With a perfect balance of crunchy bacon and lettuce, creamy avocado buttermilk ranch dressing, and juicy roasted corn and tomatoes, my California-inspired recipe for BLT Salad just might be better than the classic sandwich!
With the New Year right around the corner (how’d that happen so fast?!?), I figured it was as good a time as any to share some healthier swaps to help transition away from the decadence of the holiday season.
About this recipe for b l t salad
This BLT salad with avocado and ranch is filled with big flavors, lots of textures, and plenty of goodies to keep you full until your next meal. What I’m trying to say is, if this is diet food, I’ll happily jump on the bandwagon.
This deconstructed and chopped BLT features fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, salty bacon, rich avocado, chargrilled corn, and pungent red onions for an entrée salad that is tough to beat. Finished with a generous drizzle of my slightly spicy, brightly herbaceous, super creamy avocado jalapeño ranch dressing, this summery salad is far from boring or bland!
Why you’ll love this entree salad
Aside from being hearty and deeply satisfying, this recipe for B L T salad is also:
- Wholesome & Healthy. Made entirely of real food ingredients that are easy to find and easy to pronounce, this delectably crunchy entrée salad is definitely something you can feel good about eating.
- Allergen & Diet-Friendly. Naturally low-carb, keto-friendly, soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, plus easy to make dairy-free, Paleo/Whole30-friendly, and/or vegan (yes, really!), this BLT avocado salad is my kinda health-food.
- Quick & Easy. Chop some veggies, blitz up your jalapeño ranch dressing, and brown your corn and bacon. This avocado BLT salad is really THAT simple.
BLT salad ingredients
In addition to being tasty and easy to assemble, you only need 15 ingredients to make both the B L T salad and homemade dressing. Here’s what to grab:
- Corn – If fresh corn is out of season, feel free to swap in frozen or drained canned corn kernels instead. And, if you want to cut back on your prep work, Trader Joe’s sells pre-chargrilled corn kernels in the frozen section!
- Olive Oil – Just your normal cooking oil will do great here.
- Substitutions: Feel free to use avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, peanut oil… you get the idea.
- Bacon – Either thick or thin cut, and any flavor (e.g. maple, Black Forest, hickory, etc) will work beautifully.
- Substitutions: If you don’t eat pork, swap in turkey bacon for regular bacon. You can also buy pre-cooked bacon that you microwave to cut back on prep and clean-up time.
- Avocados – You’ll need these gorgeous green babies for the BLT salad and dressing. Choose avocados that give slightly under pressure from your thumb.
- Bibb Lettuce – This pretty, buttery lettuce variety is the kind you’d normally find on your favorite diner sandwich. It’s typically sold as a whole head in a plastic clamshell.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in crunchy iceberg or romaine, peppery arugula, spring mix, or any combination of lettuces you prefer.
- Cherry Tomatoes – When halved, they’re the perfect size for building the perfect bacon tomato lettuce salad bite! Plus, as an added bonus, you can find decent greenhouse-grown cherry tomatoes all year round!
- Substitute: Grape Tomatoes will also work, as will ripe, chopped summer tomatoes.
- Red Onions – For a bit of peppery bite.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in yellow onion, sweet onion, shallots, or even green onions. You’re also welcome to soak your chopped red onions in cool water for about 10 minutes to make them a little less pungent.
Blt salad dressing
- Garlic – Fresh is best, especially when it comes to making this herby salad dressing. In a pinch, you can swap in jarred minced garlic or frozen garlic paste instead.
- Jalapeño – These peppers range in heat from 2,500-5,000 SHUs, so proceed with caution. Also, remember that capsaicin (the compound that makes chilis taste spicy) lives primarily in the membranes and seeds, so if you want a milder dressing, remove them first.
- Substitutions: For an extra fiery dressing, swap in a spicier chili pepper like a serrano or habanero. For a milder dressing, use about ⅓ of a poblano pepper.
- Buttermilk – Cultured buttermilk isn’t just for making biscuits, pancakes, and coffee cakes. It’s also stellar in homemade ranch dressing!
- Substitution: You can approximate the flavor and consistency of buttermilk by either adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk of your choice (vegan or dairy), ~OR~ you can thin out sour cream or greek yogurt with a touch of milk.
- Sour Cream – For extra richness and a nice, thick consistency.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in lighter (plain) greek yogurt, or use a dairy-free sour cream or greek yogurt substitute.
- Lime Juice – Fresh is always best when it comes to lemon and lime juice. To get the most juice from your fruit, give it a firm roll on the counter for 10-15 seconds before slicing it open.
- Substitutions: You can also swap in fresh lemon juice, or, in a pinch, you can use Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice (it’s the best bottled stuff around).
- Cilantro – For yummy, herby, deliciousness. To keep your waste to a minimum, feel free to toss in the tender stems, too!
- Substitution: If you’re not a fan of cilantro, flat-leaf parsley is an excellent swap. Just make sure to stick to the leaves only, as parsley stems are tougher and taste a little bitter.
- Onion Powder & Dried Dill – To round out your ranch dressing. You can also swap in about 3x as much fresh dill if you have it!
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper – For seasoning.
While I love this corn and avocado studded BLT salad recipe just the way it is written, there is always room for you to make any recipe your own. Here are a few variations to consider:
- Go nuts with add-ins: Microgreens, crumbled blue cheese, or grilled artisan bread (torn into croutons) are all excellent additions.
- “Beef” it up with some extra protein: Grilled chicken, salmon, or steak all pair beautifully with the classic California BLT flavors.
