Easy, no-cook Tomato Carpaccio done in 10 minutes, guaranteed to impress your guests effortlessly! It’s quick, looks and tastes delicious, and is so easy to make!

Vegan tomato carpaccio with hummus and basil on a green napkin with two vintage forks.

In this post you’ll learn:

Want to Watch the Recipe Instead?

Perfect! This vegan tomato carpaccio is the first recipe out of the 3 holiday appetizers that I made in the YouTube video below. Enjoy!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • 🌱 Healthy Vibes: Indulge guilt-free in this dish full of fresh veggies, no oil, and a party of flavors.
  • 🍅 Effortless Gourmet: Impress your taste buds and friends with this gourmet-looking dish that’s secretly a breeze to make.
  • 🌿 Basil Bliss: The aromatic basil adds a touch of freshness that combines really well with tomatoes.
  • 🎨 Customizable Fun: Get creative and throw in extras like pine nuts, greens (like arugula), and whole grains (like quinoa) – it’s your culinary canvas!
  • 💚 100% Plant-Based: Vegan recipe for our vegetarian and vegan friends or anyone looking to eat more veg!
Close-up of vegetarian tomato carpaccio with basil, Italian herbs, hummus, red onion, and balsamic glaze.

What is Tomato Carpaccio?

The traditional carpaccio is an Italian appetizer featuring thinly sliced or pounded raw meat or dish. In this vegetarian & vegan carpaccio version, I’m using tomatoes to substitute for the meat.

So picture this: thinly sliced ripe & fragrant tomatoes, topped with red onion, cheesy hummus, basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze. It’s a light and hearty appetizer which requires no cooking, but packs a punch of flavor and nutrients!

A white plate full of fresh tomato carpaccio with a lot of garnish, with the left side cut off.

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes: They’re the star of your Carpaccio, so pick high-quality, bright red tomatoes.
    • Use heirloom tomatoes if available, but remember quality over variety.
    • It’s better to get normal ripe tomatoes that are bright red and smell fragrant, than to get heirloom tomatoes that are still unripe or have a lot of bruises.
  • Red Onion Slices: Thinly sliced for a hint of crunch and a mild kick, adding a subtle oomph to the mix.
  • Hummus (or Vegan Cheese): Creamy hummus (either homemade in 5 minutes or store-bought) adds a luscious texture.
    • Feel free to switch it up with your favorite vegan cheese such as mozzarella or burrata.
  • Nutritional Yeast (Optional): Elevates the dish with a cheesy, umami kick – totally optional. Skip if using vegan cheese.
  • Balsamic Glaze: The thick, sweet elixir that transforms your Carpaccio into a masterpiece. Note that it’s different from ordinary balsamic vinegar (see below for more explanation).
  • Basil Leaves: The aromatic herb that is a classic combo to any Italian tomato-based dish.
  • Black Pepper: A grind of freshly ground black pepper for that perfect finishing touch.
Ingredients to make tomato carpaccio with labels on a white marbled background.

Making Balsamic Glaze from Balsamic Vinegar

If you only have balsamic vinegar at home, fret not because making your own DIY balsamic glaze takes only 5-10 minutes!

It’s as simple as simmering 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar over low heat until it reduces in volume by at least half. This will thicken the mixture to give you that natural caramelized flavor without any additional sugar.

And yes, the store-bought balsamic glaze usually contains sugar but you don’t necessarily need the sugar to make your own balsamic glaze at home. Win-win!

Step-by-step Instructions

Slice the tomatoes thinly crosswise. So your knife will be slicing from the right to left (or left to right), and NOT from the top to bottom of the tomato.

It’s easiest to just turn the tomato to face the side (such that the green tomato top faces the side instead of facing the top as is usually done), and then cut from top to bottom like in the left picture below.

Arrange the tomatoes on your plate. You can either layer the tomatoes covering the full plate for the classic plating of carpaccio (like the picture right below).

Or if it’s the holiday season, make a cute Christmas wreath for more festivities!🎄 (see the section below for pictures)

Layering tomato slices on a white plate evenly.

