Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad has layers or tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a perfectly sweet and salty brine. It’s one of my favorite pickled salads.  

For some reason, canning always makes me feel so domestic. I’m a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie, and any time I make jam, pickles, tomato sauce, freeze berries or do any sort of food preservation, I feel like I’m channeling my inner Caroline Ingalls, taking care of my family by preparing us all with lots of stocked up food in our pantry. There is something so satisfying about seeing colorful jars of canned food.

I also watched my Mom can our summer produce all summer long, from the many varieties of Marinated Tomatoes and Pickles, Marinated peppers, Adzhika, Tomato Juice, different assortments of Slavic salads and all kinds of jams. We enjoyed the contents of those jars all year long. This was my all time favorite recipe that my Mom made every summer.

The Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad is so simple, yet the taste is like none that I have tried anywhere else. First of all, it looks beautiful. The layers of onions, cucumbers and tomatoes are so colorful. The flavor isn’t too “pickley” or “vinegary”. Actually, there is such a small amount of vinegar, that you can’t really taste it at all in the finished product. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty. My husband, who is NOT the  biggest fan of pickled food, loves this salad, for this very reason. Since the tomatoes and cucumbers are cut up into pieces, it’s especially convenient, because you don’t have to fit them into the jar a certain way. You don’t have to choose the perfect small vegetables, because you can cut up the tomatoes and cucumbers that normally wouldn’t fit. Also, since the tomatoes and cucumbers are canned together, they give a very unique flavor to each other. These pickles have an extra delicious flavor because of the tomato juice that is in the marinade.

It’s a perfect quick side dish to any meal. Open up a jar, and you’re all set. I hope you enjoy this recipe that has been loved in our family for many years. 

Ingredients: (You can most certainly halve the recipe if you want to make a small portion)

5 lbs tomatoes

5 lbs pickling cucumbers

2 lbs onions

2 heads of garlic

1 large bunch fresh dill

20 cups water

8 Tablespoons granulated sugar

9 Tablespoons fine sea salt

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

10 Tablespoons sunflower oil, 1 Tablespoon per jar

Instructions:

Wash the cucumbers and tomatoes.

If your cucumbers are a little soft, you can crisp them up by letting them soak in really cold water for 15-30 minutes. This is actually a really cool trick for any time your cucumbers need a little extra pep. They got nice and crunchy just by standing in the cold for a bit. Slice the cucumbers into approximately 1/2 inch circles. Slice the onions, about 1/4 inch slices and quarter the tomatoes. Peel the garlic.

Wash and dry your canning jars. Place a few sprigs of fresh dill on the bottom of each jar, and then add 2-4 garlic cloves. Layer the onions, cucumbers and tomatoes in 2 layers in each jar. I got 10 (1 quart) jars, using 8 wide mouth quart jars and 2 half gallon wide mouth jars.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the water, salt and sugar to a boil, mixing until all the sugar and salt dissolve. Off the heat, pour in the vinegar.

Ladle the hot marinade mixture over the vegetables in the jar, all the way to the top. Add about a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the top of each jar. I add a little bit less than a Tablespoon to the quart jars and a little more than a Tablespoon to the half gallon jars.

Place the jar lids in boiling water and let the lids stay in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes also, off the heat.In a large pot, place a towel or dishcloth on the bottom and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil. Place the filled jars in the boiling water, on top of the towel, cover them loosely with the lids and cook, at a simmer, for 10-15 minutes.


Take the jars out of the water and close the lids tightly. Repeat with all the jars.

The tomato and cucumber salad is ready to eat in 1-2 days, since the vegetables are cut, the marinade penetrates them really quickly. Store opened jars in the refrigerator, the rest are shelf stable at room temperature.It’s absolutely delicious! It looks beautiful right out of the jar. 

Print

Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad has layers or tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a perfectly sweet and salty brine. It’s a delicious and crunchy pickled salad.

