Deconstructed BLT

Butter lettuce on a white platter with a deconstructed BLT on top

Who doesn’t love a BLT? Its Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato with Mayo. Its a very simple and very delicious sandwich. The deconstructed version of it is a Keto Friendly and delicious adaptation. This deconstructed BLT appetizer will have your friends satisfied as you enjoy an afternoon of hanging out. It’s the perfect appetizer because it gives you enough food to be satisfied and holds well so you aren’t hungry 30 minutes later.

White platter with butter lettuce and toppings for a small appetizer.

Inspiration

Val and I were talking about how it would be nice to get together with friends. We recently moved into a new place and it’s the perfect house for hosting guests. This summer we plan on having people come over to grill out and enjoy time together once again. While talking about this, I was craving a BLT but then thought about friends being here and needing appetizers. So it dawned on me, why not deconstruct the BLT and make it an appetizer.

You have many options with these Deconstructed BLTs. You can create a deconstruct BLT and add slice of bread on the bottom if you choose. Or you could fry up a green tomato to add to the bottom on the bottom (it’s a southern thing), but then I thought that was too greasy. Finally, I thought back to the lettuce wraps from a Thai restaurant I loved. That’s when it dawned on me to have the lettuce be the holder of the delicious goodness.

Five pieces of lettuces with a tomato chutney and pancetta topping for a snack or appetizer.

Now on to the issue of tomatoes. We couldn’t just have tomatoes diced up on there, that wouldn’t bring much flavor to this appetizer. I’m all about building the flavor piece by piece. So I figured if we could do a little bit of a sweet chutney that would sit well on the lettuce and be delicious with the bacon. The pancetta was a simple substitute because it’s basically just chunky bits of very salty bacon. The aioli was an easy addition as well, you can’t just have a dollop of mayo sitting on top of lettuce.

Tools Needed

Saute Pan – Grab your go to saute pan on this one. You should just need the one to get everything going.

Lettuce wraps with pancetta and tomato chutney to make a deconstructed BLT

Ingredients

Pancetta – This was an easy idea to have in place of bacon strips. You can normally find this in the deli aisle of your super market.

Chutney – Originating from India, chutney was my go to when I knew I’d need a sweet tomato topping. I decided to add the spice and sweetness on this delicious deconstructed BLT.

Cilantro – So I know there are people who aren’t a fan of cilantro out there. If you don’t like cilantro, you can replace it with parsley or just leave it out all together, no problem.

Aioli – I could have whipped up the aioli with egg whites and made it from scratch. Instead I decided to go the easy route. When you have friends over no one wants to be whisking egg whites together and making sure the ingredients bind properly. Ain’t no body got time for that!

Butter Lettuce – Don’t have butter lettuce and don’t want to run to the store, no worries. You can just as easily use Romain or even spinach for that matter. Just make sure it has a wide enough base to hold everything. Val and I also talked about grilling a head of Romain and trying it out on that.

Lettuce wraps on a white plate with a creamy dressing and tomato chutney in the background

Step by Step

Tomato Chutney

This tomato chutney is very simple to make and can stay good for quite a while if stored properly. Chop up all your ingredients and set aside. In a saute pan add in oil and onions over medium high heat. Add a pinch of salt to the onions to help them sweat and let them start to caramelize. Once the onions are caramelized, add in your other ingredients (start with the tomatoes). I don’t want to have to explain what happens if you throw chili powder into hot oil. Continue to stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes until combination has thickened. Set aside and let cool.

Cilantro Garlic Aioli

Grab your favorite mayo ( I used Hellmans olive oil) and add 1/2 a cup of it into a bowl. Combine other ingredients into the bowl and begin to mix thoroughly. Set aside for later.

Pancetta

Pancetta is very quick to cook. Since it’s cubed it takes less time to cook up than bacon. Throw the pancetta in a hot skillet for about 3-5 minutes until desired crispness. Once finished, scoop out onto a papertowl to get rid of excess grease.

Plating the deconstructed BLT

On a plate, add the lettuce as the base and start building from there. The tomato chutney should go on top of the lettuce, spread out. Top that with the cooked pancetta. Finally drizzle some of the delicious aioli to give it the last bit of flavor. Do yourself a favor and don’t taste it before you’re done or else it will be a one in one out type situation.

A hand holding a deconstructed BLT in a butter lettuce wrap.
Butter lettuce on a white platter with a deconstructed BLT on top
Print

Deconstructed BLT

Appetizer that tastes like a BLT without the carbs from the bread. Make for your next party!
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Tomato Chutney

  • 2 vine tomatoes diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp white sugar
  • cup yellow onion diced
  • salt to taste

Garlic Cilantro Aioli

  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup mayo

Meat and Lettuce

  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 1 pkg butter lettuce

Instructions

Tomato Chutney

  • In a saute pan over medium high heat add in 1 tbsp olive oil and the chopped yellow onion
  • Let onions caramelize for about 3-5 minutes, adding salt half way through cooking
  • After the onions have caramelized, add in remaining ingredients for the tomato chutney starting with the tomatoes
  • Let cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally until thickened. Pour into a small bowl and set aside

Garlic Cilantro Aioli

  • Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Set aside for later

Meat and Plating

  • In a saute pan over medium heat add the pancetta to the pan and begin to cook. Let cook for 5 minutes or until desired crispness. I prefer mine a bit crispier so I'll let it sit until its very brown
  • On a plate, place 2 butter lettuce leaves, add tomato chutney, then pancetta, followed by a drizzling of aioli. Repeat until plate is full or until guest is full 🙂

That was our deconstructed BLT. We hope you enjoy this with friends and family. From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

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