Classic Southern Dilled Green Beans

Dilled green beans on a plate and in a glass jar

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Yield: 8 to 9 pints
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
76 Calories
4g Fat
1g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 76
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 1591mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 8g
Calcium 19mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These classic pickled green beans are always a hit, and they go with almost any meal. If you have a surplus of garden-fresh green beans, this is an excellent way to use them; it preserves the beans and gives them a great pickled taste. This recipe is not hard to make, but it takes a little proper preparation to sterilize the jars, which means washing the jars, lids, and bands in very hot soapy water, or running them all through the dishwasher. It's part of the process of food preservation.

Once you make these pickled green beans, you can experiment with the ratios of ingredients to season the beans. Consider adding more dill or mustard seeds, or make it spicier by upping the amount of crushed red pepper. And of course, if you love garlic, you can add another clove or two per pint jar if desired.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds whole green beans (about 4 quarts)
  • 2 to 2 1/4 teaspoons crushed hot red pepper (1/4 teaspoon per jar)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds (1/2 teaspoon per jar)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 teaspoons dill seeds (1/2 teaspoon per jar, or 1 to 2 fresh or frozen dill heads per jar)
  • 8 to 9 small cloves garlic (1 per jar)
  • 5 cups vinegar
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water until you're ready to fill them.

  3. Put the flat lids in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring just to a simmer. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and keep them hot.

  4. Fill a large canner with water and bring to a boil.

  5. Meanwhile, trim and wash the green beans thoroughly. Drain and cut into lengths to fill the 1-pint jars (preferably widemouthed jars).

  6. Pack the beans into the sterilized, hot jars. Add the hot pepper, mustard seeds, dill seeds, and garlic clove to each jar.

  7. In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and pickling salt to a boil. Pour the boiling liquid over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Clean the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel. Center the lids on the jars and screw on the bands. Do not overtighten.

  8. Place the jars in the canner rack and lower them into the gently boiling water. If the water does not come up to at least 1 inch above the jars, add more hot water. 

  9. When the water returns to a boil, cover the canner and boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and let the jars stand for 5 minutes.

  10. Remove the jars from the canner to a rack or heavy towel and let them cool. Do not tilt, tighten, or turn them over.

  11. After 24 hours, check the jars to make sure they sealed. Remove the bands, wipe the jars clean, and label. Store in a cool, dark place.

Tips

  • Unless you ​grow dill, the heads can be difficult to find; look for them at farmers markets. Feel free to stock up as they can be frozen for later use. Break off the heads and place (unwashed) in containers. Freeze and use for pickling.
  • For altitudes of 1,001 to 6,000 feet, process the jars for 10 minutes. Over 6,000 feet, process for 15 minutes.

How to Store

These dilled beans should keep in a pantry or other cool, dark space for up to a year. However, if there are jars that did not seal properly during the process of canning, you should refrigerate and consume the beans within a few days. Alternatively, you can reprocess the beans in newly sterilized jars and lids, and follow the recipe instructions again.