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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