How do I? ...Relishes, Salads

Preparing and Canning Relishes

picture of relish

Sweet Pepper Relish

  • 5 cups ground green bell peppers (About 7 to 8 peppers, or 3 to 4 pounds before grinding)
  • 5 cups ground red bell peppers (About 7 to 8 peppers, or 3 to 4 pounds before grinding)
  • 1-½ cups ground onion (3 medium yellow onions, 2.5 to 3 inches diameter, before grinding)
  • 2-½ cups cider or white distilled vinegar (5%)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 4 teaspoons mustard seed

Yield: About 6 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.


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.  Wash peppers well; trim to remove stems and seeds.  Peel, core and wash onions.  Cut peppers and onions into large pieces. Coarsely grind peppers and onions (see Note at end of procedure). 

3.  Measure 5 cups of each type of ground bell peppers with their juice, and 1-½ cups of the ground onion, including juice. Combine the measured peppers and onions with the remaining ingredients into a large stockpot.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. 

4.  Fill the hot relish into prepared hot pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. If needed, remove air bubbles and re-adjust headspace to ½-inch. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel.  Adjust lids and bands. 

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 Sweet Pepper 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 10 min 15 20

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.  June 2011.

Note:  For recipe development, peppers and onions were ground using a stand mixer grinder attachment with the coarse blade.

Additional Note:  Refrigerate any leftover relish after filling jars, and enjoy freshly made!  

top ^