Spicy Zucchini Relish with Cilantro


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I love pickles. Cold, crunchy, tangy, salty pickles. This spicy zucchini relish satisfies my craving for flavor and texture in all the right ways. Plus, it’s a great condiment for summer and a great use for extra zucchini.

I like this zucchini relish with quesadillas, burritos, as a topping for salad, and have even used it as a cold salad instead of a topping! It just depends on how large or small you chop the ingredients. With a larger dice, you could serve the zucchini relish as a salad side. An even finer dice can create a chutney. Or pulse the ingredients together in a blender or food processor if you’re looking for a saucier relish more like your typical sweet pickle relish for sausages and burgers.

Many recipes for zucchini call for cooked zucchini, but I happen to like the crunch of raw zucchini! It’s also got a slightly different flavor. This spicy zucchini relish keeps the crunch factor and the quick pickling removes some of the bitterness of the raw zucchini. And let’s be real, who can’t use another zucchini recipe? (Looking for another good one? Check out this easy roasted zucchini dip!)

You can easily make this zucchini relish well ahead of serving it. Because of the vinegar, they’ll keep for at least a few days in the refrigerator (unless you eat it all!). The longer you marinate, the more pickled they’ll become. Shorter marinating time preserves the zucchini flavor but also the intensity of the onion. I recommend tasting at time intervals to see how you like it! Variability will come with the size of your dice.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment below, rate it, and check out The Seasoned Vegetable on Facebook!

5 from 1 vote

Spicy Zucchini Relish

A fresh, tangy zucchini relish for topping quesadillas and burritos! Lightly pickled with a bit of heat, it's a perfect summer condiment.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 zucchini, finely diced (about 220g or 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion (about 50g)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a small bowl, combine zucchini, onion, jalapeno, salt, vinegar and cumin. Mix well.
  2. Let marinate 30 minutes to overnight.
  3. Add chopped cilantro just before serving.

Recipe Notes


The jalapeno pepper I used was relatively mild so the relish wasn’t too spicy. If you want to turn up the heat, you can keep the seeds, use an additional pepper, or use a spicier pepper like a serrano chile.


You could use other vegetables with this relish and include corn or carrots. Red onions are also a good swap for white onion.

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  • Reply
    Christina D
    July 29, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I had some great vegetables in my fridge (dino kale, co-worker’s homegrown zucchini, carrots), but was feeling uninspired on what to make… I wanted to make something I would be excited to eat.
    This Zucchini Relish turned out to be the perfect thing. I ate it with tortilla chips. I substituted white vinegar and a little brown sugar for apple cider vinegar since I didn’t have any on hand, but bet the apple cider would be even tastier/less harsh.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2017 at 6:29 am

      Great swap Christina! Champagne vinegar would also be a good swap. Rice wine vinegar would give it a different profile, but I be it would be tasty too!

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