Cucumber Tomato Salad

This Cucumber Tomato Salad is about to become a favorite spring and summer staple with its medley of bright flavors and textures in every bite!

This Cucumber Tomato Salad is bursting with crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, crunchy asparagus, creamy avocados, tangy red onions, and melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella drizzled with tangy Italian Dressing for the ultimate quick, refreshingly delicious spring and summer salad!   It makes the ideal make-ahead side that goes with practically everything and there are endless ways to customize it from the veggies to the cheese to the dressing to suit your tastes and what you have on hand.

up close of Cucumber Tomato Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, asparagus and avocado

Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe

I am so excited for salad season, and not only salad season but everything tomato, cucumber and asparagus!  I’ve bundled up my favorite fresh veggies into this Cucumber and Tomato Salad and it is can’t-stop-eating deeeelicious!

This Cucumber Tomato Salad is the perfect light yet vibrant, fresh side dish for dinner, potlucks or for feeding a crowd. It goes well with practically everything from pizza and burgers to fish, chicken and steak.  The contrasting crunch of the cucumbers, asparagus and tomatoes with the creamy bites of mozzarella (my fav!) and avocado is what foodie dreams are made of.

I’ve scaled down my favorite Italian Dressing (used in my Italian Pasta Salad) to infuse the Cucumber Tomato Onion Salad with just the right amount of complex tang through and through.  It’s super simple to whisk together but you could also use your favorite store-bought Italian Dressing or vinaigrette- just promise you’ll make this Cucumber and Tomato Salad – mmm, k?!

top view of Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, asparagus and avocado

Cucumber Tomato Salad Ingredients

This cucumber tomato onion salad requires very few ingredients, but packs in tons of flavor!

  • Cucumber: Slice your cucumbers thicker for extra crunch.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Grape tomatoes or diced Roma tomatoes will also work.
  • Red onion: Run the onion under cold water, then pat dry to remove its harsh bite.
  • Avocado: I used a Haas avocado, but use whatever variety you have on hand.
  • Fresh mozzarella balls: Mozzarella balls are often called mozzarella snacking balls and can be found with the specialty cheeses.
  • Asparagus: The easiest way to cut asparagus and eliminate the woody stems is to snap them at the ends because they will naturally break apart where the tough ends begin.
  • Fresh sweet corn: You can add the sweet corn to the salad raw, no need to cook!
  • Italian dressing: Feel free to use store-bought quality Italian Dressing, or your favorite store-bought vinaigrette, you’ll need about ⅓ cup.
far away shot of Cucumber Tomato Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, asparagus and avocado in a wood bowl with wood tongs scooping salad

What Kind of Cucumber Should I Use?

This might seem like a silly question –  a cucumber is a cucumber, right?  But did you know there are almost 100 varieties of cucumbers grown in the world?  The most common grocery store varieties are the regular slicer cucumber, pickling cucumbers and English cucumbers.

For our cucumber and tomato salad, we want English cucumbers.  English cucumbers, sometimes called seedless cucumbers, are longer and more narrow than slicing cucumbers.

What makes English cucumbers ideal for salads is they are often wrapped in plastic instead of waxed so you can eat their skin. Their skin is also thinner and not bitter like slicing cucumbers.  Their seeds are much smaller and easier to eat and they have a more mild, almost sweet taste in general.

If you cannot find English cucumbers, you are more than welcome to use common slicing cucumbers but I recommend removing the bitter, thick skin.

What Kind of Tomato Should I Use?

As far as tomatoes go, it comes down to personal preference and what you have growing in your garden.  I highly prefer cherry tomatoes in our Cucumber Tomato Salad for a few reasons.  They are predictably sweeter than grape or large tomatoes, they are less watery but still juicy, they hold their shape and you don’t get tomato “pulp” that likes to fall apart.

Whisking together Italian Dressing in a glass bowl for Cucumber Tomato Salad.

How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad

The basic steps for this cucumber and tomato salad recipe are simple. Here’s how it comes together:

  1. Whisk together the homemade Italian dressing (if using).
  2. Boil asparagus in a large pot of water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl EXCEPT the avocados, then drizzle with salad dressing and toss to combine.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
  5. Mix in the avocados just before serving.

Pouring Italian Dressing from a white pitcher onto Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad in a wooden bowl

Tips for Making Cucumber and Tomato Salad

  • Slice your cucumbers thicker for extra crunch.
  • Feel free to use store-bought quality Italian Dressing, or your favorite store-bought vinaigrette, you’ll need about ⅓ cup.
  • CHILL your Cucumber and Tomato Salad – it tastes WAY better once the flavors have melded and everything is crisp and cool.
  • If you are short on time, stick your salad in the freezer for 20 minutes then in the refrigerator until time to serve.
  • As previously mentioned, only add avocados to the salad you are eating immediately because they will turn brown when stored.

Cucumber Tomato Salad Variations

  • You can customize the dressing by replacing the red wine vinegar and lemon juice with balsamic to taste.
  • If don’t want to spend $$ on mozzarella balls, you can use mozzarella chunks or even Monterey Jack or feta if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Add red bell peppers or any of your favorite veggies!
  • Turn this Tomato Cucumber Salad into an orzo pasta salad and 1 ½ x the dressing.

up close of Cucumber and Tomato Salad in a wood bowl with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, asparagus and avocado

Can I Prep Cucumber Tomato Salad in Advance?

