Amish Canning Recipes

Relish, pickles, canned fruits, and other recipes

Amish CanningThe Amish are prolific canners, essential when you have a large family and big garden to match.  Amish can all varieties of fruits and vegetables as well as meats, soups and stews, and other foods.  Below you’ll find canning recipes for some classic Amish and PA Dutch canned goods, such as Chow Chow, Pepper Relish, Red Beet Eggs, and more.

Amish Canning Recipes

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  • 24 cucumbers
  • 1 quart onions
  • Salt (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 ping olive oil
  • 1/4 pound ground mustard
  • 3 tablespoon black pepper
  • 3 pints cider vinegar

Peel the skins off the cucumbers.  Slice cucumbers very thin, then add the peels and sliced onions and cover with the salt. Let stand overnight. Drain well and then add the olive oil, pepper and mustard, stirring slowly. Add the vinegar and mustard, stirring slowly.  Finally, add the vinegar and pour into air-tight jars.  Let stand for 6 weeks. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • 2 quarts green tomatoes
  • 2 quarts small sweet pickles
  • 2 quarts small white onions
  • 1/2 dozen green peppers
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 quarts white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound mustard
  • 1 ounce celery seed
  • 1/2 ounce turmeric for coloring

Separate the cauliflower into florets.  Peel the onions and slice the peppers very fine.  Slice the tomatoes and then combine all four ingredients. Cover with the salt and let stand over night. Drain.  Next cover with boiling water and cook until vegetables are tender. Drain again. Heat the vinegar and pour over the flour, sugar, mustard, celery seed and turmeric (turmeric is a plant in the ginger family which is dried and ground into a spice) which have been mixed together. Mix well. Add the pickles to the cooked vegetables.  Pour over the liquid, then cook for around 10 minutes (or until the mixture thickens). Pour into sterilized jars and seal. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Pickling spice

First, make a brine syrup using:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 4 cups water

Next, wash and sterilize pint or quart jars. (If you have 6-8″-long cucumbers, leave them whole and use quart-size jars, but they can also be sliced and packed into the pint-size jars.)  Place two heads of dill in each quart jar (or 1 head in each pint jar). Add one small onion, one clove of garlic, and 1/2 tsp. pickling spice to each jar.  Wash and dry cucumbers and pack them whole, or sliced, into the jars.  Heat the brine until it reaches a boil. Pour over cucumbers in jar. Place lid on jars and screw tight.  Next, put the filled jars into a water bath and bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Turn off heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes, then remove.  Finally, seal the jars. If syrup is left over, you can save it in the fridge to be used later. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)



  • 1 gal. cucumbers
  • 8 onions
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 red peppers

Slice cucumbers, peppers and onions. Pack in ice, and let it cool for 3 hours. Place a heavy weight on top the pickles (you can use a plate with a weight placed on top). Drain well and combine with:

  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 cups vinegar

Mix well. Pour this mixture over the pickles and then simmer for half-an-hour. Seal bread-and-butter pickles in hot jars.



  • Red, yellow, and green bell peppers

To make the syrup, you’ll need:

  • 4 c. water
  • 1 c. vinegar
  • 5 c. granulated sugar

Combine the above ingredients and bring them to a boil.

Next, slice red, green and yellow bell peppers into strips. Pack peppers into jars and then pour the syrup over them. Finally, cold pack for 5 minutes. (adapted from Cooking & Such magazine, Mary Ann Esh and Elizabeth Esh, Winter 2011-2012)



  • 12 sweet red peppers
  • 12 sweet green peppers
  • 8 small onions
  • 1 qt. vinegar
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt

Seed the peppers and chop fine with the onion. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and cover again with boiling water, let stand for 10 minutes longer. Place in colander or cheesecloth bag let drain over night. In the morning add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Boil for 20 min, then place in hot sterilized jars and seal.



