My Favourite Savoury Summer Preserves

Pickled Sweet Pepprs

I don’t eat jams and other sweet preserves, so my even though for most people preserving means mainly making jams, my pantry has become almost 100% savoury with most of the jars filled with chilli pepper-based jellies, sauces, pickles and other more or less fiery products. Preserving season has practically started here (I’ve just made my first jars of chilli jelly!), so I thought I’d share with you my favourite preserves, those I cannot imagine skipping even for a single year. 

Some of them can only be kept in the fridge, some can be put into jars and kept for at least a year in your pantry. If you are afraid of long-term preserving (though I must assure you I’ve literally lived all my life on home preserves and never ever got even a slight stomach ache!), all the below long-term recipes can also be made as “fridge” preserves and kept for several months. If the hot water bath process (which I find necessary in long-term savoury preserves) seems too fussy and too long, I assure you, it lasts only 10-15 minutes, depending on the jar’s size, and is really easy. 

I hope you will find some of the below ideas useful or inspiring. Happy preserving!

TIPS: If you cannot handle very hot chilli varieties, choose the mildest ones. I keep on getting furious because from time to time I buy at the same shop chillies labelled as hot while they are not even medium-hot, so I know such things exist…

If you live in Europe and your country doesn’t produce chillies, I strongly suggest looking for Turkish grocery shops and Turkish stalls at farmers markets. They usually have several varieties of chillies (also some which are barely hot) and they will be fresher than those imported from other continents.

Short-term or Fridge-Only Preserves

Hunan Salt-Pickled Chillies/Erös Pista
Hunan Salt-Pickled Chillies/Erös Pista
Raimu Koshou (Chilli and Lime Zest Paste)
Raimu Koshou (Chilli and Lime Zest Paste)
Yuzu Koshou 柚子こしょう
Yuzu Koshou 柚子こしょう
Peperoncini sott'olio (Fresh Chillies with garlic and Oil)
Peperoncini sott’olio (Fresh Chillies with garlic and Oil)


Salt Brine Pickled CHilli
Salt Brine Pickled Chilli

Long-term/ Pantry Preserves


Pickled Dill Cucumbers
Moomins’ Pickled Cucumber Salad
Indian-Style Tomato Chutney
Vinegar-Pickled Chillies
Vinegar-Pickled Chillies
Chilli Jelly
Chilli Jelly
Habanero and Oil Paste
Habanero and Oil Paste (Only for Brave Chilli Lovers!)
Pineapple and Chilli Jelly
Pineapple and Chilli Jelly
Mango and Chilli Sauce
Mango and Chilli Sauce
Pickled Sweet Peppers

13 Replies to “My Favourite Savoury Summer Preserves”

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. Pepper jelly is fantastic with cheese, isn’t it? I love mine with goat cheese.

  1. Our next progressive dinner is on Friday and we’re doing the main course, our theme is Canada because we recently celebrated our 150th birthday! I have chosen to make Tourtière which is a Québécois meat pie and the thing that goes best with a meat pie is chutney (although the Québécois eat it with ketchup!) so I made a wonderfully sweet and spicy chutney the other day! We will be using it on Friday so I didn’t feel the need to preserve it but I will make it again for the pantry!
    I too, am not a sweet eater, so I struggle with preserving because I try not to use all of the sugar in a recipe yet the sugar is the preservative! The recipe I just made, I cut the sugar in almost half and it is still super sweet for me (husband loved it). How have you successfully preserved without so much sugar?

    1. Hi Eva, the tourtière sounds nice and you chutney too. I would certainly prefer it with a good chutney, though since I made my own ketchup several times, I look at it in a completely different way now!
      Salt, sugar and vinegar preserve food, so either I add more salt and more vinegar or I have to add more sugar (there is also pectin, but I add it only to chilli jellies). If I worried about the sugar, I’d add as much vinegar as I can (the final product cannot be too sour) and the jars will be safely preserved. Pickled pepper, cucumber or anything pickled in general doesn’t require any sugar. If I add it, it’s only because I think vinegared brine tastes better and even though the vegetables do “take” some sugar, they are not like sponges, so I don’t really care (I also add some good olive oil on top, and even a tablespoon per liter makes a huge difference in taste!).
      In general, savoury preserves, such as sauces or jellies (homemade because those from supermarkets are scary!) don’t worry me because they aren’t really eaten in big amounts (unlike jams spread on bread for example, whole jars disappear quickly from what I see on my family’s tables)… The other day I had half of my 100 ml tomato chutney jar with my favourite fennel Italian sausage and I was surprised how low-kcal the chutney was after I had calculated them (given that mainly sugar gives the kcal).
      In general, if I worried about the sugar, I’d add as much vinegar as I can (but the final product cannot be too sour) and the jars will be safely preserved. I always add sugar and vinegar and salt randomly, but there are some precise internet sources which calculate how much vinegar or sugar you need to preserve (I’m sure many recipes add more sugar than necessary to preserve). Fridge preserves don’t require such big amounts of sugar and/or vinegar of course.

  2. Great tips, thanks Sissi. I don’t know why I didn’t think to make my own ketchup, I’m definitely doing it! I purchased a few too many vine ripened tomatoes so I have the ingredients! I’ll check your recipe for sure!

    1. You are welcome, Eva! I’m not a specialist, but I must have preserved hundreds of jars in my adult life… so I’ve had so many ups and downs in my preserving sessions… (though I insist I’ve never been sick from my own preserves or actually anyone else’s homemade either). I’m very glad to share what I know, so let me know if you have any questions (I hope I will be able to answer).
      Here is the ketchup recipe I love : but I must warn you: it is quite time-consuming and has a very low yield. I stopped doing it because now I prefer my Indian-style tomato chutney: lazier and quicker and spicier! (And more forgiving when it comes to the tomatoes’ taste).

  3. What a great collection, there are quite a few I would love to have in my pantry. I’ve been eating preserves all my life too and never had any problems with them, they always keep well and if something really goes bad, I can see it imediatelly and then I can just throw it away.

    1. Thank you so much, Adina. From forums and internet in general I know there are many people who are afraid of preserving (authorities sometimes scare people so much…). I also always see when something is wrong and throw away the jar because I’m not a factory and a tiny percentage of jars doesn’t keep perfectly (though I know people who just scrape the mould off the homemade jam and keep on eating and without any problems…). The only times I was sick from food, it happened in restaurants (and not the cheapest ones!).

  4. You know that I want to just start at the top and make all of these!!! Of course, there are a few that I’ve already made and loved. Seeing lots and lots of fresh chile peppers now and even have a couple growing in the garden I’ll be pickling some yellow hots this week and am thinking of making those pickled cucumbers, but adding a couple of chile peppers. What do you think?

    Thanks for making it easy for me with such a great list!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I’m always happy to learn you have made and liked anything I shared here, so if you say you have made and loved a few, I’m thrilled! Giving a hot kick to pickled cucumbers sounds like an excellent idea! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Let me know how it tasted and have fun playing with your New Mexican fresh chile!

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