12 Substitutes For Sweet Relish [In Salads & Sauces]

For me, the best part of a hot dog is the flavorful, well-prepared sweet pickle relish melting in my mouth.

Right up there with ketchup and mustard, sweet relish is a necessity on all my cookout foods.

The texture, taste, and aesthetic nuclear green color always have my guests coming back for more.

As a nutritionist, I tend to gravitate towards sweet relish as it is often lower in sodium than dill pickles.

However, sweet relish is still high in sodium, so I try to consume it in moderation. Despite taking a while to finish a jar, somehow, I still manage to run out when I’m craving it the most. That’s why I keep a list of substitutions for times of need.

The best substitutes for sweet relish are chopped dill pickles. Other condiment substitutes include celery, Piccalilli relish, and Bread and Butter pickles. If you’re making dips or dressings, good substitutes include capers, freeze-dried dills, and Chutney. For substitutes in salads, you can use green olives, cucumbers, or green bell peppers. For cooking, crushed pineapples and Indian relish are good substitutes.

In this article, we will dive into the different substitutions of sweet relish based on the needed applications.

We will also discuss the use of sweet relish in salads, sauces, and cooking. In addition, we will address some commonly asked questions pertaining to the relish.

Substitutes For Sweet Relish

1. Chopped Dill Pickles

If you’re looking to go on a similar pickle adventure as sweet pickle relish, this substitution is for you.

Dill pickles are pickled cucumbers with dill herbs. When chopped, they are the best substitute for sweet pickle relish.

Sweet pickle relish essentially contains dill and dill seeds as an ingredient. That is why the taste of dill pickles resembles that of sweet pickle relish.

They both have a sweet and sour taste with articulated dill notes and a crunchy texture.

For this substitution, mince or chop dill pickles and use as much as you would use sweet relish in a 1:1 ratio. You can use this alternative with burgers, sandwiches, or hot dogs.

Chopped Dill Pickles

2. Celery

Celery is a marshland plant that belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is a plant that many eat raw or cooked.

So, if you’re questioning why it’s on the list of substitutes for sweet pickle relish, let me explain.

If you’re into making green smoothies, you probably have some celery stalks lying on your kitchen counter. This substitution will take a bit more ingredients than just these stalks.

For the closest results to sweet pickle relish, you’re going to start by chopping or slicing as many celeries stem as you’d like.

Then marinate them with wine vinegar and olive oil (you can choose lemon juice as well) along with minced garlic and onion. Finally, add spices and capers and season with salt and pepper.

You can use this substitution interchangeably with sweet pickle relish. It is an excellent substitute for when you’re making burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and even salads.


3. Piccalilli Relish

Piccalilli relish is a mustard-based relish that brings soothing flavors to your taste buds.

Like sweet pickle relish, it is used as a condiment. That is why Piccalilli relish can be a good substitute for sweet pickle relish.

Piccalilli relish has a pungent, tangy, vinegary, head-clearing taste that works well with other strong-tasting foods.

Piccalilli relish has a somewhat similar style to sweet pickle relish. That is why Piccalilli relish can be used interchangeably with sweet pickle relish in the exact quantity. This substitution is great for hamburgers and hot dogs.

Piccalilli Relish

4. Bread And Butter Pickles

Many kinds of pickles fall into the sweet pickles category, including bread and butter pickles.

Bread and butter pickles, also called sweet and sour pickles, are on the sweeter side of the pickle spectrum but not as sweet as other traditional sweet pickles. Therefore, bread and butter pickles could be good substitutes for sweet pickle relish.

Bread and butter pickles are often sold in stores in crinkle-cut slices. However, they are great substitutes if they are chopped or ground. This ensures a texture and form similar to that of jarred sweet pickle relish.

Bread and butter pickles provide the sweetness and tanginess you look for in sweet pickle relish.

In addition, they work great as a topping on hamburgers and other savory sandwiches. Bread and butter pickles can replace sweet pickles at a 1:1 ratio.

Bread and Butter Pickles

5. Capers

Capers are extremely young, unripe, and green-colored flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grow in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Spain, and Morocco.

Thanks to their taste, capers serve as great substitutes for sweet pickle relish in dressings and dips.

Capers have a spicy, lemony, vinegary flavor. They also taste salty and, to some degree, like olives.

They’re used in Mediterranean cooking and are incredible in marinades and salad dressings.

If the sweet relish’s job is to add tartness, then capers are an ideal substitute for it. Capers add the vinegar flavor of sweet relish without adding much texture.

Aside from capers substituting sweet relish in dips and dressings, you can use them in dishes like pasta salads.

The exact quantity of capers in place of sweet relish is hard to pinpoint as it all depends on what you’re making and the serving size.


