This classic Tomato Onion Salad is a warm-weather favorite that uses fresh tomatoes, sliced red onions, and delicious white wine vinegar dressing to create a refreshing side dish that makes a great addition to any main course!
Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy fresh salads made with seasonal produce. You'll love this simple, classic Tomato and Onion Salad - so easy, refreshing, and tasty!
Tomatoes are probably one of the most abundant vegetables in the warmer months. They're in season from late spring through early fall, so there's no shortage of them during the summer!
There are also so many different varieties including cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and even tomato hybrids that have varying flavor profiles.
This salad is a great way to use up some of those fresh tomatoes in a very delicious way! Sliced tomato is paired with the bold flavor of red onion and seasoned with a simple white wine vinegar dressing that enhances all the flavors.
This salad is light, refreshing, and perfect for any BBQ, potluck, or to make as a healthy side dish for any main course.
You'll also love these other great salad recipes: Feta & Pesto Couscous Salad, Leek Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
A simple tomato onion salad is a great way to use up the abundance of summer tomatoes.
You can use any tomatoes you enjoy for this recipe including heirloom or hybrid tomatoes.
The dressing is easy to make and enhances the natural flavor of the tomatoes.
A simple French style recipe.
No cooking involved! This salad can be whipped up in just minutes with no need to turn on the oven, grill, or stovetop!
- Ripe Tomatoes - These naturally sweet and savory fruits make a perfect base for this summer salad. Use any variety of tomatoes you enjoy, such as heirloom tomatoes, just make sure they are ripe!
- Red Onion - Adds a mild onion flavor to the salad that pairs well with the dressing and tomato.
- Garnish - A mix of fresh basil and freshly ground black pepper top the salad off giving it color and flavor.
For the dressing
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - The oil base of the dressing, olive oil adds a rich flavor and helps hold the rest of the ingredients.
- White Wine Vinegar - The acid-base of the dressing, white wine vinegar gives the dressing its classic acidic tang and tart flavor.
- Minced Garlic Clove - Complements the flavor of the red onion and tomato.
- Sugar & Salt - Enhances the flavors in both the dressing and the vegetables used.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this Tomato Onion Salad recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the vegetables: Wash the tomato with cold water to remove any dirt and impurities. Using a sharp knife (or mandoline cutter), cut off the stem, then slice into ¼ inch thick slices. Peel and slice the onion into ¼ inch thick slices.
Assemble the vegetables: Layer the sliced tomatoes on a plate overlapping slightly followed by the sliced red onion.
Make the dressing: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until combined.
Assemble the salad: Drizzle the mixed dressing over the top of the sliced vegetables. Top with basil and black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
When choosing the perfect tomato for this salad, you want to make sure that it is ripe but not overripe. The best way to tell if a tomato is ripe is to gently squeeze it. The skin should give slightly but the tomato shouldn't be too soft.
Slice the vegetables all roughly the same size to make sure the texture of the salad is even and consistent.
The dressing can be made ahead of time and stored for at least 30 minutes in the fridge to further develop the flavors.
Don't overlap the vegetables too much as this makes it difficult to serve the salad properly.
This salad is best served cold or just at room temperature. Do not leave chilled food out at room temperature for longer than 45 minutes.
If you don't have white wine vinegar, you can substitute it with another type of vinegar like apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
Kick up the heat by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the dressing!
Instead of basil, try other fresh leafy herbs as a garnish including oregano, thyme, or chives.
Change the presentation and shape of the salad by using your favorite cherry tomatoes halved or quartered.
Add some fresh mozzarella cheese, feta or ricotta, to the top for an additional creamy and salty layer of flavor.
This salad is best served immediately. If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. However, the tomato will release water as it sits and may make the salad soggy. Freezing is not recommended.
If you want to make this salad ahead of time, I suggest storing the tomato and onion separately from each other and from the dressing. This way, they won't have a chance to release water and make the salad soggy. Simply assemble everything together when you're ready to serve.
The best tomato to use for tomato salad is a ripe but not overripe tomato. Varieties include beefsteak, heirloom, or cherry tomatoes.
The best way to keep tomato salad from getting watery is to use ripe but not overripe tomatoes that can quickly start to release their moisture. Also, make sure the salad is not out at room temperature for more than 45 minutes.
Yes, if you need a less strong onion flavor, use thinly sliced shallots or chopped green onion instead of red onion.
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Tomato Onion Salad
- 2 pounds tomatoes ripe (about 4, 900g)
- 1 red onion
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon basil finely sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Slice the tomatoes into rings, about ¼-inch thick.
- Peel the onion and slice it into ¼-inch thick rounds.
- Lay the tomatoes and onions on a plate, overlapping slightly.
- Stir the dressing ingredients together, then drizzle over the tomatoes and onions.
- Sprinkle the top with the pepper and basil.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.