This season, while canning pickles, I decided I wanted to make and can sweet pickle relish. I wanted to make a relish that would taste like the grocery store variety. I know that may sound odd but I really love the taste. When I need canning advice, I often turn to Sharon Peterson and her website, Simply Canning. When I realized that Sharon had published a canning cookbook, I had to purchase it.
I began checking into my canning books and asking friends for recipes, but all of the recipes had many more ingredients than I wanted to deal with in making my relish. And then I saw the recipe in my Simply Canning Cookbook. It seemed to be just what I was looking for. Since this book was a recent purchase, I had not thought to look here first, but I won’t make the same mistake again! The recipes are simple and straight forward, combined with a wealth of canning know how and experience. I like the way Sharon wrote the book as it is much the same format I have used in teaching canning classes.
Anyway, back to the “perfect” sweet relish recipe. I was a little surprised at how much onion and green pepper were in the recipe because I don’t taste it. Almost every recipe had these ingredients, so I decided to include the onion and peppers. And, Sharon’s recipe had a more reasonable amount for my taste.
My Happy Results
I made a batch and was very happy with the taste. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wrote to Sharon and asked permission to share her recipe with you all, and she readily agreed. If you are looking for a great guide for canning, I highly recommend that you purchase Simply Canning, by Sharon Peterson. It is available on Amazon by clicking this link. Not only is this book a complete guide to the mechanics of canning, the recipes are very good, too.
Here’s the recipe for you.
- 1 quart of chopped cucumbers
- 2 cups of chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped green peppers
- 1 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/4 cup canning salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp celery seed
- 1 Tbsp mustard seed
- Begin by preparing your jars and heating the water in the canner. Combine chopped cucumbers, onion, and peppers in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand for two hours. Drain well. Press out any excess water.
- Combine sugar, vinegar and spices in a pot. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables. Simmer 10 minutes Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims and place lids on the jars. Process 10 minutes in a water bath canner or according to the directions for your altitude.
Recipe for Perfectly Sweet Pickle Relish
1 quart of chopped cucumbers
2 cups of chopped onions
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup canning salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed
Canning the Sweet Pickle Relish
Begin by preparing your jars and heating the water in the canner. Combine chopped cucumbers, onion, and peppers in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand for two hours. Drain well. Press out any excess water.
Combine sugar, vinegar and spices in a pot. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables. Simmer 10 minutes Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims and place lids on the jars. Process 10 minutes in a water bath canner or according to the directions for your altitude.
Yields 6 pints
While discussing relish with many of my friends and readers on social media, I learned that many of you are making relish using zucchini.
Rachelle, who occasionally writes for Homestead Chronicles, shared her zucchini relish recipe with us, too.
10 cups diced zucchini
1 cup pickling salt
5 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
3 cups sweet green peppers 2 cups sweet red peppers Mix this all together very well,
if possible refrigerate over night. Drain well, rinse several times (I wash mine 3x’s) and after the final rinse,press out as much of the water as possible.
In a large sauce pan mix: 5 cups white vinegar 6 cups sugar 2 tsp. turmeric 1 Tbsp dry mustard 3 Tbsp. Celery seed
Time to Process the Zucchini Relish
Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Mix chopped vegetables into this and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes I run this through a strainer saving the ‘juice’ and put the vegetables into the jars carefully. After the jars are filled with the proper half inch head space, Add the reserved juice so that the vegetables are covered in liquid, still leaving the head space. Clean your rims, add your lids and bands, finger tight. Process in water bath canner for 20 minutes after returning to a boil. Once they have cooled (I let mine set over night) remove bands and clean top of jar,label and store. I wait 6 weeks before opening. Hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni salad, potato salad. Any where you would use a sweet relish. A friend uses it with her beef roast. Hope you enjoy this recipe.
Are You Searching for Crunchy Pickle Tips?
On a slightly different and yet still cucumber note, have you been searching for the secret to crunchy pickles? Ann, from A Farm Girl in the Making teaches us all about pickle making and how to get the crunch in this article. Don’t miss it. And grab a copy of Ann’s recent book, A Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest, (Lyon’s Press, 2019). Her book will inspire you to preserve more of your family’s food and enjoy the freshness all year long.
Thanks Everyone who joined in the conversation! Let us know in the comments how you make your relish. And if you are looking to skip the exhaustion of canning season, don’t miss this post.
(this post was re-published in July of 2015 and again in 2019, after edits were completed. It may contain affiliate links)