Cucumber tomato salad is an all-star recipe with just three key ingredients and a lemony dressing. Enjoy this Mediterranean salad on its own, or to bring brightness and fresh flavor to everything from Chicken Shawarma to Feta And Spinach Frittata.

cucumber tomato salad in a bowl with wooden serving utensils.
Photo Credits: Mariam Hamdy

Cucumber tomato salad goes by a different name where I grew up in Egypt: salata! It is an everyday Mediterranean salad made of three main ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. It’s seasoned simply with kosher salt, though I like to add sumac for a little tang and depth. 

This simple Mediterranean salad is as traditional as they come. It’s very representative of the regions’ agricultural roots and the fresh flavors we continue to love to this day. It where salads like fattoush or tabouli derive inspiration. You can dress it up by adding some red onion, as I do here, or toss in some feta cheese for a little salty goodness. Let inspiration be your guide.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for Cucumber Tomato Salad
  2. How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad 
  3. Variations 
  4. What to Serve with Cucumber Tomato Salad
  5. Fresh and Simple Salad Recipes to Try! 
  6. Try our All-Natural Sumac!
  7. Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe

Ingredients for Cucumber Tomato Salad

This simple salad uses easy to find ingredients that need little embellishment. Just some seasonings and a simple dressing bring out all the lively flavors. 

  • Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are firm even when they're ripe, so they help keep this salad fresh for a few days. Any ripe flavorful tomato, like heirloom or cherry, can be substituted. 
  • Cucumber: Go for cucumbers with a thin, delicate skin, like English or hot-house. If the big standard slicing cucumbers are all that’s available, consider peeling the skin as it tends to be bitter. 
  • Parsley: Brings freshness and a Mediterranean flavor to this simple salad. Opt for flat leaf or Italian parsley if you can, as curly parsley is typically tougher and more bitter.
  • Seasonings: Salt and black pepper enhance the flavor. Sumac, a spice made from dried and ground berries of the sumac shrub, is optional. It adds an extra layer of brightness. If you don’t have any on hand you can find it at most grocery stores or order our favorite sumac from our shop. Of, a pinch of finely grated lemon zest can be used in its place. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Use a robust yet smooth olive oil, like Greek Early Harvest or peppery Hojiblanca Spanish EVOO.
  • Lemon juice: A fresh squeeze of lemon juice bridges the gap between the fresh vegetables and rich olive oil. 

How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad 

Cucumber tomato salad is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and not just because of its bright, fresh flavor. It’s one of the simplest salads you’ll make, coming together in just a few minutes. It’s a great go-to for when you need something green on your table but don’t have time to fuss. Here is how it goes:

  • Prepare the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley: Dice 6 Roma tomatoes. Dice one large English cucumber into small cubes or pieces. Chop a good bunch of parsley, about ¾ bunch. Don’t worry about picking all the leaves, the tender stems near the leaves impart great flavor. Combine everything in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add kosher salt. Season the salad with a good pinch of kosher salt and set aside for about 5 minutes. The vegetables will expel some of their water, which we’ll use to help lightly dress the salad.  
  • Add the dressing. The traditional Mediterranean salad dressing here is a good drizzle (about 2 tablespoons) of quality extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon (or at least 2 teaspoons of lemon juice). Add ½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper and mix to combine. Optionally, I like adding 1 teaspoon of sumac for depth and tang.
  • Taste and serve. Taste the salad and adjust the lemon, salt, and pepper to your liking. Serve immediately, or set aside for 15 minutes to let the flavors get friendly with each other. 

Variations 

This basic Mediterranean salad has several variations throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and you can change it up to your liking. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add finely chopped aliums. Red onions, shallots, or green onions would add some bold yet sweet oniony flavor.
  • Add protein. Canned or boiled chickpeas, white beans, or kidney beans work well with as a vegan protein and turn this salad into a satisfying meal. Grilled meats, like grilled chicken thighs or kofta kebab would also be hearty and delicious. If you're feeling fishy, grab a can of tuna from your pantry.
  • Use more fresh herbs! In addition to parsley, you can add some chopped fresh mint or dill.
  • Toss in some feta cheese! Just like with classic Greek salad or herby tomato feta salad, creamy, tangy feta adds another layer of deliciousness to this cucumber tomato salad. 
  • Make one cup of cooked couscous and toss it in this salad for a simple lunch. You'll want to adjust seasoning and olive oil.

What to Serve with Cucumber Tomato Salad

This versatile salad goes with just about any Mediterranean dinner menu. It’s a classic topping for Chicken Shawarma or vegetarian Spicy Cauliflower Shawarma, where the salad juices and tahini sauce combine in the most fortunate way. 

Or, serve this simple salad as a side for simple weeknight dinners, like Greek-Style Braised Eggplant or Pan Seared Trout. A bite here and there of the bright salad brings a lightness to rich, deeply savory dishes. 

Fresh and Simple Salad Recipes to Try! 

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

Visit our Shop.

Try our All-Natural Sumac!

