This is an old family recipe for cucumber tomato salad. We eat it on repeat all summer long. The apple cider vinegar marinade is easy-to-make and SO delicious!

This recipe was originally published in 2015 and was updated in 2023. It continues to be a reader and family favorite!

cucumber tomato salad with apple cider vinaigrette on spoon with remaining salad in clear glass bowl


 

This marinated tomato cucumber salad is delicious at any time of year, but it’s the best as a refreshing side salad on a hot summer day.

It’s full of fresh, simple ingredients and it’s really easy to make!

All it takes is about 15 minutes to prep the ingredients and a couple of hours of marinating time.

We make this refreshing salad all summer long! It’s great for weeknight dinners, family barbecues, or neighborhood potlucks.

Table of Contents

For more summer side dishes, try this best ever potato salad recipe, gluten-free pasta salad, corn salad with feta cheese, 4th of july fruit salad and our go-to quinoa salad.

You also might like this easy, berry homemade lemonade!

Types of Cucumbers

While there are dozens of different types of cucumbers, cucumbers are typically divided into three groups: slicing, pickling, and seedless.

  • Slicing cucumbers are the ones typically found in produce bins. They have a tough, waxy skin and are firmer than other varieties, which makes them easy to slice.
  • Pickling cucumbers are just how they sound – grown shorter and thicker to be used for pickling.
  • Seedless cucumbers, also known as English, burpless, or hothouse, these cucumber varieties typically have smaller seeds and thinner skin. As a result, they are easier to digest. Also, the skin tends to be less bitter than other varieties.

Slicing or seedless varieties is the best type of cucumber to use for this recipe. To reduce the bitter flavor of slicing cucumbers, remove some or all of the skin.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Salad:

  • Cucumbers – I usually use hothouse or English cucumbers. Regular cucumbers, persian cucumbers or even heirloom cucumbers will also work!
  • Onion: I’ve used all different kinds of onion in this recipe with great results. I like the purple color of red onion, but you can also use sweet onions or yellow onions.
  • Tomatoes: Again this recipe is very versatile and you can use any kind of tomato! Cherry tomatoes or roma tomatoes are my year-round go-to, but I especially love making it with good quality heirloom tomatoes in the summer!
  • Fresh parsley: For a little flavor and green color! You could also use other fresh herbs like fresh basil leaves or fresh dill.

For the Cucumber Marinade:

  • Vinegar: I usually use apple cider vinegar for this cucumber tomato salad recipe. White vinegar, white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar will all work as well! I don’t use balsamic vinegar because it will change the color of the cucumbers.
  • Water: You need to add the water to help absorb the sugar and salt/pepper. It also dilutes the vinegar just a touch for the right amount of acidity.
  • Sugar – For that perfectly pickled, lightly sweet flavor!
  • Olive oil – You can also use a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil if you prefer.
  • Salt & pepper

You also might like this apple cider vinaigrette recipe!

How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad

STEP ONE: Prep the salad ingredients

  • Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then slice to create half-rounds. Slice the red onion very thinly, then cut into 1-inch strips.
  • Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks. For cherry or grape tomatoes, just slice them in half.
  • Place the vegetables in a large bowl.
making apple cider vinaigrette in glass measuring cup

STEP TWO: Make the apple cider vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or large glass measuring cup until the sugar is completely dissolved.

TIP: Depending on your dietary needs, you can replace the sugar with any granulated sugar substitute. Honey or agave can be used as well, but start with half the amount listed for the sugar and adjust to taste.

bowl of cucumbers and onions with apple cider dressing poured over

STEP THREE: Add dressing to the vegetables

  • Pour the dressing over the cucumber and red onion, stirring to coat all the pieces.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so the vegetables can soak up all of the marinade.
  • When you’re ready to serve, drain off most of the excess marinade. Then, mix in the tomatoes and fresh parsley and enjoy!
marinated vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion) in apple cider vinaigrette

Make-Ahead/Storage

  • MAKE AHEAD: You can make the marinade ahead of time. Then, store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure to shake well before using. Then pour the homemade dressing over the fresh cucumbers the day you’re serving the salad.
  • STORAGE: This tomato-cucumber salad will last for 3-4 days in and airtight container in the refrigerator. I think it’s best served a few hours after making it, as the tomatoes tend to get a bit mealy when they are refrigerated.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe ie very versatile! You can use any kind of cucumber, tomato or onion you have on hand. You can also use white, white wine, red wine or apple cider vinegar.
  • We like to serve this summer salad alongside smoked or grilled meat as the main dish. (We love this grilled honey sesame chicken!) It’s the perfect side dish for so many dishes.
  • It’s also great to bring it as a potluck side. It always disappears quickly!

MORE SUMMER SALADS

I hope you enjoy this refreshing side dish for the summer months as much as we do! If you do, please leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

close up of cucumber tomato salad in glass bowl with serving spoon
5 from 17 votes

Cucumber Tomato Salad (Easy Marinade!)

Prep Time 15 minutes
marinade time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
This is an old family recipe for cucumber tomato salad. We eat it on repeat all summer long. The apple cider vinegar marinade is easy-to-make and SO delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cucumbers thinly slice (I usually use 2 large English cucumbers)
  • 1/2 cup red onion very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped (or 2-3 cups of any tomato you like)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley optional

Instructions 

  • Place the cucumbers and red onion in a bowl. Whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and oil until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour over the cucumbers and onions and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 6).
  • Pour off all but a few tablespoons of the liquid. Add the tomatoes and herbs and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • SUBSTITUTIONS: This recipe ie very versatile! You can use any kind of cucumber, tomato or onion you have on hand. You can also use white, white wine, red wine or apple cider vinegar.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can make the marinade ahead of time. Then, store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure to shake well before using. Then pour the homemade dressing over the fresh cucumbers the day you’re serving the salad.
  • STORAGE: This tomato-cucumber salad will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. I think it’s best served a few hours after making it, as the tomatoes tend to get a bit mealy when they are refrigerated.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1174mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 795IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

This cucumber tomato salad recipe was originally published on 6/25/2015. The post was updated with new photos on 5/21/2020.

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! After a couple hours I had to taste it and it was all I could do to control myself and not eat the entire bowl.

  2. 5 stars
    Love to add this to our go-to summer recipe! This cucumber tomato salad is so fresh and savory. The dressing is a winner!

  3. 5 stars
    Are you sure this makes six servings – I ate half the bowl myself. Haha! I used heirloom tomatoes from Costco, but I can’t wait to try it with garden fresh tomatoes. Delish!

    1. The water helps the sugar/salt to dissolve. The vinegar isn’t enough liquid to allow those to dissolve. I hope that makes sense!

  4. 5 stars
    Hello…I just found your beautiful salad and I was so excited I placed it on my healthy page on Pinterest.. Right in the middle of making…than I realized I hadn’t asked you first. Is that ok? I am new at placing a picture from the internet on pinterest. That is really a good looking salad…and I find that I have extremely good taste. Oh,my name is del.

  5. 5 stars
    My Grandfather used to make a salad when I was little….about 65 yrs ago. This is so similar.. I did not add parsley. Instead I added 3 cloves of garlic sliced thinly and a medium sliced sweet onion. I also cut the sugar to 1/8 cup. Mixed it all together and let it refrigerate for 24 hrs. It was a winner at our house. It got better with each passing day. A keeper.
    P Dagen

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