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Enjoy a lighter BLT with these beef bacon lettuce wraps
Summer is just around the corner! It’s time to enjoy this sunny season with a slightly lighter version of the classic BLT. These quick and easy lettuce wraps are layered with rich beef bacon and avocado that are balanced with fresh tomato, arugula, and zippy feta.
I like to season them with some of the bacon drippings, red wine vinegar, and Canadian steak seasoning (which has some dill in it). It’s great to serve at a picnic or potluck for everyone to grab, roll up, and get their crunch on!
What you’ll need to make it: Ingredients & Tools
You don’t need much, my friend! Here is the lineup to help you get organized:
- Cured and smoked beef bacon + reserved drippings
- Leafy lettuce, washed and patted dry (red leaf lettuce was used)
- An avocado
- A large tomato cut into half slices
- Baby arugula for extra peppery flavor and garnish
- Red wine vinegar
- Canadian steak seasoning (which has some dill in the blend)
- Large baking sheet
- Aluminum foil for easy cleanup
- Glass container with an airtight lid for storing beef bacon drippings
- Cutting board + sharp knife to prep the toppings
How to cook beef bacon for these lettuce wraps with avocado
1. Cook the beef bacon in the oven to make it perfectly crispy
First, let me just say that not all ‘bacons’ are created equal. Whether it is packaged or sliced at the deli, the fat content may vary. Therefore, I would first recommend that you cook the bacon either according the package instructions or based on the recommendations from the butcher.
My preferred method is to place the bacon slices side by side on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake them at 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Then, remove the slices onto a plate to cool slightly and, while the drippings are still hot, CAREFULLY pour the fat into a separate glass container with an airtight lid.
2. Layer on the toppings
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large plate or platter. Then, layer each one with a slice of bacon, a couple of avocado and tomato slices, and a sprinkle of arugula and feta cheese.
3. Use the drippings to make a dressing!
This is my favorite part! Drizzle a few teaspoons of the warm drippings all over the lettuce wraps. Follow it up with a few splashes of red wine vinegar and a light sprinkling of the steak seasoning.
All done and ready to crunch!
Why eat beef bacon instead of pork bacon?
As we all know, the classic BLT is typically made with pork bacon. However, I am exceptionally partial to beef bacon which I consider to be an equally delicious and relatively healthier alternative. Here’s why:
|PORK BACON (2 slices)||BEEF BACON (2 Slices)|
|70 calories||60 calories|
|6 g total fat||4.5 g total fat|
|260 mg sodium||230 mg sodium|
|4 g protein||6 g protein|
|Pigs will eat ANYTHING! |
Including trash (Eww!)
|Cows are much more selective, |
sticking to grains & plants. (Ahh!)
As you can see, beef bacon has fewer calories, fat, and sodium, but a bit more protein for all you keto-dieters out there (wink, wink). Not to mention, we are what we eat and I just don’t want to make a habit of eating things that eat trash. We can do better!
Save bacon drippings for more than lettuce wraps!
Listen! Beef bacon drippings are just as versatile as those from “the other white meat.” Be sure to pour the excess melted fat into an air-tight glass container and keep it in a cool place for up to six (6) months!
Use it for things like:
- Salad dressings and sauces
- Savory bean recipes (red beans & rice, black beans, etc.)
- Greens (collard, mustard, kale, etc.)
- Baked goods (cornbread, biscuits, cookies, etc.)
- Frying and sauteing (add it to other oils for additional flavor)
Where can you find beef bacon?
When I first made this post, I was partial to Gwaltney Beef Sliced Bacon which I was able to find at both Kroger and Walmart. Unfortunately, however, it appears to be discontinued! Why?!!! If you know what happened, PLEASE let a sista know!
In the meantime, I have been able to find beef bacon at the deli at my local farmers’ market. I usually get a 1/2 pound or so to make about 8 lettuce wraps. Additionally, there are some other great options available on Amazon but they may be pricier due to changes in production and accessibility since the start of the pandemic.
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Prefer non-meat bacon options? Try these!
VEGETARIAN: Try these super crispy when fried MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips – OR –
“DRIPPINGS”: Extra virgin olive oil will do just fine! If you want to achieve that smokey or cured flavor of bacon, just add a couple of dashes of liquid hickory smoke and liquid aminos or soy sauce.
More lettuce wrap worthy recipes (click the links below)
- Zesty Green Apple & Celery Spinach Salad
- Tuna & Avocado Salad with Sesame Maple Dressing
- Warm Roasted Veggie Salad with Basil Oil
- 4 slices of beef bacon (reserve the drippings)
- Leafy lettuce of your choice, washed and patted dry (red leaf lettuce was used)
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 large tomato, sliced into rounds, then halved
- 1/3 c baby arugula
- 1/4 c crumbled feta
- splashes of red wine vinegar
- 1 TB Canadian steak seasoning
- Cook the bacon according to the package instructions. (Cooking them at 375 degrees on a baking sheet lined with foil for 12-15 minutes is my preferred method). Remove the slices onto a plate to cool slightly. Reserve the drippings by pouring them into a separate glass container.
- Layer the toppings. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large plate or platter. Then, layer each one with a slice of bacon, a couple of avocado and tomato slices, and a sprinkle of arugula and feta cheese.
- Drizzle & season. Now it's time for the drippings! Scoop them up with a small spoon and drizzle over all of the lettuce wraps. Follow it up with a few splashes of red wine vinegar. Evenly sprinkle the steak seasoning all over the top of each wrap. All done and ready to crunch!
- Use any type of bacon you like. If you are watching your calories, go for uncured turkey bacon or a non-meat option that is salty and crisps well when cooked. (See blog post for a link to some great options.)
Substitutes for Bacon Drippings
- Extra virgin olive oil will do just fine! If you want to achieve that smokey or cured flavor of bacon, just add a couple of dashes of liquid hickory smoke + liquid aminos or soy sauce.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 469mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g