by Olena

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 13 votes

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How to make a simple Cucumber and Tomato Salad – a super fresh and simple summer side salad made up of just 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) that’s ready in minutes! This recipe for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad is an absolute favorite of mine from Ukraine, made up with a simple dressing and lots of dill, to pack in tons of flavor!

This simple salad is a staple on my summer table alongside other simple veggie salads and side dishes like healthy Ukrainian vinegar slaw (or healthy classic coleslaw), potato salad, beet and goat cheese salad, and Mexican street corn salad.

A bowl of Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

When you’re looking for a super simple (yet utterly delicious) side salad, then this Ukrainian-inspired cucumber and tomato salad is the salad for you! It’s healthy, affordable, simple, and super versatile–plus, it’s the perfect way to enjoy in-season tomatoes during summer, but can also be enjoyed all year round!

Cucumber is one of my all-time favorite additions to any fresh salad. It’s crunchy, fresh, and packed with nutrients. That’s probably why I include it so much—like in this Greek salad, Italian chopped salad, spinach salad, quinoa tabbouleh salad, and avocado corn salad (just to name a few). I’ve even shared a creamy cucumber salad where cucumber is the key ingredient!

However, this recipe for cucumber tomato and onion salad also relies on juicy tomatoes, tangy red onion, and a simple heart-healthy oil-based dressing to up the flavor. Mix that all up with plenty of dill (for the Ukrainian in me), and you officially have yourself a new favorite to add to your salad rotation. I must make this at least once a fortnight, rotating it with other simple salads like avocado salad, tomato mozzarella salad, and a simple lettuce salad (also with cucumber and tomatoes!).

I’ll admit, while this cherry tomato cucumber salad is distinctively Ukrainian to me (I practically ate it every other day during the summer as a child!), the cucumber and tomato salad combination is incredibly popular all over the globe. There’s a Greek cucumber tomato feta salad, a Shirazi cucumber tomato and onion salad with mint, and probably hundreds of other simple variations. My point? Not only are there tons of ways to adjust this recipe, but this combination is clearly widely appreciated – everyone seems to agree, so give it a try today!

Looking for more ideas to use up your summer bounty of in-season tomatoes? You’ll love this pico de gallo, Mexican bean salad, or healthy pasta salad! For now, though, let’s hop right into this recipe for cucumber tomato and onion salad!

Why This Recipe for Cucumber Tomato Salad Works?

  • This cucumber and tomato salad recipe comprises just 6 simple ingredients, plus salt & pepper!
  • All you need is 10-15 minutes max to prepare the salad, making it perfect as a last-minute side for any main.
  • This recipe for cucumber tomato and onion salad uses just a simple oil, salt, and pepper dressing for a versatile salad that pairs well with tons of dishes!
  • The addition of toasted sesame oil packs in tons of flavor and boosts this simple cherry tomato cucumber salad to new levels of deliciousness!
  • However, this healthy cucumber tomato salad is also super versatile; swap out the dressing, add various add-ins, beef it up with protein. The sky is the limit!
  • This salad is also gluten-free, low-carb, low-calories, low saturated-fat, and naturally vegan!
Cucumber Tomato salad in a bowl

Ingredients for Cherry Tomato Cucumber Salad

  • Cucumber: You can use any kind of cucumber, including pickle, dill, garden, long English, or Persian. I never peel mine unless using garden cucumber, which can have a thicker, bitter skin.
  • Tomatoes: Any kind of full-grown, grape, or cherry tomato will work. Juicy on the vine, heirloom, or Roma tomatoes are the best when in-season.

Don’t shy away from field “plasticky” tomatoes from Mexico in winter – just choose the softest and reddest. I have tomatoes in my salad any time of the year – how else would I enjoy tomato mozzarella salad, tomato pasta salad, this creamy Mexican kale salad, or pico de gallo anytime I want?!

  • Onion: I prefer to use red onion or shallots in fresh salads, as they aren’t as harsh – but yellow would also work. Alternatively, you could omit it entirely.
  • Dill: It’s a classic herb for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. However, you could alternatively use mint, parsley, cilantro, or scallions.
  • Oil: This recipe for cucumber tomato and onion salad uses a combination of heart-healthy olive oil (extra virgin olive oil is best!) and a little sesame oil for added flavor. Toasted sesame oil REALLY takes this salad to the next level. You can buy it dirt cheap at any grocery store (look in the Asian aisle just in case), and you will use it often in Asian dishes like cauliflower fried rice, beef stir fry, and healthy peanut chicken soba noodles. However, you can also omit it if preferred.
  • Salt & Pepper

Keep reading below (after the recipe how-to) for more information on recipe add-ins and seasoning variations!

ingredients for cucumber and tomato salad

How to Make Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad

  • Chop the vegetables: First, chop the tomatoes and cucumbers into even-sized pieces, ensuring the even distribution of ingredients in every bite. Then, finely slice the red onion and transfer all three to a large serving bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: Add the herbs, oils, and salt and pepper to the bowl and toss lightly to thoroughly mix and coat the veg with the dressing and seasonings. Then taste the cherry tomato cucumber salad and adjust any of the seasonings if necessary.

