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Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish

Fermented Sweet Pickle RelishThe delicate tang of sweet pickle relish is a summertime favorite when slathered on a stadium hot dog or a hamburger from the backyard grill. By choosing to make a traditional fermented sweet pickle relish, it will taste similar to the jarred varieties you’ve been purchasing at the grocery store (most of which contain high-fructose corn syrup), instead it is chock-full of nutritious real food and fermented for a probiotic punch. You’ll get all the health benefits without anyone realizing you swapped in a fermented food.

New to Fermented Foods? Start HERE with the 5 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods at Every Meal

A relish is a cooked, pickled, or chopped vegetable or fruit food item, typically used as a condiment. It originated in India as a delicious way to preserve vegetables through fermentation and has since become popular throughout the world.

Relish is a broad category of food items that are served alongside a meal for the purpose of a condiment. The overall taste sensation might be sweet or savory, mild or hot. Relish includes jams, sauce, chutneys, pickles, and more. Relishes in general contain vegetable and sometimes fruit pieces that are meatier than those found in chutneys, and the sauce they are immersed in is not that prominent.

In the United States, the most common commercially available relishes are made from pickled cucumbers and are known as pickle relishes. Two variants of are hamburger relish (pickle relish in a ketchup base or sauce) and hot dog relish (pickle relish in a mustard base or sauce).


With just a few simple ingredients and a little time, your going to be enjoying your homemade Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish.

And trust me, it’s taste is deliciously the same as you’d expect from the jarred variety, only this is healthy & homemade.

Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish

Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish

Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 3 cups



  • Place the mixture in a quart jar and press to remove any air bubbles.
  • In the same bowl, combine the honey, vinegar, Whey, mustard seeds, and turmeric and pour the liquid into the jar.
  • Place a weight (such as a smaller glass jar) inside the jar to ensure the relish is fully submerged under the liquid.
  • Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth, and secure with a rubber band or string.
  • Ferment at room temperature (roughly 70°F, or 21°C) for 3 days.
  • Cover with an airtight lid and store in the refrigerator overnight for the flavors to combine. The relish will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

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  1. Can you sub organic monkfruit golden sweetener instead of the honey? Going for a low carb option. Thanks!

      1. The honey helps the fermentation and omitting it completely will negatively effect the taste and the fermentation.

    1. I’m not really sure if monk fruit will prevent fermentation. I would just make the relish using a low carb sweetener and NOT ferment it to be the most cautious.

  2. I’m in the midst of canning relish today and have some leftover pickle, but not enough to do another full batch. This looks perfect! I love fermented foods! I have a pickle pipe and will use that instead of the cheesecloth. Can’t wait, this is going to be great!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Can i take brine from a quick pickle? Im currently out of anything else? Also do you have a favorite way to do a sweet pickled jalapeño? This relish sounds grand! Can’t wait to make it! Thanks!!

  4. Can’t wait to try this! Could you substitute Lakanto Classic sweetener for the honey? I am sugar free. thank you!

  5. Made a double batch and it is delicious. My husband eats it by the spoonful as a quick snack! He says we’ll need to make more.
    I used some juice from another fermented product instead of the whey. Readers… do not use regular pickle juice. It must be a fermented product le sauerkraut, fermented juice or fermented pickles.

  6. My husband is allergic to bell peppers…can I replace them with something else or can I just not use them ? Would that change the ratio of whey or salt to use ?

  7. I am on my 2nd double batch of these. AMAZING. I have added some leftover brine from my dill fermented pickles. It gave a nice hint of dill.

  8. I’m making this relish now, and It has a lot of liquid at the bottom of the bowl from the juice of the cucumbers and peppers. I think what Lisa was asking and what I’m wondering is, do we drain off this liquid before we add the honey mixture? It looks amazing and can’t wait to try!!
    Thank you,

    1. canning (heat processing) kills the beneficial bacteria BUT this can be safely canned either before or after fermentation.

  9. I don’t have whey on hand and I have a dairy allergy. Can you add more salt to make up for not adding the whey?

    1. As I included in the recipe, you can use the brine from another vegetable ferment as the agent. (like fermented sauerkraut)

  10. Wow, this sounds great! I’ve only had Bubbies fermented relish, and they only have dill. I love sweet relish though, and have always been sad they don’t offer it. I’ll definitely need to try your recipe!

  11. This turned out really great!
    Instead of a sweet relish could you leave out or cut down on the honey, add dill and make a regular dill relish or garlic dill relish? Is the honey needed for the fermentation? I don’t think it is as sauerkraut does not have honey or sugar. But, want to be sure. Also, if this will work for a dill/garlic dill relish please recommend amounts of each to use. Thanks

  12. This looks so good! I’m ready for something new, since I do a jar or two of ferments each week. This is going on the list!

      1. I am guessing that the apple cider vinegar must be the kind with the mother in it, so it is still alive.

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