Entree salads are a fantastic weeknight meal and entree sandwiches make excellent flavor profiles for these creations. That’s why when you make these BLT salads your whole family will have happy tummies. The simple profile of Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato coupled with my Homemade Garlic Croutons, sharp cheddar and a creamy garlic dressing is a win across the board.
Bacon chips are going to be something you want to make on the regular. The technique is a bit of an extra labor step but it’s soo worth it. As long as you have a good set of tongs you will get it done easy enough. And you can use it in so many ways – like on my Jalapeño Popper Pizza. For this salad recipe, I used a Peppered thick cut bacon. You absolutely need a thick cut bacon, but you can skip the peppered if you don’t want that punch of flavor.
The dressing is going to be one of those that you want to save for lots of other dishes. It’s an easy one to pull together and so tasty. It would make a great veggie dip all the way to baked potatoes and wings even. The real key ingredient to a great salad dressing is fresh chives. Chive is that “thing” that makes a dressing exactly what you want with a big old bowl of salad!
This is a true entree salad in that it’s the whole meal deal. You have your proteins from the bacon and cheese, all your veggies from the lettuce and tomato and then your carbs from the croutons and dressing. Speaking of the croutons, I have included my recipe for making them, but you can absolutely use some pre-made croutons. Just be sure that they a thicker, “Texas toast” style, as they are intended to take the place of the bread in a BLT.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
- 1 20oz pkg Thick Cut Peppered Bacon cut into 1inch pieces
- 3 Romaine Hearts chopped
- 10 oz Sharp Cheddar Block Cheese cut into ½inch cubes
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 2 cups Garlic Croutons see recipe below
For the Creamy Garlic Dressing
- ⅔ cup Mayonanaise
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- ½ cup Fresh Chives finely chopped
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Whisk together dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Secure lid and place in refrigerator until ready to serve (up to 10 days). *Add more heavy cream if you prefer a "looser" dressing
- In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add bacon pieces in a single layer, each laying flat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping each individually to preserve the "chip". Remove to cool on a paper towel covered plate. *Note, cook in batches if you cannot fit them all in the pan flat at the same time.
- In a large mixing bowl, add romaine, cheese, tomatoes, croutons, and ¾ of dressing. Toss to evenly coat and mix.
- Serve with an extra drizzle of dressing, as desired.
Homemade Garlic Croutons
- 1 Stale French Baguette
- ½ cup Oil
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Parsley
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- Cut baguette into 1 inch cubes and add to large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over bread cubes and toss until evenly coated.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay soaked bread cubes out in a single layer.
- Preheat oven to 375degF.
- Add to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Store in air tight container.
I love to link up my posts to lots of blogs around the internet – check out this Ultimate Handy Linky Party List to find some of the places I share to!
Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Don’t miss new recipes from Homemade on a Weeknight – subscribe and get an email with every new post!