The BLT sandwich is a classic American sandwich made with bacon, lettuce and tomato. It’s a simple combination of ingredients, but the BLT is so popular because each component complements the others perfectly. The salty bacon, the refreshing lettuce and the sweet juicy tomatoes make a delicious sandwich. But what else goes well with a BLT? There are lots of options for customizing this sandwich to create new flavor combinations. In this article, we’ll explore everything that pairs nicely with a BLT, from condiments to side dishes.
What type of bread is best for a BLT?
The first decision to make when constructing a BLT is what type of bread to use. Here are some top options:
- White bread – Classic and simple, white bread like sourdough allows the BLT fillings to shine.
- Whole wheat bread – For a bit more nutrition and fiber, opt for whole wheat bread.
- Rye bread – Rye bread adds texture and tang.
- Brioche bun – Buttery, soft brioche buns put a twist on the classic.
- Sourdough bread – Sourdough’s signature tang stands up well to the bold BLT flavors.
- Bagel – For a heartier BLT, use toasted bagel halves instead of regular bread.
The most traditional choice is white bread, but part of the fun of a BLT is customizing it to your tastes. Crunchy rye or toasty bagels are great alternatives to ordinary sandwich bread.
What condiments complement a BLT?
While a BLT needs nothing more than the bacon, lettuce, tomato and bread, certain condiments can take the sandwich to the next level. Here are some tasty condiment choices:
- Mayonnaise – The standard condiment for a BLT, mayo adds a creamy tang.
- Mustard – For a zestier flavor, smear on spicy mustard.
- Pesto – Herby pesto mayo packs a punch of flavor.
- Ranch – Cool ranch dressing can substitute for plain mayo.
- Chipotle mayo – Smoky chipotle mayo adds heat.
- Hummus – For a vegan BLT, use hummus instead of mayo.
- Guacamole – Fresh guacamole makes a delicious substitution for mayo.
- Sriracha – Spicy sriracha kicks the BLT up a notch.
Getting creative with condiments is one of the best ways to put a new spin on a BLT. Some tangy mayo or hummus and a smear of mustard or sriracha can really take the sandwich to new levels of flavor.
What type of bacon is best on a BLT?
Obviously, bacon is a key ingredient in a BLT. But what type of bacon tastes best? Here are some top bacon options:
- Regular sliced bacon – Traditional sliced bacon is the standard choice.
- Thick cut bacon – For a meatier texture, use thick sliced artisanal bacon.
- Peppered bacon – Bacon with cracked black pepper adds spice.
- Maple bacon – For sweetness, choose bacon cured with maple syrup.
- Turkey bacon – Leaner turkey bacon is a healthier substitution.
- Prosciutto – For an upscale Italian spin, use crisp prosciutto instead of regular bacon.
The smoky, salty flavor of traditional sliced bacon is hard to improve upon. But testing out different bacon varieties can put a new twist on your BLT. Peppered bacon or sweet maple bacon change up the flavors.
What types of lettuce work best?
Crisp lettuce adds texture and freshness to a BLT. Here are some lettuce varieties that pair well:
- Iceberg – The classic choice, iceberg has refreshing crunch.
- Romaine – Long leaves of romaine have bold flavor.
- Butter lettuce – Sweet and delicate butter lettuce won’t overpower.
- Green leaf lettuce – Green leaf lettuce has ruffled leaves for visual appeal.
- Arugula – Pepper arugula adds a tangy kick.
- Spinach – Young tender spinach leaves fit nicely on a BLT.
Crisp iceberg or romaine are traditional lettuces for BLTs. But you can also experiment with more delicate lettuces like butter or spinach, or spice it up with peppery arugula. The lettuce gives each bite refreshing crispness.
What are the best tomato varieties for BLTs?
Great tomatoes can make or break a BLT. Be sure to select tomatoes at peak ripeness. Here are some excellent tomato choices:
- Beefsteak – Juicy, meaty beefsteak tomatoes are a classic choice.
- Heirloom – Go for flavor with vibrant heirloom tomato varieties.
- Cherry tomatoes – Sweet cherry tomatoes offer bursts of flavor.
- Grape tomatoes – Mild and crisp grape tomatoes have a small bite.
- Roma tomatoes – Meaty roma tomato slices bring richness.
- Sungold tomatoes – Tangy yellow sungold tomatoes add color.
For the best tomato flavor and texture, opt for tomatoes at their peak ripeness. Beefsteak, heirloom and roma tomatoes offer abundant juice and rich tomato flavor. Or use halved cherry tomatoes for garden-fresh tomato sweetness in every bite.
What vegetables add crunch and flavor?
To make your BLT even more of a nutritional powerhouse, add extra vegetables. Here are some tasty options:
- Avocado – Creamy avocado slices are a perfect addition.
- Cucumber – Cool cucumber slices contribute crunch.
- Onion – Thinly sliced red onion adds bite.
- Peppers – Jalapeno or bell pepper strips bring heat.
- Sprouts – Alfalfa or bean sprouts add texture.
- Radishes – Sliced radishes add peppery flavor.
