The best thing to do with your summer green bean harvest is pickled green beans! Slightly spicy, tangy, crisp and garlicky, these beans are straight-up addictive. I love them alongside a sandwich instead of a regular pickle, and I love them on a cheese board, too. This recipe makes 2 quart jars using one pound of fresh, trimmed green beans.
How to pickle green beans without canning
I find myself grabbing so many handfuls of freshly picked green beans at the farmer's market every weekend. Oh, you too? Freshly green beans are one of summer's greatest pleasures.
I love to make roasted green beans, because my kid think they're French fries and dip them in ketchup. For a slightly different dinner side dish, I make sauteed green beans with lemon and white wine. When I still have leftover green beans in the fridge after making those two incredible side dishes, I make pickled green beans.
There is no excuse for allowing green beans to spoil in my fridge when I have this recipe under my belt. After a quick boiling of the liquid ingredients, everything comes together in a snap. I even have my kids help stuff the green beans into the jar. Truly, making sure the beans are vertical in the jar is the hardest part about this recipe. When my kids help, I turn the jar sideways and lay it flat on a hard surface. They think it's a fun challenge to see who can cram in as many green beans as possible.
After 7 days, these pickled green beans taste like regular cucumber pickles, but have a slightly more substantial bite. Cucumbers have more water than green beans, so they can become a bit soft after pickling. However, green beans keep their lovely crisp bite, and they never become soft or mushy. In a way, I think this pickled green beans recipe is the only guaranteed way to have crisp, never soggy, pickles.
When pickling or canning produce, the ingredient list and recipe instructions must be followed exactly. Do not substitute or leave out any ingredients, with the exception of the red pepper flakes. You must use kosher salt for this recipe.
- Green Beans. You need one pound of trimmed green beans. You can leave the thin delicate pointy end on the beans, but please snap off the stem portion, as it can be tough.
- Garlic. Four whole cloves of garlic, lightly smashed--two for each jar.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Adding a bit of heat to your pickled green beans is optional, but I think it brings lots of flavor depth. My kids don't even mind this small amount (¼ teaspoon per jar).
- Fresh Dill. Yes, you need fresh dill, but it's so easy to find in the summer when green beans are their freshest! Dried dill will not work. Each jar needs 1 big sprig, or about 0.25 ounces of dill per jar.
- White Vinegar. Regular white vinegar, not extra strength vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Regular plain white vinegar at 5% acidity.
- Kosher Salt. You must use one tablespoon of kosher salt for this recipe. Other types of salt have different sized grains, which can result in using too much or too little salt. You need ½ tablespoon per jar, or one tablespoon total. Do not adjust the amount of salt in this recipe at all, or the beans will become mushy. If you're on a low sodium diet, rinse the beans after pickling to remove excess salt.
- Gather all ingredients: trimmed green beans, garlic cloves, pepper flakes, dill, vinegar and kosher salt. Have two quart-sized mason jars with tight-fitting lids clean and ready to use.
- First, divide the one pound of trimmed green beans between the two jars. Pack the green beans in vertically. Turn the jar on its side to fill and stack beans more easily.
- On top of the beans, place two cloves of garlic in each jar. Add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to each jar. Then, finally, divide the 0.5 ounces of dill evenly between the two jars.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, bring the water, vinegar, and kosher salt to a gentle boil. Whisk very well to dissolve salt fully. Tilt the pan to ensure no salt grains are undissolved on the bottom of the pan. Boil just until everything is dissolved (see photo below).
- Divide the hot mixture between the two jars. You can pour the mixture into a measuring cup with a spout for easier pouring, if you prefer.
- Place the jars in the fridge. The pickled green beans taste good after resting for 2 days, but the best flavor is reached at 7 to 10 days after storing.
No canning pickled green beans:
A lot of people ask is it possible to pickle green beans without canning. This recipe for preserving green beans without canning is so simple, but the beans need to be consumed within 2 weeks. We're not truly pressure canning them with a water bath, we're just storing them in vinegar and salt for a few weeks in the fridge. Please eat these beans within 2 weeks of making the recipe.
How to use pickled green beans:
-Use pickled green beans in any place you would use regular pickles! I serve them alongside a turkey sandwich.
-You can dice them finely, and stir them into instant pot potato salad instead of using dill pickle relish.
-If you like pickles on your black bean burger, try slicing up these green beans for extra crunch.
-Next time you make a charcuterie board, add a small dish of these pickled green beans to balance out the rich cheese and salami.
- 1 pound trimmed green beans
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 0.5 ounces (about 3 big sprigs) of fresh dill
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Divide the cleaned and trimmed green beans between 2 quart-sized mason jars. Stack them vertically as best as you can. Don’t be afraid to pack them tightly.
- Place 2 garlic cloves in each jar, ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes in each jar, and divide the dill sprigs between the jars evenly, too.
- In a small sauce pan, bring the water, vinegar, and kosher salt to a gentle boil. Whisk very well to dissolve salt.
- When the mixture is boiling, turn the heat off, and carefully pour it into each jar.
- Tap the jars on the counter a few times, place lids on the jars, and place them in the fridge.
You can taste a bean after a few days to see how crisp they are, but they’re best at 7-10 days. Enjoy within 2 weeks.
Green Beans: One pound of freshly washed and trimmed green beans. Snap off the stem portion, as it can be tough.
Red Pepper Flakes: This is optional, but the final result isn't overly spicy.
Fresh Dill: You need 0.5 ounces of fresh dill, which is roughly 1 big sprig per jar.
White Vinegar: The only vinegar that will work for this regular is regular white vinegar. Do not use extra strength vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Regular plain white vinegar has 5% acidity.
Kosher Salt: You absolutely must use one tablespoon of kosher salt for this recipe. Other types of salt have different sized grains, which can result in using too much or too little salt. You need ½ tablespoon per jar, or one tablespoon total. Do not adjust the amount of salt in this recipe at all, or the beans will become mushy. If you're on a low sodium diet, rinse the beans after pickling to remove excess salt.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g