If you are growing zucchini then you have probably run the gamut in ways to use it all up. Everything from zoodles (spiralized zucchini), zucchini bread, zucchini cookies, and a ton of different side dishes. My mom introduced me to zucchini relish last year when she gave me a jar as a gift. There’s nothing better than relish on a hot dog, but I was a bit hesitant, until we opened it up and had a taste. It was delicious. Now, obviously the recipe plays a key factor in the taste, but what I really loved was just how well the zucchini worked. I honestly felt like it was better than cucumbers. Where has this been my whole life? The zucchini itself is mild, but it holds up to cooking and maintains a nice texture without getting mushy. It also really absorbs the flavors well.

So, now I’ve realized another great use for this garden workhorse and I couldn’t be happier! This recipe was too sweet for my liking at first, so I cut the sugar down. You can tweak it a bit as you go, but even if you like really sweet things like me, the original recipe was truly too in my opinion. I also prefer to dice everything up rather than shred. It takes a few extra minutes, but you get a product that you are used to eating rather than a pickled, sauerkraut type texture. The recipe can easily be doubled, but when I try a new recipe for canning, I like to go small first. Hope you enjoy! Let me know your favorite ways to use zucchini below!

Sweet Zucchini Relish


  • 6 cups finely diced zucchini (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp canning salt
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place the zucchini, onion, and salt in a large non-metallic bowl. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

Drain the zucchini in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Squeeze out excess water and set aside on a towel or paper towels.

In a large pot, stir in remaining ingredients and add zucchini. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilize jars and get your canner ready.

Add relish to jars, making sure to eliminate air pockets. Fill jars to 1/2-inch from top. Process jars for 15 minutes.

Remove jars from canner and place on a cloth until cool.

Makes about 2 pint jars.

Adapted from Allrecipes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email