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. 


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.
4.93 from 136 votes

Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad

Suzy 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
Serves – 6 people (up to)


  • 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


  • 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!



  • 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! 


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
Tried this recipe?

*This post was originally published in 2017 and has recently been updated with new information and media for the readers’ benefit.

Share it with the world

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...
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    This was a fabulous summer salad! We loved it!! We didn’t have any leftovers, which was great and disappointing at the same time! It’s truly as easy to make as you show in your video. I’ll be making this again and again. Thank you Suzy!

  2. This is a wonderful summer salad. Thank you! I’m going to add some chick peas & more fresh herbs & feta to the leftovers. So versatile!

  3. 5 stars
    At first I was skeptical about using lemon, but it's simply. lovely and bright with this garden fresh combination, so much. better than vinegar - it will be my goto and I'll add feta and quinoa to make it a meal later one

  4. 5 stars
    This is my absolute favorite salad recipe. I live on it in summer! I omit the onion and add some lemon pepper. Perfection!

  5. 5 stars
    I make this recipe often to accompany any pita sandwich such as falafel or chicken souvlaki. It’s so delicious! I could eat the entire thing if I wanted

  6. 5 stars
    Another winner! I've tried several of the variations in the posts, along with original, and all were wonderful. What a great flavor combination that's quick and easy to put together.

    Because of the shape of the parsley and the moisture in the cut onion, cuke, tomatoes, etc., I prefer to mix the lemon juice, oil, and sumac together then add to veggies before tossing to combine. Otherwise the sumac sticks to the moisture on the top vegetables, making it hard to evenly mix in.

  7. 5 stars
    This is mucho delicious! Didn't have ground sumac the first time i made it so added Taijin (a hispanic seasoning). I bought the sumac and added it to the salad and it was just awesome! Made it again today with just the sumac and, after tasting it, I added some Taijin again. Thank you for a fabulous healthy recipe. Oh, I also added garbanzo beans for protein. Yummy!

  8. 5 stars
    Phenomenal! I’m usually not a huge tomato fan, but I was eating them like candy. Definitely a keeper.

  9. 5 stars
    Easy, does not take a lot of time to prepare, and very refreshing! I like that you can refrigerate this salad and have for another day. I have had sumac in my spice cupboard and did not have recipes to use it. I am so glad that I found this website. Great recipes!

  10. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight and it was delicious!!!Never tried sumac before but luckily, I found it today at the store and I really liked it. It adds a diffetent flavor!

  11. 5 stars
    Easy, healthy, beautiful addition to any dinner, as dinner by itself, or as Suzy suggested... wonderful topping in a pita along with her cauliflower shawarma.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. 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.