Here's What You Can Substitute For Ketchup

Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments in America. A whopping 97 percent of kitchens have a bottle of the red tomato-y sauce. We put it on our french fries, hot dogs, eggs, and steaks, and some people even like it on their mac 'n' cheese and fish (via The Top Tens). No judgment, though — to each his or her own.

This seemingly "American as apple pie" condiment actually has its origins in China. Ketchup's name originated from the Chinese word ke-tsiap which means pickled fish sauce. In its original form, it was more like Worcestershire sauce and was used to season a dish, rather than serve as a sauce. When it made its way to the British, they used anchovies or oysters, mushrooms, and walnuts to create their version. English settlers brought mushroom ketchup to America. This when things really changed, and tomatoes that were squeezed, salted, and boiled were added to the recipe. After it was boiled, it would be allowed to thicken, and was then bottled (via The Spruce Eats).

It might surprise you to learn that Heinz was not the first to bottle and sell the condiment. That credit goes to Jonas Yerkes of New Jersey in 1837. Heinz didn't get on this condiment campaign until almost 40 years later (via Who Invented the Technology).

What to substitute for ketchup

Today, Heinz is not only the ketchup of anticipation, but the go-to ketchup of choice, dominating 60 percent of the entire ketchup market. In 2011 along, the ketchup sales totaled over $1.2 billion, which is the equivalent to 400 million bottles of Heinz (via Serious Eats). But what can you substitute for ketchup if you run out?

The main ingredients in this tangy condiment are tomatoes, vinegar, salt, spices, flavorings, onion and garlic, and luckily, there are several common pantry staples that you can use as a substitute (via Made How). The first is mild tomato salsa. This tomato-based dip can be substituted in equal amounts for ketchup in a recipe, as can tomato sauce (via Organic Facts). Tomato sauce can be on the sweet side depending on what you have in your pantry, so you may want to start off with half the amount the recipe calls for and add more if needed. 

Additionally, tomato paste can be used for your burgers and hot dogs in a heartbeat if you are out of the condiment. And don't forget about apple cider vinegar. Even though it is not tomato-based, apple cider vinegar packs a tangy, sweet punch that can be substituted for ketchup in recipes, as well.