Cucumber tomato salad is of those refreshing salad recipes with a tangy pop of flavor in every single bite. It’s one of the classic dishes that’s withstood the test of time offering a welcome and scrumptious reprieve from the summer heat.
It takes me right back to my Grandma’s little pink kitchen. She had a table for four at one end with a beautiful corner window where she and I would sit, eating this old-fashioned salad and watching the squirrels and birds play in her garden.
Every time I make this salad, I’m immediately transported back to that table and the special lunches we shared. That’s why I love this salad so much!
I know that cucumber salad recipes are kind of a dime a dozen. So, when you come across one of these amazing tomato salad recipes that are simple and delicious – it’s a keeper!
What I Love About This Recipe
- This salad is full of crisp cucumbers, perky tomatoes, and peppery red onion.
- It also makes for perfect potlucks and afternoon picnics
How To Make Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe
In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced cucumbers with 1 teaspoon salt, then allow to sit for 1 hour at room temperature to “sweat”. Drain off liquid.
Add tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, and dressing to drained cucumbers and toss until ingredients are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Adjust seasoning and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge.
**See Full Instructions Below
Cucumber Tomato Salad Ingredients
- Cucumbers –I like to use English cucumbers in my salad rather than the shorter, slicing variety mainly because they have smaller seeds.
- If you can’t find English cucumbers or those kitchen countertops are full of the slicing of Kirby varieties, you can definitely substitute five or six in this recipe.
- If you’re concerned at all about the bitterness, cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them before slicing the cucumbers.
- Tomatoes – When choosing tomatoes, I prefer grapes to their larger cousins because they’re predictably sweet and lower on the acid scale, plus they hold their shape better, especially since the skins are intact.
- Vinegar – If you’re looking for a vinegar substitute because you’re not a fan of balsamic, you can definitely stick with my grandmother’s choice of apple cider vinegar.
- Feel free to experiment with white or red wine vinegar too. You just may find you need an extra pinch or two of sugar if you use something other than the balsamic.
- Balsamic vinegar – The tangy Balsamic vinaigrette is a big part of this cucumber salad, but you can make it with store-bought dressing. Of course, I love the homemade stuff, but I totally understand the need for convenience too.
- Raw Onions- I know some people shy away from raw onion in salads, but they’re a wonderful contrast to the cucumbers in my cucumber tomato onion salad. The subtle heat gets toned down by the cooling quality of the cucumbers, plus they add extra crunch and color. The balsamic vinegar helps to smooth out the flavors a bit too, so trust me on this one.
You’ll want to sweat your cucumbers with a little salt before mixing up your cucumber salad to pull out some of the moisture. This helps keeps your salad from being watered down after it sits in the fridge.
I recommend an hour of chill time in the icebox before serving but everyone has different tastes. My family loves this cucumber tomato salad immediately after it’s made while those cukes are super crunchy. Chill time will soften them just a little, but it also gives all those flavors time to mingle and soak in.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? This refreshing salad will stay fresh and yummy in the fridge for up to 3-4 days when stored properly. You’ll want to keep it in an airtight container to protect the integrity of the ingredients.
- Can You Freeze This? Well – the good news is that this salad only has 10-minute prep time. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t freeze well but who needs to freeze it? The FAM is gonna’ want to gobble this up as soon as it’s ready.
- Make-Ahead Tips: This is one of those outstanding salads that gets even better as it chills in the fridge. The flavors mingle and coat the veggies for an extraordinary burst of flavor in every single bite. If time is a factor, you can make the entire salad a day or so ahead, or you can whip up the tangy vinaigrette and add it to the veggies a couple of hours before serving.
- Safety Info: It is important to observe the FDA recommended a 2-hour serving rule.
I absolutely love the way this cucumber tomato salad complements the flavor of million dollar chicken or my delicious beef shish kabobs. They make a phenomenal flavor pair for dinner. If you’re short on time after a long hard day, then whip up a batch of Italian dressing chicken to go with your salad.
I also like to serve this as a side dish for one of our backyard grill fests and ladies’ lunch, but you can also serve it like my Grandma did, as a great, light lunch with some crusty bread.
More Delicious Salads
Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 English cucumbers thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups grape tomatoes cut in half
- 2 cups Mozzarella cut into small cubes
- 1 cup red onions thinly sliced
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the sliced cucumbers (3) with 1 teaspoon salt, then allow to sit for 1 hour at room temperature to "sweat". Drain off liquid.
- Add tomatoes (2 cups), Mozzarella (2 cups), onions (1 cup), and dressing to drained cucumbers and toss until ingredients are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Adjust seasoning and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Fans Also Made:
- You’ll want to sweat your cucumbers with a little salt before mixing up your cucumber salad to pull out some of the moisture. This helps keeps your salad from being watered down after it sits in the fridge.
- I recommend an hour of chill time in the icebox before serving but everyone has different tastes. My family loves this cucumber tomato salad immediately after it’s made while those cukes are super crunchy. Chill time will soften them just a little, but it also gives all those flavors time to mingle and soak in.