A simple and easy recipe for canning homemade Zucchini Relish. This tangy squash relish recipe is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, or in potato salad.
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This zucchini relish is tangy, it’s packed with flavor, uses up a TON of zucchini, and it tastes fantastic on burgers, hot dogs, in potato salad, and so much more.
Looking for a relish recipe that uses cucumbers? Check out our Dill Pickle Relish recipe.
And if you need to know what to do with excess zucchini after making this relish, I’ve got you covered! Check out our other zucchini recipes like: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, Air Fryer Zucchini Chips, How to Freeze Zucchini, and Air Fryer Roasted Zucchini.
Zucchini Relish Ingredients
This squash relish recipe has:
How To Make and Can Zucchini Relish
*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.
Select young zucchini that are smaller than 3 inches in diameter. Wash the zucchini using a vegetable scrub brush.
Cut the ends off and slice them into 8 sections that are 1-2 inches long.
If you’re using larger zucchini (and I don’t recommend that you do), cut the seeds out of each section.
In a food processor, pulse (use “pulse” instead of “on”, or else you’ll end up with zucchini soup) the zucchini chunks in batches until the pieces look “relishy”.
Put the zucchini pieces in a large bowl, sprinkle with canning salt and turmeric, and then pour the water over it. Cover, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, put the zucchini in a colander or fine mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly. Let drain and squeeze the squash to release excess water.
In your food processor, chop the onion and pepper, or dice by hand. Add to a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Add the strained zucchini, sugar, and dill seed to the saucepan with the onions and peppers. Pour both kinds of vinegar over everything, and bring to a boil (this will create a liquid called brine).
Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pro tip: It’s a good idea to start your water in the canner at this point.
Ladle the hot relish into your jars. Top with the hot brine (excess liquid from the pot). Leave 1/4 inch of headspace (the amount of space between the top of the food in the jar and the top of the jar).
Wipe the rim with a clean damp towel, and place your sanitized lid on top. Secure the ring.
Place the jars in the water bath canner, and put the lid on. Processing times will vary based on altitude. See the chart below. Pro tip: the water must return to a boil in the canner before you can start the timer.
Processing Times for Zucchini Relish
Once the jars have been processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the burner, wearing oven mitts carefully take off the lid of the canner, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Pro tip: I tend to just slide the canner into the middle of my stove, as it weighs a ton.
Carefully remove the jars with canning tongs, and place them on a thick towel in a place where they can be undisturbed for 12 hours.
The lids will likely start to pop within 20-30 minutes of being removed from the water. That popping sound is music to your ears, as it tells you that everything has been sealed. It’s a reward for all your work!
Let the jars cool completely (at least 12 hours), check the seal, and store for up to one year in a cool dark location.
Squash Relish Variations
Dill seed can be hard to find in normal grocery stores. I have to buy it online (I use this brand).
But, if you would prefer to use fresh dill for this recipe, substitute the dried dill seed with 8 heads of fresh dill.
Sweet squash relish – it depends on how sweet you prefer your relish, but you can add 3-4 cups of sugar per 8, 8 oz jars. I recommend that you start with a minimum amount and add additional sugar in 1/2 cup increments until it has reached your perfect sweetness.
Spiced/hot dog squash relish – Include 1 cinnamon stick, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 tsp of cloves in the saucepan while simmering the base recipe.
Canning Supplies for Zucchini Relish
Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.
For canning squash relish, you’ll want:
- Water bath canner
- Jars – I recommend 8 oz jam jars unless you REALLY love relish and need it in bigger quantities
- New canning lids
- Canning rings
- Canning funnel
- Saucepan (I used my dutch oven)
- Food processor (optional, but highly recommended)
- Mixing spoon
- Cutting board
- Comfy shoes because nobody has time for a sore back or knees!
Storage for Homemade Relish
Once the jars have sealed, remove the rings. Label and store sealed jars in a cool (best results are 50-70˚F) dark place for up to 12 months.
If you have the space available, do not stack the jars on top of each other more than two jars high.
How to Use Zucchini Relish
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:
- Leave the bowl of chopped zucchini, salt, turmeric, and water at room temperature during the brining process. This time is important for drawing out extra moisture from the zucchini. Cold temps will slow that process.
