Ketchup vs Tomato Sauce – You’ll be surprised to know the difference

A fallacious thought prevails that tomato sauce and ketchup are similar, by all means. Neglecting the false opinion article goes ahead.

Here comes the exact debate highlighting the difference and usage criteria of tomato sauce and ketchup.

Let’s kick start the engine in search of exploring the forbidden reality among both the recipes.

ketchup vs tomato sauce

Ketchup vs tomato sauce is an interesting topic to compete. The valuable points enhance the richness of the aroma and taste of the recipe and the article.

In the article, we discuss both the dishes regarding beginning with the origin, key ingredients, source, and widespread dishes.


Mushrooms were the primary ingredient in the preparation of Ketchup in the United Kingdom.

Origin of dish

Later in the 18th century, the tomatoes replaced mushrooms to emerge as integrated Ketchup. Today, many countries use Ketchup but misunderstood them as tomato ketchup.

The United Kingdom, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa are serving cool Ketchup as a part of their dining.

Ketchup is the liquid-base tomato abundance recipe seasoned with spices and salt for taste.

The recipe does contain adequate sugar but tastes salty. Vinegar or acetic acid that is added to the recipe results in a sour taste aside.

The recipe is served cool at the time of dining. Ketchup is mistaken and termed along with tomato sauce unknowing the culinary difference between the two.

Taste of Ketchup: What Does the Ketchup Taste Like?

Taste of Ketchup

Acetic acid or Vinegar undergoes fermentation that turns ketchup tastes sour with the sharpness of salt and spices.

Vinegar undergoes fermentation that makes the pureed vegetables tastes sour with sharp perception.

Taste buds feel the sour taste because of salt and Vinegar that ferments the vegetables, too.

Key Ingredients:

  • peeled-off tomatoes
  • water in a consumable amount
  • white sugar
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • Salt, as required.
  • Celery salt, seasoning purpose.
  • mustard powder
  • Finely ground pepper, seasoning purpose.
  • Clove, the spice for flavor.

The ingredients mentioned above vary among the recipes except for the main ingredient, the tomato. Still, tomato serves as the primary ingredient for tomato ketchup.

Other varieties do exist and are label as ketchup. They do not carry tomato as a primary ingredient that serves to deliver the sour taste.

Ketchup consistency

The USDA frames iconic flavor, taste, viscosity, and specific gravity that the ketchup needs to meet.

Semi-liquid consistency of ketch-up used amidst cooking to enhance the recipe’s taste. At the same time, semi-solid ketchup is used in coating the prepared dishes.

Yet, some other varieties served as a table condiment in continental dining.

Tomato Sauce

The traditional dish made of tomatoes is the ultimate in many Countries. Here, the finely chopped tomatoes sautéed well to bring the puree consistency is the fair point.

Origin of dish

The terminology “sauce” is derived from the Latin word salsas that refers to salted.

The brine of fish remains incorporated in sauce with other added spices like herbs and pepper.

The dish is served hot as puree but remains the best table condiment in Asian and continental dining.

Taste of tomato sauce: What Does Tomato Sauce Taste Like?

Taste of tomato sauce

Tomato has five different tastes as salt, sweet, sour, and bitter, and umami. Tomato sauce gains three of the five tastes as either sweet, sour, or umami.

The taste of tomato sauce depends on the tomato’s ripening state, irrespective of the hybrid variety. To balance the taste is essential in preparing the tomato sauce.

Owing to the category either Asian or continental tomato sauce falls, the taste of the dish perpetuates.

High water content, soft flesh, the taste of the fruit, easy-cooked pulp are promising features of tomato helps to make the sauce.

No thickening agents are used to enhance the puree thickness.

Consistency of the tomato sauce plays a significant role in the preparation of tomato sauce. Perhaps, no preservatives and artificial flavors added.

The strong taste of tomato sauce is just because of tomatoes and not because of other ingredients.

Key ingredients

  • tomato paste
  • diced tomato
  • bell peppers
  • fresh garlic
  • paprika
  • parsley
  • Olive oil
  • basil leaves
  • oregano
  • Cajun

Vegetable or meat stock is used as diluents to make up the consistency of the tomato sauce.

