Chow Chow – Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish

Make a delicious Chow Chow, marinated summer vegetable relish, out of your summer vegetables. It is perfect for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, low calorie and low fat diets.

Pin Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow) here.

Must Make! Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow)

Towards the end of last summer, one of my neighbors brought me a bonanza of summer vegetables from her Brother’s garden. Oh, it was the best gift someone ever gave me. There were a large amount of delicious, ripe veggies just crying to be eaten. There were so many I wasn’t sure how we would get through them all before they went bad. So I set about making something that would stretch out their life a little.

Since we live in the South, Chow Chow came to mind. It was on all the restaurant menus last year and since I have a sweet spot for marinated vegetables I decided to give it a try. Man, oh man, I did not have to worry about all these veggies going bad. The Chow Chow was so good, I was throwing it on everything; sandwiches, salads, fish, chicken, eggs. It did not last long.


Must Make! Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow) Low Calorie, Low Fat Healthy Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free Recipe

So Chow Chow is simply a marinated vegetable relish that is on the tangy side. Every region probably has it’s own name for it. It is definitely not a new dish. People have been doing this for hundreds of years to preserve their veggies. I’m a little late to the game, but better late than never. It was absolutely, positively worth making. You can use any mix of vegetables you want. I used the glorious vegetables that my neighbor brought us. The bag was filled with cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and onions. I threw them all in. I usually don’t like green peppers but I did enjoy them in this tangy, slightly sweet concoction.


Must Make! Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow)

As for the spices, I used my favorite, fennel seed. Mustard seed is pretty traditional so I threw some of that in too. I added a jalapeno just for my husband who thinks every food should have some spice to it. Now the only hard part of this is the wait time. You have to let these delectable vegetables sit and stew in the pickling liquid. Four hours is OK but overnight is better. Believe me, this little jar of vegetable goodness will be taunting you. Walk away from the frig and everything will be OK.

If you are lucky enough to have a bounty of summer vegetables, try making Chow Chow. It is so versatile and will go with anything, even on a spoon! It is delicious as a dip too. I’m thinking it would make a delicious muffuletta sandwich too. Hopefully our little garden will provide me with a bounty of vegetables of my own to make this again. If not, I’m hitting the grocery store. I cannot be without my Chow Chow.


Must Make! Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow)

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Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Calories 48 kcal
Author Christie Daruwalla


  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes seeded
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped eggplant
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cucumber seeded
  • ½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno finely chopped
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ tsp . whole fennel seed
  • ¼ tsp . turmeric
  • ¼ tsp . whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp . kosher salt


  1. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, brown sugar, water, mustard seeds, garlic, fennel seed, turmeric, black peppercorns and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar and take off the heat.
  2. Place vegetables into an air-tight jar.
  3. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and refrigerate at least for 4 hours but is better for 24 hours

Recipe Notes

I calculated 2  Weight Watcher Smartpoints.

Nutrition Facts
Marinated Summer Vegetable Relish (Chow Chow)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 48
% Daily Value*
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 9g
Protein 1g 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

But wait, there’s more.  Check out these deliciously, healthy, summer vegetable recipes:

Stunning Salad! Stacked Summer Vegetable Salad www.fooddonelight.comStacked Summer Vegetable Salad

Chopped Vegetable Confetti Salad www.fooddonelight.comChopped Vegetable Confetti Salad

Cantaloupe Squash Salad #saladrecipe #zucchinirecipe #cantalouperecipe #zucchinisaladCantaloupe Squash Salad

Food Done Light is on a mission to keep passion for food but find ways to fit it into a healthy life and hopefully, along the way, change eating habits for good. Healthy living one bite at a time is our motto. You will find heart healthy recipes with Weight Watcher points, and most of all the recipes are delicious. Just ask the Food Done Light family which includes my husband, 9-year-old daughter, Lucy, our 7 yr old Golden Retriever, and Stella, our 12-year-old cat. Find Food Done Light on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.


  1. I've never heard of chow chow but now I MUST try it! This sounds so light, healthy and refreshing.My husband likes it when I buy those jars of marinated veggies at the store so I bet he would love this. Pinned!
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Jen,I bet he would love it. It tastes more fresh and vibrant than the store bought ones.
  2. I forgot about Chow Chow. Thank you for the memories and I will be making your version very soon. I just need a few more vegetables to grow in.
  3. I haven't had chow chow in years but it's one of my favorite things. Love your version!
  4. I've actually never heard of anything like this -- but it sounds delicious! Does it keep for a long time in the pickling liquid?
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Kelly, I did find that it stayed fresh for quite a while. If you are into canning, you could always to that to preserve it longer.
  5. So, I want this on basically EVERYTHING in my life right now. I love summer veggies, and this looks fresh and fabulous!
  6. wow this looks AWESOME. definitely will be trying this relish recipe. glad i came across your website... thanks for the inspiration!
  7. loving all the veggies! I'd have to play around with the spices because i'm not a huge fennel fan, but i definitely think this would be great to have on hand to add to salads, chicken, etc!
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Lindsay, You can use whatever spice you like. Fennel just happens to be a favorite of mine. It will still be delicious.
  8. I have never heard of chow chow but obviously it has been missing in my life! This looks delish.
  9. My mom just dropped off a bag of veggies (eggplants, jalepenos, etc.) from her garden. This chow chow looks delicious! So, I'm going to have to give this a try!
  10. Elizabeth says
    I've been looking for this recipe for years! My mother made it when I was a little girl, but she always made it when I was at school so I didn't know how she made it. We called it "Fresh Eggplant Pickles". Thank you so much!
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Elizabeth, I'm so happy you like it and glad it could bring back some memories. I hope it tastes like you remember. You can always change the spices to mimic what your Mom made.
  11. Do you cook the eggplant first? thank you!
  12. Christie Daruwalla says
    Hi Tanya, No the eggplant is not cooked first. The marinated will make it soft.


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