Peel and thinly slice the red onion, then sprinkle it on the tomatoes.

(Optional) Mix the nutritional yeast with the hummus for that cheesiness.

Now dollop about 1 teaspoon of hummus on each tomato slice.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze, then sprinkle basil leaves on top. Finish with freshly ground black pepper.

And enjoy your vegan/vegetarian carpaccio tomato!

Making this for Christmas? Try this plating instead!

I can’t stand the cold really well but if winter means the holidays, sure I can bear them haha.

Plate your carpaccio tomato carpaccio into the shape of a Christmas wreath like below, and have yourself a festive party! 🎄

P.S. Since we’re talking about Christmas, check out my 5-Minute Dark Chocolate Covered Peanuts Clusters, or my Vegan Nutella (using Dates) for some quick homemade DIY gifts!

Top Tips

This is a dish where high-quality ingredients will make a big difference so I’ll just elaborate on two of the ingredients.

Tomatoes:

  • Be sure to get the freshest tomatoes that you can find! As with any other dishes that are served raw, getting the freshest ingredients is the key to a tasty dish!
  • Heirloom tomatoes work best, but remember that the quality of the tomato is more important than the variety. It’s better to get regular tomatoes that are ripe and high-quality (if they smell fragrant, it’s a great sign that it’s gonna taste great), than to get heirloom tomatoes that are unripe or bruised.
  • You can also use a mix of varieties and color such as green or yellow tomatoes.
Close-up of a tomato in the tomato carpaccio, sprinkled with Italian herbs and black pepper.

Balsamic Glaze

  • We’re using balsamic glaze (which is essentially made from balsamic vinegar, sugar, and thickener) in this recipe to add that bit of sweetness to the recipe.
    • This is different from balsamic vinegar, but you can make your own balsamic glaze just by simmering balsamic vinegar on low heat for 5-10 minutes (see the post above for more detailed information).
  • For more information on the difference between balsamic vinegar and balsamic glaze, see this post from The Artisan Olive Oil Company.

What to Serve with Carpaccio?

More Herbs: Basil is essential, but feel free to add more herbs to this dish for extra flavor and texture. Some delicious pairings are oregano, parsley, thyme, dill and chives.

Greens: Make a tomato carpaccio salad by adding a side salad with mixed greens, or simply arugula/rucola/rocket salad or spinach. Dress them lightly in balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Whole Grains: Make it a heartier appetizer salad by serving tomato Carpaccio over a bed of cooked quinoa or couscous, or other whole grain of choice such as spelt berries or barley.

Grilled/Baked Vegetables: Fire up the grill/oven and add some grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or asparagus. The smoky flavor enhances the overall experience of this vegetable carpaccio!

Vegan carpaccio of tomato shaped in a Christmas wreath, with a green napkin in the background.

Vegan Cheese Plate / Tapas: Create a small vegan cheese board or tapas with a variety of plant-based cheeses, grilled peppers, and olives. It adds even more variety to this dish, and it’s fun to do!

Flaked sea salt: A simple addition on top of it all that adds tiny bursts of flavor to your recipe. Be careful to not add too much since the hummus and (plant-based) cheese are likely to contain salt already.

Storage and Meal Prep Instructions

Storage: Tomato Carpaccio is best enjoyed fresh, as the vibrant flavors and textures are at their peak.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. However, keep in mind that the tomatoes might release some moisture, affecting the dish’s texture.

Meal prep: This recipe already only takes 10 minutes from start to finish, but you can still do some prep in advance especially if you’re making a big batch.

Prepare the hummus and balsamic glaze in advance and keep them in small containers. Then you can continue with the rest of the recipe just before serving.

Freezing: This recipe is NOT suitable for freezing.

Christmas wreath tomato carpaccio on a white plate, taken at an angle.

FAQ

Can I use regular tomatoes instead of heirloom tomatoes?

Absolutely! While heirloom tomatoes add a unique flavor and look so pretty for an heirloom tomato carpaccio, any high-quality ripe tomatoes work well for this recipe.

