Dilly Beans Recipe

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This dilly beans recipe (pickled green beans) is a hit with my pickle lovers.

Canning dilly beans involves blanching fresh green beans and packing them with dill seeds and garlic into sterilized jars. Prepare a vinegar-water-salt brine, pour it over the beans, and seal the jars. Process in a water bath or steam canner for the recommended time. So easy and adds some fun crunch to summer time meals.

An open jar of dilly beans with a serving of beans to the side.
Image of dilly beans canning label, links to printable canning labels to purchase.
Use these specially made canning labels to dress up your gift giving.
Dilly Beans Canning Labels
Pickling Course to learn how to make pickles, relishes, and more.

Label your jars with pretty printable Canning Labels! Check them out.


This recipe for dilly beans makes 4 pints. You’ll need approximately 2 pounds of fresh beans to fill 4 pint jars. If you want to make this in half pints, just use the smaller jars and follow the processing instructions for pint jars. Do not reduce the processing time.

There are no processing directions for quarts and they are not recommended.

Dilly Beans Recipe

These are some extended step by step directions for making the pickled beans.

Gather Your Canning Supplies:
The goal is to have the water in your canner hot but not yet boiling when the jars are going into the canner. If you have not used a water bath canner yet, I suggest you look at this page for some great tips for setting up and getting ready for any canning project.


  • 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 (optional)
  • 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)

This is a raw packed product, which means the beans are packed raw and the brine heated and poured into the jars.

Dill seeds? Or Dill weed?

I made my home canned dilly beans with sprigs of dill weed since that is what I had available at the time. My garden dill had not seeded yet. But there were plenty of ferny branches. Fresh dill heads or plain dill seed can be substituted.

Putting heads of fresh dill into canning jars with a bowl of beans in the background.

Add sprig of dill weed (or substitute one 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.)

Prepare your green beans.

Wash beans. Remove ends and snap (break or cut) to jar length. The size is personal preference.

Packing beans lengthwise into a canning jar with more empty jars waiting in the background.

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.

Prepare the Brine

Combine vinegar, water, and salt to make the pickling solution or brine. Bring this to a boil.

Expert tip: 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.

Using an orange peeler to remove bubbles from jars packed with beans.
An orange peeler makes a great bubble tool.

Remove air bubbles with a bubble tool, plastic knife or other small plastic utensil. 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.

Recheck your headspace, resettle the beans in the jar, and add some brine if needed.

Wipe rims clean. You don’t want any pickling solution or pieces of dill 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 finally put that jar in the hot canner. When all jars are filled you are ready to process.

Canning Dilly Beans

Then…process according to the instruction in the recipe card below. I’ve included boiling water bath instructions, but this is also a great recipe for using a steam canner. Check here for more information on steam canning.

Process pints for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude using the chart in the recipe card below. For more information on why this is important, see this altitude adjustments page.

A jar of green beans floating in the dilly brine in the jar.

Dilly Beans: Tips & FAQ

Why is it safe to water bath this recipe? Don’t green beans need a pressure canner?

This recipe is for pickled green beans. Pickled products can be processed safely in a water bath canner because of the added vinegar, which adds acid and makes it safe. Great Question! It means you are thinking. 🙂

How do you use Dilly Beans?

We just eat them right out of the jar like a pickle. So yummy. They are 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.”

How Long Do Dilly Beans Need to Sit Before Eating?

You can actually eat dilly beans right away…but you might be disappointed. 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.

How long to pickled beans last?

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 after that. The beans start getting soft. 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.

Can I add a different type of pepper instead of a cayenne pepper?

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.

Recipe Card

Dilly Beans

Dilly beans are pickled green beans, and they are oh, so good. Here's how to make dilly beans:
Print Recipe
An open jar of dilly beans with a serving of beans to the side.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Processing Pints (adjust for altitude):10 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes


  • 2 pounds Green Beans
  • 4 sprigs Fresh Dill or 4 heads dill seeds
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ cup Canning Salt
  • 2 cups Vinegar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon 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.   


Processing with a Water Bath Canner
Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the canner.
When all the jars are filled, bring the water in the canner to a boil.  When a boil is reached that is when you’ll start your timing.   Process for the length of time on the chart below.  Adjust for your altitude. 
 After your time is over, turn the heat off remove the lid and allow the canner to rest for about 5 minutes. Then bring your jars up out of the water.  Allow them to rest for another 5 minutes. Then remove the jars and place them a few inches apart on a thick towel to cool completely.  Leave them alone for about 12 hours.  
When they are cooled remove the metal bands, check the seals, label the jars and store them away! 
Processing Times for Water Bath Canner (Raw Pack)  
Altitude – Pints  
0-6,000 – 10 minutes  
Above 6,000 – 15 minutes
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Servings: 4 pints

Canning Green Beans

Home canning green beans is easy with a pressure canner. You’ll need about 14 pounds of beans for a canner load of 7 quarts.  
How to Can Green Beans – A pressure canning project.
Using an orange peeler to remove bubbles from jars packed with green beans.

3 Bean Salad Canning Recipe

Pickled Three Bean Salad Canning Recipe is so easy and makes a great summer side dish. This one is husband approved! Step-by-step canning guide for a home canned version.
Three Bean Salad – another pickled product using green beans.
Top down view of a small white square serving dish with three bean salad, green beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, some onions, all on a blue plate with a fork to the side.

Freezing Green Beans

Freezing green beans picked fresh from the garden is a great way to preserve them. Bush beans or pole beans are all treated the same.
How to Freeze Green Beans – fresh from the garden.
Packing blanched green beans into a freezer bag.

Dehydrating Green Beans

Learn all about dehydrating green beans here! Start with fresh, tender bean pods.
How to Dry Green Beans – a great food storage option.
A bowl of freshly picked green beans in the garden.

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Dilly Beans

Resource – National Center for Home Food Preservation

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Mary Jo Lyell
Mary Jo Lyell
2 years ago

I don’t digest garlic well. I’m wondering if there is something I could use instead or would the beans still taste good without it?

Terry Suchodolski
Terry Suchodolski
3 years ago

Dilly Beans/Pickled Green Beans are my favorite!!! My mama uses red pepper flakes instead of Cayenne Pepper.

Victoria Conery
Victoria Conery
3 years ago

Do you have a recipe for fermented cabbage thank you vicky

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
3 years ago

Hi, Victoria! Yes, here’s the recipe: https://www.simplycanning.com/sauerkraut-recipe/

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)