  • 9 ears corn
  • 1 qt. vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1½ tblsps. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 red peppers
  • 2 green peppers

Cook corn in boiling water for 2 minutes. Dip in cold water and cut grains from the cob. Chop the cabbage, onion and peppers into small pieces and add to corn. Mix vinegar, sugar, salt and spices and heat to boiling. Add the corn and vegetables and boil for 20-30 minutes, until vegetables become tender (stir frequently). Pour corn relish into sterile jars and seal. This makes about 8 pints.



Chow chow is a tangy relish popular on Amish tables, providing a great contrast to warm dishes.

  • 2 qts. chopped cabbage
  • 1 qt. chopped green tomatoes
  • 6 large onions, chopped
  • 3 sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 3 tblsp. white mustard seed
  • 1½ tablespoons celery seed
  • ½ tablespoon ginger
  • vinegar to cover (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 2 lbs. sugar
  • salt

Place each kind of vegetable into a separate bowl.  Sprinkle a small amount of salt over each vegetable, and let stand 4 hours. Press juice from each vegetable and combine. Mix the dry ingredients and rub into a paste by using a small amount of vinegar. Then add all the vinegar and bring to a boil. Put in the vegetables and cook slowly for 20 minutes. Pack in sterile jars and seal. Cover jars with boiling water and simmer for 15 min. This recipe makes 2½ quarts.



  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Clean and cook whole green beans, and put them into a sterile pint jar. Boil the water, vinegar, sugar and ⅛ tsp. salt. Pour this mixture over the beans and seal the jar.



Boil young beets until tender. Skin beets, and cover with the liquid described below.

To make the liquid, boil together for 10 minutes:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Small piece of cinnamon
  • 3 or 4 cloves

Let the beets stand in this liquid for several days. Remove the beets, and add whole hard-boiled eggs to the liquid.  Let pickle for two days before eating. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • 3 lbs. beets
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 pt. vinegar
  • ½ cup water

Boil beets until tender, and then remove skins. Tie the spices in cheesecloth. Heat vinegar, water, spices and sugar to the boiling point. Add beets and then boil for 5 minutes. Pack into sterile jars and then fill with hot liquid. Seal.



  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. mixed pickling spice ( put into sloth and seal with a twistee.)

Bring brine to a boil before adding redbeets. For redbeets use 2 cups of the cooked redbeet water. (adapted from R&E Sales, Monroe, Indiana)



  • 14 pounds pears
  • 1 quart cider vinegar
  • 6 pounds sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon stick cinnamon, broken in pieces

Any good preserving pear may be used. Slice and remove the core or pickle whole (it’s best to use the slicing method if you use Sickel pears). Peel the pears. Place spices in a small cheesecloth bag and add to the vinegar and sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil, then add pears and cook until tender. The pears will take on a clear appearance when they become tender. Remove them with a spoon and place them into sterilized jars. Boil the syrup until it thickens.  Finally pour the syrup over the pears and seal. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • 5 lbs. hard pears
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 lbs. sugar
  • ½ cup chopped preserved ginger
  • 3 lemons juice and rind

Pare and core the pears. Dice or cut into thin slices. Add water and cook pears until tender. Add the sugar, ginger, lemon juice and grated rind. Let the mixture simmer  until thick and the pears become transparent. Pour pears into sterilized jars and seal. This recipe makes 5 pints of ginger pears.



  • 5 lbs. ripe gooseberries
  • 4 lbs. brown sugar
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 tblsps. cloves
  • 3 tsps. cinnamon
  • 3 tsps. allspice

Wash and pick over the gooseberries. Combine gooseberries with spices, sugar, and vinegar, and cook slowly until the mixture becomes rather thick. Pour the spiced gooseberries into sterilized glasses and seal. This recipe will make 5 pints.

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Amish canned goods: Tom in NY
Unless otherwise noted, recipes adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking.

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    1. Cindi

      Pickled Eggs

      My grandmother always loved to can and eat pickled eggs. I don’t think there was a family gathering that didn’t have them. Also used them to make pickled deviled eggs. I didn’t like them much but she sure did.

    2. Sandra Kathleen

      I love pickling - everything!

