Introduction: Vegan Bacon

Picture of Vegan Bacon

As the resident vegan expert here at, i am always looking for new ways to make foods that appeal to vegans and non vegans.

If there is any one food product that is the bane of the vegan existence, it's bacon. If the vegans are ever going to be taken seriously, we must find a good substitute for bacon.

I aimed to conquer this dastardly devil, with my own with Vegan Bacon!!!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

You will need the following to make these awesome morsels

3 tsp of soy sauce (Bragg's is prefered)
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 pkg tempeh

and oil for frying

Step 2: Chop the Tempeh

Picture of Chop the Tempeh

First you want to chop the tempeh as thinly as possible, about 1/4". The thiner you cut it the better it will fry and crisp when you make it.

Step 3: Prep the Marinade

Picture of Prep the Marinade

Next, add all the liquid ingredients in a shallow dish. Mix around the tomato paste until it's homogenized.

Step 4: Marinate the Tempeh

Picture of Marinate the Tempeh

Now you want to place the tempeh in the marinade and marinate for at least 3 hours. I did mine over night to really soak in the flavor.

Step 5: Fry the Tempeh

Picture of Fry the Tempeh

After you are done marinading, its time to fry! I used peanut oil, but any oil will do. You are looking for brown and crisp, not black.

After you are done frying, blot with a paper towel to remove excess oil

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

And that's it, pretty easy!

Now you can use this vegan bacon in all kinds of dishes, like vegan BLTs or with breakfast with some good ol' tofu scramble.

I ate mine straight and it was pretty good. It certainly doesn't taste like bacon, but it satisfies that craving for fried oily things. 

Please show off your vegan dishes with veggie bacon in the comments!


טעטייה (author)2016-05-25

awesome now I have a kosher and vegan beacon ;)

mxrcxlx (author)2013-09-20

i really, really, really appreciated this.
just imagine my face when i figured out that typing ''vegan'' at instructables
could connect me to such fu#$¨#% awesome recipes like this...

vegan cheers from brazil! hahahaha

h8864 (author)2012-06-10

i like that idea

h8864 (author)2012-06-10

I know

h8864 (author)2012-06-10

bacon is meat nothing else vegans cannot substitute for bacon


shotz90s (author)2011-07-26

Ok, you teased me. I thought it was some sort of cannibalism recipe for when you are trapped on a deserted island w/ a vegan and you are craving bacon. LOL

Keep on trying new recipes. I will never go to the dark side but my wife medically cannot eat meat so things like this make life a little easier. Thanks and we'll give it a try.

bulletproofkevlar (author)2011-05-19

doesnt taste or look like bacon huh? not exactly a name id use . I think its best to call it something else like vegan fried breakfast sticks or something

tn. (author)2011-04-10

soya paste. remarkably versatile stuff.

from , a DIY tempeh page:

Tempeh is cake of soybeans, which have been de-hulled, cooked, mixed with a tempeh starter (culture of Rhizopus oligosporusor Rhizopus oryzae) and incubated for a day or two.

alexmach2000 (author)tn.2011-04-11

Do you know if the taste resembles natto at all? Or is it the fermentation that makes natto different? Or even better: Are you familiar with natto? and so forth... thnx

At least the tempeh I've had hasn't been that similar to natto - less of that strong fermentation taste. Of course, that could be because it's frequently cooked with a lot of other strong flavors that may just be masking that.

Tempeh has me a bit confused and wanting to try and find some! I can think of a million uses for it! -unlike natto-

tn. (author)alexmach20002011-04-18

i've never heard of natto before. where i live, there's very limited access to exotic ingredients. you know, way "out there" stuff like tofu, coffee-flavoured yoghurt, and provolone cheese, lol.

it's a very small town is what i'm saying.

alexmach2000 (author)tn.2011-04-18

No provolone cheese? I'm not visiting. or even better I might visit and bring some! hehe.

ManOfScience (author)2011-04-17

Some good suggestions out there, (msg, liquid smoke, etc) but fugawdsake, most commercial bacon bits are vegan; THEY taste like bacon (basically), why can't we find a more accurate marinade recipe?

