How to Make Homemade Old Fashioned Relish

How to Make Homemade Old Fashioned Relish ~ I say old fashioned, but of course this homemade pickle relish has been Great Island-ized with some hot peppers, and a little bit of extra spice. You’re going to love it, and it’s so easy!

How to Make Homemade Old Fashioned Relish ~ the quick and easy way!

An easy no can recipe for making your own relish - bring some to your next barbecue!

I know everybody’s grilling this weekend, and thinking about burgers, and pasta salads, and maybe a pie or two. But don’t forget that you can’t have a great barbecue without great condiments! And there is something so satisfying about making your own. You’ll see humble old fashioned relish in a whole new light when you chop fresh cucumbers yourself, and brew up your own zesty pickling juice. This completes my set of homemade classic condiments, I’ve made KETCHUPHOT SWEET AND SPICY MUSTARD30-SECOND MAYO, and now this Old Fashioned Relish.

How to Make Homemade Old Fashioned Relish without canning!

The process for this relish was a little bit different from anything I’ve done before. After finely mincing the pickles, which I did in the food processor, they soak for 4 hours in a salted ice water brine. They get drained, then soak in more water for another hour. Apparently this helps them maintain their crunch. After the soaks, I added a good bit of minced onion and green bell peppers, along with a jalapeno to the mix. A food processor comes in handy for the fine chopping, but I think it would be fun to play around with a chunky style relish, too, in which case you could use a good knife and cut everything a little bigger.

Old Fashioned Relish | The View from Great Island 4

The flavor comes from the pickling solution, which is vinegar, sugar, and spices. You’ll bring it just to a boil and then pour it over the veggies. You’ll recognize the characteristic sweet/acid quality of  relish the minute you get a whiff of the mixture on the stove, that’s when I really got excited.

Old Fashioned Relish | The View from Great Island 8

I loosely based my method on one from, a great site for all things having to do with seasonal fruits and veggies.

How to Make Homemade Old Fashioned Relish quickly and easily with no canning!

I was never particularly a relish lover, in fact I don’t usually stock  any in my refrigerator, but with this homemade stuff, I’m looking for ways to eat it up, it’s fantastic. I highly recommend giving this one a try, it wasn’t hard and the payoff is so worth it…if you’re looking for me this weekend, I’ll be the one with a grilled Adelles’s chicken apple sausage on a toasted potato bun, with lots of mustard and a big pile of this relish… !


2.92 from 12 votes

Old Fashioned Relish

How to Make Old Fashioned Relish ~ this homemade pickle relish is so much better than anything you can buy! #pickles #relish #homemade #condiment #cucumbers #preserving #barbecue #grilling #hotdogs #hamburgers
Course condiment
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
resting 5 hours
Yield 1 pint
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 lb small pickling cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cloves
  • 1 Tbsp allspice berries
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp whole coriander


  • Wash and slice the ends off the cucumbers. Give them a rough chop and put them in a food processor. Pulse until the pickles are finely chopped. Remove to a bowl.
  • Cover the chopped pickles with cold ice water and stir in the salt. Let sit for 4 hours. Replace ice as necessary.
  • Drain the pickles and then cover with fresh water. Let sit for another hour.
  • Give the onion a rough chop and then pulse it in the food processor until finely minced. Do the same for the green pepper, and the jalapeno. Do each separately, otherwise you won't get an even chop.
  • Drain the pickles well, and add the onions, and peppers. Mix well.
  • In a small saucepan, add the sugar and vinegar and stir to combine. Tie up the cloves and allspice berries in a little cheesecloth so you can retrieve them later. I forgot to do this and just fished them out at the end. Add the mustard seeds and coriander pods directly to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn off the heat.
  • Pour the hot liquid over the veggies. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Remove the cloves and allspice. Now you are ready to pour your relish in jars. This small batch will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Spoon it into clean jars, and cap tightly. Your relish is ready to eat!

Cook's notes

Smaller pickling cucumbers are best for relish, they have less water and seeds than regular cucumbers.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Can this recipe be canned using a hot water bath?

  • Reply
    Carlos Haun
    July 30, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I would like to can, using hot water bath process, to give as gifts. Will it work for this recipe?

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 4, 2017 at 11:36 am

    I see big bags of jalapeños for super cheap at one of the stores I shop at. Now I know exactly what to do with them! I can think of a zillion things to do with them!

    • Reply
      August 4, 2017 at 11:49 am

      That’s cool, I sometimes shop at a big ~ and cheap ~ International market here and find HUGE jalapenos in bulk, it’s such fun!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I’m new to canning and I thought you had to put hot food into the canning jars. Did I miss something?

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 8:04 am

      This isn’t canned, Rose, it’s meant to be consumed within a few weeks, and kept in the fridge.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    If you can it how long does it last? I was thinking about these for Christmas.

  • Reply
    Denise Kellum
    July 17, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Is this a dill relish or a sweet relish?

    • Reply
      July 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      It’s a little of both, Denise – sweet and hot!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2015 at 6:11 am

    You have salt in the list of ingredients but I cannot find where you use it in the recipe. Thanks for your help!

    • Reply
      May 12, 2015 at 6:30 am

      It goes in with the ice water when soaking the pickles, Anjali, I just edited to make that clearer, thanks!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Can I make this relish without the sugar, or can I at least substitute with honey?

    • Reply
      August 31, 2014 at 7:26 am

      If you’re not planning to can it, you can make it any way you want, Juanita. Just taste as you go!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    In the notes you say to soak cucumber bits for 24 hours, then in directions, it is for 4 hours. Which is correct?

    • Reply
      June 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      It’s 4 hours for the soak in the brine, and 24 hours for the pickling later, I just fixed it, thanks Phyllis!

      • Reply
        June 2, 2014 at 9:16 am

        I will be making it this week for sure. Thanks for the clarification. I love your posts.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 25, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Very appetizing! So perfect for the bbq season. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

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