This bacon avocado tomato sandwich is made with candied bacon, heirloom tomato, sliced avocado, and mayonnaise, all stuffed between slices of toasted sourdough.
A contemporary twist on the traditional BLT. That’s what the author says of this sandwich. And it’s true, it’s a simple upgrade that slips in avocado and, if you choose, candies the bacon so it’s encased in maple sweetness. We’d say good luck not sharing it, though actually, it’s one of those things that’s so satisfying, your first instinct is going to be to share.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Bacon Avocado Tomato Sandwich
For the candied bacon
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons 100% maple syrup
- 2 to 4 slices bacon
Make the candied bacon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (178°C).
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and maple syrup.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the bacon on the parchment paper and brush with the sugar-syrup mixture.
☞TESTER TIP: Don’t want to take time to candy the bacon? Or perhaps you don’t care to muddle your sweet and your savory? Skip the syrup and simply bake your bacon straight up and plain.
- Bake until the bacon is cooked through and crisped to your desired doneness, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness. Let cool on the parchment paper. Do NOT transfer it to paper towels.
☞TESTER TIP: You can multiply the amounts of candied bacon—we’d do a pound, personally—and stash the extra in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring it to room temperature before using.
Make the bacon avocado tomato sandwich
- Toast the bread in a toaster or on a grill pan or grill. If using a grill or grill pan, you want it to have dark brown grill marks, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the toasted or grilled bread on a wire rack to prevent it from steaming and getting soggy.
- Spread the mayonnaise on both slices of bread. On one slice of bread, fan the avocado slices on the mayo and then layer with heirloom tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then top with the candied bacon and the second slice of bread.
☞TESTER TIP: Honestly, you can stack the ingredients in whatever order you prefer. Some of us prefer the tomatoes sidling up alongside the toast so the bread soaks up some of those juices—more chance of those luscious slices staying put, less likelihood of them sliding right off your sandwich.
- Slice and immediately demolish. Be warned, this baby is juicy so you may wish to stand and devour it over the sink. Or, if you’re feeling more civilized and choose to sit at the table, have napkins at the ready.
More, More, More!If bacon alone leaves you wanting more protein, add some grilled chicken breast or, if you’re feeling adventurous, fry up some slices of bologna.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This bacon avocado tomato sandwich is a winner! Make it for a decadent lunch or a treat for guests, but do make it.
I used my own sourdough bread that was freshly baked that morning and thinly sliced to let the wonderful flavors in this sandwich shine through. The heirloom tomato and a perfectly ripe avocado made the perfect sandwich. The candied bacon brought this sandwich over the top.
I didn’t toast the bread as my bread was fresh from the oven. For the candied bacon, I used Grade B maple syrup. I baked it for 10 minutes then broiled it for 2 more.
I like avocados and I like BLT’s, so I definitely wanted to make this sandwich. I’m a savory girl at heart, so the idea of adding candied bacon to a BLT didn’t really appeal to me, so I used some crisp peppered bacon I had baked earlier in the day. I had gotten my hands on some beautiful home-grown tomatoes, so was ready to proceed with building this yummy sandwich. It took all of 6 minutes and 10 seconds to build this sandwich and it was gone in a lot less time!
I used a 5-grain sourdough bread and slid the bread in the toaster for convenience. I sliced the tomato into 1/4-inch-thick slices and used half of it for this sandwich since it was a pretty big tomato. I also used my favorite mayo, Hellman’s.
I really liked this little twist of adding buttery avocado to the classic BLT and I’m thinking for the next one I’d like to add arugula to the mix for that extra peppery bite. What do we call it then – BAAT?
BACON! I’m like that dog in the commercial for bacon dog treats when I smell bacon cooking. It’s bliss—the salty and the smoky goodness in each bite. A good BLT is one of my favorite sandwiches, and I think bacon’s great on everything from a burger to an egg salad sandwich. But candied bacon is something I see on its own, usually dessert related, and have not made myself. And avocados, I love them too, and eat several a week, as they are a good source of healthy fats (hope they counteract the bacon) and they are always a great add to most any sandwich. So, what’s not to like with this BAT sandwich combo?
I had made a whole wheat sourdough loaf over the weekend, so I had the fresh bread in hand. The 4 slices of candied bacon cooked in about 20 minutes, using a locally farmer sourced, thick-cut smoked bacon and Grade A Amber Maple syrup. It’s not a lot of time to prep and cook the bacon, although the aroma of fresh bacon wafting through the kitchen while I waited for it to cool so I could eat the sandwich was absolute torture. I wanted to devour it right away. I suggest making up an entire pound of the candied bacon the night before as it might be easier. And make it after you’ve had dinner.
