Copycat Harry and David’s Sweet Pepper Relish

Copycat Harry and David’s Sweet Pepper Relish

Some of you might be thinking “Who is Harry, what does he have to do with David and what in the wide world is Sweet Pepper Relish”.

Let me fill you in, sound good?

Harry and David is a company specializing in gourmet relishes, chocolates, fancy gift baskets and the like. You can order their stuff online, and I believe they have many stores around the United States as well.

Several years ago my friend Julie introduced me to the wonderful Sweet Pepper Relish recipe I am sharing today. It’s a copy cat version of Harry and Davids gourmet relish. Wow, is it heavenly! I have been making it every fall since the time I first tasted it.  To say it is fabulous is the understatement of the universe. 🙂 It could best be described as a spicy/sweet salsa. We like to mix 1 C Sweet Pepper Relish with 1 package of cream cheese and serve it with tortilla chips. I have never met anyone in this entire universe that doesn’t love that combination. In fact, when I bring it to family functions people swarm it and sometimes elbow each other out-of-the-way to make sure they get a taste.

I’m not joking. It really is that good!

We also like using it as a condiment. MyHandsomeHusband puts it on his eggs in the morning. It’s great served with Pork Roast, or spread inside a soft shell taco. Did I mention it’s kind of like salsa, only sweeter? My friend Cindi mixes it in with ground beef when she’s making Meat Loaf and Hamburgers. There are really so many possibilities! I sometimes even give it away as a Christmas gift.

Now, it does take a bit of time to prepare as you will shortly see. But don’t get worried, it’s well worth the effort. Once you have chopped all of the vegetables, the rest of the time you just need to keep an eye on it while it simmers and then processes in a water bath canner. (You could totally paint your toenails while you are waiting for it to cook and process…just sayin’).

Let’s make it!

Copy Cat Harry and Davids Sweet Pepper Relish from Jamie Cooks It Up!

A reader has brought to my knowledge that her dear mother-in-law, Marilyn McCracken developed this recipe. Thank you Marilyn for such a wonderful recipe. You are a talented lady.

Copy Cat Harry and Davids Sweet Pepper Relish

Time: 45 minutes prep + 2 hours cooking and processing
Yield: 8-9 pints
Recipe created by Marilyn McCracken

***NOTE: This relish is best made with garden fresh tomatoes, tomatoes purchased at a farmers market or vine ripened tomatoes from the grocery store. ***

8 C tomatoes, chopped
4 C red peppers, chopped
3 C onions, chopped
4-5 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped (a 24 ounce jar works best)
1 1/2 C vinegar (from the can of pickled jalapeno)
1/4 C dried onion
1 T garlic powder
3 T salt
4 C sugar
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
8-9 pint jars
wide mouthed funnel
new lids
water bath canner


1. Wash your tomatoes, cut the stem portion out and then slice them in half.


2. Chop your tomatoes into small chunks.

I use this wonderful Progressive International GPC-4000 Fruit and Vegetable Chopper. My parents gave it to me for Christmas a few years back and it is amazing. I love this little contraption. I use it to chop all of the vegetables that go in this relish, it saves so much time!  You can purchase one at Amazon, if you so choose…through the link above. I highly recommend it.


See how nicely it chops! Makes for easier cleanup as well.

Anyhow, chop 8 cups of tomatoes and toss them in a large pot.


3. Chop 4 cups of red peppers, and 3 cups onions. Add them to the pot.


4. Grab 4-5 fresh jalapenos.


Now, I want to be sure you know that the seeds in jalapeno peppers are hot, man. They will burn your hands if you touch them, truly they will. I can (sadly) speak from experience on that true fact. Grab some rubber gloves, okay? Be careful not to touch your face while you are working with the jalapeno as well.


Slice the top from the jalapeno then take your knife and scoop out the seeded portion from the middle. Now, if you like a lot of heat you can add some of the seeds. I usually don’t add too many. 🙂

Chop the jalapeno and add them to the pot.


5. Grab a (24 ounce) can of pickled jalapeno. I found this on the Mexican Food Aisle at my local Walmart.


Carefully open the can and pour the vinegar/liquid into a measuring cup. You will need 1 1/2 cups total, which is just about  the amount of liquid in the can. If you don’t have quite enough you can add a bit of regular vinegar to be sure you have the full 1 1/2 cups needed. Pour it into the pot.


