Sweet and Hot Corn Relish (Award-Winning Recipe)

Sweet and Hot Corn Relish Recipe, Southern favorite corn relish recipe

Sweet and Hot Corn Relish

I’ve got a very simple canning project for you to do that is a Southern tradition. And for good reason: it’s delicious!  But don’t let canning scare you. You can also make this and freeze it. I mean it, you need to make this Corn Relish Recipe; no excuses! You will not even believe how many ways you can use this stuff! When I made mine, I swore I wasn’t giving one bit of it away. Oh, sure, I talk big. I have given some of it away, but most of it has gone straight into my pie hole! You’ll be just as greedy. I promise!  It’s heavenly!

Most families around here have their very own versions of Corn Relish. It’s just one of those things that you have to make and there are no two recipes alike; it’s a great way to preserve that beautiful summer corn. But, just like not really having to can this, you don’t have to use fresh corn either. Of course, it’s better with fresh, but frozen corn will work in a pinch. Like if you run out of corn relish too soon. *big smile*

I did can mine and this recipe will make 6 – 7 pints of pure gold in jars.

Like I said, there are a million ways to use corn relish. Most families I know will pull it out as a condiment for ham and pork chops, or to top pinto beans with some butter-slathered corn bread on the side.

In addition to those ideas, here are some of the other ways I use it:

        • Added to pico de gallo
        • On tacos or nachos
        • Stirred into scrambled eggs
        • Atop pulled pork
        • Pour over cream cheese as an appetizer with crackers (as shown)
        • On sandwiches
        • Right off a spoon

The possibilities are limitless.

Now, the title calls this sweet and hot. It’s not too much of either, it’s just right (as Goldilocks says). For the heat, I used a combination of jalapeno and habanero peppers (that my friend, Terry shared with me). Because I did, I decreased the amount of jalapeno peppers I would need. I’ll give you the measurements for both.

As to the sweet peppers, I used a combination of red, yellow and orange. I’ve said it before, but I want to point out to you how handy those little bags of mini snacking peppers are to have in your refrigerator. The variety of color they give to your cooking makes for a lot of eye appeal. I always keep them around.

I didn’t grow corn in Saucy’s Wee Kitchen Garden, but some customers of ours from Indiana brought us a big bag of beautiful corn…this relish is the result of their generosity.

You need to make this. You will thank me. P~

ETA: Since I posted this recipe, I entered this relish in The Blue Ribbon Country Fair held by the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Museum. It took Third Place in the “Pickle Relish” category and was the only corn relish among the winners.

Sweet Hot Corn Relish - Award-Winning Recipe

Sweet Hot Corn Relish – Award-Winning Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet and Hot Corn Relish
Corn Relish is a Southern tradition and something most everyone makes...this is my version.
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 7 pints
  • 9 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen thawed (about 14 ears of fresh)
  • 6 cups sweet onions, diced (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cups sweet bell peppers (I used red, orange and yellow), diced
  • 1 cup jalapeno peppers, minced (I used ½ cup jalapeno and 2 tablespoons habanero)
  • 3 cups cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canning salt or kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard (I used Colman's because it's got more kick)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  2. Prepare the jars and lids (6-7 pint jars).
  3. Fill a canning pot, or extra-large stockpot, about halfway with water.
  4. Add the jars and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and keep jars hot.
  6. In a small saucepan, add the lids and ladle out some of the boiling water to the sauce pan (enough to cover the lids) and let sit.
  8. Sterilize your containers in boiling water.
  10. In a large stockpot, combine corn, onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard, mustard seed and celery seed.
  11. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  12. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  13. Remove the jars from the hot water.
  14. Spoon the relish into the hot jars and wipe rims and jar threads with a damp paper towel.
  15. Put the lids on the jars and attach the rings snugly. Then back them off about ¼ turn.
  16. Place the jars on a rack in the canning pot (or large stockpot) and lower into the water. You want the jars to be completely covered with water, with about an inch of water above the tops of the jars.
  17. Bring the water back to a boil, cover, and boil gently for 15 minutes.
  18. Remove the jars from the water and place on a dry kitchen towel to completely cool. The jars will pop as they seal. Any jar that hasn't sealed (if you press the lid it will pop), just refrigerate rather than storing in the pantry.
  20. Spoon the corn mixture into your freezer containers, allow to cool and freeze.


This reminds me too…back when I made this, I published the photo below on Instagram. If you don’t already follow me there, you might want to…I often give sneak peeks into upcoming posts as well as other silly things that interest me.

Sweet and Hot Corn Relish Recipe

Sweet and Hot Corn Relish Cooking


Sweet and Hot Corn Relilsh

Sweet and Hot Corn Relish


Sweet and Hot Corn Relish Recipe, Southern favorite corn relish recipe

Sweet and Hot Corn Relish

About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight.

I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I’m gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading…and commenting! P~

This entry was posted in Canning, Condiments, Snacks, Southern, Vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Sweet and Hot Corn Relish (Award-Winning Recipe)

  1. You are a woman after my own heart. I love how much you can! and i love how this relish looks. I want to try it on EVERYTHING! 🙂

    • P~ says:

      I’ve always done “some” canning each year, but I’ve gotten to go hog-wild this year since I stopped working in our shop and started cooking and writing full-time. I’m in absolute heaven! There is nothing better to me than preserving the fresh flavours of Summer to have when the weather is dismal and produce scarce.

      This stuff is heaven in a jar…I pictured choirs of angels in the white background of the photo, pushing forth this golden, delicious relish! LOL! P<3

  2. You’ve got some motivation. I just keep making pickles 😉

    • P~ says:

      HA! Well, I stopped at 12 gallons of pickles. Now, I’m realizing (since I’m a pickleholic) that wasn’t quite enough. Either that, or I need to cut back on my consumption of said pickles! *snort* As if. 😉

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  4. Nancy says:

    I made corn relish one year & froze it, but couldn’t remember if I had to process in water first before freezing…….Now by your recipe, I guess I don’t have to process first…….thanks If this isn’t true, please email me at larrna44@aol.com before I make it next week……….August 17 week……..

    Thanks, recipe sound delicious………….

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  6. Marina Morgan says:

    I live above 5,000 feet altitude (Albuquerque , NM)
    Is this recipe acidic enough to can (with the longer time factor) in a water bath at our altitude?I’m dying to eat corn relish but don’t want to actually die due to improper preparation (LOL).

    • Marina, I don’t think you would have to change a single thing for this recipe to work for you. This recipe already has a 15 minute boiling water bath, it’s my understanding that 3001-6000 feet requires just 10 minutes. P~

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