      I can quite a bit, but I love to make pickles. Pickles I especially like are spicy pineapple sticks (I make these EVERY year!), watermelon pickle (with maraschino cherries), corn relish, zucchini relish, and bread & butter pickles.

      It sure would be nice to share the time it takes with a friend or two!

    3. inge

      recipe for canning peaches

      I would love your recipes for canning peaches I found them in IFA in salt lake and I loved them
      hope u would help Thanks

    4. Recipe for Sweet & Hot pepper Relish

      I found a jar of Sweet & Hot pepper Relish in Gillette Wyo, Loved it and have lots of peppers this year, hopefully you have the recipe, thanks

    5. Sandra Kathleen


      Well, so sorry this reply is so late — I’ve been packing up–moving–and unpacking my Mom & Sis from FL to NC. I hope it’s not too late…but, there’s always next year.

      I’m also at a disadvantage, because I’M packing up to move from KY to NC, too, and it looks like I may already have packed my pickling cookbook! So, I’m relying on memory. I’ll post again with better directions as soon as I come across the book. 🙂

      Chock Full O’Nuts Pickled Peaches
      The peaches are peeled and pitted while being kept whole; try to keep the center as “tight” as possible, pulling the pit out through the stem of the peach. Put the prepared peaches into a citric acid solution to keep from darkening until all the peaches are prepared.

      After all the peaches are peeled & pitted, fill their centers with a mixture made from slivered blanched almonds, coconut, sugar, & cinnamon.

      Heat a sweet-sour mixture of vinegar & sugar (about 4c white vinegar to 6 c sugar) boiled for 5-10 minutes with cinnamon stick & whole cloves.

      Add the peaches and gently simmer until well-heated throughout.

      You process in a water bath for 25/30 minutes or let the pot set overnight, reheat to boiling, and process in the morning.

      Either way, carefully put the filled peaches into wide mouth pt jars, leaving about 1″ head space. Then, fill the jar with hot syrup to cover by 1/2″. Put crumpled plastic wrap on top of the peaches before sealing to make sure the peaches stay covered by the syrup. Wipe the rim and threads well before sealing.

      Jalapeno Jelly
      I use the recipe published by Sure-Jel. I use jalapeno peppers, but only red or yellow sweet peppers…usually sweet bananas and pasillo peppers instead of bell peppers.

      I love serving this over cream cheese with crackers. It makes a pretty holiday appetizer.

      I am looking for my Pickling cookbook to give over these recipes.

    6. Tom Miller

      What is a ping in the cucumber pickle recipe?

      The cucumber pickle recipe calls for 1/2 ping of olive oil. WHAT is a ping?!!!

      1. Ann Patterson

        What is a "ping"

        Someone put their finger on the “g” key instead of the “h” key….thus ping instead of pinch 🙂

        1. Mary


          Perhaps pint, not ping or pinch. I don’t think you can have a half pinch of olive oil.

    7. Sandra Kathleen

      i wasn’t the “author” of — only thing that makes sense as a typo…though, why they wouldn’t just say 1 cup (1/2 a pint!), I don’t know. 🙂

    8. Sandra Kathleen

      Found my pickle book!

      If you’re interested in a pickle recipe for the peaches, let me know. a few days ago, I finished up 3 batches of sweet & hot pickle relish: basically, mix of
      1 part hot to 3 parts sweet ground.
      Mix in well 1 part onion, also ground or very finely minced.
      Mix in 2 T canning salt and cover with ice water. Let stand 10 minutes, drain thoroughly.

      Meanwhile, Boil equal amounts of sugar and vinegar for 15 minutes. For 5 ground cups of veggies (peppers and onion), it took about 4 cups of each.

      Add drained ground veggies, bring back to boil and boil 15-20 minutes longer. Fill, seal, and process jars for 15-20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

      These are absolutely delicious! Along with 2 batches of Pepper jelly, it was a great way to take care of 2 bushels of peppers! BTW, I don’t grow or use bell peppers in my recipes: I’ve found the Sweet Bananas, Gypsy, Giant Marconi, Ancho/Poblano, Pasillo, Cor d’Toro, and, of course, Jalapeno peppers, much more prolific, easier to raise, and more versatile in recipes.

    9. Kathy Wise

      Watermelon pickles

      Do you have a recipe for watermelon rind pickles? My husbands grandma made them every year and he wants to make them. Appreciate any help you can give me!

      1. Linda

        Watermelon Rind Pickles

        Kathy, I don’t remember ever tasting Pickled Watermelon Rinds. You can Google Watermelon Rind Pickles.

        Betty Crocker’s Cookbook has a recipe for 4-day Watermelon Pickles. (1976 printing).

        Plain Cooking cookbook, 1974, has a recipe for Rosy Watermelon Pickles with cinnamon, cloves, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, maraschino cherries, etc.

        Some recipes use watermelon rinds to make jams and jellies!

    10. A start for your watermelon rind recipe

      I’ve never made this recipe. Maybe your grandfather can get some ideas of where to go from looking at this one. Good luck and enjoy!

    11. Mary Lynda O'Neal

      I would like to know how the Amish canned snap beans and for how in water bath? Like 20 minutes or more in water bath?

      Please let me know any info you can give me. I have tried it, but they always spoil!

      1. Beverly

        Snap Beans

        They are low acid and should NEVER be canned in boiling water. They require a pressure canner. Lots of people doing things the old way (where plenty of people got sick, and some died) because they’ve never had a problem, but the consequences can be serious. Additionally, produce has changed over the years and has different acid levels. Follow approved canning instructions and recipes only. You’re very lucky if you noticed the beans spoiled. Botulism isn’t always obvious and you can die from it.

      2. kathy hanford

        Our local Amish waterbath everything. 3 hours.

    12. Carol

      snap beans

      You are very lucky that they spoiled instead of making someone very ill or dead. Snap beans and many other vegetables are too low-acid to be safely canned with a hot water bath method. I know, many will said that their grandma always did it that way and never killed anyone. Only repeating what the experts say–only safe way is with a pressure canner that has it’s gauge checked for accuracy.

    13. Ann Patterson

      Green Tomato Relish

      I have been looking for a recipe that I lost for green tomato relish. I have lost my copy, but I remember that it had green and red peppers in it, it was cooked on the stove, had a flour thickening and you added one jar of Miracle Whip, horseradish and yellow mustard. Everything I find on line never mentions miracle whip. Can anyone help? Reply to

      1. Linda

        Green Tomato Sandwich Spread

        Ann, these recipes have everything except the horseradish.

        1. Ann Patterson

          Thank you

          Linda, Thank you soooooooo much. Ann

    14. Sweet Red Pepper Relish

      Looking for a recipe for Sweet Red Pepper Relish, I lost a few of my recipes & haven’t been able to replace some of them. Everytime I try to search for this I get a picture of a premade product. The taste was similar to this but not the same. The above recipe is much simpler than the one I used. Any help would be most appreciated

      1. Sandra Kathleen

        Sweet Red Pepper Relish Recipe

        7 cups finely chopped/ground Sweet Red Peppers (washed with ribs, seeds, & stems removed)
        1/2 cup finely chopped/ground onion
        Mix vegetables with 2 Tablespoons Salt. Let stand 3 to 4 hours. Drain thoroughly.
        To the vegetables in a pot, add…
        5 cups sugar
        3 cups vinegar
        Mix well and bring to a boil. Boil until thick. Pour, boiling hot, into hot pint or half-pint jars. Screw in lid ha and-tight. Process in boiling water bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 3 or 4 pints or 7 to 8 half-pints.


    15. Deborah Dunn

      Pickled celery

      Live near Amish country in Indiana. They make a chicken salad for sandwiches that I am sure has pickled celery in it. Can’t find any recipe for pickled celery that doesn’t have tomatoes or other vegetables in it. Do you have a recipe? Or maybe someone?

    16. Dianah R Collins

      reciepts for pickled corn

      I would love to have a good reciept on how to make pickled corn. I made some from my reciept and it was a complete failure.

    17. Kristine M

      onion soup

      Can onion soup be water bath canned?