This tangy spice is just what you need to add that extra layer of brightness to your favorite salads.

a jar of sumac from the mediterranean dish.
4.94 from 155 votes

Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
cucumber tomato salad in a bowl with wooden serving utensils.
You'll love this everyday cucumber and tomato salad, with just a handful of ingredients and no cooking involved. You can change it up by adding feta cheese, chickpeas, or even a cup of cooked couscous to turn it into a meal!
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 0 minutes
Total – 10 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6 people (up to)
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 1 large English or hot-house cucumber, diced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced, optional
  • ¾ bunch parsley, leaves and tender stems chopped (about ½-3/4 cup chopped leaves)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sumac
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Mix: In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. Season with kosher salt and toss. Set aside for 5 minutes or so.
  • Season: Add the sumac, olive oil, and lemon juice. Give the salad a gentle toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • For best flavor, set the salad aside for a few minutes before serving. This will give the flavors time to meld. 
  • This salad will keep for up to three days. Store covered in the refrigerator.
  • Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil, spices and more! 

Nutrition

Calories: 66.9kcalCarbohydrates: 5.8gProtein: 1.2gFat: 4.9gSaturated Fat: 0.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.5gSodium: 8.6mgPotassium: 277.3mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1170.4IUVitamin C: 20.7mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 0.8mg
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*This post was originally published in 2017 and has recently been updated with new information and media for the readers’ benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Ginger says:

    Going to try this recipe today. My biggest challenge is fresh herbs. What are acceptable substitutes?

  2. DMuscat says:

    5 stars
    Made it for dinner. It is super tasty and so easy to make.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! Thanks so much!

  3. Cynthia says:

    5 stars
    I made this salad last night for my dinner and I didn't eat it. I DEVOURED it! It was soooo delicious and easy to make. I made half the recipe as I was alone and initially thought of keeping the leftover for the next day. Yah right! Loving all your recipes and thanks. Today I'm making your pumpkin soup with red lentils for lunch. Can't wait.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Lol! Thanks, Cynthia!

  4. Beth says:

    This recipe sounds like my favorite thing ever! However, my husband is Mexican and I was raised in the South. Now we both live in South Alabama and while I rarely ever fry anything because ... no, we still eat pretty heavy foods. He would eat eggs at every meal, and the meat he likes most is chorizo. It's gross to me with a LOT of grease. We have a son who is seven and he has a very bland sense of taste. He doesn't like anything sharp, zesty or spicy. So... how can I make this work with these two who can't just love vegetables and lightness? Oh! And we need this for health benefits as well. I have issues with my BP occasionally and he has Gout.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Beth. That is a toughy! Not knowing your family personally, it's a bit hard to give advice here. Have you ever thought of meeting together with a nutritionist or dietitian? Someone who can take a close look at your specific health needs and lifestyle and help you all formulate a personalized plan? That would be a good place to start. One bit of advice from us here at the Mediterranean Dish would be to start slow. Maybe, incorporated one meatless dinner in your rotation per week, or something of that nature. Family members tend to be a bit more receptive to change this way.

  5. Tony says:

    5 stars
    I made this dish and let me just say it is delicious paired it with the tahini sauce and the three ingredient salad and it was a hit the whole family enjoyed it even gave some to my neighbor which I’m sure she enjoyed. Even my most pickiest eater ate it and enjoyed it. I will be cooking this recipe again in the near future.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hooray! That's great to hear, Tony. Thank you!

  6. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Made this to go with your Chicken Shawarma recipe. I added some kalamata olives and a little feta cheese and it worked out great. The olive oil and lemon dressing added a nice bright touch.

    1. Suzy says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Lisa!

  7. Tosha says:

    5 stars
    Made it today. Came out beautifully. Thank you

  8. Karen Theis says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!!! My goodness this is sooooo good! The vinaigrette is perfect!! So simple and I absolutely love it!!!

    Will definitely make this many more times!!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Karen!

  9. Cindy Wright says:

    4 stars
    My Italian family has been using olive oil and lemon juice as salad dressing for decades, with the ratio of two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. Instead of parsley, however, I like to use home-grown basil.

  10. Lana says:

    5 stars
    Love easy salads like this. The only negative I have is that I ate about half of it before dinner and spoiled my appetite! Lol. <3. Very good.

  11. JuneAloha says:

    OMG! Instead of parsley, I purchased cilantro (Chinese Parsley) by mistake....
    Do you think it still can work for this salad? Sigh...

    1. Suzy says:

      Hello! The flavor profile would, of course, be different, but it could work if you enjoy cilantro.

  12. Kim says:

    5 stars
    My Mediterranean salad “go-to”! I love this salad. I’ll often add some fresh spinach before serving. I also add about 1 tsp of Con’ Olio’s grapefruit balsamic vinegar to give it a slightly sweeter taste. Even so, it’s wonderful as-is.

    1. Suzy says:

      That sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing, Kim!

      1. Brian says:

        Not a big deal but FYI your ingredients list includes pepper but it's not mentioned in the instructions.
        Otherwise, looks great

  13. Maricel pousset says:

    Hi! Where do you get sumac

  14. Jeffrey Fisher says:

    5 stars
    GREAT!!!!

  15. Soni Gupta says:

    This salad looks so good! I love your website, I’m vegetarian indian, and of course love everything with lots of flavor. For this salad do you take out the pulp and seeds inside of the tomatoes.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Soni! No need to remove the seeds/pulp of the tomatoes for this one :).

  16. Elizabeth Love says:

    Do you use regular parsley or Italian parsley in this recipe?

    1. Suzy says:

      Either will work, but I prefer Italian parsley.

    2. Suzy says:

      I typically use Italian parsley.