Zucchini Relish

Zucchini Relish

Serves 4 20 minute prep time

Versions of this recipe have been with me for years; I think it’s moved to eight apartments with me. This is a canning recipe that will help you to preserve your zucchini harvest all winter long. It is always a crowd pleaser and makes a great gift.  Use it to top a power bowl, on top of hot dogs, in sandwiches, or my favorite way: by the spoonful.

For tips on preserving see our Strawberry Lemon Jam recipe. If you’re not down with canning or just don’t have the time, you can make the recipe and skip steps 8 through 13. Pour the un-canned relish into Mason jars and refrigerate for up to one week.


  • 4 16oz /500mL Mason jars with new lids and rings
  • 3 lbs /1.4kg zucchini, ends cut off
  • 3 cups onions, finely chopped (about 3 to 4 medium onions)
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet red peppers, cut into a small dice (about 2 to 3 peppers)
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • Wash your hands and vegetables well. Wash jars, lids and rings with hot soapy water.

  • Bring a large pot of water (or a water canner) to a boil and a small saucepan to a boil.

  • Using a food processor, finely shred zucchini or pulse zucchini into small pieces.

  • Combine zucchini, onions, red peppers, and pickling salt. Stir well, cover and let rest for one hour. Drain out liquid. Rinse and drain again, pressing out any excess liquid.

  • In a large pot, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, red pepper flakes, ginger, and turmeric. Bring to a boil.

  • Add in vegetables to liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring often. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

  • Combine cornstarch and water into a small bowl and mix well. Add into relish and simmer, stirring often. Cook until relish thickens about, five minutes. Turn off heat.

  • Add rings and lids to a small pot of boiling water. Turn off heat. Do not continue to boil lids and rings as the seal will wash off.

  • Using a large mouth funnel, funnel relish into sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace (space between the top of the jam and the top of the jar. Use a small spatula to remove any air bubbles from the side of the jar by moving it around in the jar.

  • Using a clean damp paper towel, wipe the rims of the relish to ensure there is nothing to get in the way of the seal. Place lid and ring onto jars and tighten to fingertip tight (just as tight as you can get using only your fingertips, not forcing it closed).

  • Add relish jars to pot of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes from when boiling starts.

  • Remove jars and place on a clean kitchen towel out of direct sunlight. Do not disturb for 24 hours. A popping sound will happen when the seal is sucked into the jar to create an airtight seal. After 24 hours, if any of the jar lids “pop” when touch they have not sealed properly and need to be put into the refrigerator.

  • After 24 hours, check seal on jars buy pressing down on the center of each jars lids. If the lid does not pop when touched it is sealed and can be stored at room temperature for up to a year in a cool, dark place.

  • If the lid does pop, it did not seal properly. Put in fridge and use within two weeks.