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Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish

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This Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish recipe is my copycat version of Harry & David’s popular treat.  It’s delightful mixed with cream cheese and spread on crackers or used as a glaze for pork and chicken.  And it makes a fabulous gift!

harry and david sweet pepper and onion relish recipe copycat

I always enjoy receiving homemade gifts.  When someone takes the time to make something for you, whether it’s a simple plate of cookies or some elaborate craft, it says a lot.  It makes you feel all the more unique, special, appreciated and loved.  Cooking happens to be one of my biggest passions, and so naturally I particularly enjoy making gifts for people that are edible.  This Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish makes the perfect gift and has always been a hit with everyone.

If you’ve ever tried the popular Harry and David Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish you know how delicious it is.  It’s also quite pricey and you get such a small amount – which is pure torture because you want enough of it so that you can eating it without worrying about running out!  Well this homemade version solves that problem.  It yields 12 half pint jars and at a fraction of the cost!  And I promise you, it tastes AMAZING!

Slather this relish on chicken or pork before baking for a marvelous glaze or mix it with cream cheese and serve it with crackers – it’s fabulous!

Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish Recipe

Let’s get started!

Combine all the ingredients, except for the pectin, in a large stock pot.

adding veggies to pot

adding sugar to pot

Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Now it’s time to add the pectin.  You won’t need much because most of the liquid will have evaporated by now.

Add the pectin (I used and recommend Ball’s Realfruit Classic Pectin), bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

cooking the veggies

Immediately ladle the hot relish into hot sterilized canning jars with sealable canning lids.

Process in a water bath canner with the water covering the top of the jars by least 3 inches and process for 20 minutes.

Harry and David Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish Recipe copycat

Remove the jars from the canner and let them rest for 24 hours undisturbed before moving.   This Sweet Pepper & Onion Relish will keep up to a year.

Harry & David Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish Copycat Recipe

This recipe makes about a dozen 1/2 pint jars.  For the ones you want to give away as gifts, just tie a ribbon around them with a little label.  Are they cute or what?

Harry & David Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish Copycat Recipe

Enjoy this relish mixed with cream cheese and spread on crackers, as a glaze for chicken or pork, or however else your imagination inspires!

Harry & David Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish Copycat Recipe

For more delicious homemade relishes be sure to try our:

harry and david sweet pepper and onion relish recipe copycat

Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish (Harry and David Copycat)

A copycat recipe for Harry & David favorite. Delicious mixed with cream cheese and spread on crackers or used as a glaze for pork and chicken.
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Water Bath Canning Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course condiment, dip, glaze


  • 6 cups skinned, seeded and diced tomatoes , first blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds for easy peeling (a few of our readers have reported success using canned tomatoes: use five 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes)
  • 6 cups seeded and diced red bell peppers
  • 4 cups diced yellow onion
  • 4 jalapenos , seeded and diced
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons powdered pectin , I use and recommend Ball's Classic Realfruit Pectin


  • Place all the ingredients, except for the pectin, in a large stock pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add more cayenne to taste if desired. Add the pectin and quickly bring to a boil for 1 minute. ***See NOTE below.
    Remove from heat and ladle the hot mixture into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Process the jars in a water bath canner with the water at least three inches above the jars, for 20 minutes. Remove the jars and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Store in a dark, cool place. This relish will keep for up to a year.
    Makes about 6 pints or 12 half pint jars.


* Do a quick test before canning the relish: Put a small spoonful on a cool plate and wait a couple of minutes then check for consistency. It shouldn't be running all over the plate, nor should it be firm like jello. If it's too runny for your preference, add a little more pectin and boil for another minute. Repeat as necessary. (Note, it can take a full 24-48 hours for pectin to set properly. Shake one of the jars and see if it's runny. If it is, you can still "rescue" them by opening the jars (you'll need to use new lids but as long as the rims aren't bent you can reuse those), pour everything back into a pot, bring back to a boil and stir in more pectin. Then can again.)
Keyword Harry and David Sweet Pepper and Onion Relish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet November 21, 2013

kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating

5 from 71 votes (53 ratings without comment)


  1. I have canned pickles, relishes and jams for years. I have been making this relish for several years and am so happy I found it. The recipe is incredible – it is easy to follow and forgiving. We use the relish almost every day. Try it on scrambled eggs! I use a little bit of Guar Gum at the end of the cooking time to give it a lovely shine. I was trying to replace the Rothschilds Roasted Pepper and Onion Relish which I could no longer find and was very expensive. Thank you so much for this wonderful copycat.

  2. I’ve been making relish for 6 years now. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to comment but I thought it was high time and just wanted to let you know that this relish is a staple in our home. I make at least two large batches of it every year for our family and usually make extra to give away. Thank you for such an amazing recipe!

  3. I’m just about out of my first every jar of H&D brand. Now I’m looking for a recipe to make myself. I put this jam on burgers then melt cheese on top. sometimes I’ll add a bit of bacon, too. it’s delicious and I can’t wait to make this!

  4. This relish turned out great in my opinion. I am not an experienced canner, and during research about the process found some things missing from the instructions for this recipe:
    Leave 1/2″ air space at the top when filling jars
    Tighten the ring only fingertip tight, air needs to leak out during processing
    Water must boil for the entire 20 minutes during processing

    1. In my opinion I think that one would need all the vinegar to ge the PH level to the right amount. I tested mine today with the exact measurements and it was at 4.1. Refusing vinegar would out you over 4.6 which would make it a low acid food and need to be pressure canned.

  5. Used to love the Harry & David’s stuff, but this recipe was inedible as is. Half both vinegars, much better. Cut sugar a bit & introduced chopped fresh pomegranates (3) and it was out of this world. (A couple thai chilies in the batch was really nice also!) I probably wouldn’t eat the H&D anymore (and certainly would not pay that price!)