Raw Tomato Sauce (Ketchup)

There’s nothing quite like a good tomato sauce.

Raw tomato sauce

This simple but essential kitchen creation, also called tomato ketchup in the USA, goes so well with so many different things.

But whatever you call it, it’s a tangy, sweet, super tomato-y experience.

And now you can have it raw.

Raw tomato sauce setback

What I really, really wanted was a raw version of the tomato sauce I remember from my childhood, which was usually either Rosella or Heinz tomato sauce.

The kind of sauce you smear all over your hot potato chips, dunk a sausage roll into, or squirt all over a piping hot sausage in bread.

Raw tomato sauce with avocado chips

But all of the raw tomato sauce recipes I found added herbs, like basil or thyme, or spices, like cinnamon or chilli.

And that’s not the simple tomato sauce I remember.

So I found a recipe for an authentic “Heinz Tomato Sauce” experience, and just adapted it to raw.

Simple. Delicious. Tomato-y.

Raw tomato sauce ingredients

And there are so many different ways to enjoy it.

But my favourite way to eat my raw tomato sauce?

Slathered all over one of my delicious raw veggie burgers.

Raw tomato sauce with veggie burger

Good stuff.

Raw Tomato Sauce (Ketchup)
Diets: Raw, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free
Prep time: 
'Cook' time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 250ml
  • ½ cup (27g) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 1-2 hours
  • 1 med (65g) Roma (Italian) tomato
  • ¼ cup (60g) agave nectar
  • 1½ tbsp (30ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp (30ml) water (from soaking sun-dried tomatoes)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • 1/16 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp guar gum (optional)
  1. Cover sun-dried tomatoes with water and soak for 1-2 hours.
  2. Drain sun-dried tomatoes, and reserve 30ml of soak water.
  3. Blend everything until smooth.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 131


  • If you use semi-dried tomatoes (soaked in oil), you’ll need to drain them thoroughly to remove as much oil as possible, skip the soaking and possibly leave out the extra water as well.
  • Sun-dried tomato soak water is a fabulous substitute for stock, so keep any leftover soak water for flavouring soups, dips and savoury dishes.
  • I used Roma tomatoes in this recipe, but you could use any kind of fresh tomato. Play with it and see what you like best. Homegrown heritage tomatoes would be awesome in this raw tomato sauce.
  • Note that 1 Australian tablespoon = 20ml, not 15ml, like the American tablespoon.
  • The best kinds of salt to use are Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt. These both contain lots of minerals, in addition to salt, and add extra flavour and nutrition to the sauce.
  • The guar gum is not necessary. It just helps to stop the water separating out over time, but you can just mix it back in with a spoon easily enough.
  • You can use xanthum gum instead of guar gum if that’s what you have.
  • This tomato sauce lasts very well in the fridge. I had one batch that we took a month to eat, and it was completely fine even after that long. If you use fresh onion and garlic it may not last quite as well, but then it’s so delicious, why would it?

Take it further

  • The onion powder, garlic powder and guar gum are not raw ingredients. If you want to make this recipe completely raw, you could use fresh onion and garlic instead (use 2-4 times as much) and leave out the guar gum. This will probably reduce how long this sauce will keep for, perhaps only 5-7 days, although I haven’t actually tried it for myself.
  • You could also try making your own onion and garlic powder, maybe by blending, drying and grinding them? I’ll let you know if I ever attempt this one.
  • Next time tomatoes are in season, you could dry your own tomatoes in the dehydrator, and then you can be sure they’re 100% raw.

Have an awesome day!

~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly

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What others are saying...

  1. Alex says

    Hallo Nikki,

    I made the sauce the other day and it was mind-blowingly amazing. My hubbie almost eat the entire bowl, that is how much he loved it! great stuff! Thanks!

    • Nikki says

      Hi Alex,

      Yes, it is very good, isn’t it? We’ve been making double batches that barely last two days around here. We use it for everything – pizzas, as a dip, as a sandwich spread, in the middle of half an avocado, as a pasta sauce, as a salsa. It’s AMAZINGLY versatile and we LOVE it! :D

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