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Refrigerator Dilly Beans {Dilly Beans Recipe}

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Learn the secrets of how to make amazing Refrigerator Dilly Beans. This easy recipe for pickled beans involves zero canning and will help you “put up” the summer bounty in a delicious and snackable way.

Two jars of dilly beans with garlic and red peppers on a wooden board

Over Thanksgiving break in 2008, Troy and I were visiting from Los Angeles and staying with his parents. I was pregnant and had been puking my guts out for months at this point (I’m convinced the more you puke, the cuter the kid!), and had pretty much only eaten 2 Jamba Juices and some tator tots since July.

His mom randomly busted out a jar of homemade dilly beans that someone had given her. I took one bite of the dilly bean and realized that “hey, this is good and it is staying down”!

I greedily ate pretty much the entire jar, not even giving my in-laws or Troy much of a chance. Producing the first grandchild gave me some leeway to be a rude dilly bean pig.

What Are Dilly Beans?

Dilly beans are pickled green beans. So picture a pickle (got it in your mind?), but with a green bean. They’re super crisp and delicious and pretty much everything you want in life.

Or should want. Aim high and you’ll miss most of the time. Aim for learning to make amazing dilly beans and you’re going to rock your time here on earth.

a strainer of green beans and other spices for dilly beans on a wooden board

If you love fresh green bean recipes, check out this Spicy Green Beans recipe. Do you love easy no-canning garden preservations tips? You’ll love this post on Freezing Peas!

What Kind of Beans Should I Use in a Dilly Bean?

Use bush or pole beans that are fairly uniform in size. I like to pick beans no fatter than a pencil. The beans inside haven’t yet developed and become tough, and you’re going to get an amazing crunchy pickled product as a result.

You can use any color of bean – green, purple, or the white wax beans. If you happen to grown beans yourself, I love planting purple “green” beans because they’re so easy to find in the vines! They turn green when cooked, but there are no sneaky ninja beans hiding and making harvesting a challenge.

Do not use beans labeled “petite haricot verts”, which is French for “makes crappy dilly beans”. I think. I don’t know, I took ASL in school.

How Do You Use Dilly Beans?

Fresh eating (obvs), on burgers, in a salad, a crudites platter, or a cheese and meat tray are all wonderful ways to use up this awesome pickled garden bounty.

Can I Make These Whole30/Paleo?

Yes! Just leave out the sugar. They will still be amazing.

two jars of dilly beans, a head of garlic, and red pepper flakes on a wooden board

So Can I Can These? Can I?

Just to make it crystal clear before we get started, this recipe is for refrigerator dilly beans. These beans are NOT shelf stable and must be stored in the fridge. They should not be canned as the recipe is written.

If you would like a safe method for canning/preserving dilly beans, the Ball Blue Book of Canning is my favorite trusted canning resource. Marissa over at Food in Jars has a great online recipe as well.

Here’s How to Make Them:

  1. Make your brine: in a saucepan, bring water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Once it has boiled and the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat, set aside and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Wash and trim the beans.  Make sure they all fit length-wise in the jar that you’re using.
  3. Blanch the beans: boil green beans for 1 minute, and then drain and immediately put in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and set aside.
  4. In your clean jars, place onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in the bottom.
  5. Add your beans to the jars. Tuck some of the dill amongst the beans.
  6. Pour the brine over the beans, put a lid on them and keep them on the counter for 12 hours. Transfer to the fridge.Process steps for making homemade dilly beans

How Long Do You Have to Wait To Eat Dilly Beans?

Allow the jars to sit in the fridge for two days before consuming. But um, if you’re anything like me you may need to do a few test bites before those two days are up!

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • Need to make more or less of the recipe? Click and slide the “servings” number on the recipe card and the ingredients will adjust as needed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  • Use the freshest beans you can find; farmer’s markets are a great source for just-picked beans. The fresher the beans, the crispier the finished product.
  • On average, one pound of beans = one quart of dilly beans.
  • Use regular mouth jars if possible. The shoulders/neck of the jars keep the beans in place. And lean those jars on the side when stuffing the beans in. It helps you pack them in better. TWSS.
  • The dilly beans will keep in the fridge for 3-6 months.

