Recipe courtesy of Vince Camillo

Grilled Tomato Ketchup with Grilled Onions and Yellow Pepper

Spicy, smoky and tangy, this grilled tomato ketchup may convince you to skip the store-bought variety and opt instead for this fresher, sweeter ketchup recipe forevermore. Grilled onions and bell peppers add even more of that charred flavor to the burger, making this a grilled triple threat.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings; 2 cups ketchup
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Grilled Tomato Ketchup:

3 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and halved

1/2 cup malt vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste, chipotle in adobo or other spicy pepper sauce, such as Pickapeppa

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 small bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick


1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds, rings separated

1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

Freshly ground black pepper

4 hamburger buns


  1. For the ketchup: Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill the tomatoes skin-side down until dark grill lines appear, about 5 minutes, and then flip and cook until nicely charred and sagging, about 10 more minutes. Remove, chop into pieces, and transfer to a medium saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, salt, aji amarillo paste, allspice, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks very dry and the tomatoes no longer hold their shape, 25 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and then blend the mixture to a smooth, thick sauce about the consistency of store-bought ketchup. If the ketchup is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached.
  2. For the burgers: Sprinkle the onions and peppers with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Grill the onions and peppers until well-charred and softened, flipping once, about 6 minutes. Remove and set aside. Wipe off the grill to cook the burgers.
  3. Divide the ground beef into four 6-ounce patties, 4 inches wide and 1-inch thick. Brush the burgers with the remaining oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and black pepper. Grill the burgers until visibly cooked more than halfway up the bottom, about 4 minutes, then flip and grill 4 minutes longer for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board or plate to let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the burgers on the buns and top each with 2 tablespoons of the ketchup, 3 or 4 pepper strips and 4 or 5 onion rings. Serve.

Cook’s Note

Save any extra ketchup in the refrigerator and use for other recipes, such as grilled pork chops.