There’s no better way to use fresh garden tomatoes than in this Tomato and Onion Salad. Paired with fresh herbs and homemade tomato vinaigrette, it’s packed with Italian flavors and is so refreshing.Jump to Recipe
Italian tomato onion salad
There’s so much to love about this tomato onion salad recipe. It’s:
- Made with 5 simple ingredients.
- Simple, yet bursting with fresh Italian flavors.
- Naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
- Finished in my creamy tomato vinaigrette for extra tomato goodness.
While simplicity is definitely the name of the game here, I wanted to take it up a notch and swap the traditional balsamic vinaigrette for a homemade tomato dressing. The creamy texture and sweet tomatoes tie every bite of this Italian salad together. Plus, it’s another way to use up all of the extra tomatoes in your fridge or garden.
Keep this salad recipe on hand for those times when you need a really quick appetizer or side dish, or when your garden is exploding with tomatoes. It’s so easy, delicious, and bound to become a new staple for dinners!
Ingredients and substitutions
All you need are 5 fresh ingredients to make this easy tomato and onion salad:
- Tomatoes – Tomato salad is best when it’s made with fresh tomatoes on the vine or with smaller varieties, like cherry or grape tomatoes. You can use large tomatoes, like beefsteak or heirloom, but they’re very juicy and aren’t as flavorful.
- Red onion – Red onions are best in Italian tomato salad because their mild flavor won’t overpower the rest of the salad, unlike white or sweet onions. If you don’t have red onions at home, use shallots instead.
- Capers – Just think of these as tiny, briny olives. They pack a punch and complement the salad with their salty undertones.
- Basil – Or substitute dill, cilantro, or parsley.
- Tomato dressing – This quick and easy salad dressing is made with 5 fresh ingredients. Tomatoes are the star of this salad after all, and there’s no shortage of them in this vinaigrette!
How to make a tomato and onion salad
Once you blend up the dressing and chop the vegetables, this salad is ready to be assembled and enjoyed! Here’s how it’s done:
- Make the tomato dressing: If you haven’t already, make the tomato vinaigrette.
- Prepare the veggies: Chop the tomatoes into quarters and thinly slice the red onion.
- Assemble the salad: Add the tomatoes, onion, capers, and herbs to a large salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to coat. Season with salt, then serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Is raw red onion too strong for you? Tone down that punchy flavor by soaking the sliced onion in cold water for 10 minutes before assembly.
- If using larger tomatoes – The salad is best served immediately because the larger varieties soften and release their juices very quickly.
- Remove the tomato cores – But keep the seeds. They add great flavor!
- Add even more to the salad – Like cucumber, avocado, mozzarella, burrata, feta cheese, or lettuce.
This fresh tomato salad is delicious as-is or over a bed of leafy greens. Serve crusty bread or freshly baked focaccia on the side and dig in.
Tomato onion salad goes great with all kinds of hearty mains and not just Italian food! Enjoy it as a refreshing appetizer or side with lamb chops, ribeye steak, salmon en papillote, grilled shrimp, and creamy orzo pasta.
Looking for more fresh Italian salads?
- Tomato Burrata Salad
- Shaved Zucchini Salad with Feta
- Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
- Radicchio Caesar Salad
- Herb Pesto Green Bean Salad
If you try this Tomato and Onion Salad let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Tomato and Onion Salad
- Roughly chop the tomato. Add all the ingredients to a mason jar, using a hand blender or blender, and blend until smooth. Remove the cores of the tomato. But leave the seeds, they will add a great flavor.
- Adjust seasoning to your liking. Add any additional salt if needed.
- Place cut tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, capers, and fresh herbs in a large serving bowl.
- Add dressing and gently toss together. Adjust seasoning and enjoy with crusty bread, your favorite protein or pasta.
- If using larger tomatoes (such as heirloom, beefsteak, etc.), salad is best served immediately. Those tomatoes will need to be cut into chunks (versus halved or quartered) and will soften quicker than smaller tomatoes.
- For best results, use only ripe fresh tomatoes for this recipe.
- This dressing will last in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Remove the cores of the tomato. But leave the seeds, they will add a great flavor.