Sweet Bell Pepper Relish

Sweet Bell Pepper Relish
Diana Rattray
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Chill : 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 80 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
61 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 80
Amount per serving
Calories 61
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 355mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 41mg 206%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 67mg 1%
*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.)

Relishes are the perfect condiment for preserving fruits and vegetables. Often overlooked and thought to be just the side on hotdogs or burgers, relishes are a great ingredient to have at hand because they can brighten the flavor or all sorts of dishes, from soups to stews to sauces. A heaping spoonful of a sour and tart relish can transform what otherwise would be a boring plate of food. Using our pepper relish recipe, you can put to good use a bounty of peppers from your garden and preserve them for later use without sacrificing the flavor—you might, in fact, enhance their natural sweetness with this preparation.

Our yummy sweet relish makes a delicious topping for deviled or scrambled eggs. It's a great accompaniment to meatloaf, burgers, or grilled chicken or fish. Mixed with cream cheese or sour cream it makes a fantastic party dip. Serve it at breakfast with hash browns or breakfast casseroles, or at lunch with pinto beans and ham or grilled cheese sandwiches.

A mixture of differently-sized chopped peppers gives the relish the perfect texture. Plus, red, yellow, orange, and green peppers make for a brighter condiment. Add spice if you're keen on it with a few chili flakes, or keep it as is for a wonderful and succulent treat. Our recipe gives you the instructions on how to can the relish, so before your start, be sure to have clean and ready 5 to 6 1-pint canning jars.


  • 20 large bell peppers, red, yellow, orange, and green

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet onions

  • 1/4 cup canning salt, or pickling salt

  • 2 cups white vinegar

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 5 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Peppers and Onions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash the peppers, slice them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into large chunks—when done you should have about 6 pounds of chunks.

  3. Finely chop about 1/2 to 2/3 of the peppers.

  4. Grind or finely chop the remaining amount of peppers using a food grinder or food processor.

  5. Coarsely chop about half of the onions.

  6. Add the remaining onions to the grinder or food processor with the peppers.

  7. In a large bowl, combine the chopped and ground peppers and onions with the salt. Toss to mix thoroughly, cover the mixture with abundant ice, and let stand for 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Cook the Relish

  1. Drain and rinse the bell pepper and onion mixture, squeezing the vegetables with your hands to get as much moisture out as possible.

  2. In a large nonreactive pot, combine the two kinds of vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and paprika, if using. Add the well-drained pepper mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, until thickened. Stir occasionally.

Can the Relish

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a simmer, turn to low and add the flat lids. Keep the lids in hot water until you're ready to use them.

  2. Fill a bath canning kettle about half full with water. Add the canning jars to the water and bring to a boil. Carefully remove the jars and drain.

  3. Ladle the pepper mixture into the hot drained jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. With a damp clean cloth, wipe any spills or drips from the threads and rims of the jars.

  4. Using tongs, lift lids from the water and let any excess drip off of them. Place the clean jar rims on. Screw on the jar rings firmly but not too tightly.

  5. Place the filled jars into the canner. The water should be at least 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and boil gently for 10 minutes.

  6. Carefully, remove the jars to a rack to cool.

  7. Once cool, check for seals. If any jars did not seal, refrigerate the relish and use it within the next three months. Label the jars with an expiration date of 12 months in the future. Keep in a cool dry place for up to 12 months.

  8. Enjoy!

What If I'm Canning at High Altitude?

Canning procedures change depending on where you live. This simple guide will allow you to identify if there's the need for additional time during the canning process:

  • Add 5 minutes to the processing time if you live between 1,001 to 3,000 feet in altitude.
  • Add 10 minutes to processing time if you live between 3,001 to 6,000 feet in altitude.
  • Add 15 minutes to the processing time if you live between 6,001 to 8,000 feet in altitude.