Tomato Basil Salad (Vegan, Whole30)

Tomato Basil Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that only takes 5 minutes to make and is incredibly delicious! This salad is light and refreshing and perfect for weeknight meals, cookouts, brunch or appetizers! Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, paleo, Whole30 and low carb friendly!

If you have fresh tomatoes on hand, you should try salsa with grape tomatoes or roasted cherry tomato pasta sauce.

Large white bowl filled with tomato basil salad and a spoon
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Why this recipe works:

  • This healthy salad only has 6 ingredients and is so easy to make
  • This salad is great for topping eggs for breakfast, as brunch, for lunch or dinner.
  • This tomato basil salad recipe is gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan and Whole30.
Ingredients for the tomato basil salad


  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Red Onion
  • Vinegar (white balsamic, balsamic, white wine vinegar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper (optional)


  • Step 1: Start by halving the cherry tomatoes (or slicing up a larger tomato). Add the tomatoes to a large bowl. 
  • Step 2: Finely chop the red onion so that there are no huge chunks to bite down on. Add the red onion to the bowl with the tomatoes. 
  • Step 3: Chop the basil. The best way to do this is to chiffonade the basil. Simply stack all the basil leaves on top of each other. Then roll the basil up into a log. Cut thin strips down the basil shaped log.
  • Step 4: Pour the vinegar over the mixture and add salt and pepper. Stir well. Serve immediately or allow to sit to further combine.
Collage of how to Tomato Basil Salad

What else can you add?

  • Chopped cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Chopped chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak, chickpeas or white beans (vegan)
  • Feta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, blue cheese
  • Chopped green onion
  • Fresh parsley, oregano, thyme
  • Drizzle of creamy basil dressing
Ingredients for the tomato basil salad before stirring.

How to serve this salad:

This salad is great as a side dish. It can also be used as part of the meal or as an appetizer.

  • Serve over pasta or zucchini noodles
  • Stuffed in an omelet or on top of eggs
  • On flatbread like pizza (like a margarita style pizza)
  • Top crusty bread (like bruschetta)
  • On top of grilled chicken, grilled salmon
Silver spoon in a bowl of tomato basil salad getting a scoop


Why should you add vinegar to this tomato basil salad?

The vinegar actually helps neutralize the bite from the red onion and helps it taste sweeter. This is a trick I learned years ago. If I have time I often allow red onions to soak in vinegar before adding them to a salad.

What kind of vinegar should you use?

I like to use white balsamic so that the vinegar doesn’t take away from how pretty the tomatoes are. You could also use regular balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.

Why cherry tomatoes?

Cherry tomatoes are great in this recipe because they are easy to chop and make a great presentation. Larger tomatoes are often full of seeds and can make the tomato basil salad a little too watery. 

What if you don’t have fresh basil?

If you don’t have fresh basil, you can use fresh parsley, mint, oregano or thyme. It will change the flavor but still be very refreshing. You can also try dried basil (about 1 tsp per pint of tomatoes). 

Bowl of tomato basil salad over a grey napkin

If you love this recipe you should try:

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Overhead shot of large white bowl filled with tomato basil salad.

Tomato Basil Salad

This fresh, light tomato basil salad is the perfect way to celebrate the summer season! Fresh basil, tomatoes paired with balsamic vinegar and red onions will easily be a staple in your summer meals.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: salad, Tomato Basil Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Guided Recipe Video


  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes - chopped
  • 5-10 leaves basil - cut into ribbons
  • 2-3 tbs. red onion
  • 1-2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, Stir with a spoon and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Store in air tight glass container for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  • Cook time indicates rest time.


If you don’t have fresh basil, you can use fresh parsley, mint, oregano or thyme. It will change the flavor but still be very refreshing. You can also try dried basil (about 1 tsp per pint of tomatoes). 
White balsamic vinegar doesn’t take away from how pretty the tomatoes are, but regular balsamic or champagne vinegar is great as well!
If you don’t have access to cherry tomatoes, you can use regular tomatoes, However regular tomatoes have more seeds so they can make a more watery salad. 

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?Let others know by rating and leaving a comment below!

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in May of 2015, but was published again in May of 2019 to include step by step directions, new photos and a video.

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  1. 5 stars
    What a refreshing summer salad. Can’t wait to make them. Thanks for linking up at #HomeMattersParty this week. Hope you will come back and link up and again this week.

  2. This is a big summer favorite for us! I’ve got three tomato plants growing on the deck and we have our CSA but there is never enough tomatoes! Going to try your recipe…so glad you shared it with us at #FoodieFriDIY! Hope to see you this week too!

  3. I am not a tomato fan, but this still looks so yummy and fresh! Thanks for sharing with #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup 6/21/15

  4. This is my kind of recipe! I love it so much that I’ve picked it as one of my top 5 for Share The Wealth Sunday! I’ll feature it on my blog as well as my FB page. Thanks so much for linking up with us!


  5. This looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it. Pinned and tweeted! Thanks for being a part of our party. I hope to see you, Monday at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

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