With this simple recipe for Tempeh Bacon, you can learn how to create protein-rich vegan bacon at home! Every piece of tempeh strip absorbs the traditional tastes of maple and smoke by soaking in a basic marinade, which is then pan-fried to a crispy, chewy perfection. Perfect for weekend brunches or midweek supper!

You don't often encounter the words "good for you" and "bacon" together, but this recipe for tempeh bacon is making a big difference.

The greatest way to enjoy the rich, smokey tastes of conventional bacon without sacrificing any meat is to make this simple vegan bacon. Additionally rich in fiber and protein, tempeh makes you feel fantastic with every bite!

For anybody searching for a healthy yet delectable (vegan and gluten-free!) breakfast, lunch, or supper alternative, tempeh bacon with its smokey, crispy, and sticky texture is a very exciting option.

For a smokey and hearty topping over a vegan Caesar salad or grain bowl for dinner, simply cook the bacon strips. Alternatively, stuff the strips into an amazing breakfast sandwich or vegan burrito. 

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What is tempeh?

Indonesians use tempeh, a plant-based meat substitute prepared from soybeans. Generally available in rectangular blocks or strips, tempeh is essentially a fermented soybean cake that can be either pre-flavored or unflavored.

Simple tempeh has a somewhat umami taste that is meaty, nutty, and reminiscent of mushrooms. Its distinctive crumbly texture turns crispy and tender when cooked.

Note: There may occasionally be dark black or blue-colored patches on the tempeh brick. There is no evidence of spoiling or mold here. The tempeh is still safe to eat and will still taste good despite these blemishes.

Why this recipe works

Tastes so much like bacon!

A fantastic marinade is one of the key ingredients to vegan bacon that tastes as similar to genuine bacon as possible.

Here, a combination of pantry staples creates a marinade that's acidic, sweet, spicy, salty, and smokey. What was the outcome? The same deep, smokey tastes as regular bacon are present in tempeh bacon.

Texture is another consideration when making a vegan bacon substitute. I promise not to tell you that tempeh and bacon have the same texture. It never will be. However, there are steps you can do to turn tempeh into a more gratifying bacon substitute.

How to Make Tempeh Bacon at Home

Quick and easy

This is a straight-up quick and easy recipe because:

  • It takes less than 10 minutes to prep;
  • You can leave the tempeh in the marinade for hours; and
  • The bacon pan-fries and is ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.

It's great for weekend brunches or breakfasts as well as midweek meals. For easy meals, stack the smoky tempeh bacon strips into a BLT, or cook up some slices to go with vegan pancakes and tofu scramble for breakfast!

Tips for making this recipe

The slices should be thin

Cut the tempeh brick into very thin slices that are about inch thick using a sharp chef's knife.The texture will be crispier the narrower the pieces are. Thick slices will feel less like a substitute for bacon and more like regular tempeh.