Spicy Garlic Green Bean Pickles

A few weeks ago I bought a bag of pre-trimmed, pre-washed, ready to cook/microwave/whatever bag of green beans. In February I made pot after pot of soup, so I figured I would use the beans for more soup. But then the weather shifted and we had a few weeks of warm sunny days, and suddenly soup didn't sound like such a great plan.

The beans were looking a little rough around the edges and nearing their expiration date before I finally took action. NYT linked me to a recipe on Food in Jars so of course I spent way too many hours surfing through the recipes there before I stumbled onto the page for Dilly Beans. In the recipe's comments Marisa writes about preparing the beans as refrigerator pickles, and I thought "I can do that!" Real canning isn't really something I have the patience/equipment/skillz to get into right now, but refrigerator pickles are definitely within my reach. You don't even need to heat the brine.

One of the best things about these pickles is that when you finish eating your beans you can re-use the brine. After I (very quickly) ate my first jar full, I packed it back up with baby carrots, and waited impatiently for them to pickle. It took longer than the beans, around 4 or 5 days, but the carrots were almost as delicious. Crunchy and sweet, they turned the brine a pleasant shade of orange.

But I wasn't content with just carrots and green beans, I had to try some cucumbers of course. I threw a few spears in when my carrots were half eaten. I used an English, seedless, cucumber so the pickles weren't quite as crisp as I would have liked, though they tasted fantastic. I made a pint of cucumber pickles with this recipe as well. I subbed out the white vinegar for apple cider vinegar and upped the dill a smidge.

I'm already excited to try different combos of spices and vinegar and vegetables. I have another pound of green beans in the fridge that I might use on this recipe from Amateur Gourmet. And these refrigerator pickles from Lottie + Doof also sound amazing. In fact, I have a few Serrano and Jalapeno chilies grown by my Dad in the freezer that would be just perfect for both recipes.

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Spicy Garlic Dilly Beans

Crisp and refreshing, these beans are also ridiculously easy. Adapted from Food in Jars.

12 oz Green Beans3 cloves Garlic1/2 Teaspoon Dill Seed1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seed1/2 Teaspoon Whole Peppercorns1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes1 Tablespoon Pickling Salt1 Cup White Vinegar1 Cup Water
Wash a mason jar with hot, soapy water.

Measure spices (not including the salt) into the bottom of your jar.

Wash and trim beans then pack, vertically, into your jar. Slip garlic cloves in between beans.

Mix together salt, vinegar, and water. Stir until salt is dissolved then pour over beans.

Refrigerate beans for at least 24 hours, I think they're best after about 2-3 days. Enjoy!

Note #1 I used 3/4 liter Le Parfait Jars, which is about the equivalent of 3/4 quart. So if you want to make a full quart of pickles I would up your volume of beans to about 1 lb and increase the vinegar/water brine a little at a time to fill the jar.

Note #2 These pickles are fairly spicy, so if you like things a bit more mild make sure to cut back on the red pepper flakes. You can always add more flakes to the brine later and wait a day for the extra spice to kick in.

Prep time: Cook time: 0 minsTotal time: Yield: around .75 liter / .75 quart of beans


  1. Your photos are so vibrant! I wish I could get these kind of shots.

  2. I am definitely going to try these. Yesterday I made stir fried green beans. I ended up prepping too many so I have leftover raw green beans and garlic in the fridge waiting to be used up as I write... this is the perfect recipe. Love your pictures.

  3. @Jamie - Thanks so much! I really enjoy your photos as well :)

    @Nuts about food - Thank you! I love garlicky stir fried green beans. Let me know how they turn out if you try the recipe!

  4. Oh boy, going to make these soon! Thanks.

  5. @Oregon Sue - I'd love to hear how they turn out!

  6. I agree you photography is beautiful! I'm not a big garlic fan. How do you think these would turn out without the garlic? Thanks!

  7. Just tried this recipe - I have a line-up in the kitchen waiting for samples after only a few hours. Just awesome!! I have canned for many a year and have not made pickled beans so easy and so good. The only thing I changed from your recipe is that I heated the brine to boiling, then poured it over the beans, just to soften them a little.

    Too Good - thanks so much - definately a hit in this household.


    1. I'm so glad! I really need to make another batch! I bet boiling the brine would make them soften faster. They do take 3-4 days in the fridge (without boiling) to get to that optimum crunch/tender place : )


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