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Preparing and Canning Relishes

Summer Squash Relish

  • 4 pounds fresh, firm yellow and/or zucchini summer squash (as purchased)
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion (about 2.4 ounces prepared)
  • 2 cups cider vinegar (5%)
  • 2¼ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons mustard seed

Yield:  About 5 pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: 

  1. Wash and rinse pint or half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill.  Prepare lids and ring bands according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Rinse squash well, remove blossom and stem ends and shred in a food processor.  Peel onions and remove root and stem ends. Rinse well and dice, or shred in a food processor.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Carefully add squash and onions.  Return combined ingredients to a boil; boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Pack hot vegetables with liquid into hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Make sure liquid covers the top of the food pieces. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel. Apply and adjust prepared canning lids.
  5. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1.  Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Summer Squash Relish in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or Half-pints 15 min 20 25

Notes:  Recipe may use all yellow squash, all zucchini squash or a combination of both.  (One choice we liked is ¾ yellow and ¼ zucchini squash; another was half and half.)  Squash may be diced or shredded by hand instead of being shredded in food processor.  For recipe development, Vidalia onions were used. Any variety of onion is acceptable. Celery salt may be used in place of celery seed as taste preference.

Additional Note:  Refrigerate any leftover relish from filling jars, if any, and enjoy freshly made!  Refrigerate the canned relish once jars are opened for use.



Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens.  Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  April 2015.

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