posted in Appetizers

Spicy Pickled Green Beans

Since I’m quite the expert in pickling now, I decided to go for another pickling recipe.  My sister S picked this one out from a magazine.  We thought it might be a good summer-time treat to nibble on, virtually calorie-free.  They’ve gotta be better for you than downing an entire bag of Sea Salt Crinkle Cut Kettle Chips, or eating Red Sox Green Monster Mint Ice Cream by large spoonfuls, or nibbling oodles of tootsie rolls or anything else that I’m currently addicted to (which is not anything all that great for you, unfortunately).  These… these are good for you:  Spicy Pickled Green Beans.

See how pretty they are? How can you resist a treat like that?

I suppose you have to like green beans at least a little bit to enjoy this recipe. Choose the best fresh green beans you can find. You don’t have to do anything very special to them. Just trim the ends and rinse them.

Blanch them in boiling water for just a couple of minutes- seriously! You want them just slightly cooked, but you definitely don’t want them limp. You want them to stay bright green and crisp!

Then drain the green beans and rinse them well with cold water. You don’t want them to keep cooking, so keep rinsing until they are pretty well cooled-off.

There are a few ingredients in the pickling marinade that are key to giving it that spicy flavor:  peppercorns (I used these pretty multi-colored ones, but you can use any…), kelp or seaweed, and dried red chiles.

These ingredients are mixed with rice vinegar, sugar and kosher salt.  Everything is brought just to a boil.

The boiling pickling liquid is poured over your blanched green beans in a bowl.

Lemon slices are added.  And then it sits until it comes to room temperature.  Slit open a couple of the red chiles and let that spicy flavor spill forth into the pickling liquid.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to start munching.

The beans turn out crisp and tangy with hints of spice and lemon.  They are a perfect, low calorie, weight-watching, summertime treat.  In fact, if you’re on Weight Watchers, you can munch on these and count zero points.  How cool is that? 

Enjoy 🙂

Yield: 8 cups

Prep Time: 45 min + chill time

Cook Time: 10 min

Spicy Pickled Green Beans

Delicious, low fat summertime snack...


1 pound very fresh green beans (nice and crisp), ends trimmed
2 cups rice vinegar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
6 small dried red chiles, such as Thai or arbol
1 teaspoon multi-colored peppercorns
3 inch-long piece of kombu (dried kelp) or seaweed
1 lemon, sliced (seeds removed)


1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil and blanch green beans until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes (don't overcook... you don't want limp green beans). Drain and put in a large heatproof bowl.

2. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to boil in another medium pot with vinegar, sugar, salt, chiles, peppercorns, and seaweed. As soon as the liquid boils, pour over beans and add the lemon slices. Let cool to room temperature. Slit 3 of the chiles to let seeds spill into liquid. Chill, covered, overnight to let flavors develop. Serve cold.


*I found the red chiles (Arbol) in my market's Latin products aisle, and I found the seaweed in the Asian foods aisle.
*You can use regular, old black peppercorns if you'd like, but the multicolored ones are so pretty in this.
*These green beans will keep - covered in the refrigerator- for about one week.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/4 cup (drained)
Calories per serving: 5.4
Fat per serving: 0g
Fiber per serving: .4g
Protein per serving: .2g
Carbohydrates per serving: 1.3g

WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 0 Old Points Program: 0

Source: (Adapted from Sunset)


  1. postedJul 29, 2011 8:34 AM

    These photos are gorgeous!!! I would eat these by the plateful 🙂

  2. postedJul 29, 2011 9:42 AM

    I just did (& posted about) spicy pickled okra that’s done in a similar manner. Another summer goodie to munch on for virtually no calories. I like this green bean idea, and will absolutely be giving it a try! Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  3. postedJul 29, 2011 10:36 AM

    I just made these again and still love them!

  4. postedJul 29, 2011 10:47 AM

    Gotta try these! Great pics!

  5. postedJul 29, 2011 11:01 AM

    I really think I need to start pickling more things. That briny flavor never fails to make me smile (and pucker).

  6. postedJul 29, 2011 11:24 AM

    Now that’s looking great, Lori! I’ve never pickled anything…well, beets, once, but I’ve got to try this!

  7. postedJul 29, 2011 12:35 PM
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    What a great way to fix green beans. I need to try this!

  8. postedJul 29, 2011 12:59 PM

    I love pickled green beans!

  9. postedJul 29, 2011 1:42 PM

    Nice…thanks for the recipe!

  10. postedJul 29, 2011 8:32 PM

    I absolutely adore pickled green beans, but have never made them myself. You have inspired me, Lori!

  11. postedJul 30, 2011 11:24 AM

    They sound seriously tasty!

  12. postedJul 30, 2011 4:51 PM
    Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen

    I LOVE this recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  13. postedJul 31, 2011 1:52 PM

    This is a great idea! Yum!

  14. postedAug 1, 2011 1:42 AM

    Great idea! I really enjoy finding alternatives to snacks and when they are healthy, then it is nothing short of a bonus! Delicious and perfect for summer!

  15. postedAug 1, 2011 6:50 AM

    these look amazing! i love crunchy green beans.

    what does the kelp/seaweed do? Does it add a certain flavor to the green beans?

  16. postedAug 2, 2011 11:12 AM

    Sounds delicious! I’ll have to find a good canning recipe for these!

  17. postedAug 4, 2011 8:00 AM

    I am definitely going to have to try this recipe – this sounds like the perfect snack, especially since I love the *snap* of pickled green beans – and I love the spicy kick! Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

  18. postedNov 15, 2011 9:38 PM

    I was a bit disapointed because it turned out to be too sweet for my taste!
    I love all kind of picked vegetables but not the sweet ones,the pickels must be pungent,tart,salty and spicy in my vision:)
    I will try to make this again using regular vinegar(rice vinegar is sweet)and omit the sugar and using more salt.

    thank you for sharing!

  19. postedJun 9, 2012 8:27 AM

    Wow. I love these beans. Perfect as a summer appetizer for a party and spectacular for a Bloody Mary garnish. The only change I made was to substitute 1/2 teaspoon of fish sauce from my fridge in place of the seaweed. I didn’t want to buy a whole package for seaweed for one recipe.

    • postedJun 10, 2012 7:10 PM

      Thanks for that tip!

  20. postedJun 17, 2012 8:25 PM

    I did this without the seaweed as I couldn’t find any. Still tastes great! What does the seaweed add?

    • postedJun 18, 2012 9:35 PM

      maybe a little asian flavor. Someone else suggested adding a tiny bit of fish sauce instead.

  21. postedJul 31, 2012 2:32 PM

    Seaweed can be found at any Asian grocery and is a flavor enhancer. If you go for sushi and have the miso soup, the miso soup was prepared with seaweed. It basically adds a salty taste and enhances the flavor. MSG is processed for kelp, however using seaweed usually doesn’t have the same side affects that some people experience with MSG.

  22. postedAug 15, 2012 4:45 PM

    Yummy! My 8-yr-old LOVES pickled green beans so I can’t wait to try these! The photos are beautiful!

  23. postedAug 17, 2012 7:18 PM

    This looks awesome! can I can them?

    • postedAug 19, 2012 7:22 AM

      I am not familiar with canning at all, so I’m afraid I can’t help with that!

  24. postedSep 17, 2014 3:31 AM

    I’m a newbie at this pickling craze. I remember my grandmother and great aunts doing this so I just (incorrectly) figured this wasn’t for me. Silly me! Well, I’m singing a new tune and can’t wait to try this recipe for pickled green beans. I absolutely LOVE the way you plate. I have surely feasted with my eyes…Thanks

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