Vegan fried green tomato BLT’s give a Southern spin to that summer classic. The fried green tomatoes can be cooked in the air fryer or in a skillet on the stove.
Summer is the season for BLT’s. I crave them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
My BLT affection stretches back to childhood when my parents would grow tomatoes in their garden.
My dad and I would stand outside, eating warm tomatoes right off the vine. Occasionally we’d add a sprinkle of salt or slathering of mayo.
If it was around lunchtime, the tomatoes would get sliced and placed on squishy white bread with mayo and nothing else. And of course, if it was really going to be a red letter affair, BLT’s were on the menu.
I wasn’t vegan back then. But luckily, these days it’s easy to make a plant-based BLT with the wealth of veggie bacon options available.
But personally, I’m all about seitan bacon. It gets a great crispiness and chew around the edges. Of course, it has that smoky flavor I crave. And you can get it as crunchy as you like, depending on how long you cook it.
I like mine with just a little crunch around the edges. David likes his bacon completely firm like a cracker. So I start his seitan bacon cooking before anything else.
(If you want crunchy bacon, remember to go slow and low. Cook at a lower heat for longer. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with burnt bacon.)
Why do vegans eat things that taste like meat? <– Find out here.
Add fried green tomato to your BLT
So after a summer of BLT’s aplenty, when I was at the farmers market in the Quad Cities recently, I decided to mix things up with something special.
Amongst all of the bright, ripe red summer tomatoes at the market, there were a few green tomatoes on one table.
I made sure to ask that they weren’t just heirloom tomatoes.
Some heirloom varieties, like zebra tomatoes, are also green. Those aren’t the tomatoes you want for fried green tomatoes. You want under ripe tomatoes, that would become red if they had the chance.
(Ideally your green tomatoes should be fully green inside as well as outside. I waited just a tad too long to cook the tomato above. But it was no worse for wear.)
Fried green tomatoes in the air fryer or skillet
Last summer around this time, I enjoyed making vegan fried green tomatoes in the air fryer. After giving them a sheer coating of eggless mayo, I dredged them in two different ways.
Some tomatoes were dredged in panko bread crumbs and spices. Others were dredged in potato chip crumbs and spices. Then they were air fried until toasty brown and crisp.
(What’s an air fryer? Get the rundown + over 25 vegan air fryer recipes.)
I recently added stovetop instructions to my fried green tomato recipe as well. So if you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make fried green tomatoes in a skillet instead, as is the typical fashion.
Or if you feel like being really indulgent, make beer battered fried green tomatoes with sauce. You can use the sriracha mayo as a sandwich spread!
Fried green tomatoes in a BLT offer a bit of crunch in the sandwich from the breading, and a dash of salt that wakes things up. The tomato flavor has the subtle sweetness of a cooked tomato.
It takes the classic vegan BLT, and gives it a Southern spin.
How to serve it
If you’ve got some green tomatoes on the vine, run outside and grab one. And if not, get yourself to the farmers market. Fried green tomato BLT’s are only an option for a short while, and that time is now.
Fried green tomato BLT with seitan bacon
- 4 slices bread
- 1 teaspoon organic canola oil Or other neutral-flavored, high heat oil.
- 4 - 6 slices seitan bacon Depending on the size of your seitan bacon
- About 2 Tablespoons vegan mayonnaise I use Vegenaise
- 2 green leaf lettuce leaves
- 1 batch vegan fried green tomatoes in the air fryer or skillet
- Toast 4 slices of bread in the toaster, until the bread is nutty brown. Remove from toaster and set aside.
- Bring a non-stick skillet to a medium heat with oil. Put 4 to 6 slices of seitan bacon in an even layer in the skillet. (You may have to work in batches, if you don't have a large enough skillet.) Some slices of seitan bacon are larger than others. So use the amount of vegan bacon that suits your preferences. For Herbivorous Butcher seitan bacon, 4 slices would be enough for 2 sandwiches. For Upton's Naturals seitan bacon, 6 slices would be a good amount for 2 sandwiches.
- Brown the seitan bacon for a few minutes on each side, until the bacon is starting to get brown and a little crispy around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Now it's time to add toppings to the sandwiches. Slather vegan mayonnaise onto each slice of bread. Top two of the toasts with green leaf lettuce, 2 to 3 slices of seitan bacon, and 2 or 3 fried green tomato slices. Then top each sandwich with a remaining slice of toast.