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Is ketchup vegan?

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Is ketchup vegan? This is a question that many vegans and vegetarians often ask themselves. While ketchup is a popular condiment enjoyed by people all over the world, its ingredients can vary depending on the brand and recipe. In this article, we will explore the different factors that determine whether ketchup is vegan or not.

Ingredients to Look Out For

When determining whether ketchup is vegan, it is important to carefully examine the ingredients list. Here are some common ingredients that may raise concerns:

  • Tomato Paste: The main ingredient in ketchup is tomato paste, which is typically vegan-friendly.
  • Sugar: Some ketchup brands use refined sugar, which is often processed using bone char. Vegans may prefer to choose ketchup made with organic or unrefined sugar.
  • Vinegar: While most vinegars are vegan, some brands may use non-vegan varieties such as malt vinegar, which is made from barley.
  • Spices and Flavorings: Some ketchup recipes include spices and flavorings that may not be vegan-friendly. For example, Worcestershire sauce, which is commonly used in ketchup recipes, contains anchovies.
  • Additives: Ketchup may contain additives such as natural flavors, which can be derived from both plant and animal sources. It is important to check the source of these additives to determine their vegan status.

Brands that Offer Vegan Ketchup

Fortunately, there are many brands that offer vegan-friendly ketchup options. Here are a few examples:

  • Heinz: Heinz offers a variety of ketchup options, including organic and Simply Heinz, which are both vegan-friendly.
  • Annie’s: Annie’s Homegrown makes a delicious organic ketchup that is vegan and free from artificial ingredients.
  • Sir Kensington’s: Sir Kensington’s offers a range of ketchup flavors, all of which are vegan and made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Trader Joe’s: Trader Joe’s has its own brand of organic ketchup that is vegan-friendly and made with simple ingredients.

Homemade Vegan Ketchup

If you prefer to make your own ketchup, there are plenty of vegan recipes available. Making homemade ketchup allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking. Here is a simple recipe to try:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of tomato paste, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  2. Whisk the ingredients together over medium heat until well combined.
  3. Simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool before transferring to a jar or bottle.


While not all ketchup brands are vegan-friendly, there are plenty of options available for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. By carefully reading the ingredients list and choosing brands that use vegan-friendly ingredients, you can enjoy ketchup without compromising your dietary choices. Additionally, making your own homemade ketchup allows you to have full control over the ingredients and ensures that it aligns with your vegan lifestyle.