Sweet Jalapeno Relish Recipe


Sweet jalapeno relish  Recipe is a tasty accompaniment to chicken and burgers, but you don’t want to spend days preparing it for your family. This simple recipe can be made in under 30 minutes, which means you can enjoy this spicy condiment on any dish with no hassle. Sweet Jalapeno Relish is a great accompaniment to any barbecue. Made with sugar, tomatoes, vinegar and jalapenos, this condiment never lasts very long in my fridge!

Spicy ‘n Sweet Pepper Relish (No Canning)

Spicy ‘n Sweet Pepper Relish is a tasty condiment that is amazing on pork, chicken, fish, and even burgers! No canning is required! This onion and pepper relish recipe is the perfect way to use up some of those vegetables in the garden!

This relish is made with red bell peppers and onions, jalapeños, brown sugar, and vinegar. You can easily use a brown sugar substitute instead of regular sugar too! 🙂

A clear glass jar filled with sweet pepper relish and a spoon in it ready for seving

❤️ Sweet Pepper Relish

“If you’ve never tried a sweet pepper relish, you are in for a treat! The blend of peppers and onions (jalapeno, and sweet pepper) with brown sugar is ahh-mazing.” 🙂 -Kori

Simple to Make

I think you’ll find this pepper relish pretty simple to make. The hardest part is letting it reduce and thicken on low for 20 to 25 minutes while stirring occasionally.


What do a chef in Wisconsin and a jar of Parisienne onion jelly have in common? Well, let me tell you! 😉

I love this stuff! It’s delicious and works on so many things. The inspiration for this recipe came from two places – my nephew Jake, a wonderful chef up in Wisconsin, serves this sauce on his peanut butter burgers – it’s an AMAZING combination!

The second place was from a jar of onion preserves I picked up in Paris while on a trip a few years ago. I served my onion jelly at a party over cream cheese with crackers, and everyone went nuts!

While the French version was heavy on the onion, my nephew’s recipe is more of a sweet jalapeno, pepper, and onion relish with a bit of kick (but not too spicy). Both recipes are similar, and I’m super excited to share this recipe with you!

No Sugar Added Pepper Relish Recipe

If a brown sugar substitute is used, this relish becomes gluten-free, low carb, and keto-friendly, with no added sugar. This relish adds a lot of flavors, and no one will know that this is healthy. 🙂

While the full nutritional value is provided at the end of the recipe card, here are the most important if you’re following a sugar-free low carb keto plan:

0.1 g fat | 1.4 g net carbs | 0.3 g protein | 1 g sugar

🥘 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make spicy ‘n sweet pepper relish.

Ingredients needed to make sweet pepper relish
  • Jalapeños – I used jalapeno hot peppers but you can take it even hotter with spicier peppers such as habanero. If you don’t want spicy at all you can use green bell peppers.
  • Red Onion
  • Sweet Red Bell Pepper – you can use any color pepper, but red bell peppers tends to be sweeter than other colors. Orange or yellow bell peppers can be used (or a mix).
  • Garlic
  • Red Wine Vinegar – you can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Brown Sweetener – Use a brown sugar substitute if making this sugar-free or regular brown sugar. Lately I have been using an allulose brown sugar alternative as it doesn’t have a cold feel and won’t crystallize once refrigerated as erythritol will.
  • Unflavored gelatin – to use as a thickener if using a brown sugar substitute.
  • Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

🍽 Equipment

  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium-sized nonstick saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Chef knife
  • Cutting Board
  • 1 Airtight jar – 1 pint or 2 half-pint jars (that way you can keep one and share the other with a friend!).

🔪 How To Make Sweet Pepper Relish

Here’s how to make sweet pepper relish:

Saute The Vegetables

Add jalapenos, red bell pepper, onion, and garlic in a medium-sized nonstick saucepan. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they soften.

Simmer The Relish

Add vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer and reduce heat.

