This easy vegan Tofu Bacon BLT is the answer to one of the most common questions I get 'but don't you miss bacon?' The answer is no! It's so easy to make this protein-rich vegan bacon substitute with tofu, then layer it into my favourite BLT!
Tofu is kind of a magic ingredient, it can be flavoured in so many ways, and one of my favourites is to turn it into a smokey crispy bacon alternative, which is perfect for making a vegan BLT! Yum.
Smoked tofu is pretty good in other sandwiches too, just choose the fillings you love best! Because who doesn't love a sandwich piled high with scrummy ingredients? Why not try this Scandi Inspired Smoked Tofu Sandwich which uses tofu in place of smoked salmon.
I also love to just use this method of making smoked tofu bacon for using as part of a bigger vegan breakfast. Try it with these Perfect Silken Tofu Scramble and my best ever Vegan Baked Beans without Sugar. Add OJ and coffee for the ultimate plant based breakfast.
🥓The Best Tofu to make 'Facon'
The first key to making the vegan BLT is the tofu 'bacon'.
To make it I buy smoked tofu, in Europe the best brand is Taifun, it's organic and not genetically modified, and they make a great range of tofu styles. I slice it thinly & either pan fry or bake it with a drizzle of soy sauce & extra smoked paprika to give an extra salty, smoky flavour. Cook it until it's crispy and it makes a super duper sandwich filler, snack or addition to pasta or a stir fry. There are other brands around that do a great smoked tofu too.. be sure to find the one you like best!
If you can't get smoked tofu, choose a firm tofu and marinate it in a smokey dressing. I have a full method How to Tofu! Beginner Level- Basic Crispy Tofu which gives lots of tips on how to achieve this, or head to the recipe card below for more details.
- Lettuce: I like to grow my own lettuce when I can, and I would urge you to at least once try growing lettuce. It's brilliantly easy to grow in a pot and you can just snip off leaves as you need them. Otherwise choose a crispy leafed lettuce like mini gem or baby romaine.
- Tomatoes: The tomatoes were fresh from the market, and kept out of the fridge to allow them to keep their delicious tomatoey flavour. Chilling tomatoes destroys their flavour, and you want all the flavour you can get in a sandwich. The juicy sweet tomatoes balance out the salty tofu bacon.
- Good Vegan mayo: I make my own mayo sometimes with chickpea water (aquafaba). Alternatively Hellmans makes a good vegan mayo now.
- Good Bread: The bread must be a good one. It needs to be able to stand up to whatever extra sauces you want to add to it. I like a good sourdough, but you can also go old school with plain white.
Finally, you need to pimp your sandwich with whatever sauce you like. My husband prefers Brown Sauce.. I like a spicy tomato sauce on mine. You do you.
- First marinate your sliced smoked tofu in some soy sauce. If you need to use unsmoked tofu, press it firmly, then slice and marinade in the smokey marinade for at least half an hour.
2. Air fry your marinated tofu for 4-5 minutes until crispy.
3. Alternatively, pan fry your marinated tofu until crispy.
4. Toast your bread and assemble your BLT the way you like it.
You can marinate the tofu for up to 48 hours. The longer you leave it, the more intense the flavour.
I like to grill or air fry an entire pack of tofu, then snack on any leftovers cold later. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
🍅Variations and Substitutions
The vegan BLT can be made just as you like it: check out these easy swaps.
- Tempeh Bacon- Click through to this easy Air Fryer Tempeh Bacon recipe and use that instead.
- Shop Bought Vegan Bacon such as 'THIS isn't' Bacon or Moving Mountains or any other vegan bacon you can buy in the shops can be used.
- Avocado- I love adding avocado to my BLT
- Other types of greens: Don't have lettuce? Use rocket (arugula) or baby spinach.
- Hot Sauce: Add a splash of hot sauce for tang and heat.
Yes choose extra firm tofu and press it. Then marinade it in a mixture of smoked paprika, soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Details in the recipe card below.
Smoked tofu tastes a little like mild smoked fish or bacon. It is slightly chewy and is great to add to sandwiches or to grill or pan-fry to make vegan bacon.
Why not check out my other tofu recipes
The Vegan Tofu Bacon BLT Sandwich
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the Tofu 'Bacon'
For the Sandwich
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 2 Lettuce leaves
- 1 Tomatoes (Make sure it's ripe!)
- Sauces to taste. (Mayo, Ketchup or even brown sauce. You do you. )
- Thinly slice the smoked tofu, then sprinkle it with soy sauce & smoked paprika. Leave for up to half an hour to marinate if desired.100 g Smoked Tofu., 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pan fry in the olive oil until crispy.1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Toast your bread.4 slices sourdough bread
- Build your sandwich. Try not to eat all the yummy, crispy tofu before you make the sandwich. It's a hazard, I tell you!2 Lettuce leaves, 1 Tomatoes, Sauces to taste.
- Apply to face.
- 3tbsp soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup.