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This Zucchini Relish is another delicious way to cook with all of those zucchini coming out of your backyard garden this summer!

Zucchini Relish - A Family Feast

Got zucchini?  We do too! After a slow start, our garden zucchini plants are now starting to produce squash faster than we can eat them – so we made a big batch of this delicious Zucchini Relish!

I have to admit, Zucchini Relish is a new-to-us recipe as of this season. A reader recently just happened to mention that she makes zucchini relish in a comment on this other very popular zucchini recipe – and Jack and I were instantly intrigued by the idea.


Zucchini Relish - A Family Feast

We started with a zucchini relish recipe from the Ball Canning website, made some tweaks of our own (of course) – and after making it for the first time ever, we have to wonder HOW on earth we missed knowing about this easy and delicious condiment before?!

How do you make Zucchini Relish?

Zucchini Relish is a mix of chopped zucchini, sweet onion (such as Vidalia), bell pepper (we used yellow and orange but red or green could also be used and jalapenos (seeds removed) – plus we added some mild, jarred, Italian piquante peppers for a little extra kick of flavor.

The vegetables are simmered in a flavorful pickling liquid made from apple cider vinegar, pickling salt, sugar, celery seed, black pepper, turmeric (which gives the relish that pretty yellow color), nutmeg and dry mustard.

Once cooled, your Zucchini Relish can be canned so you can enjoy it all year long.


Zucchini Relish - A Family Feast

Zucchini relish is easy to make, and it’s an especially good way to use up some of those baseball bat-sized zucchini from your garden. It really does taste just like the more traditional cucumber-based relish – and you can serve it on hot dogs, add it to pasta salads, or add it to homemade tartar sauce.

Zucchini Relish - A Family Feast

You may enjoy these other zucchini recipes below:

Or – click here to see our entire zucchini recipe archive.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Zucchini Relish - A Family Feast

Zucchini Relish

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 7 pints
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American


10 cups zucchini, cut into quarters the long way then into 2” pieces (about 2 ½ pounds)

4 cups chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia (about two large onions)

1 large orange bell pepper, chopped

1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 large jalapenos seeded and chopped small

1 cup jarred Italian piquante peppers (mild), chopped, **see tips in notes below

3 tablespoons pickling or canning salt divided, see tips in notes below

5 cups apple cider vinegar

3 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons corn starch* or Clear-Jel, for thickening (see note below)


Place zucchini in a food processor and pulse a few times to the size of rice. Place in dish towel which lines a colander. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt over the zucchini and let sit for 30 minutes to give up some water and drain.

While zucchini is in colander, place onion in food processor and again pulse to rice size. Scrape into a bowl.

Place orange, yellow, jalapeno and piquante peppers in the food processor and again pulse to rice size. Add to the bowl.

In a large pot, place the remaining two tablespoons of salt along with the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, black pepper, turmeric, nutmeg, dry mustard. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil.

Take dish towel with zucchini and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Add the zucchini along with the contents of the bowl, bring back to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. If thickening is required, see our note below about using corn starch or Clear-Jel.

Cool completely and place in pint sized jars and refrigerate. Or follow these steps from the Ball web site to can.


*Clear-Jel is considered the safest option for use as a thickening agent in canned foods. However, PennState Extension notes that small amounts of corn starch maybe used as a thickener in a few relish recipes. If you plan to add more than the 2 teaspoons called for in this recipe, please use Clear-Jel instead.

**Piquante peppers are small round bright red Italian peppers that are packed in a brine and jarred. They come in mild and hot. We used mild for this recipe. They are usually found in the produce section or the pickle and olive section or in the Italian specialty section. The brand we use was Peppadew.

You can use kosher or sea salt in place of pickling salt as long as it does not contain a non-caking agent.

Keywords: zucchini, relish


Zucchini Relish - A Family Feast

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  • Sue wrote:

    My grandmother did a very similar relish to this but used ripe cucumbers. It was a familiar sight to view your photos. The family always loved this relish.

    • Martha wrote:

      What a nice memory Sue! (You’d never guess that this zucchini relish tastes just like a cucumber relish!) Thanks for writing to us today!

  • Barbara Hansen wrote:

    Sorry, this has nothing to do with zucchini relish – but I wanted to ask if you have ever found a recipe for seasoning breakfast sausage. Looking for one right now. Thanks

  • Barbara Hansen wrote:

    I just made this relish for the first time. It is a family recipe my mother made. Mine is slightly different than yours (no mustard and less pepper. It also asks to mix the onion and zucchini, sprinkle with 5 TBS salt and let sit for 24 hours. Then rinse and drain – otherwise the same!) I just finished it today! Now my family gets to try it and decide how they like it. Glad you enjoyed it because My family growing up always loved it!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Barbara!

  • Ginger wrote:

    According to the current recommendations, you should NOT use coorstarch for thickening anything canned. Please make sure you are updated on canning before posting.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ginger – Thanks for your comment. We did some research on the safety of adding small amounts of corn starch as a thickener to the relish recipe and came across this from Penn State Extension ( “The only exception to this rule is when a scientifically research tested recipe calls for Clear Jel® as in pie fillings or small amounts of thickener in a few relish recipes.” Given that we only used two teaspoons of corn starch in a 7 pint relish recipe, we felt we were safe in using the corn starch and the very minor thickening that occurs would not impact the sterilization process or safety of the recipe.

      Having said all of this, we will add a note to the recipe suggesting ClearJel as an alternative that is more commonly used for safety purposes. Thank you again for taking the time to write to us – we appreciate your feedback.

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