Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1 hour + cooling


10 cups

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
My grandmom’s long-cherished chowchow recipe has Pennsylvania Dutch roots. The pickled relish of cabbage, onions and peppers is tart and sweet with a smidge of spice. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida


  • 3 pounds green tomatoes (about 5 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1 pound onions (about 3 medium)
  • 1 pound green and sweet red peppers (about 3 medium), seeded
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped, optional
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 2-3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons mixed pickling spices


  1. Chop tomatoes. Transfer to a strainer and sprinkle with salt; let tomatoes stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop cabbage, onions, and green and red peppers. Place in a Dutch oven. Add drained tomatoes to pan and, if desired, jalapeno.
  2. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Place pickling spices on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners to enclose spices; tie securely with string. Add spice bag to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Discard spice bag. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate leftovers.
Chowchow Tips

How can you serve chowchow?

Chowchow is one of those old-fashioned Southern foods that takes advantage of what's ready to harvest in the garden. It's a condiment that traditionally uses up the last of summer's produce. Serve it with pinto beans, black-eyed peas or as a topper for barbecue pork sandwiches, sausage or grilled fish. Stir it into your favorite potluck salads like macaroni or potato salad, or use it to boost flavor in chicken salad, egg salad or tuna salad recipes.

What else can you add to chowchow?

The whole idea of chowchow started with using up what's available seasonally, so you can swap in whatever you have on hand. It's not uncommon for versions in the Northern states to include green beans, cauliflower, corn kernels and lima beans. If you are a fan of spicy recipes, try adding a couple jalapeno peppers.

How long will chowchow last?

Since this chowchow recipe isn't one of our canned recipes that was made in a water bath canner and tested to verify its safety, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor
Peppers (Hot)
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 80 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 276mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.