These cheddar tomato salad cups are the perfect summer appetizer to snack on while firing up the grill.

I’ve never understood why so many people take vacations in the summer around here (or any region that has a substantial winter for that matter). It’s like we hibernate for a good 5 months of the year and then the minute the kids get out of school and the weather finally turns nice, they jet off for some tropical getaway. Because that makes sense.

Cheddar Tomato Salad Cups
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

We, however, refuse to leave from the months of May through October. It’s like I need to stock pile those 6 months of nice weather to get my system through the upcoming winter, as each week of cold slowly chips away at my summer memories and sanity.

I never really thought about actually doing a real “staycation” until realizing that’s what the entire summer kind of is for us. As the person who is constantly begging Ulysses to go somewhere warm with me in February to the point where I think he contemplates moving out of the house that month each year because I’m so persistent (and annoying), I don’t say a word in the summer months.

May through October is a vacation in our backyard. It’s a constant flow of tank top wearing, yard work, grilling on the deck, neighborhood walks, simple summer food and plenty of cold beverages.

Cheddar Cheese Tomato Salad Cups

If anything epitomizes summer to me, it’s tomato and basil salads. No mozzarella required, just burst-in-your-mouth, juicy, sweet grape tomatoes with as much basil as possible and a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.

While we fired up the grill for the first time the other day (after needing to replace the burners and heat plates that were rusted out from our lovely winters), I decided to make these simple cheddar tomato salad cups for us to munch on while the burgers cooked and we sipped on the new Palm Breeze in the Pineapple Mandarin Orange flavor. No summer day is complete without some sort of cold alcoholic drink sitting in a koozie on our table outside and I can see either this or the Ruby Red Citrus flavor making multiple appearances in the upcoming months.

Cheddar tomato basil salad cups

These cheddar tomato salad cups were everything I wanted in a summer snack; simple fresh ingredients that shine inside a salty sharp cheddar cheese shell. So while the rest of America jets off to their tropical vacation, I’ll be in my backyard thoroughly enjoying summer with a cheddar cup in one hand and a drink in the other.

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
No ratings yet

Cheddar Tomato Salad Cups

Servings: 9 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 27 minutes
These cheddar tomato salad cups are the perfect summer appetizer to snack on while firing up the grill.


  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat. If you don’t have a silpat, grease the baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Combine the cheddar and cornmeal in a bowl and arrange in small piles on the baking sheet about 2 inches in diameter. Place in the oven and bake for about 7 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown and the centers look lace-like. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute.
  • Remove the cheddar crisps from the baking sheet and drape over the back of a muffin tin or a small glass pinching the sides so that it forms into a cup shape. Let cool for 5 minutes to harden.
  • Combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss to combine.
  • Spoon the tomato salad into the cheese cups and serve.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 159mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Palm Breeze through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Palm Breeze, all opinions are my own.

Please drink responsibly. #VacayEveryDay 

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Oh, my. I need these salad cups in my life! A cocktail and a few of these sounds like the perfect way to usher in a summer weekend!

  2. living in California – we don’t really need to hibernate, but I’m from New York and remember how bad winter really can be, but I’m still so surprised by how many people travel in the summer when the weather is gorgeous at home – we LOVE vacationing in our yard, with a cold drink and delicious food like this

  3. These look delicious! What cute – and edible! – cups for the salad, and so simple to make. Definitely want to try these out for a little snack next time we’re getting our grill on. Yum!