Dilly Beans

These pickled green beans are a hit with my pickle lovers.

with Sharon Peterson

Dilly beans are a great way to preserve green beans and give you some variety in the pantry. Learn how to make and preserve dilly beans with this guide from SimplyCanning.com

These dilly beans are made with sprigs of dill weed.  A head of fresh dill or one tsp dill seed can be substituted.  

Remember usually green beans need a pressure canner for processing.  This recipe is for a pickled green bean.  Pickled products can be processed safely in a Water Bath Canner because of the added vinegar, which adds acid and makes it safe. 

I'll repeat.... When you are canning green beans without pickling you need to process in a pressure canner.  (Just because I know I'm going to get this question)

This recipe for dilly beans makes 4 pints. Make it once.  If you really love it like we do, double or triple the recipe. 


Gather your canning supplies


  • Green Beans - enough to make 4 pints or about 2 pounds
  • 4 sprigs of fresh dill weed or 4 heads of dill.
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 2 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


Wash beans - snap off ends and snap (break or cut) to jar length.

Add sprig of dill weed (or head of dill) (or 1 tsp dill seeds) and 1 garlic clove to each jar. if you like spicy try adding 1/8 tsp cayenne to each jar. (I personally like mild)

Pack each jar with beans length ways. You can also cut your beans short and pack them that way. I just think it looks nice to have them long and lengthways.   An easy way to do this is to tip the jar in your hand and fill.  This way the beans stack nicely. 

Combine -vinegar, water and salt to make the pickling solution or brine.  Bring this to a boil. The best way to do this is in a stainless steel tea pot.  It makes it so easy to just pour the brine into each jar without having to use  a ladle. 

Turn the heat off your brine and when bubbling stops, cover beans with pickling solution, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  I let the bubbling stop or it tends to splatter coming out of the spout of the teapot. 

Remove air bubbles with a plastic knife or other small tool. Just push the tool gently between the dilly beans moving things around just enough to let the air bubbles rise.  There is a tool you can buy specifically for this purpose, but an orange peeler is what I always turn to.  It just fits perfectly and is usually hand.

Wipe rims clean, you don't want any pickling solution or bean bits on the rim of the jar.  It may interfere with the sealing process.  Place your flat lids and screw bands on finger tight.

Then... process according to the times listed just below.  If you are not familiar with using a water bath canner go to water bath canning directions for more general information.

You may notice the image of the black pot I'm using to process my jars.  This day I only did a small batch of 4 pint jars.  Rather than heat up my big ol canner... I just used a smaller pot.  As long as your jars are covered with water and there is a rack of some sort to keep the jars off the bottom, any pot will work.  This is my old blancher. 


Process pints and quarts for 10 minutes.   I usually make dilly beans in pints. 

Be sure to adjust processing time according to your altitude.

Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner

Altitude in Feet - increase processing time

1,001-3,000 - increase 5 minutes

3,001-6,000 - increase 10 minutes

6,001-8,000 - increase 15 minutes

8,001-10,000 - increase 20 minutes

For more information on why this is important, see this altitude adjustments page.

What do you do with Dilly Beans?

I got a great question today.  

"Hi Sharon, I've seen your Dilly Beans canning recipe and I was wondering once they're canned how do you prepare them for a meal?   I love your site."

That is a great question.  With unfamiliar foods sometimes you really don't know what to do with them.  

We just eat them right out of the jar like a pickle.  So yummy. They are not like a side dish, more of a condiment to eat with sandwiches, or burgers.  Or just an evening snack.  

And here is a great idea from a reader  - Bill in Illinois 

First love your Dilly Bean recipe....A twist that I like to do is when I get tired of eating them right out of the jar...I chop them finely and mix them in cream cheese...this makes a great cracker spread...sounds odd but it is very good...I just use saltines but I imagine it would be good on a wheat cracker as well. 

What Else Can You Do with Green Beans?

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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