6. Carefully take the pickled jalapeno out of the can (remember your gloves, man). Slice the tops of and scoop out the seeds. Again, you can leave some of the seeds in if you like a lot of heat. Chop the pickled jalapeno and add them to the pot.


7. Add 1/4 dried onion, 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 3 tablespoons salt.


8. Place your pot on the stove top. Give everything a nice stir and bring it to a simmer over medium high heat.  Let it cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


9. Add 4 cups of sugar…


and 2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste. Stir it all in, until the paste has had a chance to become incorporated.


10. Let it cook and simmer for about 1 hour, or until it has cooked down and become thick like salsa. You’ll want to remember to stir it occasionally.


11. Wash and dry your jars.
12. Place the wide-mouthed funnel on the top of your jar and pour the relish into it.


13. Take a damp paper towel and clean the top rim of each jar. You want to be sure they are free from the relish so you can get a nice seal.


14. Grab some new lids and place one on the top of each jar…


and then screw a lid on.



15. Pour warm water into your water bath canner. Place the jars full of Sweet Pepper Relish into the canner. Bring the water to a boil and place the lid on. Let the jars process (with the water boiling) for 25 minutes.

16. Carefully remove the jars from the canner and let them hang out on your counter. You want to be sure the lids have sealed. They make a wonderful popping noise when they do. Love that sound. 🙂

17. Store in a cool, dry place. Once a jar has been opened keep it in the refrigerator.

18. Mix 1 Cup Sweet Pepper Relish with 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese and serve with tortilla chips.



Post a comment!


  1. 1
    jennifer thomas
    September 12, 2013 at 5:24 am

    We love that relish as a steak topper. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll have to try it!

  2. 2
    September 12, 2013 at 8:45 am

    This is my all time favorite Harry & David product. Love it mixed into cream cheese and eaten with pretzels! Can’t wait to make my own. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 3
    September 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I LOVE this relish! With some crackers and cream cheese, we can go through a jar in no time. I make a point of seeking out Harry & David’s every time we make a trip across the border so I can stock up. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4
    September 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    This is my Mother-in-laws recipe… I was there when she made batch after batch to get it just right…. Make sure you give her credit she went to a lot of work to get it just right.

    • 5
      September 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks Megan for sharing this Harry & David’s Sweet Pepper Relish recipe with us and please thank your mother-in-law for all her hard work coming up with this recipe. It is the best!! I made it the first time last summer and will make it again this summer. Everyone that tries it loves it also. Thanks again!

  5. 6
    Jen Thomas
    September 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Quick question Jamie,
    I have a pressure canner and not a water bath canner. Do you think I could can it that way in the same manner? Thoughts?

    • 7
      September 14, 2013 at 8:23 am

      I haven’t ever tried it with a pressure canner. I would suggest doing a little google searching to see if pressure canners can take the place of a water bath canner when putting up tomato based products. Good luck!

    • 8
      October 2, 2013 at 4:45 am


      I’ve been using a pressure canner for years. Yes, but I’m not sure what temp to get it to and for how long. I would look in your book and follow a salsa recipe for time and temp since the tomatoes are what will be decimated if you get it wrong.

    • 9
      Dana Acken
      September 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      You can use your pressure canning pot as a water bath canner, just fill it like normal but add enough water to cover the jars by at least an inch. Boil it just like you would in a water bath, just don’t seal the lid to allow the pressure to build up. I do this with quarts all the time.

  6. 10
    September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I made this today and I’m excited to try it on cream cheese with crackers. I was thinking of throwing a jar in the crockpot with chicken and then stirring a little cream cheese in at the end. Yum.

    • 11
      September 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

      What a great idea! I should try that too. Nice to hear from you. 🙂 Hope all is well for you and your cute family!

  7. 12
    September 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I LOVE this stuff! I was just introduced to it a few weeks ago and have been trying to figure out a way to get my hands on more of it. I haven’t done much canning. Does the processing time differ by altitude? I’m currently living at sea level.

    • 13
      Dana Acken
      September 23, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Most canning recipes I’ve seen give times and pressures for sea level. There is an adjustment for pressure and times when you start going above sea level by 1000 feet increments. I live just above 4000 feet so have to adjust all the time.

  8. 14
    September 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Do you think I could use less sugar? I’ve been looking for a recipe like this but I think it may be a little sweet for my husband’s taste. p.s. I’ve found several recipes on your blog that have become family favorites. Thanks!

