6 Common Amish Canned Goods

We’re officially into winter. And this is the time of year that families are cracking into those canned items they worked hard to prepare when the weather was warmer and fresh fruit and veggies were plentiful.

On my recent Amish trip I had the good fortune to bring back a Christmas basket of canned goods as a present for the family. I thought I’d share that haul with you.

Here are six common items you’re likely to find in Amish pantries and basements (like this one). Let’s start with red beets:

I sampled these at my friends’ home, they were just delicious. Beets are one typical item eaten by Amish at church meals.

And so are pickles:

Ever had zucchini relish?

Amish of course can fruit as well. How about some peaches:

And that classic favorite, apple butter:

Apple butter vs. apple sauce? I guess apple butter would be considered more like a condiment, since you usually spread it on something. Apple sauce is ubiquitous in Amish homes and commonly shows up to accompany lunches and dinners.

Finally, some salsa:

I enjoyed this with some tortilla chips as a late-night snack one evening along with a random mix of cheeses and sausage sticks and cereal and whatever else I could find in my friends’ fridge. It had a nice spicy kick, not too strong and not too mild.

This is a reminder that Amish don’t just eat a typical “Pennsylvania Dutch” diet of pork and noodles, but in their home cooking have incorporated cuisine from various other sources, such as Mexican and Italian traditions. In many cases these dishes have become just about as “Amish” a meal as those PA Dutch classics.

What’s your favorite canned good?

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    1. Alice Mary

      Pickled beets?

      I enjoyed your sharing your “Amish bounty” of home-canned foods with us.

      Were those beets pickled? I am NOT a fan of pickles or anything pickled…I like the food in the jar to taste more like fresh-picked, meaning non-pickled. I love beets (even as a child, I’d tell my Mom that beets tasted the way the air smells after a rain…fresh and earthy!) But for the most part, pickled beets are what you find in GLASS bottles at all the grocery stores I shop at. The only non-pickled ones are in metal cans, which just don’t taste right, and often have salt added. I wish I could find PLAIN beets in glass jars (there used to be one brand that had them,, but not for several years). I know, I’m picky…so much so that I’ve been buying bulk beets, cooking them, bottling them myself.

      The peaches and apple butter looked good to me. I’m also so picky that I don’t eat mayo on sandwiches…or mustard or other condiments…but I DO spread my bread with apple butter when making a ham sandwich…try it sometime! If apples are often a side dish when serving pork chops, why not apple butter with ham? It’s all pork!

      Merry Christmas to you, Erik, and all of the other Amish America followers! Enjoy what you can, when you can, where you can!

      Alice Mary

      1. Thanks, Alice Mary, and a Merry Christmas to you too! On the beets, yes they were pickled, they weren’t especially tart but I get it if it’s not your thing. Sounds like you’ve come up with your own solution there 🙂

        Apple butter and a ham sandwich – I would try this, I am a fan of sweet and salty together and sweet condiments or garnishes on meats. So I’d be surprised if I didn’t like that.

        1. Martha Valle

          This is making me hungry just by reading about all the good pickled everything.

      2. Martha Jazdziewski


        Hi Mary Alice, some places have started selling cooked, unflavored beets packed in vacuum packs. I may be wring, but I think Walmart may have them. I know for sure you can get them at Trader Joes and Costco. They are the next “trendy” super-food, so you may see them popping up everywhere soon. Good luck 🙂

    2. Favorite

      My favorite is pickled red beet eggs.

      1. I’ve never tried those Richard. But I’m curious. Now officially on my radar 🙂

        1. Karen Wilson

          Pickled Red Beet Eggs

          We save the pickled beet juice from each jar we open and add it to a gallon jar. We save it in the refrigerator and add hard boiled eggs whenever we want. It is a great way to use up hard boiled eggs from Easter that kids have dyed/colored.

      2. Elizabeth J Sampson

        Red beet eggs and ring bologna

        Love red beet eggs. Was raised in Pa. but now live in Md. Just recently found Berks ring bologna in a store near me. I was like a kid in a candy store, have never been able to find ring bologna in my area.

    3. D.A. Sattazahn

      'tis the season

      Have a good Christmas,Eric, and thank you for keeping us updated on the goings on of Amish life. I’ve learned much about my Amish neighbors. Have a good year from English folks of Lancaster County!

      1. Thanks D.A., my pleasure. Merry Christmas to you too!

    4. Terry Berger

      Red beet eggs, really?


      I’m surprised to hear that with all the homes you’ve been in that you’ve never tried red beet eggs? They’re as much of a staple as pickled beets, corn relish, and chow chow. I even use them for deviled eggs instead of regular hard boiled eggs. I’m very interested to hear what you think about them?


      1. Yep believe it or not I’ve never tried those. I’m sure they’ve been around but I probably gravitated to other items as I’m not naturally that big on cold hard boiled eggs. But, I would try out of curiosity now. Will let you know when I do 🙂


      Apple Butter

      Apple Butter and cottage cheese sandwiches are great, with homemade toasted bread. My mom grew up in Berks county and was PA Dutch (Deutch/German). She was an excellent cook, and canner. I remember her chowchow, and bread & butter pickles among many.

      1. Hadn’t thought of that sandwich combo Jessie but sounds good!

    6. Patty Tolliver

      6 Common Amish Canned Goods

      I love Pickled Beets. My mother used to make them a lot when we were kids. I love pickles as well. I think the 6 common canned goods are probably popular with other non-Amish communities as well. My mother was from Nebraska and Ohio. She used to tell us about her canning experiences on the farm which sound similar to the Amish. Thanks for sharing.

    7. Jacob S


      We can sauerkraut every year. Easy and delicious.
      We can meats too…but I guess that’s really not pickled.
      I have pickled and canned asparagus also.

    8. Pat

      Where are the recipes?

      Wanted to try the red beets and relish recipes but do not see them?