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Dill Pickle Relish

Can yourself some homemade dill pickle relish for an easy and tasty spread perfect for hot dogs and more!

Homemade relish is a wonderful thing and honestly better than anything you can buy in the grocery store because it can have the perfect balance of flavors that you enjoy.

While there is a bit of time to let the cucumbers sit before processing this easy recipe comes together quite quickly without much hands-on work and you’ll be so glad you have it in the pantry this winter.

Two jars of relish sit on top of a white cloth with a wooden spoon with relish sitting on top in front of them. Text overlay reads: dill pickle relish - a canning recipe.

Small Batch 

The recipe as written makes approximately 3 half pints. This is a small batch but may be plenty for a household that doesn’t go through much relish in a year.

You could easily double or even triple the batch if you want to make and preserve more for a larger family. 

You could also can this in pint jars instead of half pints. The processing time would not change.


I used pickling cucumbers when testing this recipe. Regular cucumbers or the slicing type might work but generally have too much moisture and aren’t suited for canning recipes. 

A pile of fresh green pickling cucumbers.

If you have to have some larger cucumbers on hand, I recommend removing the seeds with a spoon and then proceeding with the grinding – you’ll have less overall water to remove later.

Grating Fresh Cucumbers

I’m normally not much of a fan of pulling out the food processor. In fact, I just have a small 4-cup model because I don’t use it often. However, this is exactly the kind of recipe where it provides superior results. 

A box grater simply doesn’t quite give this relish the right consistency. The results be okay if you don’t have the processor but not exactly the same. 

The 2-Hour Soak

Much like making homemade pickles, the cucumbers need a 2 hour soak in canning salt and cool water.

Two jars of relish sit on top of a white cloth with a wooden spoon with relish sitting on top in front of them.

It can be tempting to skip this step, when in a hurry but don’t. It is necessary. The salt water soak helps pull excess water from the vegetables giving the final relish a crunchier texture. 

The Seeds

Dill seed is what makes this homemade dill relish flavorful.  However, you could use celery seed instead if desired. It’ll be a different flavor but still delicious and might be better for folks who don’t like dill. 

I did not test this recipe with the whole fresh dill weed heads only the seeds.

Vinegar Choices

I went with basic apple cider vinegar simply because that’s what I always have on hand. 

You could substitute any vinegar you prefer – white wine or champagne might be quite nice. Plain old white vinegar would work too.

Two jars of relish sit on top of a white cloth with a wooden spoon with relish sitting on top in front of them.

Do make sure to use vinegar that is 5% acidity for safety reasons. This is the acidity level needed to make this a high acid preserve safe for water bath canning.


There is only 1 Tablespoon of sugar in this batch of three half pints. You could add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter relish.

How to Serve & Use

Use homemade pickle relish like you would any jar made by a company and sold in the store. 

Two jars of relish sit on top of a white cloth with a wooden spoon with relish sitting on top in front of them.

Certainly spread it on things like hot dogs or hamburgers. Mix some into your tuna salad or potato salad. Use it make your deviled eggs.

There’s no reason to get fancy or overthink it. 

Make Some to Give

If you are faced with an abundance of cucumbers, consider making a larger batch and giving some away as gifts later.

Small jars are easy to wrap and send as part of food gift care packages.

They tuck nicely into gift baskets to welcome new neighbors with perhaps some hot dogs and buns. 

Add a pretty label and some ribbon and attach a thank you card for someone special. 

How to Store

Once the jars have sealed and cooled, simply keep them in your pantry with other canned goods.

Two jars of relish sit on top of a white cloth with a wooden spoon with relish sitting on top in front of them.

If a jar, doesn’t seal put it in the refrigerator and eat up within a month – these are a pickle after and the refrigerator combined with vinegar keep it from spoiling for quite some time.

Jars in the pantry should be used within 18 months (adjust based on canning lid instructions). 

Obviously never eat a jar that has a domed lid or has mold inside. 

Yield: 3 Half Pints

Dill Pickle Relish

A small wooden spoon with dill pickle relish on top sits in front of 2 jars of relish sitting on a white cloth.

Make this dill pickle relish recipe for an amazing spread to use on sandwiches and mix into your favorite salads for tangy flavor long after the garden season has passed! 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Soak Time 2 hours
Canning Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 2 Pounds Pickling Cucumbers
  • 2 Tablespoons Pickling Salt
  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dill Seed
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Onions, finely chopped


  1. Wash cucumbers making sure to remove any spines from the skin.
  2. Using a food processor, grind or finely chop the cucumber in batches using short pulses. Emptying each batch into a large glass or stainless steel bowl.
  3. Mix the pickling salt into the cucumbers. Pour cold water over the cucumbers.
  4. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the boiling water canner, canning jars, rings, and lids.
  6. Line a fine mesh strainer or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth or some fine muslin. Pour the cucumbers into the container and strain out the liquid. Squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible with your hands or by pressing with a spoon. It doesn't have to be bone dry but you don't want it soupy either.
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine the drained cucumbers with the sugar, dill seed, vinegar, and onions.
  8. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the mixture is slightly thickened.
  9. Spoon the relish mixture into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Be sure to remove any air bubbles.
  10. Wipe rims of jars, place lids and rings.
  11. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.
  12. Remove from canner, let cool. Check seals before removing rings and storing in pantry.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 7Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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