homestyle canned corn relish

After a bit of a rocky (and dry) start, we’re finally deep in the midst of corn season, friends!

Indiana is pretty well-known for its corn, and for good reason! Our hot, humid summers tend to produce the perfect conditions for sweet, juicy, delicious corn. During the summer as a kid, I had a daily ritual of going down to the garden and popping off a fresh ear of corn, shucking it and eating it raw right there in the garden. Corn here grows sweet, juicy and plump enough to eat it raw!

Once I’ve had my fill of raw corn, boiled corn, grilled corn and corn ice cream, I start think about ways to preserve corn to eat all year long. Freezing is one of the best ways to keep corn fresh-tasting and ready-to-eat at anytime, but one of my other favorite ways to use up a surplus of corn is to can some corn relish.

Corn relish is an amazingly versatile dish. You can use it in place of regular cucumber relish on hamburgers, hot dogs and brats, but it also works as a salsa, mixed in with pasta or just as a side dish on its own. Quite a few of you asked for the lunch recipe I had for the last WIAW. It’s super simple—cooked farro, hummus, tuna and corn relish mixed together! That’s it.

The thing I love the most about corn relish though, is how stupendously easy it is. Especially for first time canners. It’s a great, small-batch dish to get down the basics of canning. I know a lot of folks start with jams and jellies, but I think more savory dishes (like this relish or pickles) are a great way to start. No worries about additives or sugar levels. Just cook it, can it and process it! Easy. Peasy.

If you are afraid of canning, I promise you have no reason to be! Canning is actually remarkably simple and incredibly rewarding. Trust me, the most satisfying sound in the world is the sound of a canning like popping to seal after processing. You will feel so proud of yourself! And you get to eat delicious, healthy food all year ’round.

Before I dig into the recipe, here are a few tips that’ll help make the whole process go a lot more smoothly:

To get the kernels off the corn cob, simply place a small bowl upside-down in a larger bowl. Shuck the corn and then rest the corn on the small bowl. Run your knife along the corn cob and the kernels fall into the big bowl. You can also just use a Bundt pan in the same way (but I don’t have one!).

Have all of your canning supplies—jars, lids, funnel, ladle, jar basket, jar lifter tong things, etc.—washed, clean and ready to go before you start cooking.

Before you twist the lids on the jars, run a damp washcloth along the top to remove any relish. That’ll help the cans seal properly.

Alrighty, now onto the recipe. Make sure to scroll down below it to find an awesome giveaway from Ball jars!

Homestyle Canned Corn Relish

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 8 half pints


  • 8 cobs of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup diced various diced sweet peppers (green, yellow, red, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water.


  1. Wash and sterilize jars, rings, lids and all utensils. Prepare a water bath canner by filling a large pot with water and bringing to a simmer.
  2. To prepare relish, combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Ladle hot relish into prepared half-pint jars. Wipe tops of jars using a clean towel. Place on lids and rings, hand-tighten.
  4. Process jars in prepared water bath for 20 minutes. Remove from bath and let cool at room temperature. As jars cool, check seals by pressing down on top of lids. If they still “pop” they are not preserved and need to be refrigerated and used immediately. If they don’t move, they can be labeled and stored in a cool, dark pantry.
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The nice folks at Ball jars are giving away a free case of Ball jars to get one BTHR reader started canning! Not only do I love Ball jars for canning, but they are also my favorite way to transport smoothies and soups when I pack my lunch. We use Ball jars for everything!

giveaway rules, regs and how to enter:

  • This contest is open to anyone age 18 or over.
  • There will be one winner of a case of Ball jars.
  • To enter leave a comment here answering this question: What recipe would you preserve in your jars?
  • Entries close on Thursday, August 2, 2012.

official rules and legalese:

To enter you must be 18 or older. Winner will be chosen by random drawing from the pool of comments on this post. To be considered for the prize, you must provide a valid email address. Once a winner is notified and verified, Ball brand will be provided with the contact information of the winner and they will be responsible for  prize fulfillment. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. To enter, leave a comment on this post stating what you’d do with the prize if you won. No purchase necessary to win. Entries will close on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at noon (EST). The winner will be contacted by email on or before Tuesday, August 7, 2012. If the winner does not claim the prize within seven days, the original winner forfeits the prize and a second random entry will be chosen from the pool. This contest is sponsored by Ball and is void where prohibited by law.


In exchange for this blog post, as well as posting this giveaway, I was compensated with a Ball Canning Discovery Kit. My review of the product was not biased or influenced in any way by this compensation.


