Zucchini Relish

Zucchini Relish Recipe

Please welcome guest blogger, Lindsay Jewell from My Own Ideas, who joins us today to share this colorful zucchini relish recipe. I can’t wait to try this one myself!


Zucchini Relish

Everyone who grows zucchini plants knows that when the season is at its peak it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the volume of your harvest, and to forget how much you’ve been looking forward to fresh zucchinis all year long. To prepare for what I like to call the month of zucchinis with minimal waste, I’ve managed to collect a few tried-and-true recipes that I use each year to help me get through our bounty, bit by bit, until it has all been effectively consumed or preserved.

Zucchini Relish Recipe

One of these recipes is for zucchini relish, which I originally found in the Ball Blue Book last year. Not knowing quite what to expect after encountering this recipe for the first time, I went ahead and made a large batch that I sent out to my friends and family to try. Happily, my zucchini relish was a huge hit, even with folks who generally steer clear of pickles or relishes, and I’ve been getting lots of requests to make it again this year.

Zucchini RelishHonestly, any recipe that’s able to utilize this many zucchinis while being this tasty is a winner in my book. And the best part? It looks beautiful in the jar, more so than most other canned goods, with reds and greens that make it the perfect gift to give for Christmas once the spices have had time to ripen and affect the flavor.

To make your own zucchini relish, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups diced zucchini
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 3 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  •  4-5 sterilized pint jars, lids, and bands

Combine the diced zucchini, onion, green bell pepper and red bell pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and stir to combine. Fill the bowl with cold water until it just covers the mixture. Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or overnight).

Remove from refrigerator and drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, celery seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorn, red pepper flakes, and cider vinegar over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables. Stir, and bring to a boil once more. Remove from heat.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the vegetables into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Pour the syrup over the vegetables until they are completely covered, still leaving about ¼ an inch from the top of the jars. Insert a clean chopstick or skewer into the jars to remove air bubbles, and wipe the rims. Add the bands, screw on lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove from boiling water bath, and place on a towel-lined counter until jars have cooled to room temperature. Check seals, and store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

Zucchini Relish RecipeI like to let my jars sit unopened for at least a month so the spices have time to ripen. Once I’m ready to give them away, I decorate them with twine and labels from My Own Labels. For these particular jars, I used sunflower colored tags and labels in the style Filigree.

Zucchini Relish canning labels


Lindsay Jewell is a regular contributor to My Own Ideas, a spot where you can find all sorts of recipes and creative ideas for dressing up homemade goodies like canning, baking, wine and more. Be sure to visit Lindsay and the other fabulous crafters there for just about all the inspiration you can handle.


  1. Stoney Acres
    Stoney AcresAugust 27,12

    Great idea, I actually saw this recipe in the ball blue book this year and thought about trying it. So now I’m glad to have a second opinion. I picked two big zucchini this morning so it’s time to give this a try!!

  2. libby
    libbyAugust 28,12

    Is the relish sweet and if so can you reduce the amount of sugar?

  3. Stevie
    StevieAugust 28,12

    Hi Libby, given it has 3.5 cups of sugar I would say it is sweet. It’s not really a good idea to make changes or substitutions to canning recipes in general, as it could affect the acidity and therefore the long term safety of the final product. Your best bet is to try it in small batches if you want to reduce the sugar. You would then treat it as perishable by storing it in the fridge and using it in a few weeks time. I hope this helps.

  4. James
    JamesSeptember 3,12

    This sounds so delicious and looks like it is as well if your photos are anything to go by. I can’t wait to give this a go, although I doubt mine will be quite as well presented as yours.

    Thank you for sharing Lindsay,
    James @ Capital Gardens

  5. Michelle
    MichelleSeptember 3,12

    I will be trying this! It’s true about getting overwhelmed by the zucchini harvest.

  6. megan
    meganOctober 1,12

    That looks amazing….

  7. Crystal
    CrystalNovember 2,12

    This is one of my favorite recipes..yum

  8. Deb
    DebAugust 6,14

    I just made this recipe yesterday and can’t wait to try it after 4 weeks. My observation is that the recipe only yielded 2 1/2 pints of relish and a lot of liquid left over. I ended up chopping more vegetables and made a second batch of 2 more pints since I didn’t want to waste the liquid. Should I have used the HALF pint jars instead?

    • Heather
      HeatherSeptember 3,16

      Recipe definitely couldn’t have meant pint size!

  9. Lindsay
    LindsayAugust 6,14

    Hey Deb, I don’t think it matters what size of jar you use so long as the liquid completely covers the vegetables.

    Hope that helps!

  10. Irebe Phillips
    Irebe PhillipsJuly 8,15

    What do you mean when you say that you like to leave your jars open?

  11. Laura
    LauraSeptember 22,15

    When it calls for mustard and celery seed can u use the ground or powder form vs the seed

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  14. TJ
    TJOctober 6,17

    Can canned vegetables like corn and beans be added along with the zucchini and onions in this recipe?

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