This healthy Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Corn is a summer side dish you will make again and again. The addition of sweet summer corn and fresh basil makes it a salad you don't want to miss.
This Tomato Cucumber Salad recipe should be the official side dish of summer. It's a no-cook side dishes that is bursting with flavor from fresh summer tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, avocado, and basil. Serve it alongside grilled chicken or salmon for a fresh and easy meal.
This salad is the definition of summer for me. Perfectly ripe tomatoes, sweet summer corn, fresh and crunchy cucumbers, fresh basil, and creamy avocado come together to form the most delicious and seriously simple salad. Everything is pulled together with some lemon juice, olive oil, and lots of salt and pepper. It couldn’t be any easier and I could eat it by the truckload.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it can easily become a fresh and healthy entree. Make it a full entree by adding some grilled chicken, shrimp, fresh mozzarella, chickpeas, or quinoa. Just grab your ingredients, toss them in a large bowl, and dinner is ready.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
- Tomatoes: The tomatoes are the star of this salad, so make sure to choose ripe tomatoes. Any tomato variety can work. During tomato season, I usually make it with Roma or heirloom tomatoes and in colder months, I swap in cherry tomatoes since they are sweeter year-round.
- Cucumbers: Any cucumbers will work in this salad. If you like to leave the skin on the cucumbers, reach for an English cucumber of Persian cucumbers, both of which have softer, edible skin. Traditional cucumbers will also work, just remove some or all of the peel and scoop out of the seeds.
- Fresh corn: The sweetness of fresh corn is delicious in this salad. During the summer months it can be cut right off the cob without cooking it. When corn isn't in season, frozen or canned corn can be used. Grilled corn is also delicious.
- Avocado: The avocado adds some creaminess and healthy fat to this salad. If you aren't an avocado fan, you can leave it out. You can also add some cheese or chickpeas if you want another texture.
- Basil: Fresh basil pairs really well with tomato (looking at your Caprese), but you would swap in any herbs you like. Consider using cilantro, parsley, chives, mint, dill, or a combination of fresh herbs,
- Lemon: Every salad needs some acid and in this salad, lemon works great to add a pop. Balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar also taste delicious with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Customizing this Tomato Cucumber Salad Recipe
This is one of those salads that you can quickly adapt based on what you have on hand or your personal preferences. We make it a little different almost every time.
- Add peppers: This salad works great with even more veggie crunch. Add some diced red, yellow, or green bell peppers to the mix.
- Add cheese: Top this salad with some crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, or queso fresco.
- Make it spicy: Add a chopped jalapeno to the salad for a bit of spice. Chopped Calabrian chiles are also delicious or even sprinkling in some red pepper flakes.
- Try red onions: To add some zest, consider adding some diced or thinly sliced red onions. To make them more palatable, soak them in ice water for 15-30 minutes before adding them to the salad.
- Swap in a new vinegar: This salad uses lemon juice as the acid, but you could also use red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
- Try different herbs: Instead of fresh basil, swap in fresh cilantro, parsley, chives, or dill. A combination of fresh herbs is also delicious.
- More greens: Bulk up this salad by tossing in a bunch of greens like arugula, romaine lettuce, or spring mix.
- Add protein: This salad is great with protein as well. Consider adding cooked shrimp, chickpeas, chicken, steak, or tofu.
Salad Dressing Ideas
Normally when I make this salad, I like to let the vegetables and use a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Just grab a small bowl and whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil, adjusting the amount to your preference.
Another option is to swap out the lemon juice for lime juice or your favorite vinegar.
Can cucumber tomato salad be made ahead?
Tomato salad comes out best when it is eaten right away since both the tomatoes and cucumbers will release liquid as they sit. If you want to make this an hour or so before, that's ok. To ensure you don't end up with a soggy salad, scoop the seeds out of the tomatoes. Additionally, choose English (hothouse) or Persian cucumbers since they release let liquid. Lastly, toss the avocado with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the questions we hear most often about this tomato salad.
What cucumbers are best for tomato salad?
English cucumbers, also known as hothouse cucumbers, are the best option for tomato salad. They have small seeds and the skin is edible, adding a nice green element to the salad. Small Persian cucumbers also taste delicious with tomatoes. If you want to use standard cucumbers, they will also work. Just make sure to remove some or all of the peel. Also, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds that can sometimes be bitter or watery.
What tomatoes work best in this salad?
This salad will work with any type of tomato you like. During the summer months, fresh garden tomatoes are delicious. Cherry tomatoes are a good choice most of the year since they are sweeter than a standard tomato. Any tomato you would be happy to eat will work.
Can you use frozen or canned corn instead of fresh?
If you can't find fresh corn, canned or frozen corn works great. Make sure to defrost it and drain all the excess liquid. For canned corn, make sure to rinse it to remove any of the canning liquid flavors.
Is tomato and cucumber salad good for you?
This salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and is very healthy. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber. Plus since this salad doesn't have a heavy, creamy dressing, you don't have to worry about the saturated fat or sugar normally found in those dressings.
Do I need to peel the cucumber? Is it ok to eat the skin?
It depends on son what kind of cucumber you use. Hothouse (English) cucumbers and small Persian cucumbers do not need to be peeled. The skin is tender and edible. For traditional cucumbers, it is up to you. Some people like the taste but many people remove the skin since it can be bitter. Also, standard cucumbers are often coated in wax to preserve freshness, so it is best to remove any waxy skin.
More Tasty Salad Recipes
Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Corn
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- 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 U English cucumber, chopped
- 2 U ears corn, cut off the cob (optional: grill or roast it first)
- 1 U avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped (or more)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 U lemon, juice (or more)
- Salt and pepper
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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