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This vegan BLT sandwich should really be called a TLT: it stars temeph bacon as a plant based alternative to bacon. And it’s so, so tasty.

The Vegan BLT

This post was created in partnership with Muir Glen. All opinions are our own.

Do you ever have a craving for a really good BLT? The smoky, salty bacon, crisp lettuce, and juicy tomatoes, with the toasted bread slathered in mayo? Alex and I eat a mainly whole food plant based diet, so we don’t eat bacon all that often. So, we wanted to create a vegan BLT: totally plant based and totally delicious. Also, we had this craving in early spring, so we had to use something other than those yucky out of season grocery tomatoes. So here it is: our vegan BLT, with vegan bacon and tomato options for any season! Keep reading for the recipe.

The Vegan BLT

A vegan BLT for any season

When Alex and I created this recipe, growing season had just begun where we live in Indianapolis. Kale, greens, radishes, and pea shoots had all made their entrance. But it seemed like ages to go before those luscious summer tomatoes. While we waited for summer to arrive, we made this vegan BLT recipe to mimic the juicy freshness of a summer tomato using our favorite fire-roasted canned tomatoes instead.

Of course meat-eaters can feel free to sub in real bacon on this BLT! But for this one we’re sharing our recipe for vegan tempeh bacon! What’s tempeh? It’s a soy product that’s a bit firmer and more flavorful than tofu. While tempeh bacon doesn’t taste exactly like the real deal, with the smoky marinade, it’s the closest we’ve gotten to mimicking the bacon taste using a protein fit for a sandwich. And it’s oh so good.

The Vegan BLT

Vegan bacon options

While we’re on the subject, have you tried our coconut bacon recipe? It might sound odd, but roasting coconut flakes with a smoky marinade creates a mouth-feel incredibly close to real bacon! (We promise.) Since the flakes don’t work well in sandwich form, we didn’t use them in this vegan BLT. But they’re perfect for a salad, or just snacking (ours disappeared quickly).

You can also make bacon out of mushrooms! Our shiitake bacon is out of this world good: again, it’s in a smaller flake form so better for soups and salads. We use shiitake bacon our Loaded Potato Soup, though tempeh bacon crumbles would work just as well!

Related: BBQ Soy Curls

The Vegan BLT

Looking for more sandwich recipes?

Outside of this vegan BLT sandwich, here are a few more of our favorite sandwich recipes:

This vegan BLT sandwich recipe is…

Vegan, plant-based, dairy free, and vegetarian.

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Vegan BLT Sandwich Recipe

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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This vegan BLT is a veggie sandwich that should really be called a TLT: it stars temeph bacon as a plant based alternative to bacon.



For the tempeh bacon

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 grinds black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh

For the vegan BLT


  1. In a small bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1½ tablespoons liquid smoke, 1 tablespoon Sriracha, ¼ teaspoon cumin, 3 grinds black pepper, and ½ teaspoon maple syrup.
  2. Cut the tempeh in half; stand each piece up on its edge and cut into thirds. Lay the three pieces down on top of each other and cut in thirds again, to make 18 slices that are ¼” thick, 1” wide and 3” long. Place the strips in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the tempeh. Let sit for 30 minutes (or more, if time). Remove the tempeh and reserve the marinade from the bottom of the dish.
  3. Heat a griddle to medium heat. Place the tempeh strips on the griddle and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned. Turn off the heat, then brush both sides of each piece with the reserved marinade.
  4. Lightly toast 8 slices of bread. If using canned tomatoes, drain the canned tomatoes and let them sit in a colander for a few minutes to remove excess liquid. Prepare 8 leaves of Bibb lettuce.
  5. To serve, spread mayonnaise on each bread slice. Top with lettuce, tomato, and slices of tempeh. Top with a final bread slice and serve immediately. (Tip: Placing the lettuce below the tomato shields the bread from any remaining tomato liquid.)
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Maddie says:

    Do you recommend a particular brand of liquid smoke? I’ve never used it. Also, do you think I could get that same smoky flavor/effect through the use of a little extra liquid and some black cardamom?

    1. Alex says:

      Hi! We don’t have a particular brand to recommend — just check the ingredients and make sure there aren’t any crazy chemicals :) However, I think that the black cardamom sounds delish!

  2. Vicky says:

    I made this yesterday and it was amazing!!! My husband said it’s the best vegetarian sandwich he’s ever had… and I would have to agree. This will be on a weekly rotation. Thanks for posting!! <3

    1. Sonja says:

      You are so welcome! That is wonderful feedback – thanks for sharing!

  3. Nina at says:

    As a vegetatian for almost 5 years, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never tried to prepare tempeh myself. This recipe seems easy to be my first…yum! I do miss a BLT from time to time!

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