From cooking green beans as a delicious side to adding them to a cool and hearty salad, green beans are an incredibly versatile veggie. But, if you’ve loaded up on green beans at the farmers market or just harvested your backyard green bean crop, it can be a bit overwhelming to use them all up before going bad. To extend the life of your produce, try pickled green beans.
Pickled green beans can last up to a year, meaning you can indulge in a crisp, briny snack long after green bean season is over. Keep reading to get our step-by-step instructions for pickling green beans, plus some guidance from our Test Kitchen experts.
Pickled Green Beans Ingredients
- Fresh green beans
- Garlic cloves
- Dill seed or fresh dill heads
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- White vinegar
- Canning salt
Step 1: Prepare the jars
After washing and trimming your green beans, split them evenly between four 1-pint jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace. Then, divide the cayenne, garlic and dill seeds or heads evenly and add them to the jars as well. If heat isn’t your thing, feel free to skip the cayenne.
Test Kitchen Tip: Before you begin, make sure your jars clean and sterilize. If you’re reusing jars, here’s how to sterilize them: wash the jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Dry off the bands with a clean kitchen towel and place the jars in a pot of boiling water where they’re completely submerged. In a separate pot, boil the lids in 180°F water. Allow the jars and lids to boil for at least 10 minutes. Keep the lids and jars in their respective pots until they’re ready to be used.
Step 2: Prepare the brine
In a large saucepan, combine the water, white vinegar and canning salt over medium heat. Give the mixture a good stir, then let it come to a boil.
Test Kitchen Tip: This recipe uses standard white vinegar, but that’s not the only choice. Using apple cider vinegar will leave some sweetness in your green beans while 10% white vinegar will make your green beans extra crisp.
Step 3: Add brine to the jars
Once the brine is ready, carefully ladle it into the jars, being sure to leave 1/2 inch of headspace. Give the jars a few taps and shakes to release any air bubbles and add more brine, if needed.
Step 4: Process
When the jars are prepared, add them to a canner with simmering water, making sure the jars are completely submerged. Let the green beans process for 10 minutes, then remove them from the water and cool. After the green beans have cooled overnight, enjoy them with a sandwich for lunch, bring them along on a picnic or enjoy them on their own as a refreshing snack.
Test Kitchen Tip: This processing time is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.
Pickled Green Beans Tips
How long do pickled green beans last?
Unopened, pickled green beans will last about a year when stored in a cool, dry place. Once opened, try to use leftover pickled green beans within two weeks (if they last that long!).
How long do you have to wait to eat pickled green beans?
While it’s best to let pickled green beans sit overnight to cool and let the flavors blend, you can eat them right after being processed.
What is the best way to preserve green beans?
While we think pickled green beans are the best, there are other ways to preserve them. Some other methods include freezing, fermenting and dry freezing.