Spicy Garlic & Dill Pickled Beans Recipe
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These pickled beans are the perfect way to
preserve summer’s bounty of green beans to enjoy all year long. Great in a Bloody Mary, better in a Caesar!
* * *
Pickled beans are one of my favourite things to eat out of a Mason jar. For starters, I’m a self-proclaimed caesar addict – eh fellow Canadians?? You know what I’m talking about;) – and I LOVE enjoying a pickled bean or five as a garnish in my drink.
But honestly, pickled beans are good enough to eat all on their own, straight out of the jar. And as I always say, that’s the measure of a good canning recipe:)
I actually hadn’t even planned on making pickled beans this summer. We’re just not growing enough of our own to bother preserving them, and I wasn’t planning on buying them this year since I’ve already got lots to preserve and not a lot of time to do it in! But I was offered an opportunity I couldn’t pass up…
Last week I wrote about 3 ways to get free organic food (without growing it yourself), and I mentioned that I recently started volunteering with a local gleaners group called the Lush Valley Food Action Society. The group organizes volunteers to go pick excess fruit and vegetables from private properties and farms who need help harvesting everything or who don’t want the food for themselves. The farmer or landowner keeps a portion and the volunteers get to take a portion home too. Plus, whenever possible, some of it goes to support local food banks and food security initiatives too. It’s pretty cool and you should read more about it here. But I digress…
Anyway, I checked my email last weekend and had an email from Lush Valley saying there was a “green bean glean” happening at a local farm on Sunday morning. Since I’d just come home with about 30 pounds of apples and a whole bunch of cucumbers, I wasn’t going to bother with the pick at first. But the thought of jars and jars of pickled green beans lining my pantry shelves, and the offer of them being free in exchange for helping to harvest them was too tempting. So I packed up my daughter and we headed to a farm about 20 minutes from where we lived.
There we spent the morning picking bush beans for the farmer who not only gifted the volunteers with not just some, but ALL of the green beans we helped pick, he also sent us each of us home with a bag of tomatoes and a few peppers. I think I owe him at least one jar of pickled green beans;)
So, long story short, I ended up with about 10 pounds of organic, local green beans for free. And with that, this year’s batch of pickled green beans was born.
They’re a little spicy, a little garlicky, a little dilly and a lot delicious.
I hope you enjoy:)
How to Make Pickled Beans At Home
Start by washing fresh, crunchy, organic green beans. Remove the vine end and if using a string bean variety, snap the ends off and remove the strings from the seams.
Prepare your jars for canning. For more info. check out my Beginner’s Guide to Water Bath Canning.
Make sure you’ve got all your canning tools ready to go too. Having everything ready to go ahead of time helps to ensure you don’t waste time and your jars don’t get cold when you’re ready to stuff them and pour in the pickling brine. These are the canning tools I swear by:
- Canning scoop
- Canning funnel (with built-in headspace measurement)
- Jar lifter
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (My canning “bible” and the book from which this recipe was adapted)
Next, cut the beans to the length of the jar you’ll be canning them in, minus a ½ inch. Pint jars are the perfect size for pickled green beans. (Cut them ½ inch shorter than the length of the jars to ensure you leave enough headspace when canning them).
Bring equal parts vinegar and water to a boil with some salt to make the pickling brine (exact ratios based on 6 pints of pickled beans are in the printable recipe below). Boil gently until the salt is completely dissolved.
While your brine is heating up, remove the hot jars from the canner and stuff each one of them with one large or two small garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of of dried chilli flakes (or one fresh or dried chilli pepper), and a handful of fresh dill. Then pack each jar as full as tightly as possible with green beans, making sure to leave a generous ½ inch of headspace at the top.
Pour the hot vinegar brine over the green beans, leaving ½ inch headspace. jostle the jars lightly to allow any trapped air to escape, then wipe down the rims, place lids on top and screw bands down.
Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Then remove canner lid and wait another five minutes before removing jars. Allow jars to cool completely on the counter before storing them in a cool dark place.
Allow pickled beans to sit for up to six weeks for best flavour results:)
Spicy Garlic & Dill Pickled Beans Recipe
- 4½ lbs. green beans, washed, trimmed and cut into jar-length pieces
- 3 Tbsp. pickling salt
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1½ tsp. dried chilli flakes (divided) OR 6 fresh or dried chilli peppers
- 6 fresh heads of dill seed
- Prepare your canner and jars.
- Wash and trim vine ends off beans. Remove strings from string bean varieties. Cut beans into jar-length pieces, being sure to leave enough room for a ½ inch of headspace between the top of the beans and the top of the jar.
- In a saucepan, bring salt, water and vinegar to a boil over medium high heat. Heat, stirring until salt has completely dissolved.
- Remove jars from the canner and place one clove of garlic, ¼ teaspoon of dried chilli flakes OR one whole chilli pepper and one head of dill in each hot jar.
- Pack each jar full of beans until you can't pack any more in. Then, cover with hot vinegar brine, leaving a ½ inch of headspace at the top.
- Jostle jars gently to allow any trapped air bubbles to escape. Wipe rims, place lids on top and screw bands down to fingertip tight.
- Process jars in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes. Then remove canner lid and wait another five minutes before removing jars. Allow to cool completely before storing in a cool dark place.
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I hope to see you in class!
Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂
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Is it ok to add carrots to this recipe?
Generally, canning recipes should be followed exactly, because adding or removing ingredients can alter the acidity of the contents, and then the safety can’t be guaranteed. However – in this particular case – the recipe calls for enough vinegar that carrots can safely be pickled as well. So, in this case, you can add carrots, yes.