6. Freeze-Dried Dill

Freeze-dried dills are instantly preserved with full flavor. Compared to fresh dill, freeze-dried ones last much longer.

However, they are used in interchangeable quantities. Freeze-dried dills are good substitutes for sweet pickle relish in dips and dressings.

Freeze-dried dills add citrusy notes with grassy undertones that give the food depth.

In addition, freeze-dried dill delivers the same flavor as fresh, so it could be used in place of sweet pickle relish to add the needed burst of freshness and flavor.

You can use this freeze-dried dill substitute in dips, dressings, and sauces. In addition, it pairs well with chicken, fish, vegetables, and eggs.

The amount of freeze-dried dill you use is up to the dips or dressings you are preparing and their portion sizes.

7. Chutney

Chutney is a savory or spicy condiment that originates in India. Many consider sweet pickle relish a westernized version of East Indian Chutney, and their names are mistakenly used interchangeably. However, Chutney can be a good substitute for sweet pickle relish.

There are many kinds of Chutney, so for the substitution, you must choose one with a similar flavor profile as sweet pickle relish.

Two Chutney types that taste similar to sweet pickle relish are green Mango Chutney and Branston pickle, a popular British chutney.

The suitable variations of Chutney and sweet pickle relish have similar tastes. Therefore, a warm chutney dressing can be an alternative to a sweet pickle relish.

For this substitution, you can use them interchangeably in a 1:1 ratio. Chutney dressing can be used on salads, burgers, cheese, crackers, etc.


8. Green Olives

Green olives are olives that were collected before becoming fully ripe. These olives have a unique flavor profile that gives them the ability to be a great substitute for sweet relish in salads.

Green olives have an unmistakable flavor that is due to their absorption of lye before being tenderized in oil.

They have an acidic, tart, mildly nutty flavor that is brighter and sharper than that of black olives. They go great on tuna salads, like sweet relish.

For this substitution, use chopped green olives in your salad. How much green olives you should add entirely depends on your taste preference.

Green Olives

9. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are fresh fruits that are greatly adaptable expansions in your diet. Yes, you heard me correctly; they are fruits and not vegetables. Chopped cucumbers can be used as is to substitute sweet relish.

I realize that cucumbers don’t have the bright flavor of sweet pickled relish, but they can add a decent surface note with a great crisp taste.

This substitution is great if you have cucumbers but no time to make or buy sweet pickle relish and crave the crunch of sweet pickle relish.

Use equal amounts of cucumber as you would use sweet pickled relish, if not more.

This substitution is suitable for your tuna or potato salads. This substitution is ideal for salads but can also be used in dips, sauces, burgers, sandwiches, etc.


10. Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers are sweet bell-shaped peppers that appear in many dishes. They are a bit bitter with grassy undertones. They can also be used as substitutes for sweet relish in salads.

Sweet relish is not sweet relish without its crunch. That’s why green bell peppers could be good substitutes for salads that contain sweet relish; they have a crunchy, juicy texture.

Sweet relish can be replaced in equal amounts with chopped green bell peppers, if not more. You could also use the crunch and color of this substitute in sandwiches and dips.

Green Bell Peppers

11. Crushed Pineapples

Okay, you might think this is a weird one, but in some meals, crushed pineapples can be used as suitable substitutes for sweet pickle relish.

In Embutido’s, for example, some people like the fruity sweetness that canned crushed pineapples offer, so they choose to replace the sweet relish with it.

However, it will give a different taste than the zesty sweet relish. This substitute might work well if you like added sweetness in your dish.

Feel free to substitute sweet relish with crushed and drained pineapples. Sweet relish can be replaced in equal amounts with pineapples, if not more.

12. Indian Relish

An altered form of sweet relish is Indian relish. That’s why it’s fit to be a substitute, especially in cooking.

Indian relish has a variety of special spices that make it different from the sweet relish we’re used to. It is a spicy sauce that adds great flavor to a recipe.

Its name, Indian relish, comes from the mix of vaguely curry-ish spices and so it resembles pickles of actual Indian origin.

For this substitution, you can use sweet relish and Indian relish interchangeably in a 1:1 ratio.

Just make sure to take into consideration that the taste will defer depending on what type of relish you decide to use and how much you’re adding.

Sweet Relish & Its Nutritional Info

Sweet relish is a famous American food condiment. It has a strong, sweet, yet salty flavor with a mild tartness that adds richness to any food it is used with.

Sweet pickle relish is often made from cucumber, cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices.

Some varieties may have bell peppers, onions, and celery seeds, among other ingredients added to them for flavor.

Sweet pickle relish is an easy and quick way to add delicious flavor and texture to plain food.

