Sandy Oliver’s Dilly Beans Recipe | PBS Food

Sandy Oliver’s Dilly Beans

Dilly beans are zesty and crispy, with an irresistible twang of salty, garlicky vinegar. Read more about Aube Giroux's time with Sandy Kitchen Vignettes.


Yield: Makes 6 pint jars

Course: ,


  • Brine:
  • 3 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons pickling salt
  • Pickles:
  • 6 peeled whole garlic cloves
  • 6 heads of green dill seeds or 6 tablespoons dried seeds (or both for extra dilly)
  • 1 tiny sprinkle of crushed dried pepper flakes per jar (optional, if you want them spicy)
  • 6 pint jars packed with whole green beans (stems removed)


  1. If you have never canned before, be sure to follow guidelines such as The Complete USDA Guide to Home Canning to ensure you are canning safely.
  2. Sterilize your jars before packing the green beans. Evenly distribute at the bottom of each jar: one clove of garlic, dried dill seeds or green dill head, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper if using. Wash the beans well and remove the stem ends of the beans, packing them in the jars as tightly as you can. Heat all the brine ingredients just until the brine comes to a boil, making sure the salt is completely dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the beans in each jar making sure that you leave a half-inch headroom. Ensure the lip of the jar is dry by running a clean cloth over the top. Put the lid and rings on and close it finger-tight. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for twelve minutes, remove and allow to cool and seal. You will hear the jars pop if they have sealed properly. Tighten rings again if needed.
  3. Dilly beans are a lovely accompaniment to just about any meal, and they look great on the holiday table. Sandy recommends you can also break up the beans in shorter lengths to make pickles to add to a salad. Enjoy your dillies!


If using long green beans that fill a quart jar (as Sandy does in the video), you will need to double the brine below in order to have enough.
Presented by: