6 Ways to Use Ketchup

Ketchup is a quintessential condiment, but it also works wonders as an ingredient.

Mama Chang's Stir-Fried Shrimp and Scallions
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne

Ketchup is classic with burgers and fries, but home cooks and superstar chefs alike have devised clever methods to leverage its sweet and tangy flavor. Here are six ways to cook with ketchup, from classic stir-fry sauce to Jacques Pépin's glaze for chicken livers.


Combine ketchup with red wine vinegar, curry powder, and honey mustard to dress grilled salmon. Or be like Jacques Pépin and mix it with balsamic vinegar to make a super-fast glaze for seared chicken livers.

Barbecue sauce

To make it sweet and spicy, add chipotle in adobo and maple syrup. Or blend equal parts ketchup and peach jam with just a touch of lemon juice to make a sticky and irresistible sauce for ribs. Make pulled pork interesting with this combination of ketchup, cola, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper hot sauce, molasses, and more.


Use ketchup to make a sweet-and-sour stir-fry sauce, as in this recipe from Boston chef Joanne Chang, this chile shrimp from sommelier Rajat Parr, or Andrew Zimmern's rendition of a dish he was enthralled with at a Thai cafe in Penang on his first visit to Malaysia.

Sweet and Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken with Chiles
© Stephanie Meyer


Go for a traditional homestyle meatloaf, like this one with grated cheese or this one with a couple slices of bacon inside.

White fish

Ketchup is the mystery ingredient in the complexly flavored sauce for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's sublime cod and vegetable dish.

Shrimp cocktail

Mix in some Worcestershire, Cajun seasoning, and lemon for a Bloody Mary–inspired cocktail sauce for shrimp.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles