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tomato onion salad in dressing in a black bowl
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5 from 8 votes

Tomato and Onion Salad

This sweet, tangy Marinated Tomato Salad with homemade Catalina dressing creates a colorful side dish even when tomatoes are not at their best.
Prep Time15 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hr or overnight1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 5
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, Note 2 (I use about 9-10 larger cocktail tomatoes)
  • salt
  • 4 green onions

Catalina Dressing, Note 1

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (or 1 1/2 of you prefer less sweet)
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup neutral tasting olive oil or Canola oil


  • PREPARE TOMATOES AND GREEN ONIONS: Finely chop green onions. Slice tomatoes to 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick. If you are using regular tomatoes, you can cut each slice in half. If you have very juicy tomatoes with lots of seeds, I grab a bunch at a time and give them a good squeeze between my two hands over the sink. This will prevent the salad from becoming too watery.
  • MAKE THE CATALINA DRESSING: In a food processor or blender, add all Catalina Dressing ingredients except oil. Pulse a few times until blended. Slowly add the oil and process for a minute. Alternatively, whisk ingredients together in a bowl and slowly add in oil while whisking until thickened.
  • LAYER THE TOMATO SALAD INGREDIENTS: In a medium bowl (glass if possible to see all the colours), add a tablespoon or so of dressing to cover the bottom. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on top of dressing. Lightly sprinkle tomatoes with salt. Sprinkle with some green onions. Repeat layers, ending with green onions. Cover and let sit for an hour or two on the counter or up to one day in the fridge to blend the flavors. Serve cold or at room temperature.


  1. Catalina dressing shortcut: instead of making the dressing, buy a bottle of Catalina or French dressing. Great shortcut I use all the time.
  2. Type of tomatoes to use: any kind - cocktail, grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, field, plum, beefsteak tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes. 
  3. Variations and substitutes: 
    • Add diced avocado before serving
    • Garnish with finely chopped fresh herbs like fresh parsley, fresh dill, thyme, fresh basil or chives
    • Sprinkle on crumbled goat cheese, fresh mozzarella or feta cheese
    • Substitutes:
      • Use any other vinaigrette dressing instead of Catalina
      • Use white wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar
      • Try chopped sweet onions instead of green onions (but I prefer the milder and more colorful green onions for this tomato salad)
  4. Make Ahead: the recipe can be made a day ahead and kept, covered in an airtight container, in the fridge. If you have time, let the tomato salad sit for an hour before serving to let the flavors blend.
Nutrition values are estimates. 
Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1012IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg