Sweet Pickle Relish


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    one pint jars

Appears in

The Art of Preserving

The Art of Preserving

By Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne and Rick Field

Published 2012

  • About

If you have a garden overflowing with cucumbers, this classic relish is a good way to use your bumper crop. You can dice the vegetables in a food processor or by hand. If you opt for the food processor, be sure you don’t overprocess them or the relish will lose its chunky texture.


  • lb (1.25 kg) cucumbers, finely diced
  • 1 sweet onion such as Vidalia or Rio Sweet, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely diced
  • 1 red (bell) pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) kosher salt
  • 3 cups ( lb/750 g) sugar
  • 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp celery seeds
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp whole allspice


In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion, and bell peppers. Pour the salt over the cucumber mixture, add enough cold water to cover, and stir gently to mix. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours or up to 1 day.

Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids.

Drain the cucumber mixture in a colander. Rinse thoroughly and drain again. Transfer to a large nonreactive saucepan and add the sugar, vinegar, and celery and mustard seeds. Place the allspice on a square of cheesecloth (muslin). Bring the corners together and tie securely with kitchen string. Add the cheesecloth bag to the cucumber mixture and stir to mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Discard the cheesecloth bag.

Ladle the hot relish into the jars, leaving ¼ inch (6 mm) of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath (for detailed instructions, including cooling and testing seals, Canning Step by Step). The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.