I have no idea where we originally saw the recipe for these, but I realized the other day that we have a jar of pickled green beans in the refrigerator all the time.

They are super-easy to make — the longest bit is cleaning the green beans — and keep in the fridge for a long time. Adjust the number of peppers and crushed pepper flakes to your preference.

Just don’t mess with the ratio of vinegar / water / salt / sugar. Changing the measure of any one of these items relative to the others will change the pH of your pickling solution and could cause your green beans to spoil rather than pickle. If you need to make more or less brine multiply/divide all 4 of these ingredients equally.


  • 1 ½ pounds of green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ±4 arbol chiles (or thai chiles or …)
  • ±1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 lemon, slice thin and remove the seeds


  • 2 1-quart canning jars (or reuse a big pickle jar like we do)
Pickled Green Bean Ingredients


  1. Pack green beans and lemon in jar(s). Don’t pack them TOO tight but get ’em in there.
  2. Bring water, vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, pepper flakes and chiles to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  4. Pour hot brining liquid into jars to cover green beans and cap tightly.

If you find you don’t have enough liquid to cover your beans – don’t just add water or you’ll raise the pH of your brine and muck up the pickling process. Make more brining solution.

  1. Let cool slightly and refrigerate.

We’ve kept them for ~2 months without a problem: they don’t last much longer than that here.
But, if they smell funky they probably are funky: throw them out.

Pickled Green Beans