We love dilly beans – they are a summer tradition around here.  Because they are low-acid, beans are preserved by either pickling them or pressure canning them.  These pickles are tangy, have a bit of a spicy kick (though you can skip that), crunchy and packed with dill flavor.

The most common frustration people have when canning beans is preventing them from floating.  We eliminate floaters by seatbelting each jar.  If you’re struggling with cutting beans to the right length (not that you have to be perfect), we also have a trick for quickly cutting beans the same length as well.

This recipe will make 4-5 pint (500 ml) jars.  Pickled garlic (one of the ingredients) will sometimes turn neon green or blue.  The color is natural (it’s a reaction with the acid in the vinegar) and it’s perfectly edible.  Click here to learn how to stop garlic from turning neon.

These are great in stir fry, salad, paired with fish, as a snack or a garnish to a Bloody Mary/ Bloody Caesar.  The brine of pickled beans can also be used to flavor any of those dishes too!


  • 2 pounds string beans (we like to use multiple colors but that’s a personal preference)
  • 8-10 dried chili peppers (or more, or less)
  • 8-10 teaspoon dill seed (not weed)
  • 8-10 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 0.25 cups salt (pickling salt is ideal but not required; picking salt will keep the brine clearer).
  • 4-5 pint (500 ml) jars.  I prefer the narrow-mouthed ones for dilly beans but will use either.


  1.  Start by bringing a large pot (that will fit all of your jars) to a boil.  You will need enough water to cover the filled jars by 1.5-2 inches.
  2. Wash your jars (even if they are new) and boil for 10 minutes (do not place the lids in the same water).
  3. Wash and cut your beans to the size of your jars.
  4. Bring water, vinegar and salt to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt.
  5. Bring a small kettle of water to a boil.
  6. Fill your jars with beans and other ingredients by packing the beans tightly and adding 2 chili peppers, 2 cloves garlic and 2 teaspoons of dill seed.  I like to add the peppers and garlic on the outside as a quick reminder that these jars have a little kick.
  7. After filling two jars, use the kettle to cover the lids (you don’t need to add the rings) with hot water.  They should sit for 5 minutes while you complete the remaining jars.
  8. Place the lid on the jar, turn the band finger tight.  Place in pot of boiling water.
  9. Process jars in boiling water for 5 minutes (if it’s not boiling when you add it to the water, start timing only after the water comes to a boil).
  10. Remove jars from water and set aside to cool.  The jars will ping when they seal (don’t poke or push them).

These can be eaten right away but the flavor will continue to develop for 2-6 weeks.

That’s all there is to it!

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