Dill Pickle Relish Recipe: Simple and Classic

A dill pickle relish recipe that is not sweet, not oniony, and has a tad of sugar and heat.  Makes 8-10 half-pint jars.
5 from 3 votes

This recipe is for a simple dill pickle relish using fresh produce. It is so much better than store-bought! You’ll find a pretty recipe printable at the bottom of the post.

3 jars of homemade relish

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s so versatile: perfect as a condiment, as an ingredient in cold salads like potato salad, or for mixing up a batch of tartar sauce.
  • Great use of summer produce. Overgrown cucumbers in your garden? No problem. Or snatch some at a farmer’s market that are a little on the ugly side.
  • Beginner-friendly. A great choice for new canners.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

cucumbers, pickles, dill, vinegar, salt, and turmeric on wooden board

You’ll need the following for this simple canning recipe:

  • cucumbers
  • pickling salt
  • turmeric
  •  water
  • white vinegar
  • yellow onion 
  • jalapeno 
  • sugar
  • dill seed
  • fresh dill
  • large water bath canner
  • pint or half-pint jars
  • new lids
  • canning funnel
  • small saucepan

🍴Instructions

Step One: Chop the cucumbers

chopping cucumbers in food processor

Peel the cucumbers (fully or halfway) and roughly chop them into quarters or eighths. Place them in a food processor and pulse to chop. You want them chopped but not pureed. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may want to work in batches.

Step Two: Soak in seasonings and drain

mixing bowl of cucumbers and seasonings

Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and turmeric.  Pour the water on top and stir. Allow the mixture to sit, covered, at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

Place chopped cucumbers in a cheesecloth-lined bowl and rinse.   Lift the cheesecloth and gently squeeze to drain.  You can also leave this in the fridge overnight and continue in the morning.

Step three: Cook

saucepan of relish

Place the cucumbers, diced jalapeño, diced onion, vinegar, sugar, dill weed, and dill seed in a saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly and has changed from green to yellow-green.

Step FouR: Can

Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Twist lids fingertip tight and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Cool until sealed and store in a dark place for up to 1 year.

🥫 Storage instructions

Like most home-canned recipes, this will keep well in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

🔍 FAQ

What kind of cucumbers are best for homemade relish?

You can use pickling or regular cucumbers for this dill relish. Since you are chopping them up, the size does not matter. One consideration is that you will need to remove any seeds. Smaller pickling cucumbers will have few, if any seeds, so they will make things easier. If you don’t have any, regular cucumbers will work fine–you’ll just have to de-seed them. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s unwaxed.

Do you need pickling salt for relish?

Pickling salt doesn’t have any anti-caking chemicals that can cause cloudiness. So it’s not essential, but will give you a nicer-looking finished product.

Can I leave out the hot pepper or the onion?

The onions, jalapeño, and dill seed can be reduced if you do not like them.

Can I reduce the vinegar in relish?

No, the salt and vinegar cannot be altered as they are essential to preserving the relish.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Think about when you want to prep your canner, jars, and lids in this recipe. There are a few steps that make good stopping points, but once you add the final ingredients, you’ll want all your canning supplies ready to go while the relish is hot.
  • You can easily cut this recipe in half and make about 5 half-pints, which is plenty for most people.
  • If you don’t want to can this recipe, you don’t have to! It actually freezes very well. But don’t be intimidated by canning. You have to be safe and careful, but it’s not rocket science.
  • If you are not familiar with safe canning practices, here is a good resource to get you started canning. (The Ball Blue Book of Preserving is another good starting point!)

📘 Related Recipes

🍅 make it along with me

Follow along step by step. The slides will turn every 7 seconds, or you can click ahead.

❤️ The story behind this recipe

My grandmother was a big baker, quilter, canner, and all the rest. I did not appreciate it at the time because I thought I was going to be a lawyer. (I was, in fact, a secretary and then a housewife.) Anyway. Years after she died, I wished I had learned from her when I could. I do have one old gardening book of hers, out of which came a handwritten recipe for relish.

It read:

Sweet relish, 6 pints

Prepare cucumbers and onions and cover with vinegar. Add sugar to taste.

Pour into hot jars and cool.

So that “recipe” was a no-go.

I searched high and low for a recipe without weird ingredients and that wasn’t too sweet or too oniony. It could not be found, so I made some simple tweaks to the Ball Blue Book recipe to suit my tastes.

📖 Here’s the recipe

home canned dill relish on wooden board
5 from 3 votes

The Best Dill Relish Recipe + How to Can It

Print Recipe
A dill pickle relish recipe that is not sweet, not oniony, and has a tad of sugar and heat.  Makes 8-10 half-pint jars.
Prep Time:1 hr
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 medium diced jalapeno diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill

Instructions

  • Prep the cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers (fully or halfway) and roughly chop them into quarters or eighths. Place them in a food processor and pulse to chop. You want them chopped but not pureed. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may want to work in batches.
    food processor with chopped cucumbers
  • Soak in salt and turmeric. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and turmeric.  Pour the water on top and stir. Allow the mixture to sit, covered, at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
  • Rinse and drain. Place chopped cucumbers in a cheesecloth lined bowl and rinse.   Lift the cheesecloth and gently squeeze to drain.  You can also leave this in the fridge overnight and continue in the morning.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cook. Place the cucumbers, diced jalapeño, diced onion, vinegar, sugar, dill weed, and dill seed in a saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly and has changed from green to yellow-green.
    saucepan of cooked relish
  • Process in waterbath canner. Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Twist lids fingertip tight and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Cool until sealed and store in a dark place for up to 1 year.

Notes

Small pickling cucumbers are best, but any unwaxed cucumber will do as long as the seeds are removed.
It is impossible to give you a number of cucumbers as their size varies wildly.   You won’t regret having a kitchen scale for canning
The sugar, turmeric, dill seed, and/ or jalapeño can be left out or reduced and the recipe will still be safe.  But the flavor is best if you keep them all!

Nutrition

Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: preserving
Cuisine: American
Keyword: after school cookie recipes, canning recipe for relish, cucumber canning recipes, dill pickle relish, pickle relish recipe
Servings: 36 servings
Calories: 19kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!
a collage of 10 images showing the steps given in the recipe.

Enjoy this relish recipe!

signature with strawberries
By on July 8th, 2019

26 thoughts on “Dill Pickle Relish Recipe: Simple and Classic”

  1. If using field cucumbers, is it 8lbs before removing the seeds or after?
    Do you deseed the jalapeño?
    Thanks! Looking forward to trying this!

    Reply
  2. What is the shelf life? I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with, can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for all the details.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I have always made sweet relish in past but my mom mentioned she prefers dill and since I had an abundance of fresh dil decided to try this. It was great. Making my second batch today

    Reply
  4. How long do you have to wait until the relish is ready to eat? I want to make sure that all the ingredients have time to come together before I open a jar. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  5. I have lots of recipes like the one you found! I need more information with my inexperienced self. So instead I Gave yours a try. Looking forward to tasting it. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  6. Hmmm…I never liked relish, because it was always sweet. I could see this being so handy though for tuna salad, potato salad etc. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

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