Dill Pickle Relish- Putting Up with Erin

Has anyone else ever wondered why the US relish market is dominated by sweet cucumber relish?! Ever googled relish recipes only to find that every search result comes back with the word sweet in the title!? For the love of pickles, why must we insist on adulterating the perfect flavor of fresh cucumbers with sugar? I understand that the sweet and tangy flavor of the classic relish tastes great atop a hot dog or hamburger patty, but seriously… move over Heinz, Vlasic, and Claussen, make way for dill pickle relish! OK, enough of my sweet pickle ranting. If my disdain for sweet pickles isn’t obvious by now, you clearly don’t know me at all and we apparently need to work on our communication skills…

If you haven’t yet noticed, it’s cucumber season: that lovely time of year when farmers and gardeners alike harvest cucumbers of all shapes and sizes (often the size of small babies). Still in need of something to swap at the August Seacoast Food Swap, I figured that I’d switch up my pickle game and try making a dill pickle relish. Modified from Solid Gold Eats‘ dill cucumber relish recipe, I’m quite pleased with the outcome (12 half pints… oh man) of this relish.


With the exception of the spices and vinegar, all the ingredients used in this relish were locally grown within 40 miles of Portsmouth, NH: cucumbers and jalapeños (Wake Robin Farm); white onions (Black Kettle Farm); more cucumbers (Brentwood, NH); fresh dill (Rye, NH). I love summer! Speaking of Black Kettle Farm, I’ve secretly been crushing on them since the beginning of the 2014 market season. The simplicity in their design, get up, and farm stand had me at veggies… I’m glad I finally made my move on their spring onions last Saturday. 🙂

Dill Pickle Relish- Putting Up with ErinDill Pickle Relish- Putting Up with Erin

Dill Pickle Relish

Yield: 12 half pints


  • 4 lbs cucumbers (finely chopped)
  • 3 cups white onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 jalapeños (de-seeded and chopped)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp dill weed
  • 1/2 Tbsp dill seed
  • 1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup sea salt (pickling salt is also an option)
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water


  1. Place chopped cucumbers, salt, turmeric, and water in a large bowl and let set for 2 hours.
  2. After 2 hours, rinse and drain cucumber mixture (no need to press or squeeze out liquid here).
  3. Combine cucumbers, chopped onions, jalapeños, dill seed and weed, mustard seed, sugar, and vinegar in a large sauce pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Ladle hot relish into hot sterilized jars leaving approx. 1/2 inch headspace.
  5. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), and process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded towel for ~12 hours or until sealed.
  7. Can be stored for up to one year.

27 responses to Dill Pickle Relish

  1. Yum, I love dill pickle relish.
    Just a couple of questions.
    What kind of salt (grain size): pickling, table, kosher?
    While the yield is 6 pints, is this recipe for pint jars or half-pint jars? (I’m a newb canner, and my understanding is that head space and processing times also depend on jar size?)

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  3. I’ve always wondered about the apparent preference for sweet pickle relish over the CLEARLY superior dill pickle relish myself – glad to find somebody who agrees! Your recipe looks fantastic – I’m definitely going to have to add this to my pickle canning rotation!

  4. thanks for sharing – this looks really nice and I must show it to my mum when she’ll be preparing pickles. Well, I must say that dill pickles are very popular in Poland. And there are two reasons for that. Firstly, they are yummy. Secondly, drinking pickle juice really helps to ease hangover. You can read a bit more about it here: http://www.listonic.com/protips/get/prccigqrnl
    Best wishes!

  5. I haven’t tried this yet, it looks like the best one I’ve researched so far. I have to go, I’m making dill pickle relish tonite!! Deb

  6. Oh yea, I was wondering if you happen to have a good green tomato relish? I like the sweet version of this type? My daughter in-law loved what I made last year. I can’t find that recipe, thought I wrote it down. Hopefully you have one to share? Deb

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  8. This looks to be about what I want to do for some relish. A couple questions though…could I omit the sugar entirely? Also, I have some lemon cucumbers and regular straight 8’s. Could I do this with a combination of the two? And if I add some red pepper and maybe some Serrano peppers, would I need to adjust anything?

  9. Thank you so much for the dill pickle relish .I have been trying to find this for yrs .I am gonna make it bc my husband can’t stand sweet relish lol .thanks again ..June Sloan

  10. Do you peel your cucumbers first or just wash them? And I’m so thrilled to have found this recipe! It looks right up my alley! I HATE relish because I always find it so sweet but I LOVE dill pickles so that already attracted my attention to this recipe! Then the addition of the jalapenos really made me want to try it! I’m sure this is one I will love! 😀

  11. Erin, I am so glad to have tried your dill pickle relish. My husband and I both agree that it is delicious! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to trying other recipes from your website. !!!

  12. I don’t know what it is about sweet relish, I guess I just grew up on it – it is definitely the type of relish I prefer.. Although lately I have been trying dill relish and it really doesn’t taste all that bad! I have been using dill for the past few months when I make tuna salad. It doesn’t taste all that different than the sweet, but I guess my tastebuds are just trained to look for sweet when it comes to relish.. Thank you for sharing your recipe! Definitely want to start making relish at home.

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