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Preserve Summer Beans With This Classic Dilly Bean Recipe

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Green Beans Organized On White Background
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Pickling isn't just for classic cucumber pickles. In fact, there's a ton of different vegetables that can be pickled—including fresh green or yellow beans, which are in season right now.

"Pickling is a great way to preserve excess vegetables for enjoyment later on in the year," writes Courtney Wade in The Catskills Farm-to-Table Cookbook, which is out tomorrow,. "As an added plus, you don't need many supplies to pickle at home: just some jars, lids (always use new) and bands, a large pot, and the ingredients for the recipe."

What are dilly beans?

Dilly beans are a particular type of pickled green (or yellow!) bean, that are flavored with—you guessed it—dill. They also often include other flavors and a bit of spice, the latter of which the below recipe gets from a touch of cayenne.

While they're made in different parts of the United States, they're most commonly made in New England kitchens, especially Vermont. As for how to serve them, they can be eaten as a side like a classic pickle or as an addition to a salad.

Dilly Beans

Image by Courtney Wade / Contributor


Dilly Beans Recipe

Yields 4 pints


  • 2 pounds green or yellow beans
  • ¼ cup canning salt
  • 2½ cups vinegar
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 heads dill


  1. Trim ends off beans. Combine salt, vinegar, and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1 head dill to each pint jar.
  3. Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving a ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts for 10 minutes in boiling water canner.

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