Is Ketchup Vegan?

Is Ketchup Vegan?

These days ketchup seems to be paired with any and every dish, I think that it is safe to say that it is the most popular and world known sauce you can get. It is readily available in all restaurants, cafes, pubs and supermarkets whether it’s homemade, a supermarket brand or a really well known brand, something to consider is just how vegan is the ketchup you’re consuming? 

In this article you will find out which of your favorite brands are vegan but also which ingredients that you need to look out for that are not vegan and could be found in some ketchup recipes. 

How to tell if ketchup is vegan?

For some people there are maybe two questions that you want to ask first, Is ketchup vegan friendly? And is ketchup plant based?

These are very similar but for some who follow just a plant based diet they may not be as concerned with whether the ingredients have animal products as they just try to avoid animal products where possible.

First check the ingredient list. If the list shows all natural, vegan ingredients then you are good to go. 

Non vegan ingredients to look out for in ketchup:

Sugar, this is the main ingredient that for vegans could be under question when thinking about whether ketchup is vegan friendly or not. 

Should vegans be concerned about bone char?

For the majority of vegans and those that follow a plant based diet, bone char is such a small concern due to the likely hood of this process even having been used.

However if you are a strict vegan and/or it is something that you are concerned about look for the vegan approved sugars or go for vegan alternatives to ensure that you are not consuming this sugar that could have used bone char. 

What is bone char and why is it used in sugar?

Unfortunately this is exactly what it sounds like. It is a black porous granular material produced by the charring of animal bones. Bone char can be used in sugar as a de-colorizing filter which is what manufacturers believe that as consumers we prefer sugar that is white and bone char is used to make sugar its pure white color. 

Is Heinz tomato ketchup Vegan?

Can vegans eat Heinz tomato ketchup?

The standard ketchup and organic Heinz ketchup are vegan. But there are 5 varieties so do double check most of them are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup which is always vegan.

However one that is definitely vegan is their Heinz Sweetened with Honey Ketchup is not vegan as honey is considered not to be suitable for vegans as it is a byproduct from an animal.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Spirit vinegar
  • Sugar – high fructose corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Spice and herb extracts (contains celery) 
  • Spice

Heinz states that their ketchup is vegan and is approved by the vegan society. 

What other ketchup brands are Vegan?

Heinz is definitely the most popular ketchup brand however there are many other great alternative brands that are organic and potentially more ethical. As we have previously mentioned sugar is the main concern when it comes to whether ketchup is vegan or not. 

Our top tip is to look for ketchups that contain corn syrup or sweeteners or ketchups that advertise that they are organic. 

Our recommended Vegan Ketchup Brands: 

  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup 
  • Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup 
  • Hunts Tomato Ketchup 
  • Sir Kensington’s Ketchup 
  • Annies Naturals Organic Ketchup
  • L’incroyable Ketchup
  • Asda Ketchup
  • Mr Organic Ketchup
  • Real good ketchup 
  • Biona Ketchup 
Can Vegans eat tomato Ketchup?

Homemade Ketchup

So like most things if you make it at home you can be in complete control and have the knowledge of exactly what you have put inside your recipe to ensure that it is wholly vegan and not processed.

Homemade Vegan Ketchup is really easy to make just look at for the vegan approved sugar or use alternatives like maple syrup, agave and a variety of other alternatives to sugar like demerara and muscovado (these do not have bone char)

What are the common ingredients found in vegan ketchup?

  • Tomatoes 
  • Vinegar
  • Sweetener
  • Spices
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt 

Our Best Found Vegan Ketchup Recipes: 

Vegan Ketchup Recipe


  • tomato paste
  • maple syrup or date paste
  • vegan Worcester sauce
  • apple cider vinegar
  • spices: onion powder, garlic powder, ground yellow mustard, allspice

Speedy and Simple Vegan Ketchup Recipe 


  • 1 cup tomato paste (270 g)
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Sea salt to taste (optional)

Spicy Vegan Ketchup Recipe 


  •  6oz can of tomato paste
  •  2/3 cup water + extra if desired
  •  2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  •  1/4 to 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (adjust to taste / NOTE: Tabasco does have a small amount of salt added; 1/2 tsp contains 17.5mg of sodium)
  •  2 to 4 Medjool dates (approx. 40-80g after pitted)
  •  1 tsp onion powder
  •  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  •  1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  •  1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  •  1/2 tsp salt (OPTIONAL)
  •  pinch of ground nutmeg
  •  pinch of ground cinnamon
  •  pinch of ground cloves
So, can vegans eat tomato ketchup?


Does Ketchup have animal products?

NO, it does not. The main ingredients found in ketchup are: tomatoes, sweeteners and spices. There is no blood or animal product. 

Is Hunt’s tomato ketchup vegan?

Hunt’s tomato ketchup is vegan, being made with high fructose corn syrup rather than white sugar. 

What tomato sauce is vegan? 

There are many tomato sauces that are vegan, Cucina Spicy Arrabiata Pasta Sauce is one great tomato sauce made predominantly with tomatoes and basil. Keep you tomato sauces natural, simple and organic. 

Is Mcdonalds ketchup vegan?

Yes, the ketchup served at McDonald’s is vegan but I think the question is;  Would a vegan actually be found in McDonald’s? No. 

Yes vegans can eat ketchup, just make sure you check that the recipe has all plant based ingredients.

Summary… So can Vegans consume Ketchup? 

Yes, yes we can! Plant eaters and all the many vegans among us, there are plenty of vegan ketchup’s out there for us to consume.

You will be pleased to know that there are no animal products found (if you are considering the general ingredients found in ketchup) in ketchup.

Heinz being the most famous brand of Ketchup is Vegan but please ensure you check the ingredients list, scanning for all the normal vegan ingredients to be sure that you are consuming something that is safe for Vegans to eat.

So go on and dunk your beyond meat/veggie burgers and chips into a nice big dollop of ketchup feeling content that it is fine for vegans to eat ketchup! 

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