I’m not a fan of hummus. Any alternatives?

Sure! Vegan cheese (such as mozzarella or burrata), or even cashew cream are delightful alternatives.

Can I use regular balsamic vinegar instead of balsamic glaze?

While balsamic vinegar works, the glaze adds a thicker consistency with sweet notes. If using vinegar, take 5-10 minutes to reduce the balsamic vinegar on your stovetop to achieve a similar thickness to balsamic glaze.

See the post above for more details.

Can I use dried basil instead of fresh?

No, please use fresh basil since this dish is all about fresh ingredients!

A full plate of fresh, colorful vegan tomato carpaccio with basil, hummus, and balsamic glaze.

Looking for Other Similar Recipes?

This recipe is in my No-Cook Vegan Christmas appetizer so if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my 15-Minute Beetroot Tartare, or my 15-Minute Pineapple Carpaccio recipe for a sweeter option.

Or for a healthy Christmas cake-inspired recipe, check out my Easy Weetabix Cake Loaf recipe!

If you’re looking for tasty sides, check out my Caramelized Onions and Mushroom recipe, or my Healthy Garlic Bread (using Whole Wheat Bread and without Butter).

And if you just want quick and easy recipes (all under 30 minutes of cooking), check out my Creamy Tandoori Pasta recipe, my Roasted Tandoori Vegetables Platter, or my Sticky Tempeh recipe for an Indonesian twist!

10-Minute Tomato Carpaccio (Vegetable Carpaccio Salad, Vegan)

Vegan tomato carpaccio with hummus, balsamic glaze, and basil.
Easy, no-cook Tomato Carpaccio done in 10 minutes, guaranteed to impress your guests effortlessly! It's quick, looks and tastes delicious, and is so easy to make!
Jem @ The Fruity Jem
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Serving Size 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 14 oz fresh & ripe tomatoes (400 grams) use heirloom tomatoes or any other high quality tomatoes
  • ¼ small red onion thinly sliced
  • 5.3 oz hummus (150 grams) feel free to sub with (vegan) cheese
  • (Optional) 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic glaze the thick one, different from balsamic vinegar (see post above on how to make DIY balsamic glaze from balsamic vinegar)
  • 4 sprigs of basil leaves only
  • sprinkle of black pepper freshly ground

Instructions

  • Thinly slice the tomatoes crosswise. So you place the tomato on its side (with the top of the tomato facing to the sides), then slice it. See the pictures in the post above if this is unclear.
    Then arrange them to cover your serving plate.
  • Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Sprinkle on top of the tomatoes
  • (Optional) If using nutritional yeast, mix it with your hummus.
  • Dollop about 1 teaspoon each of hummus on top of the tomatoes. Then drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
  • Snap off the basil leaves from the stem and sprinkle the leaves on top. You can either just throw away the stem, or use it in soups and stews as a flavor booster.
  • Finish off with freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately!

Notes

Top Tips:
  • Be sure to get the freshest tomatoes that you can find! As with any other dishes that are served raw, getting the freshest ingredients is the key to a tasty dish!
    • One quick way to check this is to check if the tomatoes smell fragrant. If they do, that’s a good sign. If not, it’s definitely worth that extra trip to go to another supermarket to find fresh tomatoes!
  • Feel free to use heirloom tomatoes, they’re worth the splurge!
Storage: Tomato Carpaccio is best enjoyed fresh.
  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. However, keep in mind that the tomatoes might release some moisture, affecting the dish’s texture.
Meal prep: This recipe already only takes 10 minutes from start to finish, but you can still do some prep in advance especially if you’re making a big batch.
  • Prepare the hummus and balsamic glaze in advance and keep them in small containers. Then you can continue with the rest of the recipe just before serving.
Freezing: This recipe is NOT suitable for freezing.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Christina says:

    5 stars
    Such a simple recipe but both the plating and taste are amazing, thanks for this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m liking all these easy recipes that taste and look great!