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Growing up in the South, I honestly thought everyone knew about Chow Chow Relish. That was until I moved to the Midwest. From hamburgers to hotdogs and more, this relish is perfect for those who enjoy a little or a lot of heat to their meal. It’s all dependent on how you make it. For me personally, I prefer it on my pork chops. Something about the sweet, spicy tanginess pairs well with the chops. Chicken would be my close second. If you get the chance to try this gem, let me know! Happy Tuesday!

Old Fashioned Chow Chow Relish


2½ pound Cabbage, chopped (may use up to 3 pound cabbage)

4 Medium Onions, chopped*

5 Green Bell Peppers, chopped

4 Red Bell Peppers, chopped

4 Medium to Large Green Tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and chopped

½ cup Canning and Pickling Salt (or use Kosher Salt)*

5 cups Granulated White Sugar

2 tablespoons of Prepared Mustard (I used French’s)

1 tablespoon Mustard Seed

2 tablespoons Pickling Spice

½ tablespoon Turmeric

1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

2 quarts White Vinegar (8 cups)


8 Pint Size Sterilized Canning Jars with Lids and Bands

Canning Tools – jar handler, funnel, air bubble remover, and a damp cloth

Water Bath or Steam Canner for processing


  1. Add the chopped vegetables to a large bowl (6 quarts) and cover with the salt. Gently mix then cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Next, drain the liquid from the vegetables (do not rinse). Set aside.

3. In a large pot over medium heat; combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and spices then bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Next, add the vegetables to the brine and return to a simmer then cook 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Pack the chow chow relish in sterile jars leaving ½ inch of head space; cover with lids and secure the lids with bands.

6. Process in a water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes.

7. Carefully transfer the hot jars to a towel lined countertop and allow to cool overnight. You should hear jar lids ping letting you know that they are properly sealed.

Notes: If you do not wish to process the jars, keep them refrigerated. Once you open a sealed jar, refrigerate. If any jars do not seal properly, keep them refrigerated and use first. Processed chow chow is shelf stable for a year. The chow chow relish will last up to 6 months refrigerated. Always follow the latest safe practices for preserving foods.

Personal Notes from me for items with (*): In regards to the salt, I prefer using the Pickling Salt. In regards to the onions used, my grandmother always used yellow onions, but I prefer Vidalia onions. If you want the more tart with heat version definitely use the yellow onions instead.

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