Do you love relish? Here’s how to make an easy, homemade pickle relish without dyes, corn syrup, or unnecessary ingredients!
Who doesn’t love hot dogs or bratwurst topped with fresh pickle relish? I personally love mixing in sweet relish with my tuna salad. But my biggest pet peeve is reading labels at the grocery stores and seeing things like artificial flavors and colors listed on the label. Luckily making relish at home is super easy to do using your fresh garden cucumbers!
This easy pickle relish is quick to make and easily canned for longer storage. It’s a great way to preserve your cucumber harvest to enjoy later!
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You may be asking what’s in relish? Well, for the most part- cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Basically, think about your sweet pickles, but all chopped up into tiny pieces and that’s what relish is. So if you’ve ever made your own pickles, you can make relish!
Please note that this recipe make a sweet pickle relish and does not include dill seed.
How to Make Easy Pickle Relish
You will need:
3-4 lbs fresh cucumbers (less if using pickling cucumbers, more if using regular cucumbers or slicers)
1 large onion (~1 cup chopped)
1/4 cup pickling salt
1-2 cups sugar- depending on how sweet you want the final relish to be
3 cups white vinegar
4 cloves garlic- minced
2 tsp Celery Seed
2 tsp Mustard Seed
Dash turmeric powder
Trim ends of the cucumbers and cut lengthwise.
Remove any seeds and cut into chunks.
Dice the cucumber into small pieces. I use my food processor for this step. Just be sure not to over process of you will end up with mush. (But if you do, you can use that mush for cucumber muffins!)
Dice the onion (Again, I use the food processor)
In a large bowl or pot, combine the cucumber, onion, and salt. Cover and set aside for 2-3 hours.
In a mesh sieve or cheese cloth lined colander, drain the cucumbers and onions.
You want to remove as much moisture as possible. If you are making a large batch then you might need to work in batches here. Press to remove any excess liquid.
Related Reading: How to Make (and Can) Homemade Ketchup
Make the Relish Brine:
To make the brine combine sugar, vinegar, garlic, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric powder in a large non-reactive pot.
Bring to a boil.
Add the drained cucumber mixture.
Return the brine to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
And your relish is done! You can either store it in the refrigerator or can it using the instructions below.
How to Can Pickle Relish:
This sweet relish can be preserved for a longer shelf life using the water bath canning method. Here’s how to can your sweet pickle relish:
Fill pint sized jars with pickle relish, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Make sure you are using hot sterilized jars as this ensures that the final product is clean and reduces the chance of your jars breaking.
Run a knife or spoon along the edge of the jar to remove any air bubbles.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth.
Place on canning lids and tighten the rings finger-tight.
For tips on canning, check out these 12 Canning Mistakes
Place the filled jars in a large canning pot filled with boiling water. If you don’t have a canning pot, you can use any large stock pot, but if you plan on home canning I suggest investing in a good water bath canner- it’ll pay for itself in no time!
Process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Don’t start your timer until the pot is at a rolling boil.
Remove the relish from the canner using a jar lifter and let sit, undisturbed, until cool.
Check for a good seal before storing.
This recipe should yield approximately 7- half pints of relish.
Get more ideas to preserve cucumbers on 10 Ways to Preserve Cucumbers That Every Home Gardener Should Know!
I’m so glad its fine to use a food processor – my knife skills are a bit rusty so I was worried i’d have to tune them up before making some relish. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Can’t wait to make my own relish at home!
I used my chopper to dice my cucumbers, took a little extra work but it did the trick, because I had to slice the cucumbers first. I had more than 3 lbs so I doubled the recipe and I ended up with 3 pints. I also added an extra cup on sugar.
Just finished a batch of relish, looks really good! Thank you for the recipe!
how many pints does this recipe make?
I put all the vegetables through a food (meat) grinder using the disk with the largest holes. It’s fast, easy, gives consistent size pieces and you don’t risk turning to mush like with a food processor.
I have had a red belle pepper and
I added 2 mins to the boil time to reduce the liquid! Its was delicious!
Do cucumbers need to be peeled? How long will relish keep in fridge if put in water bath? Thanks.
No peeling necessary. If you have processed it in the water bath it is shelf stable for about a year (or more)
Hi, Ms. Sarah!
Is the 3-4 Lbs of cucumbers when you get them? Of should this be the weight after Seeding? Apologies if i ovsrlooked this in your previous comments. Thank You!
This is the weight of the cucumber before you do anything to them :)
Recipe says to drain the cucumber salt mixture after setting. Are you to rinse the salt of this mixture or just drain.
You do not need to rinse.
Is the 3-4lbs of cucumbers before or after they are cut up?
Can you freeze it?
