Dairy Free / Dressings & Marinades / Egg free / Fresh Produce / Goodness on the Side! / Preserving / Savory and Splendid! / Vegetables

Sweet Pickle Relish {for canning}

20130627-143907.jpgThis recipe for sweet pickle relish is a great one to use for large, overgrown cucumbers that might be past their prime for pickle making. I know we always have cucumbers that grow HUGE because they have been hiding under the vines, or simply because we have neglected picking. For an even zestier or spicier relish, substitute some more of the red or green peppers for jalapenos or other spicy peppers. Happy canning and enjoy! -Shelley

*This recipe made 36 jars {a mixture of half pints and pints} of relish. For a lesser amount simply halve the recipe

Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe for Canning

30 large, overgrown cucumbers, seeds taken out and shredded or chopped very fine {I actually used about 60 medium sized, fat cucumbers this time around}
2 whole heads garlic, minced fine
8 large onions, seeds taken out and chopped fine
4 red peppers, seeds taken out and chopped fine
4 green peppers, seeds taken out and chopped fine
6 jalapenos, seeds taken out and chopped fine
2 banana peppers, seeds taken out and chopped fine
2 garden salsa peppers {or other misc. hot peppers desired}, seeds taken out and chopped fine

2 T + 2 t mustard seed
2 t turmeric
1 1/2 t ground cloves
1 1/2 t celery seed
4 T canning salt

9 c sugar
10 c vinegar {I used 8 c white vinegar and 2 c apple cider vinegar}

The biggest job is taking the seeds out and chopping/shredding the cucumbers. I washed, cut in half, cut bad spots off of, took the seeds out of, sliced the cucumbers and then ran them through the shredding attachment on the food processor.



Chop, mince, or shred the onions, garlic and peppers. {Sorry, no picture of this today. I was apparently in the chopping zone!}

I took all of the dry spices and threw them in the blender to make more of a powder spice blend because someone in our family can’t eat seeds. You can skip this step if desired, but just note that there will be whole mustard seeds in the final product if you don’t blend them up.


In a very large stock pot, place cucumbers, onions, garlic, peppers, spices, sugar and vinegar. Stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute boil it will be ready to process in jars in a water bath.




Make sure to have jars sterilized, hot and ready to go before the mixture is ready. How I do this is wash all of the jars in the dishwasher on the sanitize setting and then place them in a 170 degree oven to stay hot until I am ready to fill them. I also have the lids and bands washed and ready to go, in hot water on the stove.



Fill the clean, hot jars with the relish mixture, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Run a non-metal object in the filling around the outside edge of the jar to release air bubbles. Wipe rim with a clean, hot rag or paper towel to get any splashes or remnants of filling off. Place cleaned, hot lids and hot screw on bands on jars, tightening *just* finger tight.




I also went ahead and filled up all of my jars this way and then placed them back in the 170 degree oven until they were ready to be processed in the hot water bath.


Process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner. Once processing is finished, using a jar holder transfer hot jars to a towel lined surface, placing a towel over the hot jars until they have cooled. This helps keep the cooler air from hitting the hot jars, sometimes causing cracking or shattering of the jars…which is no bueno!





Allow the towel-covered jars to cool completely before moving. Make sure that the jars are sealed by pressing on the center of the lid. If it pops back it is not sealed and needs to be refrigerated and used. At this point you may take the screw on band off of the jar for storage, if desired. I like to do this so I can re-use the bands for other canning projects and I think it also helps to keep the bands from rusting as much. Label jars and store for later use or gifts!



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8 thoughts on “Sweet Pickle Relish {for canning}

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