Pickle Relish

This homemade pickle relish takes veggie burgers and hot dogs to a whole new level! It's crunchy, sweet, and tangy - the perfect summer condiment.

Pickle relish

It’s official: I’m never buying pickle relish at the store again. This homemade version is tangier, crunchier, and more savory and complex. The recipe also makes a very reasonable amount – right around a cup – so it’s actually possible to polish it off within a couple of weeks. (Looking at you, every massive jar of store-bought relish I’ve never managed to finish.) The next time you want to jazz up a veggie burger, hot dog, or whatever you’re grilling, I highly recommend you give it a try!

Chopped cucumber and bell pepper on a cutting board with small dishes of vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and celery seeds

Pickle Relish Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this sweet pickle relish recipe:

  • Cucumbers – Cucumber is always the primary ingredient in pickle relish, and it’s often the only vegetable in commercially-produced relishes in the United States. It adds crunch and classic pickle flavor to this recipe.
  • Green bell pepper – You wouldn’t find it in a jar of of the store-bought stuff, but it really peps up this homemade version. It adds extra crunch, color, and peppery flavor.
  • Diced onion and celery seeds – For savory flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar – It gives the relish its signature tang.
  • Cane sugar – It adds sweetness, balancing the punch of the apple cider vinegar.
  • Mustard seeds – They make the relish deliciously sour.
  • Red pepper flakes – For a kick of heat.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Homemade relish in a saucepan with wooden spoon

How to Make Pickle Relish

When I make quick pickles at home, I often heat the brine on the stove. But this pickle relish recipe is the only case where I cook the vegetables in addition to the brine. I start by simmering the finely chopped cucumber, green pepper, and onion with half the vinegar. Doing so gives the vegetables a chance to release any excess moisture, creating a more concentrated, flavorful relish. After 10 minutes, I strain off this excess liquid.

Then, I return the drained vegetables to the pot with the remaining vinegar and the spices and cook for another 5 minutes. The whole process takes around 20 minutes from start to finish. It’s really simple, and the end result is so delicious!

Serving Suggestions

After you make the relish, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, cover it and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I like to serve it chilled on classic summer grilling recipes like these:

It’s also fantastic on sandwiches or in any recipe that calls for pickle relish. Try using it in the filling of these deviled eggs!

How do you like to use homemade relish? Let me know in the comments!

Pickle relish recipe

More Homemade Pickle Recipes

If you love this recipe, try any of these homemade pickles next:

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Pickle Relish

rate this recipe:
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
This homemade pickle relish is the perfect sweet and tangy topping for veggie burgers, hot dogs, and more! It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.



  • In a small pot, combine the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and ¼ cup of the apple cider vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and discard any excess liquid.
  • Return the veggies to the pot and add the remaining ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, the sugar, mustard seeds, salt, red pepper flakes, and celery seed. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the relish from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Chill until ready to use.
5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.