Copycat Panera Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad

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Panera Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad

Our copycat recipe for Panera bread tomato basil cucumber salad is easy to make and will help you make a salad that tastes amazing. This salad recipe is like a taste of summer, no matter the time of year. Check out the step-by-step instructions for this simple and delicious recipe. 

Panera Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad top and yellow

A Perfect Summer Blend

If you are enjoying summertime, or simply dreaming of summertime, this salad is the perfect summer blend. Our copycat recipe for Panera bread tomato, basil, cucumber salad is easy to make, and tastes amazing. This is just the thing to get you feeling like it’s summertime.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Basil Salad

Not only is the salad easy to make, only requires a few ingredients, but it is also delicious to enjoy eating. The salad is perfect for any occasion, no matter the time of year. Plus, the salad only takes a handful of ingredients. Let’s look at what you need to make this delicious salad. 

Ingredient Notes

Heirloom Tomatoes: Our copycat recipe for Panera’s tomato, basil, cucumber salad features tomatoes. Although any kind of tomatoes can be used, we recommend using cherry-sized tomatoes, or Roma tomatoes. 

Cherry tomatoes are more authentic to what Panera bread uses; they simply slice the little tomatoes in half before adding to the salad. However, using Roma tomatoes also works well because they contain very little juice, and are bigger, therefore the tomatoes go farther. Either way, using cherry tomatoes, or Roma tomatoes works well for this recipe. 

Cucumbers. Cucumbers are another essential ingredient and make our copycat recipe for Panera’s tomato basil cucumber salad. For this recipe, you can use normal size cucumbers or baby cucumbers. Either way works, simply be sure to wash the outside of your cucumbers well and dry thoroughly before using. 

Basil. Basil is the primary seasoning for the nearest tomato basil cucumber salad recipe. If possible, you will get the best results when using fresh basil leaves. However, fresh basil is often difficult to find at your local grocery store. Another great alternative to fresh basil is to use dried basil leaves. 

Onion. If desired, include a red onion to add delightful color to your salad. This ingredient is an optional ingredient and does not have to be included. However, it does add an additional pop of color. 

Olive Oil. The dressing for our copycat salad is made using olive oil. For best results, you will want to use light olive oil in this dressing. 

Vinegar. Another ingredient for the dressing when making the salad is red wine vinegar. It is very important that you do not use basic white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar for this recipe as the taste is not the same.  

Garlic. We also like to include some minced garlic in the dressing for our copycat recipe for Panera tomato basil cucumber salad. This ingredient is optional, however, we believe that it adds a delicious flavor to the salad that you do not get otherwise. You can use freshly minced garlic cloves or minced garlic that comes in a jar from the store. Either one works well. 

Seasonings. There are several seasonings that we like to include in the dressing as well. The seasonings are optional and can be added according to your taste preferences. The seasoning we like to add to the dressing includes freshly ground black pepper, salt, and garlic salt. 

A note about the cucumbers:

Turning our attention to the cucumbers in this recipe specifically, there are a few different ways you can prepare them. First, be sure to wash all of your cucumbers and allow them to dry before moving forward. After your cucumbers are washed and dried, you will want to slice them so that they are thinly sliced. 

For this recipe, you can use miniature cucumbers or regular-sized cucumbers. One note as you are slicing your cucumbers, you will want to cut each slice in half, or in quarters, then if your seeds are large be sure to remove the seeds before adding your cucumbers into your salad bowl. 

How to Make Tomato Cucumber Salad:

Slice Vegetables

To begin making your salad, start off by washing your cucumbers and tomatoes and allowing them to dry before slicing your vegetables. For your cucumbers, you will want to thinly slice your cucumbers, then cut each slice in half, or in quarters. Your tomatoes should be cut in half if using cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes should be cut into bite-sized quarter pieces. Fresh basil should be chopped into small pieces.

Toss with dressing

When all of your vegetables are sliced, add them to a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, and seasonings. Whisk the dressing well, then drizzle on top of your vegetables. Toss the vegetables until they are completely coated with your dressing. Serve your salad right away, or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Serve and enjoy! 

Which type of Cucumbers are best:

Cucumbers that are best for the salad are mostly a matter of preference. Often times the mini cucumbers work the best, however as long as your regular sized cucumbers are thinly sliced and cut into quarters, or bite-size pieces, either type of cucumber will work great. 

Add-In Ideas:

There are of course many other ingredients you can add to the salad if you wish. A few ideas include slices of onion, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, peas, or even carrots. 

Make Ahead Instructions: 

If you are choosing to make the salad ahead of time, you will want to cover the salad bowl, and place it into the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Note that you will not want to make this salad too far in advance, as it will not store well once all of your vegetables are cut and the dressing is added. 

Dressing for Cucumber Tomato Salad

Our copycat recipe for the dressing on this salad recipe is made using olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, and seasonings. These are added together, then shaken well before drizzled on top of the salad. However, if you prefer a different type of dressing on the salad, you may absolutely change things up. 

