Fermented Zucchini Relish

Fermented zucchini relish is sugar-free and probiotic

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Need a way to use up some giant garden zucchinis? Zucchini relish is a savoury and sweet condiment that is perfect with cheese or for a barbecue. This relish is fermented rather than cooked to soften the vegetables. Not only is fermenting EASIER than cooking, it also is probiotic!


Units Scale


  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 of sweet red pepper, finely diced
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt (non-iodized)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp grated horseradish (optional)

After fermentation

  • 1 to 4 Tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp cup cider vinegar (optional)


  1. Combine all the vegetables in a bowl, then mix in the salt and spices.
  2. Pack the vegetables into a quart-sized (1 L) jar for fermenting. Use a spoon to really pack it in. The zucchini should sweat off enough liquid to cover the vegetables. It won’t fill the jar, but it’s easier to pack into a larger-sized jar.
  3. Use a weight to keep the vegetables below the brine. Cap with a lid that will keep the fruit flies out while allowing the ferment to bubble (see notes for options).
  4. Ferment in a cool dark location for 3 days. A kitchen cupboard is perfect.
  5. After fermenting, drain off the excess liquid (about 1/2 cup). Otherwise, it will be a bit too liquidy and salty.
  6. At this point, you can add sugar and cider vinegar, to taste.
  7. Store in the refrigerator and eat within 2 months, or see the section above for information on options for long-term storage.


  • I usually do most of my fermenting in fido jars, however, you could use a mason jar with an airlock or a pickle-pipe lid. You could also go low-tech, and just cover the jar with a loose-lid or tea towel.
  • Homegrown, organic zucchini should have the bacteria it needs to culture this ferment. If you are concerned, then feel free to use a vegetable starter.
  • Powdered turmeric often contains sulfites as a preservative. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough to curb the fermentation in this recipe. If you have access to fresh turmeric, then feel free to use 1 tsp of grated turmeric instead.
  • Fresh horseradish is pretty hard to find. So feel free to replace it with homemade prepared horseradish (not store-bought which is VERY high in sulfites). Otherwise, skip it altogether.