Today’s recipe is one of my all-time favorites- marinated tomato salad with pickled red onions and homemade garlic croutons. I’ve been making this for years now and it’s never failed me.

How to Make Marinated Tomato Salad

  • Prepare all of the necessary ingredients. Prepare your pickled red onions and garlic croutons (see below for detailed instructions on making both items). Slice up the tomatoes and chop up the fresh chives (if you’re using them).
  • Combine all of the ingredients. Get a large bowl and add in the sliced tomatoes, pickled red onions, homemade garlic croutons, chopped chives, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Season. Season with salt and black pepper to taste before tossing to combine everything.
  • Add the toppings. Sprinkle with crumbled Gorgonzola and serve immediately.

Tomato Salad

How to Make Pickled Red Onions

If you ask me, the real secret ingredient in this whole salad recipe is the pickled red onions. There’s just something to be said about preparing your own pickled onions instead of buying them from the store that makes this recipe that much tastier.

  • Prep the red wine. Add the red wine vinegar and salt into a small bowl. Stir until the salt dissolves. This is what gives the red onion its amazing flavor.
  • Prep the red onion. Slice up the onion and add it into the wine mixture. Toss to combine.
  • Allow the onion slices to marinate for 15-20 minutes in the wine.
  • Drain. Drain the liquid from the red onion bowl.

Tomato Salad

How to Make Garlic Croutons

Along with the pickled red onion slices, the homemade garlic croutons really help to take this salad recipe from good to great. Here’s exactly how to make them:

  • Prep and cook the garlic. Smash up the garlic cloves and add them to your preheated pan. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Prep and cook the bread cubes. Take your day-old rustic bread and remove the crust before cutting it into cubes. Add the cubes in with your garlic and cook until they turn golden.
  • Add to salad. Remove the croutons from the heat and set them aside until you’re ready to add them into the salad with the other ingredients.

Tomato Salad

What Types of Bread Work Best for Making Homemade Croutons?

When it comes to making your own homemade croutons, there are definitely certain types of bread that are more ideal than others. Here are my 3 favorite types of bread that I like to use for this:

  • Pugliese bread
  • Ciabatta bread
  • Sourdough bread

Along with tomato salads like this one, homemade garlic croutons are also great in:

  • Caesar salads (and a variety of other garden fresh salads)
  • Turkey stuffings
  • Paired with creamy soups
  • As a topping for pasta dishes

Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad

Can I Make Marinated Tomato Salad Ahead?

You can definitely make marinated tomato salad recipes like this one ahead of time, especially if you’re following the ingredient list exactly (if you add extra ingredients like arugula that are commonly used in tomato salads, it tends to wilt if you leave it to marinate for too long).

Once you have made the salad, you can safely keep it in the refrigerator (make sure it’s stored in an airtight container) for up to 4 to 5 days.

Tomato Salad

(You may also like: Chunky Cucumber Tomato Salad with Avocado Vinegar Dressing)

Marinated Tomato Salad with Pickled Red Onions and Garlic Croutons

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


For the salad: 

  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup red-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives, optional
  • 3 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • salt and black pepper to taste

For the garlic croutons: 

  • ½ pound day-old rustic bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed


  • Add the red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt to a small bowl and stir until dissolved. 
  • Add the red onion and toss to combine. 
  • Let stand for 15-20 minutes. 
  • To make the garlic croutons, in a pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the bread cubes and cook until golden. 
  • Remove from the heat and set aside. 
  • Drain the onions.  
  • Add the onions, tomatoes, croutons, chives (if using)  and olive oil to a large bowl. 
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. 
  • Toss to combine. 
  • Sprinkle with crumbled Gorgonzola and serve.
Like this recipe?Leave a comment and review below!

3 Good Tomato Recipes to Make with Fresh Tomatoes

If you have access to fresh tomatoes, you’re going to love making these recipes! They’re simple to make but they let the ingredients speak for themselves.

More Good Marinated Tomato Salad Recipes

Emma Kelly

Lover of smoosh faced dogs, cooking (of all kinds), spending as much time as I can in the garden (especially with homegrown veg and cut flowers), and diy’ing everything! Make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more easy meals, (mostly) healthy desserts and crave-worthy snacks. Learn more about me here.

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