Kombucha Ketchup and Barbeque Sauce

This adventure started when we had a bunch of ribs to grill and we were all out of barbeque sauce.  I went to make some more when I noticed I was also all out of ketchup.  I know, what kind of mom lets the house run out of ketchup?  Now I also had about a gallon of way over brewed kombucha.  Not just strong but full on vinegar.  It was an orange spice kombucha that continued to ferment in the fridge.  So now I have a gallon of orange spice vinegar.  I can’t drink it straight but it has a wonderful flavor and I’ve been excited to try using it in recipes in place of vinegar.  The orange spice flavors go very nicely with ketchup but if you just have regular plain kombucha, I’m sure it will still rock. I took my orange spice vinegar out of the fridge, covered it with a cloth and set it in the back of my pantry to further develop the flavor.  I’ll check it again in a month or so. Vinegar only gets better with time.


Kombucha Ketchup 

Makes about 2 1/2 cups ketchup.

  • 2 jars of tomato paste, 6 oz each
  • 1/2 cup kombucha plus extra (a vinegary batch is best, heat it up to make it last longer*)
  • 1/4 cup rapadura (or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of clove
  • pinch of allspice
In a non-reactive bowl, whisk everything together except the water.  Add more kombucha to get the ketchup to desired consistency.  Place in an airtight jar and use right away.
*The kombucha will continue to ferment in the ketchup so if you don’t eat it up right away, it will go sour and even alcoholic after a few weeks.  You can either freeze it in small batches or you can cook the vinegar before adding it to the ketchup.


Barbeque Sauce

Makes about 1 quart of sauce.

  • 3/4 cup kombucha (the more vinegary the better, cooked kombucha will keep longer*)
  • 1 cup ketchup (lactofermented or kombucha ketchup)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp fermented garlic paste (or minced garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

In a nonreactive bowl, whisk kombucha, ketchup, tomato sauce, molasses and maple syrup.  Mix well.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into a mason jar and cover loosely (kombucha does not need an anaerobic environment) and let set at room temp for a day.  Move to fridge and enjoy.

*The kombucha will continue to ferment in the sauce so if you don’t eat it up right away, it can go sour and even alcoholic after a few weeks.  You can either freeze it in small batches or you can cook the vinegar before adding it to the sauce.

Part of Real Food Forager’s Kombucha Challenge.

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7 comments to Kombucha Ketchup and Barbeque Sauce

  • Lani

    In the ketchup recipe u say to place in a jar & cover tightly but in the BBQ sauce you say to just cover loosely because kombucha doesnt require anaerobic environment. Woudnt this be the same for the ketchup?
    Can these be made in a pickl-it using the air lock. Thank you.

    • I’m so used to writing “cover tightly” that I wrote it when I didn’t need to. It should be loosely covered. I’ve been meaning to write an update to this recipe. Since the kombucha continues to ferment in the fridge (just at a much slower rate), the ketchup and BBQ sauce can get sour pretty quickly. Now I don’t leave it on the counter at all but put it right in the fridge. It lasts a lot longer that way.
      You can make it in a Pickl-it but it’s not necessary. I’d save the Pickl-it for a regular ferment.

  • AMy

    This is so good! Thanks for the quick, easy recipe for both ketchup and BBQ. I did use the spices from my usual BBQ recipe and it turned out great! I think I will cut down the molasses to 1 tsp for the ketchup next time. Just a bit too seasoned for my family. 🙂

  • Katie Nelson

    Hi when you say cook the vinegar wouldn’t that kill all the good bacteria in the kombucha? How do I cook it?

    • Yep, cooking will kill all of the good bacteria. Kombucha is actually pretty weak as far as probiotic content goes compared to water kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut. It’s spectacularness is more due to the acids and vitamins it produces so I don’t feel that bad cooking it occasionally.
      To cook it, just put it in a saucepan and bring to a simmer just for a few seconds. That’s all.

  • Hi Melanie,
    Do you think the recipes would work the same if I substituted water kefir for kombucha?

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