I think it's mostly the combination of that type of fat and the salt that makes it so addictive!

BTW, every vegan i know names bacon as their "apocolyse food": the one thing that they will loot from the stores and eat glutinously when we all are about to die anyway.

fishpotpete (author)2010-12-30

I'm a meat eater and respect the rights of vegans to eat what ever they want or don't want. But instead of trying to make things out of veggies that are "meat-like", why not just make veggies that taste better and not try to sneak in the "oh but it's just like meat" stuff. It's not meat and no matter what you do, it will not have the same flavor, texture, etc of meat. Just make a better tasting vegan meal. Otherwise you loose a lot of people with the first bite of the non-meat, meat substitute.

But by all means keep trying new recipes!

mousewrites (author)fishpotpete2011-04-01

Just because someone no longer chooses to eat meat doesn't mean they do not like the taste of meat. There's a lot of reasons people choose not to eat meat, and I honestly don't know any vegans/vegetarians who don't eat meat primary because they don't like the taste. They may also not like the taste, but that's not their primary reason.

It's like saying a diabetic should stop using sugar substitutes. They may not be choosing to eat sugar (because it'll kill them if they don't) but they can still like sweet things.

I'm on the other side of this debate. I'm not a vegan or vegetarian, but I love tempah bacon. :)

I eat vegan for the said reason of not liking the taste/texture of meat and dairy products, we should meet! (:

headphoned (author)fishpotpete2011-01-23

This is a common lack of understanding among the omnivorous, and there are a variety of adequate replies depending on why a person is veggie. Here are a few:

- Many recipes call for meat. By making meat substitute that can fill these roles, it opens up a lot of extra variety at mealtime.
- Many people these days are switching to a meatless diet for health or political reasons, and meat substitutes help to ease that transition.
- People enjoy these meat substitutes in their own right. They don't need to exactly replicate meat to have their own merits. I know omnivores who buy vegetarian (admittedly not vegan) sausages because they prefer them in taste, ease of preparation, and health to the "real deal"

Lardyvegan (author)fishpotpete2010-12-31

If someone is willing to not be a Vegetarian/Vegan because they dislike a veggie alternative product, then, chances are, their heart isn't in it, and would find some excuse at some point to go back to meat. When I became Vegetarian 22 years ago, if I wanted a meat-like alternative, I had to buy TVP, and soak it overnight, cook it for an hour, then flavour it to make it palatable, but here I am, all those years later, now a Vegan (of 18 years) and I can go into any supermarket and fill a trolley with delicious Vegan food. The horrible stuff never put me off, because my reasoning was sound, and based on a desire to remove myself from the system of cruelty that exists to put meat on a plate at a cheap price.

talty (author)fishpotpete2010-12-30

I agree with that. I first told my mom I wanted to be vegetarian when I was 6 or 7 years old, and I remember that I never liked the taste of meat. So I've never liked meat substitutes or felt cravings for anything meaty.

But I guess some people could miss something. I used to like gelatin as a child, and I was very happy when I discovered vegan substitutes. I suppose it could be the same thing with bacon, or any other thing for that matter.

alexmach2000 (author)2011-04-11

Google it. Non American here. It's not American. It;s Thai. Its a soy bean curd, but unlike tofu, it uses whole precooked beans to make a patty. Never tried it, never knew it existed but i'm gonna try to find it now. Should be a good base to do lots of things if you like the taste of soy beans.

tn. (author)2011-04-10

i'd give this a try just because yes, there are some vegetarian/vegan alternatives that i find nicer than the meaty original. i tried 3x to go vegetarian - ended up anaemic all three times. i'm one of the population that HAS to eat blood-sourced iron because i cannot metabolize non-haeme iron. my bff has been vegetarian for nearly 2 decades.

i have absolutely no problem killing an animal to serve a purpose - it IS how nature is designed, after all. what i have a problem with is waste - no excuse for that - and the way the food processors bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate the meat in the name of extending shelf life.

