Easy Tomato and Onion Salad Recipe (Summer Salad)

This Easy Tomato and Onion Salad Recipe (Summer Salad) is on repeat for my family all summer long! With fresh tomato, sweet onion, and fresh herbs, it’s the perfect side dish! My simple salad is versatile – use it to top crusty bread for delicious bruschetta, or spoon it ontop of crispy chicken cutlets for a fresh dinner. Tomato lovers, you’ve got to make this one while juicy tomatoes are in season during the summer months! 

A delicious tomato and onion salad in a white bowl on a cutting board with vine tomatoes scattered around and toasted bread.

This tangy salad is the perfect way to use good tomatoes in the summer! It’s a light and refreshing dish that uses simple ingredients to highlight the perfectly ripe tomatoes you may have on hand. This is one of my favorite healthy recipes and you can use adapt this any way you wish for your dinner table. The most important thing is to use good quality extra virgin olive oil, perfectly plump, fresh tomatoes, and to slice the onion very thinly. This refreshing side dish will become a favorite in no time!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This delicious salad only requires four ingredients! Not including kitchen staples like kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil, this tomato salad recipe only uses 4 ingredients! 
  • No need to make a salad dressing. Skip the red wine vinegar and just toss this summer salad with extra virgin olive oil for the cleanest, best flavor! Some other recipes will use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, but I just use a little olive oil for this easy recipe!
  • It’s versatile. This salad is the topping for my Burrata Bruschetta and Pesto Bruschetta recipes. I also love to serve it with chicken or as a topping for grilled chicken sandwiches – yum!

Ingredients

Ingredients for tomato and onion salad.

  • Cherry Tomatoes – The stars of the salad, bursting with sweetness and tanginess. Look for firm, brightly colored tomatoes with smooth skin. Halve them to let them soak up all the flavors.
  • Red Onion –  Adds crunch and a slight sharpness. Choose firm, heavy onions with dry skins. To mellow their bite, soak slices in cold water for 10 minutes before adding to the salad.
  • Garlic –  Thinly sliced garlic adds a warm, aromatic depth. Opt for fresh, firm bulbs. Slice thinly for a subtle but noticeable flavor boost throughout the salad.
  • Olive Oil – A good quality extra virgin olive oil ties the salad together with its richness and fruity notes. Look for cold-pressed varieties and store in a cool, dark place.
  • Salt – Coarse sea salt or kosher salt brings out the natural flavors. Start with a pinch and adjust to taste. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt before serving adds a delightful crunch.
  • Black Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper adds subtle heat and complexity. Use a good grinder for the best aroma and flavor.
  • Fresh Basil – Adds color and a fragrant, herbaceous note. Choose vibrant, green leaves. Tear just before adding to preserve their delicate flavor.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Switch up the tomatoes. You can really use any type of tomato for this recipe (hello, heirloom tomatoes!). Although I prefer smaller tomatoes for this recipe, such as grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, this recipe works with any you’d like! You could even use roma tomatoes, or your very own tomatoes from your garden. Use whatever you have on hand. 
  • Add avocado. For a creamy variation, add some ripe avocado to this salad. 
  • Add mozzarella. Add fresh mozzarella balls or spoon this tomato and onion salad ontop of sliced mozzarella for a beautiful presentation!
  • Add Pesto! Top the salad off with dollops of fresh pesto. You can make my Genovese Pesto for a traditional option, or my Nut-Free Pesto or Walnut Pesto!

Step by Step Instructions

Halved cherry tomatoes in a white bowl on a cutting board.

Step 1: In a large bowl, add the halved cherry tomatoes.

Halved cherry tomatoes with sliced red onion in a white bowl on a cutting board.

Step 2: Add the thinly sliced red onion to the bowl.

Halved cherry tomatoes with sliced red onion and basil and sliced garlic in a white bowl on a cutting board.

Step 3: Add the torn basil leaves and sliced garlic, and mix to combine.

A delicious tomato and onion salad in a white bowl on a cutting board with vine tomatoes scattered around.

Step 4: Season with salt and black pepper. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Mix everything gently to combine. Serve immediately or let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Enjoy!

Tips and Notes

  • Choose Ripe Tomatoes – Select cherry tomatoes that are ripe but still firm. Look for vibrant colors and smooth skin, indicating freshness and sweetness.
  • Prep Ahead – Save time by prepping the ingredients ahead of time. You can halve the cherry tomatoes, slice the red onion, and tear the basil leaves in advance, storing them in separate airtight containers in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.

A delicious tomato and onion salad in a white bowl on a cutting board with vine tomatoes scattered around.

Serving Suggestions

  • Wine Pairing – Pair this refreshing Tomato and Onion Salad with a dry Rosé wine. The light and fruity notes of the rosé complement the sweetness of the tomatoes and the tanginess of the onions, creating a delightful harmony of flavors. Look for a Provence rosé or a Spanish Rosado for a perfect match.
  • Grilled Proteins – Serve the salad with grilled proteins such as chicken, fish, or shrimp. The light and fresh flavors of the salad contrast beautifully with the smoky char from the grill.
  • Cheese Platter –  Create a cheese platter with a selection of cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and Parmesan. The creamy and salty cheeses complement the sweetness of the tomatoes and the sharpness of the onions.
  • Pasta Dish — Serve the salad as a side dish with a simple pasta dish such as spaghetti aglio e olio or penne arrabbiata. The salad’s light and refreshing flavors balance out the pasta’s richness. Some of my favorite pasta dishes to serve this with are my Trofie al Pesto, Spicy Lobster Cappellini, and Lobster Scampi!
  • Picnic Fare – Pack the salad into a picnic basket along with some crusty bread, cheese, and charcuterie for a delicious outdoor meal. It’s the perfect dish for a sunny day in the park or at the beach.

Storage

  • Store any leftover tomato and onion salad in an airtight container in the fridge. This salad can stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it! Tag @seasonedandsalted on Instagram and leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review below!

Easy Tomato and Onion Salad Recipe (Summer Salad)

Allie Hagerty
Try this easy and delicious tomato and onion salad recipe! It's the perfect summer side dish that highlights fresh and ripe tomatoes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 162 kcal

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • chef’s knife
  • cutting board
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cup
  • Mixing spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 pints cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 12 basil leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Add the halved cherry tomatoes to a large bowl.
  • Add the thinly sliced red onion to the bowl.
  • Add the torn basil leaves and thinly sliced garlic.
  • Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Mix everything gently to combine.
  • Serve immediately or let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Enjoy!

Notes

Choose Ripe Tomatoes – Select cherry tomatoes that are ripe but still firm. Look for vibrant colors and smooth skin, indicating freshness and sweetness.
Prep Ahead – Save time by prepping the ingredients ahead of time. You can halve the cherry tomatoes, slice the red onion, and tear the basil leaves in advance, storing them in separate airtight containers in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 893mgPotassium: 426mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 933IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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