Sweet Pepper Relish

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Perfect for hot dogs, brats, or as a dip, this easy sweet pepper relish features bell peppers, onion, and tomato for tangy sweet flavor. You’ll love this versatile topping!

One of my favorite things is trying the samples at the grocery store. Not only does it stave off the hungry-shopping woes, it also gets my brain turning on recipes to make.

Years ago I came across a sweet pepper relish at the store. I loved it so much that I immediately made it at home and have been making it ever since.

A bowl of red peppers next to a spoon.

Sweet pepper relish is filled with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, along with a few other ingredients. In a way it’s similar to jalapeño jelly, but this relish has more of a sweet-tangy flavor than a sweet-hot flavor.

It’s easier to make than jalapeño jelly, too, with no worrying about pectin or floating bits of pepper. Because this is a relish, it’s mainly chopped veggies, with just a few additions to give it that tang.

You’ll love this sweet pepper relish on all your favorite grilled hot dogs, bratwursts, and burgers, or eaten as part of a tasty cheese board!

Ingredients for sweet pepper relish

You’ll need:

The ingredients for a relish are shown on a white tile floor.

Bell peppers – You can use any color variety you like for this relish. I used a combination of red and green.

Keep in mind that red bell peppers are sweeter, while green bell peppers have a milder flavor. Orange and yellow bell peppers fall in between those.

Tomato – I recommend using paste tomatoes, as this will help thicken the relish somewhat. Peeling is optional, but you can follow my instructions for how to peel tomatoes if you choose to go that route.

Onion – Use white or yellow onion for this relish. A sweet onion will make the relish a little too sweet, in my opinion.

Sugar – You’ll need granulated sugar. If you want a bit of a molasses flavor, you can use brown sugar.

Cider vinegar – Don’t confuse this with apple cider the drink! Cider vinegar adds tangy flavor.

You can use regular distilled white vinegar if you prefer.

Spices – You’ll need salt, garlic powder, and paprika.

Olive oil – Just a small amount for sautéeing the vegetables.

A bowl of vegetables with a spoon on a wooden table.

How to make this recipe

Dice your vegetables into small pieces of approximately the same size. If you have extra after measuring the chopped amount, you can save it for another recipe, like chili.

Add the olive oil to a large saucepan or dutch oven and warm over medium heat.

Once the oil is heated, add the peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.

Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

The vegetables should be soft, with the liquid reduced by at least half. If you want less liquid, you can keep cooking the relish until it is thickened to your liking.

Transfer the relish into a jar or container with a lid. Let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use!


What else can I add to sweet pepper relish?

If you want to add a little heat to this relish, you can mix in chopped jalapeño or serrano pepper along with the bell pepper.

You can also add crushed red chile flakes, chile powder, or even a dash of hot sauce to add spice.

You can also add celery seed or mustard seed for more of a tangy, pickle-y flavor.

A person is holding a spoonful of salsa on a cracker.

Can I process this relish in a canner?

This particular recipe is not suitable for canning. It only makes 2 cups, so you’ll likely use it up quickly!

What other vinegars can I use?

I recommend (apple) cider vinegar, but you can use a variety of other vinegars. Keep in mind that each one will add a slightly different flavor.

Distilled white vinegar, the kind you likely already have on hand, is a great option.

Another option is white wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar have stronger flavors, so you might want to reduce the amount if you choose one of those.

A jar of pepper relish with crackers and a spoon.

How long will sweet bell pepper relish keep?

This homemade relish will keep in the refrigerator for about a month.

Storing the jar toward the back of the fridge where it is coldest will help the relish last longer.

Ways to use sweet pepper relish

This relish is a tasty condiment for nearly any protein, from a simple grilled hot dog to baked cod! 

Serve it over whipped cream cheese or in place of marinara in baked goat cheese for a delicious appetizer. You can also make it into a dip mixed with cream cheese and sour cream.

I like to use it as a sandwich spread, too. Try it on a grilled cheese or a tuna melt. It’s especially great with salamis for a pressed Italian sandwich.

A hand is holding a cracker with pepper sauce on it.

You’ll find lots of ways to enjoy this easy onion and pepper relish, so why not make a batch today?

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

A bowl of red peppers next to a spoon.

Sweet Pepper Relish

This tangy sweet pepper relish is great for topping hot dogs and burgers. It's also delicious as a dip or spread!
Author : Megan Myers
5 from 40 votes
Print Pin Recipe Review
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 35 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped bell peppers, about 3 peppers
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, about 2 paste tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onion, about 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Add olive oil to a saucepan or dutch oven and warm over medium heat. Once hot, add the peppers and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a jar or container with a lid and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.


  • Makes about 2 cups.
  • This recipe is not suitable for canning. Store in the refrigerator.


Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 35 kcalCarbohydrates: 6 gProtein: 0.5 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 0.1 gSodium: 96 mgPotassium: 101 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 5 gIron: 0.3 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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