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  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar, if preferred)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  1. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in glass bowl. Stir until mixed.
  2. Add sliced cucumbers and onions. Make sure all the cucumbers and onions are submerged in the liquid.
  3. Refrigerate 24-48 hours before serving — it takes time for the tastes to blend.


  1. You can experiment with how much vinegar you want to use. You need 2 cups of liquid total, so simply adjust the proportion of vinegar to get the “potency” you like. I use a 2-cup measuring cup and put in the amount of vinegar I want first; then I just fill up the rest of the cup with water.
  2. This dish just gets better after several days in the fridge. And when the supply runs low, just add more cucumbers and onions to the vinegar mix. I keep a batch going in the refrigerator all the time.


  1. This dish is standard fare at any “meat-and-three” restaurant in the South. In fact, it’s one of the benchmarks by which I judge a particular restaurant: if they do “cukes & onions” well, they’re probably going to do the other Southern side dishes well too.
  2. There are many variations on this humble dish, obviously, but I’ve yet to find a fancy version that I like as well as the basic one.

Southern Beans