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How to Make & Can Sweet Pickle Relish

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Learn how to make and can the best homemade Sweet Pickle Relish in this easy canning recipe. It’s quick and satisfying to make your own DIY canned foods to stock the pantry.

Close up of pint of homemade sweet pickle relish

Homemade condiments like this sweet pickle relish are so much more better than the store bought versions! It makes it so much easier to avoid unnecessary additives when you make your own.

For example, have you ever noticed that most pickles and pickle relishes have yellow dye added to them? There’s no reason for that! If you want a yellow appearance, just add some turmeric.

This time of year, cucumbers and bell peppers are abundant. If you’re an avid gardener or CSA member, I bet you have them coming out of your ears! I know we do.

It’s a great time to experiment with new things in the kitchen like canning, which can help you preserve that abundant harvest. Even if you don’t like store bought sweet pickle relish, I bet you’ll like the homemade version. There’s just no comparison!

I use a pressure canner for all of my canning (we live at altitude and everything has to be pressure canned for safety). However, most people can safely use the water bath method. You’ll find the directions for both pressure canning and the water bath method below.

If you like this recipe, be sure to try my Dilly Beans recipe. It’s a yummy way to preserve green beans from your garden.

Pint of sweet pickle relish on green counter with cucumber, cherry tomatoes and two more jars in the background

Sweet Pickle Relish Canning Recipe

Learn how to make and can your own Sweet Pickle Relish in this easy home canning recipe. Includes pressure canner and water bath instructions.
3.98 from 35 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Recipe Servings: 4 pints


  • 1 quart cucumbers - (about 4 medium), chopped
  • 2 cups onions - (about 2 medium), chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper - (about 1 medium), chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper - (about 1 medium), chopped
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 3 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar


  • Mixing bowl
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Strainer
  • Large pot
  • Pressure canner
  • 4 pint sized mason jars


Canning Directions

  • Start by preparing your jars by sterilizing them. Preheat your oven to 225° F. Place jars on a baking sheet and bake in oven for at least 20 minutes to sterilize.
  • Fill a small saucepan with water and add jar lids and rings. Place on the stovetop over low to medium heat and bring water to 180 degrees. A candy or meat thermometer works great.
  • Combine chopped cucumbers, onions and green and red peppers in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and cover with cold water. Allow it to sit for 2 hours.
  • Rinse and drain thoroughly, making sure to get as much water out as you can.
  • Combine the sugar, spices and vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add drained vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Pack hot relish into your hot sterilized jars, leaving about ¼ inch at the top. Be sure to remove any air bubbles and secure your lids on the to tops of the jars.
  • Seal the jars with the hot lids and rings. Follow the directions that came with your pressure canner to process them.
    Four pint jars of homemade sweet pickle relish that has been canned, sitting on a counter

Water Bath Directions

  • Add jars to into large pan of boiling water using jar lifters. There should be about 1" of water covering the jars. If there is too much, remove some with a ladle. Cover with lid.
  • Process for 10 minutes, then lift jars out using jar lifters. Set them on a clean towel to cool. Lids will be slightly concave (curving down in the center) when they are sealed.


Unopened jars of pickles will last for 1 year, and opened jars will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 802kcal | Carbohydrates: 194g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7094mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 184g | Vitamin A: 1474IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg

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