- Upon opening, store the jar in the fridge for up to four weeks.
- If you don’t have enough jars to fill the canner, consider Canning Water in a few jars to stock your emergency drinking water supplies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not exactly, but the flavor is similar.
Squash relish starts with fresh ingredients that are similar to zucchini pickles (zucchini, pickling salt, spices, etc.,) and goes through the pickling process while everything is already in small pieces.
You can use any kind of zucchini or summer squash. Popular homegrown varieties include: Black Beauty, Caserta, Dunja, and Magda.
Some zucchini from the store have a wax coating on them which impacts their pickling ability. If possible, it is best to use homegrown or farmer’s market squash in this recipe.
Yes. It is important to use pickling/canning salt in this recipe as regular salt has anti-caking agents which can impact the appearance of your relish.
For this recipe I have you leave the peels on. It adds more depth to the finished recipe.
That being said, if your zucchini skins are tough or thick, peel a few strips off per squash to make tiger stripes. This will reduce the toughness.
To give the flavors a chance to meld, wait one week after canning before opening any of the jars.
More Canning Recipes You’ll Love
A simple and easy recipe for canning homemade zucchini relish. This tangy squash relish recipe is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, or in potato salad.
Wash zucchini using a vegetable scrub brush.
9 pounds zucchini
Cut the ends of the zucchini off and slice each one into 8 sections.
Cut any large seeds out of each section. Cut into 1-2 inch chunks.
In a food processor, pulse the zucchini chunks in batches. Or finely chop by hand.
Put the chopped zucchini in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and turmeric, and then pour the water over it. Cover, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Pro tip: you’ll notice some foaming during this process. That’s normal!
1/2 cup pickling salt, 2 tsp turmeric, 4 cups water
After 2 hours, put the salted zucchini in a colander, and rinse thoroughly.
Let drain and squeeze the zucchini to release excess water. Yield of chopped and strained zucchini will be 4-5 cups.
In a food processor, dice the onion and pepper (or dice by hand). Add to a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
1.5 cups diced white onion, 1/4 cup red pepper
Add the drained zucchini, sugar, dill seed to the onion/peppers.
1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp dill seed
Pour both vinegars over everything, and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Stir constantly.
3 cups white vinegar, 1 cup apple cider vinegar
Reduce the temperature to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Canning Zucchini Relish
Prepare water bath canner by filling it with water, so that there will be at least 1 inch of water over the tops of the jars.
Wash and clean your jars. Fill with hot water or keep them warm in a clean dishwasher or oven.
Wash your lids and set aside in clean place.
Place a lid on the canner and set it on the stove with the burner set to high.
Ladle the hot relish into your jars. Top with the hot brine (excess liquid from the saucepan). Leave 1/4 inch of headspace (the amount of space between the top of the food in the jar and the top of the jar).
Using a wet clean rag, wipe the rim to make sure there isn’t any residue on there.
Place a clean lid on the jar and then a ring. Tighten the ring to fingertip tight.
Using canning tongs, add jars to the boiling water, and put the canner lid on. Pro tip: you must have at least 1 inch of water over the tops of the jars for safe canning.
Process pints and half-pints based on the elevation guide below. Pro tip: the water must return to a boil in the canner before you can start the timer.*0-1,000 ft = 10 minutes*1,001-6,000 ft = 15 minutes*6,000 ft+ = 20 minutes
Once the relish has processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the burner, and carefully remove the lid of the canner (Pro tip: use oven mitts to take the lid off because the steam is super hot).
Remove the jars using canning tongs and place them on towels on the counter undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
After everything has cooled, check the seal by pushing down on the middle of the lid. If it doesn’t give way, it’s sealed. If the lid bows a little bit, put that in the fridge and use it within 3 weeks.
Wait one week after canning before enjoying the relish. It will give the flavors time to meld.
Label the sealed jars, and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.
- Turmeric is mainly used for color and a bit of flavor. It is optional to add.
- Makes about 7 pints or 14 half-pints.
- If you would prefer to use fresh dill for this recipe, substitute the dill seed with 8 heads of fresh dill. Add them to the jars before ladling in the hot relish.
- Upon opening, store the jar in the fridge for up to four weeks.
Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp)
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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