Dill Pickle Relish Recipe: Simple and Classic

How to make a simple dill pickle relish using fresh produce. It is so much better than store-bought!

Waterbath canning recipes for cucumbers always come in handy because you will often have way more in the garden than you can possibly eat fresh. This relish will make quick work of a lot of cucumbers.

home canned dill relish on wooden board

The Best Dill Relish Recipe + How to Can It

A dill pickle relish recipe that is not sweet, not oniony, and has a tad of sugar and heat.  Makes 6-8 half-pint jars.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Serving Size 36 servings


  • 8 pounds cucumbers about 16 medium cucuumbers
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 medium diced jalapeno
  • ½ cup pickling salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill


  • Prep the veggies. Peel the cucumbers (fully or halfway) and remove the seedy center. 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 many batches. (You can also dice the onion and jalapeno now, then cover them separately and set them aside so you don't need to take o ut your cutting board later.)
    chopping cucumbers in food processor
  • Soak cucumbers 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.


Small pickling cucumbers are best, but any unwaxed cucumber will do as long as the seeds are removed.
The size 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!
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

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.

Relish Making 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 waterbath can this recipe, you don’t have to! It actually freezes very well. But don’t be intimidated by canning. You must be safe and careful, but it’s not rocket science.
  • If you are not familiar with safe canning practices, The Ball Blue Book of Preserving is a good starting point.

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

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

A Pretty Recipe for You

Click on the image below, and you can print this version to put in your canning binder.

How to Store It

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


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 it 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.

How to Use Up Dill Relish

  • Sandwich spread: Use dill relish as a spread on sandwiches or burgers.
  • Hot dogs: Add it on top of hot dogs.
  • Tuna salad: Mix it into tuna salad for extra flavor.
  • Potato salad: Add it to potato salad to give it a tangy taste.
  • Egg salad: Stir it into egg salad.
  • Salad dressing: Mix it into a simple vinaigrette.
  • Deviled eggs: Use it in the filling for deviled eggs.
  • Meatloaf: Add it to meatloaf mixture for moisture and flavor.
  • Baked fish: Spread some on top of fish before baking.
  • Tartar sauce: Mix with mayonnaise to make tartar sauce for fish
  • Pasta salad: Mix it into a cold pasta salad.
  • Coleslaw: Blend it into coleslaw.
  • Chicken salad: Add to chicken salad mix.

You can use sweet relish for any of these too!

More Recipes for Cucumber Season

When cucumbers are ready to be picked, they’re ready. Use them up!

a collage of 10 images showing the steps given in the recipe.

Enjoy this relish recipe!

Dill Pickle Relish Recipe:  Simple and Classic
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Recipe Rating


  1. Finally a relish with jalepenos! !! It is a yummy addition to our pantry of different and healthy options. Thank you and keep up the good cooking and sharing your results. Although Granny’s recipes are time tested and great, it’s time to upgrade.

  2. I messed up and left my seeds in gonna try it anyways! Also I wonder if it’d be ok to add a tablespoon or so of mustard? Or mustard seeds think that’s be awesome.

  3. Approximately how many 1/2 pints does this yield? I’m really looking forward to making this; I’ve already been asked to swap jalapeños with habaneros!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! The only thing I added was a Tablespoon of minced garlic! I will use this recipe over and over!!!

      1. 4 stars
        I just made this. There was no garlic listed in the ingredients but I noticed after I made the relish that there is a picture of garlic with the ingredients. Is it supposed to have garlic? I definitely would have put it in if I had seen the photo of ingredients before making it.

      2. hey jeanette, no it doesn’t have garlic in the recipe but yes i see it in the picture. I’m really puzzled as to why I have it in the photo?!!! 🤣. But if you’d like to add it next time, you absolutely can with no concerns on safety, etc. 🙂

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. Made it! Easy to follow instructions, thank you. Still warm but seems to have a nice mix of spicy and dilly!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. This looks absolutely delicious! My husband and boys are big relish fans! I wish I had learned those things from my grandmother as well!

    1. I know… it’s so sad that by the time we appreciate somethings, it’s too late