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Not sure which Barefoot Contessa sandwich to make for a summertime lunch? Try Ina Garten’s lobster BLTs. The cookbook author likes having them in the summer months for a fancier take on the classic. And, being the Barefoot Contessa, Garten has tips for making it a “How easy is that?” moment. 

Ina Garten loves how lobster BLTs combine high and low

Garten explained why she likes Lobster BLT while preparing the sandwiches on Barefoot Contessa: Modern Comfort Food. From her “barn” in East Hampton, New York, that serves as her workspace and cooking show set, the 74-year-old shared she likes the combination of high and low, or fancy and casual.

“One of the things I love about these sandwiches is I really do love that high-low thing,” Garten said. “You know, like truffled mac and cheese or caviar and baked potatoes. I think lobster BLTs is definitely in that category.”

Calling the sandwiches “classic food updated,” she noted how simple they are to make. “The thing with lobster BLTs is there’s no cooking which makes it really easy.” 

Food Network estimates that it takes 40 minutes total to make Garten’s lobster BLTs. Although, if most of the ingredients are ready, basically all that’s left to do is assemble them.

The Barefoot Contessa doesn’t cook the lobster meat at home

Garten’s a fan of kitchen shortcuts. She’s known to keep her pantry stocked with store-bought items for quick dinners. And, like many of her Barefoot Contessa dishes, Garten’s lobster BLTs include a shortcut.

“So I’ve got cooked lobster meat, which I actually have the seafood shop cook for me,” she said on Barefoot Contessa. “You can cook your own but that’s, like, a whole big thing with big pots of water. 

“It’s really worth it having them do it,” she added, saying cooked lobster meat should be available to buy “pretty much anywhere.” 

Ina Garten uses homemade thousand island dressing as her ‘secret sauce’ in lobster BLTs

The Barefoot Contessa cookbook author puts a “secret sauce” on lobster BLTs. Spoiler: it’s not so secret. Garten called it “basically thousand island dressing” on her show, recalling a trip to France where she had the “most delicious sauce” that turned out to be thousand island dressing. “it just seemed more fancy when it was in France,” she said with a laugh. 

“Everybody knows how to make this, right?” Garten said as she combined mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, salt, and pepper in a bowl. “You can just find all of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge but it’s just great with lobster.” 

Barefoot Contessa tips for making lobster BLTs


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While assembling lobster BLTs the Barefoot Contessa shared some of her tips. Similar to her guacamole recipe, Garten suggested using lemon juice to keep the avocado from browning. 

Another tip, don’t use the toaster to get golden-brown slices of bread. Instead, toast it in the oven. “It’s so much easier than standing by the toaster and waiting for those things to pop up and it’s nice and crisp and perfect for the sandwich,” she said. 

Not only that but, according to Garten, toasted bread means the “sauce doesn’t soak into the bread so it’s better.” She also recommended roasting the bacon in the oven. It’s “easier to do for a large amount,” she explained.