- Pickles – Dill pickle chips contribute tang and crunch.
From the creamy addition of avocado to the spicy kick of pickled jalapenos, vegetables make great BLT additions. They pile on extra fresh flavors and textures.
What cheeses work nicely on a BLT?
To make your BLT extra decadent, add slices of hearty cheese. Here are some delicious cheese choices:
- Cheddar – Sharp cheddar adds classic flavor.
- Swiss – Nutty Swiss cheese pairs nicely.
- Gouda – Smoky gouda makes a perfect match.
- Havarti – Creamy havarti melts beautifully.
- Pepper jack – Spicy pepper jack pumps up the heat.
- Gruyere – Ooey, gooey gruyere gives you a grown-up grilled cheese vibe.
- Blue cheese – Bold blue cheese crumbles for a punch of flavor.
The salty savoriness of bacon works so well with melted cheese. Sharp cheddar, gooey gruyere or creamy havarti all complement a BLT wonderfully. Add them in thin slices before toasting the sandwich.
What are delicious BLT side dishes?
A BLT makes a great entree sandwich when served with hearty side dishes. Here are some flavorful sides to accompany your sandwich:
- French fries – Crispy hot fries are a no-brainer match.
- Potato salad – Creamy potato salad balances the sandwich.
- Pasta salad – Chilled pasta salad makes a nice complement.
- Coleslaw – Tangy coleslaw pairs perfectly with a BLT.
- Fruit salad – Fresh fruit salad offers a bright counterpoint.
- Cottage cheese – Cool creamy cottage cheese balances flavors.
- Tomato salad – Simple tomato salad highlights peak summer tomatoes.
- Homemade chips – Crispy homemade potato or veggie chips make a crunchy pairing.
When serving BLTs for lunch or dinner, accompany them with fresh, summery sides. Potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad and cottage cheese are all classic choices. Or keep it really simple with just a pile of crispy fries or chips and a side of fruit salad.
What are quick and easy BLT topping ideas?
One of the great things about BLTs is how endlessly customizable they are. You can quickly change up the flavors with easy new toppings. Here are quick add-on ideas:
- Fried egg – A fried egg adds creaminess.
- Bacon jam – For a sweet and salty kick, spread on bacon jam.
- Sliced apple – Fresh apple slices contribute sweet crunch.
- Pesto – Nutty pesto enhances the sandwich.
- Caramelized onions – Sweet onions add depth.
- Roasted red peppers – Charred red peppers bring smokiness.
- Salsa – Tomato salsa offers a fresh twist.
- Guacamole – Creamy guacamole makes everything better.
With creative toppings like fried eggs, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers or guacamole, you can keep reinventing the flavors of a BLT. Part of the fun is trying new add-ons to discover new favorite flavor combinations.
What are delicious BLT variations?
One way to put a creative spin on the classic BLT is by substituting or adding ingredients. Here are some tasty BLT variations to try:
- BLAT – Add avocado for creaminess.
- BLTT – Double up on lettuce and tomato for a veggie overload.
- Club sandwich – Add turkey and ham to make it a club.
- Caprese BLT – Use fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil.
- Chicken BLT – Substitute grilled chicken for bacon.
- Salmon BLT – Swap out bacon for savory grilled salmon.
- Tuna or egg salad BLT – Use tuna salad or egg salad instead of bacon.
- Veggie BLT – Substitute eggplant bacon or coconut bacon for real bacon.
Switching up the ingredients creates fun new takes on the BLT formula. An avocado-loaded BLAT, protein-packed chicken or salmon BLT, or veggie BLT with eggplant bacon put creative spins on the sandwich while keeping the flavors you love.
What are fun ways to serve BLTs?
BLTs make a great quick lunch or dinner, but they also shine as party food or appetizers. Here are fun ways to serve BLTs to a crowd:
- BLT bites – Make bite-sized BLT sandwiches on cocktail bread or rolls.
- BLT dippers – Bread bacon into breadstick “dippers” along with small bowls of lettuce and tomato for build-your-own mini BLTs.
- Slider-style – Make BLT sliders on small buns for perfect party food.
- BLT skewers – Skewer alternating chunks of bacon, tomato and lettuce for BLT kebabs.
- Loaded BLT potatoes – Hollow out baked potatoes and stuff with crumbled bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo.
- BLT salad – Toss chopped bacon, lettuce and tomato with ranch or vinaigrette for a fresh salad.
- BLT taco cups – Fill lettuce leaf taco shells with bacon, tomato, shredded cheese and avocado.
When serving a crowd, transform BLTs into bite-sized appetizers or fun new creations like BLT tacos or salad. The classics flavors translate so well into easy party foods or shareable starters.
A basic BLT may contain just four ingredients, but this sandwich has endless versatility limited only by your imagination. From gourmet ingredients like heirloom tomatoes and artisanal cheeses to quick add-ons like avocado and pesto, the options for customizing a BLT are nearly infinite. And BLT flavors translate so well into easy party bites, loaded dinner entrees, or lighter salads and tacos. The beloved bacon, lettuce and tomato trio truly conquers all!