Continue to gently simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced and the relish thickens, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: If using a brown sugar substitute, the mixture will thicken, but not as much as if you use regular brown sugar. Remove the relish from the heat after 25 minutes. Add 1 packet of unflavored gelatin and whisk or stir until it’s well incorporated.

Cool and Serve or Store For Later

Allow relish to cool, then transfer to an airtight jar or container. Refrigerate until you are ready to use, up to 2 weeks.

🥗 How To Use

Need easy serving suggestions? Here’s how to use this pepper and onion relish:

  • Serve over or alongside pork, fish, beef, lamb, or chicken. It doesn’t matter if it’s grilled, broiled, seared, or other – it all tastes good. One of my favorites – serve it on grilled chicken or these grilled pork steaks!
  • Use it as a condiment for burgers, hot dogs, and bratwurst.
  • Spread it on grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Serve over cream cheese for the most delicious sweet pepper relish and cream cheese dip!
  • Easy appetizer recipe: Make crostini by toasting thin slices of french or Italian bread. Spread cream cheese over the top then the relish. Garnish with chives or other favorite fresh herb.
  • Roast some vegetables and toss with a little of the relish. It will liquefy slightly when warm and will coat the veggies in the most delicious way.
  • Spread on a biscuit, roll, or some crackers.
  • Make a new kinda PB&J! Use this sweet pepper relish and peanut butter instead of regular jelly.

📖 Variations

There are several ways you can vary or make substitutions to this sweet pepper relish recipe:

  • Make it spicier with a little hot sauce or by adding more fresh jalapeno.
  • Substitute shallots, green onion, yellow, or sweet onion, for the red onion. Keep in mind that red onions are sweet, so if you substitute a different onion this may affect the overall sweetness of the recipe.
  • If you prefer a smoother relish use a food processor and puree it to your desired consistency.
  • You can use red peppers or green peppers – any color you have on hand. Red is sweeter than green, though.
  • You can use regular brown sugar if you aren’t following a sugar free diet.
  • Using different kinds of vinegar will give you a variety of flavors.

💭 Top Tips

  • I prefer using an allulose brown sugar alternative instead of monk fruit erythritol because erythritol will crystallize once chilled and can also give you a slight cooking effect in your mouth. Allulose does neither.
  • If you prefer a thicker relish use 1 whole packet of gelatin, if you want it less thick than use 1/2 packet. It does not change the flavor – only the thickness.
  • While simmering, make sure to watch the pot carefully and stir frequently so the relish does not burn.
  • Feel free to halve this recipe, or separate into smaller containers and give some to a friend!
  • Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  • This recipe serves 16. If you don’t need that many servings, feel free to half the recipe.

❓ FAQs

How do you store homemade onion and pepper relish?

This red pepper relish recipe is not canned; therefore it needs to be stored in an airtight jar or container with a tight lid for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Is this relish recipe keto friendly?

This spicy and sweet pepper relish recipe is keto-friendly if you use a brown sugar substitute. With a brown sugar substitute, this recipe has only 1.4 net carbs in total.

What is pepper relish made of?

The answer to this varies with each recipe, but most commonly pepper relish is made of a combination of sweet bell peppers and hot peppers along with a sweetener (sugar, brown sugar, sugar substitute), and vinegar (usually, apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc.)

What is pepper relish good on?

Use on grill or roasted meats, poultry, pork, and fish. It’s the perfect condiment for burgers, grilled cheese, and hot dogs. Use it as a glaze on ham and pork. It also makes an easy appetizer with crostini, cream cheese, then topped with the relish.

Simple Jalapeño Relish Recipe – Just 7 Ingredients

Relish is one of my favorite homemade condiments. Since we grow dozens of pepper plants each year, we end up making a lot of homemade spicy jalapeño relish.

In this article, I’ll share our simple jalapeno relish recipe using just 7 ingredients. It is tangy, sweet, and will last for weeks in the refrigerator. You can even can it for long term storage!

Simple spice jalapeno relish in jar
Spicy jalapeno relish.

