Difference Between Sauce and Ketchup

Difference Between – Sauce vs Ketchup

Sauce and Ketchup both refer to condiments that add flavor, moisture and appeal to another dish. A sauce is a liquid, or semi-liquid served with food to add moisture and flavor. Ketchup is a table sauce; the term ketchup is mostly used in modern times to refer to a sauce made of tomatoes. Therefore, the main difference between sauce and ketchup is in their ingredients. A sauce can be made from a variety of ingredients whereas ketchup is mainly made of tomatoes.

What is Sauce

Sauce is a liquid or semi-solid substance. Sauce is always served with another food and acts as a condiment to a main dish. Sauce adds flavor, moisture as well as visual appeal to food. A liquid component is an essential feature of a sauce, but some sauces have more solid parts than the liquid components.

Sauces are an important food item in cuisines all over the world. A sauce can be eaten with both savory dishes and desserts. Sauces are prepared by using a variety of ingredients and processes. Apple sauce, Tomato sauce, Béchamel sauce, Mayonnaise, Bread sauce, etc. are some examples of sauces. Sauces that are made for salads are called salad dressing. Sauce made by deglazing a pan is called pan source.

Sauces can be prepared and served cold or can be prepared cold but served lukewarmly. Some sauces can be cooked and served warm or cooked and served cold. Some sauces like soy sauce and ketchup can be bought ready-made, but some other sauces are still being freshly prepared.Main Difference - Sauce vs Ketchup

What is Ketchup

Ketchup is a table sauce, mainly made from tomatoes and vinegar. Originally the term ketchup was used for sauces made from other ingredients such as mushrooms, eggs, oysters, walnuts, etc. But in contemporary cuisine, ketchup typically refers to a sweet and spicy sauce made from tomatoes, vinegar and an assortment of seasonings and spices. The seasonings and spices can vary according to different recipes, but they commonly include cloves, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and onions.

Ketchup is often used as a relish with various food items that are served hot. (Chips, Hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled meat, etc.) However, ketchup is always served cold. It is sometimes also used a base for other sauces or salad dressings.

The term ketchup is mainly used in American English and Canadian English. In some other English-speaking countries like India and South Africa, the term tomato sauce is more famous. In British English, the two terms are interchangeable.Difference Between Sauce and Ketchup

Difference Between Sauce and Ketchup


Sauce is a  liquid or semi-liquid substance served with food to add moistness and flavor

Ketchup is a sweet and tangy sauce made primarily from tomatoes and vinegar, used as a relish.


Not all sauces are ketchup.

Ketchup is a type of sauce.


Sauce can be made from a vast variety of ingredients.

Ketchup is mainly made of tomatoes and vinegar.

Main dish

Sauces can be eaten with both savory dishes and desserts.

Ketchup is often eaten with fast food.Difference Between Sauce and Ketchup

Image Courtesy:

“Sauce Mornay” by Mouse buck11 – English Wikipedia ([1]). (Public Domain) via Commons

“French fries with some homemade ketchup” by effreyw (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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