Easy Pickled Green Beans for the Pantry

These green bean pickles are a great way to preserve a summer harvest for the winter pantry. They’re crisp and delicious, and with an easy boiling water bath process, they’re shelf stable. 

Not ready to start canning quite yet? Try these refrigerator dilly beans.

3 jars of pickled green beans

Serve these pickled green beans as a snack, use them to stir a bloody Mary, or add them to your favorite three bean salad.


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Making Pickled Green Beans

The basic recipe for pickling brine — vinegar, water, salt — can be used to make either dill beans or spicy green bean pickles. Choose the spice combination you like! 

Ingredients

Green Beans — Preserve all of the summer garden bounty easily when you make pickles. These are fun to eat straight out of the jar.

Vinegar Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, either one is fine. Be mindful of this little tidbit when buying apple cider vinegar.

Pickling Salt — This is a fine grain salt without any additives (no anti caking agents) that will easily and fully dissolve into the water.

Garlic — Please only use fresh cloves here! It will give you the best flavor for pickled green beans.

How to Make Green Bean Pickles

Prepare the beans by washing and trimming them to fit into pint size canning jars, then pack them in snugly. The more tightly they’re packed into the jar, the less the beans will tend to float once they’re processed. 

glass jar with green beans in it, tilted by a human hand

Filling the Jars

If you’re new to pickling and filling jars, worry not. It’s easy. Just tilt the jar as you fill it, to keep the beans pointing in mostly the same direction. This allows you to get more in the jar than just putting them in all catty-wampus.

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3 jars of fresh beans in a line from above

This is considered a “raw pack” method, meaning that you won’t cook the beans before packing them into the jar. The bright green raw beans will darken after being processed. This is normal. 

tip of kitchen shears snipping green beans in a jar

After heating the brine, pour it over the green beans in the jar. If there are some beans sticking up too high, I’ve found the easiest way to deal with this is to snip them off with kitchen shears. 

🍅 Safety First!

Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. The recipes on this site have been made following safe canning procedures by a certified Master Food Preserver.

  • Know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Low acid items must be pressure canned for safety. 
  • Altering ingredients may change the recipe’s pH, posing a safety issue. I highly recommend investing in pH paper to test your products for acidity level when canning. Note: The Hawaii Master Food Preservers suggest a pH of 4.2 or lower in the tropics. In other regions, the recommended pH is 4.6 or lower.
  • Use the proper jars and lids. Never reuse lids, with the exception of the Tattler or Harvest Right hard plastic lids that are intended for such a purpose.
  • For more on canning equipment, please go here

Water bath canning

Green beans are a low-acid food. The addition of vinegar creates an acidic environment making this recipe safe to process in a water bath canner. If you wish to can green beans (not pickled) you MUST use a pressure canner to create a safe product. This recipe has been adapted from one on the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website.

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When the processing time has elapsed, remove the jars from the water and set on a sturdy surface to cool. You may hear each jar seal with a “tink!” Once cooled, check the lid by gently pressing in the center. It should feel solid. If it flexes, it did not seal. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use those first. 

FAQs

How long can I keep pickled green beans?

Stored in a cool, dark place, the unopened jars should last about a year. Make sure to label and date everything you can and use the “first in, first out” principle.

Do I need to use pickling salt?

You can substitute Kosher salt if this is something you keep on hand and don’t want to seek out pickling or canning salt. Just make sure it doesn’t contain any anti caking agents.

Using Pickled Green Beans

Use these as a side dish on their own, in a Bloody Mary, or making a bean salad. Their flavor is so delightful I bet you’ll enjoy eating them straight out of the jar!

You can also cook and can dried beans so that you have all you need for a bean salad, completely from scratch. And if you aren’t up for learning how to can just yet, refrigerator pickles are a great option.

Storing Green Bean Pickles

Like all of your canning bounty, keep them in a cool room out of direct sunlight for the best longevity.

canned string bean pickles

★ Did you make these pickled green beans? Don’t forget to rate the recipe! ★

 

3 jars of pickled green beans

Easy Pickled Green Beans for Canning

Yield: 4 pints
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Crisp and delicious, these pickled green beans are easy to make for the pantry! Serve them as a snack, use them to stir a bloody Mary, or add them to your favorite three bean salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh tender green or yellow beans (5 to 6 inches long)
  • 1/4 cup canning or pickling salt
  • 2 cups vinegar (5 percent - I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic

For dilly beans:

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 heads fresh dill or (4 teaspoons dill seed)

For spicy pickled green beans:

  • 3 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 4 teaspoons chile pepper flakes
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 2 teaspoons dill seed

Instructions

  1. Wash and trim ends from green beans. Cut beans into 4" lengths.
  2. Put one garlic clove into each of four pint jars. Divide spices between the 4 jars.
  3. Pack beans upright into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.
  4. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan, bringing the liquid to a boil.
  5. Pour hot liquid over beans.
  6. Run a butter knife around the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. Add more liquid to the jar if necessary to maintain 1/2" headspace.
  7. Wipe the jar rims and set a flat lid in place. Screw a canning ring on, firmly tight.
  8. Use a jar lifter to transfer filled jars into a boiling water bath canner.
  9. Process for 10 minutes. (15 minutes if you are situated above 6,000' in elevation.
  10. Remove jars to a flat surface and allow to cool.

Notes

A full sized water bath canner takes about 30 minutes or so to heat up, so get it started before you start to make this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 493mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 12g

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

9 comments… add one
  • Julia Veintrop Nov 1, 2022 @ 9:50

    I put the jars into the water bath and the bottom cracked. What did I do wrong?

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 4, 2023 @ 13:22

      The bottom cracking is usually due to drastic temperature changes. If the jar was cool going into hot water, for instance, it might break.

  • Tammy Sep 25, 2022 @ 3:34

    What happens if you use anti caking ingredients in the pickled green bean recipe by accident I used kosher salt. Was not told about the anti caking ingredients and not to use them.

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 7, 2022 @ 17:36

      It causes cloudiness in the brine, but they are safe to eat.

  • Carol L Aug 21, 2022 @ 10:45

    How many pint jars will this make?
    For the variations: do you add the ‘extra’ ingredients TO the regular pickled bean ingredients, or INSTEAD of?
    Could you make one pint of each of the variations? (that would be only 3 pints…) in the same batch.
    Sorry if my questions are basic…new to this type of canning. I used to water bath and pressure can…but that was centuries (LOL) ago, and only just simple one basic food per jar.

  • Hhhh Jul 24, 2022 @ 12:16

    I have won many county fairs for my pickled vegetables and you can count on a quality pickle is you use distilled water or from an artesian well not tap water in your brine

    • AttainableSustainable Aug 9, 2022 @ 3:43

      Both are viable options if available.

  • Arianna Oct 25, 2021 @ 11:48

    What is the pressure it needs to can at? How long of a shelf life will it have as raw pack?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 10, 2021 @ 7:41

      This doesn’t need to be pressure canned. Raw pack and then process in a water bath as directed. Shelf life will be a year.

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