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Total Time: 2940 minutes
  • Yield: 10 quarts 1x
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 lbs tomatoes
  • 5 lbs pickling cucumbers
  • 2 lbs onions
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh dill
  • 20 cups water
  • 8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 10 Tablespoons sunflower oil (1 Tablespoon per jar)

Instructions

  1. Wash the cucumbers and tomatoes. If your cucumbers are a little soft, you can crisp them up by letting them soak in really cold water for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Slice the cucumbers into approximately 1/2 inch circles. Slice the onions, about 1/4 inch slices and quarter the tomatoes. Peel the garlic.
  3. Wash and dry your canning jars.
  4. Place a few sprigs of fresh dill on the bottom of each jar, and then add 2-4 garlic cloves.
  5. Layer the onions, cucumbers and tomatoes in 2 layers in each jar. I got 10 (1 quarjars, using 8 wide mouth quart jars and 2 half gallon wide mouth jars.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the water, salt and sugar to a boil, mixing until all the sugar and salt dissolve. Off the heat, pour in the vinegar.
  7. Ladle the hot marinade mixture over the vegetables in the jar, all the way to the top.
  8. Add about a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the top of each jar. I add a little bit less than a Tablespoon to the quart jars and a little more than a Tablespoon to the half gallon jars.
  9. Place the jar lids in boiling water and let the lids stay in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes also, off the heat.
  10. 1In a large pot, place a towel or dishcloth on the bottom and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil. Place the filled jars in the boiling water, on top of the towel, cover them loosely with the lids and cook, at a simmer, for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Take the jars out of the water and close the lids tightly. Repeat with all the jars.
  12. The tomato and cucumber salad is ready to eat in 1-2 days, since the vegetables are cut, the marinade penetrates them really quickly. Store opened jars in the refrigerator, the rest are shelf stable at room temperature.

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109 Comments

  • Oksana

    This looks super easy and delicious! Will have to give this a try.. just a question from a first time canner- do I have to sanitize the jars ? And how?

    • olgak7

      No, not for this recipe, just wash them first. Since you will be cooking them later in the jar, that will, in a sense, take care of the sanitizing part. I hope you enjoy this salad, Oksana.

  • Christine

    Did you use vine tomatoes or cocktail tomatoes? The tomatoes in the picture look small and I can’t tell.
    Also what type if onion? Cooking onion or Spanish onion? Thank you.
    p.s. I love your recipes and your stories.

    • olgak7

      The tomatoes I used are the ones called “on the vine”. They are medium sized. However, you can use any kind of tomato for this recipe. We have used different ones since they will be cut up anyway. I used regular yellow onions, but a white or Spanish onion will work too.

  • Lily

    Hi Olga, can I make this salad without canning it? What I mean is, if I pour marinade over veggies, and then once it cools place it in fridge, would I get same results?

    • olgak7

      I have never tried it that way. It may work, but you would need to keep the salad stored in the refrigerator. It also might taste different, since the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions etc. are “cooking” together for 10-15 minutes when they are in the jars.

  • Vera

    I really like your updated website. The search by ingredient makes it very user friendly. I will be making more of your recipes now.

  • Lilly

    I made this recipe on Saturday. I tasted the marinade and I found it to be to my liking. However, I needed about 1 extra pound of veggies to fill the same amount of cans. Also, if you are planning to overturn the cans and place towels over them for a few hours, do not boil the cans more than 10 minutes.

    Olga, this is such a beautiful and tasty recipe. I am new to canning, but I am absolutely in love with it. Thank you for posting it!!!

    • olgak7

      I hope you enjoy the salad, Lilly! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it.
      The amount of veggies varies a bit for me every time; I find that the size of the cucumbers is what really makes the difference, since the thinner cucumbers take up less room in the jars, even if the weight is the same, if that makes sense.

  • Liza Soro

    This recipe looks really good and seems like it is easy to make. I am planning on trying it, but am wondering, would any other oil work instead of sunflower oil? I have avocado and olive oil on hand.

  • Tanya

    I made this recipe and it is absolutely delicious, and much approved by my husband:) It was so good I am already making another batch because this one will soon be gone! Thank you for all your recipes Olga, I have already made so much of them at home and they have all turned out perfect every time thanks to your detailed instructions:)

  • Tracy

    How long is this shelf stable? 6 months, a year, etc ? Love this recipe just don’t want to make more then we can use in the safe shelf time frame.

  • Kristen

    The recipe states to fill the jars with hot marinade to the top with the liquid. Doesn’t there need to be headspace for when they are in the boiling water? Thank you!

