There’s nothing quite like a cool, crunchy salad on a warm summer’s day. They’re family-friendly and great for summer potlucks and get-togethers. Summer is the perfect time for them too, since gardens and farmer’s markets are bursting with produce.

We don’t do a lot of bread around here, so I wanted to recreate the classic BLT sandwich flavors in veggie-packed salad form. Salad greens topped with crispy bacon, sweet cherry tomatoes, and a tangy lemon mustard vinaigrette… it doesn’t get much fresher!

BLT Salad: A Classic Reinvented

What is it about a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich? It’s so simple but it hits the spot every time. Instead of a thin slice of tomato and a lettuce leaf though, what if you could pile it high with good-for-you veggies?

Tossing together a BLT salad for dinner is a great way to make use of garden produce. You can use any greens you like. I like a bit of arugula and baby spinach for their B vitamins and iron, as well as some romaine lettuce for crunch.

Not a very confident gardener yet? The cherry tomatoes for this recipe are a kid-favorite garden treasure and very easy to grow. All you need is a nice big pot, some dirt, a stake and string, and sunshine! Kids love to watch them ripen and their natural sweetness is perfect in this salad. Even if you don’t have much of a yard, they make a good potted plant for a balcony or porch.

BLT Toppings

Top the salad with some sliced avocado and creamy goat cheese to mimic the mayo of a traditional BLT. This salad lets you enjoy the flavors of a BLT without the bread and leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied!

If you like your bacon on the crispier side then opt for a regular or thin slice. If you really want to pack a bacon flavored punch though, try thick-cut bacon instead! Here are some more topping ideas:

  • Chopped fresh chives

  • Shredded cheddar cheese (instead of the goat cheese)

  • Chopped red onion

  • Homemade grain-free croutons

Lunch To-Go

Salads make perfect dinners for busy days since they’re usually fast and easy to make. Add some sliced chicken for an easy, protein-packed meal. Or throw some meat on the grill and serve this BLT salad as a side dish.

I like to make this ahead of time in a mason jar (just another of their handy uses) for great to-go salad containers. Just put the wet ingredients (tomatoes, dressing, avocado) on the bottom. Follow with the salad greens on the top and cap with a lid. When you’re ready to eat, just shake the jar to mix everything up or dump it on a plate.

You’ll notice in the instructions that I divide everything evenly onto four different plates. If you prefer you can simply toss everything into a large bowl and serve it that way instead. Not everyone may get the exact same amount of toppings this way though!

BLTs With Avocado?

Absolutely! Because avocados are both delicious and healthy.

Avocados are one of the most versatile ingredients. They’re tasty on their own but are also mild enough to combine easily with other flavors. You’ll usually find them mashed into guacamole, but they’re also delicious on soups and salads. I like to use them in this egg-free mayo or even throw some in a smoothie!

Avocados are so nutrient dense and creamy that they make a good replacement for eggs or dairy in some recipes. They’re also high in fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and healthy fats.

The Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings frequently have highly refined oils and artificial additives. By making them at home I know my family is getting a good dose of healthy fats and real food ingredients.

It’s also cheaper to make my own salad dressings since I already have most of the common ingredients on hand. These include olive oil, a variety of vinegars, and herbs.

Instead of making dressings from scratch every time I need them, I save time by making double or triple batches. (Tip: use dried herbs to keep them fresh the longest.) I store them in a mason jar with a lid and have them on hand when I need them.

The vinaigrette for this salad is a combination of lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and a little salt and pepper. It’s pretty tangy and would also work well as a marinade for chicken or fish. Shake it up in a mason jar and keep the leftovers in the fridge for another day.

Check out this post for some of my other salad dressing recipes.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

I used to have quite the obsession with store-bought ranch dressing. As much as I love this salad with the tangy vinaigrette, it also tastes good with ranch dressing. Instead of using buttermilk or sour cream, my version uses Greek yogurt for a protein boost. So if you’re not a vinaigrette fan, try it with ranch instead!

BLT salad

BLT Salad Recipe with Avocado

Toss this salad together in minutes for a quick lunch or dinner option. Take it with you to work, the back patio, or your next family get-together.

  • 12 oz bacon strips
  • 8 cups salad greens
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
  • 2 avocados (sliced)
  • 4 oz goat cheese (optional)
  • Chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces.

  • In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.

  • While the bacon is cooking, divide the salad greens among four plates.

  • Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and divide evenly among the plates.

  • Let the cooked bacon drain on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside to cool.

  • Divide the avocados, goat cheese if using, and bacon evenly among the plates.

  • To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a mason jar.

  • Shake to combine.

  • Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over each salad, serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

BLT Salad Recipe with Avocado

Amount Per Serving (1 salad with 2 TBSP vinaigrette)

Calories 775
Calories from Fat 612

% Daily Value*

Fat 68g105%

Saturated Fat 19g119%

Trans Fat 0.1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 9g

Monounsaturated Fat 36g

Cholesterol 69mg23%

Sodium 911mg40%

Potassium 993mg28%

Carbohydrates 25g8%

Fiber 8g33%

Sugar 12g13%

Protein 20g40%

Vitamin A 1749IU35%

Vitamin C 52mg63%

Calcium 80mg8%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You can make extra vinaigrette and store it in the refrigerator to save time on the next salad. It’s also delicious as a marinade for chicken or fish!

Other Summer Salad Recipes

Looking for some more delicious salad combinations? Here are some of our favorites:

What’s your family’s favorite summertime salad? Let me know below!

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