How many pints will this recipe make?
Re:sugar in recipe, my little sister was a type one diabetic for over 50 years (she passed at 57 4 years ago) and back when we were kids I got to help Mom can, freeze or store everything in the fruit cellar (we had a fridge as good as they were so no milk house, but the milk truck came by each morning except Sunday sooo…). Anyways for pickles Mom would cut back on the sugar by as much as half and the pickles turned out fine just less sweet. And sister was able to eat a few, just balancing out the sweetness of the rest of the meal – must have worked considering the age she lived to (most of her diabetic friends, she met many, did not live as many years with diabetes and all of the ones I knew predeceased her, most did not balance things in the way she did but she was involved with a study and I think they are recommending many of her methods today.)
I got 9 8oz jars, measured weight AFTER removing seeds… hope it taste as good as it smells! ?
I have never canned. Ever. Can I just put the cans in boiling water in a pot or do I need a canner of some sort?
Dianna, you can use any pot as long as the water level is 1 inch over the top of the filled jars with the lids and bands on snugly. You also need some kind of rack under your jars to keep them off the bottom of the pot, or you could put some other metal item…maybe some canning bands with a cake pan on top …anything to keep a very small amount of space between the bottom of the pan and the jars while also keeping them steady. You don’t want to go to all that trouble to make something delicious just to have it fall over break in the pot.
My mom used to put a tea towel in the bottom of the pot and the jars on it. When the water starts boiling, the tea towel keeps the jars from moving and banging into each other.
no any big pot that is big anough so the water is about 1 or 2 inches over the top of the jars will do 1
Could I make this relish with stevia sweetener or any sweetener instead of sugar. And how much sweetener instead of the sugar will it keep just as well with sweetener and not the sugar
I have not made it with anything other than sugar. Check with your extension agent they should be able to tell you if it’s safe to can it using alternative sugar.
Made a batch yesterday! Smells amazing! How long do you recommend letting the jars sit before eating or is it ready to eat now?
How can I make this not sweet like dill relish. Just leave out the sugar? I don’t like sweet relish
Try monkfruit it’s like sugar but more healthier I was thinking of using it myself when I make this recipe since I’m trying to cut sugar out & eat healthier.
Allulose would work too. :)
Can sweetener be used instead of sugar, I can’t have any sugar. And how much sweetener would you use the same amount as sugar. Will they keep as well with sweetener then they would with sugar.
Can these be canned in quart jars with the processing time increased from 20 minutes to 15 minutes? I only have quart jars and pint jars are sold out here due to Covid 19.
I only want to make two jars of relish…do I have to do the whole canning process. If not, how long can they be refrigerated? Thank you.
I’d say maybe 6 weeks in the fridge
How long after canning can you eat this? I know with some pickles you need to let them sit in the brine for a few weeks before cracking them open to enjoy. I don’t know if the same applies to relish 😬
I had some extra after 7 pint jars filled up and canned (I am sure I had more cucumbers and I doubled the onion and messed around with the recipe a little bit because this isn’t my first rodeo) but FYI, it is delicious immediately, I put about a half cup in a jar in the fridge and used it on bratwurst the next day.
I doubled the recipe and used a red bell pepper for each one. I used extra large vidalia onions and a full two cups of sugar for each one. The doubled recipe made 6 1/2 pints of relish. It was delicious as soon as it was processed. No waiting necessary. Thank you.
I am excited to try your recipe. How many cups of cucumbers do you think it should be after its chopped? I don’t have a way of weighing them.
My kids and I made this yesterday and enjoyed it today. My daughter loves relish and was so excited to have made this.
How long does this relish last in the fridge after the canning process?
Thank you for the recipe, very helpful.
Would the same method of canning/preservation of a water bath apply if the relish had oil in it too?
Made this last night. It is delicious! Hubs said I need to make more of this!
I have a recipe similar to yours from a church cookbook, but it just says to put in jars and seal. It does not say to waterbath them. Is it okay to do this as you fill the jars right from the kettle while it is boiling hot and seal them right away..Ruth Schley
You absolutely should be waterbathing them, it is the safest way to can them. Otherwise you could make them into refrigerator pickles.
About how many pounds for pickling cucumbers??
Can this be done in smaller jars, I have a lot of 250ml jars.
I used 8 large cucumbers and got 4 1/2 pints.
I am so glad I found your site. Can’t wait to makes this relish.
Can this be frozen in freezer safe bags? Will it affect the texture or taste?
The cucumbers look so much less after chopped do you still use 3 lbs
Do you have to take the seeds out? I’ve read that cucumber seeds are good for you, an if I use the food processor won’t it chop them up? New to all this canning. Thanks