Easy Refrigerator Zucchini Relish

jar of zucchini relish

This old fashioned sweet and spicy zucchini relish is a great way to use up that big old zucchini you found hiding in the garden (or for the one left on your front step by a ‘well meaning’ neighbour). Using the refrigerator pickling method, there is no need to worry about fussing with water-bath canning or making 30 jars at once. Simply make the recipe, put it in jars and pop in the fridge. They’ll last you a couple months and provide you with delicious relish to put on sausages, burgers, rice, egg salad, bbq meats, sandwiches, and more! 

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time15 min
  • Total Time30 min
  • Ready in2.5 Hrs
  • Yield2 - 500ml or pint jars


For the Spice Mix*

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 2 green cardamom pods

For the Relish

  • 1 large (overgrown) or 2 medium zucchini (courgettes)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • spice mix


For the Spice Mix


Combine all of the spices and either grind them, or leave them whole depending on your preference. If left whole, the spices will provide a POP of intense flavour every once in a while when eating the relish. 

For the Relish



zucchini being cut on cutting board

Chop the zucchini, peppers, and onions into similar sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Mince the jalapeño and do the same. 



Add the salt to the bowl and mix everything together well. Put the veggies in a colander and set the colander in the bowl. Let sit on the counter for 2 hours. This will help draw out some of the water inside the vegetables.


chopped vegetables draining in colander

After 2 hours, drain the vegetables. 


Add the rest of the ingredients to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the drained vegetables and stir to combine. 

cooked mixture in the pot


Cook mixture on a low simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Let cool then transfer to jars.

3 jars of zucchini relish


Keep in the fridge for a couple months, if you can manage to keep it that long! Enjoy!

*Feel free to use a pre-made pickling spice with a tablespoon of turmeric added if you prefer. You can grind the spices, or leave them whole if you prefer the odd POP of spice when you’re eating your relish!

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