Sometimes I want a vegan BLT. That is a good thing to want. But other times I have a hankering for a salad (yes, this is possible). So I thought, why not do a mashup of a vegan BLT and a salad? And then why not pour some creamy, savory and delicious vegan ranch all over it? So, that’s what I did. And Oh. My. Stars. It is a thing of goodness and beauty and crunchy and creamy and fresh and healthy and just generally wonderful. So obviously, you should make it, and I’ll show you how.
How to make a Vegan BLT Salad with Vegan Ranch (full video):
That there is some crispity crunchity tofu bacon goodness. You’ve made easy tofu bacon, right? NO? Well get on that, pronto! It is rich and smoky, meaty and crackly, and as the name implies, super easy to make.
Come on now. That is one good looking salad. It’s just missing one thing.
MUCH better. If you don’t want to dive face-first into the creamy vegan ranch, I’m not sure you’re human. Well, either that, or you just don’t like ranch dressing, which I guess can be overlooked.
Seriously, folks, this salad is so worth making, and bonus, you might even have some tofu bacon leftover for an actual Vegan BLT, or to add to a twice-baked potato. And don’t forget to save the marinade for carrot dogs. I love making your life easier.
What are you waiting for? It’s salad time!
Vegan BLT Salad
- 1 block extra firm tofu (drained and patted dry)
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
- 2 cups water
Vegan Ranch Dressing*
- 1 cup Savory Cashew Cream*
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or other mild vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes (or 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried chives (or 1/8 cup chopped fresh chives)
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
Make the Tofu Bacon
- Slice the tofu as thinly as possible using a sharp knife, mandoline slicer, or vegetable peeler.
- Mix marinade ingredients together in a tall resealable container.
- Add sliced tofu to the marinade and set aside for 4 hours or overnight. (see note for a quick marinade option)
- Strain tofu slices out of the marinade (reserve marinade for another use if desired).
- Cook tofu bacon slices in a skillet or griddle over medium heat until browned and crispy. Alternatively, bake at 400 degrees F, turning occasionally, until browned and crispy.
Make the Ranch Dressing
- Puree all ingredients except herbs in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the herbs and pulse a few times to break down the herbs and mix in. Pureeing the herbs will turn the dressing a pale green color, so be careful not to pulse too much if you want the dressing to look like “traditional” ranch.
- The mixture will seem thin, but will thicken upon refrigeration.
Assemble the Salad
- Top romaine with tomatoes, tofu bacon pieces, and any optional toppings you like, such as croutons made from toasted bread, or sliced avocado.
- Generously drizzle ranch dressing over the salad and dig in!
- Quick Marinade Option: Microwave tofu slices in marinade for 10 minutes on medium power, or simmer tofu and marinade in a saucepan for 10-15 minutes before straining and cooking the slices.
- If not making the savory cashew cream, add these ingredients to the blender to approximate the flavor:
*Quick-soak option: Boil cashews for 15 minutes in a small saucepan, the drain and proceed with recipe
- 1 1/4 cup raw cashews or pepitas*, soaked for at least 1 hour if not using a high speed blender**
- 1/2 tsp. light miso
- 2 tsp. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar or other mild unsweetened vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt