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
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
76 Calories
4g Fat
1g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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 them and gives them a great snappy taste. This recipe for dilled green beans was adapted from a Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service recipe. It's not hard to do, but just takes a little proper preparation of sterilizing the jars, which sounds more complicated than it is. You can do this by washing the jars, lids, and bands in very hot soapy water, or run them all through the dishwasher. It's part of the process of food preserving.

This recipe calls for about 1/2 teaspoons of dill seeds per pint jar, but if you have fresh dill heads, use one or two per jar, depending on the size. Unless you ​grow the dill, the heads can be difficult to find. Look for them at farmers markets; if you find them, stock up. They can be frozen for use later in the season.

If you like the recipe, you may find yourself making it again, and it's good to experiment to find your preferred ratio of ingredients to season the beans. Consider adding more dill or mustard seeds, or to 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. There's so much satisfaction to be gained from the processing of growing and preserving your own foods.


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

Steps to Make It

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

  2. 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 until you are ready for them.

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

  4. Meanwhile, trim and wash the green beans thoroughly. Drain them and cut into lengths to fill 1-pint jars (preferably wide-mouth jars).

  5. Pack beans into sterilized, hot jars. Add the hot pepper, mustard seed, dill seed, and garlic to each jar.

  6. In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and 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 damp clean cloth or paper towel. Center the lids on the jars and screw on the bands. Do not over-tighten.

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

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

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

  10. 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. Refrigerate any unsealed jars and use them within a few days. Alternatively, unsealed jars may be reprocessed by heating the liquid again following recipe instructions and canned in sterilized jars with new lids (discard the old lid or lids that didn't seal properly).


  • To freeze fresh dill heads, break the heads off the stems. Place the heads (unwashed) in containers. Freeze and use for pickling when your cucumbers or green beans are harvested.
  • For altitudes of 1001 to 6000 feet, process the jars for 10 minutes. Over 6000 feet, process for 15 minutes.

How to Store Southern Dilled Beans

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