Corn relish is the perfect summer side dish. With its sweet corn flavor and crunchy texture, it’s a great addition to backyard barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. Though you can find corn relish in stores, it’s easy and inexpensive to make your own at home. This quick and easy corn relish recipe comes together in just 30 minutes with simple pantry ingredients.
Benefits of Homemade Corn Relish
Freshness- By making corn relish yourself, you can use fresh, in-season corn for the best flavor. The corn relish you buy at the store is likely made with frozen or canned corn.
Customization- Don’t like an ingredient in the recipe below? Swap it out for something else! Store-bought relish doesn’t give you that flexibility. With homemade, you control the ingredients.
Cost savings- Homemade corn relish is much cheaper per serving compared to store-bought. With pantry staples and seasonal veggies, each serving costs just pennies to make.
How to Make Quick & Easy Corn Relish
Ready to get started? Here’s the simple process for making delicious homemade corn relish in 30 minutes or less:
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears corn)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the corn. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn kernels and cook for 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and let cool.
- Prepare the vegetables. While the corn is cooking, dice the bell pepper and onion. Seed and mince the jalapeño if using.
- Make the relish. In a large bowl, combine the cooked corn, bell pepper, onion, jalapeño (if using), white vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
- Let flavors meld. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.
- Serve and enjoy! Spoon the corn relish over grilled meats, burgers, tacos, or simply enjoy it as a side. Refrigerate leftovers up to 1 week.
Tips for the Best Homemade Corn Relish
- Use the freshest corn you can find for optimal sweetness and texture. The sugars start converting to starches quickly after picking, so prioritize freshness.
- Consider grilling the corn to add charred flavor before cutting the kernels off the cob.
- Make it your own! Customize with different vinegars, peppers, herbs and spices.
- Mix in other diced veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, or peppers.
FAQ About Making Corn Relish
Got questions about homemade corn relish? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
1. What’s the best corn to use for relish?
Prioritize sweet corn varieties like Golden Bantam or Silver Queen. Avoid starchy field corn varieties meant for livestock feed.
2. Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use thawed frozen corn. Just be sure to drain it well before using as extra moisture will water down the relish.
3. Is the relish safe to can for long term storage?
No, this relish recipe is designed for fresh eating, not canning. Canning requires an additional processing step to kill bacteria and spoilage organisms.
4. How long does corn relish last in the fridge?
It will keep fresh for 5-7 days in an airtight container. The flavors continue improving over the first few days.
5. What are some serving ideas for corn relish?
- Top hot dogs, hamburgers, or brats
- Spoon onto tacos or burritos
- Serve alongside grilled chicken or fish
- Add to a summer grain bowl
- Fold into an omelet filling
6. Can I replace the vinegar with lime juice?
Absolutely! The acidity helps balance the sweetness. Lime juice makes a tasty substitution.