Ketchup Or Tomato Juice? That Is The Question

Believe it or not, this recipe started out to be tomato juice and ended up as ketchup. Do things like that ever happen in your kitchen? An example of another instance like this was a few years ago when I was making pasta that turned out to be dog biscuits. It’s a stretch I know – here’s the post if you want to read about that day in the kitchen I Made A Pasta Mistake And Turned It Into Dog Bones.

Well today’s kitchen adventure started out innocent enough. We had recently been to our favorite breakfast establishment and their tomato juice is soooo good I decided to try making some. We still had some garden ripe tomatoes  so the challenge was turning them into a tasty drinkable liquid. Apparently not as easy a task as I had envisioned. 

Tomatoes ripening on the sink. Pasta sauce was made for the year so what’s next for these lovely little ladies? Tomato juice of course!

Cooking away, mixed with celery and seasonings I was sure this would turn out to be outstanding tomato juice.

The tomato mixture came out way too thick to be tomato juice so I decided it would be ketchup, and as luck would have it, a darn good one!

So I’ve succumbed to the fact that my tomato juice is now ketchup which made me think about an old Doris Day movie “The Thrill Of It All” where Doris is in her basement making ketchup out of bushels of tomatoes. A friend bursts in to tell her some important news and it was so shocking that her reaction was falling backwards into one of her bushels of tomatoes.

Yep, I kind of felt like this today, falling backwards into a totally different result. What I’ve discovered is that the tomato sauce/ketchup I made is great for dipping cocktail meatballs, dolloping on top of scrambled eggs, or using on any food where ketchup works. I topped a meatloaf I made recently with this ketchup and it made a rich tomato crusty top on the meatloaf that was wonderful.

So the question is – do you want to make tomato juice or ketchup?


  • Tomato Juice or Ketchup - That Is The Question

    Save RecipeSave Recipe


    • 3 pounds ripe garden tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • 1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves
    • 1/3 cup chopped onion
    • 2 tablespoons sugar to taste (I used 1 tablespoon brown sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Pinch black pepper
    • About 6-8 drops of Tabasco sauce (to taste)


    1. Put all ingredients into a large sauce pot (use stainless steel, not aluminum).
    2. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until tomatoes and vegetables are soft and broken down, (about 25-30 minutes). Watch mixture carefully at the end of the cooking time and keep stirring so it does not stick to the pot.
    3. Tomato Juice: Force mixture through a sieve, or food mill.
    4. Ketchup: emulsify ingredients or swirl in blender (mixture will be thick - ketchup consistency.


    Calories: 384 cal
    Carbohydrates: 87 g
    Fat: 3 g
    Sodium: 2529 g
    Protein: 13 g
    Fiber: 19 g

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top