Vegan tempeh “BLT” sandwiches, made with tempeh bacon and a delicious chipotle aioli, are a healthy and flavorful twist on classic BLTs. Great for lunch or dinner!
Spring always feels like a good time for sandwiches. If I have tempeh on hand, I usually make this BLT because it’s really easy to make, flavor-packed and nutritionally well-rounded.
This vegan version of the classic BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich is great for lunch or dinner.
Chipotle aioli is a delicious addition but can be replaced with regular mayo when you’re in a pinch.
Can you say yum?!
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Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients!
This recipe can be made in 10 minutes using storebought ingredients or a little over an hour if making tempeh bacon from scratch.
Vegan bacon: You can use my tempeh bacon recipe or choose your favorite store-bought version. I think the bacon is best served cold, but heated up will also work.
Lettuce: Keep it classic with romaine lettuce or try a spring mix for extra zest. I like to do a blend of spinach, arugula and romaine.
Tomato: Ripe beefsteak tomatoes or on-the-vine tomatoes work best.
Bread: Toast two slices of your favorite sandwich bread until golden. I use whole wheat, but any variety will work.
Avocado: Choose ripe avocados. Ripe avocados have a slight give when you gently press on them.
Chipotle aoili: Mix together vegan mayo, chipotles and adobo sauce, garlic powder and lemon juice for a bright and lightly spicy sandwich spread.
Sure, you can throw the ingredients on two pieces of bread and call it a day, but I believe that a sandwich is all in the layers.
Start by making the chipotle aioli. To do this, finely dice one chipotle chili and mix it with adobo sauce, mayo, garlic powder, salt and lemon juice (image one).
Mash half of an avocado with a fork until mostly broken down. It doesn’t have to be smooth.
Spread avocado on one piece of toast. Spread chipotle mayo on the other slice of toast (image two).
Place sliced tomatoes on top of the mayo. Top the other slice with a few pieces of lettuce (image three).
Next add a few pieces of tempeh bacon. If you are using my tempeh bacon recipe, 5-7 pieces will fit (image four).
Close your sandwich and enjoy!
- 1 recipe tempeh bacon
- 8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread toasted
- 2 medium avocados sliced in half, seed removed
- 1/2 cup chipotle aioli
- 2 on the vine tomatoes or one large beefsteak tomato
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 can (7 ounces) chipotles in adobo sauce see instructions
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Slice tempeh width-wise into 20-22 thin pieces. Steam sliced tempeh in a steamer basket for 10 minutes (see tips below if you don't have a steamer basket). Meanwhile, mix together the marinade: vegetable broth, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika.
- Line the tempeh up in a 2-3 quart baking dish (any dish will do as long as the tempeh fits in a single layer). Pour the marinade over the tempeh. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Drizzle a large skillet with enough oil to coat over medium heat. Once hot, add the marinated tempeh. Reserve the marinade for later.
- Saute until lightly browned on one side. Flip the tempeh. Pour in the reserved marinade. It will look like a lot of liquid, but should cook off completely within 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high if needed.
- Continue sauteing until the bacon reaches your desired crispiness, flipping again as needed.
- Make chipotle aioli: Remove one chipotle pepper from the can. Finely dice. Combine the mayonnaise, finely diced chipotle chili pepper, one tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles), lemon juice, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir until combined.
- To make one sandwich: Mash 1/2 avocado until spreadable. Spread avocado on one piece of toasted sandwich bread. Spread 2 tablespoons chipotle aioli on the other piece of bread. To the slice with the aioli, add four slices of tomato, 5-7 slices of tempeh bacon, then 1/2 cup lettuce. Close the sandwich and enjoy!