Chow Chow (Old Fashioned)


In the realm of culinary delights, few condiments hold as much charm and versatility as the old-fashioned Chow Chow. This classic relish has been a beloved staple in kitchens for generations, cherished for its unique blend of flavors and ability to complement a wide array of dishes. Join us on a journey to discover the rich history, tantalizing taste, and culinary potential of this timeless favorite.


  • 1 small cabbage, chopped
  • 6 to 8 green or red tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 medium bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 large onions, chopped
  • 2 hot peppers, chopped
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salt or pickling salt


  1. Put all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved.
  3. This recipe is designed to be put in pint jars and sealed. Makes 8 to 9 pints.
  4. But you could cut recipe down to use for one night of dinner.

Serving Tip:

When serving Chow Chow, consider its flavor profile and how it complements the dish it accompanies. For example, pair tangy and spicy varieties with rich, fatty meats like barbecue ribs or pulled pork to balance out the flavors. For milder versions, try serving alongside grilled chicken or fish to add a pop of flavor without overwhelming the dish. Additionally, consider incorporating Chow Chow into appetizer platters alongside cheeses, crackers, and cured meats for a delightful contrast of textures and tastes.

Storage Tip:

To prolong the freshness of Chow Chow and maintain its flavor integrity, proper storage is essential. After opening, store any leftover Chow Chow in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure the container is clean and dry to prevent contamination or spoilage. Properly stored, Chow Chow can typically last for several weeks to a few months, depending on the ingredients and preparation method. However, always check for signs of spoilage, such as off odors or mold, before consuming. If in doubt, it’s best to discard and replace with a fresh batch.


  1. What exactly is Chow Chow? Chow Chow is a traditional Southern relish made from a mix of chopped vegetables, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It’s known for its tangy, sweet, and savory flavor profile, often featuring ingredients like cabbage, green tomatoes, onions, peppers, and various spices.
  2. How do you use Chow Chow in cooking? Chow Chow is incredibly versatile in the kitchen and can be used in various ways. It can be enjoyed as a condiment alongside classic Southern dishes like beans, cornbread, or collard greens. Additionally, it adds flavor to sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and grilled meats. Some people also incorporate Chow Chow into soups, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries for added depth of flavor.
  3. Is Chow Chow spicy? Chow Chow can range from mild to spicy, depending on the recipe and personal preference. Some versions are mildly sweet and tangy, while others feature a bold spiciness from ingredients like hot peppers or mustard. It’s essential to read the label or inquire about the spice level before purchasing or consuming Chow Chow if you have a preference for milder or spicier flavors.
  4. How long does Chow Chow last? Properly stored Chow Chow can last for several weeks to a few months in the refrigerator. It’s crucial to keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness and flavor. However, always check for signs of spoilage before consuming, such as off odors, mold growth, or changes in texture or color. If Chow Chow shows any signs of spoilage, it’s best to discard it to avoid foodborne illness.
  5. Can I make Chow Chow at home? Absolutely! Making Chow Chow at home is a rewarding culinary project that allows you to customize the flavors and ingredients to your liking. There are countless recipes available online and in cookbooks, ranging from traditional Southern versions to modern interpretations. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables, spices, and vinegars to create a Chow Chow that suits your taste preferences. Just be sure to follow proper canning and food safety guidelines if you plan to preserve homemade Chow Chow for long-term storage.

Health Benefits:

Beyond its delicious taste and culinary versatility, Chow Chow offers health benefits as well. Packed with nutrient-rich vegetables and spices, it provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Additionally, the fermentation process involved in making Chow Chow can promote gut health by introducing beneficial probiotics into the diet. By incorporating this flavorful condiment into your meals, you can enjoy both taste and wellness benefits.


In a world filled with culinary trends and fads, the old-fashioned Chow Chow stands as a timeless classic, cherished for its rich history, tantalizing taste, and culinary versatility. Whether enjoyed as a condiment, a topping, or an ingredient, this beloved relish adds a touch of Southern charm to every dish it graces. So, why not elevate your next meal with the unforgettable flavor of Chow Chow?