This BLT salad with avocado and homemade chipotle dressing has everything you love in a classic BLT sandwich in an easy low carb salad.
This BLT salad is one of my favorite quick and easy meals. It's great for lunch, a light dinner, or even as an appetizer.
For a simple salad, it packs a lot of flavor. The crispness of the romaine contrasts with the smokiness of the bacon, and the creaminess of the avocado. And the chipotle balsamic dressing adds a sweet and spicy kick.
This salad comes together in 20 minutes flat. The bacon cooks in the oven while you put everything else together. And by the time the bacon is done, you're ready to eat.
The homemade chipotle balsamic dressing takes only a few minutes to shake up in a jar. And you'll have enough dressing left over for another salad or two. That's a head start on tomorrow's lunch.
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BLT Salad Highlights
- Easy to prepare - This fuss-free salad doesn't require much in the way of cooking skills. If you can turn on an oven for the bacon and chop some vegetables, you'll have this salad on the table in less than 20 minutes.
- Simple ingredients - Bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado are pantry staples that are easily acquired and most are budget-friendly.
- Fresh - With the exception of the bacon, the salad ingredients are fresh and require no cooking. You'll keep the healthy benefits of eating raw vegetables that are either homegrown, from your local farmer's market or from the fresh produce section of your grocery store.
- Adaptable - While this salad is hearty and flavorful as-is, if you're wanting to boost the protein content, swap out ingredients or add to the toppings, this salad can handle it.
- Versatile - You can pair this salad with any meal as a tasty side dish, or enjoy it as a main dish for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Sugar-free quality bacon - You'll need 8 slices that you'll cook in the oven while you prep and assemble the rest of the salad.
- Romaine lettuce - You'll need 1 or 2 medium heads that you'll tear to create the bed of the salad.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes - You'll need a half pint. I like to cut them in half. You can also use any ripe tomatoes that you have and chop them into bite-sized chunks.
- Avocados - You'll need a ripe avocado (or more if you love it like I do), pitted, peeled and sliced. This healthy and creamy ingredient is the perfect addition to the traditional BLT combo of flavors.
- Chipotle Balsamic Vinaigrette - This is possibly the easiest homemade dressing you'll ever make, It adds a spicy kick to the salad without being overpowering.
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste.
Directions For Making And Assembling The BLT Salad
- Make The Bacon - Arrange the bacon strips on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a cold oven. Set oven to 375° F and cook the bacon until crisp, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Prep The Greens And Vegetables. - While the bacon cooks, wash and dry and the salad leaves, chop the tomatoes, slice the avocado and arrange it all on a serving platter or toss in a bowl
- Make the Dressing - Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and flavorings to a mason jar and shake.
- Chop The Cooked Bacon - Remove the cooked bacon from the oven and pat it with paper towels to absorb any grease. Chop it into bite-sized pieces.
- Top, Drizzle And Serve - Top the salad with the bacon pieces and drizzle with the homemade vinaigrette.
How To Clean Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce can usually be purchased in your grocery store with its leaves attached to its stalk or in a pre-packaged bag, sometimes with its leaves already removed.
Either way, you'll want to give the leaves a wash and dry session before assembling the salad. Here's how:
- If the leaves are still attached to the stalk, run the head of lettuce under water, being sure to rinse well between each leaf since that's where dirt and residue tend to collect. If the leaves are pre-packaged and separated, just give them a rinse under water to remove any dirt. Discard any wilted leaves.
- If the leaves are still attached, remove each leaf from the stalk. Dry all the leaves, on each side, with paper towels or a salad spinner. Note: If you're prepping and cleaning the lettuce leaves for later use, make sure they're completely dry before storing them in a perforated bag in the fridge.
- Tear or chop the leaves for the salad.
Can I Use A Different Variety Of Lettuce?
Certainly! I chose romaine lettuce for this salad because it's a substantial and healthy leafy green that adds heartiness to this salad. I also love the satisfying crunch!
However, you can use whatever greens you like such as iceberg, mixed greens, leafy red or green lettuce, butter lettuce, or arugula.
Add-Ins And Customizations
If you're looking to customize this salad for a particular meal, or just to use up what you have on hand, this salad is a great canvas for delicious additions.
- Protein - If you're wanting to serve this salad as an entrée or just boost the protein, consider the following ideas.
Add in rotisserie chicken or sliced grilled chicken or sliced air fryer chicken. Or try diced ham, which is perfect if you're trying to use up leftovers.
- Olives - Green or black pitted olives would add a nice briny flavor.
- Fresh Herbs - Consider adding a smattering of one of the following herbs as another way to add spice to this salad.
- Basil - Slightly spicy and deliciously fragrant, basil is a wonderful herb to pair with this salad.
- Chives - Milder than raw onion, chives will give you a hint of onion flavor without being overpowering.
- Parsley - Reminiscent of celery in flavor, just little chopped parsley will add an herbal bite to this salad.
If you're looking for a creamy dressing, try my homemade ranch dressing. It's a great sub for traditional buttermilk dressing made with sour cream. It’s made with mayonnaise, garlic, herbs, and a touch of coconut milk so it’s dairy free.
Meal Prepping This Salad
This salad is easy to make on its own, but meal prepping is a great way to save time when you need to grab ingredients out of the fridge and assemble the salad as soon as possible.
The way I like to meal prep this salad is to make double or triple the amount of everything all at the same time. Meaning, if I'm having this salad for lunch or dinner, I'll just double or triple up on preparing and making all of the ingredients and save the leftovers for later in the week.
Here's how it works:
- Bacon - The bacon is easily doubled or tripled and cooked since it's mainly a hand-off situation handled by the oven. Save leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
- Lettuce - Clean and prep your lettuce and stash it in a breathable bag in the fridge for later.
- Tomatoes - Cut your tomatoes in advance, if you wish, and keep them in the fridge, tightly covered. I tend to cut them just when I need them so they don't become mealy after being cut. It really depends on the ripeness and type of tomato you're using, so use your best judgment on that item.
- Avocado - The only item that you shouldn't cut and save in the fridge is the avocado, since it will start to brown once it's cut. It takes just minutes to peel and slice a ripe avocado, so do that right before you serve the salad.
- Dressing -The dressing can also be made ahead and saved in a glass jar in the fridge.
How Do I Store This Salad?
If you have leftovers of this salad that's already been assembled, store it in the fridge, tightly covered. It should be eaten within a day.
Note: Unassembled salad ingredients, stored separately, and as mentioned in the meal prepping section above, will keep for up to 5 days in your fridge, with the exception of the avocado.
More Salad Recipes To Try
BLT Salad with Avocado and Chipotle Dressing
- Arrange bacon on rimmed baking sheet and place in cold oven. Set oven to 375 degrees and cook bacon to desired crispness, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- While bacon cooks, combine salad ingredients and make dressing.
- Top salad with chopped cooked bacon and drizzle with vinaigrette.