It could be thrown with hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, some salads (potato salads, tuna salads, etc.), dips, spreads, tartar sauce, dressings, and deviled eggs.

A cup of sweet pickle relish provides 319 calories, 1.2g of fat, 1987mg of sodium, 86g of carbohydrate, 71g of sugar, and 0.9g of protein.

It also contains iron, vitamin C, and magnesium. However, from a nutritional standpoint, sweet pickle relish isn’t the healthiest condiment out there.

Sweet Relish In Salads

There’s absolutely no reasonable explanation for eating boring salads. So, grab that sweet relish jar from the fridge, slice the peppers, and add them to your salads.

Sweet relish in salads adds a zing and crunch; just a spoonful or two are often mixed with other salad ingredients. Sweet relish fits particularly well in potato and tuna salads.

Potato Salad

Sweet relish in a creamy potato salad unleashes deep and balanced flavors. This simple combination proves that good food doesn’t always need to be fussy.

The trademark ingredients of a potato salad include potatoes, mayonnaise, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and sweet pickle relish.

The sweet relish gives the salad an elusive balance of sweet and tangy flavors. Navigating the correct balance of sweet relish is crucial to a delicious bowl of potato salad.

Potato Salad

Tuna Salad

I love making tuna salad at home because it’s one of the easiest and most satisfying meals you can create in 10 minutes.

Though there are hundreds of tuna salad recipes, I always gravitate towards ones with a good amount of sweet relish.

The essential ingredients for a tuna salad are tuna, mayonnaise, and sweet pickle relish.

In addition, you can add your favorite must-haves, such as minced red onions, celery, garlic, and fresh lemon juice.

The sweet pickle relish gives the tuna salad a sweet, tart, bold flavor. Make sure to put a splash of its juice for an extra zing.

Tuna Salad

Sweet Relish In Sauces

Sweet relish is widely used in sauces to add flavor. It is the main ingredient in various sauces, including tartar sauce and burger sauce.

Tartar sauce is a condiment served with fried oysters, fish sticks, or other seafood dishes. What many people don’t know is that tartar sauce can be made very easily at home.

For the famous tartar sauce, you’ll simply need to mix mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and lemon juice.

You’ll get a perfect zesty sauce that can enhance all your favorite fish recipes. In addition, you can add a mixture of herbs or olives.

Tartar Sauce

Burger Sauce

If you’ve ever tasted a restaurant burger and were amazed by its taste, you can probably thank its sauce.

Sweet pickle relish is used in many burger sauces to achieve a mouthwatering taste.

Burger sauce can be incredibly easy to whip up. In fact, you probably already have all the ingredients needed sitting in your kitchen. You’ll need six ingredients, one small bowl, and a whisk.

Burger sauce often contains ketchup, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, white vinegar, sugar, and ground black pepper.

You’ll find several delicious variations for one kind of simple burger sauce, so choose the ingredients based on your preferences.

Burger Sauce

How To Make Deviled Eggs With Sweet Relish

We can all agree that deviled eggs are delicious and the perfect appetizer. Some of the best deviled egg recipes contain sweet relish for added flavor complexity and a sweet kick. This is how you can incorporate sweet relish in your deviled eggs.

To make 12 servings, you’ll need:

  • 6 large, hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • Salt to taste
  • Black or cayenne pepper to taste
  • Chives or paprika (optional)


  • Peel the hard-boiled eggs
  • Slice them in half
  • Carefully remove yolks and put them in a bowl; leave the whites intact
  • Using a fork, mash the yolks
  • Add in the sweet relish, mayonnaise, mustard, and a pinch of pepper
  • Mash and mix till smooth
  • Season with salt
  • Spoon the mixture into the 12 egg whites evenly
  • Garnish the eggs with paprika or chives and enjoy

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sweet Relish Just A Pickle?

Sweet relish usually consists of pickled cucumbers or fresh cucumbers seasoned with salt, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Relishes are condiments that are mainly composed of chopped vegetables, along with other potential ingredients. However, technically, relishes do not always contain pickles.

What Is The Difference Between Dill And Sweet Relish?

Dill relish is often seasoned with the dill herb and has minimal sugar added. Conversely, sweet relish is usually spiced with cloves and contains a large quantity of sugar or another sweetener.

Final Thoughts

Sweet relish is a popular American food condiment. It could be added to dips, dressings, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, some salads (potato salads, tuna salads, etc.), spreads, tartar sauce, etc.

Other condiment substitutes include celery, Piccalilli relish, and bread and butter pickles.

Substitutes for dips and dressings include capers, freeze-dried dills, and Chutney. For substitutes in salads, you can use green olives, cucumbers, or green bell peppers. For cooking, crushed pineapples and Indian relish are good substitutes.

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