  • Bee

    I am new to canning. Actually, these would be my first canned tomatoes! Everything I have read so far says to add lemon juice or vinegar when canning tomatoes with other vegetables. Are these acidic enough as is? Thanks!

  • Stephanie

    Hi! I am so glad I found you! Today, I used your recipe for the very first time. I have to say, BRAVO TO YOU! Yummmmm! With the amount of veggies I was able to make 12 pints and 4 quarts of salad! I’ve never used sunflower oil before….THANK YOU! It’s absolutely delicious! 👍🏻👍🏻❤️❤️

    • olgak7

      Hi Stephanie! Welcome:).
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe – it’s one of my favorites of all time.
      Thank you for taking the time to write.

  • Laura Snitman

    Your recipe looks wonderful and I cannot wait to make it. Silly question but when you open the jar and take out the veg. How does the oil affect them? Thank you.

  • Maggie Martin

    So you do not cover the whole jar with water to seal the jar? Tighten after the boil? I’m confused .. what seals the jar

    • olgak7

      I fill up the stock pot almost to the top of the jars, just before the lids. This leaves the lids uncovered, but all the contents of the jar are completely surrounded with the water.
      If you would prefer, you can cover it completely. I tighten the seal after boiling it in water. That is how I always do canning. If you use a different method, that is fine too.

  • Jeannie

    I am trying this recipe this week and I can’t wait. My question is, will you hear the pop for the seal so you will know it sealed properly? I am new to canning!

    • olgak7

      Sometimes you will hear the pop, but sometimes you don’t, it just seals quietly. You can also check if it’s sealed by pressing the middle of the lid. It should be firm and not spring back.

  • Robyn

    I peeled and sliced my cucumber and soaked in salt to drain the water before I saw this receipe. I was wondering if I can just follow everything else and use my cucumbers and the marinade to can it.

    Have you ever done that before or do you think it will be different? I know the cucumbers will not be crunchy which is ok since I did slice very thin. I usually make my pickles thicker but these were burpless cucumber not for pickling.

    Thanks for help.

    • olgak7

      I have never salted and drained cucumbers for this recipe, but they should still be ok to use in this recipe. It is best to keep the cucumber slices thicker, but that’s ok.

  • Eda

    It looks delicious. Would like to try. But want to know if I can replace the sugar with erythritol or monk fruit or any other sweeteners.

  • Kelly

    Was so excited to find a new recipe, especially since I have more cukes to use up! I’ll likely add both basil and dill too!

  • Therese Rivard

    I was wondering if I could just make this salad with tomatoes and onions and only a few cucumbers.? My husband does not like cucumbers, but loves the taste of the tomatoes and onions?

    Than you.

    • olgak7

      You can, but it will have a completely different flavor. I would highly recommend trying it with the cucumbers – they are so different that what is typically sold in stores and will give the marinade a really terrific flavor.

  • Therese Rivard

    Thank you, Olga. Do you have more canning recipes? With my garden, there are so many vegetables to harvest and I can’t eat them or give them away fast enough. I need help preserving them. I enjoyed watching your video about your favorite kitchen appliances.

    • olgak7

      I wouldn’t recommend using dry dill weed in this recipe. I think the dill creates a very special flavor for the marinade, but you can certainly omit it. The tomatoes and cucumbers will have a different flavor, though.

  • Kelly

    I don’t know, there’s not enough vinegar to safely acidity the contents to prevent botulism. Also, it’s always recommended to cover jars with at least an inch of water above the lid. Did you base this recipe from a trusted source? The balance of vinegar and water are way off for it to be safe.

    • olgak7

      This is a family recipe that we’ve been making for decades and have never had any botulism. I hope you find a wonderful recipe with enough vinegar to make you feel safe.

  • Charlene Mcbride

    Hello.. looking forward to trying this recipe. I have alot if cherry tomatoes can they be used as well

  • Linda Todd

    I put together 2 jars exactly 2 days ago and it’s so pretty I reluctantly opened to taste test before making more. I will definitely be
    making this over and over. It’s a great way to use my garden harvest and I’ll change up the vegetables depending

    • olgak7

      I’m so happy to hear that, Linda! I agree with you – the jars are so pretty, I almost want to display them, but we go through them so fast in our family, there is never enough.
      Thank you for taking the time to write.

