Quick and easy cucumber relish that tastes just like dill pickles! Great for hamburgers or hot dogs. Make a small batch and skip the canning, or make more and preserve for longer storage.
This quick and easy dill pickle relish is a Summer favourite. It is super easy to make and makes a wonderful addition to all our Summer foods. Best of all, this small-batch relish needs no canning. Simply cook up and pop into the fridge to use over the Summer.
Use your relish as a hamburger or hot dog topping. Stir some into potato salad. Make a dill pickle dip. Use as a condiment on Cuban or Reuben sandwiches. Use anywhere you might use chopped dill pickles!
Coarse Pickling Salt – I’ve included a photo of the Coarse salt that I use in the Step-by-Step photos below. It is sometimes labelled as Pickling Salt as well. If you don’t have any on hand, you can with Coarse Kosher Salt, adding an additional 1 1/2 tsp to the original 2 Tbsp. Alternately, you can use fine sea salt in the same quantity as specified for the Coarse Pickling Salt
Cucumbers – mini cucumbers are recommended for this relish, as mini cucumbers have less moisture than larger cucumbers. You can use either field pickling (mini) cucumber, if they are in season or just pick up the mini English-style cucumbers that are available at most grocery stores most of the year. If you cannot find any mini cucumbers, you can use regular cucumbers, but remove and discard the seeded and high moisture centres before weighing out the required amount.
Dill Seeds – look for these in a small bottle in the jarred spices at the grocery store. Do note that you’ll need dill seed, not dill weed.
Mustard Seeds – again, you’ll find these in a small bottle in the jarred spice section of the grocery store. You want the small yellow, whole seeds, not a powdered mustard.
This is a summary of the process of making this Dill Pickle Relish. Always follow the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below when making the recipe, as all steps my not be illustrated here.
Cut cucumbers into chunks and process in a food processor until desired consistency. Place into a bowl and add Coarse salt and turmeric. Add water and stir together.
Cover the cucumbers and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to draw the moisture out of the cucumbers. Drain, rinse well to remove excess saltiness, then drain well, pressing down to remove as much moisture as possible. Process the onions to the same size as the cucumber.
In a large saucepan, add the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and dill seed and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Once the vinegar mixture is boiling, add the onions, garlic and well-drained cucumber to the pot. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Place into a large jar, allow to cool slightly, then place lid on jar and refrigerate.
Absolutely, just use a bigger pot. Do keep in mind that quantities larger than you can use in the short term should be canned with a hot water bath to prolong the shelf life of the relish.
Yes. Simply place into sterilized jars, top with two-part seal lids and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
Use it to top hamburgers or hot dogs. Stir some into your potato salad. Use it to make dill pickle dip or maybe dill pickle soup! Add it to sandwiches, such as a Cuban or Reuben.
No worries. Just bust out a sharp knife and hand chop instead. Be sure to take your time to get a consistently-sized chopped mixture.
If using mini or small pickling cucumbers, simply weigh before trimming, as you will be trimming off very little. If you need to use larger cucumbers, prepare first by quartering, then slicing off the seeded moist centre and discarding. After doing this, weigh the remainder as needed.
Simmer the relish until there is just a small amount of liquid visible on the bottom of the pan. You want to cook off most, but not all of the liquid. This photo shows when I stopped cooking my relish.
Get the Recipe: Dill Pickle Relish
- 2 lb. pickling or mini cucumbers, see Note 1
- 2 Tbsp Coarse Pickling Salt, see Note 2
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp granulated white sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp dill seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- Scrub the cucumbers and trim off ends. Cut into chunks.
- In a food processor (in batches if your food processor is small), pulse cucumbers 8 to 10 times to cut into 1/8-1/4 inch pieces. *You can make your relish chunky or smoother by simply processing less or more. I like mine a little chunky, to resemble chopped dill pickle. Process a bit more for a smoother relish.
- Place the processed cucumbers into a large bowl. Sprinkle cucumbers with salt and turmeric. Stir well to combine, then add the cold water. Stir again, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring a couple of times as it sits. Drain cucumber mixture in a large sieve. Rinse well under cold water to remove excess salt. Drain again, using your hand to press down on the mixture to remove as much moisture as possible.
- In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill seeds and mustard seed to a boil over medium heat Add cucumber mixture and onions to the pot and return to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, has lost its bright green colour and has just a bit of liquid left on the bottom of the pan, about 30 minutes. *Cook until you have just a thin layer of liquid visible at the bottom of the pan. You don’t want to cook all the liquid off.
- Add hot relish to a clean jar capable of holding about 2 1/2-3 cups (or several jars). Cover with clean lids and, If not canning, allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate to use from the fridge as needed. Will keep well in the fridge for several months.
- If you wish to can this relish, be sure to properly sterilize the jars and lids. After adding the relish to the jars, use a knife to slice through the mixture in the jars to remove any air pockets. Leave 1/2-inch of headspace in the jars. Add canning lid, then canning ring, screw on ring just until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. After placing the lids on, boil the filled jars in a boiling hot water canner for 10 minutes. After water canning, make sure the jars have sealed (indented on top), then the relish can be stored at room temperature for longer storage.
- Makes about 3 cups of relish.
- Small cucumbers are preferred as they have less moisture. If pickling field cucumbers are in season, they would be great. If not, opt for the mini, English-style snacking cucumbers available year-round at the grocery store. If you need to use larger cucumbers, prepare by quartering, cutting away the seeds and moist bits and discarding, then weighing the remaining cucumber.
- If you don’t have Coarse Pickling Salt on hand, substitute with an equal amount of fine sea salt or coarse Kosher salt, adding an addition 1/2 Tbsp of Kosher salt to the 2 Tbsp.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
This is delicious. I keep a jar of it in the fridge specifically to add to egg salad because it takes it to the next level.
So glad you are enjoying it, Carolyn :) Thanks so much!
You are so smart. Thanks for this. It will make some tonight. I have everything I need on hand. Any other condiments up you’re sleeve? Please share.
Hi Pat! And thanks :) This is one of my favourites, as a dill pickle fan. And yes, I have a few more condiments I like to make. I will try to share as the Summer goes on!