Dilly Beans

Served with a salad, chopped into a three-bean salad, garnishing a Sauer Mary cocktail or eaten straight out of the jar, these crisp and delicious dilly bean refrigerator pickles are easy to make.

Ingredients Makes 1 quart

  • 1 lb 0.45 kg Green beans
  • to blanch the beans:
    • 1 gal 3.7 l Water
    • 2.6 oz 75 g Salt
  • for the 4:1 pickle:
    • 1 1/2 c 350 ml White vinegar
    • 1 1/2 c 350 ml Water
    • 3/4 c 180 ml Sugar
    • 2 tsp 10 ml Diamond kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp 15 ml Brown mustard seed
    • 1 tbsp 15 ml Yellow mustard seed
    • 1 tbsp 15 ml Whole black peppercorns
    • 1 tbsp 15 ml Coriander seed
    • 10 sprigs Fresh dill
  • optional:
    • 1 tsp 5 ml Red pepper flakes
    • 1 tbsp 15 ml Dill seeds
    • 1 Clove garlic, quartered

Instructions Images

  1. In the stockpot, begin to heat the gallon of water and salt to a rolling boil.
  2. Trim the beans, making sure they are 3/4 of an inch shorter than the glass jar.
  3. Bloom the spices. Add the mustard seed and coriander to the saucepan. Toast over medium heat until just fragrant and then add to the jar, along with the optional spices or garlic, if using.
  4. Allow the saucepan to cool a bit, then add the remaining water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine and bring the mixture to a bare simmer, then remove from the heat to cool.
  5. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook until just slightly tender but still crisp. For a pound of beans 60-90 seconds from the moment they enter the water should be enough.
  6. Chill the beans quickly to stop the cooking, either by immersing in an ice bath, or by tossing in a colander under cold tap water until cool.
  7. Pack the beans into the jar, alternating layers of dill sprigs as you go. The beans tend to shrink a bit in the pickle, so you can really pack them in.
  8. When the pickle-mixture has cooled to 120° (warm but not hot), pour over the beans, making sure to completely submerge the beans. Seal the jar and allow to cool to room temperature.
  9. Move the jar to the fridge for a minimum of 3 days, 1 week for full flavor. Keeps in the fridge for 1 month.


  • The key to vinegar pickles is the acid-to-sugar balance. Most commercial vinegar is bottled at 5% acidity and then mixed 50/50 with water to produce a 2.5% pickle. You then add sugar, in proportion to the liquid, at a ratio of between 3:1 and 8:1, depending on the inherent sweetness of the vegetable(s) and how sweet you want the results.
  • To change the ratio for this or any of our vinegar-pickle recipes, simply divide the amount of liquid by the desired ratio – the result is the volume of sugar. For example, for a 5:1 (ie, more sour) pickle in this recipe: take 3 cups, divided by 5, gives us 0.6, or just under 2/3 cups of sugar.
  • This recipe works well as a double batch, one plain, one spicy.

Tools & Equipment

Times & Tags

  • Updated: 11/15/2013
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 1 week
  • Author:
  • Method: Vinegar Pickle
  • Category: Condiment