  • Therese Rivard

    I just love this cucumber tomato recipe. My husband is not a big fan of cucumbers so I was wondering if I could put in a few banana peppers in the jars to give the salad a little ‘kick’?

    • olgak7

      I have never made this with peppers, Therese, so I am not sure. I think the cucumbers give the tomatoes and the marinade some of their flavor, so if you omit the cucumbers, it will have a different flavor. I have also never used grape tomatoes for this recipe, only whole tomatoes, so I can’t say if they will work well for this recipe or not.

    • olgak7

      The recipe is correct. It’s very different from most recipes, but we really enjoy it in our family and that is the exact recipe I am sharing here.

  • George Ray

    I forgot the vinegar. With so little vinegar used in this recipe, was it for flavor or was it used as a preservative? The jars look so good, I would hate to have to throw it all out.

      • Denice

        Getting ready to make this recipe and noticed George’s comment. Vinegar is not only important for flavor but as a preservative especially if you are canning this. I’m going to try adding a little green pepper to the recipe.

  • CP

    Do the veggies lose their crispness or did I do something wrong? Last week I made 5 pints for taste testing. Tried them last night and while the flavor was nice the cucumbers and tomatoes were very mushy. Logically sitting in the marinade they would get soft, but maybe I missed a step to counter that?

  • Natalie

    Do you know why there’s so little vinegar? Also could I use the vinegar sugar n water measurements from my dill pickle recipe? And use lime crisp on the veggies so they don’t get as mushy. Ive been looking for a cucumber salad recipe for a long time but all the ones I find say they should be eaten in 4-6 weeks and kept in the fridge. So I’m super confused.

    • olgak7

      The amount of vinegar is less than most recipes because it would completely change the taste and texture of the salad. We have successfully been canning this recipe in our family for decades, we would store it for an entire winter and not once had any issues, except going through our stash too fast because it’s always the first to be eaten from all the other recipes we preserve.

  • Christine

    After processing the jars in simmering water, the vegetables seem to have floated to the top a little, leaving some space at the bottom of the jar. What do you think that I might have done wrong to cause this to happen?
    Is the food safe to eat?
    All of the jars have sealed properly .

    • olgak7

      It’s totally normal, Christine. Most vegetables will shrink a bit when they are cooked. As long as the vegetables and the brine look and taste good, it should be just fine.

  • William

    I made this for the first time last year (2020) & it’s early March 2021 . It’s Great ! Made 12 quarts & only will have 3 left today . Will make 16 quarts next year , every time I have it this blend is like I am in summer 😃 . Thank You for the recipe .

  • Kathy

    I have a question do I have to do the hot water bath to just try in a couple days? I would like to try with day care kids but wasnt sure if that was necessary just to try in a couple days.

    • olgak7

      Yes, the tomatoes and cucumbers do cook while in the hot water bath, so yo still need to do that step, but you can store them in the refrigerator for a few days and serve them.

  • Lucie

    Could you pressure can this if concerned about safety? If so what would be the protocol to follow as far as pressure and time? And any other adjustments needed. Thank you.

    • olgak7

      Yes, you can do whatever you feel is best. I share the recipe the way that we make it in our family and we have never had any issues in the decades that we have been enjoying it. If you have any concerns, please make whatever adjusts you feel that it needs.

  • Kim

    I am making dill pickles right this second and started googling for something different to make. I’m going to try this!! Looks so pretty and the reviews are very nice. Thank you.

  • Jason

    If I wanted to process them in a hot water bath, with the lids tightened, how long would I need to process them?

  • jared

    i’ve only recently discovered your site for the first time. do you have many recipes for canning? if so, is there a way to easily access them without searching each category?

  • Vicki Crossland

    Olga this sounds delicious. My question for you is can I use large and small Cherry tomatoes and or Grape Tomatoes in this recipe for the Tomato, Onion, Cucumber salad in a jar?

    • olgak7

      Hi Vicki,
      I have never used small tomatoes, like cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, as I prefer the larger tomatoes, so I can’t say from experience how well they will work in this recipe or not. You are welcome to experiment, of course.

  • Candace

    I am going to try this although I, too, wondered about the level of acidity. For those who are asking about covering the jars with water, steam canners have been around forever and the jars sit above the boiling water on a rack. They work beautifully so that is not an issue.

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