Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad – This cucumber tomato salad is loaded with bright colors, fresh flavor, and a tangy vinaigrette that’s perfect for summer. (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan)
Some of my favorite dinners in the summer were the ones when my mom put out a bunch of salads (pasta salad, fruit salad, potato salad, etc.) or fresh fruits (like watermelon or cherries) and veggies (fresh corn or garden tomatoes), some bread, maybe some proteins on the side and we all just scooped up what looked good. Everything tasted fresh, light, and perfectly like summer.
I’ve carried on that favorite summer dinner at my house when it’s too hot to cook and everyone just wants something easy. I love that we can keep pulling leftovers out for lunches or dinners throughout the week.
In summer this sort of fresh, light “cooking” is the perfect way to use up whatever looks good. This avocado cucumber tomato salad is just that kind of recipe. It’s light, fresh, easy, and tastes SO GOOD on a hot summer day.
Pair it with something hot off the grill, or set it out with a bunch of other salads and light bites for an easy summer dinner.
Here’s what you need to get started on this avocado cucumber tomato salad…
HERE’S WHAT I PUT IN MY CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD:
CUCUMBERS. The best cucumbers for cucumber tomato salad are English or Persian cucumbers. They’re both thin-skinned, which means you won’t need to peel them! I also find they have smaller seeds, so you won’t need to seed them either.
TOMATOES. If you can find them, a colorful mix of tomatoes looks GORGEOUS in cucumber tomato salad, but use whatever is ripe and available. I like grape or cherry tomatoes best, but you can swap in Roma, Campari, heirloom tomatoes, etc.
AVOCADO. Optional, but you *know* I had to toss it in! A little creamy ripe avocado is lovely with the other textures and flavors in this salad. Like, SO GOOD.
RED ONION. A tiny bit of red onion can add a lot of flavor to this salad. If, like me, you find raw onions pretty strong, check out the FAQ for a tip! You can also use green onion or even a few tablespoons of chives instead if you want something more mild.
TANGY VINAIGRETTE. This vinaigrette is as simple as it gets–a little oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, and maybe some honey or agave if you need it. But the bright flavor is so good with the cucumber tomato salad!
FRESH HERBS. Lastly, you’ll add some fresh herbs. I like cilantro or basil best, but you can use parsley or dill instead if that’s more your jam!
3 WAYS TO CHANGE UP THIS CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD:
TRY IT WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR + BASIL. You can give this an almost Caprese vibe by using balsamic vinegar and basil instead of rice vinegar + cilantro. It’s lovely next to anything Mediterranean.
PLAY WITH THE HERBS! It’s SUPER easy to change up the flavor by using something other than cilantro in your cucumber tomato salad. Try basil, chives, dill, or parsley to give it a different flavor!
USE PESTO INSTEAD OF DRESSING! Another way to easily change the flavor is to skip the dressing in favor of a few tablespoons of pesto. (I skip the fresh herbs if I do it this way). This pesto is dairy-free + paleo-approved!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD:
HOW LONG DOES CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD LAST? Once it’s dressed, this salad will start to break down, so it’s best eaten within 1-2 days.
SLICED ONIONS VS. MINCED ONIONS. You have a few choices here with your onions. First, if you keep the onion in slices, it’ll be larger in each bite, but it will also be easier to pick out if someone you’re serving doesn’t care for raw onions. Or, you can finely mince the onion. It’ll blend in much more and be less noticeable in each bite, but it will be a bit tedious to pick out if your family/guests don’t care for it.
HOW TO TAKE THE BITE OUT OF YOUR ONION. I tend to find raw onions pretty sharp and strong, so to mediate their flavor a bit, you can soak them in cold water (preferably ice water!) for 10-15 minutes while you mix up the other ingredients. The water will leach out some of the bite, leaving you with a more mild onion flavor afterward. (Or you can use a few tablespoons of green onion or chives instead!)
MORE MIX-INS TO TRY. Feel free to toss in extras like corn, mozzarella, or feta cheese to fill it out even more!
LOVE RECIPES LIKE THIS? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:
- Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- Watermelon Slushies
- Thai Cucumber Salad
- Peach Berry Fruit Salad
- Farmer’s Market Quinoa Salad