How to Make Green Bean Pickles (Cold Pack)

The Pennsylvania Dutch are famous for their Smorgasbords and plethora of yummy foods. Pickled green beans are one of the many unique and tasty preserved foods they prepare. Here's how to make your own.


  • 2.5 pounds fresh green beans
  • 2.5 C White vinegar
  • 2 C Water
  • .25 C "plain" or "pickling" salt
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Dill Weed (fresh is best, but dried can be substituted)
  • Crushed Pepper flakes


  1. 1
    Prepare your work area. Lay out the "Things You'll Need" listed below, along with all ingredients, in a clean kitchen area.
  2. 2
    Wash the beans.
  3. Image titled Green Beans for Pickling
    Cut the ends off the beans.(Hint: cutting them to the length of the canning jar makes it easier to pack the jars later.)
  4. 4
    Set the washed and cut beans aside.
  5. Image titled Canning pots, check!
    Set your boiling water canner on the stove and get your water boiling.
  6. 6
    Sterilize the jars you intend to use in a boiling water bath for around 10 minutes.
  7. 7
    While the canner is heating up, mix your vinegar, water and salt together in a separate pan. Add two cloves of peeled and sliced garlic to them and bring them to a boil until all the salt is dissolved.
  8. Image titled Shiny clean jars, check!
    Remove the pint jars from the boiling water bath. (carefully!)
  9. Image titled Dill leaf עלה שמיר
    Image titled Crushed red pepper flakes
    Place a sprig of dill and any pepper into the bottom of the jar.
  10. 10
    Pack the jar full of beans, leaving a half inch of "headroom".
  11. 11
    Ladle the hot vinegar/water/salt mixture over the beans until they are covered. Leave a 12 inch (1.3 cm) of "headroom" in the jar.
    • Note: you may place one of the garlic slices in the top of the jar for a heavier garlic flavor to your pickles if you prefer.
  12. 12
    Place a lid on the jar and snug it down with the ring.
  13. 13
    Place on the canning rack.
  14. 14
    When you have completed packing all the jars and topping them off with the vinegar mixture, place all the jars on the rack and return the rack to the boiling water in the canner.
  15. 15
    Boil the jars in the hot water bath at a simmer (not a rolling boil) for 5 minutes for crisp pickles, longer for softer pickles.
  16. 16
    Remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool on the rack or on a towel placed on the counter top.
  17. 17
    Allow 3 days for the vinegar mixture to thoroughly penetrate the beans before opening for consumption.


  • This recipe can also be used to can very young okra. Quite tasty! And the vinegar/salt mixture completely neutralizes the "slimy" texture of the okra, making a very yummy pickle!


  • WARNING: If you are NOT pickling them, green beans MUST be canned using a pressure cooker type canner. A boiling water bath is not enough to kill the microbes in beans by itself. You must add the acidic vinegar/salt mixture to cold pack beans to make them acidic enough to be safe to preserve in this manner.

Things You'll Need

  • Boiling water canner with rack for pint jars
  • Pint canning jars with lids and rings
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Hot pad and/or jar tongs for handling hot jars.
  • Cup measure
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Bowl to hold the cut beans until you pack them into the jars.

Article Info

Categories: Food Preservation Techniques