Canned Pickled Beans {with Mustard-Garlic Variation}

Canned Pickled Beans

Those who’ve been reading me for awhile might feel a sense of deja vu from the above picture and thinking, “surely she’s done these before?” The picture is very similar to the pickled asparagus recipe I posted here. But if you look closely, you should be able to see (hopefully, though I’m not a photographer by any means!) green beans instead of asparagus spears.

Before I started growing vegetables, including green beans, I’d never thought to buy pickled green beans (do they even sell them?), and I’m not even sure I’d ever eaten them! I only knew I needed to find something to do with all the beans I had coming in and I only knew how to use water-bath canner, so if I wanted to can beans, they’d have to be pickled.

For those wondering (sorry to those who are not- feel free to skip to the next paragraph), I don’t care for frozen green beans. I know they’re better for you than canned, more vitamins, yada, yada. It’s a texture issue, I’m afraid, and there’s no getting around it.{2012 Update: We now eat frozen beans after discovering this way to easily freeze green beans with less “texture issues.”}

Anyway, I found our whole family loved pickled beans! We eat them from a vegetable plate next to the carrots and celery; on a platter of antipasto with olives, meats, and cheeses; and as a super easy, super tasty appetizer when wrapped in a piece of thinly sliced meat spread with a bit of garlicky cream cheese. At the holidays, we have the bowl of olives, the bowl of cranberry sauce, and the pickled beans. I’ve even turned my extended family into fans of pickled beans.

And I’m not sure they’d ever eaten them before, either.

Would you like to try them? They are as easy as the asparagus, and about the most time-consuming thing about them is cutting them to fit the jars. In fact, when it comes to the canning part, I’m going to refer back to the asparagus recipe, rather than post the same information again.

Start by washing a lot of green beans. I’ve never weighed them (you think I would’ve thought of that, knowing I’d be posting about them…), but for a canner load of 7 pint or 12-oz jars, I used about 2 gallon-size baggies full of beans.

I’m not sure what Martha Stewart would say about that measurement.

I just cut both ends off, laying 5-7 beans on a cutting board and slicing through all. With this many beans, I cannot be bothered with “snapping” the ends off…

I’ve seen in beautiful food photographs the curly little ends of the beans left on. Have you tried eating these? Serious texture problems…it’s a hard little pokey thing. Off with its end, I say.

I take one bean, put it in one of the jars (cleaned and waiting in the sink filled with hot water) and cut it to length, making sure it is 1/2″ from the top of the jar rim.

Then I use that bean as a measure to cut all the remaining beans.

I take one of my jars, empty it of water, and fill it with some cut beans.

I can imagine your thoughts now, “Why the heck is she doing that?” Bear with me.

Then I remove them, and lay them in a little pile. Now I have a picture of how many beans I need for each jar. I make 7 little piles all roughly the same size, and throw in a few extra, just to make sure I have enough when the time comes to fill them and cover with the brine. This is the same technique (I’m sure I’m stretching the meaning of that word…) I used with the asparagus.

Then I refill the jar with hot water while I continue cutting all the beans.

When I’ve got all the beans ready, it’s time to make the brine, fill the jars, and process in the canner.


Canned Pickled Beans {Updated with Mustard-Garlic Variation}

For brine:

  • 6 c. white vinegar
  • 3 c. water
  • 1-1/2 c. granulated sugar {update: I now use half the amount of sugar}
  • 3 Tb. pickling spice
  • 1 Tb. pickling salt

Add to brine for Mustard-Garlic Beans variation:

  • 1 Tb. mustard seeds

Add to each jar along with beans (both variations):

  • 14 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  1. Combine and bring to a boil, then simmer 3 minutes.
  2. Add a two garlic cloves (4 halves) and the red pepper flakes to each jar before packing with beans.
  3. Pour the hot brine over beans, leaving 1/2″ headspace, removing air bubbles with a spatula, wiping the jar rim, and attaching the lid.
  4. Process in a boil-water canner for 10 minutes.

Makes enough brine for 7 pints with some left over.




  1. says

    This made my day. I’ve been looking at my growing pile of green beans and a growing green bean plant with dread. Now I have a plan.

  2. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Eek! Sorry it took a week to reply- I haven’t checked in in awhile!

    You should probably wait at least a month. I good indication is when they plump up again (they look shriveled right after canning).

    Good for you!

    • says

      I only use 3/4 c. of sugar now, Dorothy. I left the original amount in case someone wasn’t looking to decrease the sugar in recipes like I am. :)

      • Dorothy says

        Ok, cool. I wasn’t sure if you meant the original amount was 3 cups. 3/4 cup seems like a reasonable amount of sugar, but I’ve never canned beans so I have no idea.

  3. says

    I made 5 pints of pickled green beans Monday morning – more to do on Friday! You are right, not only are they wonderful, they are addictive, as well. I add dill to each jar, along with garlic and red pepper flakes. Just yummy!! Your mustard – garlic recipe is very tempting. There is something about those little seeds in the bottom of the jar that reek of nostalgia (maybe)? I bought some and have been waiting for the perfect project – I think they will be added to Fridays batch!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. Marion says

    Do you have to add sugar or could I use another type of sweetener? I’m allergic to sucrose & use honey or agave syrup instead so could I use them instead?

    • says

      I’m sure you can, Marion, as the sugar here is just to cut the vinegar flavor a bit. Some pickled beans don’t have sugar, but I’ve always found them to be a bit puckery for us. :) Go with the honey, but add less, since it’s sweeter than sugar and just adjust to your tastes.


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