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Learn how to make vegan bacon! Tempeh bacon is a delicious alternative to regular bacon with the classic flavors you’d expect. High in protein and super flavorful, this tempeh bacon recipe is so easy to make and a MUST for your breakfast and brunch menus! You can even add these tasty strips to a variety of your favorite foods from salads to sandwiches.
I’m just going to start this post out by bringing up the elephant in the room… meatless bacon. I KNOW. I’m not trying to tell you that this tempeh bacon is the perfect swap for real bacon, but I am promising you that it’s ridiculously tasty! Just stick with me for a minute on this one…
I happen to LOVE tempeh in any form. This sesame ginger tempeh stir fry is one of my favorite recipes on the blog and this tempeh chili is on repeat all winter long. So, I might be a little biased on this vegan bacon, I’ll admit.
Let’s talk detail because I can’t wait for y’all to try this tempeh bacon recipe! It’s SO GOOD and I can’t stop eating it!
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is a plant-based protein source that is made from fermented soybeans. It kind of looks like someone smashed together a bunch of beans and then baked it into a cake. It has a firm texture that can easily be sliced or even crumbled. Tempeh is high in both fiber and protein making it a great plant-based meat alternative.
On it’s own and uncooked, tempeh has a very mild taste and is almost flavorless. However, it does a great job soaking up marinades and flavors, and if cooked well, tastes AMAZING!
You can find even more tempeh recipes HERE.
To make tempeh bacon, you’ll just need some very basic ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Here’s the lineup:
- Tempeh. You can find tempeh in most grocery stores. It’s usually in the health food or produce section and comes refrigerated.
- Soy sauce. The base of our marinade, soy sauce combines with the other marinade ingredients to create a traditional bacon flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is a standard ingredient in marinades and is used to tenderize the tempeh and add delicious flavor.
- Garlic. You’ll need two cloves or you can use 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Liquid smoke. This will give our vegan bacon that classic smoky flavor that we love in real bacon. You can find this near spices and seasonings at the grocery store.
- Olive oil. A small amount of fat is necessary in the marinade to add flavor and give the vegan bacon crispiness as it bakes.
- Maple syrup. For a touch of sweetness!
How to make Tempeh Bacon:
Part of what I love about this recipe is how easy it is! Let’s get started!
- Cut the tempeh. The first thing you’ll need to do is cut the tempeh into very thin strips. Mine were somewhere between an 1/8 of an inch and a 1/4 of an inch.
- Make the marinade. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and then toss in the tempeh strips to soak up the flavors for a bit.
- Bake. To bake, line the tempeh bacon on a baking tray and top it with the remaining marinade. Bake for about 10 minutes, flip, and then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Enjoy. Remove the bacon from the oven and serve warm. Yum!
Tips for perfect tempeh bacon
- I recommend marinating the “bacon” for at least one hour or even overnight, if you have the time. The longer you marinate the more flavorful the tempeh bacon will taste.
- Be sure when you cut the tempeh, you are cutting it into super thin strips. This will help it crisp up better.
- While I didn’t get my bacon super crispy, you could cook it a little longer to get more crunch to yours. Just watch it carefully because there’s a fine line between perfect tempeh bacon and burnt bacon. No one wants burnt bacon!
- Feel free to sauté the tempeh bacon in a skillet instead of baking it. However, I prefer it baked because it will turn out crispier.
Storing leftover tempeh bacon
Tempeh bacon will last for about one week in the fridge. Place leftovers in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in a toaster oven or regular oven for about 5 minutes. You can also microwave it or reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop. Or feel free to eat it cold, straight out of the fridge!
Ways to use tempeh bacon
Tempeh bacon can be used pretty much any way that you would use regular bacon! It tastes great on it’s own, but I especially love this vegan bacon in recipes that call for traditional bacon. It’s delicious crumbled over salads, soups and baked potatoes. I also love adding strips of it to veggie burgers or sandwiches, like my favorite vegan BLT sandwich. So many options!
I’m super excited for you to try this out!
As always, if you end up making this tempeh bacon recipe, please snap a quick photo and tag me on Instagram @foodwithfeeling! I always LOVE to see what you’re making from the blog.
Other Vegan Breakfast Ideas:
Easy & delicious vegan bacon made from tempeh!
- 1 package of tempeh, roughly 8 oz
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- Prep the tempeh by cutting it into very thin slices about 1/8- 1/4 of an inch thick. I got about 35 slices out of my tempeh block. The thickness doesn’t matter too much but you do want it to be on the thinner side.
- Make the marinade by whisking together the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, liquid smoke, olive oil, and maple syrup in a shallow bowl. Toss in the tempeh strips and let marinate for 30 minutes or even a few hours.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Line the tempeh strips up on the baking sheet and pour about 1/2- 1 teaspoon of the marinade on each strip of the bacon. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Watch it the last 5 minutes to make sure that it is not getting too dark.
- Let cool slightly and ENJOY!
Storing leftovers: Tempeh bacon will last for about one week in the fridge. Place leftovers in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in a toaster oven or regular oven for about 5 minutes. You can also microwave it or reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop. Or feel free to eat it cold, straight out of the fridge!
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan bacon, tempeh recipe, vegan breakfast