Don’t worry guys – I’m about to hit you guys with the most epic Easter menu ever next week… but before we get there, can we just discuss this BLT Bar. It’s everything you need in life and more.

BLT Bar from (@whatsgabycookin)

You all know I love a bar. Doesn’t matter what form it comes in – Bruschetta Bar for the spring/summer or Bruschetta Bar for the fall/winter, S’mores Bar, French Toast Bar, Smoked Salmon Bar, Poke Bowl Bar, or an Irish Nacho Bar… the list goes on and on and there’s no end in sight. Recently I did a BLT bar with ALL THE BACON, various kinds of spreads, gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, farmers market lettuce, bacon jam, and any kind of bread you desire. It was picture perfect and everyone ate their faces off.

BLT Bar from (@whatsgabycookin)

And the best part is – EVERYTHING can be prepped ahead! So if you invite a few friends over, all you have to do it throw everything on a board or table and let people go to town. OR, better yet, assign all your friends a task so one person makes the basil vinaigrette, one brings the bread, you make the bacon, etc. You’re welcome. Entertaining made easy – the only way I know how to do it!

BLT Bar from (@whatsgabycookin)


Course Lunch
Cuisine American


For the BLT Bar

  • 3 kinds of various bacon cooked and crispy
  • 8-10 thinly sliced rounds of pancetta cooked and crispy
  • Heirloom lettuce
  • Heirloom tomatoes sliced
  • 1 recipe Bacon jam recipe below
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette recipe below
  • 1 recipe Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe below
  • 1/3 cup of mayo mixed with 2 tablespoons siracha
  • 1/3 cup of mayo mixed with 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1/3 cup of mayo mixed with 2 tablespoons roasted garlic cloves
  • Sliced Focaccia Bread toasted
  • Sliced Ciabatta Bread toasted
  • Sliced Brioche Bread toasted

For the Balsamic vinaigrette

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the Basil vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves stems removed (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Bacon Jam

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups finely chopped shallots about 6-8 shallots
  • 4 small cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar


  • Arrange all the BLT ingredients on a large board or table and let people assemble their own sandwiches as needed.

For the Balsamic vinaigrette

  • Whisk the ingredients in a small bowl and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

For the Basil vinaigrette

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix for 90 seconds until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

For the Bacon Jam

  • Cook all bacon off in a large skillet reserving 1 tablespoon fat in pan. Depending on the size of your pan, this might have to be done in batches.
  • Add shallots and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to a boil. Add reserved bacon; reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 4 weeks.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

5 Tips from a Private Chef email series

Get my latest recipes + my bonus 5 Tips From a Private Chef email series

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating


  1. Naomi

    Totally loving this BLT bar! And can’t wait for the Easter menu.

  2. Todd

    Just add a Bloody Mary Bar and you have a perfect brunch buffet. Thanks for the great ideas.

  3. Julie @ Table for Two

    100% sign me up for this!!! I love love LOVE all that bacon!!

  4. Monika

    Love, love, love this idea!! I just think it is the best thing ever when you can prep things beforehand!!

  5. Heather

    I am so excited to do this BLT bar for a crowd of volunteers! Does anyone have suggestions on keeping the toasted breads from getting hard and crunchy when made ahead of time?

  6. 6 fantastic, no-cook recipes using tomato and basil | Cool Mom Eats

    […] BLT bar | What’s Gaby Cooking […]