Tuck the ripest, juiciest tomatoes into this Tomato Salad to celebrate the best of summer’s produce! Simple ingredients shine in this flavorful recipe that’s welcome at BBQs as well as on the dinner table.
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During the height of summer, there’s nothing better than a tomato salad. When tomatoes are ripe and ready they make an amazing base to a fresh salad that doesn’t need much else to dress it up. Serve this salad with grilled chicken, pasta, fresh bread with a side of olive oil bread dip, and more.
Simple Tomato Salad Recipe
This tomato salad recipe is one I make all summer long! I take juicy, ripe tomatoes and mix them with crunchy red onion and lots of fresh basil leaves. Then the salad is dressed simply with red wine vinegar and olive oil. The best part? You don’t even have to make the dressing separately—just drizzle and toss with the tomatoes and you’re all set!
This is a salad that keeps tomatoes as its star, so make sure you choose really red, ripe ones. No pale supermarket tomatoes will do for this salad! It’s full of fresh Italian flavors that I can’t resist. You can keep the preparation for this tomato salad simple, or see some of my variation suggestions below for ideas for adding other ingredients. I know you will love this beautiful summer tomato salad.
(Have some unripe tomatoes that you need to use up? Then make my Fried Green Tomatoes recipe!)
Ingredients for Tomato Salad
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Tomatoes – Choose very ripe tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Red onion – For a bit of crunch.
- Fresh basil – Basil adds even more summery flavor.
- Olive oil – I like extra-virgin olive oil.
- Red wine vinegar – You can substitute balsamic vinegar if needed.
- Salt and pepper – I like fine sea or table salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Add feta cheese. For extra salty flavor, add crumbled feta cheese to this tomato salad.
- Toss in olives. This tomato salad, especially if you add feta, benefits from a Mediterranean flair. Pitted olives, left whole or chopped up, will infuse the salad with briny goodness.
- Add fresh mozzarella. Buy the little balls of fresh mozzarella in water and cut them in half, then add them to this salad. I use about a cup of mozzarella per salad recipe.
- Stir in some chopped cucumbers. To make this salad a little heartier, you can add some peeled, chopped cucumber. Or why not try my Cucumber Tomato Salad?
- Add other fresh herbs. Basil is wonderful with tomatoes, as is chopped fresh oregano or thyme.
- Try heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are exceptional when they are in season, full of intense tomato flavor. They are amazing in salads where tomato is the star, as in this tomato salad.
How to Make Tomato Salad
- Prepare the tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- Mix together the tomatoes, onion, and basil: In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, and chopped basil.
- Add the olive oil and vinegar: Drizzle the olive oil and red wine vinegar over the salad, and toss gently to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper: Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Rest the salad before serving: Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
You can make the salad a day in advance, but leave out the basil. Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge. Mix in the basil leaves just before serving.
How to Store Tomato Salad
Store leftover tomato salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The salad tastes best when it’s fresh!
This tomato salad is a wonderful side dish that is a perfect complement to many meals. Here are a few pairings to serve with this salad:
- Grilled meat. Keep things easy this summer and make dinner on the grill! A tomato salad is always welcome with a main dish that’s been prepared outside. Try my Grilled Chicken Kabobs or Easy Grilled BBQ Chicken for great pairings with tomato salad.
- With appetizers. I love to serve this tomato salad with my Easy Whipped Feta Dip and/or Spinach Artichoke Dip and a big stack of pita bread. You could also scoop up bites of salad with crispy tortilla chips!
- With pasta. The Italian flavors in this salad make it a perfect side dish to pasta dishes. My Creamy Tomato Pasta, One Skillet Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta, or Cheesy and Easy Lasagna with Meat Sauce would be wonderful with a big bowl of tomato salad.
- Alongside homemade bread. I love tomato salad and freshly baked bread! It is so, so good. If you feel like a project, make my sourdough bread recipe for a real treat. Or make my Easy Homemade French Bread—it’s utterly perfect with tomato salad. Garlic Bread is also a great choice!
A tomato salad is mainly full of tomatoes, with onions and basil as its natural companions. You can add other ingredients as you wish.
Tomatoes that are great in salads include cherry tomatoes, off-the-vine tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and others.
Yes, you can cut your tomatoes in advance. You can store the cut wedges or slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- 4-5 tomatoes, medium-sized
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Wash the tomatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, and chopped basil.
- Drizzle the olive oil and red wine vinegar over the salad, and toss gently to combine.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the tomato salad as a side dish, garnished with additional fresh basil leaves if desired.