Italian Cucumber and Tomato Salad Recipe is made with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes that are tossed in a homemade vinegar dressing to make a beautiful side dish for summer!
Why you'll love tomato & cucumber salad:
- Quick and easy to make: perfect for a busy weeknight meal or last-minute side dish.
- Bursting with fresh flavors: crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil.
- Best ever homemade Italian vinaigrette: tangy, sweet, and packed with herbs and spices.
- Versatile and customizable: you can use different types of cucumbers and tomatoes, or add in some of favorite veggies like red onions or bell peppers.
- Crowd pleaser: makes a great addition to any summer BBQ or potluck gathering.
- Why you'll love tomato & cucumber salad:
- Ingredients in easy tomato and cucumber salad
- Ingredients for the dressing for cucumber and tomato salad:
- How to make tomato & cucumber salad?
- Expert tips for Italian cucumber salad:
- Variations for cucumber tomato salad with balsamic vinegar:
- What to serve with Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad recipe?
- Storing cucumber and tomato recipe:
- Some other salad recipes to enjoy:
- Italian Cucumber and Tomato Salad Recipe
This simple cucumber with tomato salad is a recipe I make all summer long! Yes, you could eat it all throughout the year. But it's in the summer when you'll get juicy and sweet tomatoes and if you're lucky, even cucumbers straight out of your garden.
When I'm visiting my in-laws in Italy in the summer, this salad is made every day with their gorgeous cucumbers and tomatoes that are just picked that morning from the garden. The flavors are truly unbelievalbe. And the olive oil is not just any regular olive oil. It's extra-virgin olive oil directly from Calabria!
This is pretty similar to another salad we eat all summer long: panzanella!
This truly is a really simple salad to put together. If you are making it for a party, you could prep it even get it together just 15 minutes before serving. But if you remember to make it a little bit ahead of time, let it marinate in this delicious Italian vinaigrette!
Ingredients in easy tomato and cucumber salad
It only takes a few ingredients to make this simple salad (full printable recipe is below).
- Cucumber – I like to use English cucumbers. I leave the skin on, as it's thinner. For this recipe, I found nice organic English cucumbers. They had a gentle, almost sweet flavor. If you use a regular cucumber with a thick and waxy skin, you'll need to peel them. You'll also want to remove the seeds (I find them to be very bitter). Cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- Tomatoes – I used vine-ripened tomatoes. You could use Roma, or heirloom tomatoes. Whatever you prefer. Even cherry or grape tomatoes work fine, just cut them in half so they'll absorb the dressing.
- Basil - I happen to have a little basil plant growing nicely in my garden. Fresh basil is best for this recipe.
- Homemade vinaigrette - I'm sharing a recipe for a really simple to make and super flavorful vinaigrette. Feel free to use whatever dressing you love. Or use extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar, if you like.
It's a very fast process to make this simple side dish. If you're using my vinaigrette, you could make it first, or make it after you cut the vegetables.
The vinaigrette just takes minutes to put together. It is so much better than a store-bought, and it's all homemade, no additives! You could customize it to your preference.
Ingredients for the dressing for cucumber and tomato salad:
It's a very fast process to make this simple side dish and takes only a few ingredients(full printable recipe is below). If you're using my best ever Italian vinaigrette, that is the first thing to do.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: If you prefer to have lighter tasting dressing, you could use grapeseed, or avocado oil.
- Red wine or white wine vinegar: Acidic ingredient that evens out all the flavors in the dressing. I used white wine vinegar.
- Apple cider or rice wine vinegar: Adds an additional hint of acidity and sweetness to the vinaigrette. I used rice wine vinegar, as that's what I had on hand.
- Shallot or sweet onion: Adds a bit of flavor without overpowering the dressing.
- Garlic: Enhances the overall flavor of the vinaigrette. You could use more or less to your taste.
- Dijon mustard: Adds another layer of flavor to the dressing and helps to emulsify it so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness to the dressing. You could also use a touch of maple syrup. It is optional. If you don't mind the dressing being on the tart side, keep out the honey (or maple syrup). Omit for Keto, Whole30, Paleo.
- Sea salt + freshly ground pepper: Enhances the flavor of the dressing. Adjust the salt to your preference (more or less).
- Dried oregano: I have my mother-in-law's dried oregano in my pantry. You could use dried thyme or even marjoram. Adds an earthy, herbal flavor to the vinaigrette.
How to make tomato & cucumber salad?
Gather up your salad and vinaigrette ingredients. It's just handful of ingredients.
Step 1 –Prep the Vegetables – With a sharp knife, cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces. You could cut the cucumbers in slices or large chunks. There isn't a right way to do it. Do it as you would like to have it.
Step 2 – Make the Dressing – Whisk your dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Or you could add them to a mason jar and shake them all together to combine.
