This vegan bacon is incredible and it’s made from this stuff called Tempeh! Tempeh is just a funky word for fermented soybeans bound together. Tempeh is packed with protein and super good for you.
It is also quite chewy when prepared the right way, and, like tofu, can take on any flavor you choose to impart. Here I’ve used a marinade to create a bacon-like flavor. It’s sweet, smoky, crispy, chewy, and BACON-Y. It’s a word, Ok? It’s a word.
OK Just Tell Me How to Make Tempeh Bacon
So first, we’re gonna steam the tempeh because otherwise it can have a bitter flavor. You’re going to add your sliced tempeh to a rimmed skillet with around 2 cups of vegetable broth. You can use water, but I recommend broth as it imparts more flavor.
After steaming it for around 20 – 22 minutes (flipping half-way through), you’ll add your marinade and let it sit in the fridge for several hours, preferably 8 hours or overnight. It can’t sit in there indefinitely, but 8 hours will give you a better flavor than 2 hours will. Patience, Young Skywalker (sorry, had to).
Next you’ll mix together your marinade, which consists of reduced sodium tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Just coat the tempeh in the marinade, cover the container, and stick in the fridge and come back in 8 hours. Ish.
After that, place tempeh in a single layer on a silicone baking mat lined tray. You can also use parchment paper, but silicone mats save money and help the food get crispier.
Bake it in the oven for around 10-12 minutes, then flip it, and bake it for 10 more minutes. Voile! Crispy, chewy, delicious bacon, but without any animal products or cholesterol.
Ready to get onto the recipe?As always, let me know if you make this recipe and please tag #Zardyplants and mention me @Zardyplants so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
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Vegan Tempeh Bacon
- Total Time: 8 hours, 50 minutes
- Yield: 16 strips 1x
Let's make vegan BLTs with this Vegan Tempeh Bacon recipe! Just steam, marinate it over night and bake and you're good to go!
Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free, Nut-free
- 8 oz or 227 g of tempeh (I used Trader Joe's Tempeh)
- 2 tbsp reduced sodium tamari
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
- Heat a large, rimmed skilled over medium high heat, add your tempeh, and cover with vegetable broth. Mine took about 2 cups to cover and I used a 12-inch skillet. Put on a lid and let cook for 20-22 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Flip halfway through.
- Prepare your marinade by mixing it all together in a measuring cup or bowl, whisking until spices are dissolved. Then place tempeh in a container and pour on marinade. Flip tempeh so that both sides have been coated in the liquid. Cover and place in the fridge for 8 hours.
- When ready to bake tempeh, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Place tempeh on a silicone mat or parchment lined baking tray in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Enjoy your bacon on anything from sandwiches (BLT!), with tofu scramble, crumbled up on a salad, or just eat most of it off the tray while standing in your kitchen in your pajamas. No judgement.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 5 days. To retain crispy texture, wrap with a paper towel while refrigerating, then reheat in a toaster oven or air fryer.
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Snack, Ingredient
- Cuisine: Vegan, Plant-based, Bacon, Vegan Bacon, vegan BLT
- Serving Size: 4 strips
- Calories: 139
Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free, Nut-free, Bacon, Tempeh
Cheryl D Garcia
Hi, I would like to make this recipe and need a bit more info: it looks like the tempeh needs to be simmered in water, not just steamed. Steamed would be in a double boiler and the rising steam from heated liquid would reach the tempeh, but letting it absorb all the water must mean the tempeh strips are actually inserted into the liquid in the skillet? I need to know, thanks very much.
Sorry for the confusion! They should be cooking in a skillet in the liquid.
Cheryl D Garcia
OK, did the boiling, then overnight in the fridge - I decided to let mine rest in the liquid for 12 hours in the hopes it would absorb lots of the flavor. But when I placed the bits on the cooking mat, there was lots of liquid leftover. That had me wondering a bit. Before popping in the oven, I sprinkled the strips with a bit more flavor (smoked paprika and black pepper).
They came out crispy but sadly the flavor is really lacking; I will be drenching these in some smoky homemade bbq sauce in order to give them a bit more taste.
Yum! I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was so good!! I will be making this again for my boyfriends birthday! Thank you :)
I loved this! Thought it was absolutely delicious. Thank you! I used agave instead of maple syrup, and it was still good. I put it on a sandwich with tofurkey slices!