With soft salads like this, it’s best to toss them gently with a large spoon rather than using tongs. This will help you avoid squashing the tomatoes or bruising any ingredients.

Optional Add In’s and Variations

Because of the simplicity of this cucumber and tomato salad recipe, there are tons of ways to adjust the recipe, including:

  • Add vinegar: Just a splash of white, apple cider vinegar, white/red wine vinegar, or even balsamic will add an excellent zippy, tangy taste. Alternatively, you could use a little lemon/lime juice.
  • Make it creamy: Just add plain regular or Greek yogurt and omit oils. We used sour cream in Ukraine all the time.
  • Add lettuce: It will basically become my lettuce salad. It’s more leafy and needs a bit more salt but is delicious. Alternatively, use other leafy greens like spinach or mixed salad leaves.
  • Shirazi salad: To adjust this recipe to a Shirazi salad, use dried mint and add some sour grape juice/ verjuice. You can also optionally add some finely chopped chili for a bit of heat.
  • Greek cucumber tomato salad: Add some kalamata olives (whole or sliced) and feta cheese for a healthy cucumber tomato salad with a Greek twist.
  • Avocado: I often enjoy this as a cucumber tomato avocado salad with the addition of the heart-healthy fats in avocado and tons of antioxidants.
  • Nuts/Seeds: For extra crunch, you can add crushed nuts like walnuts, lightly toasted pine nuts, or even a simple seed sprinkled over the cucumber and tomato salad.
  • Bell peppers: Finely chopped bell peppers pair wonderfully with this cucumber tomato and onion salad.

Tips for Best Results

  • Leave the salad to marinate: While it’s not necessary, leaving the cucumber, tomato, and onion salad to marinate for 30-60 minutes before serving can help all the flavors meld and marinate.
  • To mellow the onion: Leave the chopped onion to soak in an ice bath (or at least very cold water) for 10 minutes before adding it to the cucumber salad with tomato.
  • This is best enjoyed fresh: Whether or not you leave the cucumber and tomato salad to marinate, it’s best to eat it within a few hours of making for the freshest, crunchiest results!
  • Don’t add the salt too early: As soon as you add the salt, the juices from the tomato and cucumber will start to release. If you know you’ll have leftovers, it may be best to let each individual add the salt in their own bowls, so leftovers can be left salt-free until just before serving.
  • Salting the vegetables: On the other hand (from the above point), you can also ‘purposefully’ salt the cucumber and tomatoes to drain the excess liquid; salting tomatoes also helps lead to firmer, ‘meatier’ tomato pieces. To do so, add the vegetable to a sieve, add a teaspoon of salt and then leave it to drain for 30 minutes before patting dry (to remove excess liquid and salt) and continuing with the recipe.

FAQs

Can you mix tomatoes and cucumbers?

Not only can you, but I recommend that you do! The freshness and crunch of cucumbers pairs amazingly with juicy fresh tomatoes. When paired with a simple dressing and lots of fresh herbs, this cucumber salad with tomato is a must-make salad!

Should I peel cucumbers for salad?

There’s no need to peel any cucumber unless you’re using a garden cucumber, which can have thick, bitter skin. I don’t peel cucumber unless needed, otherwise, you’re getting rid of lots of nutrients.

Is tomato and cucumber salad good for you?

Yes, this cucumber and tomato salad recipe is incredibly healthy. Tomatoes and cucumbers are a great source of several vitamins and minerals (including vitamin C, K, and potassium) as well as the antioxidant lycopene (in tomatoes) and further antioxidants in cucumber. Cucumber also contains good levels of fiber and both are hydrating. The simple dressing contains extra virgin olive oil, which also has several health benefits including heart health, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, etc.

Can you use dried dill in this cherry tomato cucumber salad?

While technically you can, it tastes MUCH better with fresh dill and fresh vs. dried dill actually changes quite a lot in flavor.

What is the difference between toasted sesame oil and regular sesame oil?

Just like lightly toasting nuts and seeds for any recipe helps to add depth of flavor and richer, nuttier flavor. The same goes for toasted sesame oil vs. regular sesame oil. The result is a truly flavorful oil that is popular in Asian cuisine for adding tons of flavor to dishes.

How long will this recipe for cucumber tomato and onion salad last in the refrigerator?

As both ingredients have high water content/juiciness, the salad can quickly go limp. For that reason, it’s best to enjoy it at soon as possible. Though it can last 1-2 days in the fridge. If you want it to last as long as possible, only season the salad (with salt) just before serving.

Serving Recommendations

Honestly, this cucumber and tomato salad recipe is one of the most versatile salads on the blog and can be served with practically any meal. Here are some of my favorite suggestions, though.

