Green Tomato Hot Dog Relish Recipe

green tomato hot dog relish

The Spruce/Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Resting Time: 12 hrs
Total: 13 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yield: 6 cups

Relish often has a place next to the ketchup and mustard at cookouts and is usually offered as a topping at hot dog stands. It is typically made of sweet pickles, but other fruits and vegetables can be used as well.

This flavorful relish is made from green tomatoes and is a great way to use those late-season green tomatoes that don't seem to ripen.

The green tomatoes are combined with onions and bell peppers, cooked in a pickling mixture for an hour, and then canned to be enjoyed throughout the year. Spoon the green tomato relish onto hot dogs and hamburgers, or stir some into your dressing for pasta or potato salad for a flavor and color boost.

"Super-sweet and tangy, the hour-long cooking time for this relish really deepens and enhances those flavors. It’s certainly great on hot dogs, but can be used in many other ways, I tried blending some into a salad dressing and it was delicious." —Cara Cormack

Green Tomato Hot Dog Relish/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 8 cups finely chopped green tomatoes

  • 2 cups finely chopped onions

  • 4 bell peppers, including some red, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup pickling salt

  • 2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

  • 2 1/4 cups white vinegar

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make green tomato hot dog relish

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  2. Combine the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and salt in a large stainless steel pan. Cover and let stand in a cool place (about 65 F to 70 F) for 10 to 12 hours or up to overnight.

    chopped relish veggies in a stock pot

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  3. Pour the vegetables into a colander over the sink and let drain. Rinse with cool water and use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquids.

    chopped relish vegetables in a colander

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  4. Place the pickling spices and celery seeds in a cheesecloth spice bag and tie closed.

    pickling spices in a cheesecloth bag

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  5. In a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan, combine the vinegar, the spice bag, garlic, and brown sugar. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

    pickling spices a stock pot full of brine

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  6. Add the drained green tomato mixture and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil gently, stirring often, for 1 hour.

    green tomato relish in a pot

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  7. While the mixture is cooking, prepare the canner, jars, and lids.

    empty canning jars

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  8. Fill the hot, prepared jars with the relish and remove any air bubbles with a small plastic spatula, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Clean the jar rims and fit with the lids and rings.

    green tomato relish in canning jars

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  9. Process in a covered boiling-water bath canner for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the cover, and let the jars stand in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.

    caning jars in a canning pot

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

  10. Store in a cool, dark spot for up to a year.

    green tomato hot dog relish in a canning jar

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack


  • You can use the food processor to chop the tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper. Cut the vegetables into chunks and then process until finely chopped.
  • Do not skip the steps of salting and draining the vegetables; you need to remove the liquid from the vegetables before cooking and canning.
  • You can add another small clove of garlic if you like your relish with a lot of bite.