This Creamy Tomato Cucumber Salad is easy to make with only 7 basic ingredients! And, it's quick to throw together in only 15 minutes. This tomato cucumber salad is a super refreshing summer side dish for a cookout or barbecue!
Note: this recipe was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions.
Who doesn't love a refreshing, chilled tomato cucumber salad in the hot summer months? This salad is bursting with fresh flavor from vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs, and would go perfectly alongside your favorite grilled dishes for a backyard barbecue. (Maybe this delicious recipe for balsamic marinated grilled chicken?)
This salad also has a creamy, but not too heavy dressing that still allows the fresh flavor of summer tomatoes shine. It's a mayonnaise base, but mixed with a bit of Greek yogurt that lightens up the dressing and gives it an extra bit of tang.
And, my favorite part of this recipe is that it's easy and quick to make! You only need seven ingredients in all, and it comes together in only about 15 minutes! Summer barbecue, here we come!
- Tomatoes: you can use any type of tomato you like for this creamy tomato cucumber salad; heirloom tomatoes would be especially beautiful! If you want, you could use grape or cherry tomatoes but it wouldn't be my first choice, there would be too much skin to tomato meat for my taste. But that's just me, you do you! Here, I used vine-ripened tomatoes because they are delicious and pretty accessible in most grocery stores.
- English cucumber: this is the long, thin cucumber that usually comes wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. I like using English cucumbers because there are less seeds and the peel is thin, so there is no need to peel it or scoop out the seeds.
- Fresh herbs: you can also use any type of leafy fresh herbs you like; basil, parsley, dill, and chives would all work great! I used a combination of basil and parsley (sorry if that counts as eight ingredients then!).
- Greek yogurt: you will want plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. I like to use the full-fat type, but you could also substitute low-fat if you would like.
Step by step photos
1. Mix the dressing ingredients. You do this step first, in the bowl you are going to mix the rest of the salad in. That way you don't need to dirty another, smaller bowl just to mix up the dressing!
2. Prep the Tomatoes. First, cut off the stem end of the tomato (the little brown circle where the stem used to be attached). Then cut each tomato in half horizontally. You should have a nice cross-section of the tomato where you can see each chamber of the seeds and pulp.
Then use a small, sharp spoon to scoop out the pulp. Another way is to cut the little portion where the flesh attaches to the pulp, and flick out the chunk of pulp and seeds with the tip of the knife. Or, you can just use your fingers to dig out the pulp (this is the messiest, yet easiest way I have found!).
Once you have the seeds and pulp removed, cut the tomatoes into large chunks and place them in the bowl with the dressing.
3. Cut the cucumber in half length-wise, then cut it into thick slices. Place in the bowl with the tomatoes and dressing.
4. Next, thinly slice the red onion and place in the bowl.
5. Now come the herbs - just chop them up, no need to go super fine. Place them in the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.
6. All you have to do now is mix up the salad gently, until all the ingredients are evenly coated in the dressing. Taste a piece, and add in a sprinkle more salt if it needs it.
Tips and tricks
- The most important step to this salad is to make sure you remove as much of the pulp and seeds as you can without bruising the tomatoes too much. This helps the salad from becoming too wet and diluting that creamy dressing.
- If you decided to go with cherry tomatoes however, you can skip the pulp removal part! They are too small to really make this practical and they don't have as much watery pulp as larger tomatoes.
- The dressing for this salad is comprised of 2 parts mayo to 1 part Greek yogurt. This results in a creamy dressing with a subtle tanginess. If you like, you can try experimenting with this ratio by adding slightly more Greek yogurt and less mayo to bump up the tanginess.
You can make this salad a couple hours ahead of time and chill it in the fridge until it's perfectly cold for a refreshing summer side dish. However, I think this salad tastes the best when served within a few hours after it's made.
That being said, if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge, tightly covered, and still enjoy this salad over the next 2 - 3 days. It's still incredibly delicious, but will have lost some of its crispness during that time.
If you use an English cucumber, you definitely do not need to peel it or remove the seeds before adding it to this salad. English cucumbers have thin skins and minimal seeds, so it's really the perfect cucumber for this type of salad in my opinion. And, I think the darker skin actually looks very attractive and adds contrast to the salad. You can check out this article for more info on English cucumbers!
However, if you have another type of cucumber on hand, you can definitely still use it! You may just want to peel it if it has a thick skin (or not, this may be a matter of personal preference!).
Likewise, if the cucumber has a lot of large seeds, you may wish to scoop the seeds out since they can be bitter and add excess moisture to the salad. Once the cucumber has been cut in half length-wise, just scrape the seeds out gently with a small spoon.
As I mentioned, this salad can be served immediately or after being chilled in the fridge for a few hours. This tomato cucumber salad would be a wonderful accompaniment for a summer cookout alongside grilled chicken, kebabs, or the true summer classics - hamburgers and hotdogs! And, you can also serve this salad as a light and refreshing lunch, paired with a sandwich or soup.
This delicious and simple tomato cucumber salad is bursting with fresh summer flavors and can be made in fifteen minutes or less!
- 2 pounds tomatoes (about six cups when cut into large chunks)
- 1 English cucumber (see notes)
- ½ medium-sized red onion
- ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, dill, chives etc.)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- Mix the kosher salt, mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- Cut out the stem end of each tomato, then cut in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks and add to the large bowl with the dressing.
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into large chunks. Add to the bowl.
- Slice the red onion thinly and add to the bowl.
- Chop the herbs and add to the bowl.
- Mix the salad together with a large spoon until the dressing has evenly coated the vegetables. Serve immediately or store in the fridge, tightly covered, for a few hours before serving.
You can also use a regular cucumber, but you may want to peel and de-seed it first to reduce bitterness.
To my tastes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt in the dressing was the perfect amount for a well-seasoned but not overly salty salad. However, because seasoning is subjective, you may wish to start with less salt, then taste the mixed salad and sprinkle in more if needed.
For the best flavor and maximum freshness, serve the salad the same day it's made. However, you can store the salad in the fridge, tightly covered, and enjoy for 2 - 3 days.
Keywords: tomato salad, tomato cucumber salad, creamy tomato salad, creamy cucumber salad