  1. says

    I have been dying to get a set of jars because I love making smoothies and juices in them! But I would definitely preserve some kimchi in them. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

  2. alicia says

    my fiance and i go berry picking every summer – so berry dishes is what i would most love to preserve!

  3. Lindsey Stu says

    I think I would stick to jams. The idea of canning still makes me uneasy. That’s why I use my ball jars for drinking sweet tea.

  4. Erin says

    How funny that you posted this recipe, because tomorrow my cousin and I are getting together tomorrow for a marathon canning day and one of things we are making is corn relish! If I had time still this summer, I’d use the cans for making Dilly Beans. Thanks for hosting such a fun giveaway!

  5. Paisley says

    Like a previous commenter said, I love glass jars for bringing my breakfast smoothies with me to work (and I’m also dying to try “salad parfait” but I have no jars the right size), but if I were to start canning, I think I would really want to make some jam. I know it’s cliche, but I really want to try making jam, especially since I find storebought jam too sweet.

    Though this recipe looks good too!

  6. Chaley says

    Every year I tell myself I need to learn to can, and every year I get intimidated. THIS year I am going to start. We have great sweet corn here and I am going to make this recipe! Thanks for the inspiration, the recipe and the giveaway!

  7. Amy says

    Hmmm…I think I’d use these for green beans. We usually put up over 100 quarts for our family of 7 for the year. This year…we live in Indiana…it’s so dry that I’m not sure we’re going to have very many. So maybe I’ll use them for spaghetti sauce!

  8. Helen says

    I have to start canning! My mother always makes the best strawberry jam and cans it and sends it our way once she’s made a large batch. I would love to get my hands on her recipe and finally can some of my own!

  9. Jen N. says

    Salsa! My hubby can never find a salsa hot enough for him (that isn’t habanero), so I’d like to make my own for him.

  10. Shelley says

    I think I would can some jalapeno jelly. The kind at the store is always too mild for my husband’s and friends’ tastes. It’d be great to give at Christmas time.

    I also wanted to give a tip about cutting corn off the husk. When you start cutting at the top of the standing up ear, you should be at the base of your knife and then you slice through by pulling down and back. So, when you are at the bottom of the ear, you should be near the tip of your knife. This works much better (and safer) then trying to push straight down.

  11. Kristin says

    I have wanted to start canning for a couple of years now and I think this would be the perfect opportunity! I have had my eye on a peach salsa recipe that would be great to can for the wintertime :)

  12. says

    I have never canned and have always wanted to! I think since I have jelly on my English muffin EVERY morning I would start with a jelly or jam (even though you make the savory look so good!).

  13. Ashley G. says

    Yum, your corn relish looks delicious! I have yet to try “real” canning on my own, but I’ve done several batches of freezer jam with fresh, local berries/fruits. I think I would use the jars to can homemade salsa, as I love making it fresh and to my own taste! Plus we love salsa on just about anything! Love your blog and thanks for a great giveaway!

  14. Dani says

    I’d love to get into canning, but I also just love jars to use for storage and transporting. I blame Pinterest! To start canning, I’d probably do some peach jelly. My husband hates peaches, but I can’t get enough of them in the summer. It would be great to have some of that taste to hold onto through the cold winter.

  15. Neena says

    Though your relish looks delicious, the first thing I’d can would be strawberry jam. Nothing screams summer in a jar more to me!

  16. Athena R says

    I would love to make some blueberry jam or maybe even fig preserves since I have lots of figs coming in on my fig tree.

  17. says

    Oh man. That’s actually a good question. I’m a complete novice in the canning realm, though Hubster’s family has a long tradition of canning so I’m sure I could get some help. If it were still rhubarb season, I’d whip up some jam and go with that. Since it’s not, I’d be more apt to pickle some green beans for winter bloody marys.

  18. Kristie Naylor says

    I’m from Georgia so we pickle anything that will sit still long enough. My favorite is pickled okra but squash, green tomatoes, green beans, and peaches are tasty too. The only one I don’t like is sweet watermelon rind pickles.

  19. says

    Ummm, I would DEFINITELY make that corn relish. I too hail from Indiana (Bloomington!) and would take advantage of the delicious corn from our farmers market. Thanks so much for the recipe and the giveaway!

  20. Coree says

    It’s a toss up to me between pickles and tomatoes. I love pickles, but winter tomatoes have nothing on fresh summer tomatoes!

  21. Aimee M says

    I would can peaches! My favorite summer activity is picking fresh New Jersey peaches. I always come home with 10 pounds more than I can eat! I’d love to can them and enjoy them year-round.

