These smoky, sweet, salty, and crunchy Vegan Bacon Bits are easy to make and take less than 20 minutes! Made with a few simple ingredients including TVP and lasts for up to a month in the fridge. Use these crispy, flavorful vegan bacon bits to top off your salads, baked potatoes, and more!
These Vegan Bacon Bits are made from TVP. A soy-based product that is a staple in vegan cooking. Rehydrate them in a marinade and they soak up the flavor immediately. Bake them for a few minutes on low heat and you have the best vegan bacon bits ever!
This homemade vegan bacon bits recipe is perfect to sprinkle on top of your favorite salads, roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, and more for a nice crunch and tasty flavor!
Are Bacon Bits Vegan?
Surprisingly most store-bought imitation bacon bits are not made with real bacon and are often made with soy and are accidentally vegan-friendly even when they aren't labeled as such!
It is best practice to always check labels even on products you've purchased before. Brands sometimes change their recipe so it's best practice to always check before buying!
But with that being said, homemade is always better! Store-bought bacon bits can sometimes be flavorless and very artificial. Some even have added food coloring and some other ingredients that aren't super necessary. Making your own homemade vegan bacon bits is super simple and can be done in under 15 minutes!
What is TVP?
For our homemade vegan bacon bits, we are going to be using TVP. TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein and is made from defatted soy flour cooked under pressure and then dried.
It is low in fat and calories and is flavorless! This is actually a good thing because it means that dry tvp will soak up all the flavor that you want it to! In this case, it soaks up our bacon marinade and becomes super crispy and flavorful!
Vegan bacon has come a long way. We have coconut bacon, shiitake bacon, eggplant bacon, seitan bacon, tempeh bacon, tofu bacon and now these delicious crispy bacon bits!
Where can I find TVP?
If you have a section in your local grocery store that sells Bob's Red Mill products, start there! It’s a fairly inexpensive product and one bag really goes a long way. If you can’t find it, you can order it online or check out a local health food store.
This TVP Bacon Bits recipe is one of my favorite easy vegan recipes!
- TVP: The textured vegetable protein gets rehydrated in our liquid ingredients and then baked until crispy and crunchy! TVP is a staple in my house but I don't see it used enough! It's a super unappreciated meat replacement.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce: Soy sauce gives us a nice color and salty flavor. If you’re gluten-free, use tamari. You could also use coconut aminos or liquid aminos.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil adds a rich flavor but also helps the TVP get crispy in the oven. I don’t recommend skipping the oil. You can use a neutral oil like avocado oil or vegetable oil.
- Maple Syrup: Nothing better than a sweet and salty combo! It’s just enough to have a hint of sweetness and to balance the salty flavor.
- Liquid Smoke: Adds a nice smoky flavor to our bacon bits.
- Seasonings: For added flavor! I used smoked paprika, black pepper, a tiny pinch of salt, and onion powder as well as garlic powder.
How to Make This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Measure out the TVP and place it in a heat-safe bowl.
Whisk together the soy sauce, water, olive oil, maple syrup, and liquid smoke in a small saucepan until it boils.
Pour the liquid ingredients along with the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt into the bowl with the TVP and mix until evenly combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
Spread the TVP on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Be sure to spread them out into a thin layer giving the bacon bit pieces lots of space for it to crisp up! Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing every 3-4 minutes. Let cool completely to dry out and crisp up even more.
There are a few classic ways to serve these delicious easy vegan bacon bits but feel free to get creative and throw these on top of all different dishes.
- Salad: The most common way to serve bacon bits is on top of salads! I love tossing them on top of a green salad with Italian Dressing or Vegan Ranch.
- Baked Potatoes: Another classic way to serve these vegan bacon bits is on top of a loaded baked potato. Don’t forget the shredded vegan cheese, vegan sour cream and chives!
- Creamy Soups: Sprinkle them on top of this Creamy Potato Soup or Cauliflower Leek Soup.
- Vegetables: Sprinkle on top of Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
- Breakfast Sandwiches: I love adding a sprinkle of these bacon bits on a tofu scramble and vegan cheese breakfast sandwich. It's surprisingly tasty!
- Avocado Toast: Sprinkle on top of avocado toast for flavor and a nice extra crunch!
Storage: Allow the veggie bacon bits to cool completely and then store in an airtight jar at room temperature for 3 to 5 days or in the fridge for up to a month.
Freezing: These vegan homemade bacon bits are freezer friendly and can last for up to 3 months when kept in a freezer-safe container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Liquid smoke is a natural product made from condensing the smoke from burning wood. It is used to add smokiness to recipes. You can typically find this in most grocery stores.
You can break up soy curls into small pieces or try crumbled tofu. Both of those will require a longer baking time so keep an eye on them!
McCormick has stated on their website that a few of its bacon bits are suitable for vegans. Since ingredients can change, I recommend checking their website for the most up-to-date information and always check the labels.
Nearly all of the store-bought bacon bits are made from soy.
More Vegan Recipes You’ll Love
Easy Vegan Bacon Bits with TVP
- ¾ cup Textured Vegetable Protein TVP
- 2 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Water
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Measure out the TVP and place in a heat safe bowl.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, water, olive oil, maple syrup and liquid smoke in a small saucepan until boiling.
- Pour the liquid ingredients along with the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt in to the bowl with the TVP and mix until evenly combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Spread the TVP on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing ever 3-4 minutes. Let cool completely to dry out and crisp up even more!
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