Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad (Simple & Delicious!)

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeNFNut FreeVVegan

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This Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad is a simple, yet delicious mix of seasonal produce for that fresh-from-the-garden flavor! Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, & Stress-Free 😊 

Don’t be fooled by the word ‘salad’ in this recipe – this Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad is far from an ordinary bowl of mixed greens and dressing! This summer mix combines sweet, juicy tomatoes with crisp, refreshing cucumber, and LOTS of basil for a fuss-free recipe that highlights all of the bright, delicious flavors of seasonal produce. 


Sometimes simple is best, especially during summer! This seasonal salad is made from uncomplicated ingredients for an easy meal that looks effortlessly classy 😊 I decided to use a few plump heirloom tomatoes from my garden, but this recipe would be just as delicious with regular globe tomatoes (or even cherry tomatoes!).

For the cucumber, I suggest using English cucumbers, as they have a thinner, crisper skin and contain less liquid, which will help prevent the salad from getting soggy. They are usually long and skinny, and can typically be found individually wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. If this variety is not available, you can also go for the smaller Persian cucumber. However, I would try to avoid using American cucumbers as they have much more liquid in them. 

ingredients for tomato cucumber salad on marble background

There are 3 key steps I highly recommend you take in order to make this cucumber tomato salad better than ANY salad you have ever had before! 

  1. Smashing the cucumbers: This releases a different flavor and helps remove some of the extra liquid to prevent your salad from getting soggy.
  2. Use shallot instead of red onion: Shallot is one of my favorite underestimated veggies! It has a milder, less intense flavor than red onion which allows the tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil to take center stage and shine. 
  3. Add garlic: A little garlic goes a long way here. While it is optional, I think it takes this dish to the next level as it adds the perfect kick of spice and flavor! 


side-by-side photo of smashed cucumbers with jar of dressing next to finished, mixed salad

  1. Cut the cucumber in half, then lay the flat side down and use a knife or rolling pin to crush the cucumber. Cut it into chunks, transfer to a sieve, sprinkle with salt, and let sit
  2. Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt in a jar and shake well. Set aside.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, shallot, and basil in a bowl and top with dressing and black pepper. Place in fridge for 15 mins* to chill
  4. Season with additional salt and pepper and enjoy! Let the salad chill for about 15 minutes in the fridge before serving (but don’t leave it in there for too long or the tomatoes will get soggy!)

This Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad is delicious alongside any of your favorite summer mains – pasta, burgers, sandwiches, backyard kabobs – you name it! You can also get creative with your salad and top it with more of your favorite herbs like fresh dill or parsley, or up the creaminess with vegan feta cheese or diced avocado. This is definitely the side dish to bring to a potluck or cookout with your friends; it comes out looking bright and beautiful while being completely stress-free! Because this salad tastes best when fresh, I recommend enjoying it the day you make it. 

tomato cucumber salad in serving bowl topped with fresh basil


  • Can I use other types of tomatoes? I used heirloom tomatoes but regular tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes!) will work as well! Just keep the pieces large so you have juicy, umami-packed chunks.
  • Do I have to smash the cucumbers? No, but I think it’s an extra uncomplicated step that takes this dish from good to great!
  • Can I add other ingredients? Absolutely! Add some dairy-free feta or mozzarella for a cheesy bite or chickpeas if you’d like some extra fiber and protein.

Tomato cucumber salad with basil and black pepper in ceramic bowl on marble countertop

If you’re looking for more flavor-packed summer salad recipes, you’ll love this Vegan Taco Pasta Salad, this Everything Bagel Panzanella Salad, this Grilled Romaine & Charred Corn Salad, and this Spicy Peach & Chickpea Salad!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad

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This Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad is a simple, yet delicious mix of seasonal produce for that fresh-from-the-garden flavor! Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, & Stress-Free 😊

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 English/hothouse cucumber*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or sub balsamic)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 23 large tomatoes, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (11 g) fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Smash the Cucumber:  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and rest the flat side on a cutting board. Use a heavy rolling pin or the flat side of a knife to crush the cucumbers, then cut into 1/2″ pieces or chunks. Transfer the cucumber to a fine mesh sieve and mix with a generous pinch of salt; let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. Make the Dressing: add the oil, vinegar, garlic clove, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a small jar; seal and shake until emulsified, then set aside.
  3. Combine: add the chopped tomatoes to a large bowl, then add in the cucumbers, shallot, and basil. Top with the dressing and black pepper, to taste. Mix well, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
  4. Serve: season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Serve cold; store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  • Cucumber: you can also use 2-3 smaller Persian cucumbers instead of 1 larger one. These varieties have a thinner skin and softer flesh. If you need to use a “standard” American cucumber, I recommend peeling it and removing the seeds.

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. That is one of the most gorgeous, succulent yet simple salads I’ve ever seen! I’m going to try this with Campari tomatoes. Thank you.