  • Meat: When pairing with meat, I like to serve this juicy salad with dry meats like chicken breast or salmon. However, basically, all meats work well with this tomato cucumber salad, including lamb, turkey burgers, kebabs.
  • Grains: Pair the cucumber and tomato salad with your protein of choice and then a grain like brown rice or quinoa for a healthy meal.
  • Falafels: Serve alongside falafels either as part of a salad bowl (with hummus and grains or a dish like this Mediterranean quinoa salad) or in a falafel wrap.
  • Pasta: This simple combination makes for a wonderful addition to leftover pasta for a simple, healthy pasta salad.
  • Bread: Simply serve with a bit of pita bread or crusty bread for a simple appetizer.

Making Recipe For Cucumber Tomato and Onion Salad in Advance

Make ahead: If you want to prepare the cherry tomato cucumber salad in advance, I recommend omitting the dressing until right before serving. That way you can store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, add the dressing (oils, salt, and pepper), and enjoy!

As soon as you add the salt to the cucumber tomato and onion salad, it will encourage the veggies to release their juices, so definitely shouldn’t be added in advance!

To store. Cucumber and tomato salad is best served immediately, while it’s at its crunchiest. However, you can refrigerate the salad overnight although cucumbers will be not as crunchy and tomatoes will lose some of their juices. You may be able to get two days out of it, but I usually only store it for a day.

To enjoy the leftovers, I recommend using some rye bread or other crusty bread to dip into all the juices at the bottom of the salad. I did that all the time as a child and my goodness, it’s delicious!

More Healthy Salad Recipes

You might also enjoy these cucumber appetizer bites or my list of 45 healthy salads!

A bowl with halved grape tomato, sliced cucumber, dill onion and cucumber tomato salad dressing.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Cucumber and Tomato Salad {Ukrainian}

How to make a simple Cucumber and Tomato Salad – a super fresh and simple summer side salad made up of just 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) that's ready in minutes! This recipe for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad is an absolute favorite of mine from Ukraine, made up with a simple dressing and lots of dill, to pack in tons of flavor!
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 75kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, dill, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, salt, pepper and vinegar.
    Cucumber and Tomato Salad
  • Stir gently from the bottom in the center of the bowl tossing ingredients over and coating in delicious seasonings.
    Cucumber and Tomato Salad
  • Cucumber and tomato salad is best served immediately.

Store: Refrigerate cucumber and tomato salad for up to 24 hours (Pyrex bowls with lids love forever).

    Make Ahead: Refrigerate all vegetables in a bowl covered. Then add oils, salt and pepper right before serving (as soon as you add salt – salad “leaks”).

      Video

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cup | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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      25 comments on “Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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      1. 4 stars
        Great – I halved the recipe. I didn’t have fresh dill so used dry. Didn’t have toasted sesame oil, but had regular sesame oil. Really enjoyed the ease and taste. I’m single so don’t often buy heads of lettuce because I end up throwing half of them out. Have enough cucumber and tomato to try it tonight with sour cream. Thanks!

      2. 5 stars
        Hi Olena,
        I am so grateful to have found your website where I can put healthy but easy meals on the table.This recipe was simple but wonderful. Like your vegetable soup also 5 stars which I made in my dutch oven and the delicious and healthy slower cooker recipes. I have always loved the concept of the slow cooker but have never found recipes that were truly healthy and with simple healthy ingredients until your recipes which are amazing. They are what I have always wanted simple ingredients that I understand and are healthy. I am so happy that I found your website it is a game changer for me. I am going to do the freezer meals that your husband raved about as much as he did his truck. I am going to make them in the slow cook but am thinking of getting an instant pot for Christmas. It is so nice that you can make these recipes with either method. Since I just found your website I hope you are still actively giving tips and recipes every week. I know even more people will benefit from your website during these times. I have already shared your website with my sister, her husband Josef was born in the Ukraine and I will be sharing it with other friends and family . Thank you for reading my very long winded comment and God bless you, your husband and boys. PS Believe it or not I rarely subscribe or comment as I have here.

        1. Hi Kate! Thank you for taking the time to send me a message. I really appreciate it! I hope you will continue to enjoy my recipes 🙂

      3. 5 stars
        Thanks for the quick healthy salad. There have been many takes on these. Fresh, I’ll some different things as I enjoy the dish. “Eating to eat healthier.”

      4. 5 stars
        A splash of white balsamic vinegar gives this refreshing salad a nice zing! Love your recipes and your website. So easy to print out the recipes for my binder. And I like that most of your “discussion” is directly related to the recipe and the food preparation. The other really helpful thing is the addition of foods that compliment the recipe with highlighted links to the recipes.
        This is an extremely well put together food blog/ cooking /recipe site. I have recommended it to many people. Thank you.

        1. That’s the goal. Thanks so much! Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

      5. 5 stars
        I have made this recipe several times using different herbs and oils, and every time it has been excellent! Thank you for such a versatile and quick side dish!

      6. Hi!

        I haven’t made any of your recipes yet, but they look delicious and quick!

        Is the tomato and cucumber salad something that will last more than 1 day in the refrigerator?

        1. Thank you, Laurie! Yes. Just don’t dress it or add salt until serving. Glad you saw that.:) Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

      7. 5 stars
        Your presentation is just so perfect, Olena! I will make this and totally follow your directions. You’re really wonderful!

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