Chow Chow Green Tomato Relish Recipe

chow chow green tomato relish in jars

The Spruce/Cara Cormack

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Marinate Time: 4 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 64 servings
Yield: 4 pints
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
22 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 64
Amount per serving
Calories 22
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 77mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Also known as chow-chow or piccalilli, this green tomato relish is a Southern favorite, and it's great with sausages, pork, ham, hot dogs, and burgers.

The relish is a combination of chopped green tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and peppers. The vegetables are brought together with a mixture of vinegar, brown sugar, and seasonings. In the South, it's often served with pinto beans and ham.


Click Play to See This Chow Chow Green Tomato Relish Recipe Come Together


  • 5 cups coarsely chopped green tomatoes

  • 5 cups coarsely chopped cabbage

  • 1 1/2 cupsfinely chopped yellow or sweet onion

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped bell pepper; at least 1 red bell pepper for color

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup pickling and canning salt

  • 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make chow chow green tomato relish recipe

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  2. Combine the chopped vegetables in a large nonreactive kettle or bowl. Add the salt and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.

    chopped chow chow green tomato relish ingredients in a stainless steel pot

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  3. Prepare the canner and jars. Add water to a large canning kettle with rack and heat to a boil; reduce heat and keep at a simmer. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. We usually fill it about halfway and keep a kettle or saucepan of water boiling on another burner to add to the canning kettle as needed. Wash jars thoroughly and heat water in a small saucepan. Put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot.

    canning jars simmering in hot water

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  4. Drain the vegetables and rinse thoroughly.

    chow chow green tomato relish ingredients draining

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  5. In a large nonreactive kettle, combine the vinegar, brown sugar, celery and yellow mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering for 5 minutes.

    pickling brine simmering in a pot

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  6. Add the drained vegetables and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

    chow chow green tomato relish in pickling brine

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  7. With a slotted spoon, pack the vegetables into prepared jars. Cover vegetables with the pickling liquid, leaving approximately 1/4-inch headspace.

    canning jars filled with chow chow green tomato relish

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  8. With a clean dampened cloth, wipe the rims of the jars. Place the flat lids on the jars. Close caps with screw-on rings tightly, but do not over-tighten. Arrange the filled jars in the canning kettle, and add more water so that it is at least 1 inch above the jars.

    jars of chow chow green tomato relish with lids

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  9. Bring to a full boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Remove the relish to a rack to cool completely.

    jars of chow chow green tomato relish processing in hot water bath

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  10. Check for seals. The middle of the caps should have made a popping sound while cooling and will stay depressed.

    checking for seal on canning jar

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack


  • This is an excellent way to use end-of-the-season green tomatoes.
  • This relish makes a great homemade gift during the holidays.

How to use chow chow?

Chow chow relish is a wonderful addition to any barbecue: use it on hotdogs, hamburgers, and pulled pork or chicken. It is also great on everything from beans, nachos, and chili.

What is the difference between chow chow vs. piccalilli?

Chow chow and piccalilli are often mistaken for each other, yet although similar, they are slightly different. Picalilli relish simply has more vegetables in it than chow chow relish—that's the main difference between these two relishes.