Other Recipes Like This:

a jar of dilly beans and a head of garlic on a wooden board

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

Two jars of dilly beans with garlic and red peppers on a wooden board
Print
5 from 1 vote
Refrigerator Dilly Beans {Dilly Beans Recipe}
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Learn the secrets of how to make addicting refrigerator dilly beans. This easy recipe for pickled beans involves zero canning.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dilly beans, pickled green beans, refrigerated pickled beans
Servings: 10
Calories: 52 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Make your brine: in a saucepan, bring water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Once it has boiled and the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat, set aside and allow it to come to room temperature.

  2. Wash and trim the beans. Make sure they all fit length-wise in the jar that you're using.

  3. Blanch the beans: boil green beans for 1 minute, and then drain and immediately put in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and set aside.

  4. In your clean jars, place onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in the bottom.

  5. Add your beans to the jars. Tuck some of the dill amongst the beans.

  6. Pour the brine over the beans, put a lid on them and keep them on the counter for 12 hours. Transfer to the fridge. Allow them to sit in the fridge for 2 days before consuming.

Recipe Notes

Use the freshest beans you can find; farmer's markets are a great source for just-picked beans. The fresher the beans, the crispier the finished product.

 

On average, one pound of beans = one quart of dilly beans.

 

Use regular mouth jars if possible. The shoulders/neck of the jars keep the beans in place.

Nutrition Facts
Refrigerator Dilly Beans {Dilly Beans Recipe}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 52
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 150mg 6%
Potassium 220mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 5g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 13.2%
Vitamin C 14.7%
Calcium 4%
Iron 5.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This recipe was originally published in August 2011. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

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16 comments on “Refrigerator Dilly Beans {Dilly Beans Recipe}”

  1. ^leAnn, it’s a more pure form of sugar that I get at Costco. 10 lbs for $8.69 (comes in a huge green bag). I use it in baked goods and other stuff exactly like sugar, it’s just not refined.

  2. That looks delicious. Your so funny. But organic evaporated cane juice? Just saying.

  3. You are a young woman after my own heart. I am a great grandmother but have always loved to cook and experiment with out of the ordinary recipes. (Plus, I love a good sense of humor) I love your recipes but especially your down to earth comments. Please keep it up.

    Nanny

  4. Love, Love, Love this website! Need all the help I can get on practical recipes with good quality ingredients (like organic evaporated cane juice) and frugality. I love the Jello recipe and will be trying it soon! Jello is one of the things I miss now that we don’t eat that white stuff! Except for in Chocolate of course!

  5. Oh did I mention the pictures! They really help me! Guess I’m a visual learner, ay! Next best thing to being there!

  6. okay. you’re freaking hilarious. i love your page of “hippy shit.” it’s so refreshing to come to a DIY blog that is written by a sailor-swearin’ girl after my own heart and not a susie homemaker. they have good tips, too! don’t get me wrong. but you have some amazing tricks up your sleeve and you’re making me laugh as i read along!! 😀 o0ip <that would be a hello from the cat. keep doing what you’re doing! excited to try this easy dilly bean recipe!

  7. It’s so fun to see how much your skills have evolved! Your photos are gorgeous!

  8. These look delicious! I love pickled green beans, but have never tried making them myself for fear of botulism. Never even considered I could make a refrigerator pickle! My mom grows beans (among other things) so I’m totally going to make them this summer! One they’re done approx how long will they last in the fridge?

    • Canning veggies with vinegar is safe as long as you are following a trusted source. But, yeah fridge dilly beans are so much easier.

      They’ll keep in the fridge for 3-6 months. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. Thanks for asking!

  9.  I would love to try making these beans today my only concern is leaving them on the counter unrefrigerated for 12 hours.  Is there a reason I have to do that? I am a certified food worker a level one caterer. Is there any problem with putting these directly into the refrigerator once they are jarred instead of leaving them out on the counter? Personally I would like to put them directly in refridge for safety although the vinegars do make them acidic. 

    • Elaine, vinegar is nature’s preservative so you’ll be fine leaving it at room temp. If you feel more comfortable putting it in the fridge right away, you can, but the flavor will take much longer to develop.

      For what it’s worth, the last time I took my food handler’s test I got 100%. 🙂