Canning Recipes

How to Make and Can Zucchini Relish

Hamburgers. Hot dogs. Salmon. White rice. 

Honestly, there’s not much that I won’t put zucchini relish on. 

I’m not a huge fan of deviled eggs myself, but I’ve even heard of people putting it in those, too! I bet it would taste great if you were using pasture-raised eggs in particular.

My husband and I started making this delicious zucchini relish a few years ago. Interestingly, we both got a recipe from our respective aunts. Each aunt said that the recipe was an old family recipe. 

The recipes were almost identical – which goes to show just how well this relish recipe has stood the test of time (and no…my husband and I are not secretly related – although that would make an altogether new interesting blog post!).

So without further ado…here is the best zucchini relish recipe you will find.

zucchini relish

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Why Should You  Make Zucchini Relish?

best zucchini relish

A few reasons.

Not only is this pantry staple incredibly versatile – it can be used on everything from fish to sandwiches – but it also lasts for an incredibly long amount of time. In fact, when canned in a water bath canner and then placed in a cool, dry location, it can last for several years.

Furthermore, zucchini relish is a great way to use up all of that zucchini you get during a typical harvest season. You know what I’m talking about – the zucchini “glut” that occurs from about July until September. 

This recipe is particularly well suited for those big boys that are tough and hard to cut into. You know, the ones that leave you wondering what to do with a massive, seed-filled zucchini!

Recipe Notes

zucchini relish recipe

There are plenty of variations on this classic barbeque staple, too. I wouldn’t change the quantities of vinegar or sugar, as that can make the recipe unsafe for the canner, but you could play with other ingredients to give this relish a unique flavor.

For example, why not try some chopped jalapeno peppers? What about a dash of turmeric, or a little bit of coriander? You can even make zucchini relish with carrots!

Fresh zucchini relish, also known as zucchini chutney, is perhaps the most delicious meal accoutrement you can make – no matter what you decide to add to it! 

Another tip I have for you is to grate the zucchini instead of cubing it. It will give the relish a softer texture and will adhere better if you’re applying it to bread. It won’t be as crunchy, but I actually prefer it a bit softer.

You can use a handheld grater to get the perfect shred. I use the shredder attachment on my KitchenAid, myself.  


7 pint jars

Prep Time

60 minutes

Cook Time

5 minutes

Equipment Needed


  • 12 cups shredded zucchini
  • 4 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups chopped red pepper
  • 2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 5 Tbsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp nutmeg


zucchini relish

1. Put the shredded zucchini and onions into a bowl. Mix the two well with salt. Let it stand overnight. This will dry out the zucchini. If you’re using frozen zucchini, you can skip this step, but drain well before cooking.

2. Rinse the zucchini with cold water and drain it well. 

3. In a kettle, combine your vinegar, sugar, and spices. Add the zucchini, onions, and peppers.

4. Simmer the mixture for at least four to five hours. It should have a thick consistency and a sweet taste. 

5. Prepare your canning jars by sterilizing them. This can be done in the dishwasher or by warming a pot of water with the jars inside. You will also need to sterilize the bands. Lids need to be reused each time you can with them, but you can buy them inexpensively just about anywhere (including Amazon).

6. While your jars and bands are being sterilized, you should also sterilize your lids on the back of the stove. Do this by bringing a small saucepan of water to a boil and submerging the lids inside. 

7. Heat up your water bath canner. The water should be at approximately the level it will need to be in order to cover the tops of the canning jars. 

8. When both your jars and mixture are hot, you can ladle the mixture into the canning jars. Make sure you don’t spill any mixture on the sides or rims of the jars. If you do, wipe it off.

9. Attach and fasten your canning lids and bands. Tighten them until they are fingertip tight. 

10. Process for five minutes in a water bath canner. If your canner lost water or stopped boiling once you added your jars, add a bit more. Get the water back up to boiling before restarting the timer.

11. After five minutes in the canner, you can remove the jars. Place them on a towel-covered surface to avoid doing damage to any finishes. Make sure they are positioned in a draft-free location to prevent the jars from cracking.

12. Wait twelve to twenty-four hours for the jars to cool. You may hear popping noises as the lids seal. 

13. Check the lids after the jars have cooled to ensure there is a good seal. If you press down on the lid and it flexes, that’s a sign that the jars have not properly sealed. Store the relish in the refrigerator or start over. 

14. Enjoy!

Do you have your own zucchini relish recipe? Let me know in the comments!

Want to learn more about farming? Be sure to take a look at these other articles.

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Author: Rebekah PierceI'm a writer and small farm owner, and lover of everything outdoors. I'm hoping to share my passion for farming, gardening, and homesteading with you on my blogging journey.

(2) Comments

  1. Sylvie Laplante says:

    Can I freeze my zucchini and then use it to make zucchini relish afterwards

    1. Hi Sylvie! I have done this and haven’t seen any ill effect quality wise. Not sure what the USDA recommends in terms of canning safety – I would think it would only be an issue of quality and freshness rather than safety though, but worth double checking.

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