Cucumber Tomato Salad – The Cooking Jar


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Cucumber tomato salad is a light salad made with crisp cucumbers, juicy sweet tomatoes and red onions tossed in a tangy vinaigrette dressing. This simple summer salad is refreshing on a hot day and pairs well with all proteins.

Cucumber tomato salad in a glass mixing bowl tossed with two wooden salad servers.

Sometimes it’s the simplest pairings that make something delicious. This easy salad has three key ingredients marinated in a dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, mustard and poppy seeds. Enjoy it with just the homemade tangy lemon poppy seed vinaigrette or add a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley, chives, basil, or dill.

The key is to use fresh produce and to keep the dressing light and simple so the cucumbers and tomatoes can shine. It’s a great way to use summer veggies and pairs well with grilled meats at your next backyard grilling, potluck, dinner, or party. For more chilled salads, you might like this creamy cucumber salad, a classic creamy potato salad, or this chunky chicken salad.

Ingredients for making cucumber tomato salad in prep bowls.
  • Cucumbers – English cucumbers work best for this recipe because they are seedless and sweeter. I kept the cucumber skins on but you can peel them if you prefer it that way. Either way will work – you’ll just get a little more crunch leaving the skin on. Slice the cucumbers into 1/2” quarter or half-moon rounds.

Recipe Notes:

English cucumbers are also known as European, hothouse, or seedless cucumbers. They are long and thin and you’ll often find them shrink-wrapped at grocery stores.

  • Water content – Because English cucumbers are seedless, they have less water content than other species of cucumbers. If you want to draw out as much water content as possible, try sprinkling some salt over the cucumbers and let them rest in a colander for 20-30 minutes. Pat them dry and prepare them according to the recipe instructions. You may want to adjust the salt amount in the vinaigrette if you do this extra step.
Four step-by-step photos on how to make cucumber tomato salad.
  • Tomatoes – I used grape or cherry tomatoes for their burst of sweetness. You can substitute these with regular sliced tomatoes instead, or do a mix of both
  • Red onion – Red onions add a little color and crunch to the salad. Slice them thin so they don’t end up overpowering the cucumbers and tomatoes, which are the star of the show! I used red onions but sweet onions will also work.
  • Dressing – The dressing base is made from olive oil flavored with lemon juice and Dijon mustard, so make sure you use good-quality olive oil. My go-to brand is California Olive Ranch.
Cucumber tomato salad in a glass mixing bowl tossed with two wooden salad servers.
  • Sugar – Sugar balances out the tartness from lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
  • Dijon mustard – I used Dijon mustard but you can substitute it with traditional yellow mustard.
  • Poppy seeds – Poppy seeds add crunch and flavor and should not be skipped.
Cucumber tomato salad in a glass mixing bowl.
Cucumber tomato salad in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Garlic powder – I used garlic powder but you can substitute this with fresh garlic for a stronger garlic flavor.
  • Salt – I like using coarse sea salt because it’s more forgiving than table salt. Kosher salt will work just as well using the same amount in the recipe. If you are substituting with table salt, use less than the recipe measurements because there is more sodium to volume ratio in table salt.
  • Leftovers – This salad is best enjoyed fresh but will keep well as leftovers for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.
Cucumber tomato salad in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Bulk it up – Add more fresh ingredients like fresh mozzarella balls or avocado chunks.
  • Spice it up – Add a little heat with a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
  • Add some herbs – Toss in a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, basil, or dill.
  • Add Greek flavors – Add fresh parsley, black or green olives, feta cheese, or some pepperoncini peppers.
  • Make it creamy – Add a little mayonnaise or Greek yogurt to the dressing for a creamy vinaigrette.
Cucumber tomato salad served on a white plate.

And that’s about it. Enjoy your salad and let me know how you liked it, or what substitutions you made in the comments below.

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Cucumber tomato salad in a glass mixing bowl tossed with two wooden salad servers.

Cucumber Tomato Salad


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  • Author:
    The Cooking Jar


  • Total Time:
    10 minutes


  • Yield:
    6 1x

Description

Cucumber tomato salad is a light salad made with crisp cucumbers, juicy sweet tomatoes and red onions tossed in a tangy vinaigrette dressing.


Ingredients


Units


Scale

  • 2 English cucumbers, sliced into half rounds
  • 2 cups grape/cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 pint)
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, about 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt


Instructions

  1. Add the sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients of olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
  3. Whisk until smooth and do a taste test, adjusting seasonings as needed.
  4. Toss to coat the cucumbers, tomatoes and onions in the dressing.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Bulk it up – Add more fresh ingredients like fresh mozzarella balls or avocado chunks.

  • Spice it up – Add a little heat with a few dashes of red pepper flakes.

  • Add some herbs – Toss in a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, basil, or dill.

  • Add Greek flavors – Add fresh parsley, black or green olives, feta cheese, or some pepperoncini peppers.

  • Make it creamy – Add a little mayonnaise or Greek yogurt to the dressing for a creamy vinaigrette.

  • Scroll up to RECIPE TIPS for more useful tips, suggestions and ingredient substitutions.


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