Chow chow is a Pennsylvania Dutch pickled vegetable salad. It is usually made at the end of the summer or beginning of fall when the gardens are about done producing.
My grandma Reitz made it and my mom made it when I was growing up. Now my mom and I make it together every year to fill our pantries with home grown food we can eat all winter long.
I’ve seen a lot of different recipes for Pennsylvania Dutch chow chow, but I’m going to give you the best one! 🙂 We use green beans, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, and kidney beans in our chow chow.
The recipe that we use will make about 15 pint jars. Before you start, you will need sterilized jars and the lids and rings.
If you don’t want to can chow chow to use n the future, you can also make a smaller batch by halving or quartering this recipe. (Or even doing 1/8 of the recipe, depending on the size of your family since this makes a big batch.) Just mix in some of the pickling liquid and let it sit at least overnight so the veggies get a “quick pickle.”
If you’ve never canned before, do not be intimidated. It is very easy. This is a great video on YouTube from Tracker Supply Company, where they show how to do pressure canning and boiling water canning. Since this recipe uses a picking liquid, you can use boiling water to do the canning, the same way the lady in the video cans her salsa.
Pennsylvania Dutch Chow Chow Recipe
- 8 cups green beans cut in bite size pieces
- 2 - 1 pound bags of carrots peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 whole stalked celery cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 6 cups of pickling cucumber small size cut about 1/2 inch slices
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into bite size pieces
- 2 - 15 ounce can of kidney beans rinsed and drained.
- Salt to taste
- *NOTE: This makes enough liquid for around 5 jars. I make it as I go because sometimes you need a little more or less depending on size of your vegetables. Gardens are not super precise 🙂 5 jars fit in my pot when it time to seal the jars, so that's how I do it. It usually takes me about 3 batches of the liquid to finish my jars.
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
Cook the green beans, carrots, celery, and cauliflower in separate pots until just barely fork tender. Do not cook them all together. Make sure you don't let them get mushy. They should still be slightly crispy. Add some salt to your veggies to your taste as they are cooking.
After all the veggies are cooked, mix together in a large bowl with cucumbers and kidney beans.
Fill each canning jar with a mix of the vegetables.
Mix your ingredients together and heat until the sugar dissolves.
Pour pickling liquid into each jar. Close jar with a canning lid and ring.
Proceed to seal jars by putting in a canner. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes. After you've removed from the water, you will hear the lids seal.
Allow the jars to cool and then store in your pantry. If any of the jars did not seal properly, store in your refrigerator and eat within the next 1-2 weeks.