- Make it dairy-free by using plant-based sour cream and vegan buttermilk (1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar + 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk + stir + 5 minutes curdling time) for the dressing.
- Make it vegan by using the dairy-free instructions and swapping in vegan bacon bits for regular bacon.
- I always encourage you to make any recipe your own. Huge fan of bacon? Add more! Don’t care for red onions? Leave them out! Just do you!
How to make this blt salad recipe
This recipe for bacon tomato salad is straight-forward to prepare. Here’s how it’s done:
Grill corn: Preheat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Brush corn with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill corn, covered, until charred. Remove the corn from grill and set aside until cool enough to handle. Slice kernels off the cobs.
Make the dressing: In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Blend, or process until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. If you prefer a thinner BLT dressing, add in more buttermilk one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Assemble the salad: Add all of the ingredients for the salad, including the grilled corn, to a large bowl. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!
Expert tips for the bacon lettuce tomato salad
- Don’t wanna grill your corn? You can also boil, steam, pan-roast, or oven-roast it.
- To easily cut all the kernels off an ear of corn, bust out your bundt pan or tube pan. Balance the cob in the center, then use a sharp knife to slice off the kernels. The large cavity of the cake pan should catch (nearly) all the runaways!
- If you prefer a spicier BLT salad dressing, leave some or all of the seeds and ribs in the jalapeno. If you prefer a mild dressing, remove some or all of the seeds and ribs.
- If you prefer a thinner dressing for your BLT salad, stream in more buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- If you do not like cilantro, you can absolutely use fresh, flat-leaf parsley in the dressing instead!
- To quickly halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, use two matching delitainer lids to hold them steady.
FAQs: b l t salad
What is the best lettuce for a BLT Salad?
Taste is totally subjective, so that’s up to you. I like the consistency and mild flavor of Bibb lettuce because it looks and tastes like the eponymous BLT sandwich staple. You’re also welcome to add extra crunch with romaine or iceberg lettuce, or pepperiness with arugula. If you like a slightly bitter flavor, try chicories like endive or radicchio.
What does BLT salad stand for?
Bacon lettuce tomato salad, of course!
Serving chopped blt
- This BLAT salad is hearty enough to be served as a main meal. However, if you are looking to make it even more substantial, you can add in toasted bread cubes, boiled pasta noodles, sliced cooked steak, flaked salmon, or grilled chicken cubes!
- If you are looking for an adult beverage to pair with this Avocado Corn BLT salad, I highly recommend a bottle (or 2 🤷♀️) of crisp white wine!
Storing salad and dressing for blt
- The dressing can be kept, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, BUT it is best used the same day it is made.
- I recommend storing the salad components independently. Store cooked bacon and chopped veggies (except for avocado) in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Lettuce celebrate the New Year in style with this tasty Avocado Corn BLT Salad. You better be-leaf me when I say it’s the most a-maize-ing low-carb twist on a sandwich I have ever tried. Until next time, avo good day!
More hearty dinner salads!
- Broccoli Grape Salad with Chicken
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad Recipe
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Wild Rice Salad Recipe
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
- Bacon Pea Pasta Salad
How to make Summer Corn BLAT Salad with Avocado Jalapeno Ranch at home👇
Summer Corn BLAT Salad with Avocado jalapeno ranch dressing
- 2 Ears Corn husks and silks removed
- 1 TBS Olive oil
- 8 slices Bacon crisp cooked and crumbled
- 2 Avocados pitted, peeled & diced
- 1 head Bibb Lettuce – torn (can substitute iceberg, arugula, spring mix or a combination of lettuces)
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes – halved (or Grape Tomatoes)
- ¼ Cup Red Onions
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 large Avocado pitted & peeled
- 1 clove Garlic – smashed & peeled
- 1 small Jalapeno – seeded, ribbed & roughly chopped*
- ½ cup Buttermilk or more to taste*
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 2 TBS Lime Juice
- 3 TBS Cilantro leaves can substitute flat leaf parsley
- ½ tsp EACH: Onion Powder Dried Dill
Optional add-ins: Microgreens, Crumbled Blue Cheese, Grilled Artisan Bread (torn into croutons)
Optional Protein for topping: Grilled Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Grilled Steak
- Grill corn: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush corn with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill corn, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until charred and browned, turning frequently. Remove corn from grill and allow to cool enough to handle. Slice kernels off the cobs.
- Make the dressing: In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the dressing along with ¼ teaspoon of both kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Blend, or process until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. If a thinner dressing is desired, add in more buttermilk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Assemble the salad: Add all of the ingredients for the salad, including the grilled corn, to a large bowl. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!
- If you want to make this Avocado & Corn BLT Salad even easier, you can absolutely use canned corn instead of fresh corn on the cob. If you prefer to use corn on the cob, but do not feel like grilling it, you can also boil it or oven roast it. I have included directions below.
- If you prefer a spicier dressing, leave some or all of the seeds and ribs in the jalapeno. The spiciness of a jalapeno comes from the seeds and the ribs, so if you prefer a mildly spicy dressing, remove some of the seeds and ribs. For a spicy dressing, leave all the seeds and ribs intact.
- If you prefer a thinner dressing, stream in more buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency if reached.
- If you do not like cilantro, you can absolutely use fresh, flat leaf parsley in the dressing instead!
- The dressing can be kept stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, however it is best used the same day it is made.
- I always encourage you to make a recipe your own. Huge fan of bacon? Add more! Don’t care for red onions? Leave them out! Prefer iceberg lettuce? Use that! Just do you!
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