How to Make Pickled Green Beans, A.K.A. Dilly Beans

Butterfly has been gardening and preserving food of all kinds for many years, and she thrives on the creativity involved in these processes.

French Filet Beans

I started with French Filet green beans, a super-crisp, sweet bean perfect for pickling and regular snap bean recipes.

I started with French Filet green beans, a super-crisp, sweet bean perfect for pickling and regular snap bean recipes.

Making dilly green beans, a.k.a. pickled green beans, is one of the simplest canning projects you can do. The almost addictive results are great for everyday use or as part of a holiday menu. They are delicious for relish trays, on their own, or straight out of the jar.

To make dilly bean pickles, you will need:

  • 1 or more lbs. of green beans per quart of pickles
  • Canning salt (contains no iodine, and can be found in the canning section of most supermarkets)
  • Vinegar (white is best, as it does not compete with the other flavors in the pickles)
  • Drinking quality water
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Fresh garlic cloves (minced pickled garlic will also work)
  • Fresh or dried dill seeds

You will also need basic canning supplies:

  • An enameled waterbath canner, steam canner, or suitable large pot with a rack in the bottom
  • Canning jars, either pints or quarts—Ball brand canning jars are very good
  • Jar rings and self-sealing lids
  • A jar lifter
  • A narrow spatula or something similar, for releasing air bubbles from the filled jars
  • A small cake pan or saucepan, to scald the lids in
  • Tongs, for lifting lids from the water
  • A draft-free area in which to let your finished jars cool
  • A towel to cool the jars on, and hotpads or oven mitts to help you handle them
  • A large saucepan or pot in which to heat the canning solution
  • 2-3 hours of time per canner load

A Relish Tray Menu Including Dilly Bean Pickles

For a winning relish tray, arrange:

  • Dilly beans
  • Red beet pickles, sweet or somewhat savory
  • Orange or yellow pickled carrots (use baby carrots or slender, tapered sticks)
  • Sweet pickle sticks (cucumber pickles)
  • Pickled onions (use baby onions, or thinly sliced rings)
  • Pickled cherry peppers, both red and green

This selection offers something for almost every taste, and has a wide variety of colors and shapes. If you have room for just three or four relishes, try the dilly beans, beet pickles, and sweet cucumber sticks with whatever you like best coming in fourth.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can I use riper beans to make pickled green beans?

Answer: You could, but if they are too mature, they'll probably pickle with a somewhat tougher, chewier texture, just as they might be tougher when fresh-cooked. In any case, pickled beans usually are not crisp.

Question: How many dill seeds should I use to pickle green beans?

Answer: In the thumbnail pics in my article, you'll see about one head or a big sprig of dill per jar. I think this works out to about one teaspoon per quart. A little more or a little less won't matter incredibly. It all depends on how much you love dill! Add right before you cap your jars, that is, dill is the last ingredient to go in.

Question: My Dad has mentioned using these green beans, cooking them down in a skillet, but that's all he remembers. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: I've never used these as part of a cooked dish, except for with roast beef perhaps. But I'll keep my eye out for any such ideas! I suppose you could saute them in a heavy skillet, just like fresh green beans, or add them in a roast, etc. I can't imagine they would need much dressing up, since they have garlic and are strongly pickled...and technically already cooked.

© 2009 Joilene Rasmussen


Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 10, 2016:

Vishakha Bajaj, thank you! I'm pleased you enjoyed this article!

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:


It sounds as if you had some very special times with your grandma. Do enjoy these pickles, and I hope you can see her enjoying them with you. Many of the foods most familiar to me in this rural area resemble depression-era foods...and they still work great!

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:


I am so happy this article helped you! I would like to hear more about the kinds of pickles at the Turkish supermarket. I don't know too much about Turkish food. We have no ethnic markets of any variety where I live...so if I want to experience something, I usually have to make it myself.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:


If you don't want to go to the work of canning a bunch of jars of pickles, you can do one or two at a time in the fridge, by just packing beans and solution in a jar and leaving it in the fridge for a week or two before enjoying. (Flavors need to blend, and vinegar has to penetrate beans.) Of course, the beans won't be at all cooked using this method (they do get heated a little during the waterbath canning process), but if you want them softer, you can always blanch or cook them before packing in your jars.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:


The differences are several. For one thing, people who don't care so much for regular green beans get ecstatic over the pickled varieties. Also, a little vinegar every day can be good for you. Ditto the garlic and other things that go into these pickles. Then, too, they integrate with the meal differently than regular green beans, and depending on how they're used, can be merely a nice touch, or a major part of the flavor punch. They are more intense than regular green beans, and so you usually don't eat a whole pile of them at once, but savor them alongside a beef roast or what-have-you. May be used on sandwiches and in salads, too. or as a pick-me-up snack.

I do hope you try these. If you don't want to do the whole canning thing, you can simply put the beans and vinegar solution in a jar in the fridge for a week or two, to integrate flavors, then enjoy them!

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:


They are indeed yummy. :)

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:


Thanks! I love putting together relish trays, as pickling and canning takes up much of my time during gardening season. The pickled green beans are indeed delicious, and we go through lots of quarts of them in a year. Also bread and butter pickled green beans, curry ones. and cinnamon-black pepper ones. (For the recipes that aren't up here yet, be patient please! I'm working on things as fast as my schedule will allow.)

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 30, 2014:

Glimmer Twin Fan,

Thanks much for the sharing! I am pleased so many people love these!

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on January 30, 2014:

My grandma used to always talk about making "dilly beans" during the Depression. This hub made me think about her and I can't wait to try them myself!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on January 29, 2014:

Thank you for this amazing hub! I have never seen how to pickle beans and was most interested and your photos made it look very easy. I work in a Turkish supermarket and they often have pickled vegetables that have no unnatural additives so this will let me understand further how the process works. Voted useful.

Agnes on January 29, 2014:

It looks like a lot of work :-) , but I bet they are delicious!

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on January 29, 2014:

I've never pickled anything in my life. What's the difference between just cooking fresh green beans for dinner and having pickled ones?

sujaya venkatesh on January 29, 2014:

should be yummy

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 29, 2014:

I have never seen a recipe like this. I'll bet the pickled green beans are delish, and I love your idea for the relish tray!

Claudia Mitchell on January 29, 2014:

Yum - My mother in law makes these and now I can too. They are always a hit at our holiday table and get eaten first. Thanks for this. Shared around!

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on January 06, 2014:


I don't blanch green beans for pickling. Just stuff jars and pour the vinegar solution in, as shown. Have fun canning!

Fuplifter on January 05, 2014:

Is blanching the beans necessary?... Or are you okay just giving them a good rinse before stuffing them in the jars and pouring in the liquid?

I just received some canning equipment for Christmas and am excited about using some old family pickling recipes.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on November 02, 2013:

Trudy, I am happy to hear you love these, and that the articles help.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on November 02, 2013:

Elsb, I am ecstatic to hear the problem was only temporary, and that your pickles are wonderful!

elsb from Wisconsin on November 02, 2013:

UPDATE: I took a jar of the beans out of the pantry last night and no shriveling! I read online that shriveling is only temporary and after the beans sit for a while, they will rehydrate. The flavor is really good, and they are crispy too.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on October 17, 2013:

Smklimek, a week should do it. If you taste them sooner, all that will happen is that they may not be as strong in flavor as they should be. There won't be anything "wrong" with them. :)

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on October 17, 2013:

Elsb, I certainly hope you have prettier green beans next time.

Smklimek on September 29, 2013:

I just made the dilly bean recipe tonight for the first time and am wondering how long you wait to open your jars after processing to eat. This is my first year of canning and I am excited to try them to see how wonderful they taste.

elsb from Wisconsin on September 03, 2013:

Thanks. We are in Central Wisconsin. Yes, I will shorten the time if/when I made these again next year.

TrudyVan Curre from South Africa on September 01, 2013:

I love pickled Bean. I will be following your Hubs for sure. Voted you up. Thank you for sharing. TrudyVan

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 31, 2013:

Elsb, that could indeed be a problem - processing too long. I wonder if elevation (location) is contributing to this problem. I am at about 3400 ft. above sea level here, and have not had a problem with processing times, except on one poorly written pressure canner recipe...but if this seems to be an issue, go ahead and shorten the time. As long as the lids seal and the beans get hot, everything should be OK, given the high acidity of this recipe. I will edit my article to reflect this concern ASAP - I can't do it from my mobile device. Thank you for your patience and for alerting me to this problem.

elsb from Wisconsin on August 29, 2013:

Hi ButterflyWings - My vinegar is 5% acidity. I looked up the processing time for my other bean recipe and it is 5 minutes. My guess is that these were too long in the hot water bath?

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 29, 2013:

To those of you who have experienced problems with wrinkled green bean pickles -

A woman who has over 30 years' canning experience suggests that if the vinegar used for pickling was not strong enough (perhaps being below its rated acidity), it might cause this problem. Just a thought. Commercial canning vinegar is usually rated at 5% acidity.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 29, 2013:

Elsb, I find this strange, as I don't recall ever experiencing this wrinkling problem. So sorry your pickles weren't satisfactory. I'll be sure to let you know here if I come up with a reason for the wrinkling. Of course, I don't see why you couldn't blanch your beans first, and use any recipe you like, if this is a concern.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 29, 2013:

Elsb, you might have to copy and paste into a word document. I've not tried printing from this format.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 29, 2013:

I'm very sorry, Joan, but I have not yet thought of any reasons I didn't mention already as to why they might do this. If I come up with something, I'll be sure to post it here.

elsb from Wisconsin on August 28, 2013:

I also had a problem with wrinkly beans. In the recipe I normally use, I blanch the beans before putting them in the jars. This always produces a nice, unwrinkled bean even after processing. I was very disheartened to see that all the beans wrinkled. :(

elsb from Wisconsin on August 28, 2013:

How does one print this recipe?

Joan on August 28, 2013:

Completed my first batch, five pints, of ever canning dilly beans and was glad to see the comment from Haley regarding wrinkled beans (lengthwise). Mine did the same. A friend, who cans a lot, did not know what the cause could be either. Any further help?

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 18, 2013:

Soulfully, I hope you love them, and are well rewarded for your labor.

soulfully on August 16, 2013:

Thanks for the very detailed instructions. I've never tried dilly beans before; they look like something nice to snack on. All I need now is some glass jars, and I'll give it a go.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 15, 2013:

As long as the product contains a vinegar or high-sugar solution, the method you outline should work. Perhaps you should do your own article detailing this process! I'd never heard of doing this way before, but it makes sense.

Nicole on August 08, 2013:

I sanitized all jars, rings, and lids in the dishwasher. I fill the sink up with as hot of water as I can and put the rings and lids in there. Then I take the jars and fill them with beans, pour the boiling brine into the jars, place lids and rings on. Then I flip them upside-down in the hot sink water and let them sit for 20 minutes. I then flip them right-side up and wait to hear the pop. I do this for jelly, it is okay to do it this way for grean beans, and relish? Or does it absolutely have to be boiled?

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on July 19, 2013:

Haley, I'm very sorry, but I can't think of a reason why your beans wrinkled. Once in a while, I've had the odd bean shrivel or wrinkle a bit in pressure-canned beans (plain, not pickled), but haven't had a problem like you're describing. Usually, my "off" beans were way past their prime, being overly mature and verging on tough, and really shouldn't have been canned. But I don't suppose this is the problem here. If I think of something plausible, I'll post again here.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on July 19, 2013:

Vishakha, I am so glad you enjoyed it!

Haley on July 18, 2013:

My beans are sitting on the counter after being canned and they are wrinkled and idea what would cause this? Will it go away? If so how long?

Vishakha Bajaj on July 18, 2013:

Very nice hub.Thanks for sharing this awesome hub.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on July 05, 2012:

Stephanie, I'm delighted to be of help!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on June 15, 2012:

Thanks so much for the great recipe for Dilly green beans! This is the year I have so many green beans, and I'm in a pickling mood! :) Can't wait to try your recipe. Great photographs and wonderful step-by-step instructions will make the project so much easier!

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on June 07, 2012:

I don't see why not. The main idea behind the canning bath is to seal the jars for long term storage. You should be able to simply leave the beans in the vinegar solution for a week or three, then use them.

Brenda on April 11, 2012:

Is there a way to pickle dilly beans without the canning bath and just refridgerate in a crock pot?

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on September 30, 2011:


You're comment has improved my mood! Thanks!

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on September 30, 2011:


I'm sorry I missed your comment for so long. My own garden has kept me so busy I'm dizzy.

You can put any spices you want in, so long as you actually pickle the beans and follow proper canning procedures. You will wind up with a somewhat different flavor to your beans than if you stick to the given recipe, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. I have used beans in many pickle recipes, including curry, bread and butter, and mixed pickling spice. Also in combination with other vegetables.

Have fun with it!

Dana on September 23, 2011:

Thank you SO MUCH for posting pictures! As someone who didn't have the luxury of growing up in a "canning family" and witnessing the process firsthand, it is so helpful to have pictures of what I'm supposed to be doing! Can't wait to try these this weekend. You've given me confidence! ;)

Marilynn on September 04, 2011:

Can I substitute pickling spice for the ingredients and just add the garlic cloves?

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on September 09, 2010:

Pippi, you can store the beans for as long as the jars remain properly sealed. That should be almost indefinitely...several years, at the least.

pippi1815 on September 07, 2010:

how long can you store the beans for? Do you have to eat them right away or can you store them down your cellar for months before opening.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on September 14, 2009:

Jestone, best of luck! If she won't make them, maybe you can. :-D

jestone from America! on September 14, 2009:

I think I will forward this to my wife and maybe she will make'em!

Great Hub.


Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 24, 2009:

LiftedUp, better make twice as many as you think you'll need, huh? I know as soon as I open a jar, my children are clustering around me, springing up and down, shouting, "Can I have some? Please!" It's hard to resist their delight.

LiftedUp from Plains of Colorado on August 23, 2009:

I know what you mean, Butterfly Wings, about conserving my bean pickles. I like them with all sorts of things (they are absolutely fabulous with roast beef), but often choose to bring a different type of pickle from the cellar when I count how few of the Dilly Beans I have. Making enough to open a jar just because I feel like it sounds like a good idea.

Joilene Rasmussen (author) from Ovid on August 19, 2009:

Great! I'll bet they won't last long with a family such as yours. I tried to make enough this year that we can use them for everyday, and not feel like we have to conserve them for special times. I'll know by next March or so whether I judged right.

Ivorwen from Hither and Yonder on August 19, 2009:

Looks good. I just made my first batch of pickled beans last week.

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