Easy Cucumber Tomato Salad

This simple cucumber tomato salad is one of the most popular and beloved summer salads and for good reason. It is so, so easy to make, it utilizes simple, fresh ingredients almost always present in any kitchen, and most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious! Fresh crisp cucumber and juicy tomatoes are tossed in a bold Italian dressing for one of the easiest recipes you’re sure to love. Bonus points if you’re a gardener or farmers market enthusiast because this healthy salad is a great way to use up any abundance of cucumbers or tomatoes!


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There are two things I always ensure I have planted in my garden: cucumbers and tomatoes. 

Not only are they so versatile for making everything from easy pickles to homemade marinara, they combine together for the easiest summer salad that is light, filling, and absolutely delicious. And you know I love my easy recipes. 

This fresh salad is a wonderful light lunch for hot summer days but can be easily adapted to a full meal.

Even if you don’t garden, these are three tremendously common ingredients to have around the house. All you need are cucumbers, tomatoes, and Italian dressing

This is the perfect summer party salad or just a nice side salad with a vegan burger at home. It also makes for a great light afternoon snack when you just need a little something to get you through, and with a few add-ins it can make a great complete meal.

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Why You’ll Love Vegan Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • Tasty and easy. This recipe is as delicious to eat as it is easy to make, and it is so easy to make! 
  • Versatile. It’s the perfect side dish and goes with almost everything.
  • Helps reduce food waste. It’s a great way to use up any cucumbers you have growing in your garden or sitting in your fridge.
  • Healthy AF. It’s light and filling and absolutely packed with vitamins and minerals! (I actually had no idea of just how many health benefits the cucumber has!)
Overhead photo of the 3 ingredients you need to make easy cucumber tomato salad in Italian dressing

Cucumber Tomato Salad Ingredients

You only need 3 simple ingredients to make this refreshing vegan cucumber salad. And two of them are in the recipe title!

  • Vine-ripe tomatoes – Seeded (about 1 lb, 455 g). I like to use nice, firm vine-ripened tomatoes. The firmness of the tomato is important so it holds up in the salad.
  • Cucumber – peeled and seeded (about 3/4 lb, 335 g). Absolutely any cucumber will work in this salad, I prefer a crunchy cucumber with fewer seeds and a thinner skin, but whether you grow Kirby, standard, Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers, they are all just so absolutely perfect for this tasty side dish!
  • Vegan-friendly Italian dressing – We used our homemade vegan Italian dressing because it’s also very easy to make, delicious, and has no unnecessary ingredients like preservatives etc. See below for store bought options.

What Italian dressings are vegan?

There are numerous vegan brands with wonderful salad dressings these days – Italian and other. And it may surprise you to find that many of the name brand dressings you’ve known for years have Italian dressings that are also “accidentally vegan.” 

Grocery store brands like Kraft, Wishbone, Newman’s Own, Organicville, Walden Farms, and many others all have a variety of vegan salad dressings. Even some of the “creamy style” dressings are vegan. 

Just be sure to always check the ingredients list of any brand you are unsure of. You’re looking for milk and milk derivatives like whey or casein among others, egg or egg yolks or whites, honey, bacon fat, etc. 

Speaking of bacon, apparently many of Walden Farms bacon flavored dressings are made with vegan-friendly soy bacon bits! Again, always check the dressing ingredients if you’re unsure.

Overhead photo of a round white plate with cucumber tomato salad on it. There is a tomato in the upper left corner, and there is a folded black and white checkered linen in the bottom right corner.

Substitution Options

If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!

For the cucumbers: As I said earlier, you can use a wide variety of cucumbers for this salad but the best are the types with unwaxy, thin skin. You could also substitute or add some shredded or sliced red onion or jicama for extra crunch. For a bold addition of flavor, you can substitute or add some thin-sliced fennel bulb.

