So there weren’t many meals that didn’t include fresh tomatoes in some form – whether it was Tomato Cracker Salad or something like this Tomato, Cucumber, & Onion Salad.
This cool, crisp, and tangy salad is quick, easy, and was a summer staple at our house. (Sorry, I just love descriptors!)
Now there are tons of variations on this recipe. You can add in some chopped fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
I typically use vegetable oil for it’s mild flavor, but swapping that out for olive oil or another flavored oil will drastically change the flavor.
You can even do like Mom did so many times and swap all of the homemade dressing out for a premade, bottled Italian or Greek dressing. It adds a totally different flavor and makes an easy dish even easier.
It’s one of those dishes that benefits from some time in the fridge to allow all the flavors to develop and soak into the vegetables. I like it better after a few hours, but 30 minutes is enough if you just can’t wait.
For this, you can use the large English cucumbers that are common in the grocery store, but I much prefer the smaller, pickling or Kirby cucumbers. I just like the flavor better and since that’s what Mom and Dad normally grew in their garden, they’re what I like best. When prepping, I like to leave just a sliver of the peel on the cucumber as I peel it to add a little color contrast in the salad as shown. Some folks don’t peel the cucumbers at all, and if you have a thin skinned cucumber, I think that’s totally fine.
I also like lots of black pepper in this salad, but feel free to reduce it (or even increase it) to your liking.
Not a tomato fan? Then you should try my other cucumber salads like my Simple Cucumber and Onion Salad, Creamy Cucumber Salad, or my Garlic Soy Cucumber Salad.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad
- 1 English cucumber (or 2 to 3 Kirby cucumbers) peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 garden fresh tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and gently toss to coat. Cover and store in the refrigerator (tossing a few times) for at least 1 hour before serving.
Nutritional values provided are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
I just made thisand it was refreshing. Growing up we make cucumber salad but the tomatoes give it an extra touch.
Thanks so much!
I really love 💕 this salad, it’s so tasty I could just eat it three times a day, n I could make a meal out of it, thanks so much for sharing!!
Very simple, very good, very refreshing 👌
This is definitely a favorite at our house!
can this be canned?
Hmmm… I’m just not sure.
There’s not much in this world I love more that cucumbers and white onion after a 24 hour soak in the fridge. I throw some cornbread muffins in the mix and it’s a great snack or meal. Don’t get me started on adding beans and greens cooked with turkey neck or ham hocks. I’m soooo hungry now! lol
Ha! I couldn’t agree more!
I don’t like cucumbers. What would you recommend to replace it with?
When I saw the days recipe for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad, I had to open it right away to see if it is like the recipe I make. Nope, lol. Your recipe has a sour dressing where mine is more on the sweet side. Same basic ingredients except I use about a half of cup of Miracle Whip Salad Dressing, white sugar, salt and pepper. I would also seed the tomatoes or it get runny quickly. Use about a half a cup of Miracle Whip, tsp salt and pepper, then add like a tbsp of sugar and stir it up. Give it a taste and if necessary add more sugar. This is by taste really, depends on how sweet you like it. Just brought my lunch to work today but didn’t have my dressing prepared. I simply squeezed on some ranch dressing and salt and pepper and gave it a good mix. Pretty good in a pinch, but prefer my dressing the best. Hope someone tries it.
Oh, what a great twist!
Love it , Love it, Love it Every recipe of yours I make are easy, very tasty and soooooooooooooo good . Love the tomato and saltine cracker salad. YUM!!!! Never made enchiladas with flour tortillas until I made the 5 ingredient beef enchiladas. Now it’s the only way I make them. Very good……….. Being from Arizona we seem to use more corn tortillas. Flour are for burritos and cheese crisp.. Am truly enjoying the Southern cuisine.
Thank you so much!
Does anyone know how long this would need to be canned to store safely on a shelf?
I make this a lot during the summer, except I add strips of green pepper. I have a similar dressing that I got from my aunt: 1t salt, 1T sugar, 1/4t black pepper, 2t oil, 2T vinegar. This is plenty for 2-3 servings. I double or triple the recipe if I need more servings.
I’m not sure this recipe will can well. Since this is meant to be a fresh garden salad, canning it will change the texture of the vegetables.
Thanks for jumping in to share your tips! We’ve got such a great community here.
I have your cook book and love it. My Mom used to make this during depression and World War Two. We had a big garden so tomatoes and onions were no problem. We did not always have oil so she used vinegar and water. Maybe Christene could try it this way. It does tone down the vinegar. I am 85 and still love it. Always wanted to be from the south so I tell people that I am. Born in “ southern” California. LOL God bless.
Ha! That’s hilarious! We’ll make you an honorary southerner!
I made this yesterday and felt like I misread the amount of vinegar, but made it anyway. Today, it is so vinegar-y that we cannot eat it. The amount of oil vs. vinegar didn’t even allow it to emulsify. I’m not sure if I did something wrong or if this is what other people like. I’m going to try changing up the proportions next time, and try to dressing before adding it to the vegetables. Sadly, it’s just wasted now since the flavor is so incorporated into the vegetables.
Hi Christine! In this recipe, there’s not an emulsifier in the dressing like mustard, honey, egg yolk, or even mayo, so the dressing won’t combine. As for the vinegar, you can certainly add more water to dilute the acid. Don’t toss it; just add some more water and allow it to rest in the fridge and it should hopefully be more to your liking.
1 cup of vinegar we thought was way too much!
What type of vinegar do you use ?
I use white vinegar.
Cindy Hughes Cindy
I love ❤️ your recipes and would love some information on your cookbook. Price and how to send payment. I live in Camden, your grandma and are good friends. Thank you ????????!!
Hi Cindy! Thanks so much for your kind words! My book is currently sold out, but I hope to have news about that very, very soon! You can find more info about the book and sign up to be one of the first notified when I have news here: https://southernbite.com/southern-bite-cookbook-150-irresistible-dishes-4-generations-familys-kitchen/
I’ll be sure to mention to Nana that I heard from you!
I won’t come back here again. TOO MSMY ADS!! Couldn’t even see the recipe because the ads blocked it. Good bye.
I’m so sorry to hear about your frustration. I know they can be aggravating, but running a website like this that gets millions of folks visiting each month is expensive. Not to mention the costs associated with running the test kitchen, ingredients, camera equipment, etc.
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Thanks so much, Tony! I know they can be frustrating, but they’re what keeps me going and keep all my recipes free for y’all.
Malcolm B Cox
the recipe is great!
Thanks so much, Malcolm!
Did you ever see an old TV show called Hee Haw? They used to sing a sad old song called “Gloom and Doom and Agony on End.” Somehow, that song popped into my head when I read your comment.
You have a nice day, now, and stay away from those killer onions!
There’s a national recall on onions right now due to a salmonella outbreak. Bad time to promote this recipe and possibly sicken people.
I think people are smart enough to use their best judgement.
Lord, I sure hope folks have the sense enough to watch out for stuff like that.
Always make this in the summer with my fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers or buy at local farm stand ( support our local farmers) Use a fresh lemon and oil dressing and I am
That sounds amazing!!
keep this in my fridge all summer long…..my neighbor keeps me supplied with cherry tomatoes and regular cucumbers…..only difference is I add celery seed to mine and change up the vinegars I use with each batch
Lucky you! Love the celery seed idea to add extra flavor!
I grew up in the South with summer salad… mmmmmm.. someone recently suggested I add a little dried mint.. and wow.. it takes it to another level!!! Love all of your wonderful recipes and stories!!!
Thank YOU, Bonnie, for the kind words! And I will certainly try some mint next time!
Glad you enjoyed it!!