The simplicity of the traditional BLT is a big part of its appeal — all you need is some bread, just-cooked bacon, juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and a smear of mayo to make a satisfying meal. But the BLT is also infinitely adaptable. You can add an avocado and call it a BLAT, top it with a fried egg, or create a BLT waffle sandwich. You can even use the key BLT ingredients in non-sandwich meals, like pizza and pasta. If you can’t get enough of the bacon-lettuce-tomato combination, try one of these seven creative versions below.
1. Club Sandwich
An American diner staple, the club sandwich is nothing more than an extra-large BLT with some turkey thrown in. If you want to create a perfect version of this iconic sandwich, proper construction is key. You’ll need three slices of bread to create the signature towering effect, and you’ll want to be careful how you layer your ingredients so the sandwich doesn’t fall apart when you eat it. Recipe from Food Republic.
- 3 slices white sandwich bread, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ pound turkey breast, thinly sliced
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried until crisp
- 1 small tomato, sliced into rounds
- 4 leaves lettuce, rinsed and dried
Directions: Spread a layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread.
Pile on half the turkey, two slices of cooked bacon, two slices of tomato, and two lettuce leaves. Top with second slice of bread. Repeat.
Add last slice of bread, slice into halves or quarters (securing with toothpicks if necessary), and serve with fries, cole slaw, or potato salad.
2. BLT Grilled Cheese
Two classic sandwiches — the BLT and grilled cheese — come together in perfect harmony in this delicious yet simple lunch recipe. Rather than using the traditional iceberg lettuce, this recipe from Well Plated by Erin substitutes for more flavorful arugula. You’ll also want to skip the Wonder Bread in favor of a hearty multi-grain. Finally, pass on the mayo and use zestier Dijon mustard as a condiment instead.
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- Softened butter, for grilling
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 large ripe tomato, cut into ½ inch slices
- 2 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 small handfuls arugula
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the bacon on the prepared pan and cook in the oven until crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
Warm a skillet over medium-low heat. Completely cover one side of a slice of bread with butter. Spread the other side of the bread with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Top with half the cheese, 2 strips of cooked bacon, sliced tomato, and arugula. Spread one side of another slice of bread with 1 teaspoon of mustard, then place mustard-side down on top of the sandwich. Butter the outside of the top slice of bread. Repeat to make the second sandwich.
Once the skillet is warm, add the sandwiches to the pan. Cook until the bread is golden-brown in color and the cheese has melted, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, cut in half, and serve.
3. Avocado BLTs with Spicy Mayo and Fried Eggs
The humble BLT gets a gourmet upgrade in this recipe from How Sweet It Is. First, you include avocado (turning your BLT into a BLAT). Then, fry up an egg for some extra protein and slather your bread with a sriracha-flavored mayo for a sandwich that won’t disappoint. This recipe makes 2 sandwiches.
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 4 slices whole grain bread
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce
- 2 bunches of baby romaine lettuce
- 1 tomato, sliced, then seasoned with salt and pepper
- ½ avocado, sliced, then seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 eggs, cooked as desired
Directions: Pan-fry the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Mix the mayo and the sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cook the eggs. As the eggs cook, toast the bread.
Spread the spicy mayo on two slices of toasted bread. Top each with lettuce, tomato, bacon, avocado, and eggs. Spread more mayo on the remaining two slices of bread and then top the assembled sandwiches with the bread. Serve immediately.
4. BLT Soft Tacos with Chipotle Ranch
Swap sliced bread for tortillas in this version of the classic BLT from Jones Dairy Farm. To make these quick-fix tacos, just layer cooked bacon in a tortilla with lettuce and tomato, then top with a spicy homemade chipotle ranch sauce. This recipe makes 4 tacos, but it’s easy to double if you’re feeding a crowd (or just extra-hungry).
For the tacos
- 8 slices dry aged bacon
- 4 (6-inch) flour tortillas
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
For the chipotle ranch sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- Juice from one lime
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 chipotle in adobo (seeds removed for less heat), minced
Directions: Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Set aside to cool completely.
To make the chipotle ranch dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Place 2 slices of bacon down the center of each tortilla. Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes, then drizzle the chipotle ranch over the top.
5. BLT Pizza
Pizza or BLT? You can have both when you make this BLT pizza from Cooking Light. A premade pizza crust is topped with a garlicky mayo-based sauce, then layered with bacon, cheese, and arugula. But it’s the tomatoes that really make this dish stand out. Roasting them in the oven before you assemble the pizza does take a little more time, but it results in more intensely flavored and less watery tomatoes for your pie.
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup canola mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 4 center-cut bacon slices
- 10 ounce fresh pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup baby arugula
Directions: Place a pizza stone on the bottom oven rack. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange tomato slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Place baking sheet directly on pizza stone and bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are no longer wet. Remove tomatoes; keep stone in oven.
Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine mayonnaise, oil, chives, and garlic in a small bowl.
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Break into pieces.
Using well-floured hands, pat dough into a 10-inch circle. Place dough on a pizza peel or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Pierce dough with a fork; transfer to preheated pizza stone. Bake for 5 minutes.
Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Brush mayonnaise mixture over crust, leaving a 1-inch border; top with tomatoes and bacon. Top with cheese; coat crust edge with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust browns. Top with arugula. Cut into 8 slices.
6. BLT Salad
You don’t have to forego BLTs just because you’re watching carbs. This salad recipe preserves the flavors of the classic sandwich but skips the less-healthy white bread in favor of a few crunchy croutons. It’s perfect for lunch or even a light dinner. Recipe from Allrecipes.com.
- 1 pound bacon
- ¾ cup mayo
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and shredded
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups seasoned croutons
Directions: Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Combine the mayo, milk, garlic powder, and black pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Add the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and croutons to a large bowl and toss to combine. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.
7. Creamy BLT Pasta
The key ingredients in a BLT — crispy bacon, flavorful tomatoes, and healthy greens — work just as well in this creamy pasta dish from A Dash of Sanity as they do in a sandwich. While it takes a bit more effort to prepare than a basic BLT, this crowd-pleasing dinner is sure to be a hit with whoever is at your table.
- ½ to ¾ pound penne pasta
- 1 pound thick cut bacon
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 cup roasted cherry tomatoes, cut in half (see below)
- ½ cup fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 1 tablespoon Sambal chile paste (optional)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, dived
For the roasted tomatoes
- 1½ to 2 cups of cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon parsley
- Sprinkle with garlic powder
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss all the ingredients for the roasted tomatoes in a bowl. Spread on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan.
As the tomatoes cook, fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until the noodles are al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, then drain.
As the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Warm a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the uncooked bacon and add to the pan, cooking until crisp. Transfer the cooked bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain the fat from the skillet.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and let warm. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the roasted tomatoes and the spinach. Remove pan from heat and stir in the mascarpone, 1 cup of parmesan, ½ cup of pasta water, and chile paste, if using. Mix until cheese is melted and smooth. Add the pasta and toss to coast with the sauce. Stir in remaining fresh tomatoes and top with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Serve.
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