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Ultimate BLT Bagel Sandwich Recipe

What could be better than a traditional BLT sandwich? How about a BLT Bagel Sandwich made on a bakery-fresh bagel and smeared with chive cream cheese? Yes please, I’ll take two!

A BLT bagel sandwich on a white plate.

One of my favorite places to visit on a weekend morning is my local bakery. My fiancé and I sort of became bagel snobs once we discovered how amazing these bagels are. No store-bought bagel will do for us anymore.

In addition to our bagel obsession, we also love making bagel sandwiches. We’re always trying to come up with new and delicious ways to enjoy our favorite breakfast bread. Of course, the classic egg and cheese is a staple in our household along with the timeless bagel and cream cheese.

One of my core childhood memories is having BLT sandwiches pretty regularly in our dinner rotation. Naturally, being a somewhat picky kid, I hated tomatoes and wasn’t a huge fan of lettuce either. So, my BLT sandwich was actually just a bacon and cheese sandwich on white bread.

Now, as a less picky adult and avid gardener, I appreciate a ripe, in-season garden fresh tomato. Juicy heirloom tomatoes are honestly one of the things I look forward to most about summer.

For this recipe, I highly recommend finding in-season tomatoes and lettuce. The flavor they bring to the sandwich makes all the difference. And of course, find your closest bagel shop and give them a try!

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick + Easy- This BLT bagel sandwich is quick, easy, and only requires a few simple ingredients. It works well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and can be ready within 20 minutes.
  • Great Use For Leftovers- I know not many people have leftover bacon, but if you do happen to, this bagel sandwich is a great way to use it up. Same goes for using up leftover lettuce and tomato. Likewise, if your local bakery is getting rid of day old bagels, grab them, freeze them, and use them to make this sandwich.
  • Customizable- In my opinion, the best part about this recipe is how customizable it is. It really can be dressed up or dressed down as much as you’d like. Additionally, this sandwich can be tailored to a number of dietary restrictions or preferences. Keep reading for ideas on how to customize this sandwich.

Ingredient Notes

Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.

  • Bagels– I highly recommend finding a local bakery to purchase your bagels from. There is seriously nothing better than a freshly baked bagel. It takes this sandwich to a whole new level. You can use any bagel flavor that you love!
  • Chive Cream Cheese- I chose to use chive cream cheese in this recipe because I love the allium flavor it brings. Feel free to use plain cream cheese, veggie cream cheese, or any other flavor you prefer.
  • Tomatoes- I make this sandwich using in-season heirloom tomatoes whenever possible because they’re my absolute favorite. Beefsteak tomatoes are another great option. Use your favorite tomato variety!
  • Romaine Lettuce- Yes, I know this is blasphemy to some BLT enthusiasts who believe that only iceberg lettuce will do. However, I prefer romaine lettuce for its flavor and better nutritional value.

Learn how to grow your own tomatoes and romaine lettuce so you can have the best tasting BLT bagel sandwich possible.

A white plate with the ingredients to make a BLT bagel sandwich.

Step by Step Instructions

Here is how to make a BLT bagel sandwich.

Step 1: Cook the bacon. Lay the strips of bacon in a cold frying pan off the heat. They can overlap a little, but try not to overcrowd the pan. The bacon should be cooked slowly over low heat. This allows the fat to render out and makes for nice, crispy bacon. Cook to desired doneness and remove to a paper towel to drain.

Four strips of raw bacon in a pan on the stove.
Four strips of bacon sizzling in a frying pan on the stove.
Four cooked strips of bacon draining on a paper towel.

Step 2: Assemble the bagel. Toast the bagel to your preferred darkness. Then, spread the chive cream cheese evenly onto both sides of the bagel. Starting on the bottom half, add the lettuce leaves, then the tomato slices, followed by the bacon strips. Top with the other half of the bagel and eat immediately.

An assembled BLT bagel sandwich.

Tips and Tricks

  • To Make for a Crowd- While the recipe is written to make one BLT bagel sandwich, you can easily scale the recipe up to accommodate hungry friends and family. Whether you’re planning a brunch get-together with the girls or having a picnic with your partner, simply multiply the ingredients by however many sandwiches you’ll need.
  • Use Local Ingredients- I highly recommend using local, seasonal ingredients when making this recipe. Find a local bakery making fresh bagels. Look for an artisan cream cheese maker in your area. Purchase the tomatoes and lettuce in season when they have the best flavor. Or, better yet, grow your own tomatoes and lettuce in your garden!

Substitutions and Additions

Substitutions

Here are a few ways you can make this BLT bagel sandwich fit your diet.

  • Dairy-Free- To make this recipe dairy-free, use a dairy-free cream cheese substitute such as Tofutti or Violife. Alternately, replace the cream cheese spread with mashed avocado for a whole food option.
  • Vegan- Use a dairy-free cream cheese substitute like the ones mentioned above. Then, swap out the pork bacon with either tofu bacon or tempeh bacon. Most bagels are vegan already, but double check the label or with the bakery.
  • Gluten-Free- Making this BLT Bagel Sandwich gluten-free is easy. Just use your favorite gluten-free bagel in place of the traditional bagel.
  • Lower Fat- If you’re looking to make a lower fat version, try using neufchâtel cheese, which is sometimes marketed as 1/3 less fat cream cheese. You can also swap out the pork bacon for turkey bacon.

