Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe for Canning

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This delicious Sweet Pickle Relish recipe is the best for home canning. Made with fresh from the garden vegetables, it’s perfect for using on hamburgers and hot dogs and other dishes at your backyard barbecue or anytime of year.

This sweet relish combines cucumbers, red and green bell peppers and onions. It’s the perfect complement to add a sweet savory touch to your meal. It’s a classic homemade sweet pickle relish everyone will love!

sweet pickle relish in jars on a surface

When the garden is in full swing, and the kitchen is busy, making homemade relish is an easy way to use up a lot of fresh overgrown vegetables and help succumb the overwhelm.

Easy Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe

Make 4 pints

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 cups  Onions, chopped
  • 2 cups Bell Peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup Pickling and Preserving Salt
  • 3 cups White Organic Sugar
  • 1  TBS Celery seed
  • 1 TBS Mustard seed
  • 2 cups White Vinegar
  • Pickle Crisp (optional)

Do You Have to Use a Food Processor?

Let me be honest. I used to use a hand-me-down vegetable chopper I had gotten from my mom and chopped for what felt like hours in a large aluminum dish pan.

After making sweet pickle relish as couple times, I was determined to make things easier and quicker in the kitchen.

So I splurged for this Hamilton Beach Food Processor and its been a life saver!

So no! You don’t have to use a food processor when canning sweet pickle relish, but it does make it a lot faster and the chopped vegetables look much nicer.

sweet pickle relish recipe ingredients chopped in a bowl  - cucumbers, onions, red and green peppers

Anyway, back to the recipe.  If you are using a hand chopper, you will need a large dish pan or bowl for chopping your vegetables. 

You will also need to chop them 1 at a time so you can measure.

Instructions:

  1. Wash all vegetables well in cold running water and drain.
  2. Cucumbers – Remove stems and blossom end, chop, and measure out 4 cups
  3. Onions – Peel, chop, and measure out 2 cups
  4. Bell Peppers – Remove stems and seeds, chop and measure out 2 cups
  5. Combine in a large bowl all chopped vegetables and mix well.  You can use your hand or a spoon.
  6. Sprinkle, over the top of chopped vegetables, 1/2 cup canning salt. (DO NOT MIX IT) Only sprinkle and let sit for 2 hours.
  7. After 2 hours, drain vegetables and using a fine mesh strainer, thoroughly rinse with cold water to remove salt.
  8. Combine in a large sauce pan, spices, sugar, and vinegar.  Bring mixture to a boil until sugar has melted and pour in vegetables, simmer for 15 minutes.  (Vegetables will darken)
  9. Fill hot jars with mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch head-space.
  10. Add 1/4 tsp Pickle Crisp, if you are using it.
  11. Wipe jar rim with clean cloth, place lid on hot jar and tighten ring finger tight. Then place into water bath canner on rack.
  1. Cover jars with 1 inch hot water and place lid on boiler.  Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat and process jars for 15 minutes.
  2. Gently remove lid or boiler and allow Mason jars to rest for 5 minutes in the water.  Remove and place on a towel on the counter and allow to sit for 24 hours undisturbed. Check your seals to make sure sealed,  label and store.

How Long Will Home Canned Sweet Relish Last?

If sealed, sweet pickle relish will safely store for up to 12 months. Once the jar is opened, it will need to be consumed within 4 weeks. Keep in refrigerator after opening.

FAQ’s

Do you peel your cucumbers? No, I don’t peel or seed the cucumbers. It all goes into the recipe. Only the tips are removed.

How long does this recipe last after canned? The NCFHFP says that home canned goods will last 12 months on the pantry shelf if properly sealed.

When is this relish ready to eat? Allow this relish to rest on the pantry shelf for at least 3 weeks. This gives the flavors time to blend and just add to the delicious flavor.

More Canning Recipes:

Yield: 4 pints

Sweet Pickle Relish for Canning

brightly filled jars of sweet relish

This recipe is the perfect complement to add interest to any meal. Add a sweet savory flavor with sweet pickle relish.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 cups  Onions, chopped
  • 2 cups Bell Peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup Pickling and Preserving Salt
  • 3 cups White Organic Sugar
  • 1  TBS Celery seed
  • 1 TBS Mustard seed
  • 2 cups White Vinegar
  • Pickle Crisp (optional)

Instructions

Preparation:

1. Wash all vegetables well in cold running water and drain.

2. Cucumbers – Remove stems and blossom end, chop, and measure out 4 cups

3. Onions – Peel, chop, and measure out 2 cups

4. Bell Peppers – Remove stems and seeds, chop and measure out 2 cups.

5. Combine in a large bowl all chopped vegetables and mix well.  You can use your hand or a spoon.

6. Sprinkle salt over the top of chopped vegetables. Do not mix- Only sprinkle and let sit for 2 hours.

7. After 2 hours, drain and rinse vegetables with cold water to remove salt

8. Combine in a large sauce pan, spices, sugar, and vinegar.  Bring mixture to a boil until sugar has melted and pour in vegetables, simmer for 15 minutes.

