How to Make Relish Recipes

When you learn how to make relish recipes, you will see they can be made with many vegetables and fruits. Although a relish can be made with finely chopped vegetables, fruits or a combination, the basic and most common is made with cucumbers. When canning many vegetables such as pickles and peppers, vinegar is commonly used for pickling.  This is the same with relish and various spices are added for seasoning.

The flavor of relishes can be sweet or savory, hot or mild but always well seasoned. This is why relishes add flavor to the food to which it is served. The most popular of all the pickle relishes is the “All American hot dog relish” made with cucumbers and onions. Many of us would not think of eating a hot dog without this condiment; it makes them so delicious.

How to Make RelishHow to Make Relish
White Cucumber RelishWhite Relish made with White Burpless Cucumbers (Same Cucumber Relish Recipe)

When I learned how to make relish recipes, I found there is nothing like making it at home. To me, the cucumber onion relishes are the best. The commercially made ones in the supermarkets cannot even come close to the flavor. In the commercial brands, you will find a couple different “classes” of these relishes.

There is one relish for hot dogs which has a mustard base and there is one for hamburgers which has a tomato base. I love homemade cucumber relish on all meats especially sausage and other pork but I choose to make it without either mustard or tomato. I can always add that if I want. I just prefer the flavor of the pickled cucumbers and onions together.

When I first learned how to make relish recipes, I also checked out recipes under the names of chutneys, conserves, piccalilli and chow chow. These are all very similar to relish recipes made with a variety of ingredients. They often get their different names due to their home origination.

Chutneys come from the South Asian cuisine and chow chow has its origination taking us to the Appalachian Mountains area in Southern United States. The combination of making two or more fruits into what we call preserves is what they use to call a conserve recipe. Piccalilli is the old English version of a pickled relish. If you overlook some of these recipes because of the name that they are listed under, you may miss out on one of these very flavorful condiments.


Cucumber RelishCucumber Relish
  • 1 Dozen large cucumbers
  • 2 Green bell peppers
  • 8 Cups chopped onions
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 Pound granulated sugar
  • 4 Cups cider vinegar

Grind vegetables coarsely in a food chopper. Mix with salt in a large pan and let stand for one hour; Drain. In a large kettle, combine the turmeric, mustard seed, sugar and vinegar. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the vegetable mixture and stir well. Reduce heat and cook about fifteen minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Pack into hot sterile (4-6) pint jars and seal.


  • 4 Cups ground onions
  • 4 Cups ground green tomatoes
  • 12 Red bell peppers, ground
  • 1 Medium head cabbage, ground
  • 6 Green bell peppers, ground
  • ½ Cup salt
  • 6 Cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard seed
  • 4 Cups cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 Cups water

Grind all vegetables with a coarse blade and sprinkle with the salt. Let set overnight. Rinse and drain very well. Combine the sugar, mustard seed, vinegar, celery seed, turmeric and water: mix well. Pour over the vegetable mixture and stir well. Heat until boiling; simmer for five minutes. Pack in hot sterile jars (8 pints) and seal tightly.


As I was learning how to make relish recipes, I found this one to be very flavorful. It is a favorite of many and is good just as an accompaniment to any meal.

  • 20 Large ears of sweet corn, cut off cobs
  • 3 Large onions
  • 8 Large cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 8 – 10 Ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Red hot pepper
  • 1 Red sweet bell pepper
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 3 Stalks celery
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard seed
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ Cup salt
  • 5 Cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Cups vinegar

Coarsely chop the cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, peppers and celery. Add to the corn in a large kettle and sprinkle with the salt; let set for ½ hour. Add the celery seed, mustard seed, flour, turmeric, vinegar and sugar. Stir to blend and bring to a boil. Cook about 45 minutes and pack into hot sterile jars and seal tightly.


Chow Chow RecipeChow Chow Recipe

Chow chow is considered one of the relish recipes because the vegetables are coarsely ground.

  • 12 Large green tomatoes
  • 1 Small hot pepper
  • 2 Green peppers
  • 4 Large onions
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  • 2 ½ Cups vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons salt

Grind tomatoes, peppers and onions using a coarse grinder.

Add remaining ingredients and cook until thick (about 2 hours); stir to prevent burning.

Pack in hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.


This piccalilli recipe is often referred to as one of the relish recipes because it uses ground vegetables.

  • 5 Pounds green tomatoes (10 cups chopped)
  • 1 Sweet red pepper
  • 2 Green bell peppers
  • 3 ¾ Cups chopped onions
  • ½ Cup salt
  • 1 Quart cider vinegar
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 Tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 Teaspoon whole cloves

Wash vegetables thoroughly; chop or coarsely grind tomatoes, red pepper, green peppers and onions.

Mix well with salt; cover and let stand overnight then drain.

Combine vinegar, sugar and spices tied in a cheesecloth bag; bring to a boil.

Add drained vegetables and heat again to boiling point; DO NOT BOIL.

Pack at once into hot sterilized jars; seal immediately.


Although chutneys are made with many fruits, many consider this apricot chutney recipe one of the relish recipes because the fruits are in small pieces.

  • 16 Cups apricots, washed, pitted and diced
  • 2 Cups golden raisins
  • 1 Lemon ground (rind and all)
  • 1 Cup minced onion
  • ¾ Cup candied lemon peel chopped
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 30 Whole cloves
  • ¾ Teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3 Pounds brown sugar
  • 4 Cups cider vinegar

Tie in a spice bag the cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and salt.

Make syrup in a large enamel pan combining the brown sugar and cider vinegar.

Bring mixture to a boil and add the fresh and candied fruits and the spice bag.

Make sure mixture is still at boiling point, then reduce to simmer and simmer for 1 hour.

Stir occasionally so mixture does not stick to bottom.

Can in hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.