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Dill Pickle Relish – {Canning Relish}

A simple and easy recipe for canning homemade Dill Pickle Relish. This tangy dill relish recipe 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

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When I am craving relish, I want dill relish; not some candy sweet relish. Cucumbers and a ton of sugar? Who thought that up?!

THIS dill pickle relish is tangy, packed with flavor, and tastes amazing on burgers, hot dogs, and in potato salad.

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, and dill seed. 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.

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.

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.

Try a few tablespoons of the finished relish in Chicken Salad With Dill or Instant Pot Potato Salad.

Canning Supplies for Dill Pickle Relish

Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.

For canning relish, you’ll want:

How To Make Dill Relish

I’ll walk you through the process here in photos because it really helps, especially if you’re new to canning. At the bottom of the post, you’ll also find a printable and detailed recipe card.

Wash cucumbers using a vegetable scrub brush.  Cut the cuke butts off, slice them 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”, or else you’ll end up with cucumber sauce) the cuke chunks in batches until the pieces look “relishy”. (That is probably a real term).

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 cucumbers 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 cukes, sugar, dill seed to the onion/peppers. Pour the 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.

Making dill relish in three steps

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).

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 water bath canner, and put the lid on. Process for 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 them on a thick towel. Let the jars cool completely, check the seal, and store for up to one year in a cool dark location. 

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

Dill Pickle Relish Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • For this recipe I have you leave the peels on. It adds more depth to the finished recipe. If your cucumber skins are tough, peel a few strips off (tiger stripes) to reduce the toughness.
  • If you would prefer to use fresh dill for this recipe, substitute the dill seed with 8 heads of fresh dill.
  • You can use zucchini instead of the cucumbers if you’re knee-deep in zukes right now. Processing time remains the same.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Store sealed jars in a cool dark place for up to 12 months.

More Simple Canning Recipes You’ll Love

Three jars of homemade dill relish with cucumbers and a pepper
Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

Dill Pickle Relish - {Canning Relish}

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Brine time2 hrs
Total Time40 mins
A simple and easy recipe for canning amazing Dill Pickle Relish.

Ingredients

  • 9 pounds pickling cucumbers {to yield ~7-8 cups of chopped cucumber}
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cups diced white onion
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp dill seed
  • 1/4 cup red pepper {fresh}

Instructions

  • Wash cucumbers using a vegetable scrub brush. 
  • Cut the ends of the cumcumber off, slice into 8 sections.
  • Cut the seeds out of each section. Cut into 1-2 inch chunks.
  • In a food processor, pulse the cuke chunks in batches.
  • Put the chopped cucumber 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.
  • After 2 hours, put the chopped cucumber in a colander, and rinse thoroughly. .
  • Let drain and squeeze the cukes to release excess water
  • In a food processor, dice the onion and pepper (or dice by hand). Add to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. 
  • Add the chopped cucumber, sugar, dill seed to the onion/peppers.
  • Pour both vinegars over everything, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • 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 for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the canner from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving
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.
Nutrition Facts
Dill Pickle Relish - {Canning Relish}
Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp)
Calories 3
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 60mg3%
Potassium 24mg1%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 

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57 comments on “Dill Pickle Relish – {Canning Relish}”

  1. If I use a Bigger jar do I still process for the same amount of time?

  2. Can I leave the tumeric out all together?

  3. Did you mean seven and a half PINTS instead of seven half-pints? Because I just filled seven half-pint jars and there’s no end in sight to the amount of relish I need to can. 

    • Hi Brian, no, it should make 7 half-pints or 7 8 oz (jelly) jars.

      edit: sorry, no, you’re correct it is 7 pints. Sorry for the confusion. I have many canning recipes and confused this one with another.

  4. I love (and totally agree) with your comment about sweet relish. It’s a waste of a perfectly good cucumber. And I appreciate that you can adjust the recipe for a specific quantity before printing. Going to try this out tomorrow!

  5. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really know
    what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. 5 stars

  6. Can you tell me how many cups of post-chopping zucchini I use for this recipe?

  7. I want to try this recipe but use zucchini instead. How would I modify step 3 for this, since zucchini holds so much water already? Thanks for your help! I can’t wait to try this!

    • I would follow the same process. Cucumbers have a super-high water content as well. The soaking process is to infuse the cukes with the flavor. You’ll get the extra water out later in the recipe.

  8. If you substitute fresh dill do you add it to the boiling brine or put it in the jars like pickles?

  9. Can this recipe be halved safely since I have a little less than 8 lbs of cucumbers?

    • Absolutely! Down in the recipe card you’ll find a little slider that says “servings”. Move it around until it is halved and the recipe card will show you the amount of ingredients for a reduced batch.

      The processing time will remain the same.

  10. What if you don’t have turmeric?  Will that affect how the recipe turns out?