9. Ladle into hot Mason jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head-space.

10. Add 1/4 tsp Pickle Crisp (optional)

11. Wipe jar rim with clean cloth, place lid on hot jar and tighten ring finger tight, place into water bath canner.

12. Cover jars with 1 inch hot water and place lid on boiler.  Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat and process jars for 15 minutes.

Gently remove lid or boiler and allow Mason jars to rest for 5 minutes in the water.  Remove and place on a towel on the counter and allow to sit for 24 hours undisturbed. Check your seals to make sure sealed,  label and store.

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16 thoughts on “Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe for Canning”

    1. Hi Mary Jean,

      Yes, you can reduce the amount of sugar. It has nothing to do with preserving, only the flavoring. I am unsure about the coconut palm sugar or date sugar. I’ve not tried either one. I have been looking into the coconut palm, but not yet found a definitive answer for canning. I do know you can safely use the palm sugar for fermenting.

  1. Thank you for the recipe. I’m wondering if you have to can the relish right after the two hour set time. I would like to prepare the chopped veggies the night before, and can the next day as my garden is over flowing and I have been canning for days.

    Thank you,

    Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy,

      This is a great question. Here’s my thought…. you could prepare your chopped veggies the night before and put them in the frig overnight WITHOUT the salt. And then in the morning, put on the salt and have the set time and then can. Don’t let them set overnight in the salt – that would be much too long.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Yes, you can double the recipe. I have done this several times myself when I have a lot of cucumbers. The water bath time would remain the same don’t increase it for more jars.

  2. Hi,
    I made this and turned out really good. I used a meat grinder to cut the veggies. I was wondering how long they are good on the counter before putting in fridge.

    1. Hi Tara,
      Love the creativeness of the meat grinder. I’m sorry but I’m not completely sure what you are asking, but I’ll take a guess at it. After the salt is rinsed, this is heated and put into sterile jars and water bath canned. Once canned, they should be sealed and the jars are good for 2+ years on the shelf. So there is no need to keep them in the refrigerator BUT once you open a jar to use, it need to be refrigerated immediately. I hope this answers your question. If not, please let me know.

      I’m so glad you tried the recipe – it is delicious.
      Dianne

    1. Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for asking this, I’ve never been ask this before. No, I don’t peel them. I cut the ends off and grind them up.

      Let me know how it turns out,
      Dianne

  3. I hav3 not tried it yet but I am on the Keto diet and I think by using Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener instead of sugar this could fit into the Keto diet. I figured 4 pints would be 128 tablespoons, 1 tablespoon would be 5g net carbs and 3 calories. They say this sweetener can be used 1 to 1 with sugar. I was wanting to make Keto cauliflower potatoes lad that our family have always used sweet pickle relish instead of dill pickles. I also want to make thousand island dressing that was keto we have always used on our Taco Salad, and of course hot dogs.

    1. Maraha,

      My hubby and I also do Keto. We have been talking about finding ways to use different sugars for canning but it takes time with the varied tastes of other sugars. Sadly, my pantry shelves are full of jams, jellies, relishes, etc that I’ve made over the last couple years that have regular high calorie sugar in them. We have slowed down on them, but they do make great homemade gifts for family and friends.

      I will say I tried honey last year and honestly didn’t have a lot of luck. Maybe I did something wrong, but just didn’t like the flavor. So glad I tested it with only 1 run of apple butter. Canning with different sweeteners, I have found to be rather difficult – I’ve poured out some jellies. Maybe someone else could share some knowledge?

      I have been discussing doing so extensive research before apple season gets here, as we are out of apple pie fillings. I love the idea of making canned goods with a natural sugar, but at the moment I don’t feel like I know enough about Monkfruit or Stevia (my 2 choices at the moment) to make a decision.

      Keep me informed of what you learn and maybe we can learn from each other.

      Thanks for sharing,
      Dianne

      1. My uncle was a bee keeper his rule of thumb when using honey as a sugar substitute was never exceed 1\4 of the sugar substitute ex if 1 cup sugar you would use 3\4 sugar 1\4 honey the only exception is if it is pure clover honey Wich is hard to find to tell if it is it will be a clear honey it is a very mild flavor of course as your tastes adjust to the flavor you can gradually increase as the flavor won’t be so pronounce hope this helps

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