Homemade Sweet Corn Relish

One of the best parts of summer is all of the wonderfully fresh foods that we get to enjoy. Fruits and vegetables galore are always on our summer menus. One veggie we can’t get enough of is corn and our homemade sweet corn relish is one of our favorite ways to partake of this summer staple. Homemade sweet corn relish is a great way to add a pop of color and flavor to just about any of your favorite proteins straight off of the grill. We’ve topped our steaks and salmon fillets with corn relish, even burgers, and hot dogs, and of course barbecue chicken. One bite of this will have you convinced it can go on top of just about anything!

The first step is to get fresh sweet corn, especially when fresh corn is so readily available, we want to use fresh as much as we possibly can. We cook the corn briefly then shave the kernels right off of the cob. Those bright beads of sweet yellow corn are then tossed with finely diced sweet onion and jewel-colored red and green bell peppers. If you’re feeling a little spicy, then you’ll definitely want to also add diced jalapeño – optional, of course, and seeded, although keeping the seeds in will certainly add a more spicy kick to your sweet relish. Once tossed, we set this aside and begin to prepare the liquid that will make turn our corn kernels into a sweet relish.

You can easily use distilled white vinegar here, but we thought it would be fun to instead use apple cider vinegar, so go with your own flavor preference. Next, the seasonings: mustard seeds, cumin, celery seed, red pepper flakes, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. The relish will need a thickening agent and that’s were the cornstarch mixture comes it. Once the liquid is ready, we can add the corn and bring this relish together into one amazing condiment. A sterilized canning jar is the perfect receptacle to hold and store our sweet corn relish, preserving our relish well into the summer months. We like to reserve a jar or two as gifts to share with family and friends because a relish this good must be shared!

Homemade Sweet Corn Relish

35 minutes to prepare 8 pints


  • 10 ears sweet corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium-sized sweet onion, finely diced
  • Optional: 1 finely diced jalapeño pepper, seeded
  • 2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Sterilized canning jars for storage


  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add corn ears to the stock pot. Bring back to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Place cooked ears of corn into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Pour cooking water from the stock pot and set the pot aside for later.
  2. Cut corn kernels from the cob and transfer to a large bowl. Toss corn with the diced onion, bell pepper, and (if using) the jalapeño pepper.
  3. In the large stock pot, add apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, cumin, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Bring to a boil, medium-high heat.
  4. Add corn mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Use a large spoon to scrape off any foam as the mixture boils.
  5. Mix cornstarch with water and add to the pot. Stir until incorporated and increase heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the corn relish begins to thicken, 5-7 minutes.
  6. Carefully transfer corn relish to prepared canning jars and cover with lids. Set jars aside to cool, using caution when handling as the mixture will be hot. Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate the jars.

Recipe adapted from A Farmgirl's Dabbles.