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Dill Relish – Canning Homemade Relish

A simple and easy recipe for amazing homemade dill relish. This tangy dill pickle relish is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, in potato or chicken salad.

Three jars of homemade dill relish with cucumbers and a pepper

I’ve never made it a secret that I don’t like canning. But I do love the freedom and control it gives me over what we eat throughout the year. It is also an amazing way to use up the excess my garden is producing and make something practical my family will use.

While canning may not be my favorite jam (:snicker: jam), it gives me great opportunity to wear some rad shirts.

A woman wearing a shirt that says baller in a canning jar

This dill relish is not sweet relish! I believe we have previously established that sweet relish is the spawn of cucumbers that satan grew in his garden of lost souls.

There is a little bit of sugar in here (much less than the original recipe calls for), but feel free to leave it out if you’d like. I find it brightens up the other flavors without making it sweet. Because, gross.

What is Relish Made Of?

cucumbers, a pepper, canning salt and spices for making dill relish

This dill relish has fresh cucumbers, onion, pickling salt, onion, red pepper, turmeric, dill seed, and a little sugar.

It is important to use pickling salt in this recipe as regular salt has anti-caking agents in there which can impact the appearance of your relish.

What kind of cucumbers should you use for this dill relish? The basic answer is whatever you have on hand! I used a mix of slicing cucumbers and pickling cukes as that is what I grow in my garden.

I save the smaller cucumbers for fridge pickles, but the cukes that get too big without me noticing are perfect for dill relish. Since you’re going to cut the seeds out of them anyway, large cucumbers that are too tough for pickles make great relish.

Cucumbers from the store tend to have a wax coating on them which impacts their pickling ability. It is best to use homegrown or farmer’s market cukes in this recipe.

The Best Two Canning Hacks Ever!

You have to sanitize your jars and keep them hot before packing them. I’m not sure who is canning with 6 burner stoves, but I run out of big burners quite quickly between the brine and the canner. So what do I do?

I sanitize the jars and then put them in the oven at 350 degrees in a lasagna pan with about 2 inches of water. Also, I place the lids and rings on hot in my small crockpot. Both of these tips frees up lots of burner space.

Booyah!

How Do You Make Dill Relish

Wash cucumbers using a vegetable scrub brush.  Cut the cuke butts off, slice into 8 sections. Cut the seeds out of each section. Cut into 1-2 inch chunks.

In a food processor, pulse (use “pulse” instead of “on”, else you’ll end up with cucumber sauce) the cuke chunks in batches until the pieces look “relishy”. (That is a real term. Insert fart noise here).

Three photos of cutting cucumbers for homemade dill relish

Put the cucumber pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and turmeric, and then pour the water over it. Cover, and let stand for 2 hours.

Three photos showing the process for making dill relish

After 2 hours, put the cukes in a colander, and rinse thoroughly. Let drain and squeeze the cukes to release excess water.

In your food processor, dice the onion and pepper, or dice by hand. Add to a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Add the cukes, sugar, dill seed to the onion/peppers. Pour the vinegar over everything, and bring to a boil. 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.

Making dill relish in three steps

Ladle the hot relish into your jars. Top with the hot brine. 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).

Filling jars for making homemade dill relish

Wipe the rim with a clean damp towel, and place your sanitized lid on top. Secure the ring.

Three photos showing filling jars for homemade dill relish

Place the jars in the boiling water bath canner, and put the lid on. Process 15 minutes.

canning tongs putting dill relish into a water canner

Remove the canner from the burner when the time is up. Let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the jars and place on a thick towel. Let the jars cool completely, check the seal, and store for up to one year in a cool dark location.  Makes about 7 pints.

Jars of homemade dill relish on a board with cucumbers, a pepper, and a cloth

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • If you would prefer to use fresh dill for this recipe, I would substitute the dill seed with 8 heads of fresh dill.
  • Don’t want to add onion to this dill relish? Feel free to leave it out!
  • I like to peel half of the cucumbers that I use and leave the skins on the other cukes. It gives the texture and color a fun variety.
  • You can use zucchini instead of the cucumbers if you’re knee deep in zukes right now.
  • Leave the bowl of cucumbers, salt, turmeric, and water at room temperature during the brining process. This time is important for drawing out extra moisture from the cucumbers. Cold temps will slow that process.
  • Wait one week after canning before opening to give the flavors a chance to meld.
  • Upon opening, store the jar in the fridge for up to four weeks.
  • Store sealed jars in a cool dark place for up to 12 months.

More Recipes Like This

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Three jars of homemade dill relish with cucumbers and a pepper
Print
5 from 5 votes
Dill Relish - Canning Homemade Relish
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A simple and easy recipe for amazing homemade dill relish. This tangy dill pickle relish is perfect for anyone new to canning.

Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade dill relish, how to can dill relish
Servings: 224
Calories: 3 kcal
Author: Sarah Cook - Sustainable Cooks
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash cucumbers using a vegetable scrub brush.  Cut the cuke butts off, slice into 8 sections. Cut the seeds out of each section. Cut into 1-2 inch chunks.

  2. In a food processor, pulse (use "pulse" instead of "on", else you'll end up with cucumber sauce) the cuke chunks in batches until the pieces look "relishy". (That is a real term. Insert fart noise here).

  3. Put the cucumber pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and turmeric, and then pour the water over it. Cover, and let stand for 2 hours.

  4. After the 2 hours, put the cukes in a colander, and rinse thoroughly. Let drain and squeeze the cukes to release excess water.

  5. In your food processor, dice the onion and pepper, or dice by hand. Add to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. 

  6. Add the cukes, sugar, dill seed to the onion/peppers. Pour the vinegar over everything, and bring to a boil. 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.

  7. Ladle the hot relish into your jars. Top with the hot brine. 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).

  8. Wipe the rim with a clean damp towel, and place your sanitized lid on top. Secure the ring.

  9. Place the jars in the boiling water bath canner, and put the lid on. Process 15 minutes.

  10. Remove the canner from the burner when the time is up. Let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the jars and place on a thick towel. Let the jars cool completely, check the seal, and store for up to one year in a cool dark location. Makes about 7 pints.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving

 

If you would prefer to use fresh dill for this recipe, I would substitute the dill seed with 8 heads of fresh dill.

 

Don't want to add onion to this dill relish? Feel free to leave it out!

 

Leave the bowl of cucumbers, salt, turmeric, and water at room temperature during the brining process. 

 

Wait one week after canning before opening to give the flavors a chance to meld.

 

Upon opening, store the jar in the fridge for up to four weeks.

 

Store sealed jars in a cool dark place for up to 12 months.

Nutrition Facts
Dill Relish - Canning Homemade Relish
Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp)
Calories 3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 60mg 3%
Potassium 24mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g 0%
Vitamin A 0.3%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 0.4%
Iron 0.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

This recipe was originally published in September 2012. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

A simple and easy recipe for amazing homemade dill relish. This tangy dill pickle relish is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, in potato or chicken salad. #sustainablecooks #dillrelish #canning #preserving #homecanned

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16 comments on “Dill Relish – Canning Homemade Relish”

  1. I’m not one for relish, but watching this step by step made me hungry. And BRILLIANT idea on keeping jars hot!! I usually just run them through the dish washer and then keep repeating the heat dry cycle until they’re needed. LOVE yours a little more!

  2. Yep, Anne is right, they’d make fun of you.

  3. Nicki Minaj just called and she wants in on that song with Kanye. I’ll begin drafting it RIGHT NOW. SO cool.

  4. lol, i have been canning my whole life and love to do it!! looking at shelves with all those full colorful jars of scrumptious goodness is like looking at stained glass windows. and i just love the look on friends faces when i tell them i am enjoying something for a snack or meal when it is totally out of season….like blackberry cobbler at xmas time or roast turkey in july…many of my friends are asking me to show them how to do these things now that the economy and food prices are tanking and inflating.

  5. can i go to the toilet miss? lol but seriously… that looks really good. i love a good relish and you just can’t get it here :/ will have to make some. thanks!!

  6. Wow…we complain every year that we need a larger stove…but never thought to eliminate the pan of sanitized jars or bubbling lids. LOVE the idea, thanks! We put a chopped up red pepper in our relish – doesn’t add much for flavor, but the color is too fun!

  7. I work at two junior high schools and they don’t even call it home ec anymore–it’s Career Portals something and such. What’s wrong with home ec?

    I think instead of teaching in a school, you should get a little shop where you could SELL canned goods and teach workshops for all of your customers. They wouldn’t make fun of you or text during class!

  8. You may be interested to learn that you don’t have to sanitize jars if they are going to be processed for at least 10 minutes, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You just need to keep them hot enough to not break when the hot food is put into the jars. I wash my jars, then just fill them with hot tap water in the sink, where they are out of the way.

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  10. Is that a regular red bell pepper or is it a spicy red pepper?

    • The sign at the grocery store was “red pepper”. Helpful, right? It’s not a bell pepper for sure; a bit smaller than a jalapeno. It wasn’t very spicy (sad), but I just added it for color. Any pepper would do or feel free to leave out.

  11. You make it look so do-able! Putting the jars in the oven has really taken away my last excuse of not having enough space to try canning. It is time. Wish me luck!

  12. The only relish I can find where I live is sweet relish that comes in a squeeze tube. So gross! This recipe is fantastic and the step-by-step canning instructions make it so easy. Thanks for teaching me how!