  22. says

    I’ve been doing a bunch of reading on canning and preserving lately, so this is perfect! The first thing I’d try would be pickled beets. I loved eating the ones my grandfather would make each Easter.

  23. Audrey says

    I would make more fresh berry jam! Oregon is overflowing with boysens, marionberries, blackberries and strawberries at this time of year!

  24. Claudia says

    We don’t get fresh corn here (otherwise I would be all over this recipe), but we have lots of fresh fruits and tomatoes that I am dying to try and can. Maybe I need to get over my canning fear.

  25. Lina says

    LOVE Ball jars and I am actually drinking my water from one right now. As for canning though I would definitely make pickled brussel sprouts…so yum!

  26. Lauren says

    The house we bought this winter has 3 apple trees full of apples this year. I’d love to try canning some apples to mike pies this winter.

  27. says

    I can’t tell whether the giveaway is open for international readers as well – but if it is, I’m definitely participating! I have never done much in the way of preserving things before – neither vegetables, nor fruit. However, if I were lucky enough to win the jars, I think my first batch would be peaches or nectarines in some sort of vanilla syrup. I am very heavily into nectarines at the moment, so it would be awesome to be able to preserve some of that goodness for the coming months as well!

  28. Halz says

    I just started a little nut butter company and we sell all of our nut butters and jams at local farmers markets. All of our products are stored and sold in ball jars!

  29. Daniela Alvarez says

    Hello. I would love to win your ball jars. I have started to make Jams . Peach raspberry, lemon strawberry, banana orange! I would love to continue to explore making funky combinations that delight my taste buds. Help me out. :)

  30. Luann says

    Have never canned anything before so I would take your word for how easy it is and do your recipe! LOVE your blog, by the way.

  31. says

    I would make my own first batch of my Grandma’s “Grandma Jelly” – It’s a super simple fig/strawberry jam. I’d love to give it a try to make my own using the Ball jars, just like my Grandma does every summer. :)

  32. Wynn Zetterberg says

    I’ll probably make some sort of jam or relish. It really just depends on what’s available at the farmer’s market. If all else fails, we’ll make apple pumpkin butter. Super easy and very delicious.

  33. says

    You can too! Oh. My. Heart. I super like you again… it must be those Indiana roots. I’ve been canning cherry juice, cherry jelly, and cherry syrup – oh yum. If I won something from Ball though (I did go to Ball State my freshman year, so I am a total Ball snob!) I would can beans. I’ve been trying to perfect pressure canning dried beans. I love how they’ve been turning out but the different beans need different amount of water in my opinion and I haven’t gotten all that worked out. Do you pressure can? I just tried it this spring and am in love!

  34. Sarah says

    My husband just pulled three monster cucumbers out of the garden today (our first attempt at a garden!), so I would love to make some pickles in these jars!

  35. says

    I want to make either a low sugar cherry/strawberry jam or some chow chow (its like southern relish). Your recipe looks delish! I bet it would be good on salads too

  36. Emily W says

    I would can some pickles. My fiance and I are obsessed with pickles and I really want to try my hand at making my own.

  37. Jenna M says

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I was bored today and after I saw this, I decided to make it! It turned out great! I am still new to canning but I think my next project will be tomato jam. YUM!

  38. says

    My grandmother used to can all sorts of yummy garden goodness. I can’t wait to learn to can and duplicate her pickle recipe or pickled egg recipe.

  39. says

    I have never tried preserving anything before but I’ve always wanted to try it. I am pretty sure I would try your recipe for corn relish, it sounds amazing and an easy one to try for the first time!

  40. says

    We always have so much corn that we have to freeze due to family bringing it down from Kentucky when they visit, so definitely some corn recipes (including the one you posted). And pickles!

  41. Rachel says

    I had some candied jalapenos that my friend had canned a few months ago that were delicious! i think i would definitely start out with those.

  42. says

    I would use my jars to can half a dozen jars of hot dilly beans, and the other half would be for pickled okra. Preserved summer in a jar.

  43. Jessica says

    I’ve never preserved anything before but, if I were to start, it would be blueberry/jalapeno jelly. for sure.

  44. Marla says

    Man, there’s lots of yummy things to can! I’d love to try your Homestyle Canned Corn Relish recipe! I would also try to can some tomatoes or salsa!

  45. Donna says

    Your canning jars would be put to very good use. I would can dandelion hazelnut jelly. I just have two bags of frozen spring dandelion flowers in my frezer right now waiting to be use. This jelly is soooo good it taste like sun shine warmed with the good taste of hazelnut. Yummy!

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