A bowl of Relish
Recipes » Pickles & Pickled Vegetables » Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish

Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish

My version of Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish begins with a variety of store-bought pickles and pickled green tomatoes. To these, I add fresh sweet red pepper, fresh Vidalia onion, fresh chopped zucchini, and finely minced fresh cauliflower. I allowed my relish to pickle for 24 hours before using on bratwursts and stirring the remainder into a batch of Bacon and Sweet Pickle Stuffed Eggs. This recipe “goes dill” if you’re not into sweet!

A bowl of food, with Relish

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish

Is Relish JUST Chopped Pickles?

NO WAY! And this clever method for a Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish allows you a fabulous way of putting an over-abundance of peppers, cauliflower, onions, and zucchini to good use! NO FORMAL PICKLING OR CANNING PROCESS REQUIRED!

That’s because that pickle juice from that almost empty jar of pickles is put to use “pickling” your chopped garden additions. I go a step further and add sweet bread and butter pickled green tomatoes to give the visual appeal some loft! If pickled green tomatoes don’t sound appealing, consider pickled banana pepper rings, pickled onions, or even pickled carrots.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Relish

Be clever and use a tablespoon of this relish when you make my Bacon & Sweet Pickle Stuffed Eggs. 

I grew up on a small farm in New Jersey. My Mom, aunts, and Grandmother all grew their own vegetables and fruits, and canned every bit of their harvests. I never formally learned to can.

What I DO LOVE is to eat. And food needs to taste great for even the pickiest of eaters to triumph over sketchy condiments. Pickle relish might not seem like it needs an update, but in my opinion, it can ALWAYS be better.

With no formal canning method required, overages of garden vegetables that are sometimes hard to use fast enough get repurposed in this simple and PRETTY pickle relish.

How This Recipe Came About…

This modified recipe for Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish is one I recall eating many times on everything from grilled frankfurters to plank finished pork tenderloin and requires no true canning procedure.

With all sorts of summer vegetables coming in just now, this recipe makes good use of a good variety of them, especially if you have half an onion or a quarter of red pepper leftover from some other recipe. This way, nothing gets thrown away.

This recipe yields about a cup and keeps under refrigeration for up to two weeks. Be creative when you are chopping your vegetables. Chop varying degrees of size for visual appeal.

Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish? Check The List!

fresh mixed garden vegetables such as sweet red pepper, onion, carrot, cauliflower, and zucchini
store-bought jarred pickles with juice/brine, choose sweet or dill
granulated sugar
ground cinnamon
white wine vinegar
Dijon mustard
mustard seed
onion powder
black pepper


store-bought pickled green tomatoes
store-bought pickled peppers

Sweet Or Dill?

Your choice, but choose one and stick with it. If you have a half empty jar of one or another in the fridge, consider going with that so you don’t have to purchase anything.

THE BRINE IS LIQUID GOLD! Don’t pour it down the drain. Instead, reserve it along with the bits of onion and pepper and mustard seed often used to help “pickle the pickles.” A small slotted vegetable spoon fishes those bits out easily.

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

If you are forced to cruise the grocery isle for a jar of pickles to begin with, here is your chance to make this relish not entirely average. Remember, choose sweet or dill and stick to it. Review other pickled vegetables available and choose a few.

Today, I am using a sweet pickled green tomato. They come sliced and then cut into halves. I will leave what I add exactly the way they come out of the jar because I love the visual the larger pieces add.

I also REALLY like adding a few of my own Pickled Sweet Peppers With Shallots And Thyme with store-bough sweet Vidalia onion slices. Together with chopped sweet pickles and a myriad of red pepper, zucchini, and crunchy cauliflower florets, I will have a beautiful relish to use on brats, pork tenderloin, or to stir into potato salad.

A bowl of Relish

Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
This modified recipe for Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish is one I recall eating many times on everything from grilled frankfurters to plank finished pork tenderloin and requires no true canning procedure.
No ratings yet
Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time 10 mins
Pickling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 211 kcal



Ingredients for Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish

  • 1/2 cup store-bought bread and butter pickles 1 to 2 tablespoons pickle juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup mixed garden vegetables such as sweet red pepper, sweet onion, carrot, cauliflower, or zucchini, rough chopped
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar may substitute granulated sugar; skip adding it directly into the food processor in step 2, and rather dissolve it completely in the wine vinegar before then adding in step 3
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon strong mustard such as Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • black pepper to taste


The Method

  • Add the store-bought bread and butter pickles and the rough chopped mixed garden vegetables to a food processor.
  • Pulse 1 to 2 times until you get a small chop. Then add the caster sugar and ground cinnamon.
  • Pulse again 1 to 2 pulses until you end up with a lightly coarse mixture. Scrape the blended pickle vegetable mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl (not metal). Add the pickled mustard seeds, pickle juice, mustard, vinegar, and onion powder. Season mildly with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir the relish well. Cover and let the relish marinate at room temperature for two hours. Then check the seasoning again and add extra cinnamon, sugar, onion powder or pepper if necessary. Transfer the relish to a jar or small bowl with a lid and refrigerate overnight. The flavors marry best the longer the relish sits.
  • Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.
  • This relish accompanies all kinds of grilled vegetables and meats and tastes especially impressive with a plank finished pork tenderloin if you enjoy cooking with cedar. The flavors and aromas open up with a bright and well chilled Grenache or a spiced Old Vine Zinfandel.


Serving: 1ounceCalories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 462mgPotassium: 307mgFiber: 5gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 697IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 127mgIron: 2mg
Keyword condiments, farmers market, flash pickles, hot dog relish, no canning, pickled, pickled vegetables, pickles, quick pickles, relish, sauces, summer vegetables, sweet and sour, sweet and sour pickles, what to serve with brats, what to serve with hot dogs
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
A bowl of food, with Relish and summer vegetable

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