Onetearfalls (author)tn.2011-04-10

thank you someone else who has the same view

lizardknits (author)2011-04-10

I don't get it - if it doesn't taste like bacon - what's the point?

bigmama1079 (author)2010-12-31

I personally think the bacon craze that has hit America is almost as bad as the vegan craze. In either case, both piss me off because they don't back their claim in the right way. If you eat bacon because you like bacon, that's fine by me. But if you eat bacon because it's the "in" food and a current trend in geek culture, then you're being juvenile and single-minded. If you choose to be vegan to live a healthier lifestyle or because you think you're helping a cause (which in another discussion entirely), that's fine by me. But when you choose to be vegan because others are doing it, again, it's immature and makes you an inconsiderate fool.

Live the life you want, but defend your choice with logic instead of becoming livid every time someone takes a shot at you. If you choose to be vegan, accept the fact that meat-eaters will attack you, and vice-versa. The "eating healthier" argument has it's points, and can be defended with medical and scientific evidence (to a point at least), but the "doing it for a cause" argument is based on emotion, and therefore not defensible by logic.

In my opinion, if you can accept the logic and reason, and instead debate the merits, then you can have a civil debate instead of a flame war. But hey, this is the internet. There is no room for logic or reason, so my points are moot. I'm an indiscriminate omnivore by the way, so I appreciate this 'ible very much. Thank you!

Lardyvegan (author)bigmama10792011-01-01

Good point, dunno why I bothered trying to counter anyway. As the old saying goes, arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics...

YellerKitty (author)Lardyvegan2011-04-10

I love that, although now someone will undoubtedly attack you for comparing something to the special olympics.
This sounds good, and I'll try it. I've been eating less and less meat, for all kinds of reasons, and this ought to fit right in. Another thing I've been enjoying a lot later is a twice-toasted slice of some really good, seedy-nutty bread with a little schmeer of red miso and tahini in about equal parts. Really satisfies the umami taste urge.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

headphoned (author)bigmama10792011-01-23

Why should vegans have to accept that meat eaters will attack them or vice versa? That's absurd. No one should have to accept personal abuse based solely on their personal lifestyle choices. Now, obviously, any vegan or meat-eater trying to enforce their viewpoints on others is fair game, but I refuse to believe that there's anything "civil" about attacking someone based soley on their diet.

Hey you, yeah you bigmama1079! You with the silly, ugly suit! Why's your suit so ugly, huh?! Your stupid face and your stupid suit? What's wrong with you?!

...Now that wasn't very nice, was it? And it was completely uncalled for. Much in the same way that attacking someone based on what they eat is. But then, maybe you don't think it was uncalled for? Maybe you should have to support your clothing decision with a well reasoned argument? Should homosexuals give up their sexual orientation because it's based on feelings?

I'm a proponent of logic over feeling, and a fan of well-reasoned discourse, but sometimes a feeling is just a feeling, and as long as it's doing no harm to others, I see no reason not to embrace it. Heck, there's a logical, evolutionary imperative why we have these feelings which guide us, so maybe it's logical to follow your gut after all.

marshgre (author)2011-04-10

I have been a "no legs" vegetarian (I still eat fish) for ten years now. The one question I have about Vegans is how far removed a food has to be from animal husbandry to be acceptable? Are Vegans allowed to eat fruits like blueberries? I ask because I live where there are a lot of commercial blueberry production and blueberry farmers must own or rent honey bees in order to pollinate the plants. Does that create a problem for Vegans? I've just been curious for some time now.

ELF (author)2011-03-15

"liquid Aminos" is that the soy sauce? :)

SS4QF (author)2011-01-13

Please don't try to mislead people.

I am fully supportive of any person's right to eat whatever food they choose, but this is a bacon SUBSTITUTE, and has nothing to do with actual bacon, which by definition is cured and smoked PORK.

Good luck with your experiments.

