Fresh, vibrant, and full of unbelievable flavors, this simple and refreshing cucumber tomato salad is a dream of a summer side dish. Quick and easy, with absolutely no cooking, it’s perfect for picnics, barbecues, or any warm weather meal. Made with fresh cucumber and tomatoes with pops of fresh basil and sweet red onion, all tossed in a super simple vinaigrette.
🥒 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- This is one of my favorite summer recipes because it’s equal parts tasty, easy, and beautiful! Refreshing cucumber and tomato meets sweet red onion and earthy fresh basil for bursts of flavor in every bite. The simple vinaigrette plays up the natural flavors in the veggies without overpowering them. It’s almost unbelievable how much flavor you can get from a handful of ingredients.
- Cucumber tomato salad not only tastes great and looks gorgeous on your dinner table, it also pairs well with all the cookout classics. Grilled scallops, beef ribs, mesquite chicken, burgers, pork belly burnt ends… It’s not just a side dish for barbecues, though. Pack it for a picnic, serve it at a shower, or just whip up a batch all for yourself.
- There’s zero cooking involved, and the prep couldn’t be easier. Slice a cucumber, chop a tomato, cut an onion, mix up a dressing. Then you just add everything to a bowl and toss it all together! It takes practically no time at all, but you can totally make it ahead of time if you want. Just refrigerate it until you’re ready for it, then serve the salad chilled. Easy peasy!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- I prefer English cucumbers for this salad because they’re so easy. You don’t have to peel them unless you just want to. The seeds are so small they’re barely noticeable, practically nonexistent. Talk about low maintenance! If you don’t have English cucumbers, any type will work. Depending on the variety you use, you may need to peel them and remove the seeds before you use them in your salad.
- Cucumber tomato salad is best when it’s eaten within 2 hours or so of preparation, but you can make it up to 24 hours in advance with good results. Longer than that, you risk the tomatoes becoming mealy and mushy, making the whole dish unenjoyable.
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For the Vinaigrette
For the Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 1 large English cucumber approximately 12 ounces
- 2 medium red tomatoes approximately 4-6 ounces each
- ¼ of one medium red onion halved, thinly sliced; approximately 2 ounces
- 10 leaves fresh basil thinly sliced
- small mixing bowl
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler optional
- Sharp chef's knife
- Large bowl
- 2 large wooden spoons
For the Vinaigrette
- Add 3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to small mixing bowl.
- Whisk ingredients together vigorously until mixture is fully incorporated. Set vinaigrette aside.
For the Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Peel 1 large English cucumber, then slice cucumber in half lengthwise, creating 2 long moon-shaped halves. Slice each cucumber half into roughly ¼-inch-thick half circles and place cucumber slices in large bowl.
- Slice 2 medium red tomatoes in half vertically, creating 4 tomato halves. Cut away and discard seeds. Chop each tomato half into roughly ½-inch pieces and add chopped tomatoes to bowl with cucumber slices.
- Add red onion slices and sliced fresh basil to bowl with cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Pour prepared vinaigrette into bowl, covering salad ingredients as evenly as possible. Use 2 large spoons to gently toss ingredients together until well-blended and fully coated in vinaigrette.
- Serve prepared salad immediately, or cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, then serve chilled.
- The cucumber and tomato pieces can be as small or as large as you like. I prefer to make everything bite-sized from the beginning but there’s no right or wrong here.
- Chill: Chilling the salad is totally optional, but if you’ve got time, I recommend it.
- Make it Vegan: Use sugar instead of honey. Make sure your sugar is 100% vegan and not processed with bone char.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate leftover salad in an airtight container up to 4 days. Note that the cucumber and tomatoes will begin to break down over time and the tomatoes especially can become mushy and mealy.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.