Fermenting & Pickling / Recipes

Pickled Dilly Beans

Pickled dilly beans

After an abundant summer, my bush beans have finally bitten the dirt. I harvested the last of the beans — all 15 pounds of my Dragon Tongue, Royal Burgundy, and Beurre de Rocquencourt varieties — and after many three bean summer salads, spicy stir-fried beans, grilled beans, braised beans, and buttery bean casseroles, there’s only one thing left to do with them: pickled beans!

Final harvest of bush beans

This is a classic dill pickle recipe, using a medley of beans (or any vegetable you like — try it with carrots or cucumbers too) and a heaping of dill seeds, which hold up better in a boiling water bath than fresh dill or dill weed.

Dill seeds, red pepper flakes, and garlic

You can also skip the boiling water bath and simply refrigerate your pickles, but be sure to can only young, tender beans in that case.

Pickled Dilly Beans

Makes 1 quart


Green beans (enough to fill a quart jar)
1 cup distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pickling salt
2 teaspoons dill seeds
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, peeled


Rinse and dry your beans, then trim the ends and cut to fit inside a hot, clean quart jar.

Trim and cut your beans to fit inside a quart jar

Pack your jar with beans

Pack them in tightly!

Pack your jar tightly with beans

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water and salt to a simmer until the salt is dissolved.

Fill your jar with the rest of the spices, then pour the hot brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Fill jar with spices

Pour hot brine over the beans

Cover beans completely with brine

Run a chopstick around the beans to release any trapped air bubbles inside the jar.

Bubble your jar with a chopstick to release trapped air bubbles

Wipe the rim clean, seal with a lid and band, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjusting time for altitude as needed).

Pickled dilly beans

The beans get better with age and will keep for at least a year. I like to let the flavors develop over a week or so, but you can certainly eat them before that!

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Linda Ly
    August 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    The current edition of the Ball Blue Book specifies safe processing of pints AND quarts for dilly beans.

    Some canning recipes call for pints because the contents of larger jars may not heat properly in a boiling water bath. However, dilly beans can be safely canned in quart jars as long as you process the jars for at least 10 minutes, depending on your altitude, and start timing it from the moment the water is at a full boil.

  • Carole
    August 27, 2012 at 7:07 am

    This sounds great. Your beans are gorgeous. However, they should be canned in pints, not quarts. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a good resource: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/dilled_beans.html


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