Step 3 – Assemble – Place the cut tomatoes and cucumbers in your serving bowl. Add on the dressing, and toss to combine. You could leave it on to marinade a bit while you prep whatever else you're making. Just sitting in the dressing for 20-30 minutes will make it taste even better!
Expert tips for Italian cucumber salad:
- Make sure to use the best quality and ripest tomatoes for maximum flavor in the salad.
- For added crunch, sprinkle some toasted pine nuts or chopped almonds on top of the salad.
- To make this salad more filling, add some cooked quinoa or chickpeas to it.
- It's fine to use a store-bought Italian dressing instead or whatever dressing you have on hand.
- If you have some nice and ripe avocados on hand, go ahead add some sliced avocado to the salad for a creamy and nutritious addition.
- You can also add some feta or mozzarella cheese to the salad for a touch of creaminess and saltiness.
- Experiment with different types of vinegar in the vinaigrette such as balsamic or sherry vinegar for a unique flavor.
- You can make this salad ahead of time. Keep the dressing separate until serving to prevent the vegetables from getting soggy.
- Serve this salad as a side dish alongside grilled meats or fish.
- To make it a complete meal, add some protein such as grilled chicken or shrimp on top of the salad.
Variations for cucumber tomato salad with balsamic vinegar:
- add mini mozzarella balls (also called “pearls”)
- add a diced avocado
- toss in some fresh herbs like chives or fresh dill instead along with the basil
- add in some Kalamata olives and cubed feta cheese to give it a Mediterranean twist
- dd thinly sliced sweet, Vidalia, or red onions to make a Cucumber Tomato Onion Salad.
What to serve with Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad recipe?
- Baked chicken legs>>>>you will LOVE these crispy chicken legs! They bake up so crispy and the rub is delicious!
- Lemon chicken>>>zesty lemon garlic sauce and the most tender chicken breasts!
- Sheet pan mojo chicken>>>chicken legs are marinated in a garlic, citrus marinade that is just incredible! Use this mojo marinade on pork or shrimp!
Storing cucumber and tomato recipe:
This really easy tomato and cucumber salad is best eaten the day of, or the next day. If you have leftovers, here's what you do:
- Refrigerate: This salad with cucumbers and tomatoes lasts up to 2 days in the fridge. If you've tossed it with the dressing, that's most I would keep it, as the tomatoes will get mushy. You could store it in a mason jar or in an airtight container.
- Freeze: You can NOT freeze this salad.
If you buy a regular cucumber to use for this salad, it will have thicker skin with a waxy coating. Definitely peel the skin on that type of cucumber. You may also want to remove the seeds, as they tend to be bitter. Unless its straight from your garden, they'll be sweeter.
I used an English (or Persian) cucumber, for this recipe. I happened to find an organic one. The skin is thinner and it's not necessary to peel it. Just needs to be washed and cut for the salad.
The tomatoes need to be washed and cut into bite-sized pieces. It's up to you if you want to remove the seeds, or not. I typically don't.
If you use cherry tomatoes, cut them in half. That way they'll absorb the dressing.
Yes, this tomato cucumber salad is a keto recipe that has 3 net carbs per serving. It is a perfect side dish for the summer keto grilling recipes.
If you're looking for tomatoes that are known for a sweet and rich flavor, you could try heirloom tomatoes like Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, and Brandywine.
You may be surprised to learn this. Cucumbers are known in the culinary world as a vegetable. But did you know that they have seeds and grow from flowers, so botanically they are considered a fruit!
Just like a cucumber, a tomato is actually a fruit as it has seeds and is developed from a flower. But in the culinary world, like cucumbers, it is considered a vegetable.
Some other salad recipes to enjoy:
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Italian Cucumber and Tomato Salad Recipe
- 2 large cucumbers peeled and seeded if needed
- 4 vine-ripened tomatoes chopped (you could remove the seeds if you don't like them)
- fresh basil torn or sliced
- For the Italian Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil or a neutral oil like avocado or grapeseed
- ¼ cup red wine or white wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 clove garlic finely minced or pressed
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano or dried thyme or marjoram
For the Italian Vinaigrette:
- Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid or a small mixing bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time.
For the salad:
- Prep vegetables: Cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces and place in a large serving bowl.
- In a small bowl: whisk Italian vinaigrette ingredients together. Or add it all to a mason jar. Close the lid tightly and shake well to combine. Dressing can be made 2 weeks ahead of time.
- Combine salad and dressing: Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and tomatoes and toss until well coated. For optimal flavor, best to prep 30 minutes ahead of time so salad will marinate in the dressing. ENJOY!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Cucumbers: Feel free to use an English cucumber - no need to peel or seed first.
- Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes also work great in this salad.
- Dressing: Use whatever dressing you have on hand that you like, or make mine if you have the ingredients.