Ingredients for Jalapeno Relish

At its most simple, relish is made up of cooked and pickled chopped vegetables (and sometimes fruits) to make a tasty condiment. You can ferment your ingredients to make relish, but I prefer to use vinegar for a quicker method.

This recipe is all about the jalapeños. There is a reason they dominate supermarkets in the US – they are smokey, crunchy, and have the perfect amount of heat for most people.

Ingredient List:

  • Jalapeño. These spicy green peppers are easy to find and make up the majority of this recipe. If you want an even spicier relish, feel free to throw in something hotter such as a cayenne or even a habanero or ghost pepper.
  • Red onion. After much experimenting with simple relish recipes, red onion (or shallot) makes the perfect compliment to the rest of the ingredients. They also add a beautiful color to the finished product.
  • Sugar. This is a sweet relish, so sugar is required. I experimented with less sugar and it just isn’t quite the same. Of course feel free to use a sugar-free substitute at the appropriate amount.
  • Salt & pepper. Just a touch of salt to make the flavors pop, and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper.
  • White vinegar. White vinegar allows the natural colors of the jalapenos to shine in this relish. You could use white wine vinegar instead if you prefer the flavor.
  • Celery seed. While fresh celery is perfectly usable in as a substitute, a small amount of celery seed adds a surprising amount of taste. Plus, we’ll be toasting the seeds to bring out the oils and maximize flavor.
Fresh jalapeno peppers
Fresh jalapenos and red onion for relish.

With a star-studded ingredient list like this, I’m sure you agree that this can’t possibly be bad (and you’re right, it is delicious). However, feel free to use this as a base and tinker to your liking with other herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients.

Tip: Other common ingredients used for relishes include cucumber, mustard seeds, turmeric, ginger, and garlic.

How to Make Jalapeno Relish

The most important thing to get right is the proportion of fresh ingredients to liquid ingredients. The amount of sugar you add can be varied to your sweetness preference.


  • 1.5 cup jalapeños, finely diced (about 6 peppers)
  • 0.5 cups red onion, finely diced (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cracks black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed, toasted (substitute 1/4 cup fresh celery, finely diced)

*Makes ~1 cup finished relish

Time needed: 15 minutes.

How To Make Jalapeno Relish

  1. Finely dice peppers and onion.Remove the stems from the jalapenos. Slice lengthwise into thin sticks, then chop into tiny cubes, about 1/8-1/4″ thick. Finely dice the red onion the same way.Dicing jalapenos for spicy relish
  2. Toast celery seeds.Place a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the celery seed, shaking constantly for about 1 minute or until it becomes fragrant.Toasting celery seeds in pan
  3. Add all other ingredients.Add the diced jalapenos and red onion, sugar, salt, black pepper, and white vinegar to the pan. Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved.Adding spicy relish ingredients to pan
  4. Simmer about 10 minutes.Bring the mixture to a light simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Don’t let all of the liquid evaporate, as the spicy relish will thicken up after it cools.Spicy Relish simmering in pan
  5. Cool and store in jar.Once the mix has thickened slightly, remove it from heat and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. Add it to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.Simple spice jalapeno relish recipe

The most important step is getting the cooking time right. If your relish turns out a bit too thick and syrupy, simply add a bit more vinegar after removing from the heat.

It is very easy to boil the relish too vigorously, so shoot for a light simmer and watch it closely. The mix should still look somewhat watery when it is finished, as the sugar will thicken it when it is cooled.

Once the relish is cooled enough, give it a taste! If you’re a relish lover, I am sure you’ll be happy with the flavor and you’ll be craving grilled foods.

How Long Does It Last?

I always store this relish in the refrigerator where it will keep for at least 2-3 weeks. The vinegar paired with high sugar content will preserve the jalapeno relish well.

If you want to make a large batch, you could use the waterbath canning method to make the relish shelf stable for months. Just follow safety standards by using new jar lids and boiling for the correct amount of time.

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