Chili Pepper Madness

July 29, 2015

Hot Pepper Relish

Hot Pepper Relish Hot Pepper Relish

This very simple recipe for pickled pepper relish is great for grilling food, but also for preserving your abundant pepper harvest. Use this with any type of chili pepper.

This very simple recipe for pickled pepper relish is great for any type of food you can prepare on the grill. We're talking steaks, chicken breasts, burgers, brats, even the good old hot dog. It's one of those wonder condiments that goes with so many dishes. Extra bonus - it is also a GREAT way to preserve your abundant pepper harvest.

Loaded with wonderful chili peppers, a bit of onion and garlic, it packs in the flavor.

Hot Pepper Relish

Seriously, if your garden is practically exploding with chili peppers like mine does every year, consider the humble relish. The vinegar not only makes the relish delicious and somewhat sweet, it acts as a preservative, letting you keep your peppers around longer so you can enjoy them. You can realistically use this recipe on ANY type of chili pepper.

Just be sure to chop them up to consistent sizes and chunks. If you're working with bell peppers and ghost peppers, for example, those two peppers have very different thickness of their pepper walls. Bells are meatier and thicker, where ghost peppers are thinner. Chop them up accordingly so the bites are fairly consistent throughout.

Hot Pepper Relish

If you're looking for a truly HOT pepper relish, absolutely consider some of the superhot chili peppers. You have your choice with Morugas, 7-Pots, scorpions, bhut jolokias, though you really don't have to go THAT hot.

You can always use some in the upper range of the heat scale, like the wonderful habanero pepper, maybe red savinas, even on down to cayenne, red jalapenos, red serranos. Notice a RED theme here?

I LOVE a colorful pepper relish recipe! Yellow and orange are always welcomed colors, as is green, but green isn't quite as enticing as a brightly colored pepper relish. But the choice is yours!!

Hot Pepper Relish

Enjoy! It's time to make the relish!

Hot Pepper Relish Recipe


  • 3 cups chopped hot chili peppers – You can use a mix of peppers if you’d like, anywhere from mild bells to superhots like Morugas or Scorpions, though I like to keep the thickness of the peppers about the same so the overall consistency is even. Lean toward hotter peppers. For this, I used some sweet Italian peppers but included a couple ghost peppers.
  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large pan and heat to medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a light boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 25-30 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and absorbed into the mixture.
  3. Add to a jar and allow to cool.
  4. Serve!

Makes about 4 cups.

Don't Stop Here! How About Some More Chili Pepper Recipes and Info?


  • Comment Link Carol August 28, 2017 posted by Carol

    How much relish does it make?

    REPLY: Carol, this will yield about 4 cups. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Heather August 13, 2017 posted by Heather

    I have peppers coming out my ears! Came online looking for a recipe similar to "Tuong Ot Toi VietNam Chili Garlic Sauce" and found this one. Looks awesome! Any suggestions for canning this recipe?

    REPLY: Heather, that's great. Check out the preserving section on our site. I hope this helps! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link mark May 29, 2017 posted by mark

    if storing would i add oil

    REPLY: Mark, no, the acidity should be low enough for processing. No real need to add in oil. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link dak November 07, 2016 posted by dak

    Thanks for this. We grow padrón peppers, and if you go on vacation and leave them on the plant they get very hot. But they make a delicious relish with this recipe. Seed them first and the relish is not too hot, but hot enough. I cut the recipe in thirds to try it out and used maybe 1 1/2t salt. Thanks again. It's tailor made for a spread with beef, like a chimichurri.

  • Comment Link parker boerner September 30, 2016 posted by parker boerner

    can you freeze it?

    REPLY: Parker, yes, you can, though I think it would get pretty soft once thawed. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Carole September 12, 2016 posted by Carole

    Holy moly this is good. I used a combination of habenaro,red thai chill hot purple and long red sweet. Had to cook it much longer than 30 minutes but I think it was because I used medium onion.

  • Comment Link samantha August 05, 2016 posted by samantha

    Divine, thank you, have been looking for a recipe like this for ages, I think I caramelised the sugar too much but it's still amazing|

  • Comment Link Gordon September 06, 2015 posted by Gordon

    This was absolutely delicious. I also added some thawed frozen mango pieces to help sweeten and flavor the relish. I did reduce the sugar as a result. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Comment Link Lucy @ Bake Play Smile August 28, 2015 posted by Lucy @ Bake Play Smile

    Oh this would be perfect with so many dishes! Love it!! Thanks so much for linking up with Fabulous Foodie Fridays! Have a great weekend xx

  • Comment Link Mike from Chili Pepper Madness August 02, 2015 posted by Mike from Chili Pepper Madness

    If stored in a sealed container in the fridge, this can easily last a week or longer, because of the vinegar, though if you preserve it via proper canning or jarring methods, with a waterbath and sterilized jars that are sealed, it can last as long as any canned goods.

  • Comment Link Joe August 01, 2015 posted by Joe

    Looks great. How would you suggest perserving to carry through the winter? Bought a similar item from American Spoon, their "Chili Jam", great taste, but $13 for a small 8 ounce jar! Joe,

  • Comment Link David August 01, 2015 posted by David

    Hi there...could I just ask how long this sauce will need if jarred properly ?

Leave a comment

Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

About Us

Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US


Jalapeno Poppers and other Stuffed Chili Peppers Cookbook