Quick, easy, and slightly-spicy refrigerator pickled green beans are perfect on salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish for your next bloody Mary.
If you're new to pickling -- especially if the idea intimidates you -- refrigerator pickles are a great place to start. You don't need to sterilize your equipment, be careful about acidity, or do a hot water bath.
Unlike proper pickles, refrigerator pickles have to live in the fridge. They're not preserved like hot water bath canned pickles, but they will last one to three weeks in the fridge. If you've been wanting to make your own pickles, these Green Bean Refrigerator Pickles are a great starting point!
Ingredients and substitutions
- green beans - For pickling! Trim or snap off the ends.
- Vidalia onion - This sweet Georgia onion is perfect for pickling, but you can use other sweet onions. You can use red onion, but be prepared for your pickles to turn pink!
- jalapeno - If you don't want spicy pickles, you can remove the seeds and/or veins from the jalapeño or omit it completely.
- apple cider vinegar - This is the best vinegar for these pickles.
- water - You want to dilute the vinegar a little, so your brine won't be too acidic.
- salt - Salt is a crucial brine ingredient that you don't want to reduce or omit. It helps preserve the green beans and give them that good, pickled flavor.
- garlic - We're keeping this brine simple, just seasoning it with garlic. If you want to turn these into dilly beans, add a handful of fresh dill to the brine after boiling it.
How to make refrigerator pickled green beans
Divide the green beans, onion slices, and jalapeno slices between two pine-sized mason jars. Try to get an even mix of jalapeno and onions in both jars.
Now, it's brine time!
In a small saucepan, combine the brine ingredients. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
Ladle the hot brine over the green beans mixture in the jars. When they're cool enough to handle, refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
- I like to snap my green beans, because that way you can pick them over and discard any rubbery ones, which aren't ideal for pickling. You can save a lot of time by trimming the ends off with a knife, if you're pressed for time.
- You can eat refrigerator pickled green beans immediately, but they just get better and better the longer they sit. I try to make them a day ahead, if possible.
Once they're cool enough to handle, close your jars and place them in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to three weeks.
Frequently asked questions
Once your jars cool down, you have a decision to make: Can you wait?
These pickles really start hitting their stride the day after you make them. If you can wait, I highly recommend sticking them in the fridge to marinate for a day before you serve them.
If you absolutely can't wait, though, I totally get it. Feel free to dive into those pickles day-of! Just know that they'll get more flavorful with time.
Trimming green beans with a knife is definitely faster, but I do prefer snapping them instead. It takes quite a bit longer, but it's a good way to sort through your green beans and find any that are rubbery and wilted. You want crunchy green beans for pickling!
A brine is just the word for the vinegar-salt mixture that you use to make pickles. You can season your brine with lots of things like sugar and fresh or dried herbs and spices. A brine can be used to preserve other foods, as well.
More summer veggie recipes
Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans
- 3 cups green beans - ends snapped off
- 1 cup sliced Vidalia onions
- 1 jalapeno - sliced thinly
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
Prepare the Veggies
- Divide the green beans, onion slices, and jalapeno slices between two pint-sized mason jars. Try to get an even mix of jalapeno and onions in both jars.
Make the Brine
- In a small saucepan, combine the brine ingredients. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Ladle the hot brine over the green beans mixture in the jars. When they're cool enough to handle, refrigerate until you're ready to serve.