Tomato ketchup from courgettes, yeah right!

I didn’t mention in my last post that we (Gosia) cooked up the first batch of tomato ketchup. Her mum stumbled across the recipe about three years ago and sales of tomato sauce have taken a serious hit in the village ever since, some shops see no reason to stock it all!

No pictures, just a copy of the scribbled notes from Gosias recipe book, an increasingly thick binding, with a few notes on preparation.

You will need:

2Kg (4.4lb) of Courgettes. You know the big ones that appeared in your garden overnight that could be marrows!

1/2Kg (just over a 1lb) Onions

400g (1lb) Tomato puree

200 ml (7fl Oz) Strong vinegar (10%)

400g  (1lb) Sugar

Handful Dried Basil

Handful Herbes de Provence (mixed herbs)

2tsp Sweet paprika

1tsp Chilli powder

Handful of salt

We scaled up the recipe to 6Kg and it made a total of 42, 200ml jars, the meaning of life perhaps!

What you need to do:

Peel, deseed and then grate the firm flesh of the courgettes and onions, or finely chop. (we do this ‘washing up’ bowl scale)

Add salt, mix in and leave for 4-6 six hours

Come back to the bowl when you remember about it and squeeze the mixture to remove the water.

Put in a big pan, cook till soft and mushy

Add the rest of the ingredients

Cook for a further 10-20 minutes to thicken it up a bit, them blend for a smoother sauce if desired

Add to jars and then pasteurise in a big pan of water for about 10 minutes


We will make another two batches before the courgettes disappear, dropping the sugar and vinegar content slightly as a matter of taste. One batch will also have added fresh chilli’s to keep BBQs entertaining.

You could of course make your own tomato puree, if you had a bumper crop, you could also use your own herbs, it’s also possible to make your own vinegar, which would just leave the sugar and salt as the shop bought ingredients making this a seriously low cost ketchup. But for now we bought it all in bar the courgettes and onions, and the cost still only came in at around 15p for a 200ml jar.


Author: Eddy Winko

Left the rat race to live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog

26 thoughts on “Tomato ketchup from courgettes, yeah right!”

  1. One of my Polish friend made this for me last time and i’m in love with it! I think i will get on working with this soon but do you know for how long this can keep?

    1. We have used jars more than a year old, no problem 🙂 I did just check with Gosia and she said that rather than pasteurising the jars you can add the hot mix to sterilised jars and add the lids which will then seal as they cool. Enjoy 🙂 And make sure you mark the ones with extra chillies, or you are in for a surprise 🙂

      1. As to pasteurizing durability.
        In an old abandoned windmill (the reason we visited them was they were made of clay& straw) cellar we found whole-glass jars with stickers; apples pulp, plums from 1973, berries. some with compote.
        We decided to save the jars by taking it home and reuse it.
        To our astonishment the content was super tasty.
        I as a chemist could hardly believe the rubber gasket weren’t “sparciałe”( rotten as and shriveled?) (couldn’t figure out a proper word for the destructive influence of time and storage condition on rubber )

        I believe I had some photos of it before we opened it 🙂
        Gosia’s explanations is absolutely right.
        Nowadays twist caps are much less durable and jars lose their air tightness.

        Has your ketchup changed its flavour over time?

      2. Whilst we have the old style jars, which still work well, we also use the new style twist caps and whist you get the occasional failure, as a rule they are good for a few years. Nothing lasts much longer than that as we eat it 🙂 But I would be happy to try older things, once I have smelt it first, smell for me is the true test of quality, forget best before dates 🙂

  2. I am only a year late on this one. But then, that is an improvement for me. Years ago the rage was making imitation pineapple with courgettes. It was all the rage in my corner of Isabella County, Michigan at the time. then it turned out it wasn’t acidic enough or something that caused germs to grow in it. So the rage came to a screeching halt. However, with the vinegar in your recipe, I can see where that would work. (Am I making sense?)
    Warmest regards, Ed

    1. Did I miss your comment, I’m not sure, but as I just received another comment I will use the opportunity to reply to yours 🙂 Yes, you make perfect sense, the vinegar is the key to long life, of the sauce at least:)

    1. All good thanks, just finding it hard to get into the groove and to sit down for more than half an hour. I’m sure there will be a post soon 🙂 Hope all is well with you and thanks for getting in touch.

      1. Well… I just was installing a roof over my “humanure hacienda”-to-be and thought of a fellow composter.

    1. Hi Parker, good to hear from you. I seem to be having a summer holiday from blogging as we try to get the house finished and keep up with the harvest and animals 🙂 Normal service will resume soon I hope. I see that you are coming along nicely with your new abode, looking good, I hope to read more soon. Take care and keep on building 🙂 Eddy

  3. btw. one shall peel tomatoes without pouring them with boiling water (which operation seriously changes their taste) using the “scratching method” instead

      1. ugh! I thought U had used the word “tomato puree” for the peeled and fine mixed tomatoes .
        As to the taste of scratched tomatoes: conduct a comparsion test.
        take 2 tomatoes of the same type and try to gently scratch one of them with a knife then peeel it and peel the other after pouring it with boiling water.
        Compare the taste (after the second one cooles down ).

        having beed enchanted with the result of the test, one may ask me for my bank account # (I’ll even open one then ) in order to transfer some of the expressions of gratitude 🙂

      2. You are right of course, puree would be blended and concentrated tomatoes, however we don’t have the required crop or the time, jars from the shop are the cheat we use for this recipe.
        With regard the skins, you can also blend the whole thing and then strain through a sieve, it works well for me when I make a soup.
        We will be buying in some tomatoes for processing next month for 50gr a Kg (about 10p) as we simply didn’t plant enough this year.
        Interesting about scratching the skins off though, will give it a go one day.

    1. No need for tomatoes, just a few jars of puree. It’s more about using up the glut of courgettes at this time of year; you will know what I mean once you plant some in the future. How is the house hunting going by the way?

    2. We will put our house up for sale early next year. We do have a plan for the first two years after the house sells (not sharing it yet) and depending on how that goes, we’ll decide on the course after that.

  4. Most of our tomatoes go into garlic sauce or salsa — sixty-plus quarts of each, at least. We don’t use that much ketchup! We have a good ‘breakfast’ sausage recipe, pepper and sage, mostly — what is ‘brown sauce’?

  5. Mmmm going to try this. I make my own ketchup and it’s really good .( even if I do say so myself 🙂 ), but this looks like a fantastic way to use up courgettes also.

    1. I’d love to know your recipe.
      Anything that uses up courgettes is a good thing, although the chickens pigs and goats are making a big dent in the excess 🙂

  6. Sounds tasty, but I’m a brown sauce man myself.
    (Got the Hitchhikers’ Guide reference too.)
    Enjoy your ketchup mate, just don’t let Heinz find out!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I’m secretly working on a home made brown sauce recipe to go with our ever improving pork pie recipe; Still looking for a good sausage recipe 🙂 Cheers Pete, all the best.

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