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Chow Chow Relish (And More Great Southern Relish Recipes)

Here are some great Southern-style relish recipes for any occasion.

Chow chow relish is a traditional Southern condiment made from pickled vegetables.

Chow chow relish is a traditional Southern condiment made from pickled vegetables.

What Is Chow Chow?

Chow chow is a traditional Southern pickled relish that can be made from green tomatoes, red tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and green and red peppers. It is canned like pickles or salsa, although the mixture is usually cooked first. The recipes may vary; some are sweeter and have different ingredients. It may be eaten by itself or served as a condiment on meats, beans, hot dogs, hamburgers and other foods.

4 Chow Chow and Condiment Recipes

This article includes great Southern recipes for the following:

  1. Cooked Chow Chow Relish
  2. No-Cook Chow Chow Relish
  3. Peach Salsa
  4. Jalapeño Jelly
Jars of pickled fruits and vegetables

Jars of pickled fruits and vegetables

1. Cooked Chow Chow Relish

At our house, chow chow has been a long-time condiment with a pot of pinto beans and also with just about any meat. You will not be sorry about the time you take to make it; the reward will be delicious!

For this recipe, you will need 8 sterilized pint jars.


For the chow chow:

  • 4 cups onions, ground
  • 4 cups cabbage, ground
  • 4 cups green peppers, ground
  • 4 cups green tomatoes, ground
  • 2 cups red peppers, ground
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Hot peppers may be added if you like spicy (optional)

For the syrup:

  • 5 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric


  1. Wash all the vegetables before using.
  2. Put the onions, cabbage, green peppers, green tomatoes and red peppers through a food grinder.
  3. In a large pot, mix ground vegetables; cover with the water, add salt. Let stand in refrigerator 4 to 12 hours.
  4. Drain the vegetables thoroughly.
  5. Add to the drained vegetables the syrup ingredients; sugar, cider vinegar, celery seeds, mustard seeds and turmeric.
  6. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Ladle hot relish into sterilized jars; leave 1/4-inch head space.
  8. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
  9. Wait three weeks before using.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  1. Use fresh vegetables.
  2. Sterilize the jars, lids, and rings in the dishwasher.
  3. Homemade chow-chow relish is best when chilled before using.
  4. If any of the jars do not seal after cooling, put them in the refrigerator to use right away.
  5. Be careful when filling jars with the hot mixture; use a pot holder to hold the jar in place. And be cautious when removing them from the water bath.

2. No-Cook Chow Chow Relish

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to make chow chow relish? Try this no-cook recipe to use up all those extra green tomatoes. If you like pickles or pickle relish, you will love this delicious, spicy-sweet chow chow. It may be used in hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches, or as a relish in a bowl of pinto beans or on top of your favorite meat.


  • 1 gallon green tomatoes
  • 5 red, green, or yellow bell peppers
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, more if you like it hot
  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 5 medium onions
  • 3 pints vinegar, 90 gram
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed or dry mustard


  1. Wash and clean all vegetables.
  2. Grind all vegetables and mix.
  3. Mix in a large stock pot; vinegar, sugar, turmeric, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Heat mixture to a boiling point.
  5. Add vegetables to hot mixture and bring to boil again.
  6. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  7. Put chow chow mixture in sterilized jars and seal.

This recipe makes about 12 pints.

3. Peach Salsa

When winter arrives and all the delicious fresh peaches are gone, pull out a jar of peach salsa. This recipe makes eight half-pints of salsa. If you want more, just double or triple the recipe. This would make a great gift for the holidays or any occasion!

Our family loves to serve peach salsa over a brick of cream cheese with crackers as an appetizer. It is very addicting—the cream cheese and salsa just meld so deliciously together!


  • 6 cups, about 3 pounds fresh peaches, chopped
  • 3 large fresh tomatoes, seeded, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, chopped
  • 4 medium jalapeño peppers, finely chopped, seeded
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped, seeded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground


  1. Sterilize 8 (1/2-pint) jars. I do this in my dishwasher.
  2. Blanch the peaches, put them into cold water to cool, when cooled, peel, pit and chop the peaches.
  3. Blanch the tomatoes; let cool in cold water, peel, remove seeds, cut the tomatoes into chunks.
  4. In a large pan combine all of the ingredients.
  5. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, cook 5 minutes, stir often. If, not thicken cook a few more minutes.
  6. Taste for seasoning, add more cayenne pepper if you like spicy!
  7. Pours salsa into the hot jars to within 1/4 inch of top leaving a head space.
  8. Clean the jar rim for spilled salsa.
  9. Put on the lids and bands and tighten.
  10. Place the jars in a boiling water bath in a canner or large pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from the water bath placing on a kitchen towel, covering so they cool slowly.
  12. Jars are sealed when the lids pop.
  13. Store salsa in a cool, dark place.
Homemade jalapeño pepper jelly

Homemade jalapeño pepper jelly

4. Jalapeño Jelly

Do you have lots of jalapeño peppers to use up? Make them into jalapeño pepper jelly. It is delicious served over a block of cream cheese with crackers or as a condiment with meat. It is easy to make, and it's a great gift for any occasion.

My granddaughter Madison loves jalapeño jelly served over cream cheese with Ritz crackers! If there is cream cheese in the house, it has jalapeño jelly topped on it!


  • 1/4 cup jalapeño peppers, ground
  • 3/4 cups sweet pepper, ground
  • 6 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 (6-fluid-ounce) bottle liquid pectin


  1. Wash and remove the stems from the jalapeño and sweet peppers, grind in food processor.
  2. Add the ground pepper, sugar and cider vinegar in a large pot.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the liquid pectin. Return to a rolling boil and boil hard 5 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  5. Skim the foam, if necessary.
  6. Pour into hot, sterilized jars, top with the sterilized lids. Secure the lids with bands and allow jars to cool slowly, creating a seal.

Makes about 5 pints.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • Sterilize jars lids and rings in the dishwasher.
  • This jelly is great served as an appetizer over a block of cream cheese with crackers or as a condiment with meat.
  • Add red and green jalapeño and sweet peppers for more color.
  • You may stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.
  • For a milder jelly, take the seeds out of some or all of the jalapeños.
  • Homemade jalapeño pepper jelly makes a great gift for any occasion.


  • Do not double this recipe; it will not set up. Just make another batch.
  • Always wear plastic gloves when dealing with jalapeño peppers.

Canning Jars

Making and canning all kinds of delicious relishes and many other foods saves money and is a great project, especially if you have kids! I use these Kerr quilted crystal jars, but you might want to see what other sizes and kinds would work best for you and whatever you decide to put up!

© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen