How to Make Pickled Green Beans, aka "Dilly Beans"

French Filet Beans

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

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.

Making dilly green bean, aka 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, or on their own, 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

 

Step One - Preparing Your Equipment

Check jars for nicks, cracks, and other problems. Wash in hot, soapy water. Scald if necessary. Wash lids and rings.
Check jars for nicks, cracks, and other problems. Wash in hot, soapy water. Scald if necessary. Wash lids and rings.
Set lids in a small pan and pour scalding water over them, or simmer them slowly in a saucepan of water. DO NOT BOIL! Leave them in the water until you use them.
Set lids in a small pan and pour scalding water over them, or simmer them slowly in a saucepan of water. DO NOT BOIL! Leave them in the water until you use them.

Step Two - Preparing the Green Beans

Snap the green bean ends, and remove strings as necessary. Discard any discolored, soft, or otherwise faulty beans.
Snap the green bean ends, and remove strings as necessary. Discard any discolored, soft, or otherwise faulty beans.
Wash in cold water, swishing them about to dislodge dirt and other matter.
Wash in cold water, swishing them about to dislodge dirt and other matter.
Drain a few minutes.
Drain a few minutes.

Step Three - The Recipe for the Pickling Solution, and Packing the Jars

For the solution, for every four pints of pickles, mix in a pot: 2 1/2 cups vinegar, 2 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup canning salt. Bring to a boil.
For the solution, for every four pints of pickles, mix in a pot: 2 1/2 cups vinegar, 2 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup canning salt. Bring to a boil.
Fill waterbath canner with water to cover filled jars by one inch, and set on to boil. (The stockpots are full of other things I was cooking.)
Fill waterbath canner with water to cover filled jars by one inch, and set on to boil. (The stockpots are full of other things I was cooking.)
This much water is about right for a full canner (7 quarts, in this case) of quart jars.
This much water is about right for a full canner (7 quarts, in this case) of quart jars.
Pack beans into jars tightly, but without crushing them. Small, curly beans will naturally fit differntly than varieties that are long and straight. Both pickle well.
Pack beans into jars tightly, but without crushing them. Small, curly beans will naturally fit differntly than varieties that are long and straight. Both pickle well.
A properly filled jar of French filet beans.
A properly filled jar of French filet beans.
Put into each quart jar: 2 cloves of garlic, 2 heads of dill (about 1 teaspoon of seeds), 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. For each pint, that's: 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.
Put into each quart jar: 2 cloves of garlic, 2 heads of dill (about 1 teaspoon of seeds), 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. For each pint, that's: 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.
Ladle the hot solution over the beans, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running the spatula around the inside of the jar. Air can cause spoilage. Put on lids fairly tightly. (I used cider vinegar for this batch, as I ran out of white
Ladle the hot solution over the beans, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running the spatula around the inside of the jar. Air can cause spoilage. Put on lids fairly tightly. (I used cider vinegar for this batch, as I ran out of white

Step Four - The Waterbath Canning Process

As you are finished with each jar, place it in a canning rack. You can warm your jars, and minimize damage to them, by locking your rack over the canner with the handles. This is all the beans I did in this batch.
As you are finished with each jar, place it in a canning rack. You can warm your jars, and minimize damage to them, by locking your rack over the canner with the handles. This is all the beans I did in this batch.
Make sure your canner is really boiling hard before placing your jars into it. They will slow the boil.
Make sure your canner is really boiling hard before placing your jars into it. They will slow the boil.
Now they are in. Begin timing as soon as your canner is boiling hard again. Process pints and quarts for 10 full minutes.
Now they are in. Begin timing as soon as your canner is boiling hard again. Process pints and quarts for 10 full minutes.
When the time is up, lift the lid away from you to keep the steam from burning you, then lifte each jar out with a jar lifter.
When the time is up, lift the lid away from you to keep the steam from burning you, then lifte each jar out with a jar lifter.
Place on a towel away from drafts, to cool for 8-12 hours. After that, check each seal, and refrigerate or re-process any jars that did not seal well. To check seals: Press in center of lid; if it pops back, it's not sealed. If it doesn't, remove the
Place on a towel away from drafts, to cool for 8-12 hours. After that, check each seal, and refrigerate or re-process any jars that did not seal well. To check seals: Press in center of lid; if it pops back, it's not sealed. If it doesn't, remove the

"Yard Long " Green Beans

Have you ever tried green bean pickles?

  • I love them
  • I despise them!
  • I haven't had a chance to find out
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Comments 58 comments

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

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


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 7 years ago Author

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.


LiftedUp profile image

LiftedUp 7 years ago from Plains of Colorado

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 7 years ago Author

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.


jestone profile image

jestone 7 years ago from America!

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

Great Hub.

J


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 7 years ago Author

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


pippi1815 6 years ago

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 6 years ago Author

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.


Marilynn 5 years ago

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


Dana 5 years ago

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! ;)


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 4 years ago Author

Marilynn,

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!


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 4 years ago Author

Dana,

You're comment has improved my mood! Thanks!


Brenda 4 years ago

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


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 4 years ago Author

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.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

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!


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 4 years ago Author

Stephanie, I'm delighted to be of help!


Vishakha Bajaj profile image

Vishakha Bajaj 3 years ago

Very nice hub.Thanks for sharing this awesome hub.


Haley 3 years ago

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?


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

Vishakha, I am so glad you enjoyed it!


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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.


Nicole 3 years ago

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?


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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.


soulfully profile image

soulfully 3 years ago

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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


Joan 3 years ago

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?


elsb profile image

elsb 3 years ago from Wisconsin

How does one print this recipe?


elsb profile image

elsb 3 years ago from Wisconsin

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. :(


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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.


elsb profile image

elsb 3 years ago from Wisconsin

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?


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 3 years ago Author

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.


TrudyVan profile image

TrudyVan 3 years ago from South Africa

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


elsb profile image

elsb 3 years ago from Wisconsin

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


Smklimek 2 years ago

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

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


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

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. :)


elsb profile image

elsb 2 years ago from Wisconsin

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

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


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

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


Fuplifter 2 years ago

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

Fuplifyer,

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


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

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!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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!


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

should be yummy


VVanNess profile image

VVanNess 2 years ago from Prescott Valley

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


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

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


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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.


FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 2 years ago from Charleston SC

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!


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

Glimmer Twin Fan,

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


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

Rebeccamealey,

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.)


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

Sujaya,

They are indeed yummy. :)


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

VvanNess,

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!


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

Monis,

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

Suzanne,

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.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 2 years ago Author

FreezeFrame34,

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!


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 6 weeks ago Author

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

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



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