Sweet Heat BLT Recipe

Arguably the perfect sandwich, the BLT is a simple combo of salty bacon, crispy lettuce, and soft, juicy tomatoes. Sometimes served with mayonnaise, and always wedged between 2 lightly toasted slices of bread, the famously simple sandwich is a riff on a club sandwich with the turkey removed. While club sandwiches have been transformed to include many modern day ingredients like avocados, sprouts, cheese, and chips, the BLT remains largely the same, sticking to its famous acronym of ingredients.

Below, developer Michelle McGlinn introduces a few simple additions to transform the classic BLT into a delicious, restaurant-quality sandwich with the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. The secret behind the transformation is using hot honey on the bacon, which caramelizes into the bacon fat, and becomes a spicy-sweet crispy crust. An herby, garlicky mayo balances out the sticky-sweet bacon, and becomes the hidden star of the show in this spin on a classic. This sweet heat BLT is so simple to prepare, you'll prefer it to its plain counterpart. Trust us, you'll never go back to the classics.

Gather your BLT ingredients

Like any BLT sandwich, you'll need bacon, lettuce, and tomato. The type of bacon doesn't matter too much, but we recommend using quality, thick-cut bacon, since a BLT relies on just 3 ingredients to shine. This BLT is elevated with a homemade hot honey using regular honey and a pinch of cayenne. Pair the hot honey with a quick herby aioli made with mayonnaise, dried or fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon, and 1 garlic clove. Build the sandwich on any toasted bread you love — we prefer thick-sliced, standard white bread.

Brush the bacon with hot honey

You'll have a hard time making this bacon on the stove, so preheat the oven to 400 F, and line a baking sheet with foil to catch the grease. Lay the bacon strips in a single layer, using a second baking sheet, or working in batches, if needed. Whisk together the cayenne and honey, adding more cayenne for more heat, then use a pastry brush to brush it onto the bacon. If you don't have a pastry brush, just drizzle the honey over the bacon, and smooth it over each strip with a butter knife. Bake until the bacon is crispy, and the honey is caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Whip up the aioli

While the bacon cooks, make the aioli. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and garlic in with the mayonnaise. You'll want to grate the garlic so that it blends with the mayonnaise, so use a microplane or small cheese grater to finely grate the clove. If you have neither, just mince the garlic as finely as possible, then crush into a paste.

Using dried parsley is the easiest option here, but if you only have fresh parsley on hand, feel free to chop it up, and throw it in. Whisk all the ingredients together, and adjust to taste — if it still tastes too mayo-y, try adding a little more lemon.

Build the sandwiches

Nothing complicated about this step: just put it all together and dig in. We like slathering the mayo on both toasted bread slices, adding a few leaves of lettuce to sit between the mayo and the tomato, then piling on the bacon before adding the top slice of toast. This sandwich is the perfect lunch or a great dinner that can be paired with warm lentil soup or tomato bisque. 

You can prep these in advance, and store the bacon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, then reheat in the microwave, and build the sandwiches. You can even slice the tomato, whisk together the aioli, and store each in airtight containers to use later. We don't recommend storing fully-built sandwiches, because the bread will get soggy, and the lettuce will wilt when reheating. Enjoy fresh with warm bacon and toasted bread for the best BLT experience!

Sweet Heat BLT Recipe
3.4 from 66 ratings
The BLT, which we think may be the greatest sandwich ever created, is all about the details and respecting each individual ingredient.
Prep Time
Cook Time
closeup of blt sandwich
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 8 strips thick-cut bacon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ½ tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 large pieces iceberg lettuce
  • 8 large tomato, slices
  • 8 slices bread, toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and add the bacon. Do not crowd the pan.
  2. Mix the honey and cayenne together in a small bowl, then brush a light layer of hot honey on each strip of bacon.
  3. Cook the bacon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until desired crispness. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly.
  4. While the bacon cooks, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread the aioli on half or all the toasted bread slices.
  5. Layer the lettuce and tomato on top of the aioli, then add the bacon once cooked. Top each sandwich with the second pieces of toasted bread, adding more aioli if desired.
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