I used Dukes mayo, a regional mayo that’s better than Hellman’s (Best Foods) IMHO, however Hellman’s is my “go to” alternate. I also used a lovely fresh local heirloom tomato, sliced thin, between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick, and did the same as the sliced avocado to top out the sandwich.
It was a very juicy sandwich as my tomato was very fresh. I probably should have eaten it hunched over the sink! I recommend that one place the avocado on one piece of the toast and the tomato on the other slice. That lets the sourdough absorb some of the juice. Then stash a huge pile of that lovely candied bacon smack in the center and smash it together.
Now, I sliced it and that demolished it before I got my first bite. Don’t do that. Keep the sandwich whole. Just take a monster bite or three and devour all that irresistible smoky sweet goodness. The candied bacon adds a nice touch to the sandwich, and I need to think of some other combinations for using candied bacon in my future sandwiches. I’m thinking chicken salad with candied bacon, red grapes and walnuts. My only other criticism is that I did miss the crunch of the lettuce. Next time I might add a few bits of iceberg lettuce on the same side as the avocado on the sandwich. My order would be toast, mayo, lettuce, avocado, bacon, tomato, mayo, and toast.
This recipe produced an excellent BAT. BATs are one of my spirit sandwiches. A BAT, absent true culinary malfeasance, is never bad. This recipe did not provide a new, unique, or better take on the BAT. It’s difficult to reinvent a classic. I am not sure that the candied bacon is worth the extra time. It took almost 30 minutes to achieve the appropriate level of crispness for a perfect BAT. It added an extra step and frankly made a bloody mess, even with the parchment on the cookie sheet. In some ways, it was gilding the lily. Bacon, after all, is bacon and needs no embellishment.
I substituted Heinz Salad Cream, a personal guilty pleasure, in place of the mayonnaise. It was perfect on the sandwich. I am sure that Best Foods or homemade mayonnaise would be equally good. All this aside, anytime the marriage of true ingredients such as these come together, it is not a bad thing.
Years ago, my wife introduced me to another twist on the BLT: the ABCLT, with “C” denoting cream cheese. I won’t say more about that here, but to me the innovation in the BAT is the candied bacon, and it nets the BAT an easy Testers Choice designation.
With 2 slices from the center of a round loaf of sourdough, I made 1 large sandwich that I managed to eat by myself for lunch but I could have shared it with another person and not been hungry afterward. But I also used only 2 of the 4 slices of bacon specified, and they fully covered the bread. More bacon, in the opinion of this bacon lover, would not improve the end result.
I prepared four BAT sandwiches for four different lunches. For the first, I used Spectrum Organic mayo. I am not a mayonnaise lover, and this quality product did not pair well in my opinion. For the second BAT I substituted butter and found the result easily superior. For the third and fourth, I used Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo, which was also excellent.
In terms of tomato, for the first (and second) BAT, I used an heirloom tomato from the grocery store. The weight was 500g and I used about a third of it for each BAT.
I placed the bread directly on the simmering plate of my Aga. I didn’t time the toasting but it was in the neighborhood of 3 minutes per side.
I made the fatal mistake of cooling the bacon as I usually do—on paper towels to absorb any extra fat. This does not work with added syrup and sugar! The bacon adhered with a passion to the paper towels and I had to mangle it badly to detach enough for a single BAT. When I let the bacon cool on the silpat sheet, there was enough free syrup-sugar to solidify into thin sheets on the silpat, almost encasing the bacon. When cool, the bacon came off in shards with lots of attached caramelized syrup sugar, which elevated the flavor of the BAT by a full star.
This sandwich was an absolutely delicious winner! Who would have thought that removing lettuce, adding avocado in its place, and candying the bacon would take a classic-like BLT to such an incredibly new and higher level. This is my new summer go to sandwich (although great in any season). Warning: The sandwich is very juicy, so make sure you have plenty of napkins handy.
I used artisan sourdough bread that I toasted and Hellman’s Mayonnaise. I used 1/2-inch-thick tomato slices—I used 2 in the sandwich and ate the third on the side. I used 2 1/2 slices of the bacon and would recommend only using 2 as the sweetness was a little overpowering.
My sandwich was about 4 inches high. I ate the whole thing, but perhaps it could serve 2 as an accompaniment to a soup.
I used an avocado slicer and it sliced and fanned the avocado so easily and is perfect for this recipe.
Originally published September 01, 2020