Sweet Red Pepper Relish for Canning

One of my favorite appetizers to serve during the holidays is a very simple one.  You place an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese on a plate to soften.  Then right before your guests arrive, you open a jar of sweet red pepper relish and pour it over top of the cream cheese.  Then you set it out with a small serving spatula and a bowl of crackers.

What could be easier?  But those little jars of red pepper relish are sometimes hard to find and a little pricey.  I've been wanting to find a recipe for canning some.  I found a recipe online at www.food.com, so today I headed over to the farm market and bought some red peppers and got to work.

The recipe said to chop the red peppers finely.  I decided to try pulsing them in a food processor.  I doubled the recipe, which called for six large red peppers.

Place the chopped peppers in a sauce pot, add sugar, salt, cornstarch and vinegar, and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, prepare your jars and heat up the water bath for canning.  The doubled recipe fills seven pint jars. I used 14 half-pint jars and heated the filled jars in the water bath for 10 minutes.

As always, when I'm canning, I had to try some this evening.  I spread some cream cheese on crackers and spooned some of the relish on top.  Please be warned -- this snack if very addictive!

Red Sweet Pepper Relish
(This is the doubled recipe)

12 large sweet red peppers (I actually used 14)
3 C. white granulated sugar
4 T. cornstarch
2 t. salt
2 C. apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; simmer for one hours.  Fill prepared canning jars and process for 10 minutes.  Yield:  14 half-pint jars 

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  1. I also love this appetizer. This canning season I have been sterilizing my jars in the oven and the lids, rings, tongs in a hot water bath. Much easier method. Happy canning!!

    1. Thanks for commenting Phyllis. How long to you heat your jars in the over and at what temp?

  2. Hi, I am anxious to try your recipe as it looks to be what I have been looking for. But I have always used ClearJel instead of cornstarch in my canning recipes. Does the cornstarch hold up? Daviann

    1. Hi. I'm not sure what type of thickness you have in mind. This sweet red pepper relish is the thickness of just that--a relish, not a jam or jelly. Picture sweet pickle relish that you would put on a hot dog or sandwich. I love this sweet red pepper relish poured over cream cheese and then spread on crackers. It holds up great as a relish. It's so easy to make. Maybe trying making 1/4 recipe to see if you like it before making a big batch for canning. Thanks for coming by and commenting! ~Katie

  3. Made this and we love it!