Homemade Tomato Sauce (Ketchup)

  • Servings : 1 cup
  • Prep Time : 5m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 35m

There’s no denying that kids just love tomato sauce. Often, introducing tomato sauce just a few times early in a baby/toddlers life can start the cycle of fussy eating. The amount of sugar and salt in store-bought tomato sauce will explode on their little tastebuds, and they will only want “more” and “more” and “MORE” until you wont be able to serve anything without a dollop. What’s so bad about that you might ask? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, 1 tablespoon (20ml) of tomato sauce contains more than the recommended daily intake (RDI) of sodium (salt) for 1-3 year olds and more than double the RDI for babies under 12 months – thats HUGE.

SO. The moral to all of that, is that if you are going to introduce tomato sauce, you should definitely look into making your own. It may not taste exactly the same as the store bought variety, but if you introduce homemade first the little ones won’t get the taste for such salty/sugary sauce and accept it much more freely.

Nutrition Note: In addition to being loaded with salt, store-bought tomato sauce is loaded with sugar… did you know it contains more than twice the amount of sugar compared with soft drink?!


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  • 1/2 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 400g tin no added salt diced tomato's
  • 2 - 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper or white pepper
  • 1 tbsp no added salt tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp yellow mild mustard (optional)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Step 1

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium. Add the chopped onions and simmer for 5 minutes or until softened. -

Step 2

Add the tomato's and stir through. Lower the heat and simmer together for around 10-15 minutes (adding the vinegar half way through) until tomato's have reduced by half. -

Step 3

Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer together for at least 10 minutes until thick and tasty. -

Step 4

Puree the ingredients. Then, push through a sieve with the back of a spoon to get a nice smooth consistency. Freeze in small portions. -

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Monique on July 13, 2013

    Love the idea of homemade tomato sauce! How long can you keep it for? Is it possible to freeze?

    • posted by Allie on July 14, 2013

      Hi Monique, thanks for your comment. You could keep in the fridge for a few days (3-5) and/or freeze immediately in small portions. Ax

  2. posted by pippi on January 18, 2014

    I make tomato sauce from my tomatoes that we grow in the garden, but have trouble reducing it without it splattering all over my kitchen, any tips without using thickeners

  3. posted by Shelley on January 18, 2014

    Yummy , my son is super picky so this looks great ! Do you have a similar relish type recipe that could be used with meat on a sandwich or wrap by any chance ?

    • posted by Allie on January 19, 2014

      Hi SHelley, thanks for your comment. We don’t currently have a relish but I was just thinking about this yesterday and wanted to try a slow-cooker version. Watch this space 🙂 Ax

  4. posted by Jo on January 18, 2014

    Isn’t the recommended sodium intake for 1-3yos 1000mg? My store bought tomato sauce (Fountain) has 930mg/100mls (186mg per 20ml serve) which by my calculation is about 18% not 100% of their recommended daily intake. Heinz has a bit more salt. That said I LOVE your website and all the great healthy ideas for my toddler. l will probably make this sauce as it has about 35% less salt than Fountain (salt + canned tomato+ mustard) or 42% less without mustard. No added sugar is good too. Thanks for all the effort you put into these recipes, it is really appreciated!

    • posted by Jess on January 20, 2014

      Hi Jo,
      Thank you for the lovely feedback regarding our website and recipes, we’re glad you and your toddler enjoy them and we really appreciate your support 🙂
      As for the sodium recommendations, the Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for Australia and New Zealand list the adequate intake for 1-3 year olds as 200-400 mg so yes, unfortunately your fountain tomato sauce almost has 100% of the lower limit for sodium 🙁 1000mg is the upper limit for intake of this age group. You can find more details here:http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/sodium.htm.
      And you can read more on why keeping babies and toddlers intake of salt low is important here: https://ohcooks.wpengine.com/why-babies-and-toddlers-dont-need-salt/. We’re glad we’ve inspired you to make a lower salt alternative. We hope you enjoy, Jx

  5. posted by Yvonne on April 13, 2015

    How can I subscribe to your magazine . I live in a remote area and would like to receive it in the mail. Are you ever going to do an online version.

    • posted by Allie on May 6, 2015

      Hi Yvonne, we don’t have subscriptions available but you can purchase them online. We are about to launch our digital versions so maybe that will help you 🙂 Ax

  6. posted by amber on September 24, 2015

    Hi, I have loads of fresh tomatoes to use up. Can i use these instead of tinned? Will the same quantity work?

    • posted by Allie on October 2, 2015

      Why not! Let us know how you go 🙂

  7. posted by Rebecca on October 28, 2015

    Hi, this recipe looks great but i wondered if you have an alternative for the maple syrup?


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