Sweet Pickle Relish Substitute For Your Recipes

A great substitute for sweet pickle relish makes a huge difference in how your recipe turns out.

Sometimes, you just need a good substitute for sweet pickle relish – especially if it is paramount to the success of your recipe.

It’s usually an assortment of various ingredients such as cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, and bell peppers. Sweet relish is often a good fix for your sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. The sweet, salty, and savory flavor adds a more fun taste to your meals.

Plus, it has a mild zest, which makes any recipe even better.

If you are in need of great ideas for a sweet pickle relish substitute, we have some for you. Let’s get started!

Best Sweet Pickle Relish Substitute

When your recipe calls for some sweet pickle relish, yet you just ran out, you’re in luck – there are a few options for you to choose from!

Check out these fantastic choices available for you.

1. Chopped Dill Pickles

When you need the best substitute for sweet relish, then there’s nothing else better than dill pickles. What’s great about it is that the flavor closely resembles that of a sweet relish. As for the texture, they’re both crunchy but with some dill notes added in.

You can add dill pickles to your cheeseburger, sausages, and a few other recipes. The tart, fresh, and enticing dill flavor is simply one of the best!


When it comes to using dill pickles for sweet relish, you will enjoy that extraordinary goodness that you crave for your burgers and sandwiches. You can add more or less than what you prefer, depending on the level of flavor you wish to achieve.

Catch this video on how to make chopped dill pickles for your recipe:

2. Freeze Dried Dill

Dill is a satisfying herb that adds a bold flavor to any dish. We love the citrusy notes that it offers, as well as some hints of profundity to your meals. You will love having freeze-dried dill to your sauces, dressings, and dips, and you can easily expect a burst of freshness and flavor.


We highly recommend using freeze dried dill to your vegetable and meat dishes, if you don’t have sweet relish on hand. Dried dill also works great with eggs, carrots, zucchini, and potatoes, to name a few.

Here is an easy way to make freeze dried dill right in your very own kitchen:

3. Capers

Commonly found in some European countries such as Spain, Italy, and Morocco, capers are green-colored blossoms that have a lemony and tart flavor. They are pungent and with a slight resemblance to olive’s flavor profile. These are commonly added to marinades and salad dressings, as well as garnishing to pastas.

If you don’t have sweet relish, yet you need to achieve the same flavor you desire, then adding some capers should do. The tart flavor may not be the same as what you can expect from sweet relish but it can be made quite close by adding some vinegar. 


The olive-like and lemony flavor to capers make them fantastic substitutes to sweet relish. They are typical in Mediterranean cooking and just about any cuisine that calls for a great sweet relish substitute.

Enjoy these recipes that use capers for that extra zing and flavor

4. Green Olives

The brighter flavor that green olives have as compared to black olives gives them that unique flavor coupled with their firm texture. You will love the tart and mildly nutty taste with some acidity in them. This is why you can use olives as an alternative to sweet relish.

Green olives add some zest to your dips and sauces, as well as wraps and sandwiches. You can also halve them and use them as a garnish in your pastas and salads.


Whether consumed on its own or as garnish to your dishes, green olives are a real treat. Plus, they are packed with good fat that’s great for your heart health. 

Check out this fun olive recipe you should definitely try

5. Celery

Typically used in green smoothies, green juices, or eaten on its own, celery has a bland flavor but when added with other ingredients such as capers, salt, pepper, and olive oil, it becomes more flavorful.

If you wish to use it as a substitute to sweet relish, you will need to cut the stems and marinate in olive oil and wine vinegar, as well as onion and garlic. Then, add in some seasonings to give it a burst of flavor and aroma.


Great when eaten cooked or raw, celery is an excellent alternative to sweet relish if you don’t have the latter. A little seasoning goes a long way when you want to get the flavor you desire. 

Here are some easy prep and cooking tips for celery

6. Cucumber

Fresh and satisfying, cucumber does not exactly have a lot of flavor in it. However, you will love how nutritious it is, in addition to being high in water content. 

If you have cucumbers, you can easily make sweet relish, so that solves your dilemma about not having sweet pickle relish! Plus, you can give your recipe that fantastic crunch you desire and a fresh and crisp flavor. 


Commonly added in salads and eaten raw, cucumber is a fine alternative to sweet relish. Check out this video on how to make pickles using cucumber.

Great ideas on how to use cucumber in your recipes


7. Chutney

While it is not very popular in other parts of the world, chutney is actually a fantastic option when you need a great substitute to sweet relish. 

It is famous in India, specifically in East India, and you can find a number of chutney types that come with different flavors such as sweet, tart, and zesty. 


Chutneys come in a wide range of varieties. When choosing which one to use for your recipe, it is best to choose one that has a similar flavor as sweet relish. Among your best bets include British chutney or mango chutney as these are tart, sweet and slightly sour – just like sweet pickle relish!

Get a load of these tips on how to use chutney for your dishes

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the difference between sweet pickles and sweet relish?

These two are commonly interchanged but they are actually different from each other. For instance, pickles are vegetables preserved in vinegar or salt. So, if the preserve has salt or vinegar as the main ingredient in the process, then what you have is a pickle.

On the other hand, relish has sugar added in, or it only uses sugar instead of a combination of vinegar and sugar. The taste is sweet and tart.

Is sweet relish and dill relish the same?

Sweet relish is basically chopped cucumbers that are salted with some vinegar and sugar. There are no dill seeds added in. As for dill relish, these are pickled cucumbers with dill seeds and the vinegar is not sweet at all.

Final Thoughts

sweet pickle relish substitute

Whether you need a sweet pickle relish substitute for your burgers, salads, or other recipes, these excellent alternatives should help to save the day! Enjoy making your recipe even without sweet relish by using any of these substitutes for an amazing flavor profile you want!

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