Chili-Lime Pickled String Beans Recipe

This recipe takes me back to my childhood when my great-grandmother would make me pickled beans. I loved the tangy flavor and how the green beans were like tart and tender french fries. She would make me a batch and keep them in the refrigerator for me to snack on. My recipe adds a few new flavors to the pickling liquid but I think my great-grandmother would appreciate them.

The photo doesn’t do the beans justice. I’m still learning to use my new lights and as you can see the garlic cloves are bright white and a bit scary looking. Don’t be alarmed, they are not radioactive.

I’ve been happily snacking on this batch of beans for the past two days and love them. For lunch, I tossed with a few chopped tomatoes and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil for a delicious and flavorful salad.

Chili-Lime Pickled String Beans
1 lb string beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 cups cider vinegar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 red chili, seeded and sliced (leave seeds if you like spicy)
6 cloves garlic; 3 minced, 3 peeled and left whole
1″ piece of ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 lime thinly sliced

In a small pan, heat 1 1/2 cups water. Add the salt and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat.

In a glass bowl, add the vinegar, peppercorns, chili, garlic, ginger, and lime. Add the water mixture. Don’t worry if it is still hot, the cider mix will help it to cool down.

Bring a large pot of water to a bowl, add the string beans and cook for about 5 minutes until the beans begin to become tender. Remove from heat and drain. Rinse immediately with cold water to stop them from cooking further. Add the beans to the pickling liquid. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. The longer they sit, the better they taste.

Has anyone else ever had pickled beans? I haven’t seen them mentioned very often but hopefully more people will give them a try. They make for a perfect healthy snack.



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17 comments

  1. Okay, I’ll bite :) I’ve never heard of bean pickles before. Intriguing description you have… “tart and tender french fries”, hee :)
    We’re more used to sweet pickles here (papayas, ginger, cucumber), but of course I’m willing to try anything with chili in it :)

  2. This is new! I’ve never heard of or seen pickled beans before…very intriguing Allen…sounds really fantastic as I love beans repared in most ways.

  3. Pickled beans are so good. My mom used to do an Italian version that I Ioved. Hmmm, maybe that’s what I should do with my new batch of beans. Yours look great the lime & chile flavor is an interesting twist

  4. What a beautiful photo! I have had pickled beans, always given to me, but haven’t ever made them myself. I’m liking the sound of your recipe with the chili and lime and would love to try it out.

  5. Manggy: If you’re used to sweet pickles, then you may not like how tart these ones are … but you can always add more sugar and make them sweet pickled green beans :-)

    Peter G: You’ll have to give them a try sometime, I bet you’d like them

    Kat: Hooray, a fellow pickled bean lover — how did your mother season them for her italian version?

    Cassie: Thank you! They are easy enough to make and are good without all of the extra flavors I added. My grandmother often made them with just cider vinegar, water, salt and pepper!

    Kellypea: Thanks for sharing the recipe – I bet she’ll like them. :-)

    Toontz: Another confirmed pickled bean lover! Don’t forget to remind your friend that you need your annual jar … just in case this is the year they decide to stop handing them out :-) (i.e. apply the peer pressure)

  6. Allen, I tried the jarred, store beans like these at the pub last night and they tasted like a$$.

    I would have preferred to have eaten yours (beans of course)! lol

  7. I always hear stories of grandmothers making pickled beans and I have seen them in quite a few places too, I love them! I think beans lend themselves really well to preserving, as they make great chutney too.

  8. MMMMMMM! I’ve made “pickled” beans by steaming them and sticking them in a simple brine. These sound WAY better.

  9. I just tried adding some beans when I did my latest back of pickles… about two days after I did them, I realized I probably should have blanched the beans. (search my site if you want the recipe)

    They didn’t turn out bad… but nothing great either.

    Definitely want to try again in the future.

  10. My husband is a pickled green bean addict! He bugged and bugged me to make them for a few years, but i was always too unsure of my cooking skills. This year i relented and made a batch. He (with a little help from his mom and grandma) ate them all in a week, so i bought an entire bushel and pickled them up! I threw all sorts of other stuff in the jars: green tomatoes, red onion, garlic, hungarian peppers, carrots, cauliflower… he eats them almost every day now!
    Next season i will have to try your recipe, they look and sound nummy. After 40 quarts, i think i’m done pickling for a little while…

  11. i love pickled string beans! my grannie used to make those to me too^^ now that she passed away..my aunt continues making them for me..i love them! i love ur recepies!thank you

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