DIY Food

Strange But Good: 7 Ways to Eat Ketchup

July  6, 2015

Ketchup: It's not just for meatloaf and French fries anymore.


Could there be a condiment more divisive than ketchup? After asking our editors, our Hotline, and our Facebook followers, we can safely say that no, there is not. Our community members' relationships with ketchup are extreme in both directions. When we raised our ketchup queries—How do you eat ketchup? Do you enjoy it in any "weird" ways?—we were met with both enormous enthusiasm ("by the spoonful") and with horror ("I don't").

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And so: After much yuck-ing and yum-ing, here are 7 ideas from our community for cooking with and eating ketchup:

  1. Make a dip for French fries, potato chips, or grilled cheese: Mix it with mayonnaise, horseradish, or with a hot sauce like Sriracha—or any combination of these things—and dunk away.
  2. Swirl it into yogurt or cottage cheese. It was Nixon's favorite snack! Take from that what you will.
  3. Eggs love ketchup and ketchup loves eggs. Put it on fried eggs, scrambled eggs, frittatas, or egg sandwiches.
  4. Replace your other favorite red sauce by tossing ketchup with buttered pasta (or pouring over macaroni and cheese or fried rice).
  5. Put ketchup out with the maple syrup and try it on French toast or pancakes. (Or make a savory French toast!).
  6. Ketchup is not a vegetable, but serve it with them. Try it with broccoli, sauerkraut, corn kernels, beans, or chickpeas. It also adds depth to vegetable or lentil soup.
  7. Make a sandwich: The people love "ketchup sandwiches"—a thick smear of ketchup between slices of plain white bread (or, similarly, between saltine crackers). Level up by adding pickles to the equation, mixing it with tuna, or making a liverwurst and cream cheese sandwich with a good squirt of ketchup.

Photo by Alex Farnum

What's your stance on ketchup? Give us your best and worst ketchup habits, snacks, and ideas in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • callum's uncle
    callum's uncle
  • AntoniaJames
  • Carmit Zehavit Levin
    Carmit Zehavit Levin
  • amysarah
  • Gemma1122
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


callum's U. March 9, 2020
nah who ever does this should be on a list idiots.
AntoniaJames July 7, 2015
Put it in hearty soups! People are often surprised when they see it in this lentil soup:
The use of it ketchup this soup, a practice I first implemented in the mid-90's when my now-grown sons were young, was inspired in part by this book: Later, Malcolm Gladwell made the point so clearly in "The Ketchup Conundrum," a longish-read in "The New Yorker" and then included in one of his books. Kids love ketchup because it's the most complex food to which most of them are exposed.
The umami + acid in the ketchup are the keys to my lentil soup's appeal. ;o) P.S. It's also great in any bean + greens soup, but remember to add it at the very end, immediately before serving. The acid will arrest, completely and irrevocably, any further softening of any legume.
Carmit Z. July 7, 2015
We produce Hatchup Katchup in New Mexico! We love ketchup!
amysarah July 6, 2015
I love ketchup on all the usual things - burgers, fries, scrambled eggs. But also, my standard meatloaf glaze includes ketchup, lemon juice, brown sugar and a squirt of sriracha (or before that was a thing, tabasco.) My mom's (award winning!) brisket pot roast includes a glug. Also, the best Pad Thai I ever made included ketchup - an undercover ingredient...authentic? Clearly not. Yet somehow captured the perfect flavor.
Gemma1122 July 6, 2015
Mark Bittman published a Ketchup Chicken recipe in the New York Times a few weeks ago. I don't particularly like ketchup, but I crave ketchup chicken. It's so good, especially over rice.
Midge July 6, 2015
Mix ketchup with a tablespoon of chipotle in adobo, squeeze of lime, and Greek yogurt = awesome dip for quesadillas.
Corduval July 6, 2015
I make a Mexican-style rice to go in our burritos. When all is done, I stir in a bit of ketchup instead of tomato sauce for a little extra ¡zing!