Tempeh bacon is my favorite plant-based bacon! It's smoky, savory, and sweet and only takes 20 minutes to bake, and doesn't require hours to marinate. This quick and delicious plant-based tempeh bacon can be baked or even made on the stovetop.
Bookmark this homemade vegan bacon recipe because you're going to want to put this protein-packed tempeh bacon on sandwiches, salads, and soups!
You'll need a shallow bowl or baking dish for the tempeh to marinate in. You want it to be shallow so that the tempeh can be placed without overlapping to ensure each strip will be marinaded.
- Tempeh cut into thin strips
- Soy Sauce or Tamari
- Liquid Smoke
- Smoked Paprika
- Maple Syrup
- Tempeh: I love the texture of tempeh in this recipe but you can use this marinade for just about anything. Tofu, Mushrooms and Coconut Flakes are all good substitutions.
- Maple Syrup: I love the flavor that maple syrup brings but you can also use agave syrup or brown sugar.
- Liquid Smoke: Simply leave out or add more smoked paprika.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup brings some sweetness to a very savory and smoky marinade. I also like to brush with a little maple syrup after they come out of the oven.
- Liquid Smoke & Smoked Paprika: I prefer the mix of both instead of using just one. The liquid smoke adds the smokiness while smoked paprika adds smokiness but also some flavor.
- Garlic Powder & Onion Powder: Optional but delicious.
- Cayenne Pepper: A little heat is never optional to me.
- Nutritional Yeast: Adds richness to the marinade that works really well in marinades.
How to Make This Recipe
Baked Tempeh Bacon:
Place the tempeh onto a parchment-lined baking tray and brush on half of the remaining marinade and bake for 10 minutes. Then, flip and brush on the remaining marinade and bake for another 10 minutes. If you want it a little crispier, bake for 5 more minutes.
Pan-Fry Tempeh Bacon:
Heat a pan on medium heat and brown each side of marinaded tempeh bacon in a bit of olive oil. Once golden and crispy, add in the remaining marinade and cook until absorbed.
- On sandwiches! This tempeh bacon is great on breakfast sandwiches, grilled cheese, vegan BLT & club sandwiches!
- Serve in breakfast tacos or burritos or on top of these breakfast tostadas.
- Chop up and serve on a salad. This bacon would be very good on a Kale Caesar Salad.
- Use as a topping on this Creamy Vegan Potato Soup.
Tips & Tricks
The longer you marinate the tempeh, the better it'll be! I usually marinate mine for at least 15 to 30 minutes but I like to cook just what I'll use for that meal and save the rest in a container to marinate for later.
Use the method that is best for you! Baked tempeh bacon is delicious and my preferred method because it's more hands-off so I can prepare the remaining elements of the meal I'm making. But pan-frying is faster and creates a really delicious caramelized outside so if you prefer that, go with pan-frying!
Customize this to your preference! I love the maple flavor and the smokiness from the paprika and liquid smoke but you could use brown sugar or agave instead or sub out the liquid smoke if you don't have it around. I do recommend leaving in a sweet element, a smoky element and the soy sauce. Those are the main components of this bacon and where the flavor comes from.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! Simply leave it out without any other substitutions.
Tempeh is gluten-free as long as you don't get the ones that have added grains. Soy sauce has gluten so you'll want to switch it out with tamari instead.
No, tempeh bacon does not taste like bacon but it is a good substitute for bacon. It's smoky and very flavorful which is why it's a good replacement in sandwiches, burritos, etc. The texture of tempeh has a crispy exterior with a more nutty chewy interior.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Vegan Breakfast Tostadas
- Spiced Vegan Waffles
- Vegan Breakfast Sausage
- Easy Homemade Vegan Bagels
- Quick & Easy Fluffy Vegan Buttermilk Pancake
Easy Baked Tempeh Bacon
- 1 8 oz Block of Tempeh cut in to thin strips
- 3 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 ½ tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- 2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper optional
- Pinch of Black Pepper
- Cut the block of tempeh in to ¼ inch slices.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
- Place the tempeh in to the marinade and make sure they are completely coated by swirling the marinade over the top or by flipping the pieces to coat. Marinate for 15 to 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place the tempeh on to a parchment lined baking tray and brush on half of the remaining marinade and bake for 10 minutes. Then, flip and brush on the remaining marinade and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!