This TTLA sandwich inspired by Whole Foods’ viral vegan sandwich is a spin on the classic BLT. Your favorite bread layered with homemade smoky tempeh bacon strips, tomato, lettuce, and avocado with creamy aioli. Have this hearty favorite ready in 5 minutes flat!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Hearty: This vegan sandwich is the perfect easy vegan lunch option. It’s filling, hearty, and holds up well in a lunch bag.
- No cholesterol: It’s no secret that regular bacon isn’t exactly a health food. This vegan tempeh bacon is completely cholesterol free and contains significantly less fat. Enjoy the flavor of a BLT with this healthier alternative!
- Flavorful: This flavor packed TTLA sandwich is salty, sweet, smoky, and creamy. It’s truly the best!
- Quick and easy: You can prepare this TTLA sandwich in 5 minutes flat! Great for days when you have nothing prepared and need something super quick and easy.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- tempeh bacon – I use my Smoky Tempeh Bacon Strips to make my TTLA sandwich, but Whole Foods uses the store-bought smoky tempeh strips by Lightlife. You can use either, but I highly recommend my homemade version if you have the chance. It’s so flavorful and easy to make.
- tomato – This is the second ‘T’ in ‘TTLA’ so a crucial ingredient in a TTLA sandwich! Any tomato will do – I used ripe on the vine tomatoes.
- lettuce – Similar to the tomatoes, any lettuce will do, but I recommend romaine lettuce. It’s what Whole Foods uses and is a great versatile lettuce. Try making my Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with any leftover romaine you have!
- avocado – A ripe creamy avocado is what makes this recipe extra special! Do not skip!
- mayonnaise – Whole Foods uses a garlic aioli but I typically use regular vegan mayonnaise because it’s what I usually have in my fridge. You can add a bit of garlic and lemon juice to your vegan mayonnaise if desired, or use garlic aioli if you have it on hand!
- bread – The original TTLA sandwich is made on ciabatta but I use whatever I have – sliced sourdough, like photographed here, or any bread really. Use gluten free if needed!
Step by Step Instructions
Note: I always make this TTLA sandwich with leftover cold Smoky Tempeh Bacon Strips, so I do not account for the time necessary to prepare them in these step by step instructions. If you need to prepare your smoky tempeh strips, do so by following the full instructions on the bacon strips post and then come back to prepare your sandwich. Or, if you are short on time, use store-bought Lightlife smoky tempeh strips.
- Prep the veggies: Slice the tomatoes, wash and dry your romaine, removing the crunchier white ends, and slicing the avocado. You can even toast your bread, if desired. Toasting the bread is a good option if you are planning on packing this TTLA sandwich as a lunch because it will prevent the bread from getting soggy.
- Build your TTLA sandwich: Spread your mayonnaise or garlic aioli on both sides of bread. Layer on the smoky tempeh strips, sliced tomato, romaine, and avocado. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add any additional items like pickles or red onion, if desired.
Carefully slice in half, and enjoy!
Although the tempeh is a staple in a TTLA sandwich, you can use your favorite vegan bacon in it’s place if desired as this sandwich is really just a spin on a BLT.
I don’t recommend making several sandwiches on a Sunday and keeping them in the fridge to eat throughout the week, but making one in the morning or even the night before would be perfectly okay! Make sure to use dry romaine lettuce, and layer the romaine on the right side before adding the avocado so the avocado won’t make the bread soggy. You can even toast the bread to help prevent it from getting soggy, too!
You can’t go wrong with a classic bag of chips or a side pickle, but if you’re looking for something more hearty, I’d recommend fruit salad, fries, macaroni salad or potato salad.
I typically use cold tempeh bacon (and so does Whole Foods). However, if you want to use it warm, go for it! It will be equally delicious!
Tips for Success
- Use this recipe as a guide. Feel free to make this sandwich your own and use as much or as little of one ingredient as you’d like. You can also add in your favorite sandwich toppings. Don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe.
- Use a super ripe avocado. It makes all the difference in the creaminess of this sandwich!
More Vegan Sandwiches to Try
TTLA Sandwich (Whole Foods copycat)
- vegan tempeh bacon strips **see notes for measurements ($1.60)
- 1 tomato sliced ($0.21)
- 2-3 leaves romaine lettuce ($0.11)
- 1 avocado sliced ($0.11)
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise can use vegan garlic aioli ($0.16)
- 1 roll ciabatta bread or 2 slices sourdough *can use any bread ($0.64)
- salt and pepper, to taste optional ($0.02)
- Toast your bread, if desired.
- Slice the tomato, avocado, and prepare the romaine, removing any white parts.
- Spread vegan mayonnaise on both sides of bread.
- Add a layer of cold smoky tempeh strips, tomato, then lettuce on one side.
- Spread avocado on the remaining side.
- Sprinkle the avocado with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Put the TTLA sandwich together and cut in half.
- Enjoy immediately!
- Tempeh measurements: I will typically use 1/4-1/2 of a batch of my homemade smoky tempeh bacon strips on a large sandwich (anywhere from 7-14 strips depending on how much bacon I want). You can also use 3-4 strips of store-bought Lightlife smoky tempeh strips. Note that their strips are a lot longer so you can use less.
- Time required for this recipe does not include making your own tempeh bacon strips.
- Make this sandwich your own! Adjust the measurements and bread used to your liking. You can even add red onion, pickles, etc. Anything you’d like.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
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