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Zucchini Relish for Canning or Freezing

  • Author: My Homemade Roots
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 8 Half Pints 1x


This homemade zucchini relish is the perfect way to use up a bumper crop of zucchini. It’s sweet, tangy, and flavorful. This relish is great for hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, and more. It’s also a delicious addition to salads, wraps, and dips. Preserve it by canning or freezing to enjoy it throughout the year.


Units Scale
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini (about 6 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers (any color)
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt (don’t use table salt as it will give the relish an off flavor)
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mixed pickling spice *see notes below
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed *see notes below
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (This will give the relish a yellow color. It is optional.)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar, 5% acidity


To prepare the relish:

  1. Add chopped vegetables to a large mixing bowl and cover with cold water (I like to add a handful of ice cubes, too.) Stir in the salt. Allow the vegetables to stand for 2 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Combine sugar, spices, and vinegar in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add vegetables and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. (The temperature of the simmering mixture should be about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.)
  3. Proceed to instructions for canning or freezing. Otherwise, simply refrigerate the relish.

To freeze the relish:

  1. Allow mixture to cool, then pack into freezer-safe containers, leaving about an inch of head space in the container for expansion.
  2. Place the containers into the freezer for storage.

To can the relish:

  1. Fill hot half-pint jars with relish and brine, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Be sure the vegetables are completely submerged in the brine. If necessary, top up with extra vinegar.
  2. Debubble the jars and wipe the rims clean with a damp towel. Apply lids and rings to the jars.
  3. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting processing time for altitude.
  4. After the processing time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the canner. Allow the jars to sit in the canner and cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the jars from the canner and allow them to sit undisturbed for 12 hours. Check seals and label jars before storing them in the pantry.


When adding the spices to the relish mixture, you can either add them directly or wrap them up in a bit of cheesecloth. With the cheesecloth, you will simmer the bundle of spices and then remove it before canning or freezing your relish. It depends if you want the spices floating free in the relish, or if you want the flavor but not the actual spices in your finished relish.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Soaking Time: 120 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30