Our vegan ELT sandwich (eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato) is a veggie version of a BLT. The eggplant is savory, smokey, and delicious. It’s a great alternative to bacon. If you don’t like eggplant, you can always use mushrooms or tofu, instead.
What’s an ELT?
ELT is an acronym for eggplant bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
We take those three simple ingredients and stack them on toasted bread, then we slather the top piece of bread with some vegan ranch dressing. It’s sandwich heaven, y’all!
How Do You Make Eggplant Taste Like Bacon?
It’s really simple. We created a smoky, salty marinade that smells and tastes like bacon, and soak the eggplant in it for about 15 minutes.
The eggplant soaks up the flavor of bacon, and although the texture isn’t the same, and it doesn’t taste exactly like bacon, it’s a good replacement.
Bonus! You won’t find any saturated fat or cholesterol in eggplant bacon.
More Vegan Sandwich Ideas
How to Make It
Wash and dry the lettuce and slice the tomatoes. If you do this first, the lettuce will have longer to dry out and it will be nice and crunchy.
Whisk some maple syrup, smoked paprika, and salt (to taste) and pepper together in a shallow baking pan.
Peel the eggplant and slice it into thin squares that are the size of the bread you’re going to toast.
Place the eggplant in the maple mixture and spread it out. Let it soak for about 7 minutes, then flip it and let it soak another 7 to 8 minutes.
Make sure you reserve the sauce.
Heat a grill pan or a skillet and evenly brush the olive oil over the surface of the pan.
When it’s hot, place the eggplant in the pan and brush some of the extra sauce on top.
Cook for approximately eight to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant starts to soften and has grill marks.
Flip and cook the other side of the eggplant.
While you’re cooking the eggplant, toast the bread.
Place the eggplant on the bottom piece of the toast, then add the lettuce and tomato.
Now, here’s what takes this sandwich to another level, spread a liberal amount of vegan ranch dressing on the top, bottom, or both pieces of bread.
It will add a tangy, creamy, delicious element to the savory and smokey eggplant.
Make sure to peel the eggplant. The skin will make it too tough.
Slice the eggplant thin so it will fit the size of the bread that you’re using.
Be sure to brush the eggplant with the sauce that’s left in the pan for bolder flavor.
Use a really crisp lettuce. Iceberg is the perfect choice.
Make our healthy vegan ELT sandwich recipe and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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VEGAN ELT SANDWICH
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large eggplant peeled
- 1 large tomato sliced
- 10 to 12 lettuce leaves you pick the type you like, wash and completely dry them.
- Vegan ranch dressing ranch dressing
- 1 large baguette of bread or whatever type of bread you like.
- In a small bowl, whisk the ¼ cup of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste until well combined and pour into a shallow baking dish.
- Slice the baguette into single sandwich size pieces and toast them or grill them.
- Slice the ends off of the eggplant then peel and slice into thirds lengthwise, then slice widthwise to the size that fits the bread you’re putting it on. Marinate both sides in the maple sauce for approximately 7 to 8 minutes per side. Reserve the sauce.
- Heat the grill, a grill pan, or a skillet on medium-high and brush with the olive oil to avoid sticking. When the grill/pan is hot, add the eggplant and cook for approximately 8 minutes per side, or until softened with dark grill marks. Brush the extra sauce over the top of each side as you’re cooking it.
- Spread a thick layer (or thin, it’s your call) of ranch dressing on the top of the bottom piece of bread. Add a slice of eggplant, tomato, lettuce, and the top piece of bread.