Marinated Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad


This easy cucumber, onion, and tomato salad is perfect for a warm summer day.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins

There's a lot to love about this top-rated cucumber tomato salad recipe. It's inexpensive to make using everyday ingredients, it's a crisp and refreshing side dish that goes with just about anything, and it has make-ahead convenience built right in. Let's dive into this dish and see why Allrecipes home cooks award it a solid 5-stars.

How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad

This recipe for Marinated Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad has most of the ingredients right there in the title. Cool, crisp cucumbers and juicy ripe tomatoes are teamed up with onions in a satisfying mix of flavor and texture. But what pulls this dish together is the tart and tangy salad dressing made of water, vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.

It takes only 15 minutes to prep the salad itself: Whisk the ingredients for the dressing, peel and slice the cucumbers, cut the tomatoes into wedges, slice the onion into rings, and place everything together in a bowl. After that, it goes into the refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours so the dressing can work its magic to enhance and balance all the flavors. That marination step means you can make this salad well ahead of time and stash it in the fridge until you're ready to dish it up.

What Does a Cucumber Tomato Salad Contain?

Choose firm cucumbers with smooth, firm skins and no soft spots. Cucumbers lose water quickly after they're picked and will start to show shrinking and wrinkling if they've been in storage for too long.

This recipe doesn't specify what kind of tomatoes to use, but you'll want to choose the ripest, tastiest tomatoes you can find. Heirloom tomatoes have the best flavor, but unless you grow them yourself, they can be pricier than the everyday tomatoes from your supermarket. You can use cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, too. Whichever tomato variety you choose, get the best you can afford because the flavor of the tomatoes play a starring role. If you do use smaller tomatoes, be sure to slice them so the marinade can soak in and do its work.

Read more: How to Pick the Best Tomatoes

You can use any onion you like for this recipe: yellow, white, or red. Each brings a different flavor profile to the mix. Yellow onions are inexpensive, easy to find, and have a predictable onion flavor. White onions are a bit sweeter and milder than yellow onions. Red onions are a little spicier than yellow onions, and carry their bright color through to the salad. Sweet onions are pricier, and as the name suggests, their flavor is milder and naturally sweeter.

Read more: What's the Difference Between White, Yellow, and Red Onions?

The recipe lists distilled white vinegar, but here again you can substitute other vinegars to suit your taste. Some Allrecipes home cooks who made this recipe used white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, Champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and white balsamic vinegar.

Read more: The Difference Between the Six Most Popular Types of Vinegar

Vegetable oil is called out in this recipe, and it's a good choice because of its neutral flavor. But you can also use good quality olive oil if you prefer, as some reviewers did.

How to Store Cucumber Tomato Salad

Properly covered and chilled, cucumber tomato salad will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. The cucumbers might lose a little crispness after a couple of days depending on their freshness when you used them and how thickly you sliced them. The onions will continue to mellow and take up the sweet and tart flavors of the dressing. The tomatoes should still be juicy and flavorful, although their structure may break down a bit as they soak.

What to Serve With Cucumber Tomato Salad

The real question is, what doesn't go with cucumber tomato salad? This crisp, light, sweet, tart, crunchy, juicy salad is a perfect side dish for everything from grilled foods and fried foods to saucy BBQ dishes and everyday picnic sandwiches. Cucumber tomato salad provides a snappy contrast to creamy potato, macaroni, or pasta salads, and can hold its own in any potluck buffet.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Super easy recipe. Love it," says Allrecipes home cook Bethany Idontwanttouseit. "Followed advice of some others and made with apple cider vinegar. Delicious. Also used a sweet onion since it didn't specify. I found that the longer it marinated, the better it was."

Reviewer Jimdchimp9 says, "Big hit this summer! Made it a couple times. Second time I used a little less water but it is great. I made it again today for a church get together and was asked by a few people for this recipe."

"Just made this and WOW! Love it. Wo delicious. I used Vidalia onion and cherry tomatoes. I also used the apple cider vinegar, which I think gives it this fantastic taste," says Loulou.

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Editorial contributions by Vanessa Greaves


  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

  • 1 onion, sliced and separated into rings


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    All ingredients gathered to make marinated cucumbers, onions and tomato salad.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Whisk water, vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl until smooth.

    Dressing ingredients whisked together in a bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion and stir to coat.

    Cucumbers, onions and tomatoes added to dressing, stirring to coat.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    Bowl covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Enjoy!

    a low angle view of a bowl of Marinated Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

156 Calories
10g Fat
18g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 156
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Sodium 784mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 394mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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