These dilly beans (pickled beans) are a hit with my pickle lovers.
Dilly beans are made with sprigs of dill weed. Fresh dill heads or plain dill seed can be substituted.
Remember, usually green beans need a pressure canner for processing. This recipe is for pickled beans. 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.
Label your jars with pretty printable Canning Labels! Check them out.
This Page Includes:
Dilly Beans: Extended, Step-By-Step Directions
Gather Your Canning Supplies:
- water bath canner
- canning jars
- canning lids and rings
- jar lifter and canning funnel
- large pot
- large spoons
- sharp knife
- towels and dish cloths
- Green beans – enough to make 4 pints, about 2 pounds of beans
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill weed or 4 heads of dill.
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup canning salt
- 2 cups vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, but you can add it to make this is a spicy dilly beans recipe)
How to Make Dilly Beans
Wash beans. Snap off ends and snap (break or cut) to jar length.
Add sprig of dill weed (or substitute 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 lengthwise. You can also cut your beans short and pack them that way. I just think it looks nice to have them long and lengthwise. An easy way to do this is to tip the jar in your hand and fill it. 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. When bubbling stops, cover beans with pickling solution, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. I let the bubbling stop. Otherwise, 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 handy.
Wipe rims clean. You don’t want any pickling solution or bean bits on the rim of the jar, as 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. That 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 in the photo.
Canning Dilly Beans
Process pints for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude using the chart below. For more information on why this is important, see this altitude adjustments page.
Pinnable Recipe Card
- 2 pounds green beans
- 4 sprigs fresh dill weed or 4 heads dill
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup canning salt
- 2 cups vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper optional, but highly recommended if you like spicy!
- Start by preparing jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.See full water bath canning instructions here.
Raw Pack only
- Wash and snap beans.
- Combine vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Keep hot while you pack your jar.
- Add dill (1 head or 1 tsp. seed), 1 garlic clove, and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper per pint jar.
- Pack each jar with beans lengthways.
- Pour brine over beans, leaving 1/4” headspace.
- Remove air bubbles, wipe the rim clean, and place on seal and ring. Place jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to the chart below.
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Last Updated: 4/9/2021
Dilly Beans: Tips & FAQ
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.”
You can actually eat dilly beans right away…but you might be disappointed. They won’t be very pickly. The beans do need some time to pick up on the pickling flavors. I’ve never tested it, so I can’t say for sure how long you need to wait for best flavor I’d advise waiting at least a week…longer is probably better.
These canned pickled beans will last for at least a year under proper storage conditions, provided they were processed safely and sealed correctly. The quality of pickles will degrade, so that’s why it’s recommended that you eat them within a year. If it’s been over a year, don’t put them in the trash yet! Just move them to the front and make a plan to use them soon. I’ve got more on home canning and shelf life here.
Yes, peppers are generally interchangeable with home canning. If you don’t want the spice of a cayenne, just use a milder pepper. And remember the pepper is optional, you don’t need it at all if you don’t want it.
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Recipe Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Page last updated: 5/5/2021