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30 March 2016

Chow Chow is a quick pickled relish made with a combination of vegetables. Our version includes a mixture of bell and banana peppers along with fresh cucumber and basil. We’re ready for Spring!

Patty and I were at the grocery store recently and they had some crazy sales going on. We’re talking super cheap bell peppers of every color. You should have seen my face as I approached the display with all those vibrant capsicums piled up and threatening to spill over.

In fact, some of them DID spill over, right into our cart. Eleven of them, to be exact. It was a “Buy 10, Get 1 Free” deal. I just had to! PLUS! There were cucumbers. Oh my! HUGE cucumbers.

Patty needed one for a particular cocktail she was planning to make, but somehow we wound up with THREE of them in our cart.

So! What does one do with too many peppers and cucumbers in the fridge? One makes CHOW CHOW.

Chile-Cucumber Chow Chow - Recipe

Really? YEP. What exactly IS Chow Chow?

What is Chow Chow?

It’s more of a southern U.S. recipe. At its core, it is a combination of vegetables that are quick pickled and used as a condiment. Of course anytime you have a general recipe, it leaves it open for interpretation.

Which I have admittedly done!

I’ve interpreted Chow Chow through our Chili Pepper Madness filter, and included PLENTY of chile peppers, along with said cucumbers. I also included some banana peppers, which were also on sale – Oh Dear, Help me!

I’m OBSESSED with peppers – as well as some torn basil from the little plant in our kitchen that just keeps going and going! Great stuff!

With Spring here and gardens on your mind, this is a recipe to keep in your back pocket to help you preserve those wonderful chile peppers and other garden delights so you can use them much longer.

Besides, it is nice to have a sweet and tangy relish on hand for MANY a meal. Use this like you would use any type of condiment. Spoon it over chicken or fish, onto grilled meats that are popped into a bun, into cold soups, over quick tacos, over a plate of beans.

So many ideas!

Chile-Cucumber Chow Chow - Recipe

Doesn’t it look pretty? So bright and inviting. This will last a few months in the fridge, all sealed up properly. Time go get chowing!

Check Out These Other Popular Pepper Relish Recipes

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.

Chile-Cucumber Chow Chow - Recipe

Chow Chow is a quick pickled relish made with a combination of vegetables. Our version includes a mixture of bell and banana peppers along with fresh cucumber and basil. We're ready for Spring!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 62kcal


  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper if desired for some heat
  • ½ cucumber diced
  • 2 bell peppers diced – Use red, yellow, or orange, or a combo. Green is fine, but the color will be boring.
  • 3 banana peppers diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil


  • Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper (if using) to a wide pan. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes, or until the liquids reduce by about a half.
  • Add the cucumber and peppers. Stir and cook a couple of minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Let sit about 30 minutes to get that quick pickling.
  • Stir in the basil and serve.
  • You can store this in the fridge for at least a month or longer.


Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2065IU | Vitamin C: 95.2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.4mg


  1. Update: Made this in Sept and just finished the last jar 5 months later. Used sterilized jars and kept in fridge. There’s a lot of acid in this so it would definitely keep this way all winter. We grow hot Hungarian wax peppers well around here, so next year I’ll use those and skip the chili. Once again, thank you! P.S, You didn’t mention the most wonderful use – hotdogs and hamburgers!

  2. I just polished off my 1st of 2 jars of this. Bravo! I only did 2 just to try it but this is lovely and fresh especially in winter. It will be in my regular rotation every summer from now on ☺ Oh and since I’m diabetic, I made it with erythritol (Swerve in the US) and it’s perfect. Thank you.

    REPLY: That’s great, Lulu. Thanks! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  3. Phil Minor

    Chow-chow recipe looks pretty good but being from the south and having made chow-chow for at least 50 years you have left out at least two very important spices that truly make it “chow-chow”. True chow-chow must have mustard seeds and celery seeds and a little dash of tumeric. Just sayin’….Love your newsletter!

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