September 1, 2022

Chow Chow Southern Relish

I first had Chow Chow Relish at my friend Sara’s house. I loved the yellow color of all the veggies packed into the pint jars and thought it was an excellent condiment for the sausages they served at their cabin cookout.  Sara learned about it from her sister-in-law, who lived in Mississippi. Chow Chow is big in the South. many folks think of it as using up the last of the season’s vegetables before the harvest goes bad. Peppers, green tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices make the base of Chow Chow.

This recipe is adapted from Nannies Chow Chow which was published in Southern Living. I like things a bit spicier, so I added some red jalapeno I had in the garden and a few more spices to amp up the savory vs sweet quality of the relish. I also grated my vegetables with my Cuisinart attachment, but many folks prefer the chunkier chopped Chow Chow versions that are all processed by hand. 

How do you use Chow Chow besides as a hot dog relish? I was wondering the same thing, and here is what I came up with after scouring the internet. However you use your Chow Chow, try it this garden season.

  1. In the South, the most popular way to eat Chow Chow relish is on pinto beans or black-eyed peas.
  2. Use as a condiment on a shredded BBQ pork sandwich 
  3. Mix into Tuna, Chicken or Egg salad sandwiches
  4. Add to potato salad
  5. Mix into cream cheese with sour cream to create a chip dip
  6. In deviled eggs.
  7. Mix some with mayonnaise for a homemade tarter sauce.
  8. Mix chow-chow relish in your meatballs.
  9. Use on shrimp or fish tacos
  10. Stir into rice as a side or to enhance a cold rice salad
Chow Chow Relish

Chow Chow Relish

Yield: 7 pint jars

Chow Chow is a southern condiment that preserves the last of the garden summer season. Use it on hot dogs, sausages, or to top pinto beans.


  • 6 medium green tomatoes (4 -5 cups)
  • 3 medium yellow onions, (4 cups)
  • 2 large red bell peppers, (4 cups)
  • 2 jalapenos seeded, ribs removed
  • 1 large cabbage, shredded - (8-10 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pickling or kosher salt
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


    1. Chop or shred your vegetables. How small or large you chop your pieces is a matter of personal preference. 1 grate everything in my Cuisinart with the grater blade.
    2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large nonreactive bowl.
    3. Combine salt and 4 cups water; stir until the salt is completely dissolved and pour over vegetables. Toss to combine and chill 8 hours.
    4. Drain vegetables; rinse and discard liquid.
    5 Combine vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large Dutch oven. Add the vegetables and bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.
    5. Pack hot mixture into hot jars, filling to 1 inch from the top of the jar to allow for expansion
    6. wipe the jar tops to remove any vegetable residue and cover them with metal lids and screw bands on firmly but not too tight
    .7. Lower jars into boiling water and let sit 10 minutes
    8. Remove jars and let sit undisturbed on the counter for 24 hours
    9. Check seals to make sure they are sealed properly.
    10. Refrigerate and use any that did not seal
    11. Remaining jars can last up to a year in a cool, dry pantry


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