Pickled Green Beans

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Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables, and canning them is a great way to preserve my garden’s bounty. Green beans typically require a pressure canner, a kitchen tool I unfortunately lack. However, this recipe for dilly beans allows us to use a simple water bath for preservation. Dilly beans are basically pickled green beans, with a spicy, garlicky flavor suitable for snacking or accompanying your favorite summer meals, such as hamburgers, grilled hot dogs, or even a salad.

Little House Living - Pickled Green Beans

Canning with a water bath does not require much equipment, and most things can be found in any properly stocked kitchen. I use a big pasta pot for cooking the items to be canned, such as jam, sauce, or the liquid used in this recipe. I use my gigantic stock pot for the actual canning, as it leaves a lot of room for water above the cans. To ensure the cans do not touch the bottom of the pot and therefore burn or overcook, I use a stainless steel steam basket. For the lids, I simply ladle some boiling water into a small saucepan and let them soak for a few minutes before I begin processing. The equipment that I bought specifically for canning include special rubberized tongs for lifting the jars in and out of the water safely, a magnetic stick for fishing out the lids, and of course, mason jars, lids, and rings. Now on to the recipe!

Little House Living - Pickled Green Beans

Pickled Green Beans
Yields 5 pints

What You Need:

  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill, or 2½ heaping teaspoons dried dill weed, separated
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 2 ½ – 5 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed

Little House Living - Pickled Green Beans

Fill a large stock pot with water, leaving a few inches of space at the top (to account for the water displaced by the filled jars later), and set on the stove to boil.
Wash the mason jars thoroughly and place in the boiling water to sterilize. Place the lids in a small saucepan beside the stove and ladle in enough hot water to cover them.
In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, and water. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.

Little House Living - Pickled Green Beans

Carefully remove the jars from the boiling water, emptying out the water back into the pot.
Quickly place a sprig of dill (or ½ teaspoon dried dill weed), a clove of garlic, and ½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes in each jar. Then, add the green beans, standing them as upright as possible. Pour or ladle in the vinegar mixture, leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars dry, then place a lid and ring on each one. You want the lids to be just finger tight; if they are too tightly sealed, they will not process correctly as no air can escape.

Return the filled jars to the water bath and wait for the water to return to a light boil. Process for 10 minutes, then remove the jars and set on a towel. Leave them undisturbed for 1 hour, then check the lids to make sure they are sealed. I do this by lightly trying to pry of the lids with the pads of my fingertips, and making sure the center is popped down.

Label your jars and store in a dark, cool place.

Please be sure to check with your local extension office for specific tips on timing, pressure, and temps for canning.

Find even more Canning and Preserving Recipes on Little House Living! And don’t forget…if you need some inspiration on how to use those canned foods just check our the ebook, The Canner’s Cookbook!

Does your family enjoy pickled green beans?


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  1. I use to make these many years ago when I had a large garden. My green beans always seemed to thrive in the midwest and my pantry was filled with home canned green beans. My family was happy when I found this recipe, it add a twist to the same old thing.

  2. I just finished freezing about 8 pounds of green beans! I wish I would have seen this sooner. I love finding new canning recipes!

  3. Merissa, I just picked a grocery bag full of beans from my garden and I am for sure going to try this. I do not have a pressure canner either and have only canned with the water bath once in my life. Pinning your recipe! Have a wonderful day. Love, Wanda

  4. Hi Amanda,
    I have been wanting to Pickle some Green Beans, you have inspired me to go forward with that project. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great summer weekend and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Sounds delicious and might even encourage me to try canning. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday.

  6. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. I have always been told green beans no matter what you do with them need to be pressure canned because they are a low acid veggie. I know botulism is a concern with green beans and it takes high pressure to kill the spores. Why do you not pressure can these?

    1. If you are canning just green beans, then yes, you would need to pressure can. However, these are pickled, so the vinegar helps to preserve the beans and can be processed via a water bath.

  8. Oooh! I just bought some of those Ball heritage green pint jars, and these would be a perfect recipe for them. Can’t wait for the green beans.

  9. Merissa,
    I just made some dilly beans for the first time and I’m pretty excited. I have a couple of questions:
    1) how long before I can eat them?
    2) how long will they keep?

    Thank you,


    1. I would give them at least 6 weeks before enjoying so they can get nice an pickly 🙂 And I try and keep any canned foods no longer than 3 years.

  10. I like the idea of preserving with hot water bath for this pickled green beans. My question is, will the hot water bath all the good stuff in the apple cider vinegar with the mother?

  11. Do you need to pressure can these? I have always heard you had to pressure can green beans due to the acid level in them? Didn’t know since it has the vinegar. Thanks!

  12. I make these green beans every year and give them away during the Holidays. People LOVE them. Great in Bloody Marys.