Use these quick refrigerator pickled beans as a garnish for Bloody Mary or Caesar cocktails, as a side dish at your next barbecue, as part of a grazing board, or just as a snack. This is a great recipe if you've never made refrigerator pickles before. No canning required. These dilly pickled beans are crisp and tangy with a nice crunch!
If you love pickled beans but are don't want to bother with the fuss of making them, this recipe for quick refrigerator pickled beans without canning may be just what you need! If you've never made pickles before, here's a good place to start.
Every summer we are overloaded with green beans from our garden, even though I plant less each year.
So when my bean plants are producing far more than we can eat, it's time to make refrigerator pickled beans!
❤️ Why this recipe works
These refrigerator pickles are easy to prepare and need no special equipment. If you're looking for a recipe for pickled green beans without canning, this one is for you! They don't need to be canned, because you will store them in the fridge.
This is an easy recipe that takes very little time to make. You'll have pickled beans on hand for the next time you want a Bloody Mary or a Caesar cocktail! These make a crisp and tangy stir stick for savoury cocktails, and a tasty addition to a charcuterie board.
Crisp and crunchy green bean pickles! You can vary the seasonings by adding more or less garlic or different herbs. You'll find more suggestions for adapting this recipe below.
Here's what you'll need to make these no-cook refrigerator pickled beans.
- 2 cups green beans (fresh). You'll need enough to completely fill a 16 oz. Mason jar, which is about 2 cups. If the beans you have are long, you may want to use a taller one-quart Mason jar. In this case, double this recipe for the brine.
- 1 cup vinegar, white or apple cider
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 - 2 cloves minced garlic OR 1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic scapes
- 1 ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 - 3 sprigs of fresh dill
- 1 slice of a small onion
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- ¼ to 1 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on how hot you want the pickled beans
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
- Make the brine first, as it needs to cool. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and garlic in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, sterilize the jar and lid by washing in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly and pouring boiling water over all. Let stand for a few minutes.
- Prepare the beans. Wash and remove the stems but leave the tip on.
- Use the straightest ones, then fill the empty jar so you'll know exactly how many to use.
- Next, remove them from the jar and trim the bunch all at once with a sharp knife so that they will fit in the jar with about ½ inch of headroom.
- Blanch and shock the beans to preserve their colour and crispness. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the beans and boil for 30 seconds until the beans turn bright green.
- Remove the beans and immediately plunge into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and water) to stop the cooking. Once the beans are completely cool, drain and set aside.
- Fill the jar with the beans. Add the peppercorns, onion slice, red pepper flakes, and fresh dill.
- Carefully pour the cooled brine into the jar so that the beans are completely covered. Check to make sure you've left at least ½ inch of headroom. The beans will shrink a little once they've been sitting in the brine for a few days. Put the lid on tightly.
🔁 Possible Variations
Try different vinegars: you can use regular pickling vinegar or white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white or red wine vinegar or even rice vinegar.
Add different seasonings: leave out the garlic if you don't like it. Add a spicy chili pepper.
Make spicy pickled green beans for Bloody Marys or Caesar cocktails: add more dried chili flakes or a pinch of cayenne.
How to store
Refrigerator pickled beans must be stored in the fridge or they will spoil. Allow the flavours to develop for 2 to 3 days before eating.
Refrigerator pickled beans will last for up to 2 weeks or more in the refrigerator.
This recipe makes enough for one 16 ounce (2 cup) jar. During recipe testing, I doubled it and made 2 jars, one with white vinegar and one with apple cider vinegar. Both are tasty, but the ones pickled in apple cider vinegar are a little stronger tasting.
These quick pickles will last for at least two weeks. If you notice the brine has turned cloudy, the beans may have spoiled. It's time to throw them out or compost them. I'd suggest adding a label to the jar to indicate the date you prepared them.
After 2 or 3 days they'll be deliciously tangy!
You can use any jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Make sure it is scrupulously clean. I find using a wide-mouth jar makes it easy to pack the pickles and to remove them, however, I've used both wide-mouth and narrow-mouth jars successfully.
While it's important to use pickling salt when you are canning pickles, you can use other types of salt to make these refrigerator pickles, including sea salt or kosher kosher salt. This recipe calls for sea salt. The flavour may change if you use a different type of salt. Some home canning experts recommend avoiding table salt, as it contains iodine and possible anti-caking agents. These may discolour your pickles.
Some recipes suggest that it is not necessary to blanch beans before pickling. However, I like to spend the few minutes it takes to blanch beans to feel that I've pickled my beans safely.
Blanching decreases the number of foodborne pathogens that may be present on your beans. It also helps to extend the life of your pickles by destroying enzymes that may cause spoilage.
Start with a clean surface area on which to work.
Wash the beans and discard any that show signs of spoilage.
Wash the jar in hot soapy water, then pour boiling water into both it and the lid. Let the jar sit with the boiling water in it while you prepare the brine.
Make sure to bring the brine to a boil.
Don't be put off by these recommendations! I've made numerous jars of refrigerator pickles over the years and never had a problem!
While these pickles are generally considered safe to consume, any pickles have a chance of containing food-poisoning bacteria. Most adults do not become seriously ill if they ingest this bacteria. However, if you are immune-compromised, pregnant, or have a weakened immune system from a disease, you should be careful about consuming refrigerator pickles.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend substituting artificial sweeteners in pickle recipes.
🗒 More recipes for quick refrigerator pickles
This post has been updated with new information and photos.
📖 Recipe Card
Quick Refrigerator Pickled Beans
- 2 cups green beans (fresh) enough to completely fill a 16 oz. Mason jar: about 2 cups, stems removed
- 1 cup vinegar, white or apple cider
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 - 2 cloves minced garlic , OR 1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic scapes
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 - 3 sprigs fresh dill
- 1 slice small onion
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on how hot you want them
- Make the brine first, as it needs to cool. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and garlic in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Prepare the beans. Wash the beans and remove the stems but leave the tip on. Use the straightest ones, then fill the jar so you know exactly how many to use.
- Remove them from the jar and trim the bunch all at once with a sharp knife so that they will fit in the jar with about ½ inch of headroom.
- Blanch and shock the beans to preserve their colour and crispness. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the beans and boil for 30 seconds. Remove the beans and immediately plunge into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and water) to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Sterilize the jar and lid by washing in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly and pouring boiling water over all. Let it stand for a few minutes.
- Fill the jar with the beans. Add the peppercorns, onion slice, red pepper flakes, and fresh dill. Carefully pour the cooled brine over top so that the beans are completely covered. Put the lid on tightly. Store in the refrigerator. Allow the flavours to develop for at least 2 days.
- These will last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.