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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Jessica says

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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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