I can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing! Also, I just felt the need to mention the importance of organic produce and that I 100% agree with everything you said. I have recently awakened to just how harmful these sprays and chemicals truly are. Just because it is FDA approved doesn’t mean S—T!!!
Amen! And in fact, “FDA approved” is typically much worse than just good old fashioned organic whole foods!
Can I process the filled jars in an Instant Pot, and if so, for how long?
As it stands, the Instant Pot is not an approved method for canning. In the case of pickled beans, it would definitely get hot enough to make them safe to eat, but it could turn them mushy. And in the case of pressure canning, there are no standardized guidelines, times, etc. at this point so I can’t recommend using the Instant Pot for canning. However for water bath canning, all you need is a large enough stockpot that you can cover your jars with water, and some sort of a rack on the bottom so the jars aren’t directly on the bottom of pot. Water bath canners are also pretty affordable. You can learn more about all of that right here: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/water-bath-canning-beginners/
Can I use dry dill.
You can! You may just want to use a bit less of it, since it’ more concentrated.
Hello. Can I use pickling vinegar vs white vinegar? Thank you
The only requirement for the vinegar used in canning is that it is 5% acidity. I can not be lower than that for safe home canning procedures. The container should say what percentage the acidity level in on the label.
I have never seen “pickling vinegar” in the store before and though it sounds like it should be fine, check the acidity level to be certain. 🙂
If I do not have a canner, can you walk me through step 7.
“Process jars in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes. Then remove canner lid and wait another five minutes before removing jars. Allow to cool completely before storing in a cool dark place.”
I see that you said if you don’t have a canner then to store in the fridge but was unsure how to complete this step.
Thanks for your help!
If not using a canner, then all you would ned to do is pack your beans and other ingredients into sterilized jars and then wait for them to cool at room temperature and then put them in the fridge. If you’d like to learn how to can, you just need a large stockpot and a rack to put in the bottom (as jars should not sit directly on the burner). Here’s full instructions for how to get started water bath canning at home: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/water-bath-canning-beginners/
Just one comment. It is not necessary to use expensive, organic beans , garlic or any other vegetables. It is a scientific fact that “organic” is NOT better than regular vegetables, because it is legal to sell any produce that has a residue of chemicals on it. Any chemical use occurs when the plants are young, prior to producing fruit, vegetables or grain. It is most important to choose good looking, beans/ vegetables /fruit that looks clean, has nice colour and is firm. We have been growing our own vegetables, for 55 years, but they would not qualify as “organic”. We have good health.
We don’t use expensive organic produce. We grow our own using organic methods or, as I mentioned in this post, we get it cheap or free from local sources. I think it’s extremely important to use organic fruits and vegetables and not conventionally grown produce sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. And it’s most certainly not a scientific fact that organic is no better than conventionally grown. There is lots of scientific evidence that organic is much healthier. And just because something is legal definitely doesn’t mean it’s safe or healthy. There are lots of FDA approved ingredients that are not healthy and if you look at the general population, people are becoming increasingly less healthy eating all sorts of “food” that is fully legal to eat. However I don’t think you need to buy only produce that is “certified organic,” if that’s what you mean. So long as it’s been grown organically it absolutely does not need to be certified organic. However, everybody is entitled to their own opinion and to eat whatever he or she wants. If someone prefers cheap, non-organic grocery store produce to organic, locally grown produce, all the power to them! (I’ve got a few family members who feel very strongly about eating industrially produced produce instead of organic because it’s cheaper. They’re not the most health-conscious people, but they are all entitled to their own free will:)
Are you able to make these if you do not have a canner?
Yes, you can absolutely make these without a canner! Just store them in the fridge. They’ll last for quite a long time because they’re pickled.
Are these crunchy??
Yes! Super crunchy!
Can just dill sprigs be used instead of the heads of dill. This is not something I can find right now. If sprigs are used, how much to make the recipe listed. Ty for your help!
Yes, if all you have are sprigs of dill you can use these. I would add roughly one tablespoon of fresh dill weed in each quart-sized jar.
Can these be done in quarts.
If so can you give the amount of garlic , dill,and chilli done should use and processing time if different from pints. Your recipes is exactly what I was looking for thanks😊
The recipe is based off the Ball Blue Book recipe. Therefore, using quarts, you would put 2 cloves of garlic and 2 fresh heads of dill, and also add 2 chili peppers (or 1/2 tsp chili flakes) into each jar. The processing time is the same for pints or quarts. Just follow the rest of the directions as written. Enjoy!
How long do I have to store them before I can eat them ?
These are best if you leave them for about 6 weeks first so they have time to really infuse, but technically you can eat them at any time. And they will store on the shelves for a long time too. At least a couple years.
Looking forward to your magazine and thanks for the pickled beans recipe I always can green beans but have never pickled them so i’m gonna try them . Thanks again for your wonderful blog.
You’re so welcome! Thank you for such a nice comment! Enjoy the green beans:)
How long does this last in the pantry?
This will last a long time on pantry shelves. We usually eat our within the year but they would be fine for at least a couple years and probably even longer. I wouldn’t push it for years and years but they’ll last for a very long time.
I just came across this recipe and I’m excited to try it out. I have an abundance of fresh chilli peppers in my garden and was going to use them. Do I need to leave the pepper whole or slice it in half? If I do leave it whole, will they still be spicy?
I would make a slice down the center but otherwise leave the chili peppers in tact. It could get too spicy if you release all the seeds but might not be spicy enough if you leave them whole.