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+ servings

Sweet 'n Tangy Zucchini Relish

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soaking time + canning time 2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings 7 half-pint jars


  • 8 cups finely chopped zucchini 1.1kg/2.5lbs
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions (2 large onions)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (1 large pepper)
  • ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper (½ of a large pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • cups (500gms) sugar
  • cups (360ml) white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Using a food processor to chop the vegetables makes quick work of them. You can cut them by hand, but it is very laborious – you need to make sure to chop them very finely. To process them in the food processor, cut the zucchini into chunks, then process it in batches by pulsing the processor so you don’t chop them to mush – just into fine, even pieces. Do the same with the onions and peppers.
  • Combine the chopped vegetables with the salt in a large bowl. Let stand for 2 hours, stirring often so the salt is well dispersed. This draws excess moisture from the veggies. Drain the vegetables in a sieve, then rinse them. To do this: dump them back into the bowl and cover them with cold water. Stir them with your hands or a spoon, then pour them into the sieve again to drain a second time. This will remove most of the salt. Squeeze out the extra moisture by pressing down on the vegetables in the sieve. You should have about 5½ cups of vegetables left.
  • In a large stock pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, turmeric, celery seed, and pepper. Bring to a boil, and add the drained vegetables. Simmer the relish, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  • Stir together the cornstarch and water, and pour it into the relish, stirring to disperse it. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Pack the zucchini relish into hot, sterilized jars, wipe the rims with a hot, wet cloth, and seal with hot, sterilized snap lids and rings. If the zucchini relish looks like it’s getting a bit dry as the pot gets emptier while filling the jars, add a few tablespoons of water to get it to the consistency you like.
  • Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (instructions in this zucchini salsa post).
  • Makes 7 half-pints (8oz/250ml jars).


You can chop the vegetables for this relish by hand, but it is a LOT of work to get them small enough – a food processor makes it an easy job (even doing it in a mini-chopper in batches would work).
The chopped vegetables need about 2 hours in their salt-soak to release some of their juices so the relish isn’t so watery. If you get busy and don’t get to it, the veggies can even soak overnight in the salt.
If the pot of zucchini relish looks like it’s drying out near the end as you fill the jars, just add a bit of boiled water from the kettle so it’s the right consistency.
See this post for how to sterilize jars for canning.