Sandy’s Sweet Yellow Squash Relish

squash relish title

Last weekend, we got a couple friends together for a canning party.  I taught them how to make this Squash Relish, which has become an absolute necessity in our house (and a handy holiday gift).  We also made some quick, half-sour pickles and canned some peaches and pears, as well.  All the while, Punc ran around with their golden retriever puppy and the guys grilled up dinner.

I cut it close this year.  We were down to our last jar from last year’s batch of relish (I brought our very last unopened jar with us to Cape Cod).  This is my favorite condiment on anything grilled, particularly hot dogs.  It’s also great to mix in to potato or pasta salads and–I admit–we have even mixed it into substandard batches of macaroni and cheese.  It was actually pretty good!  The squash is just different enough in flavor compared to the run of the mill sweet pickle relish, with a tiniest kick from the chili flakes, to make a really unexpected topping.  I also use much less sugar than most relish recipes, which makes for a nice change.

I got this recipe from a former coworker, during a year when she had a glut of yellow squash and a poor crop of cucumbers.  On a whim, she replaced all of the cucumbers with yellow squash and was left with fabulous results.  Thanks for creating an addiction, Sandy! 😉

This recipe is made to be canned in a water bath and to feed our cravings all year–it makes between 8 to 10 half-pint jars (cups) of relish.  If you are not interested in canning, you could certainly halve or even quarter the batch and it would last for a good long while if kept in the refrigerator.

squash relish hot dog

Yellow Squash Sweet Relish

  • 4 medium-large yellow crookneck squash
  • 2 medium sweet onions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. salt
  • 2 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. celery seed
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 c. apple cider vinegar

Finely dice all of the vegetables. They will shrink slightly during cooking, but not by much, so aim for the size that you would prefer in the final relish. Place the vegetables in large bowl. Sprinkle the ¼ cup of salt over the vegetables and cover with cold water. Allow this mixture to sit for two hours. It may get a little pungent, but don’t worry!

While you are waiting, prepare for the canning process.  Trust me, a pot large enough to cover jars can take forever to actually come to a boil.  Prepare your canning jars by washing with soap and water while bringing a large pot of water to boil.  If you have a canning rack, place it in the pot.  Submerge the sterile jars (unlidded) along with their lids and rings, then simmer for ten minutes.

Drain the vegetables and rinse well. Drain extremely well—I wrap the mix in a thin towel and wring out all of the liquid.

Combine the sugar, vinegar, and spices in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then add the vegetables and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for ten minutes.

Remove the jars, rings, and lids from the hot water, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

Pack the mixture into clean jar, remove the air bubbles, and clean the rim of the jar. Top with the lid and hand-tighten the ring. Process in a boiling water-bath for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.  Within a few minutes, you should hear the small “pop” and the button at the middle of the lid will depress, showing that you have properly created the vacuum seal. Leave the jars undisturbed for 24 hours, then tighten the rings and store.  If you can stand it, allow the relish a few weeks in a cool, dark place to really meld the flavors.

Store opened jars in the refrigerator.

squash relish mustard

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