Hot Pepper Relish

Hot pepper relish first place

The one crop I have that has been producing abundantly (even with the heat-induced slow-down) is my peppers. Both my sweet and hot peppers have been my most productive crop! But what to do with all those peppers? I’ve frozen some, dehydrated more, pickled a few jars, and eaten them fresh. But they keep coming! So, I decided to make some hot pepper relish. Yummy!


I found this recipe on the site for the National Center for Home Food Preservation and adapted it a little for my own harvest. I entered it into my county fair and won first place!

  • 3 cups green or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 7 cups jalapenos (and/or other hot peppers), chopped with seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow or white onions
  • 2 1/2 cups 5% acidity cider vinegar (can use 5% acidity distilled white vinegar)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 4 teaspoons mustard seed

1. Sterilize 6 pint canning jars with their lids and rings. (The recipe calls for 6 pint jars, but I found it made only 4 pints. Sterilize 6 jars to be sure.)

2. Wash peppers and remove tops; take seeds out of sweet peppers. Chop peppers well. I used a Pampered Chef manual food processor, and it worked like a dream!!

Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor

Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor

(If you don’t have a Pampered Chef consultant, you can order online from my consultant, Stephanie Hartnett Brown.)

3. Measure EXACTLY 10 cups of chopped peppers with their juice. The recipe calls for 3 cups sweet peppers and 7 cups jalapenos because I like it hot. You can make the relish hotter or sweeter depending on how many cups are sweet and how many hot, as long as you have a total of 10 cups of peppers. I used 3 cups green bell, 3 cups of jalapenos, and 4 cups of mixed hot peppers (my mystery hot peppers, fish peppers, and pepperoncini). My relish had a nice heat with a sweet aftertaste.

4. Cut off ends and peel onions. Chop them very fine in the food processor.

5. Combine the 10 cups of peppers, the onions, vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, and mustard seed in a pot. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Fill hot, sterilized pint jars with cooked relish mixture, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rim with a paper towel to remove any relish on the rim. Apply lids and rings.

7. Process in a hot water canning bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool for 24 hours. Check the lids for a good seal by pressing the center of the lid. If the lid does NOT give, the seal is good. Otherwise, store in the fridge for quick use.


I plan to make this again, but this time I’d like to try it with 7 cups of jalapenos and no other hot peppers. Or, I might add a couple of my fiery hot rocoto peppers. Or increase the hot peppers and decrease the sweet peppers. Hmm…the options are endless.

DISCLAIMER: If canned incorrectly, clostridium botulinum is a real and dangerous risk! Sanctuary Gardener is not responsible for how this recipe is used, the use of poor canning practices, or canning errors. Please visit the site for the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information on canning and preserving.

How do you make pepper relish?



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