Sweet Zucchini Relish
As we approach the end of the summer growing season, do you still find yourself with a garden full of zucchini?  If so, this Sweet Zucchini Relish recipe is a great way to preserve the yield of those overabundant, prolific plants.

My friend, Miriam, shared her recipe with me, and I am so happy she did.  This will be my new tried-and-true recipe to help me get through the bounty of overabundant zucchini plants.

Ready to start canning?

Sweet Zucchini Relish

I used my handy-dandy Salad-Maid to shred the zucchini.  I got it from eBay and I love it.  I prefer it over my food processor for this particular recipe, but you can use a regular food processor if you have one.

I do use my smaller processor for the onions and peppers.  If you do this, be sure to ONLY pulse a couple of times – checking after each pulse.  They will liquify all too quickly if they’re over-processed.

If you prefer your relish cubed, you can do that too.  Just finely dice the zucchini, onions, and peppers.

Sweet Zucchini Relish

The day or night before:
Wash, shred and measure out 12 cups of zucchini and place in a large bowl.  Dice or chop the onion in a food processor and measure out 4 cups and add to the zucchini.  Add the salt, stir, and let the mixture sit overnight.

The next day:
Rinse the zucchini with COLD water and DRAIN WELL (I squeeze mine with paper towels after it has drained).  Combine the sugar and cornstarch and add to the vinegar in a large saucepot, then add the other seasonings.  Add the zucchini mixture and peppers and cook slowly for 30 minutes.

Sweet Zucchini Relish

When ready, pack the relish into hot prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace and remove air bubbles.

Sweet Zucchini Relish

Wipe the rims clean, and apply the lids and rings.

Sweet Zucchini Relish

Using a canner, process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Sweet Zucchini Relish

When the processing is complete turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let jars sit for 5 minutes to allow the temperature to adjust.  Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel and leave the jars undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

Check the jars to make sure they all sealed, wipe the tops (as you can see mine had not been wiped before this picture was taken), label, and move to pantry or food shelves.

Sweet Zucchini Relish

We like eating Sweet Zucchini Relish on hotdogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, and in tuna or chicken salad.  It can be used in just about anything that calls for relish.  ENJOY!

Sweet Zucchini Relish

Sweet Zucchini Relish

Serving Up Southern


  • 12 cups shredded zucchini or cubed
  • 4 cups onion
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Prepare a water canning bath and 8 pint jars according to this step-by-step guide.
  • Wash and shred zucchini, and measure out 12 cups.
  • Dice or chop peeled onions in a food processor, and combine with shredded zucchini. Add salt, stir, and set-aside overnight.
  • Rinse with cold water and drain well.
  • Combine sugar and cornstarch, add to the vinegar along with the dry mustard, nutmeg, turmeric, celery seed, and black pepper in a non-reactive pot. Add the zucchini mixture and the peppers and cook slowly for 30 minutes.
  • Pack relish into prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Using a bubble remover or the handle of a wooden spoon, remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims, adjust the two-piece caps and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.
  • When processing is complete, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Let jars sit in canner for 5 minutes to acclimate to the temperature change before removing.
  • Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel. Leave the jars undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Check the jars to make sure they all sealed, wipe the tops, label, and move to pantry or food shelves. If a lid did not seal within 24 hours, either reprocess or refrigerate right away.

Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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  1. Should the shredded zucchini and onions be refrigerated overnight?

    1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

      Joan, the mixture doesn’t need to be refrigerated. The salt will keep it from going bad overnight – kind of like a preservative. :)

  2. Hi Kim, today i was making zucchini bread from shredded zucchini found in my freezer. I was wondering how i would use up all the squash this coming summer. Well I think making a relish out of it is a wonderful idea.! Thanks for passing on the recipe. Pinning it and following you on Pinterest.

    1. Hi Rachelle!
      This relish is a great way to use up zucchini out of the garden, and I bet you will love it! Thanks for the Pin and for following! :)

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