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Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad Recipe

Looking for a simple and nutritious wholefood-based salad that is vegan and easy on a tight budget? Look no further than my Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad made with just a few fresh ingredients. In minutes, you can create this delicious, budget-friendly salad recipe as a side dish or even as a light meal on its own. Its equally as tasty if you add crumbled cashew feta or sprinkle of a vegan mozzarella cheese to create a more authentic Italian Caprese salad. Ready? Let's start cooking..

Salmon Avocado Breakfast Toastie Recipe  |  Eat Nourish Glow
Salmon Avocado Breakfast Toastie Recipe | Eat Nourish Glow

Italian Caprese Salad (Vegan Version)

So, just what is Caprese Salad? It is an Italian salad recipe that is traditionally made from sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, and sweet basil. The colors are meant to represent the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. The ingredients simply ooze a taste of country-side Italy featuring tomatoes at the peak of their season, farm fresh mozzarella, and freshly picked, fragrant basil leaves still warm from the Mediterranean sun.

How do I make this vegan if the recipe contains mozzarella? Although the traditional recipe calls for dairy-milk cheese, specifically mozzarella, this Italian Tomato Onion Salad is just as delicious without out it, and makes a fabulous plantbased side dish to many meals. I've also made it on several occasions with vegan cheeses like cashew feta and a plantbased Mozza.

On a budget? Tomatoes and onions are some of the most affordable produce items available, making this wholefood salad an excellent option for anyone on a tight budget. Cherry tomatoes are usually found year round at the shops (in Australia), and get super cheap after harvest season. I favour Solanato or Cherry, but if large tomatoes are cheaper, you can definitely substitute with them to meet your budget and not sacrifice taste.

During harvest season, nearly all of us know someone with an abundance of freshly grown garden tomatoes. Ask the for a handful and return the kindness with a meal prepped container of this Italian tomato salad. Sometimes the best things are free in Life, and I love the idea of neighbours sharing with the community like the old days.

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Key Ingredients Used

Garden Fresh Red & Yellow Heirloom Tomatoes  |  Eat Nourish Glow
Garden Fresh Red & Yellow Heirloom Tomatoes | Eat Nourish Glow

This simple plantbased salad is not only easy to make, but it's also incredibly light and healthy. Red onions and basil give this recipe a sharp flavour that is softened by the naturally sweetness of cherry tomatoes.

  • Sweet Basil: is a leafy green herbs that provides aroma, flavour and health benefits to any dish. If you are using fresh basil, be sure to add it toward the end of cooking since heat subdues its flavor and colour.

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes and onions are both super loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants. Tomatoes are naturally rich in vitamin C and lycopene and give this dish a burst of sweetness.

  • Red onions: are rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful plant pigments that help protect against heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes. Onions are also low in calories yet high in nutrients, including vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium. In this recipe, red onion gives a little bite without being overpowering.

  • Olive oil: extra-virgin olive oil is a heart-healthy source of fat. This is the least processed type of olive oil, and is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like tocopherols, carotenoids, and polyphenols. Wherever possible, choose this over canola, sunflower or vegetable oils.

  • Balsamic Vinegar: is a slightly sweet, dark, richly flavored vinegar used to enhance salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

All the ingredients in this plantbased salad are low in calories, making it an excellent option for anyone trying to rebalance their weight through vegan and wholefoods.

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Healthy Variations

Aside from making this salad as it is, you can boost the nutrition and flavour by adding a variety of other healthy ingredients:

  • Avocado: pairs so well with onions and tomato. Add a 1/2 cup of chunks to pimp up this recipe and balance your bowl with a healthy fat.

  • Herbs: add a variety of your favourite fresh herbs to experiment with new flavours from the same recipe. I love using torn coriander, fresh mint leaves, or Thai basil.

  • Citrus fruit: add a little tang to this vegan salad recipe with freshly peeled mandarins, grapefruit chunks or a little lime zest.

  • Vegan cheese: make a more traditional Caprese Salad by adding plantbased feta or mozzarella cheese.

If you're looking to make this Italian salad recipe even more filling, consider adding some protein, such as grilled chicken or plantbased options like beans, chickpeas, lentils, pasta, or tofu.=

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Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad Recipe

Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad Recipe  |  Eat Nourish Glow
Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad Recipe | Eat Nourish Glow

My Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad is a simple, healthy, and budget-friendly plantbased dish that's perfect for anyone looking for a quick and easy meal. Next time you're in the mood for something fresh and flavorful, give this vegan salad a try!

Fresh Italian Tomato Onion Salad Recipe


  • 2 cups Heirloom Cherry tomatoes, chopped in halves

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly cut or Julienne

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1-2 balsamic vinegar, organic

  • 1-2 sprig of fresh basil, organic

  • 1 pinch salt & pepper to taste


If you add in crumbled cashew feta or vegan mozzarella cheese, you can create a more authentic Italian Caprese salad version.


To make my easy tomato salad, start by chopping the Cherry tomatoes and red onions. In a bowl add the salt, black pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk to combine, and then add the tomato and onion. Toss to coat evenly. Finally, garnish the salad with freshly torn basil leaves for a burst of flavour and color.

Batch Cook & Meal Prep

Yes, you can meal prep this salad. Simply prep and add to a tight, sealable container. The salad needs to be kept chilled to remain fresh, but will keep well for several days in the fridge. This is fabulous for those who grow their own food and get that bumper crop of toms. If you are usually stuck on what else to make with them, this salad is it!

Want more vegan, wholefood recipes like these? You might like my That Wholefood Low Carb Life! cookbook full of easy recipe ideas! There is even a Practitioner-led version of the cookbook to provide you with amazing support to help you nourish and eat healthier. Click here to grab your copy!

One Last Thing, Before You Go...

If you really enjoy these recipes... stick around with a cup of peppermint tea and browse this blog for more clean eating recipes, nutrition and healthy eating guides, and be sure to grab my free Wholefood Recipe Collection, click here. You'll receive my Nutritionist-approved clean eating recipes to sample this week. Learn how to ease into healthy, wholefood eating that won't take you hours in the kitchen to eat clean and healthy. Come grab a copy, click here.

Emma Lisa, Nutritionist & Women's Practitioner

Emma Lisa, Nutritionist at Eat Nourish Glow

Emma Lisa is a Nutritionist & Women's Health Practitioner with over 12+ years experience in wholefood nutrition, meal planning and health coaching. She is a published cookbook author, passionate food recipe creator and lifestyle blogger, and an advocate for women's health and anti-diet culture. When she's not in clinic, Emma is mum to five kids, in her test kitchen and a wellness digital creator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
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Healthy + happiness,

Emma Lisa xx

IICT Member, International Institute for Complimentary Therapists

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This was so delicious! Thank fir the printable meal planner too.., very helpful. Ann x



Love how this dish is so simple. I could see using it for mini side dishes. And I do love the idea of adding feta, my favourite!

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Hello, I'm Emma Lisa

PSSST, my mission? To support as many women and mothers as I can to take back control of their health! I am lit up teaching simple steps to a well-balanced diet and Life that you can absolutely say you love!


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