Additions

While this BLT bagel sandwich is fabulous as is, here are a few add-ons that will take it to the next level.

  • Avocado- Not many things go better with bacon, lettuce, and tomato than avocado does. The creamy freshness balances out the salty bacon quite nicely. You can either replace the cream cheese with avocado or go wild and use both!
  • Egg- This sandwich is practically screaming for a fried egg on top. Whether you like your yolks runny or cooked through, a fried egg would make this sandwich the ultimate brunch treat.
  • Mayonnaise- If cream cheese isn’t really your thing, or you just really love mayonnaise, the quintessential sandwich spread would make a wonderful addition to this bagel sandwich.
  • Hot Sauce- Like things a little spicy? Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. You could also add sliced jalapeño or red chili flakes.
  • Vegetables- Arugula, cucumbers, or even red onion would all make tasty additions to this BLT bagel sandwich.

Storage and Freezing

Storage

Store all of the ingredients for these BLT bagel sandwiches separately and only assemble just prior to eating.

  • Bagels- Store at room temperature for 2-4 days if fresh and up to 7 days if store bought. I do not recommend storing bagels in the refrigerator as this will turn them stale.
  • Bacon- Store an unopened package of bacon in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If the package has been opened, it will keep for about one week in the refrigerator. Cooked bacon will keep for about 4-5 days.
  • Cream Cheese- Unopened cream cheese will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. Opened cream cheese should be eaten within 1-2 weeks.
  • Tomato- Keep whole tomatoes on the counter at room temperature for up to a week for best flavor. If you need it to last longer, it will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. However, this will diminish its flavor.
  • Lettuce- Wrap a whole head of romaine lettuce in a damp paper towel and place it inside of a plastic bag in the refrigerator. A head of lettuce will keep for 1-3 weeks when stored like this. If you’re using bagged lettuce, keep it in the original packaging for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Freezing

  • Bagels- Store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
  • Bacon- Whether opened or unopened, bacon will keep in the freezer for 6-8 months.
  • Cream Cheese- While you can store cream cheese in the freezer, I don’t recommend doing so for this recipe. Freezing cream cheese changes the texture, making it grainy and not worthy of being a delicious BLT bagel sandwich spread.
  • Tomato- Do not freeze.
  • Lettuce- Do not freeze.
A BLT poppy seed bagel on a white plate.

Nutrition Facts

One BLT bagel sandwich contains:

  • Calories: 573
  • Carbs: 73 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Protein: 24.5 grams
  • Fat: 20 grams

FAQ

What does BLT stand for?

BLT stands for bacon, lettuce, and tomato and it is a sandwich traditionally served on toasted white bread. According to Wikipedia, it’s the sixth most popular sandwich in the United States.

Which type of tomato is best on a BLT?

Tomatoes are arguably one of the most important ingredients on a BLT. Why? Because a bland, off-season tomato can ruin an otherwise perfectly good sandwich. A ripe, thickly-sliced heirloom or beefsteak tomato during the summer is exactly what a good BLT needs.

In fact, some argue that a BLT sandwich is a seasonal recipe, only to be enjoyed throughout the summer months.

What can I serve with a BLT bagel sandwich?

Here are a few ideas of what to serve with a BLT bagel sandwich.

Recommended Equipment

This list includes affiliate links.

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BLT Bagel Sandwich

This BLT bagel sandwich is simple yet flavorful and perfect for all of your summer picnics or brunch gatherings.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich
Calories 573kcal
Author Ashley Petrie

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 bagel sliced and toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chive cream cheese
  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce rinsed and torn to fit bagel size
  • 1-2 slices tomato

Instructions

Cook the Bacon

  • Lay the bacon strips in the frying pan prior to turning on the heat. The bacon can touch a little, but try not to overcrowd the pan too much. Turn the heat to low.
    2 slices bacon
  • Cook the bacon slowly over low heat until it reaches your preferred crispiness. Most bacon will be done cooking after about 20 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Assemble the Bagel

  • Toast the bagel to your desired doneness. Then, spread the chive cream cheese evenly on both sides of the bagel.
    1 bagel, 2 tablespoons chive cream cheese
  • Starting on the bottom half of the bagel, add the lettuce leaves, then the tomato slices, followed by the bacon strips. Top with the other half of the bagel and eat immediately!
    2 leaves romaine lettuce, 1-2 slices tomato, 2 slices bacon

Notes

  • Individual ingredients can be prepared ahead of time. However, I recommend not assembling the sandwich until you’re ready to eat it.

Nutrition

Calories: 573kcal
Did you try this recipe?Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.
an assembled blt bagel open just slightly so the ingredients can be seen clearly layered

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.

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