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Spicy Pickle Relish Recipe – Sweet Summertime Heat

I have never been a huge relish fan until this past weekend during our Minnesota book tour where I was introduced to spicy pickle relish.

spicy pickle relish

Hot dog with spicy pickle relish – photo courtesy of marla dawn studios

We were standing in our booth at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market Annex when hunger took over. I didn’t want to leave our book signing stand for long, so I quickly ran over to the food vendor that was closest to us.  I wanted to add a little spice to my meal so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a squeeze bottle labeled Spicy Pickle Relish.

One bite and I was hooked! It was a great combination of sweet and tangy flavors coupled with hint of heat at the end of each bite. The heat didn’t overpower the relish – only added another depth of flavor to the dish.

So as soon as we returned to Ohio, I adjusted our typical pickle relish recipe in attempt to replicate the delicious flavor.  It turned out delicious – and I am sure with a little more time to allow the ingredients to meld together just in time for those summer picnics!

Spicy Pickle Relish

*Makes 4 pints

spicy pickle relish

Make sure to drain the cucumbers several times to release the water

3 pounds cucumbers
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
3-4 jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
6 cloves of garlic – minced
3 teaspoons dill seed
3 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon tumeric

spicy pickle relish

Simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes.


  1. Remove the seeds from the cucumbers and roughly chop and place in food processor.
  2. Roughly chop onion and place with cucumber in the food processor. Pulse until they are finely chopped.
  3. Place cucumber/onion mixture in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir well and let sit for an hour.
  4. Drain cucumber mixture in colander – rinse with cold water and allow to drain well.
  5. In a large saucepan bring vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill seed, mustard seed, celery seed and tumeric to a boil over medium high heat.
  6. Add drained cucumber and onion mixture, finely chopped bell and jalapeno peppers and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Store in refrigerator or water bath can for 10 minutes processing time.
spicy pickle relish

Spicy pickle relish canned and ready to eat!


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Mary and Jim