Southern Cucumber and Tomato Salad is a classic summer salad full of fresh, healthy cucumbers and tomatoes which are marinated in a simple but luscious salad dressing!
My Mom served this dish often during the summer when I was growing up, and I always think of her when I make this salad. She only used crisp, crunchy cucumbers marinated in a vinegar and oil dressing for her salad, and it was pure summer in a bowl.
Over the years, I’ve tweaked her recipe just a bit, and my recipe adds in fresh summer tomatoes and just a bit of onion. I have also substituted apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar and added just a touch of sugar to balance the tartness of the dressing.
Here’s what you will need:
You will need cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. For the dressing, you will need apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
Here’s how to make it:
Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers. (See tips.)
Core and cut up the tomatoes into bite-size pieces.
Chop the onion.
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion to a large bowl. Set aside.
Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper to a mason jar. Shake well.
Pour the salad dressing over the vegetables and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
It can be made up to 24 hours ahead.
What to serve with it?
This light and luscious salad is delicious at a BBQ with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin with chili-rub. It also goes well with main seafood dishes like my broiled halibut, pecan-crusted fish, and pan-fried shrimp.
This recipe is versatile! Depending on what you have on hand, you can make it with just cucumbers, or just tomatoes. You can also make it with or without the onion. And, if you want to get fancy, top it with fresh dill or basil, and a sprinkling of feta or goat cheese.
You could also add a handful of toasted bread cubes and voila, Panzanella. And, finally, you can use the mixture to top a lettuce salad.
If you use English or hothouse cucumbers, you do not need to peel them.
I used the tins of a fork to scrape down the outside edge of the cucumbers because I like a bit of the green peel showing.
For best results, use the freshest and ripest tomatoes you can find!
To core a tomato or remove the woody stem, insert the tip of a paring knife just outside of the stem at an angle and cut around it.
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute your favorite vinegar.
This salad is excellent served when prepared, but it’s just as good if not better if allowed to marinate for a day before serving. It also has less than 80 calories per serving, so you can eat as much as you like without any guilt!
More Southern salads:
If you need more menu ideas, you can see all of my salad recipes here.
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Southern Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- 3 cucumbers large
- 3 tomatoes large
- 1/4 cup red or vidalia onion chopped (feel free to add more onion if you like)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers.
- Core and cut up the tomatoes into bite size pieces.
- Chop the onion.
- Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper to a mason jar. Shake well.
- Pour the salad dressing over the vegetables and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
**This recipe was originally published on July 22, 2018. It was updated on September 2, 2020, with expanded tips and directions.