Yes, I am making a BLT without any actual bacon. Please resist the urge to disown me; I promise, this sandwich is everything your BLT-loving heart desires, albeit without the pork.
I woke up the other day craving a BLT, and just couldn’t get the thought of toasted bread, tangy mayo, crunchy lettuce, squishy tomatoes, and crispy, salty, smoky-sweet bacon out of my head. Since I was already dedicating an unnecessarily large amount of brain space to BLT-dreaming, I found myself thinking about the last BLT I had- likely more than a decade ago. I was visiting my sister Heather at college, and we ordered subs for dinner. I vividly remember sitting up on the top bunk of her dorm-room bunk bed eating our BLT subs and talking the night away. I’m pretty sure we slept in that same twin-sized top bunk together, too. Unless I slept on the floor? No, we must have slept together on the top bunk. Needless to say, 15-year-old me was entirely smitten with college life.
Since then, I’ve given up my two-person top bunk sleeping habits as well as my meat-eating habits, but the memory of that giant BLT sub hasn’t left me. I’m not here to try to convince you to stop eating meat- there’s enough information out there about the horrific conditions of factory farms and the immense environmental impact of meat consumption that you can probably figure out on your own why I stopped eating meat and never looked back.
And yet, here I am, craving that smoky-sweet bacon flavor.
Maple-bacon coconut clusters to the rescue!
I first made these surprisingly spot-on bacon impersonators almost a year ago, and only just made them again last week with the realization that I could stuff them into a sandwich and relive all of my BLT dreams. So, I did just that. Also, an added bonus of making coconut bacon instead of pork bacon is that there’s no grease splattering around the kitchen. Less clean up is always a win in my book.
Since I can’t help myself, I made a loaf of homemade sourdough bread for the ultimate sandwich experience. I tasked Heather with picking out the lettuce and tomato- she came home with dark purple romaine and a surprisingly juicy greenhouse tomato, and I got to work assembling the rest of our BLT additions. I could have stuck with the basics here, but if I’m making the best BLT, it has to have avocado and red onion, too. Sure, that makes it a BLOAT (uhh…), but I’m not about the change the title of this classic sandwich over a few add-ins.
First, the bread was sliced and toasted. One slice got a thick slather of mayo, while the other got a generous portion of ripe avocado slices and a pinch of salt.
Lettuce, tomato, and thinly sliced red onion went on top of the avocado, and a big handful of the coconut bacon clusters got piled on top of the mayo. The whole sandwich got smashed together, sliced in half, and ready to make my dreams come true.
I wouldn’t lie to you about the magic of this BLT; it really did make my dreams come true. Heather and I split one for lunch on Tuesday when we were snowed in, and I was instantly brought back to the top bunk of her college dorm room. I can even tell you the outfit I was wearing that night, over twelve years ago (faded jeans and a light blue tee-shirt, in case you needed to know), and how it felt to be off at college for the first time, if only for a weekend.
Whether you’re a real-deal bacon eater or not, I think you’re going to love this bacon-free BLT. It has all the classic BLT flavors, and leaves you with extra maple-bacon coconut clusters to toss onto salads and snack on by the handful late in the week. Or, you know, to keep making BLTs. I don’t know about you, but I’d gladly eat this sandwich every day for a week straight.
- 2 slices of bread
- 1/2 cup maple-bacon coconut clusters (recipe linked in blog post above)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite mayonnaise
- thin slices of tomato
- romaine lettuce
- 1/2 an avocado
- thinly sliced red onion
- salt and pepper
- 1. Toast your bread. Spread mayo on once slice. Top mayo with coconut clusters. Put avocado onto remaining slice of bread, and layer on all remaining ingredients. Eat immediately.
- Feel free to add/remove whatever BLT ingredients you love to this sandwich.
- A full batch of maple-bacon coconut clusters makes enough for 6 BLT sandwiches.