Garden Tomato Relish Recipe
Garden Tomato Relish Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Garden Tomato Relish Recipe

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4.5 25 21
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What a great way to use your garden harvest—and have a tasty relish on hand for hotdogs, hamburgers and other dishes. Why not share a jar with a friend or neighbor? —Kelly Martel, Tillsonburg, Onario
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1-1/2 hours + simmering Process: 20 min.
MAKES:160 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1-1/2 hours + simmering Process: 20 min.
MAKES: 160 servings


  • 10 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 large sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet red peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canning salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoon: 20 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 136mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add tomatoes, a few at a time; boil for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately place tomatoes in ice water. Drain and pat dry; peel and finely chop. Place in a stockpot. Add onions and peppers.
  2. Place mustard and celery seed on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add spice bag and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 60-75 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard spice bag.
  3. Carefully ladle relish into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process in boiling-water canner for 20 minutes. Yield: 10 pints.
Editor's Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.
Originally published as Garden Tomato Relish in Taste of Home June/July 2009, p43

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cillabilli User ID: 1024537 252079
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2016

"This recipe was made by my great grandmother, and I made it for years after my mother gave up the recipe. Great on baked beans and hamburgers--some years it was more runny and I blamed the tomatoes."

PatLagace User ID: 1307810 235861
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2015

"This makes an absolutely delicious red relish. My sister, who considers herself a red relish aficionado, says it's the best she's ever had. One of the reasons is probably because I used my abundant garden ripened tomatoes. I'll have to use store bought tomatoes one day to see how much of a difference it makes. I drained a lot of the juice and used it to make the best tomato juice for breakfast the next day. Win, win."

Jerro User ID: 7785972 101701
Reviewed May. 1, 2014

"The instructions omit squeezing juice and seeds into a strainer set over a bowl. Us the tomato juice for breakfast, and save the seeds for planting next year, just don't put the juice and seeds in the pot, just the drained, seeded tomatoes. I roast the peppers in a hot oven for a half hour, then cool so skinning is easier. You only have to cook for 20-25 minutes at a low simmer. Cooking much longer will result in tomato sauce. Prefer chunky pieces of tomato, onion and peppers. I also like half the peppers to be green bell peppers. If you don't remove the skin, it will be bitter."

justjanie User ID: 183110 145058
Reviewed Aug. 9, 2013

"I don't know what happened...Mine did not even resemble the photo. Had to simmer forever to get it to reduce. I ended up with a dark brown BBQ sauce, I did go on & can it to use in baked beans & pulled pork but will probably toss it as no one seems impressed with it. What a waste of fresh tomatoes & a lot of work ! This is the first time I have EVER given such a crumby rating for a recipe!"

Mayde2013 User ID: 7357363 183349
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2013

"Makes baked beans sit up and take notice!!!!!"

mas4144 User ID: 6300876 145057
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2013

"To those of you who said the recipe was too runny. When I chopped my tomatoes I put them in a strainer to drain off the extra liquid. I only made half a recipe and I drained off one full cup of liquid with plenty of liquid left to make the relish.

This method seems to have worked fine."

azreal User ID: 5986831 166151
Reviewed Sep. 18, 2012

"not sure why but mine was way to runny..simmering with lid on didn't help. Should the tomatoes possibly have been seeded first?"

J3_Dog User ID: 6812792 106660
Reviewed Aug. 13, 2012


We used to make a green relish also for hot dogs and Beans. It was Chow Chow. We made it with Green tomatoes, cabbage, cider vinegar,sugar, salt, and a few other items. I might be able to find the recipe, but you should be able to google it "Chow Chow" Hope that helps Jim"

Betsy Maier User ID: 3131707 101136
Reviewed Aug. 9, 2012

"This is a truly amazing sauce on burgers and dogs, loved by my family and friends. I do however simer it uncovered for 4-5 hours until it is nice and thick. The volume is reduced by about 1/2 by the end of the process. To add a bit of spice, I add a couple of jalepenos. My husband loves this version even better than the original."

shereebates User ID: 2993360 106656
Reviewed Aug. 5, 2012

"My friends and neighbors beg me for a jar of this relish when they know that I've made it. I added a bit of jalapeno to it to make it taste sweet AND sassy :D"

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