It’s hard to go wrong with a quesadilla, I mean, who doesn’t love melty cheese and other flavour bits toasted between two flour tortillas. As the ‘pizza’ of Mexican cuisine, it’s always going to elicit much joy and happiness when you make and this recipe using the preserved Ball corn relish is now my favourite.

corn and red pepper relish

 This corn relish recipe makes exactly 3 half-pints (500ml) jars.

quesadillas with corn and red pepper relish

I’m feeling rather smug and very domestic- goddess-like lately now that I have learned the proper method of home-preserving. I’ve been whipping out jars of strawberry jam to go with scones and zesty tomato salsa to dip corn chips in. Friends and family have been very impressed. In fact, I’d say you get the same kind of eyebrow-raising positive looks as when you plonk down freshly baked things. The best part is making a few jars at a time and then store in the cupboard until you need them. No more nasty preservative-laden canned products. When you preserve with the proper Ball water bath method, it’s not necessary to store the unopened jars in the fridge.

quesadillas with corn and red pepper relish

*Cooks Notes ~Unopened flour tortillas can be stored in the cupboard so you always have them on hand. Once opened keep them in the freezer. They are perfect for so many things. I’ve used a 6 month matured Cheddar. Mild but sharp enough to offset the sweetness of the relish. I’ve served it with my nearly instant slaw with chipotle hot sauce to add the crunchy element to the dish. A few sprigs of fresh cilantro finish it off perfectly.

The corn relish recipe called for red and green pepper, but I used red pepper only because weirdly I couldn’t find any in the supermarket yesterday. It’s deliciously sweet with a little nostril-curling heat from the mustard powder. Perfect for any hotdog, burger or sandwich. I definitely want to try it on Nachos and with scrambled eggs in a wrap.

Recipe – Corn and red pepper relish

Makes 3 x 500ml / pint jars


Corn and red pepper relish with quessadillas

Quesadillas with corn and red pepper relish recipe.

  • Author: Sam Linsell


Corn & red pepper relish:

2 cups white vinegar

2/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp salt

4 cups cooked corn kernels (about 8 ears)

2 cups diced mixed red and green bell peppers (about 2 large)

3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small)

1 Tbsp mustard

1 tsp celery seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

3 x 500ml / pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

COMBINE vinegar, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add corn, red and green peppers, celery, onion, mustard, celery seeds and turmeric. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

LADLE hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when the centre is pressed.

Keywords: quesadillas, corn, red pepper relish, recipe


Recipe – Quesadilla

Make as many as you need:

  • flour tortillas (2 x per person)
  • Cheddar, matured for 6 months, grated
  • corn and red pepper relish
  • red onion, sliced very thinly
  • coriander / cilantro
  • quick slaw

Heat a large non-stick skillet/frying pan over high heat. Sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese over the surface of a tortilla. Add a thin layer of sliced red onion and then about 4 – 5 tablespoons of corn relish. Top with another tortilla and transfer this to the hot pan. Turn the heat down and toast until golden brown. Flip over and toast the other side until brown and crispy. Remove, cut in four and serve right away.

To make the slaw simply mix equal parts red and white cabbage (or just one or the other) with a light coating of your favourite mayonnaise. Add a few drops of chipotle hot sauce such as Tabasco or Cholula. Taste and adjust seasoning.

quesadillas with corn and red pepper relish

*Disclaimer – This post is sponsored by Ball Jars

You may also like:

Salmon tacos with spiced coffee rub

Mexican short rib tacos

Esquites (Mexican corn salad)

Salad nachos with home-preserved zesty salsa

Quesadillas with corn & red pepper relish

Chipotle chicken enchiladas

My perfect huevos rancheros with chipotle

Pomegranate guacamole

The perfect Paloma cocktail

Tequila lime & honey chicken

How to make a basil mojito

Beer-battered fish tacos with spicy slaw


Find me on Instagram




  1. Everything tastes better with home preserving :-). Your quesadillas look delicious by the way, and of course your pics are outstanding. Have a lovely day.

  2. Much, much nicer with corn tortillas. Flour ones are so cardboard like!

  3. Cary Hill

    This looks great and as a beginner at canning, I want to try it. As we are now past the prime season for fresh corn on the cob, can I substitute an equal amount of defrosted frozen corn. If so, do you recommend first cooking it according to package instructions? Thank you.

  4. I love homemade relish. It’s just so much better than store bought!
    If I read a menu and it says homemade relish, I order that dish. It doesn’t matter what’s underneath the relish, I know it’ll be tasty. We have a cafe down the road from us that serves up homemade beetroot chutney and it is amazing on a steak sandwich.

  5. Sam

    HI Pete, I actually far prefer flour tortillas and once you fried them they go quite crispy. We sadly cant get good quality commercial corn tortillas in SA. Even ones made from masa at restaurants arent that gerat (but this is a preference thing). Im sure if I went to Mexico I would feel differently. I also like to give tehm a quick blitz in the microwave which softens them before using them.

  6. Cary Hill

    Sam, would you please comment on my 10/14 question concerning the substitution of frozen corn? Thank you

  7. Sam

    Hi Cary, sorry I did reply but obviously it didn’t come through. Yes you can of course use frozen corn just look it before.

Write A Comment

Recipe rating