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Southern Chow Chow recipe

Chow Chow

Course Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword southern-chow-chow
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinate time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 25 minutes
Servings 4 pints
Calories 758kcal


  • 10 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 2 large green tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 jumbo Vidalia onion diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp pickling salt
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp prepared mustard
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


  • In a large non-reactive mixing bowl, mix together the cabbage, tomato, onion, bell peppers and salt. Mix well, then cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Drain liquid.
  • In a large non reactive pot toast the mustard and celery seeds over medium-high heat about 1 minute or until fragrant, moving pot constantly. Add both vinegars, sugar, mustard, red pepper flakes, allspice, turmeric and ginger. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the drained cabbage mixture and minced garlic to the pot. Mix well. Increase the heat and bring to a boil for 5 minutes then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened, to allow flavors to fully bloom and the juice to reduce. (Cabbage should still have a slight crunch)
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature in the pot, uncovered. Pack in sterilized jars. May store chilled for up to one month.


The best way to divide this into jars is, to use a slotted spoon to evenly pack the chow chow into prepared jars. Then fill the jars evenly with the juice left in the pot. 
Can this Chow Chow recipe be canned? This recipe as written is designed to be kept in the refrigerator. That said, yes you can lengthen the shelf life of this chow chow recipe using proper canning technique.
  • Start with sterilized pint size jars, ladling hot chow chow cooked per the recipe into the jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  • Wipe the rims with a clean cloth and place the lids and rings on top, twist to close but don't over tighten.
  • Process pint size jars into a water bath cooking for 15-20 minutes.
  • Use tongs to carefully remove jars from water, then let jars stand until completely cooled.


Serving: 1pint | Calories: 758kcal | Carbohydrates: 179g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2739mg | Potassium: 897mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 167g | Vitamin A: 2495IU | Vitamin C: 176mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 3mg