Vegan Bacon – Simple Vegan Blog


Vegan bacon, so crispy and delicious. It’s tasty, has the perfect texture, and its smoky flavor reminds you of the real thing!

Photo of some slices of vegan bacon

This vegan bacon is a life-saver. Bacon is maybe one of the most difficult foods to give up when you go on a vegan diet. It’s so versatile you can eat it with pretty much everything and it’s also a very important part of the weekend family breakfasts.

I’ve made a vegan version because it’s usually hard to find a store-bought bacon substitute that tastes good and that’s not full of additives and preservatives. This recipe requires natural ingredients and it’s actually very tasty.

Vegan bacon, a healthier version of the original ingredient. It’s crisp, smoky, chewy, and salty. It also has less fat than regular bacon and it’s not expensive at all. This makes it savory and juicy, so it reminds me of the real thing – while being 100% cruelty-free!

Making your own version at home is a good chance for spending time with your family while they learn good and healthy eating habits. You’ll save money and time and the results will be amazing!

Photo of the ingredients needed to make this recipe

Ingredient notes

  • All-purpose flour: I’ve only made this recipe using all-purpose flour, but you could probably use a different type of flour. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the amount of it.
  • Paprika: I used sweet paprika, but any kind will do.
  • Vegetable stock or water: I prefer vegetable stock because it enhances the flavor of this recipe. However, water is okay too. I really suggest you make your own broth following our recipe, as it is healthier, but feel free to use it store-bought.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: I’m Spanish, so I use extra virgin olive oil to cook most of my dishes. However, any type of oil is okay. I always use extra virgin oils when possible because they’re healthier. 
  • Maple syrup: feel free to use a different type of sweetener. Agave syrup is the best alternative though.

Dietary variations

  • Make soy-free: if you don’t consume soy, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari. You could also add the same amount of water or vegetable stock and add salt to taste.
  • Make it oil-free: I’ve never made this recipe without oil or in the oven, so I don’t know if it would work. If you give it a try, please let me know in the comments!

Pro tips

  • Feel free to incorporate the spices and herbs you prefer.
  • Liquid smoke is optional, but it gives this bacon substitute a very good taste.
Step-by-step photos of how to make this recipe

How to make vegan bacon

  • Add the vital wheat gluten, flour, paprika, liquid smoke, and onion powder to a bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Place the mixture in a bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Make a ball as smooth as possible, flatten it a little bit, and wrap it with aluminum foil.
  • Steam for 30 minutes, remove from the heat, and let it cool.
  • Mix well all the marinade ingredients, slice the bacon, and cover the slices with the marinade sauce.
  • Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan, skillet, or grill, and cook the bacon strips over medium-high heat until golden brown.
  • Serve your vegan bacon immediately.

How to store

  • Fridge: keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • Freezer: store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: ​​it can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. Add a little oil if needed.

What is vegan bacon made of?

The main ingredient is vital wheat gluten, which is seasoned with spices like paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder, as well as ingredients like liquid smoke and maple syrup.

Serving suggestions

Vegan bacon is perfect for a delicious brunch or vegan breakfast. You can serve it in sandwiches like BLT, salads, or with breakfast potatoes, tofu scramble, fresh fruit, and toasted vegan bread.

You could also chop it and add it to your favorite pasta dish. It’ll give it so much flavor!

Close-up photo of some slices of vegan bacon

Looking for more vegan meat recipes?

Did you make this vegan bacon recipe?

Please leave a comment and rate it below. We’d love to hear from you!

This post contains affiliate links so you can easily find some of the products that we used to make this recipe. If you buy any of them through the links provided (without any extra cost for you), we’ll get a commission. We’re so grateful for your support!

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Square photo of some slices of vegan bacon

Vegan Bacon



  • Author:

    Iosune


  • Prep:

    20 mins


  • Cook:

    25 mins


  • Total:

    45 mins

  • 12 slices 1x

  • How-to, Breakfast

  • American

  • Vegan


Servings 12 slices 1x


Scale


Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Vegan bacon, so crispy and delicious. It’s tasty, has the perfect texture, and its smoky flavor reminds you of the real thing!

Ingredients

For the vegan bacon:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten (120 g)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (35 g)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock or water (65 ml)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke, optional
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

For the marinade: 

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke, optional
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix the gluten, flour, paprika, liquid smoke and onion powder in a bowl. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (vegetable stock, oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke and tomato paste) and mix until well combined.  
  3. Place the mixture in a bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Using your hands, make a ball as smooth as possible. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it won’t look great but it will taste the same.
  5. Flatten the ball a little bit and wrap it with aluminum foil.
  6. Steam for 30 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool until you can manipulate it with your hands. If you don’t want to use aluminum foil, omit it and boil the ball in a pot, but you’ll get better results if you use it and steam.
  7. Mix well all the marinade ingredients and reserve.  
  8. Slice the bacon and cover the slices with the marinade sauce. You can also brush the sauce onto them.
  9. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan or grill and cook the bacon over medium-high heat until both sides get golden brown.
  10. Serve your vegan bacon immediately with breakfast potatoes, tofu scramble, fresh fruit, and toasted vegan bread.
  11. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. It can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. Add a little oil if needed.

Notes

  • Feel free to incorporate the spices and herbs you prefer.
  • Liquid smoke is optional, but it gives this bacon substitute a very good flavor.
  • You can use any other liquid sweetener instead of maple syrup. 
  • Any kind of oil will work.
  • Preparation time doesn’t include resting time.
  • Nutritional information is for 1 slice of vegan bacon cooked with 1 additional tbsp extra virgin olive oil.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 80
  • Sugar: 3.6 g
  • Sodium: 295 mg
  • Fat: 4.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 2.7 g

Curved “made this” textMADETHISRecipe?

Update Notes: This post was originally published in November of 2018, but was republished with new photos, step-by-step instructions, and tips in August of 2022.





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