Unlike ketchup, neither vinegar nor sugar got added to the tomato sauce. Besides, the dish served hot and used as the best dinner.

Sauce Consistency

International recipe for the sauce influenced by roux that brings the thickened consistency. The roux is the combo of fat and flour melted before mixing.

The roux serves as a base for a sauce and the ingredients added are cooked till a definite time.

This roux is optional in a homemade tomato sauce recipe. The thickening of the sauce achieves with the soft flesh of the tomato cooked.

The specific gravity, viscosity, and thickening of the tomato sauce are so mean according to USDA.

Do Tomato Sauces Taste Like Ketchup?

Exactly not all tomato sauces taste-alike ketchup. But the sharp taste of ketchup aspired in some varieties of sauce though not tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce is saltier with a bit sour taste, and ketchup tastes sharp with strong perception in the taste buds.

Adequate sugar added in ketchup sweetens the dish and remarks it as the best table condiment. But tomato sauce is incorporated in the preparation and served hot.

Due to viscosity, ketchup was prevented from being incorporated into other foods. Served in small quantity is sufficient.

Meat or vegetable stock is to prepare tomato sauce would have scored better for the sauce taste. Added to that point, the absence of preservatives influences the freshness in taste.

Not the tomatoes that influence the taste of the sauce also other ingredients were proven to be essential. Seasoning is one such reason to enrich the tomato sauce.

Ketchup vs Tomato Sauce : Comparison Table

The article bifurcates at this point to table the similarities and dissimilarities between the ketchup and tomato sauce.

For the ease of readers, the author tabulated the caption similarities and differences between both the recipes.

Readers provided with notes of specific gravity, viscosity, tastes, and other features of both dishes, recommended by USDA, in the table below :

FeaturesTomato SauceKetchup
Specific gravity1.071.11 – 1.15
ViscosityVaries to the movement of sauce80 pas
TasteSault & SourSharp & Sweetened
IngredientsTomato as main ingredientDiced tomato and tomato paste
Serving modeHotCooled enough
PreservativesNot specifiedVinegar or acetic acid

Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Ketchup

I hope you are clear with the listed table narrates tomato sauce and ketchup characterizations.

Let us roll down with differences between both the dishes. You are clear that what exactly tomato sauce and ketchup from the article.

Try to mention them orally without confusion. Throughout the world, tomato sauce or ketchup are finding culinary purposes.

Dinning Asian and continental get used with ketchup and tomato sauce incorporations. Other sauce types are also used instead of tomato sauce in the food preparations.

The verdict of tomato sauce and ketchup

Though preparation, key ingredients, preservation, and serving methods differ, both dishes are used for uniqueness.

The shelf life of ketchup enhanced by preservatives added compared to the tomato sauce that fails preservatives.

The sharp taste of ketchup set them for condiment purposes but not to incorporate into dishes.

The tomato sauce is incorporated into hot dishes while cooking and serving. This is not possible with ketchup.


The key factors determining the consistency, thickness, tomato sauce’s taste, and ketchup’s taste are ruled-out in the article.

The author fulfills the expectation of a reader and incorporated everything related to the dishes.

Hope! You’d taught enough about tomato sauce and ketchup. Start incorporating either of the dishes into your favorite eatables.

Final suggestion! Make sure when you are trying continental cuisines to add either tomato sauce or ketchup incorporate.

Beware of the expiration date that either of the dishes about to reach. Ketchup is used till the expiry date.

Whereas tomato sauces are used within a few days as it does not carry preservatives.

Ketchup or tomato sauce is used to coat or added to various dishes.

Snack varieties like puffs, rolls, cutlets, pizza, and burger are well-suited with ketch-up

Continental cuisines demand tomato sauce for incorporation. The dish recommended served as hot, too.

On the whole, enjoy fun cooking. The article justifies Tomato sauce vs. ketchup to the mark.

Mike Monteleone

My name is Mike Monteleone. I am the author of Since I was very young I have been passionate about cooking and everything that surrounds the art of preparing food. Cooking is much more than a set of techniques. Cooking is a means of expression and it is an art. Whether you are a three-star Michelin chef or an amateur cook, cooking is a universal language that allows you to share and explore.

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