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10 Best Ketchup Substitutes

The best ketchup substitutes include tomato jam, barbecue sauce, and salsa.

For a slightly different flavor, you can also try Sriracha, mayonnaise, or mustard.

ketchup and tomatoes
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Thankfully, there are plenty of ketchup substitutes out there that can spice up your meals. From smoky bbq sauce to taco sauce, these alternatives are absolutely delicious.

So, let’s discover the world of yummy ketchup substitutes.

Best Substitutes for Ketchup

Ketchup Substitutes for Dipping and Topping

Sriracha Poured From a Bottle to a Small Dipping Dish

1. Sriracha

Sriracha, the much-beloved chili sauce from Thailand, is becoming increasingly popular as a dipping substitute for ketchup.

It adds a kick of heat to any meal and it has a complex range of flavors from savory to sweet. This can really level up your dip game!

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Tomato Jam in a Small Bowl

2. Tomato Jam

Tomato jam is a good dipping substitute for ketchup because it offers a unique and flavorful twist. It has a sweet and tangy taste that complements a variety of dishes.

The thick and sticky texture of tomato jam makes it perfect for dipping purposes. Additionally, tomato jam can be customized with spices and herbs to suit different preferences.

Plus, you can easily make it at home with a couple of pantry-staple ingredients!

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Barbecue Sauce In A Saucer With Basting Brush Over Rustic Barn Wood Table

3. Barbecue Sauce

BBQ sauce is a good dipping substitute for ketchup because it offers a smoky and tangy flavor. This adds depth and complexity to your dishes, enhancing the taste of meats and grilled foods.

The thick and sticky consistency of BBQ sauce makes it ideal for dipping purposes. It provides a bold and robust flavor profile that can elevate your meals to a new level.

BBQ sauce offers a range of variations, from sweet and sticky to spicy and tangy.

The smoky undertones in BBQ sauce can provide a unique twist compared to ketchup’s more straightforward flavor.

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How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

fresh salsa

4. Salsa

Salsa is a good dipping substitute for ketchup because it adds a vibrant and zesty flavor. Salsa’s chunky texture adds a satisfying element to dipping, perfect for scooping with chips or vegetables.

It brings a touch of spiciness and complexity, enhancing the overall taste experience.

Salsa allows for customization, with options like mild, medium, or hot varieties to suit different preferences.

Its versatility extends beyond dipping, as it can also be used as a condiment or ingredient in various recipes.

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Mustard Sauce in Small Bowl

5. Mustard

Mustard is a healthier option than ketchup, with fewer calories and sugar. Not convinced? It also contains vitamins A, C, and K, which are beneficial for health. It has a tangy flavor that pairs well with many foods. 

And guess what? It usually contains fewer calories than ketchup because of the lower sugar content. 

So, if you’re ever in need of that extra zing, but you don’t have any ketchup, mustard is here to save the day.

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Mayonnaise on a Bottle

6. Mayonnaise

Let’s state the obvious: ketchup and mayonnaise are completely different ingredients. But when it comes to dipping sauces, both are strong contenders.

Even though the flavor profile is quite different, you can still substitute them.

If you want more of that ketchup flavor, consider mixing in some tomato paste to compensate.

Mayo can be great for dipping, especially when it comes to French fries!

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Dripping From the Spoon Homemade Taco Sauce

7. Taco Sauce

Taco sauce is a good dipping substitute for ketchup because it has some of the same base ingredients. But it also has a more flavorful kick. 

It contains tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, and other spices that give it a unique flavor profile. The tartness of taco sauce also helps to cut through fatty or greasy bites. This makes it an ideal condiment to enjoy with fried foods. 

This type of sauce usually has less sugar than ketchup as well. So, not only can you eat more, but it also won’t overpower the flavors of the food it’s served with.

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Ketchup Substitutes for Cooking

Tomato Sauce on a Wooden Bowl

8. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is a great substitute for ketchup. It offers versatility and convenience in cooking. 

It has an intense, rich flavor due to its tomato base and the addition of spices. It can be used as a base for pasta sauces, stews, chilis, curries, and more. 

It also contains fewer calories than ketchup and provides some beneficial nutrients. These include lycopene, which may help protect against certain types of cancer.

Unlike ketchup’s single-note sweetness from sugar or high fructose corn syrup, tomato sauce has many depth points. This is achieved by additional herbs and spices that are included in the sauce.

They also have a very similar consistency, so substituting it’ll be a breeze.

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio. 

Ceramic Bowl With Tomato Sauce And Ingredients On Wooden Table

9. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a great way to give dishes a rich, intense tomato flavor without too much liquid.

It has a thicker consistency than ketchup and provides a more concentrated flavor and color. It also contains fewer additives or added sugar, giving recipes a healthier alternative.

Tomato paste can be used on anything from fried chicken to pizza to soups and stews.

Since it comes in smaller tubes and cans, it’s a lot easier to store than ketchup.

How to substitute: Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Apple Cider Vinegar In Glass Bottle And Fresh Apples On Wooden Background

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a similar tangy flavor to ketchup. It also contains many health benefits that make it an even better choice.

It’s full of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, probiotics, and antioxidants. 

It also helps improve digestion, boosts the immune system, and aids weight loss.

How to substitute: Since vinegar is quite strong, use ⅓ of the ketchup amount the recipe calls for.

10 Best Ketchup Substitutes

Some great ketchup substitutes include tomato jam, barbecue sauce, salsa, mustard, and more. Try one if you’re in a pinch!


  • Sriracha

  • Tomato Jam

  • Barbecue Sauce

  • Salsa

  • Mustard

  • Mayonnaise

  • Taco Sauce

  • Tomato Sauce

  • Tomato Paste

  • Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Select your favorite type of ketchup substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Ketchup Substitutes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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