For the variety of tomatoes: Any firm type of tomato will work well. I particularly like on-the-vine or Roma tomatoes. You can also use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. I try to stay away from the paler, mushier varieties. You can also splash up the colors of the salad by using a variety of heirloom tomatoes. If you really want to switch things up, you can swap out some cubed fresh watermelon for the tomatoes.

For the dressing: Here’s where you can really have some fun shaking things up. Italian vinaigrette is the traditional dressing to use, but try a mellow red wine vinegar, a bold balsamic vinegar, or spicy vegan Catalina dressing. Any tart vinegar-based dressing is great for this. You can also just do a little oil and vinegar and mix them together with some fresh herbs or Italian seasoning.

More Varieties

One of the best things about this salad is how adaptable it can be. Here are a few variations on the theme that you might like to try to put your own spin on things. Remember, if you are adding extra ingredients to the salad, you will want to add some extra dressing as well.

  • Cucumber onion tomato salad – Simply add some thin sliced red, white, or sweet Vidallia onion to the recipe below. Balance the onion with a little fresh basil.
  • Avocado cucumber tomato salad – Slice or dice a fresh avocado and gently fold it in with the other ingredients. Be careful so it doesn’t become mush.
  • Cucumber tomato salad with feta – For something like a Greek salad, crumble up some vegan feta cheese and add it at the end of the recipe. Again, fold it in gently.
  • Corn and cucumber tomato salad – Carefully use a corn stripper or sharp knife to strip or “shell” the kernels from the cob. You can also use a can of strained yellow kernel corn.
Grid with 3 photos showing the process of making cucumber tomato salad

What is the procedure of making cucumber tomato salad?

This is such a simple salad to make. It only takes 10 minutes of active time to make this tomato cucumber salad! 

Step 1: Prep the tomatoes. Cut and seed the tomatoes. Then, dice the tomatoes into large “bite size” pieces.

Step 2: Prep the cucumbers. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds, then cut the two cucumber halves in half lengthwise again. Then slice the cucumber halves crosswise to about 1/4-1/2 inch slices.

Step 3: Combine it all. Combine the veggies in a large bowl and add the Italian dressing. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to coat the vegetables completely. Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least thirty minutes to allow the flavors of the dressing to really permeate the veg.

A very close up photo of cucumber salad with tomatoes, Italian dressing, and topped with freshly ground black pepper

How to Serve Gluten Free Cucumber Tomato Salad

Serve this simple yet delicious salad cold as a side next to / as part of:

Or make it into a meal itself by adding your favorite toppings like:

Overhead photo of a round white plate piled high with vegan cucumber tomato salad

How to Store Leftover Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Always store food properly in a well-sealed, airtight container.

This salad will last up to five days when stored properly in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

I do not recommend freezing this salad.

More Garden Veggie Recipes

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When you make this cucumber-tomato salad, we’d love to hear about it! Please leave a star rating and comment in the section below.

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Yield: 6 servings

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Italian Dressing

Overhead photo of a round white plate piled high with vegan cucumber tomato salad

This simple cucumber tomato salad is one of the most popular and beloved summer salads, and for all the right reasons. It is so, so easy to make, it utilizes simple ingredients almost always present in any kitchen, and most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious! Bonus points if you’re a gardener because it's a great way to use up any abundance of cucumbers or tomatoes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut and seed the tomatoes. Then, dice the tomatoes into large “bite size” pieces about 1/2 inch.
  2. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds, then cut the two cucumber halves in half lengthwise again. Then slice the cucumber halves crosswise to about 1/4 -1/2 inch slices.
  3. Combine the veggies in a large mixing bowl and add the Italian dressing. Stir well to incorporate the dressing and cover all the vegetables fully.
  4. You can serve this immediately, but I like to let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour for the flavors to develop.
  5. This cucumber tomato salad will stay fresh for up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/6 the recipe

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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2 Comments

    1. Hi, Wanda! The Italian dressing is a separate recipe all its own and is linked a few times throughout the post, including in the recipe card. You can click on it and you'll be taken to that recipe page.

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