A healthy and kind twist on a classic, this Vegan BLT is made with smoky-sweet baked tempeh bacon. It’s so easy to make, just marinate, and bake for 20 minutes or less.
Have you heard about the TTLA craze at Whole Foods? It’s basically a Vegan BLT, but instead of mayo, they add vegan garlic aioli. It’s also served with avocado slices, red onion and pressed ciabatta bread.
The TTLA was made famous by actress, Tabitha Brown’s viral video of her happily eating the sandwich. Her genuine enthusiasm had everyone running to get one.
Sadly, I still haven’t made it to Whole Foods because they are almost an hour from me. But, I’ve been making my own classic Vegan BLTs for years and this video sparked me to share it on Vegan Huggs. You can easily turn this into a TTLA if you prefer.
I don’t usually buy the premade tempeh bacon, because it’s so easy to make it homemade. I like adding my own flavoring and easily switching it up too.
What is tempeh?
It’s typically made from whole fermented soybeans and it usually comes in block form. Some contain only soybeans and some also include grains and seeds.
Tempeh has a hearty texture and a mild nutty flavor. It does have a slight bitterness too, but I usually don’t notice it after cooking in seasonings. However, if that slight bitterness bothers you, the tempeh can be steamed for 10 minutes before marinating. This will mellow it out.
How to prep the tempeh
Start by cutting the tempeh into 1/4 ” slices (photo above). I prefer to cut shorter slices, but feel free to make longer strips. If you cut the pieces thinner than 1/4 ” the tempeh falls apart easily in the marinade.
It’s all about the marinade!
I love tempeh because it’s healthy, protein-rich, and it has a great texture. BUT, without seasonings, it’s kind of blah! This smoky-sweet marinade will turn that blah into oh-so-tasty!
Here’s what you’ll need: (full recipe amounts are in recipe card below)
Grapeseed oil (or preferred oil)
Low sodium tamari (sub soy)
Pure maple syrup
Apple cider vinegar
Whisk it all together!
In a small mixing bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and whisk to combine well. Now pour the marinade into an 8 ” rimmed shallow dish or baking dish.
The tempeh is ready for a flavor bath!
Place the tempeh slices into your prepared marinade and gently flip to coat all sides well. Let the pieces marinate in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or longer if preferred.
Now, preheat your oven to 350° F (176° C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Bake to perfection
Place the marinated strips on your prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room in between each piece. You probably won’t need it, but save the leftover marinade just in case the tempeh seems dry in the oven.
Pop the pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and the surface is slightly crisp.
While the tempeh is in the oven, you can wash and cut the lettuce and tomatoes for your delicious Vegan BLT.
Now gently flip each slice with tongs and bake 8-10 minutes more, until lightly browned and the surface is slightly crisp (*The inside remains soft).You can add the marinade here only if needed. Just lightly brush it on each piece.
Watch the tempeh closely to prevent burning. Remove from oven when finished.
Time to make your Baked Tempeh Vegan BLT
To assemble your sandwich, coat each bread slice with vegan mayo and top with tomato slices, lettuce, and tempeh bacon. Close bread together and cut if desired.
Make it your own!
I made a classic Vegan BLT which I love, but feel free to add your own twist. You can add things like hummus, guacamole, avocado slices, red onion, chipotle sauce, garlic aioli, pickles, jalapénos, roasted peppers, sauteéd mushrooms and so much more.
I’d love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan BLT, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
A healthy and kind twist on a classic, this Vegan BLT is made with smoky-sweet baked tempeh bacon. It's so easy to make, just marinate, and bake for 20 minutes or less.
- 8 ounces tempeh (*not all brands are GF)
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo , more to taste
- 8 slices bread (GF if preferred)
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 2 medium tomatoes , sliced
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or preferred oil)
- 3 tablespoons low sodium tamari GF if preferred (sub soy)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add all marinade ingredients and whisk to combine well. Pour marinade into an 8 " rimmed shallow dish or baking dish.
Cut tempeh into 1/4 " slices. * If you cut them thinner, the tempeh falls apart easily in the marinade.
Now place the tempeh slices into your marinade. Gently flip to coat all sides well. Let the pieces marinate in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or longer if preferred.
Place the marinated strips on your prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room in between each piece (*save leftover marinade). Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. *If the tempeh seems dry, you can lightly brush on some leftover marinade.
Now gently flip each slice with tongs and bake 8-10 minutes more, until lightly browned and the surface is slightly crisp (*The inside remains soft). Watch closely to prevent burning. Remove from oven.
To assemble your BLT, coat each bread slice with mayo and top with tomato slices, lettuce, and tempeh bacon. Close sandwich and cut if desired. Enjoy!
** The nutritional information includes all the marinade amounts. However, a lot of the marinade will be left behind, which will make some of the values lower. The nutritional info also includes the bread, vegan mayo, tempeh, lettuce, and tomatoes.
* Tempeh has a slight bitterness to it, but I usually don't notice it after seasoning. However, if that slight bitterness will bother you, the tempeh can be steamed for 10 minutes before marinating. This will mellow it out.
* Prep time doesn't include marinating time.