Another of our favorite types of dressing on the salad is simply to drizzle some Italian dressing throughout the salad. Feel free to get creative, and mix things up with the dressing to totally change the overall flavor of this delicious salad. 

Consider Serving With:

Our copycat Panera tomato basil cucumber salad recipe is great served alongside any type of meat, or as a side dish to any meal. For a simple meal, simply add a delightful piece of chicken, steak, or pork chop for a perfect meal. You can also add a type of bread for a delicious side to the salad.

Ingredients

8 medium Roma tomatoes, quartered or 20 oz cherry tomatoes halved
2 medium cucumbers, washed, dried, peeled, and sliced
1/3 cup basil, chopped
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp red wine vinegar 
1 ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
garlic salt, to taste

Instructions

Steps to Make It

Step 1: Slice Vegetables

Begin by washing and drying your tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh basil. Once dry, quarter tomatoes, and cucumbers. Thinly slice your basil and onion. Add all of your cut vegetables to a salad bowl. 

Step 2: Tomato Cucumber Salad Dressing

In a small bowl or jar combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cover with a lid and shake well for 10-30 seconds. Drizzle the dressing on top of your prepared vegetables and toss with dressing until the vegetables are coated in the dressing. Serve right away and enjoy! 

Cook’s Notes

If you are preparing your salad in advance you will want to cover the salad and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve, then serve and enjoy. Please note that this salad is best enjoyed the same day it is made. 

Panera Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad 1

Nutrition

We have estimated that this recipe for copycat Panera bread tomato basil cucumber salad contains approximately six servings. Please note that the following nutritional facts are based on the assumption that one serving is equal to 1/6 of the above recipe. 

Nutrition Facts

For the above recipe, we have estimated that one serving contains approximately 115 calories. We have also estimated that one serving contains 7.5 g total fat, 12 mg sodium, 12 g total carbohydrates, and 2.4 g protein. Most of the calories come from the olive oil in the dressing. 

Recipe Tips

If you are making this salad in advance, we recommend making the dressing, but not adding your dressing to the vegetables until you are ready to serve. Then simply drizzle the prepared dressing, on top of your salad before serving. Then serve right away. 

More Fun Additions

There are many things that can be added to the salad to help spice it up if you wish. There are some great additions to the salad including pecans, feta cheese, blue cheese, changing up the dressings, adding additional vegetables such as broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, or peas just for a few ideas. 

Can I Make it Ahead?

Yes, the salad can be made ahead of time, however, we recommend preparing the vegetables, covering them, and storing them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. We also recommend that you prepare the dressing as instructed above, however, instead of drizzling it on top of the salad, we recommend storing it separately, then drizzling it on top of the salad right before you serve it. 

Serving Suggestions

When you are getting ready to serve our copycat recipe for Panera tomato basil cucumber salad, you may wonder what to have with it. A few of our favorite ideas include serving this salad with some chicken, steak, or pork chop. Any kind of meat will do when paired with this delicious salad recipe. You can also pair this salad with a side of bread, or rolls if desired.

Recipe Variations

There are a few popular recipe variations for our copycat recipe when making Panera’s tomato basil cucumber salad. Below are a few recipe variation ideas for you. 

Mediterranean Chop Salad

To make a Mediterranean chopped salad recipe variation, you will simply prepare the salad as instructed above, and add chickpeas and olives to the mix. You can top this recipe variation off with your favorite dressing, or simply use some Greek salad dressing. 

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Making tomato cucumber salad is very similar to our above copycat recipe. To mix things up slightly, simply use a red onion that is finely sliced instead of the sweet onion. Using a red onion adds an additional pop of color that is very appealing to the eye. 

Panera Bread Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Make a copycat version of Panera bread tomato mozzarella salad, you will prepare some chopped tomatoes along with some chopped basil, then add some thinly sliced red onion, and mix in some fresh mozzarella cheese that is cut into cubes. Drizzle this mixture with balsamic vinegar and serve on top of a slice of focaccia bread. 

Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

Making tomato basil and feta salad is very similar to the above recipe. Simply prepare the above recipe, except substitute the onion, for chopped green onions, and add 3 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese. Otherwise, prepare as instructed above. 

Panera Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad top down

Salads with a Cucumber Crunch

If you love those lovely crunchy cucumbers that remind you of summertime, no matter what reality says, the salad is perfect for you. The salad has it all with the fresh sweet taste of tomatoes, mixed with the delicious crunch of cucumbers and topped with basil and other seasonings, it is simply hard to go wrong with this tasty salad. 

Panera Bread Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad

Making your own homemade Panera Bread Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad is easy and delicious with this simple recipe. Our copycat recipe walks you through the step-by-step process and will help you to make an easy and amazing tasting salad. The salad is perfect for any and all occasions. Don’t take our word for it though, give this recipe a try today and let us know what you think about it! 

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