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Tomato Relish Recipe

Tomato relish is one of those classic recipes that everyone has their own way of making.

The variations on this sauce are endless, but it all stems from tomatoes.

The taste of this tangy tomato sauce comes from its vinegar base, which gives the mixture plenty of acidity.

This makes it great for keeping meats like beef and chicken juicy while also helping them hold up better when cooked over high heat.

You can use this sauce as a marinade for fish too.

Tomato relish can be used both hot and cold, so it’s easy to mix into salads or sauces without having to worry about it melting away at room temperature.

If you want an extra kick, add some chili powder, cayenne pepper, or even Tabasco sauce for more spice.

How Do You Make Tomato Relish?

To start off with, you will need fresh tomatoes, either canned ones or ripe ones that have been peeled and seeded.

Depending on how much time you have, you may choose to buy these ingredients pre-made or opt to do your own peeling and seeding if you have access to a food processor.

Once you have everything chopped up, place them in a large pot along with 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 cloves garlic, a teaspoon salt, and several dashes of black pepper.

Stir until combined and bring to a boil before reducing the heat to medium low and simmering for 20 minutes.

After cooking, stir occasionally and let cool before transferring to airtight containers and refrigerating overnight.

Tomato Relish Recipe

How Long Does Tomato Relish Last?

You should store tomato relish in the refrigerator for up to two weeks after opening.

Make sure not to freeze it because freezing causes changes in texture and color.

To reheat, simply take out what you need, pour it onto a plate and warm it up just enough to loosen the clumps.

Then transfer back to the container and return to the fridge.

What Is In A Tomato Relish Recipe?

A good tomato relish will have several ingredients.

These include fresh red bell peppers, onion, garlic, celery, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper.

Some people add spices such as oregano, thyme, basil, or bay leaves.

Tomatoes are usually included, but if you don’t have any then canned diced tomatoes are fine instead.

Fresh herbs are optional, although they give the relish a nice flavor boost.

You may need to adjust your ratio of ingredients depending on how much you plan to use.

For example, if you only want to put out a small amount of sauce for dipping bread into, you might use half the amount of each ingredient listed above.

However, if you’re serving it with a meal then you’ll probably double or triple the amounts given here.

How Long Does It Take To Make Tomato Relish?

Making a batch of tomato relish takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven.

In order to get the most out of this recipe, you should plan ahead and have everything prepared before starting cooking.

  • Cutting onions: Cut onion halves lengthwise with a sharp knife, then cut each half crosswise into thin slices.
  • Place onion pieces onto paper towels to soak excess moisture.
  • Once they are dry enough, transfer to a bowl.
  • Chilling red wine: Pour chilled white wine into a small glass container.
  • Dicing peppers: Peel peppers by using tongs to remove the skin.
  • Slice open peppers lengthwise down the middle, being careful not to puncture any seeds inside.
  • Remove the stem and slice open the top part of the pepper until you reach the membrane.
  • Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the insides of the pepper and discard.
  • Chopping garlic: Take two whole heads of garlic and peel off the outer layer using a paring knife.
  • With a fork, smash cloves together, leaving the skins intact.
  • Transfer cloves to a food processor.
  • Combining ingredients: Add diced onion, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, sugar, lemon zest, parsley, thyme leaves, red wine, and olive oil to food processor.
  • Pulse several times until well combined.
  • Packing tomatoes: Pack tomatoes into a large mixing bowl or baking dish.
  • Make sure there is enough space between each piece of tomato to allow juices to accumulate during roasting.
  • Roasting tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
  • Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Lay tomatoes on pan, flat side up.
  • Bake tomatoes for 45-50 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking time, until they start to soften.
  • Adding remaining ingredients and reducing liquid: While tomatoes roast, drain reserved wine and add to a medium pot.
  • Bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Turn off heat and whisk in vinegar and mustard.
  • Return to low heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens slightly.
  • Transfer roasted tomatoes to a cutting board, discarding skins.
  • Roughly chop tomatoes.
  • Combine chopped tomatoes with reduced liquid mixture and seasonings.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Refrigerating and storing: Refrigerate relish for at least 4 hours before serving or overnight.
  • Serve at room temperature or reheat gently in microwave in 20 second increments.
Tomato Relish Recipe2

What Is The Best Tomato Relish Recipe?

As with many classic dishes, there isn’t a single “best” tomato relish recipe out there.

There are lots of different ways to make this tangy dish, and each person will have their favorite method.

The most important thing to remember here is that your choice in ingredients affects how much flavor you get from your final product.

For example, if you don’t like spicy foods, then you might not enjoy the amount of heat in this recipe.

As always, play around until you find what works best for you!

Here are just a few of our favorites below:

  • Classic Tomato Relish Recipe (Vegan)
  • Molasses-based Tomato Relish Recipe
  • Pineapple-based Tomato Relish Recipe
  • Curry-based Tomato Relish Recipe
  • Spicy Tomato Relish Recipe
  • Herb-infused Tomato Relish Recipe
  • Ginger-based Tomato Relish Recipe
  • Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe
  • Roasted Tomatoes & Basil Pasta Salad Recipe

How Do You Can Tomato Relish?

You can make your fresh tomato relish in two ways – either by cooking down whole ripe tomatoes with sugar until they become jam-like and syrupy, then straining out the seeds (or peeling off the skins) and pressing the pulp through a sieve before mixing it back together with salt, peppers, spices and any additional ingredients.

Or you can buy canned tomatoes, which will have already been processed for you.

These are generally easier to find in supermarkets than fresh ones, although if you don’t mind spending a little time chopping up a few cans yourself, this method works just fine.

If you choose to cook down your fresh tomatoes, start by cutting the tops off of each tomato and removing the cores.

Then put them in a pot along with the rest of your ingredients except the salt and pepper.

Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let simmer until the liquid reduces enough to form a thick syrup around the tomatoes.

Remove the lid and continue to simmer until most of the water evaporates, leaving a rich, red sauce behind.

Allow to cool completely, then stir in the salt and pepper.

Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Pour into jars and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

How Do You Preserve Tomato Relish?

Most people think they need to put the relish in jars to keep it fresh.

But there are actually two main methods to preserving tomato relish by canning it.

One method involves putting your jar of tomato relish in boiling water before sealing it.

When the boiling point is reached again after cooling down, you have preserved your relish.

To learn how to can tomato relish, check out our article here.

Another method is to place your jar in ice-cold water to cool off quickly.

Once cooled, then seal the lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

In either case, don’t forget to label what exactly was placed inside the jar, including what seasonings were added.

Tomato Relish Recipe3

What Dishes Can You Make With Tomato Relish?

This versatile sauce tastes incredible in most types of foods.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Grilled hamburgers
  • Ground turkey meatloaf
  • Chicken breasts
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Soups
  • Baked potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Rice cakes
  • Tacos
  • Fried rice
  • Pizza
  • Chips
  • Dips

You can also serve this sauce warm by mixing it into your favorite pasta dish.

It will give the noodles a nice boost of flavor.

How Long Does Tomato Relish Last?

If you store your homemade tomato relish in the fridge, it will stay fresh for several weeks if properly sealed.

Once opened, however, there’s no telling how long it will keep for.

Tomatoes tend to lose moisture quickly after being stored, so they get drier than usual once exposed to air.

To extend the shelf life of your relish, put it back in the refrigerator within 24 hours of opening it.

This recipe calls for six cups of chopped up tomatoes.

When you cook down these ingredients, your relish should have enough flavor to last through multiple uses.

Make sure to remove the liquid before serving though, because it will dilute the flavor of your sauce.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Tomato Relish?

This classic condiment is full of vitamins C and A, plus potassium, fiber, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties that help protect your heart and prevent certain types of cancers.

They may also reduce inflammation in your body, which could lessen symptoms of arthritis.

Eating tomatoes regularly will give you many different beneficial effects because they contain such a variety of nutrients.

Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease

Lycopene helps lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood by increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol clearance.

In addition, it improves blood flow throughout your entire circulatory system by relaxing blood vessels.

This reduces the chance of developing atherosclerosis, which increases the likelihood of clogged arteries and stroke.

Improve bone strength

Tomatoes have been shown to increase calcium absorption in your body, which means they might actually improve bone density.

Lycopene was found to stimulate osteoblasts, which are cells responsible for building bones.

When these cells divide and multiply, they form new bone tissue, helping your body repair itself after injury.

Prevent prostate cancer

Researchers studied men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and followed them over several years.

Those who ate five or more servings of tomatoes daily had a 50 percent decreased risk of dying from the disease compared to those who didn’t eat any tomatoes at all.

One serving equals half a cup of chopped fresh tomatoes.

Lower risk of diabetes

In a study published in Diabetes Care, researchers looked at people with type II diabetes.

After following patients for eight years, they found that eating two cups of tomato soup per day lowered the chances of getting diabetes by 42%.

The scientists believe that tomatoes may slow down sugar production in your liver, thus reducing insulin resistance and preventing diabetes.

Is There A Difference Between Tomato Relish And Salsa?

Many people will say they prefer tomato relish because it tastes less sweet than most salsas.

However, if you don’t mind sugar in your food, then salsa is a good option.

Salsa contains fresh peppers and vegetables, along with onions, garlic, and spices.

Most salsas have a bit of sweetness added by using tomatoes, but not always.

You may also find that tomato-based dishes are usually prepared with canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones.

That means you won’t get any of the nutrients found in fresh fruit.

So, if you really love tomatoes, go ahead and make a batch of homemade tomato relish!

Tomato Relish Recipe2

Tomato Relish Recipe

Tomato relish is one of those classic recipes that everyone has their own way of making.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tomato Relish Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 193kcal


  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Pot


  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


  • Tomatoes should be peeled and boiled for two minutes. Drain and allow to cool a bit. The skins should now be readily peeled off and split. If not split, apply some pressure or scratch the skin lightly, and it should come out without much effort. Cherry tomatoes should easily burst out of their skin when using them by exerting slight pressure at the tomato’s base (see video).
  • Place chopped tomatoes and onions in a tray. Add the salt, then cover with a fresh tea towel. Overnight leave outside (at room temperature).
  • The following day, drain the liquid and add the tomatoes, onion, sugar, and vinegar to a pot.
  • The sugar must be heated while stirring over medium heat. Stirring once or twice throughout the 10 minutes of boiling, bring to a boil. Use a spoon to remove any foam that develops on the surface.
  • To produce a paste, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the pot and well mix.
  • Continue to boil for a further 20 minutes (about), stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes and prevent the mixture from burning on the bottom of the pan. A jam-like consistency should develop in the mixture as it thickens.
  • Pour the mixture into sterile jars and let them cool. Store for up to six months in the refrigerator.



Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 3504mg | Potassium: 683mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 2086IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
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