This Cucumber and Tomato Salad is best served within the first 12 hours but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, the cucumbers will just loose some of their crispness.  I like to slice my cucumber thick so they stay crunchier.

How to Store Cucumber Tomato Salad

This cucumber tomato red onion salad tastes WAY better chilled in order for the flavors to meld and the ingredients to become cool and crisp.  I recommend at least 30 minutes.  If you are running low on time, then place your salad in the freezer for up to 20 minutes and then return it to the refrigerator.

Whenever you serve your salad, whether within 30 minutes or 48 hours, you will need to give it a stir because the dressing does not contain an emulsifying agent and will separate  – nothing that a little stir can’t solve.

If you aren’t eating all of your Cucumber Tomato Salad when served, then only add avocado to portion(s) that are being eaten because the avocado will brown if not eaten right away.

What to Serve with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This cucumber tomato avocado salad pairs well with pretty much any summer main! Here are a few of my favorites:

up close of Tomato Cucumber Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, asparagus, mozzarella and avocado

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far away shot of Cucumber Tomato Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, asparagus and avocado in a wood bowl with wood tongs scooping salad

Cucumber Tomato Salad

This Cucumber Tomato Salad is about to become a favorite spring and summer staple with its medley of bright flavors and textures in every bite! It's bursting with crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, crunchy asparagus, creamy avocados, tangy red onions, and melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella drizzled with tangy Italian Dressing for the ultimate quick, refreshingly delicious spring and summer salad! It makes the ideal make-ahead side that goes with practically everything and there are endless ways to customize it from the veggies to the cheese to the dressing to suit your tastes and what you have on hand.
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 22 mins
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins

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Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 English English cucumber , sliced and quartered*
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1/4 red onion , very thinly sliced
  • 1 large Haas avocado , chopped
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella balls , halved
  • 1/2 pound asparagus tough ends removed , cut into 1-inch pieces
  • fresh sweet corn from one corn on the cob (see notes)

Italian Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil, salt
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, garlic powder, pepper

Instructions

  • Combine all the Dressing ingredients in medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside then whisk again before using.
  • Boil asparagus in a large pot of water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl EXCEPT avocados, drizzle with salad dressing and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
  • Add chopped avocado right before serving and gently stir to combine. If you aren’t eating all of your Cucumber Tomato Salad immediately, then only add avocado to portion(s) that are being eaten because the avocado will brown.
  • This salad is best served within 12 hours but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, the cucumbers just won’t be as crisp.
  • Whenever you serve your salad, whether within 30 minutes or 48, you will need to give the Salad a stir because the dressing does not contain an emulsifying agent and will separate.

Notes

*You can subsite English cucumber with a slicing cucumber but be sure to peel the slicing cucumber because the skin is thicker and more bitter.
  • Slice your cucumbers thicker for extra crunch.
  • The easiest way to cut asparagus and eliminate the woody stems is to snap them at the ends because they will naturally break apart where the tough ends begin.
  • If don’t want to spend $$ on mozzarella balls, you can use mozzarella chunks or even Monterey Jack or feta if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Mozzarella balls are often called mozzarella snacking balls and can be found with the specialty cheeses.
  • Try adding fresh sweet corn on the cob – make sure you leave it raw. I wish I would have thought of this before I made the salad – I would definitely add fresh corn next time.
  • Add red bell peppers or any of your favorite veggies!
  • You can customize the dressing by replacing the red wine vinegar and lemon juice with balsamic to taste.
  • Feel free to use store-bought quality Italian Dressing, or your favorite store-bought vinaigrette, you’ll need about ⅓ cup.
  • Turn this Tomato Cucumber Salad into an orzo pasta salad and 1 ½ x the dressing.

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4 Comments

  1. Maryann says

    This salad is so refreshingly tasty! Crunchy and colorful with just the right amount of tangy. This is the perfect salad to bring to a potluck or picnic gathering. I left out the cheeses due to dietary restrictions and also the avocado since I made this in advance of a gathering. I added corn as suggested which made this a bright and colorful salad. My whole family loves this one :)!!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Maryann, I’m thrilled it was a hit and I’m so happy you added the corn! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  2. Mability says

    Your flavor profiles are always spot on! This salad and dressing is sooooooo delicious. It’s simple but it goes so well with everything and great for bbqs and picnics.. I didn’t have any mozarella balls but I don’t think it mattered that much.

    I paired it with your Chicken Chipolte recipe, followed it exactly – so yummy and juicy thanks to your directions. No more dried out chicken breasts.

    Using the chicken leftover, I made quesadillas the next day and made another cucumber salad. This salad goes with everything & a great way to bring the summer to the table.

    Thank you for so many great recipes, you’re my go to site.

    • Jen says

      Thanks for your awesome comment, I’m honored to be your go-to site! I’m so pleased this Cucumber Tomato Salad was a hit and is already on repeat! I’m glad the Chipotle Chicken is another favorite and it sounds delish in quesadillas! Thanks for making my recipes and for following along!

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