I learned to love gazpacho when I lived in Europe. It's a traditional, chilled soup, typically with a tomato base. My easy, summer gazpacho recipe is vegan, gluten-free, packed with flavor and the perfect make-ahead meal.
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you're successful in your first attempt. But if you're in a rush, please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end!
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Vegan, gluten-free and delicious. Most gazpacho recipes use bread as a thickener. This recipe is both vegan and gluten-free so much lighter!
- Comes together in 20 minutes. It's just such a quick recipe and it's perfect for make-ahead and your BBQ needs! Make this and the Asian-inspired slaw and a nice, vibrant mango salsa and you're all set.
- Super versatile. You can easily substitute or add ingredients to this gazpacho to customize to your needs!
🍅 Gazpacho Ingredients
Traditionally, this recipe typically uses tomatoes, mild onions, garlic, sherry vinegar, bread, cucumbers and long green peppers. I am deathly allergic to cucumbers, and don't really like the texture of bread So, I've modified my recipe to avoid those two and instead added in some basil and cumin for flavor.
Gazpacho (and most Mediterranean dishes) are all about ingredients. Therefore, getting the highest quality gazpacho ingredients you can afford would be great. Some specific ingredient tips below.
Notes and Variations
- Use heirloom or vine tomatoes, and pick ripe ones. Vine tomatoes pack a heftier punch than Roma tomatoes. Pick the freshest tomatoes you can find, and you won't regret it. And if possible, buy organic. You don't need to peel them but removing seeds can make it less watery. if it's not the summer, use canned San Marzano tomatoes!
- Pick a mild onion (shallots or Vidalia onions). Since this is a raw soup, stronger onions can blow out all the other flavors. Shallots and Vidalia onions add flavor without overpowering the dish. Or, buy sweet yellow onions, and soak in cold water or citrus juice for 10 minutes.
- Use extra virgin olive oil and avoid light olive oil. I've found that lighter olive oils tend to leave a more "bitter" aftertaste. So try to use fresh extra virgin olive oil whenever possible.
- Substitute sherry vinegar with apple cider vinegar. Sherry vinegar produces the most authentic gazpacho but apple cider vinegar does the trick just the same and is easier to find.
👩🏽🍳 Troubleshooting and tips
Traditional gazpacho is made with a mortar and pestle with bread so it's a bit chunkier. But smooth and chunky versions are acceptable. This version is in the middle - I chop everything finely and set aside a small bowl worth (exact measurements in the recipe card!) and blend the rest into oblivion. So, I get texture but it's mostly smooth.
Several recipes call for this to make the soup more fluid. However, I've found that it severely waters down the flavors. Summer tomatoes are super flavorful and delicious (especially when they are grown in your backyard). And a generous amount of olive oil helps ensure that the final result is velvety and delicious.
I try to make the soup at least an hour before I have to serve it - ideally two. I store gazpacho in the fridge in mason jars for up to 3-4 days and it gets better over time and makes for a great lunch! Wait to add olive oil drizzle and garnishes at the end to retain freshness.
🥣 Serving and storage suggestions
I garnish my gazpacho with sliced cherry tomatoes, tomato seeds, thinly chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil and fresh black pepper.
You can also add feta or halloumi cheese, avocados, Marcona almonds, and boiled eggs (if you're not vegan). I've also seen some folks add a tiny bit of sour cream to give it a creamier, smooth finish.
How long does gazpacho last?
I portion my gazpacho into small mason jars (plastic tends to get stained when I store tomatoes in them!). Then I put them in the fridge for a couple of days when I want a refreshing make-ahead lunch in the summertime.
How can I freeze gazpacho?
You can also freeze it. But, here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to go this route.
- Freeze them in individual portions, ideally in glass containers (like mason jars). Leave an inch of room on top - they tend to expand
- If you pureed it smoothly, you can freeze as-is. High water content = ice crystals = not delicious. My recipe, as written, freezes quite well - even up to 2 months.
Once you're ready to eat them, if you've frozen it, leave it out to thaw (typically overnight). Then give it a good stir, top with some fresh garnishes and you're good to go. Try to only thaw the portion you're eating. I don't recommend thawing and refreezing this recipe
Creative ways to use leftover gazpacho
But it's super easy to just get carried away and make a huge batch of this recipe (🙋🏽 guilty). If you also did that, and don't want to freeze it, don't worry! You can reuse leftover gazpacho in SO many ways.
- Turn it into salsa. I love adding some chopped tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro and giving it a good stir. Or even use it along with this delicious mango salsa!
- Make chili or stew. The possibilities are endless with this one. Literally, you can add beans, vegetables, and even rice and throw it in a slow cooker or Instant Pot and make a nice vegan chili.
- Make a smoothie. Add some avocado, and any other fruits of your choice and make the most delicious smoothie.
- Make ... Nigerian jollof. I know, my partner's family is about to disown me. But seriously, Nigerian jollof rice is a one-pot, stewed tomato and pepper rice, and it's super flavorful. Add some red peppers to gazpacho along with curry powder and bouillon. Then add some stock, bring to a boil, and cook rice in it.
If you like this recipe, you'll like these other summer recipes too:
The Best Vegan, Gluten-Free Gazpacho
- Food Processor or Blender
- 2 lb tomatoes, heirloom or vine tomatoes preferred
- ½ onion, Vidalia or shallots preferred, medium size
- 1 Anaheim pepper or cubanelle , substitute with jalapeno or Serrano for spicier version - avoid green bell peppers if possible
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, use sherry for a more traditional flavor
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped or chiffonade
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, avoid lighter versions - use the highest quality you can afford + more for garnish (optional)
- Finely chop 2 lbs of tomatoes and remove seeds. Reserve about ⅓ cup of tomatoes in a small bowl, add the rest to blender. Note: you can also save the seeds for garnish!
- Chop the other vegetables (onions, peppers) - reserve about ¼ cup of finely chopped veggies, and add rest to the blender
- Roll about 5-6 basil leaves and chop them finely - save a few for garnish and toss the rest into the blender
- Add apple cider vinegar, ground cumin, olive oil, and garlic into the blender. Blend on high until the soup is very smooth
- Add the saved tomatoes, onions and peppers to the bottom of a bowl, and pour the rest of the soup on top - add salt and mix well. Throw this in the fridge for at least an hour to chill
- Pour the mixed soup into a small glass or bowl, garnish with tomatoes, extra drizzle of olive oil, basil, and some fresh black pepper!
- You can either make this soup chunky or smooth - the recipe as written is for a chunkier version with some texture. If you want it more smooth, just add all the tomatoes, onions and peppers into the blender and smoothly blend it!
- Other garnishes include avocados, feta cheese, Marcona almonds, and even boiled eggs (if you're not vegan)
- The quality of the ingredients really matter for this recipe - check out the post for tips on ingredients!
- I like to chill this soup for at least an hour before serving - but there are some parts of Spain where it's not served cold. I recommend chilling, but it's up to you!