    • 15
      February 8, 2014 at 6:54 am

      You read my mind tonight. Just fisenhid dinner and I made some yummy garlic Parmesan bread sticks and spaghetti with sauce I made from tomatoes we picked from our garden. I’m going to try your recipe next time.

  9. 16
    September 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    This sounds really good! I want to try it! My only question is why you use part raw onion and part dry onion? Is there a reason for this or could I use all raw?

  10. 17
    Laura M
    September 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I made this yesterday. Because I didn’t have your cute little machine and most of my tomatoes were cherry tomatoes, it ended up taking me hours. I tried it with my eggs this morning and found it too sweet. But tonight we had it with cream cheese on crackers and it was fabulous.

  11. 18
    R Long
    September 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Deb asked why you add chopped raw onions and then also add dehydrated onions. I am also wondering why you need both?

    I don’t have dehydrated onions and wondered if I could omit them? If so, should I add more raw onion?

    • 19
      Diane N
      August 19, 2019 at 9:44 am

      My thoughts on the onion issue is that by using part dried onions you reduce the liquid content, thereby allowing the jam to reduce/thicken sooner.

  12. 20
    September 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I too am wondering about the onions and about the recipe in general. I think it looks really yummy, I was just wondering if it had been tested for acidity to be sure it is safe for water bath canning. I hope that doesn’t sound rude, but I get nervous with salsa-type products because they have so many other non-acidic ingredients that you really have to be careful. Is love to know if it is a tested recipe

  13. 21
    R Long
    September 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    In an earlier post, Megan stated that her mother-in-law developed this recipe. This leads me to ‘assume’ that its not an officially tested recipe…

    Recipes that are either high in vinegar or acid are usually safe for water bath canning. This recipe isn’t high in acids. I’m also concerned as the amount of vinegar listed seems low for
    8-9 pints. Pressure canning seems like it would be the only safe way to process this recipe.

    Any thoughts anyone?

  14. 22
    September 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I can’t vouch if this is a ‘tested’ recipe. Marilyn was a home-ec teacher in Idaho, she knows what she is doing. She introduced my sister to her future husband. My sister gave me a batch of this for my birthday years ago and the recipe. I have been bottling this ever since and have had no problems. We can and usually do devour a bottle in a single sitting. I have kept this recipe to myself (you know, the one recipe or two you are known for) but it looks like the secret is out.

  15. 23
    November 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I added pineapple to this recipe, because I was really trying to recreate the Harry and David Charred Pineapple Relish. Wowza! I am far from fond of spicy foods and this recipe really has a kick (which could have probably been avoided by using less jalapeños, but I wanted to follow the recipe since it was my first time). The pineapple, however, balanced it out perfectly. I can’t wait to give these out in my Christmas baskets!!

    • 24
      October 23, 2017 at 7:37 am

      This is for Jenn..Did you add crushed pineapple or the tidbits to this? Want to try reg and than with pineapple. Great suggestion.

  16. 25
    July 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Okay I’m way late to your site. I HAD to share. I pinned this recipe several weeks ago because it looked so yummy. Having never canned a thing in my life I thought it would be an inspiration of sorts. Well after a friend shared more homegrown tomatoes than we could ever eat I chose this recipe to use those little gems. After lots of chopping, dicing and what not I now have the most delicious red pepper relish ‘put up’ to enjoy and to share. Thank you! It is fantastic!!!

  17. 26
    May 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Do you know of a copy cat recipe for the Harry & David Charred Pineapple Relish? To die for!

    • 27
      May 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      I don’t have a recipe for that particular relish, but it sure sounds yummy!

  18. 28
    Greg Jacquot
    June 29, 2018 at 3:33 am

    The Italians made this for pasta and sandwiches, put this atop your favorite Italian Hoagie- For me, Amarosa Rolls, (Or French or Italian Bread in a pinch)Hot Capicola, Genoa Salami, Prosciutto, Medium Provolone, Lettuce, Tomatoe, Onion, Mayo, Oil and Vinegar, Sweet pepper relish, Salt & Pepper. Wrap in white Deli Paper and cut diagonally….. and BOOM!!!! Authentic East CoastItalian Hoagie!!!!

  19. 29
    October 8, 2019 at 11:58 am

    What headspace? Any help will be appreciated.

  20. 30
    July 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I just made this and can I just say, AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. My husband I were just last week discussing how much we missed this Harry and David’s salsa. You absolutely did them justice!!

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