for an alternative (i.e. not tomato) ketchup a couple of weeks ago and would have jumped on this at the time!

  38. I’ve made regular ketchup several times and prefer it to store bought. Chipotle is my flavor du jour so I’ll be making a batch of this today. It sounds amazing, thanks for sharing. As always, love your blog!

  39. Saved it and will be making it for grilled burgers next weekend! Thanks for posting:)

  40. salasks

    Sounds similar to the sauce for mutter panner (obviously without the peas or paneer)…

    2 large onions
    3 medium tomatoes
    1 tbsp ginger paste
    2 tbsps garlic paste
    2 tsps coriander powder
    1 tsp cumin powder
    2 tsps garam masala
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 green chillies chopped fine
    6 tbsps of oil
    1 1/2 cups water

  41. Lisa Fain

    Brittany–It is amazing on scrambled eggs–matter of fact I’m eating some right now!

    Anon–OK, I confess–I had eaten a few tacos late in the afternoon.

    Tommy–Chipotle stew sounds amazing! I’ll have to see if I can find a recipe for that.

    Scribbit–You’ll love it!

    Farmer Jen–I was surprised at how simple it was to make.

    Dreamsanddecor–Baked potato wedges would be awesome!

    Tea–I could eat onion rings all day long.

    Twobarkingdogs–Yes, or you can put it into a blender or food processor. And this a great way to use bruised tomatoes.

    LeeLee–I’ll have to try it the Heinz organic. And I love Hellman’s as well.

    Paula–You should try it, you’ll love it!

    Megs–I’m sorry you didn’t get your dad’s recipe, but hopefully you can use this as a base to recreate his homemade ketchup.


    Olivia–Rooster sauce is great with ketchup. Heck, sometimes I use it in place of ketchup.

    Soctt–Thank you!

    Gregg–I know, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to store bought as the flavor of homemade has so much more depth.

    Salasks–Thanks for this recipe–i can’t wait to try it!

  42. I am a homesick Texas too, and like the ketchup post! Hate to say it, but growing up sometimes I ate more ketchup than fish sticks…not to mention mayo and tomato sandwiches…they were called beefsteak you know!

    Like the blog…I am blog cruising due to later 40’something 3 AM wake up calls, or just ringing in my ears, lol

  43. Street Foodie

    I LOVE Chipotles! There is literally nothing like them on earth, definitely the king of chillies if you ask me.

    I live in Korea where stuff like that is non-existent – my girlfriend recently brought us back some chorizo from a trip to Germany but now i wish i had of asked her to get chipotles while she was at it!

    P.S Still make your flour tortillas on a regular basis!

  44. Oh, that sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  45. Lisa,
    I’ve never particularly thought much of ketchup, but chipotle ketchup sounds amazing. I’ve been on a hunt for chipotles in adobo sauce, but am having a hard time finding them.

  46. Awesome. I was just complaining the other day about WHY kethcup has HFCS in it?
    Lovely recipe, I look forward to trying it out.
    Thank you thank you!

  47. Donbeto

    As a proud ‘all mexican’, ketchup always seems too sweet to me. This creative recipe that you offer to all us is irresistible for me. ¡Truly Texan cuisine!
    Un abrazo

  48. musegourmet

    I love Chipotle. What a great idea to spice up ketchup. I never thought to make it from scratch. Great idea!

  49. Jack Etsweiler

    First thing I’ll make when the tomato crop comes in is your Chipotle Ketchup. In the meantime, try the Heinz Organic Ketchup. Made with Organic Sugar and NO HFCS!

  50. catherine @

    No, never thought about making ketchup, which I love. My family calls me the Condiment Queen. Fries are an excuse to eat ketchup….I’m makin’ this asap.

  51. It does sound good! I’ll make it for my daughter in law, who is a “Proud” Mexican too.

  52. Donbeto

    In that case she will love it, Debbie, and her love for you can rise as big as the Teotihuacan pyramids.

  53. We make “chipotle ketchup” by adding some chipotle sauce to our Heinz, but I never thought of making it from scratch. I’ll definitely try this out.

    I had some amazing onion rings at the Koffee Kup in Hico when I was visiting Texas last month.

  54. Ah this sounds fantastic, I could see myself throwing this on some scrambled eggs :).

  55. good for you for making salsa once a week! I wish! mayo, yea right! only when a client calls. but ketchup, now that’s a whole ‘nother situation! I’m waiting on the recipe from a French chef I ate with last month in Monaco. Girlfriend, let me just tell you it was divine! I’ll make sure to share when I do get it!

  56. pennydelossantos

    Wow, this is so great. I can promise you I’ll be experimenting with this one. Thanks for recipe, great post Lisa!

  57. Damn, this sounds frickin’ tasty. I do believe I will have to try canning this this summer.

  58. I just made a batch using 74/40 tomato filets & I toasted my spices and sauteed the onions and tossed the spices in to meld before I added the tomato filets. I cooked it down for 3 hours and them pureed & added a final bit of vinegar. Thanks for the great idea !!!!

  59. Wow that sounds amazing. I’m a ketchup freak but have never made it myself. Must must must now.

  60. Just a Plane Ride Away

    I have never in my life thought about making ketchup. You’ve just changed my mind. This sounds amazing!

  61. The Yummy Mummy

    Yeah, I’m making this. And with chipotles, because Edie (my 2 year old) LOVES the heat.

    But I probably shouldn’t let her eat it by the spoonful for dinner. You know, good parenting and all. Although she probably would love that – ketchup for dinner. Yahoo! Parent of the year!

    Thanks for this. You rock sister!


  62. This is fabulous. Made it this weekend and yes, you can just eat it by the spoonful. Not being from Texas, I did reduce the chipotle to just 1 1/2, which was the perfect amount of heat for us. Make this – you won’t be disappointed!!

  63. tandkdaytoday

    We made this last weekend, and it was so delicious! So far we’ve put it on fries, meat, you name it! This recipe was surprisingly easy to make, and you can read about our process on my blog. We will definitely make it again in the future.

  64. Just made this today, and I love it! Now I’m craving a big basket of onion rings to eat with it.

  65. I made this last night, and enjoyed with with some friends on Magnolia home-fries. The only thing i didn't like is how strongly the clove taste came out. Next time I will probably halve the amount of clove. Otherwise this was super delicious!

  66. That ketchup sounds perfect; what a great idea you had! I must try it. I have actually made ketchup a few times—Indian-style, with cumin, coriander, garam masala, etc. (not an original idea, I got the recipe from Yamuna Devi's cookbook). Served it with samosas. It was fabuloso.

  67. Speaking Soundly

    Just had my first taste of homemade chipotle ketchup at Twisted Root. WONDERFUL! 🙂

  68. I have made homemade ketchup for the last 2 years. It is so much better than the store bought stuff. I can it and it is very labor intensive, as I use fresh tomatoes, but it is well worth the effort! I think I might make a batch with some of those chipotles in it this summer.

  69. Charlene

    I've just made this without (evil disgusting) onions and with dried chipotles, which are much cheaper and easier to find where I live than the overpriced canned chipotles. Very, very good.

  70. Anonymous

    I love the spice in this recipe! I used fresh tomatoes that I roasted with onion and garlic. Added to pot and pureed until it was 28 ounces. Then I added spices and cook a minute and strained. Added back to pot and simmered until think! YUM!

  71. I'm making this with extra Roma tomatoes from the garden, smells great! But I'm thinking 3 chipotle peppers from the can is going to make this WAY hot. Maybe in the NW, don't know the right kind to use?

  72. Lisa Fain

    Judy–You can use less chipotle chiles if you like.

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