Dilly Beans, a great alternative to making pickles


We grew dill this year to make pickles but, unfortunately, the variety of cucumbers we grew ended up being a poor choice for pickles, so we were really happy to hear about dilly beans. Dilly beans are basically pickled beans, and in all my years of canning, I have never canned anything this easy. Seriously, if you’ve never canned anything before, this is a great recipe to try.

My husband found a recipe that makes the process even easier because it allows you to process any amount of beans and is not a set recipe for a specific amount of jars. You can even do one at a time as your beans begin to ripen or buy a ton of beans at the market when they are on sale and do a bunch at one time.

We used pint jars for this recipe and the original recipe calls for jars that are 1 1/2 pints, so the recipe has been altered a little to accommodate for the smaller jars. I think the pint jars are the perfect size for green beans and for other beans, such as the long pole beans, you can cut them to be the right size for a pint jar. The red beans in the photos are a variety that we love called Chinese Red Noodle Beans. The color is what drew us in but the taste is why we continue to grow them. Like most beans they are quite prolific and you will end up with more beans than you can handle. So, if you have a lot of extra beans and are not sure you can handle another green bean casserole, or if you just like pickled foods, this recipe is perfect.

Dilly beans can be eaten as a snack, or added to salads or sandwiches. I think they would be outstanding chopped up and added to a potato salad or egg salad. I look forward to trying the egg salad idea in six weeks, which is how long you will need to let the jars sit after processing.

You will need pint size canning jars and lids, as many as you think for the amount of beans you’d like to process. It takes approximately 1/2 pound of beans per jar.

Dilly Beans


  • String beans
  • Garlic
  • Canning salt
  • Whole dried chili peppers or hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • Celery seed
  • Fresh dill flowering tops
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water


  1. Sterilize the jars buy running them through the dishwasher or by simmering them for a few minutes in hot water. Simmer the lids in hot water.
  2. After processing the jars, place in each 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of canning salt, 1 whole red chili pepper or 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed, and a flowering dill top.
  3. Fill the jar with beans standing on end, stuffing them as tightly as you can into the jar.
  4. For each jar you have filled, measure 2/3 cup of vinegar and 2/3 cup of water. Boil the vinegar-water mixture, then pour it into the jars over the beans and spices, to ½ inch from the top of the jar.
  5. Seal the jars and place them in a large pot of boiling water for a 10-minute heat processing.
  6. Let the jars sit for at least six weeks. Refrigerate after opening. The jars can be kept for at least a year unrefrigerated.





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