This 5-ingredient BLT recipe with roasted garlic aioli and baby arugula on ciabatta bread is the perfect picnic lunch for a hot summer day.Jump to Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. As Amazon Associates and through other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases if you click on a link – at no extra cost to you. We only promote products we actually use and truly love!
Summer is here, which means more picnics and beach days ahead! And you know what else that means? More picnic-friendly sandwiches you can easily prep at home and take with you for a day out in the sun. This week, we’re sharing our recipe for the best BLT sandwich, with one special ingredient: roasted garlic aioli.
We’re both big garlic fans, so we were psyched to discover Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Garlic Aioli a little while back. This stuff is so good, it makes literally everything taste better. Put it on a burger, add it to an egg sandwich, dip fries into it, or slather it onto a BLT and you’ll never want to go without it again. Trust us.
Our bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with this garlic aioli is straightforward and simple – as any good BLT should be! The beauty of this sandwich lies in its simplicity, much like our four-ingredient caprese. No embellishments, no complicated instructions or cooking methods. Just four high-quality, fresh ingredients stacked on a fluffy piece of bakery bread.
That’s what makes it the perfect picnic lunch! Keep reading to learn how to make a BLT sandwich at home – and pack it to go.
How To Make A Perfect BLT Sandwich
Tip #1: LOTS Of Bacon
Protein is the star of most sandwiches, so don’t shy away from the bacon when making a BLT! We don’t think we have to convince you here (because who doesn’t love bacon), but we’ll still gently remind you that less is not more when it comes to bacon on this BLT. No, it’s not the healthiest, but who ever said BLT’s needed to be healthy?
Tip #2: Fresh Produce
The quality and freshness of your produce always matters, but especially when it comes to this sandwich. You’ll want fresh, juicy tomatoes and crisp lettuce for the best BLT. There’s no hiding these two ingredients! You’ll notice a difference if your tomatoes are overripe or your lettuce is starting to brown.
We chose baby arugula for the lettuce in our BLT since it has a ton of delicious, zingy flavor (and it can be easily grown in your own garden!). As for the tomatoes, there are plenty of varieties to choose from but red vine tomatoes are our favorite for a BLT sandwich. They’re just the right amount of juicy and sweet, and they’re perfect for slicing.
Tip #3: A Little Moisture
Every good sandwich needs a delicious condiment. But you don’t want to overwhelm the flavors of your main ingredients. Instead, you want to complement them in a way that allows them to shine even more.
As the name implies, the best flavors in a classic BLT are the salty bacon, juicy tomatoes, and crisp lettuce. But traditionally, a BLT also has a layer of mayonnaise for added moisture. I’ve never been a big fan of this, for two reasons:
- I don’t love the flavor of regular mayo, it’s just too plain
- I always thought the mayo dulled the flavors of the other ingredients
If you’ve ever had a BLT with mayo slathered all over it, you know what I mean. Too much mayo can actually take away from the incredible flavors of the three main ingredients. After all, it’s called a BLT, so don’t you want to taste the bacon, lettuce, and tomato?
So if you’re wondering how to make a BLT even better, you can elevate these flavors with a high-quality condiment like Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Garlic Aioli. Garlic aioli is just a fancier, flavorful substitute for mayo, and it’s so good on sandwiches. Really any brand of garlic aioli will work, but we love the creamy texture and potent flavor of Stonewall Kitchen’s. That’s why it was our first choice for making our own BLT sandwich!
Tip #4: Soft But Sturdy Bread
It’s super important to choose the right bread for any sandwich. When it comes to a BLT, we prefer a soft but sturdy bread that’s easy to bite into, soaks up the aioli and tomato juices, and contrasts the crispy bacon and lettuce. Ciabatta works great for BLT sandwiches, especially when it’s fresh from the bakery, because of its fluffy inside and solid crust.
A soft bakery bread also makes this BLT easily packable for picnic lunches. It’ll soak up just the right amount of moisture without falling apart, so it’ll stay fresh and delicious for a few hours. Just wrap it in parchment paper or foil, toss it in a cooler bag, and head out the door!
How To Assemble A BLT Sandwich
You may be thinking, I know how to build a sandwich – just put the ingredients between two slices of bread. But as Alex has taught me, there’s a science to assembling sandwiches. If you don’t put the right amount of care into the order of your ingredients, any sandwich can easily turn into a soggy mess. You definitely don’t want that, especially if you want to pack this BLT for a picnic lunch!
Here’s how to assemble a BLT sandwich:
- Spread a layer of garlic aioli onto both halves of the bread.
- Place a handful of arugula onto the bottom half of the sandwich.
- Top the arugula with tomato slices.
- Add the bacon on top of the tomato.
- Close the sandwich and wrap tightly in parchment paper or foil, or enjoy right away!
Adding a thin layer of garlic aioli to both halves of the bread ensures there’s enough moisture on the top and bottom of your sandwich. The arugula helps soak up the tomato juices, which prevents the bread from getting soggy. Finally, adding the bacon on top of the tomatoes ensures it’ll stay crispy throughout the day so you get that nice crunch when you bite into this sandwich.
It’s true that food tastes best when it’s made with love! Put just a little bit of thoughtfulness and care into building your BLT, and you’ll taste the difference. Try the recipe below and don’t forget to rate, comment, and share!
BLT With Roasted Garlic Aioli
- 4 oz fresh ciabatta bread
- 2 to 3 tsp roasted garlic aioli
- 1 handful baby arugula
- 1 small red vine tomato sliced into quarter-inch thick rounds
- 4 pieces cooked bacon
- Slice the ciabatta bread in half horizontally and place cut side up on a work surface. Spread a thin layer of roasted garlic aioli onto both halves of the ciabatta bread.
- Place a handful of baby arugula on the bottom half of the bread, top with sliced tomato, then top with crispy bacon.*
- Close the sandwich and serve immediately, or wrap in foil or parchment paper and pack in a cooler bag for a picnic lunch to go.