Vegan BLT Sandwich Recipe

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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


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
  • 1/2 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 1/2 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

Keywords: Vegan BLT, Vegan Sandwich, Vegetarian Sandwich, Lunch Recipes, Veggie Sandwich, Plant Based Lunch Recipes, Plant Based Dinner Recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    April 13, 2015 at 8:03 am

    What an awesome idea to use tempeh in a BLT. The smoky flavors here sound delicious. The pictures of your road trip look amazing. Enjoy your vacation!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 13, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I am SO eager for ripe tomatoes and happy to have this flavorful sammie to tide me over in the meantime. Also, coconut bacon??? Where have you been all my life.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

    This sandwich is making me hungry… and I just had breakfast! What a great idea to use tempeh. I am going to try it with the family and see what they think. Fingers crossed!

  • Reply
    lynsey |
    April 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

    what a great idea to use the fire roasted tomatoes! Tomatoes this time of year just pale in comparison to the real-deal height of summer ones and leave yo with a less than stellar sandwich. Going to try for sure. xo

  • Reply
    S Lauren | Modern Granola
    April 13, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I love tempeh! What a great idea to use it instead of bacon in a BLT! This sounds so good right now!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    April 13, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    This sandwich sounds so yummy! I love using tempeh for veg BLT’s! Yum!

  • Reply
    Letty/Letty's Kitchen
    April 14, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Everything about this TLT sandwich is awesome. Love the out-of-season sub for fresh tomatoes. Of course the tempeh doctored up with liquid smoke.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much, Letty! We love smoky flavor so this is the next best thing to smoked meat :)

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    You guys! WHAT??! This looks amazing. Also I’ve been following your Insta — your trip looks soo fun. It’s giving me a major travel bug :) x

    • Reply
      April 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Kasey! :) We had a blast on the trip. We’ll have to come out your way sometime too! xoxo

  • Reply
    kristie {birch and wild}
    April 16, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I love the look of this! Fire roasted tomatoes on a sandwich sound amazing.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 22, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I love veggie BLTs, never had one with roasted tomatoes before. I had a feta, lettuce and tomato sandwich on vacation in Maine last year that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. Sandwiches are the best. Hope your trip is going well!

  • Reply
    Nina at
    April 25, 2015 at 6:23 am

    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!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 11:23 am

    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

    • Reply
      April 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 11:23 am

    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?

    • Reply
      May 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      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!

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