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The Perfect


Chow Chow

Green Relish Chow Chow

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Delicious green tomato chow chow is a mouthwatering variation of the traditional Southern chow chow that showcases the delightful tartness and vibrant green color of unripe tomatoes. This condiment is made by pickling green tomatoes and a medley of other vegetables, resulting in a tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy relish that is both refreshing and flavorful.

You Will Need

Water-Bath Canner

Canning Jars

Canning Jar Lifter

Seals and Rings

1 Tea Ball

1 Butter knife OR Air Bubble Remover


Paper Towels

8 cups diced green tomatoes

1 Large Green Bell Pepper Diced

4-6 medium sweet onions, sliced

1/2 cup Pickling  salt

2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 TBS Picking spice

Optional for spicy tomato relish- 

Add red pepper flakes or Jalapenos,  to taste while cooking until you get desired heat.

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1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the salt over the tomatoes and onions; cover and let this sit overnight in the refrigerator.

2. In the morning, rinse the tomatoes and onions to remove the salt. Strain and rinse well.

3. Next, start by washing and sterilizing your jars and seals, you can do this in the dishwasher or by hand, then place your jars into your water bather and boil for 10 min (rolling boil) 

4. Place all ingredients into a large pot on the stovetop. Add granulated sugar, white vinegar, and turmeric.

5.Add the 2 TBS Pickling Spice to your Tea Ball

6. Bring to a boil, reduce to an active simmer and then let this simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir frequently to prevent any sticking.


7. When finished, place into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Make sure to wipe rims with paper towel and vinegar.

8. Process in your water bather for 10 minutes.

9. Remove the relish to a rack to cool completely.

10. Listen for that ping! to make sure all jars have sealed..

Chow Chow Variations

  1. Spicy Chow Chow: For those who love heat, extra red pepper flakes or hot peppers are added to create a spicier variation that adds a kick to any dish.

  2. Dill Chow Chow: Infused with dill seeds or fresh dill, this variation has a unique herbal note that complements the tanginess of the relish.

  3. Fruit Chow Chow: Some recipes incorporate fruits like apples, peaches, or pears alongside the traditional vegetables, adding a hint of natural sweetness and enhancing the relish's complexity.

  4. Hot Pepper Chow Chow: For a bold twist, hot chili peppers such as jalapeños or habaneros can be included to create a fiery version of Chow Chow.

  5. Piccalilli: Similar to Chow Chow, Piccalilli includes additional ingredients like cauliflower, green beans, and corn, resulting in a chunkier and heartier relish.

  6. Green Tomato Chow Chow: Made exclusively with green tomatoes, this variation highlights the tanginess of unripe tomatoes, resulting in a bright green relish.

  7. Red Chow Chow: This version replaces green tomatoes with red tomatoes, resulting in a relish with a rich red color and a slightly different flavor profile.

  8. Low-Sugar Chow Chow: Ideal for those looking to reduce sugar intake, this variation uses alternative sweeteners or less sugar while preserving the tangy taste.

  9. Hot Dog Relish: A finely chopped version, specifically designed as a condiment for hot dogs, often with a slightly sweeter profile.

  10. Chunky Chow Chow: For a more substantial texture, the vegetables are left in larger pieces or roughly chopped, resulting in a chunkier relish.

These variations highlight the adaptability of Chow Chow, allowing it to be customized to suit personal preferences and complement various dishes. The beauty of Chow Chow lies in its ability to be as unique as the cook creating it, making it a beloved and cherished condiment with a rich history in Southern cuisine

How long is canned chow chow good for?

Processed chow chow is shelf stable for a year. The chow chow relish will last up to 6 months refrigerated.

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Making chow chow at home can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Here are some tips to help you create a delicious batch of chow chow:

  • Choose Quality Ingredients: Use fresh and high-quality vegetables for the best results. Look for firm green tomatoes, and vibrant bell peppers. The quality of the ingredients will significantly impact the final taste of your chow chow.

  • Fine Chopping: For a traditional texture, finely chop the vegetables. You can use a food processor with a coarse grater attachment for convenience, but avoid over-processing, as you want some texture in the relish.

  • Hot Pepper Control: If you want a spicier chow chow, be cautious when adding hot peppers or chili flakes. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your heat tolerance. Remember that the heat will intensify during the pickling process.

  • Proper Canning: If you plan to preserve the chow chow for long-term storage, follow proper canning procedures to ensure safety and longevity. Use sterilized jars, process them in a water bath or pressure canner (depending on the recipe), and store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place.

  • Let It Meld: After preparing the chow chow, allow it to sit for at least a few days before using it. This resting time allows the flavors to meld and develop fully.

  • Get Creative: Feel free to experiment with ingredients and flavors to create your signature chow chow. Consider adding other vegetables or fruits, adjusting the spice level, or using different types of vinegar.

  • Serve It Right: Chow chow is a versatile condiment that can complement various dishes. Enjoy it with grilled meats, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to cheese platters.

  • Share and Preserve: Chow chow makes a thoughtful gift for friends and family. Consider making extra batches and sharing them with loved ones.

Remember, making chow chow can be a delightful and creative process, so don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with it. Happy chow chow making!

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