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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