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Tomato Sauce vs. Ketchup: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 16, 2024
Tomato sauce is a cooked blend of tomatoes, herbs, and spices used in cooking, while ketchup is a sweet, tangy condiment made from tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
Tomato Sauce vs. Ketchup

Key Differences

Tomato sauce, often used as a base in various dishes, is a versatile cooking ingredient made from blended tomatoes, onions, garlic, and various herbs and spices. Ketchup, on the other hand, is a popular condiment that is sweeter, tangier, and thicker than tomato sauce, commonly used as a topping for foods like fries and burgers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024
The preparation of tomato sauce involves cooking down tomatoes to a desired consistency and blending them with ingredients like herbs, onions, and garlic to enhance flavor. Ketchup's preparation is distinct, involving not only tomatoes but also vinegar, sugar, and specific spices like cloves and cinnamon, resulting in its characteristic taste.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024
Tomato sauce is a staple in cuisines worldwide, playing a crucial role in Italian dishes like pasta and pizza. Ketchup, widely used in American cuisine, is more of a finishing touch, added to foods after cooking for an extra burst of flavor.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024
Nutritional profiles of both tomato sauce and ketchup differ significantly. Tomato sauce is typically lower in sugar and can be rich in natural tomato nutrients. In contrast, ketchup often contains added sugars and vinegars, making it higher in calories and sweetness.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024
Versatility is another key difference. Tomato sauce can be adapted to a variety of dishes and cuisines, ranging from soups to stews. Ketchup, while versatile in its use as a condiment, is generally not used as a cooking ingredient in complex recipes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Ingredients

Tomatoes, herbs, spices
Tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, spices
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Preparation

Cooked and blended tomatoes with seasonings
Tomato paste mixed with vinegar and sweeteners
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Culinary Use

Base for dishes, cooking ingredient
Condiment, topping
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Taste Profile

Varied, can be savory or herby
Sweet and tangy
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Nutrition

Generally lower in sugar
Often higher in sugar and calories
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024
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Tomato Sauce and Ketchup Definitions

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is used as a base in various Italian dishes.
The lasagna recipe calls for two cups of tomato sauce.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

Ketchup is made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
This ketchup has a hint of cinnamon.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is a cooked mixture of tomatoes and seasonings.
I made spaghetti using homemade tomato sauce.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

Ketchup is thicker and sweeter than tomato sauce.
Ketchup is perfect for dipping.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce can include a variety of herbs and spices.
My tomato sauce has basil, oregano, and garlic.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024
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Ketchup

Ketchup is a popular topping in American cuisine.
Burgers and hot dogs are often served with ketchup.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is a staple in savory cooking.
The casserole needs a layer of tomato sauce.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

Ketchup is a sweet and tangy tomato-based condiment.
I always add ketchup to my fries.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is versatile in different cuisines.
I use tomato sauce in both pasta and curry.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

Ketchup is used as a finishing touch on foods.
I topped the meatloaf with ketchup.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

A condiment consisting of a thick, smooth-textured, spicy sauce usually made from tomatoes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

(uncountable) A tomato-vinegar-based sauce, sometimes containing spices, onion or garlic, and (especially in the US) sweeteners.
Tomato ketchup
This diner serves ketchup in red bottles, and mustard in yellow ones.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

Such a sauce more generally (not necessarily based on tomatoes, but with mushrooms, fish, etc.).
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

(transitive) To cover with ketchup.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

A pureed table sauce made predominantly from tomatoes, flavored with onions, sugar, salt and spices; called also tomato ketchup. The term is also applied to pureed sauces containing mushrooms, walnuts, etc., being called in such cases mushroom ketchup, walnut ketchup, etc.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ketchup

Thick spicy sauce made from tomatoes
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can tomato sauce be used as a condiment?

Typically, it's used for cooking rather than as a topping.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

How is tomato sauce used in cooking?

As a base for dishes like pasta, pizza, and stews.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What is ketchup?

A sweet and tangy condiment made from tomato paste and spices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What makes tomato sauce different from ketchup?

Tomato sauce is a cooking ingredient, while ketchup is a condiment.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Can I substitute tomato sauce for ketchup?

Not ideally, as they serve different culinary purposes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Is tomato sauce used in Italian cuisine?

Yes, extensively in dishes like pasta and pizza.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What is tomato sauce?

A versatile cooking sauce made from tomatoes and seasonings.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Is ketchup used in cooking?

Rarely in cooking; it's primarily a condiment.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What are common uses for ketchup?

As a topping for fries, burgers, and hot dogs.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Is ketchup sweeter than tomato sauce?

Yes, ketchup generally has added sugars.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Are there different types of ketchup?

Yes, including variations like spicy or reduced-sugar ketchup.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What are key ingredients in tomato sauce?

Tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Can ketchup be used in a marinade?

Yes, it can be used in some sweet and tangy marinades.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Is ketchup thicker than tomato sauce?

Yes, ketchup is typically thicker.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Is tomato sauce healthy?

It can be, especially if homemade and low in sugar.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What makes ketchup tangy?

The vinegar and spices in its recipe.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Is tomato sauce used in vegetarian cooking?

Yes, it's a common ingredient in many vegetarian dishes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Does ketchup have a lot of sugar?

Many commercial ketchups have added sugars.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

What type of cuisine is ketchup associated with?

Primarily American cuisine.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

Can tomato sauce be made at home?

Yes, it's commonly made from fresh or canned tomatoes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 16, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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