canning lemon garlic green beans in the nesco canner

In today’s post, I’m excited to share my experience canning lemon garlic green beans using a recipe from “The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving”. I’ll be demonstrating two different methods: following the book’s instructions and a variation of my own. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks, so let’s dive in! 

Canning Lemon Garlic Green Beans in the Nesco Canner (video) 

Ingredients and Preparing Green Beans for Canning 

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The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving is where I got the recipe for the lemon garlic green beans.

Note: I got this recipe from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving (Amazon).

First, let’s go over the ingredients and some prep work. The recipe calls for: 

  • 2 lbs of green, snap or wax beans 
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (or in my case, chicken bouillon granules) 
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper 
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest 
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice 

Note that this yields 2 quarts or 4 pints.  

Preparing Green Beans for Canning

cutting off the ends of green beans and cutting them into 2" pieces.

Regardless of which of the two methods that I’ll share with you you chose, you need to start by doing some basic prep of the green beans.  

1. First, wash, trim, and remove the ends from the green beans. If the green beans have strings, remove them. 

Note I bought my beans from a grocery pickup, and while I ordered 2 pounds of green beans I ended up with a little more the 3 pounds of green beans. Using my trusty kitchen scale (Amazon), I weighed out 2 pounds of green beans for the first method, and will use the remaining green beans for the second method.  

2. Cut the beans into approximately 2-inch pieces. 

Method One: Preparing Lemon Garlic Green Beans by the Book 

The first method follows the instructions from the Ball canning book (Amazon): 

According to the instructions in the book, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt (or in my case, I used chicken bouillon), black pepper, and garlic cloves to the green beans in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.  

Drawbacks to Method 1

This is a super easy method, which is why I believe that the Ball canning book (Amazon) recommends it.  

Unfortunately, there is a big drawback, and that is that the seasoning may not be evenly distributed among all jars, leading to some jars being more or less flavorful than others. 

In other words, you may end up with a lot of lemon or garlic in one jar, and less in other jars. Some will be super flavorful, and others very plain.  

As you can see in the image above, I ended up with some of the ingredients in the bottom of the bowl, which I had to distribute among the jars.  

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Lemon Garlic Green Beans – My Method 

For the second method, I altered the process slightly to ensure a more even distribution of seasoning: 

Instead of mixing everything beforehand, I layered the beans and seasonings directly in the jars. I filled the jars with green beans, then added the seasonings (bouillon, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice).  

One thing to keep in mind with this method is that you have to do just a wee bit of math to figure out how much of each item goes in each jar. Here is the right ratio for each pint: 

  • ½ teaspoon salt (or bouillon granules) 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 

This does take a bit more time since you need to measure the ingredients out 4 times.  

Benefits of Method 2 of Canning Lemon Garlic Green Beans 

This method ensures a more even distribution of seasonings, as each jar receives a specific amount of each ingredient. 

Filling the Canning Jars 

Using a canning funnel to add water to canning jars filled with lemon garlic green beans.

 Now for the easy part!  

Step 1: After you’ve prepared the beans using either method, and filled the jars with the green beans and seasonings, fill the jars with hot water or broth, up to 1” headspace.  

Step 2: Debubble the jars. I use this tool for debubbling (Amazon), and also for checking the headspace, but you can use a rubber spatula, or a chopstick. To avoid damaging the jars in any way, avoid using anything metallic, such as a knife.  

Step 3: Check the headspace, to make sure there is still a 1” headspace.  

Step 4: Wipe the rims with a paper towel or cloth dipped in vinegar, to remove anything that may have gotten on the rims. Doing so will help ensure a good seal.  

Step 5: Apply the lids, finger tip tight.  

Pressure Canning Green Beans 

A photo of the jars of green beans in the Nesco canner.

Follow the manual that came with your canner to know how much water to add and that type of thing.  As you can see in the image above, I used my Nesco canner (Amazon), which is perfect for a recipe like this, since it only makes 4 pints.

Pressure can your green beans for 20 minutes for pints, or 25 minutes for quarts. After processing, allow the pressure to come down naturally, before removing the jars from the canner. Allow to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours before checking the seal. If any of the jars didn’t seal, process again, or immediately refrigerate and eat within the next couple of days.   

Taste Test and Family Feedback 

Lemon garlic green beans after they finished processing in the Nesco canner.

After canning, I couldn’t wait to try the lemon garlic green beans, so I opened a jar and heated it. My 92-year-old mom, my husband, and I all had a taste. We all loved them, including my husband, who isn’t usually a fan of green beans. The flavors of lemon and black pepper came through beautifully, though we didn’t really taste the garlic. Next time, I might add more garlic to enhance that flavor. 


By following these methods, you’ll have delicious lemon garlic green beans to enjoy year-round. Each method has its perks—following the book ensures you stick to tested guidelines, while my variation allows for more control over seasoning distribution. Happy canning! 

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