• Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 4 sandwiches
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When tomato season is at its peak, pick out the juiciest ones you can find in both red and yellow shades to make these eye-catching vegan BLTAs. Creamy avocado slices, smoky carrot “bacon,” and a zesty chickpea-based spread add tons of flavor and texture that will banish any thoughts that sandwiches are boring. The key to an extra delicious BLTA? Toasting the bread just before stacking it all together. The warm, crispy bread perfectly complements the cool and creamy fillings so each bite takes you to sandwich heaven.

Tip: To save time, you can make the carrot bacon in advance and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Additionally, you can use store-bought hummus in place of the Zesty Sandwich Spread. Feel free to stir in curry powder and cayenne to the hummus for more flavor, or just keep it simple and slather it straight onto the bread.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 large carrots, cut lengthwise into thin strips (about ⅛ inch thick)
  • 8 slices 100% whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, liquid (aquafaba) drained and reserved
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 red tomato, sliced
  • 1 yellow tomato, sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced


  • For marinade, in a small bowl combine the first five ingredients (through paprika). Set a resealable plastic bag in a shallow dish. Place carrots in the bag. Add marinade; seal bag and turn to coat carrots. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Drain carrots, reserving marinade. Place carrots on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until carrots are lightly browned, turning occasionally and brushing with reserved marinade. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For Zesty Sandwich Spread, in a food processor combine chickpeas, 3 tablespoons of the aquafaba, nutritional yeast, tahini, lemon juice, dry mustard, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth. Stir in scallions and parsley. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes 1⅔ cups; store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge.
  • Spread toast with Zesty Sandwich Spread. Add carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. Serve immediately.

Comments (38)

(5 from 9 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I like the carrot "bacon" idea, but am going to try to use coursely grated carrots instead of strips. Bacon bits!


I haven't made this yet, but definitely will. Yes, it has quite a few ingredients, but none are obscure and most are in small quantity. In fact, the only thing I don't currently have in the kitchen is the carrots! In addition, it looks like it will make enough for more than one meal. Thank you for this great looking recipe!


Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing. It will be used this week.


This doesn’t look difficult but im going to modify this recipe to use what I already have since I am moving soon. BLTs are a favorite of mine:D much appreciated recipe!

KJ Carlson

I’m not sure what the fuss is over the # of ingredients. This is easy to make - dump the marinade ingredients in a bag and dump the spread ingredients in a blender - and the flavor is good. The spread is amazing; we kept the leftovers as a snack w veggies the next day. I took off 1 star bc I would either broil the carrots till crispy at the end or Pat boil them before marinating to make them easier to bite into.


Awesome, thanks for sharing. I didn't know to do this.


You could possibly marinade a bunch of carrots and keep them in the freezer for next time. That's what I do with carrot hot dogs!


Thanks! I've been meaning to try carrot bacon! Is there a substitute for coconut aminos? How about Braggs? Would I use the same amount?

Megan Edwards

Hi Gloria, You could definitely use Braggs instead. Soy sauce or tamari would also work in place of the coconut aminos, since they all have similar properties and flavors. Let us know how it turns out!


This sounds really good I look forward to making it. I like spending time in the kitchen so if it is a long recipe thats ok with me.


How long can the sauce keep in the refrigerator?

Megan Edwards

Hi Kirk, The sandwich spread will stay good for 4-5 days in an airtight container. Let us know how it turns out!


Does anyone really have time for a recipe with 22 ingredients.


Absolutley. I love being in the kitchen cooking

Pat Freeman

That’s an unhelpful comment, Susan, and you didn’t make it so you had no right to rate it.


LOL does anyone really have time to count them? :D I guess if you're not a cook it might seem a lot, but really this isn't hard or time consuming. Most of the ingredients are a spoonful or two of this and a spoonful or two of that; in no way is this a demanding recipe.


versus buying something “ready made” with 22 chemicals? I’m absolutely going to make a recipe with 22 ingredients that I can recognize and already have on hand.


No probably not! Just stick to a P-B&J, that’s 3 ingredients. Or you can go out for some drive through, MUCH easier!!

Miriam Kearney

This sounds terrific but as the comments suggest a lot of work for just one meal. I'm thinking the hummus could be made ahead, no problem. What about the 'bacon'. Do you think they would keep - could be heated up in frypan or air fryer to recrisp if needed?


How does one slice a carrot lengthwise 1/8" thick without losing some fingers?


Marie’s, a mandolin would be the easiest was to cut the carrots lengthwise. Or if you have a food processor with a slicing blade you could do it in shorter pieces.

Megan Edwards

Hi Miriam, You can definitely make the bacon ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should taste good at room temperature if you let it warm up on the counter for a little bit, but you can also warm it up in the oven for a few minutes or in a toaster on a low heat setting. If you try it in the air fryer let us know how it goes!

Barb Y

QUESTION - What can I use in place of the Aquafaba since I pressure cook the chickpeas from dry beans and not the can I don’t get the aquafaba ??


Hello the aquafaba is in the pressure cooker I use it all the time.

Megan Edwards

Hi Barb, You can make your own aquafaba at home in the pressure cooker when you cook the chickpeas. Check out our how-to article on all the best tips and tricks for doing that: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-sauces-condiments/homemade-aquafaba/ Let us know how it goes!


This is excellent!


Coconut Aminos are our go-to condiment for everything. We find it very tasty and best of all, it's very low in sodium. It's great for salad dressing all by itself.


what the heck is coconut aminos?


A soy sauce substitute made from coconuts.


Why don't you list the food values for those of us with kidney problems or other health issues where we need to know Sodium, potassium and phosphorus etc? Many other Vegan sites offer this courtesy!


You could always read the ingredient list.


Respectfully, there are many such calculators online so if you see a recipe you might like, it should be easy enough to determine if it would work for you. So many people have so many different issues that I understand why some sites don't do it. And since "safe" levels of stuff change so often, I can't say that I blame them. I hope you are able to find a good calculator and then you can make adjustments to any recipe and still see if it is safe for you. Best wishes!


Seriously suggesting each person that would like the nutritional info for a recipe enter it by hand themselves for each recipe is not likely to make me or anyone else try the recipe. That is very time consuming. I just skip over recipes that do not include basic nutritional info. If it's listed, each person can evaluate it to see if it meets their own dietary requirements regardless of what the current recommended levels are.


I made this tonight and loved it! Will let the “bacon” crisp up a bit more for the next round. Saw the comment about 22 ingredients. I wasn’t a big deal, had most of them in the pantry already. Mostly spices and stuff. I love trying new ways to use common ingredients like carrots!


Those are going to depend on part on what brand of bread etc. you use. If you need to be really strict, probably best to calculate yourself.


Very tasty sandwich! It was a lot of work, but I guess not much more than a regular BLT. My carrot bacon was good, but a bit chewy. I think I may have basted too much.


i love this recipe!!!!! i have made it soooo many times. sometimes i am too lazy to make the carrot bacon so i make the hummus only and add the maple syrup and aminos to it instead (just a little).


This was really tasty! I made a few mods tho… I added a half tsp liquid smoke to the marinade and added thinly slide tempeh with the carrots. Baked it together they came out great! I wasn’t sure about the humus spread at first but it grew on me. Had a slight deviled egg flavor, I think from the mustard but it was very good on the sandwich. Between the Smokey carrots, tempeh and hummus spread this was the best “V”LT I ever had! I didn’t have any ripe avocado but am definitely going to add next time.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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