Marinated Cucumber tomato and onion salad is a fresh summery salad, which takes only 5 minutes to throw together, super simple and delicious. No summer feasting and BBQ party is the same without this salad.
Summer is almost here and it’s time to think about side dishes for our BBQ party dinners (by party I mean, small socially distanced family dinners).
- About This Recipe
- Why you’ll love this salad
- Readers Feedback
- How to make Marinated Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Onions
- How to Cut Tomatoes for Salad
- Serving Suggestions
- Preparation and Storage Tips for Tomato-Cucumber Salad
- Make Ahead Instructions
- Easy Side Salad Recipes
- Salad Recipes With Crunchy Cucumber
- Recipe Questions
About This Recipe
- It’s easy and quick, requires only 3 main ingredients, and goes with just about everything.
- No fermentation is needed here, convenient as it is ready for eating in 1-2 hours. Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl, refrigerate and forget 🙂
- For BBQ I usually make a double batch of this salad, but other times I like to make it as I go because I always have the ingredients on hand.
- For cucumber - I usually peel cucumbers as they can be often too tough and bitter to eat. But it totally optional and also depends on the sort of cucumbers and time you have to make this BBQ side dish. But if in doubt, soak the veggies in slightly vinegar water for at least 30 minutes and then wash well under running water.
- Serve at BBQ parties, potlucks, and picnics with freshly cooked fatty meats, steaks, or seafood.
Why you’ll love this salad
- This a great, light refreshing side dish for barbecues, picnics, or potlucks.
- Easy and quick to throw together.
- Refreshing and vibrant summer side dish salad.
- Can be made with sugar replacement such as erythritol or stevia.
What The Yummy Bowl fans are saying across different platforms:
Came out great! Best dressing ever for this salad. Betty, Pinterest
I've always made the salad but I never knew to use herbs and water it's wonderful. Never knew to use oil either I'm a great grandma and you learn something new everyday! Thank you love it. Katherine, Blog Comments
- Crisp Cucumbers - opt for firm cucumbers sporting smooth, unwrinkled skins devoid of any soft spots. We love English cucumbers as they usually possess thinner skin and a slightly sweeter taste compared to Kirbys (or other small cucumbers). Once picked, cucumbers rapidly lose water, leading to shrinkage and wrinkling if stored for an extended period.
- Juicy Tomatoes - opt for the ripest, most flavorful ones available. Heirloom tomatoes (especially beefsteaks) offer superb taste but might be pricier unless grown personally. Roma and cherry tomatoes are great alternatives. Pop into the weekly farmer's market! The thicker and meatier the tomato, the more effectively it will absorb and hold up to the marinade. Whatever type you pick, aim for the best quality you can manage as the tomatoes' flavor is crucial. If using smaller tomatoes, slice them to allow the marinade to penetrate and enhance their taste.
- Onion - feel free to choose any onion variety—yellow, white, or red—for this recipe, each contributing a unique flavor. Yellow onions offer a standard, easily accessible onion taste at an affordable price. White onions or Vidalia onions are milder and slightly sweeter than yellow ones. Red onions, a tad spicier than yellow, add a vibrant color to the salad. Sweet onions, though pricier, boast a milder, naturally sweet taste as their name implies.
- Vinegar - while the recipe calls for distilled white vinegar, feel free to swap it with other vinegar based on your preference. I've used different alternatives over time like white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, Champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and white balsamic vinegar when making this recipe. While vinegar is ideal here, in case you don't have it or don't have enough, fresh lemon juice or lime will do the trick.
- Oil - select a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil is ok) for the salad dressing as it contributes a delightful fruity flavor to the dish. Given that the dressing consists of only two ingredients (oil and vinegar), the quality plays a significant role!
- Kosher salt and black pepper - the usual suspects that go in every salad.
- Herbs - use at least 2 different types of dried herbs or go for Herbes de Provence, a blend of thyme, tarragon, basil, rosemary, oregano, and others, which will offer a rich flavor profile. Dried herbs are excellent for the flavor with just a small amount they'll transform the salad flavor completely. Save your fresh basil for garnishing this time!