Wolfy2000uk (author)SS4QF2011-03-08

One thing that should be mentioned, and as far as I can see so far it hasn't had a mention, and that is, that quite a few people become vegans or vegetarians after they have grown up with eating a variety of meats, therefore they have already had the taste of meat flavours.
It is hard to change your liking over night for certain flavours, especially if you're not a person who has had much alternative (parental upbringing sometimes dictates you eating habits when at a young age). So it would only seem natural to want a taste that has been with you for a long while, and if you have given up meat due to cruel treatment of animals, it doesn't mean that those favours you have enjoyed are going to go away instantly over night.
So finding a produce that can represent those flavours is something that will always be around. That's not to say that you can not enjoy incorporating other vegetable flavours that are around as well.

vegancraftgal (author)2011-02-01

Lardyvegan (author)2010-12-31

Really? No-one has ever said that me before. Clearly, you are right, vegetables must have rights immediately, as they are well known for their sentience and having a central nervous system which enables them to think and feel. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll start a campaign immediately...

Actually, mnmc10 has a (relatively) valid point. If you have seen the movie Avatar, you might remember one of the scientists, Grace, talking about how the trees on the planet have connections comparable to the synapses in the brain. That part of the movie was based on actual theory. So, if that is ever proven true...

Wrong. I think you'll find that generally speaking, a "theory" has underlying facts which support it. The word you're looking for is "hypothesis". This little piece of linguistic confusion is what causes many fundamentalists to denigrate Evolution as "only a theory", as though a theory wasn't a rigorously verified thing. In actuality, all scientific "facts" ARE theories. As for your thinking tree network hypothesis, I think it should remain safely on the confines of the new age BS and science fiction shelves.

At one point, everything was "new age BS"...

Actual theory, as opposed to actual fact, huge difference.

True, but all actual fact was at one point, actual theory.

but actual theory has to have a certain amount of evidence to be actual fact

And until actual evidence was collected, there was none.

and if there is no actual evidence then there is no theory and then there can be no fact

There is no evidence for a theory, but for fact. You said that yourself. You contradict yourself, therefore, no longer have a valid reason for participation in the discussion. No further replies will be made. good day.

No i am merely stating that ther is no actual evidence to support actual theory.... SO GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR!!!

zidakano (author)2011-01-14

To me vegetarian/vegan meat substitutes are all about achieving a specific "texture". As an example take the BLT sandwich, try adding some "other" meat even, and it will not be the same overall texture. Add something of a similar texture to bacon and it will seem at first bite the same sandwich. Then going to the trouble to "mimic" a similar taste will help complete the illusion.

As a sidenote BLT's are delicious ;)

imboox2 (author)2011-01-11

I'm a person eating more vegetarian foods due to loving veggies and also even though I love meat, it does not like me. I can eat a great piece of meat and then within 20 minutes I'll be moving in to the bathroom. I've been tested for everything, no explanation found. No it is not spices put on the meats...I eat meat plain, broiled or baked with no spices. I liked it that way better. It still gets to me. I think it is the animal fats, no matter how little. Lean meat only changes the rate of how fast I'll move in to the bathroom.

Meat similar vegetarian recipes can often satisfy my meat cravings without giving me the problems meat gives me.

For many of my friends being a vegetarian isn't a save the animals thing. They like veggies and some have never liked meat or meatlike foods. My mom has never liked beef. Some like me are going that way for health reasons. Churning up my insides when eating meat is not good for me. I end up having to go on a temporary B.R.A.T. diet to calm things down again.

vanillasmoke (author)2011-01-06

I'm an unapologetic omnivore. That said, this looks delicious. And while it is fried and therefore kinda bad, if I make a few slices of this, there will be leftover tempeh in my fridge, much healthier than leftover bacon. Satisfying the need for fried oily things with stuff that is not *always* fried and oily is a really good idea. Plus, maybe it will get me to buy tempeh more often in the first place. :)

Thanks for this! It really does look delicious!

bricabracwizard (author)2011-01-04

It's all about hierarchy, and sentient living things, even though you jest

drewSaysGoVeg (author)2011-01-04


PerfectPantaloons (author)2011-01-01


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