TLT Sandwich

A vegetarian TLT sandwich inspired by the classic BLT sandwich. This version includes chipotle-marinated tempeh alongside oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, a bit of shredded lettuce, and a generous avocado slather on a thin slice (or two) of great bread.

TLT Sandwich

At this point in time, no other sandwich I make is more requested. Instead of a classic BLT sandwich, I make a TLT - tempeh, lettuce, and tomato. Not an original concept, but my secret is this...every component needs to be over-the-top flavorful. Roasted Tomatoes for TLT Sandwich
My version features chipotle-marinated tempeh alongside roasted cherry tomatoes, a bit of shredded lettuce and a generous slather of avocado on a thin slice (or two) of great bread. For anyone looking for a hearty, substantial, satisfying, nutritious, and meatless lunch - it's hard to beat .
Side View of Epic TLT Sandwich
You'll need to plan ahead a bit to marinate the tempeh and roast the tomatoes, but I promise it's well worth the effort, and if you make extra you'll have sandwiches for the week. Tempeh is easy to find in most Whole Foods Markets or natural food stores - here's a link to another favorite tempeh recipe in case you are interested in other ways of using it.
Side View of Epic TLT Sandwich

I enjoy this TLT sandwich on a big, ultra-thin slice of whole wheat walnut bread - toasted until crisp. You can go the traditional sandwich route, or enjoy it open-faced. And now I'm thinking that miniature versions of these might be great bite-sized party food? 

If you're game for more tempeh inspiration, don't miss out on these tempeh recipes. And be sure to pay special attention to this Spicy Tempeh Crumble Bowl, and this Tempeh Taco Salad

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TLT Sandwich Recipe

4.8 from 5 votes

I buy the Lightlife organic flax tempeh or the grain version. A bit of crumbled goat cheese might be good too.

Ingredients
Marinade:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shoyu sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
  • 8 ounces of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch thick strips
Roasted Tomatoes:
  • 1 small basket of cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt
To Assemble:
  • 1 small head of romaine lettuce, cored, then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 1-2 large avocados, mashed with a pinch of salt just before assembling
  • 4 or 8 extra-thin slices of hearty whole grain bread, well toasted
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, shoyu, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and adobo sauce. Pour 1/3 of the tempeh marinade into an 8x8 baking dish (or something comparable) - you want a dish that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer - this way it will be fully enveloped by the marinade. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and keep in the refrigerator for a couple hours, overnight or until ready to use.
  2. While the tempeh is marinating, go ahead and roast the tomatoes. Heat the oven to 375F. Cut each tomato in half and arrange them in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together the olive oil, sugar, and salt and pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated, finishing with each tomato facing cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.

  3. When the tempeh is done marinating heat a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the tempeh slices for a few minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches if you don't have a big enough pan. Set the tempeh slices aside until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.
  4. To assemble each sandwich take one slice of bread and slather a generous layer of mashed avocado. Place a small helping of the shredded lettuce on top of the avocado, a few tomatoes, then a few slices of the tempeh, and more tomatoes. Enjoy either open faced or topped with another avocado-slathered bread slice.
Notes

Serves 4.

Serves
4
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 
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Comments

Made these for lunch today and they were just so delicious! I always simmer my tempeh for about 10 minutes before using as it helps to remove some of the bitterness some brands have.

Jacquie

This recipe looks amazing—just like all your others! I am wondering what temperature to roast the tomatoes at? I apologize if I just missed the temp or if it is common knowledge. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you!

Wendy

    Thanks for the catch Wendy - I usually roast these at 375F.

    Heidi Swanson

Made this sandwich tonight, without the avocado but with lettuce from my garden. Absolutely delicious! My boys had a kick out of the TNT title and while not fond of tempeh (I never was either!) absolutely loved the sandwich and had seconds. I had double the recipe, fearing the huge appetites of the boys, but luckily I have leftovers for my lunch tomorrow and have frozen the rest of the tempeh in the marinade to see if it keeps well.Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

Elisabeth

I never thought I'd find myself drooling over a picture of tempeh!!

anna

This looks gorgeous. I have some tempeh marinating in the fridge and can't wait to make the sandwich for dinner. Thanks! P.S. You finally motivated me to finally open a can of chipotles in adobo and I can't wait to use the leftovers.

Shila

Wow. I absolutely love the idea of this healthy sandwich. I am not really a meat eater at lunchtime, it just seems really unnecessary. The colours are so beautiful too.

Helen

As a poor college student in a not so health-conscious and veggie-friendly town (new orleans..) this looks REALLY appealing. I eat a lot of sandwiches for lunch and dinner because the options on campus are slim. I'll have to show this recipe to my roommates, i'm sure they would love it! (i'm still trying to convert a tofu-skeptic and i think this could be the kicker) I've been reading 101cookbooks for a really long time and i just want to say how much i love it! Even though at the moment i can't enjoy the same lifestyle it's really inspirational :)

Amanda

Love the idea of roasted tomatoes on a sandwich. Yummmmmmm.

Kate

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