When this Northeastern Italian/Irish gal married her Southern husband , she got a proper introduction to southern food.  I went from saying, “So… you just eat the pinto beans by themselves?” and “What the heck is Chow Chow?“, to insisting on stone ground cornmeal for my homemade cornbread and singing praises for beans in a crock pot with a ham hock.

So here is my husband’s famous chow chow recipe (it’s like redneck relish), which everyone raves over.  The chopping is the hardest part, but it is SO worth it!  This recipe makes about 11-12 pints of Chow Chow.


  • 2.5 heads of cabbage, choppedCanning Southern Chow Chow
  • 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 banana peppers, chopped
  • 2.5 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cups green tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 Jalapeno peppers (with seeds if you like it spicier)
  • 1 Habanero pepper (Will provide a little bite of spice. Can be omitted)

Canning liquid:

  • 5-6 cups of white vinegar
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4tsp celery seed
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Chow Chow peppers chow chow green tomatoes

(Make sure you have all your canning jars and pressure canner ready to go after you have chopped the vegetables.)


1. Combine ingredients for the canning liquid in a large soup pot.

2. Bring to a boil; and simmer for 10 minutes.

chow chow liquid

3. Add the vegetables to the canning liquid. Mix until all the vegetables are coated. Bring back to a boil.

chow chow mix

4. Immediately fill canning jars with chow chow. Process in a pressure canner at 11 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. (Be sure to follow all safety procedures for pressure canning.)

chow chow liquid

5. When the steam pressure is dissipated in your pressure canner, carefully lift out the jars with tongs, and sit on a towel on the counter.  Let cool completely.  Check each jar to see that it has sealed completely. If you can push down in the lid and hear a click, it is not sealed.

6. Serve with brats, hot dogs, pinto beans, burgers, or anything you like.  My dad mixes this chow chow into Ham Salad.

Have you ever eaten Chow Chow? Have you ever made it?

What else you got?

Got apples? Make and can homemade Apple Butter

Got tomatoes? Make some homemade salsa and can it.

Got more tomatoes? Make and can homemade spaghetti sauce.

Got Peaches? Here’s how to can peaches.

Got Cucumbers? Make No-cook Refrigerator Pickles

Got more Cucumbers? Make some Dill Pickles with the Ball Canning Discovery Kit

Don’t know where to start? Read this: Getting Started with Canning — Canning Equipment Checklist

Want to learn quickly and easily? Check out the Ball Canning Discovery Kit

Don’t see your bounty here? Learn to can/ preserve just about ANYTHING!

And check out all these canning recipes from Type A Parent