Courgette Relish

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This Courgette Relish is my favourite way to get the most out of a bumper courgette crop. It is an easy relish to knock together and has endless uses from burger toppings, barbecue accompaniments or the grace within a cheese sandwich. I love its tangy sweetness flavoured with turmeric, mustard seeds and nutmeg.

Courgette Relish on a wooden box with forks

This recipe is a re-post of a classic recipe which I first posted on the blog in 2014. It’s courgette season and I’m about to make my annual batch of this Courgette Relish as our kitchen is bereft without it. I wanted to refresh the post with new images and contemplated just doing that and slotting it back into the archive but I love this recipe so much and thought the new photos deserved a bit of a fanfare too. So here are my original words back from 2014.

Courgette Relish on a wooden box with forks

Certain recipes come into your life in different ways, and this one was begged and pleaded for after we fell in love with a jar of this courgette relish. Our friend who had bestowed this precious gift on us couldn’t quite remember where she got the original recipe from; she thought maybe The Times, but when it was passed along the quantities were in cups so perhaps it originated across the pond. I wish I could thank whomever came up with it as it really is one of the staples of our larder and this time of year I make it in bulk when the courgettes are proudly in bloom. A large quantity is a must as one of the worst things to befall our kitchen is when the last jar is finished in March and we have to wait months for the next glut of courgettes.

courgettes in a wooden bowl on the grass

The beauty of the relish is that although its natural season to be brought to the table is summer when the barbecues hit, its amiability knows no bounds. The obvious use for this courgette relish is on a burger and really you can get no better topping. The flavour is sweet and piquant with the gentle pop of mustard seeds. However, it can also accompany the sausages that are grilled on bonfire night to great effect and a laden Christmas buffet replete with roast ham and turkey pies.

grated courgette

Ingredients for courgette relish in preserving pan

Ingredients for courgette relish in preserving pan

Ingredients for courgette relish in preserving pan

Ingredients for courgette relish in preserving pan

During the rest of the year it’s included in lunch staples such as toasted sandwiches or brought along to spring picnics. The courgette relish pairs naturally with cheese and I got into a bit of a habit earlier this year of stirring it into a cheddar and tuna salad along with a bit of olive oil for dressing.

If you come round to my house it’s more or less guaranteed you will leave with a jar of something homemade, and the wise visitor will make a request for the courgette relish, after all that’s how it came to us in the first place.

Courgette Relish on a wooden box with forks

If you would like more courgette recipes then how about…

Courgette Relish on a wooden box with forks

Courgette Relish

A sweet tangy relish which goes with anything and everything.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 80 servings
Calories: 86kcal


  • 1.5 kg courgettes julienned, about 12
  • 1 kg spanish onions grated, about 4
  • 2 red peppers sliced very thinly, then quartered lengthways
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 925 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1.5 tablespoons white mustard seeds
  • 3 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground white pepper


  • Place the courgettes, onions, peppers and salt in a large preserving pan, cover with water and leave to stand overnight.
  • The next day drain and rinse well to remove the excess salt.
  • Return the courgette mix to the preserving pan and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Decant into sterilised jars*. It is ready to eat straightaway or you can store in a cool dark place until needed for up to a year.


*To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.
Yield 8 380ml jars


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!


  1. 5 stars
    A delicious relish, easy to make and keeps wonderfully well. We arre eating last years batch 13 months later, it’s still delicious and as good as when first made. Just making it again. It’s a perfect way to use a glut of courgettes. Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    Its delicious. One question, the nutritional info, is that per 100g? Or other measure?

    • Hi Hilary – thank you! It’s so great to make at this time of year. So, the nutritional information is an automated program and it is not calculated scientifically or manually so its accuracy is debatable. However, I am forced to include it if I want my recipe to appear on Google. Here the nutritional information is per serving. I have had a look at this particular recipe as it seemed inaccurate in this instance and I think that was because the program was underestimating how much courgette relish this recipe produces. I’ve amended it manually to be more accurate. However, please take this information as a rough guide rather than exact. I hope that helps!

  3. Moira Philip says

    I made this recipe a few years ago and enjoyed it. It kept tremendously well in the store cupboard too.
    I have now been given some fresh cucumbers and wonder if it would work with them? Any thoughts?

    • Hi Moira, that’s lovely that you enjoyed this recipe. The cucumbers sound like a nice idea – I’d be interested to hear how they work out. Definitely give it a go. I also like using cucumbers in Piccalilli – have you tried that recipe?

      • Moira Philip says

        No, I’m not so keen on Piccalilli, so haven’t tried that. I have found a similar recipe for cucumber relish so will see how I get on with that.
        Thanks for your reply.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Great way to use my glut of courgettes and very simple to make. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Elizabeth Ramage says

    5 stars
    One of the best I have tasted and everyone I give it to wants the recipe. What can I say, 10 out of 10!

  6. I’m so happy I found this recipe – didn’t get to my allotment last week and my courgettes have turned into marrows! Hope they will still work for this.

  7. Dominique Tomasella says

    Hi Georgina,
    Can I use yellow button squash in this relish? Maybe half and half. I like the colour.
    kind regards

    • Hi Dominique, I haven’t tried it before but I don’t see why not. You should prepare the yellow squash in the same way as the courgette though – shredded or spiralised so that it preserves properly. Let me know how it goes – sounds like a delicious alteration!!

  8. Hi Georgina,
    I have just made your Courgette Relish but with a few alterations. One I reduced the amount of vinegar (used 600ml) as it looked way too wet and also reduced the amount of sugar (used 1kg). I do like sweet things but thought 1.5kg was too much. Must say it has turned out rather well and is still sweet enough, oh yes also as I had ran out of celery seeds I replaced it with a one and half teaspoon of crushed chillies :-))

    • Hi Karen. Yes if you reduce the vinegar you would have to reduce the sugar otherwise it would be far too sweet. The vinegar and sugar balance each other out. It is a wet relish which appeals to me as I scoop out the vegetables and use them a bit like pickles, leaving most of the liquid behind. You will usually be left with a sweet sour and spicy elixir at the bottom of your jar which is amazing in salad dressings or added to white sauces to add piquancy. I also know people who have used the recipe as is but added a bit of cornflour to the mix to thicken the juice. Crushed chillies sound like a lovely addition. I hope you enjoy your relish, thank you so much for your comment!

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