Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

Homemade Ketchup - regular or buffalo? No added sugars, Paleo and Whole30 compliant

I didn’t intend to post this all by itself.

It’s actually part of a recipe combo that includes those other savouries up there too: slow cooker pulled pork and red cabbage tacos with quick-pickled cucumbers and peppers.

They all go together, but they can be separated too. And probably, on occasion, should be.

Kind of like siblings.

Poor little Buffalo Ketchup was feeling a little lost and alone amidst those other delicious edibles.

(Speaking of siblings. . . Buffalo Ketchup. Possible fifth child name??)

He needed a spotlight on his little ol’ self.

So, there he is, in a poorly composed photo because I just didn’t think it through ahead of time.

Aaaaaaaaaand, I’m lazy.

There’s no way I’m shooting it again.

So Kiddo, here you go:

Happy Buffalo Ketchup

See how we did that?

We just made his day.

You can decide what road you want to travel down with this ketchup.

You can stop pre-buffalo and you’ll have a nice, traditional, homemade ketchup.

BUT, if you’re feeling fiery, or you’re craving a change, or you think it’s time for you to switch up your ketchup game (because I know you have one), then by all means – go the buffalo route and don’t turn back.

Either way you do it, we’ve pulled it together with no added sugars. We use those trusty dates for sweetness instead.

Me and B.K. will be back again later to tell you all about the tacos and pork.

For now? You may just want to start carving out a little fridge space fo your happy ketchup’s home.

He told me he prefers front row door space.

Apparently, it’s the prime vantage point from which to gape at you through those sweet aviators.

Oh, and TOTALLY off-topic, but I was just sitting here with my gal plugging words into Google Translate, and, because I am super mature and totally grown up, we put in words like “poop” and “smelly cat”.

She and her littlest big bro however, have a language all their own – in which, “Wackadoodle everherd” is a real-deal phrase.

Just for kicks, plug it into Google Translate and listen to the robot voice struggle to say that one in Spanish.

I dare you not to at least giggle.

Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

If you don't have dates on hand or would just rather use sugar for this recipe, I'd suggest swapping out the dates for 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Then just continue on with the rest of the recipe as-is. This "sauce" arrose when we were eating Paleo on the Whole30 program, and I was craving a sauce. Who knew I would continue craving it to top everything from shredded pork tacos to spicy chicken sausages and hamburgers!


  • 1/4 cup chopped Medjool dates (about 3 dates)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 26 ounce carton Pomi diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten Free balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • scant pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Optional)


In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the two tablespoons of water and the chopped dates. Allow them to simmer until dates appear softer and water is almost gone. Remove from heat and transfer dates to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil and cook onions until they are translucent. Remove from heat and add them to the dates in the blender or food processor bowl.

Add Pomi tomatoes and tomato paste to onions and dates and puree until smooth.

Add puree back to the sauce pan. Add in vinegars and spices. Stir till well combined. Add in bay leaf. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Remove from heat. Remove Bay leaf.

This is where you stop if you don't want the Buffalo version.

If you're into the Buffalo flavor, now is the time to add the 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot sauce and stir until thoroughly combined.

Either way, allow sauce to cool completely.

If you'd like to put in some extra effort, you can strain the ketchup by pouring it into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and gently pushing it through the strainer with a spatula. I found this step to feel somewhat wasteful, but if you are a texture person, or just want to work harder, go ahead and give it a shot. (And let me know if you found it beneficial).

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.


Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are


2 thoughts on “Homemade Ketchup: Regular or Buffalo?

  1. VERY cool that you make your own ketchup. I’d never have thought to do that, but I absolutely LOVE the Frank’s Red Hot addition to it – I’m an extreme heat lover. I’m going to have to try this! And, I adore the picture of the ketchup with the glasses and the sun flare – it made me LOL. Very cute! Thanks for the laugh – it looks adorable.

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