It's way more than burgers and fries.
Credit: Vesna Jovanovic / EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s time to think beyond fries and hot dogs—that bottle of ketchup at the back of your condiment shelf is full of culinary possibilities. Whether you’re trying to use up an old bottle, or just trying to make a meal out of whatever you have left in your fridge, ketchup has way more uses than you’d think: It’s a great asset to have on hand for all kinds of cuisines, from a nostalgia-filled homemade meatloaf to a take-out style stir fry. Here are seven of the best ways to make the most of that humble bottle of ketchup.

1. Oven “Fried” Chicken Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Credit: Photographer: Gina DeSimone; Prop Stylist: Kashara Johnson; Food Stylist: Briana Riddock

These sticky, tangy, and perfectly sweet drumsticks are absolutely, finger-licking good. The skin crisps up nicely in the oven—you won’t even notice that it’s not deep-fried. A sweet peach barbecue sauce, featuring a certain tomato-based condiment, makes this the ideal summertime party snack.

2. Slow-Cooked BBQ Pork Roast

Credit: Whitney Ott

Too cold outside to start up the grill? Your trusty slow cooker makes this pork roast possible. Spiced with paprika, cumin, ground coriander, and garlic, this beautiful roast gets tang and sweetness from ketchup in the glaze.

3. Old-fashioned Meatloaf

Make your mama proud, and maybe a little jealous, with a robust meatloaf recipe packed with Greek and Creole seasonings and a hint of garlic. Spice up the traditional ketchup topping with a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

This list wouldn’t be complete without including a classic ketchup-topped meatloaf. With a perfect five-star rating, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. A little bit of Worcestershire sauce spices up the ketchup, and the meat is seasoned with a combination of Creole and Greek spices.

ck-Curried Lentil-and-Vegetable Stew
Credit: Photography: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Photography: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Ketchup is the surprise ingredient in this Indian-inspired stew, and it fits right in: The fruity condiment adds just enough vinegary tang and sweetness to round out this hearty, meatless meal.

5. Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Credit: Oxmoor House

Oxmoor House

These sandwiches feel like a special treat, but come together effortlessly in your slow cooker. They’re tender, melt-in-your-mouth, and use pantry staples for a family-favorite meal that works for lunch or dinner.

6. Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Credit: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

If you’ve got a takeout craving, this breezy take on a restaurant classic hits the spot—and comes together super fast. Ketchup works really well within the balance of sugar and bright flavors that make this dish so deliciously distinctive.

7. Cheeseburger Omelet

mr-Cheeseburger Omelet Image
Credit: Daniel Agee, Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Go into full-on diner mode for weekend brunch (or any meal of the day) with this over-the-top omelet that hits all of your cheeseburger cravings. Bacon, caramelized onions, French fries, and (of course) a ketchup drizzle make this omelet next-level delicious.