How to make Marinated Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Onions
Combine dressing and vegetables. Add all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
Marinate. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Bring to room temp before serving.
Enjoy. Serve with the liquid or without, either way, it’ll taste delicious as all the veggies are marinated thoroughly.
How to Cut Tomatoes for Salad
For cherry tomatoes, just halve each one. For larger tomatoes, start by removing the stems and coring them. Then, halve each tomato from top to bottom.
Slice each half into wedges from top to bottom, and cut each in half if you wish. Now, scooping out the seeds is optional, just like with cucumbers, it doesn't affect the taste at all, just a personal preference.
- Sugar - For a low-carb version prepare the marinade with a sugar replacement, such as erythritol or stevia. For sweeter brine add more tablespoons of sugar or sugar replacement. This salad is delicious with added sweetness but you can leave it out completely.
- Vinegar - The vinegar enhances the natural flavor in the vegetables and adds freshness to the dish. I used apple cider vinegar but feel free to use stronger vinegar such as white vinegar or milder versions such as rice vinegar or wine vinegar.
- For a low-carb version prepare the marinade with a sugar replacement, such as erythritol or stevia. For sweeter brine add more tablespoons of sugar or sugar replacement.
- Add red or yellow or green bell peppers.
- Any onion will work here, red onions give a nice color and different taste to the salad too.
- Best to be stored in the fridge in a jar or airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
- Choose ripe tomatoes and cucumbers. The fantastic flavor of this juicy salad comes entirely from top-quality produce.
- Add more freshness by garnishing with additional herbs like fresh dill, thyme, rosemary, chives, parsley, or oregano. Alternatively, a sprinkle of feta cheese, goat cheese, diced fresh mozzarella or shaved Parmesan serves as a delightful finishing touch.
- Try this salad also with an easy Greek dressing.
I love to serve this bright salad with almost any type of main dish: grilled meats, fresh seafood, or roasted veggies. It will taste excellent with almost any dish including these:
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken Thighs
- Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Pan Seared Pork Chops With Herbs
- Cauliflower Salmon Casserole
- Skillet Fried Salmon Patties
- Shrimp Scampi
- Spicy Vodka Pasta or Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta With Sausage
Preparation and Storage Tips for Tomato-Cucumber Salad
When adequately covered and refrigerated, cucumber tomato salad stays fresh for 2 days. The cucumbers might slightly soften after a couple of days, affected by their initial freshness and thickness of slicing.
Meanwhile, the onions will further soften and absorb the sweet-tart dressing flavors. Though the tomatoes should retain their juiciness and flavor, their texture may soften as they marinate.
Make Ahead Instructions
This salad tastes great cold and can be prepared in advance. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper in the salad bowl. Add sliced onion to the vinaigrette, and refrigerate for up to a day.
This keeps onions crunchy while enhancing the dressing's flavor. To finish, mix sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and vinaigrette with onions and chill briefly before serving.
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Marinated Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad
- 3 medium cucumbers (peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick (sliced about 4 cups))
- 1 medium white onion (sliced and separated into thicker rings)
- 3 medium tomatoes (largely chopped)
- ½ cup vinegar of your choice*
- ¼ cup granulated sugar*
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Coarse Pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve with the liquid or without, either way, it’ll taste delicious as all the veggies are marinated thoroughly.
- Sugar - For a low-carb version prepare the marinade with a sugar replacement, such as erythritol or stevia. For sweeter brine add more tablespoons of sugar or sugar replacement.
- Vinegar - I used distilled white vinegar but feel free to use milder versions such as rice vinegar or wine vinegar.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
Whether to leave the skin on a cucumber for a salad depends on your preference. English cucumbers have softer skins and can be left on. For Kirbys, which have tougher skins, using a vegetable peeler before slicing might be preferable based on your taste.
English cucumbers, also recognized as seedless, greenhouse, burpless, or European cucumbers, belong to the variety known for their long and slender shape. They are characterized by sweet, firm flesh and are encased in smooth, thin, dark green skin. This cucumber, with its great crunch and small, almost unnoticeable seeds, is considered one of the most versatile types of cucumber in the kitchen.