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Smoky Chipotle Tofu Sandwich (TLT)

Smoky Chipotle Tofu Sandwich (aka TLT sandwich): marinated tofu, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and sauteed onions make this delicious and hearty vegan sandwich that all types of eaters will love!

head on view of two halves of tofu sandwich stacked on a plate.

This vegan tofu sandwich, aka a TLT (tofu, lettuce, and tomato sandwich), is reminiscent of a BLT. It’s hearty, flavorful, and so much better, using marinated and pan-seared tofu instead of bacon.

I had the pleasure of having this for lunch today, and it was absolutely delicious in every way! It’s also filling, healthy, and easy to make.

There are a few parts to making this sandwich, but it’s worth the extra steps and moves along easily.

With just a handful of ingredients, most you may already have on hand, you’ll be wrapping your hands around this in about one hour.

top down view of ingredients used to make the best smoky chipotle tlt tofu sandwiches.

Smoky Chipotle TLT Sandwich

I’ve had my eye on this recipe from I Love Vegan for a while and finally got around to putting it together. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

My only changes were replacing liquid smoke with smoked paprika and adding chipotle powder. Also, I used a bit more of each ingredient for the marinade, so there’s a little extra for the pan-fried tofu.

I especially LOVE the caramelized onions, and the tomato will add some nice juices to the mix. For my condiments, I used mashed avocado and dijon, but vegan mayo is great too.

This easy TLT Tofu Sandwich is a great addition to the recipe collection and will leave your home smelling delicious!

top down view showing bread slices slathered with dijon and avocado.

How To Make The Best TLT Sandwich

  • Marinate and pan-fry the tofu.
  • Saute the onions.
  • Toast your bread or leave it as is.
  • Spread one slice of bread with mustard and the other with mashed avocado.
top down view showing the process of layering tofu sandwich with ingredients.
  • Add your leafy greens and tofu slices.
  • Top with grilled onions and tomato.
  • Place the remaining slice of bread on top and slice in half.

Pairs great with fresh fruit such as grapes and sliced apples!

Top Tips

  • Change up the condiments. I used dijon and avocado to cut back on oils, but this homemade Vegan Mayo or store-bought would be just as delicious!
  • Marinate the tofu ahead. For the ultimate flavor, prep and marinate the tofu the night before, keeping it stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  • What is the best tofu for this tofu sandwich? Use firm, extra firm, or high-protein tofu. Soft and silken will be too soft and will not stand up well to pan searing.

top down view of tofu sandwiches sliced in half on wooden tray with fruit.

More Easy Vegan Sandwich Recipes!

If you try this tofu sandwich recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

This Tofu sandwich (TLT) is a delicious vegan version of a BLT, you won’t miss a thing with this spicy, smoky flavored sandwich!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 3 Sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: pan sear, saute
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 block (15 oz) organic tofu, firm or extra firm
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced thin
  • Dijon or stone ground mustard, to spread (Vegan Mayo is great too)
  • 1 1/2 small avocados, mashed, to spread
  • a few leaves of your favorite leafy greens (red or green leaf, romaine, iceberg, etc)
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 slices bread of choice


  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Cut Tofu: Remove tofu from the package. Turn the tofu on its side and slice it in thirds, creating 3 large slabs. Gently press each slab between a clean dish towel or paper towel to remove some of the excess water. Cut the slabs in half. You should have six pieces that look like large domino (rectangular) shapes.

Marinade Tofu: In a medium sized shallow dish, mix together the marinade. Place tofu in the dish and let soak for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning carefully once or twice in between.

Saute Onions: Once the hour is almost up, caramelize your onions using 1 tablespoon oil. Heat oil over medium heat, add onions, turn down the heat to medium-low, stir often, and cook until they start to brown and caramelize. May take 10 to 15 minutes or so. Once done, set aside.

Cook Tofu: In same skillet, heat remaining oil and cook tofu over medium-high heat. Once tofu has browned, about 5 minutes, gently flip and brown the other side. It’s ok if it gets a little crispy too! If you feel it is drying out too much, add some of the juices from the bowl it marinated in for extra moisture. When done, remove from heat.

Build Sandwich: Toast your bread. Spread one side of toast with mustard and the other with a layer of mashed avocado, about 1/2 avocado. Over the avocado, layer your lettuce, tofu, onions and tomato. Top with your other slice of bread.

Serves 3

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  1. Amy Pfaff says:

    This was amazing! I will be using this in more than sandwiches.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this looks insanely delicious. I actually found this post by searching for "tofu chipotle maple" to see what was out there… I just discovered this combo and was blown away by how much it can taste like, well, breakfast, for lack of a better description, which I guess really means sweet and smoky. I had some frozen extra firm tofu in my freezer and decided to make a tofu scramble, something which never works out for me, maybe because I want it to taste like eggs and it never does. This time I decided to add a little sea salt, ground chipotle (which I put on everything) and some real maple syrup. The result was something with texture similar to scrambled eggs, but flavor which came very close to pancakes with maple syrup and breakfast sausage… all in one. I expect that it's really not a stretch to think this sandwich tastes like a BLT! The tamari and garlic would add a bit more savory/terriyaki flavor. I'm not even vegan but I love tofu and how versatile it is. I'm going to try this recipe tomorrow.

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I hope you love it! I have to make this soon myself. Cheers :)

  3. I tried this for my daughter before she left to go back to school. It was delicious. So good I am going to make it again next week! Aside from letting the tofu marinate this recipe comes together very quickly. Thanks for a winner!

    1. Yah! Glad this worked well for you and your daughter. I wish I could get my daughter to eat it. lol…oh well, one day maybe :) Cheers to winners in our minds!

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