Pickle Relish

published Jun 13, 2022
Pickle Relish Recipe

This sweet and tangy relish is a classic condiment for hot dogs, hamburgers, and more.

Makesabout 2 1/2 cups

Prep25 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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a photograph of pickle relish in a small jar with two other jars of pickle relish in the background.
Credit: Laura Rege

Homemade condiments are fun additions to hot dogs, hamburgers, and more. That’s especially the case when they are as easy and delicious as pickle relish. At its simplest, this jam-like condiment is made from cucumbers, onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt. For a bit more oomph, add in fresh dill and some spices — turmeric (which also helps with color), mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes. A touch of cornstarch helps with consistency without changing the flavor of the relish.

How to Make Pickle Relish

  • Prep the cucumber: Grating the cucumber on the large holes of the box grater is so much faster than chopping and provides just the right texture. The cucumber can also be grated in the food processor. 
  • Salt the cucumber: Salting extracts the natural water from cucumbers, speeding up the cooking process. That means much less time spent at the stove but a bit more inactive time waiting to get to the stove.
  • Remove excess water from cucumber: Once the salt does its work, there should be water in the bottom of the bowl, but there is still some more to be extracted from the cucumber. Gather up the cucumber into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze over the sink to remove as much liquid as possible. 
  • Simmer: Combine the vinegar, sugar, spices, and salt with the cucumber in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In just 4 minutes, the relish should be perfect. Then just cool and enjoy.
Credit: Laura Rege

Is Pickle Relish Sweet or Dill?

Pickle relish can be sweet or dill or whatever flavor profile you like. Our recipe leans toward sweet, although we do add in a touch of dill. If you want to go the dill route, add in dill seeds and more of the fresh herb.

Is There a Difference Between Pickle Relish and Relish?

Relish is a condiment that is made by preserving finely chopped vegetables and fruit in a vinegar-sugar-salt solution. While relish can mean many things, one type of relish is pickle relish.

What to Serve with Pickle Relish

Pickle relish is an excellent sidekick to hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled sausages and meats. Or it can be mixed into tuna salad, egg salad, and salad dressings.

Pickle Relish Recipe

This sweet and tangy relish is a classic condiment for hot dogs, hamburgers, and more.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Nutritional Info


  • 3

    (10-inch) cucumbers (about 12 ounces each)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2

    medium white onion

  • 3 large sprigs

    fresh dill

  • 1 cup

    apple cider vinegar

  • 6 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes


  1. Halve 3 cucumbers lengthwise and use a teaspoon to scoop out and discard seeds. Grate the cucumbers on the large holes of a box grater into a colander (about 4 1/2 cups). Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and toss to combine. Set the colander over a large bowl or place in the sink. Let sit 30 minutes to the excess liquid drains from the cucumbers. Meanwhile, finely chop 1/2 medium white onion until you have 1 cup. Pick the fronds from 3 large dill sprigs and finely chop until you have 1 teaspoon.

  2. Place the dill, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan and whisk until combined. Add the onion.

  3. Transfer the cucumbers onto a clean kitchen towel. Gather up the sides and squeeze over a sink to remove as much excess moisture from the cucumbers as possible.

  4. Add the cucumbers to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the cucumbers and onions have softened but still have a slight crispness, and the liquid is reduced and thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to eat or jar the pickles, see below.

  5. If you are jarring the pickles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize canning jars and the lids.

  6. Fill the sterilized jars with the relish and gently tap on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Seal jars with the lids and screw the bands on finger tight.

  7. Place the jars in the pot of boiling water. Let the water return to a boil, then boil for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the water and let them cool to room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate relish in airtight jars for up to 2 weeks. Properly canned relish will keep for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place if unopened.