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Smoky Vegan Tempeh Bacon

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This tempeh bacon will seduce you with its heavenly smoky, savory flavor. Jazz up your breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) with a sensational vegan substitute for bacon. But be warned: you may never want to go back.

Smoky Tempeh on a Plate with a Little Bowl of Marinade

Bacon is typically a welcomed guest at many tables, but unfortunately it brings with it some adverse side effects. The chemicals used in the production of bacon can increase the possibility of getting cancer.

WHO recently even classified processed meat as a carcinogen. It’s official. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t really want this at my table, thank you.

The great news is that I have a fantastic alternative to this dilemma. It’s healthy, full of fiber and vegan probiotics.

Welcome to beautiful world of vegan bacon! This vegetarian bacon has such a luscious flavor, you’ll be craving more. It’s the perfect bacon substitution.

The marinade is surprisingly simple, only takes a few ingredients and will take less than five minutes of your time to whip up.

Thanks to its ability to adsorb the flavor it imitates the real bacon in the best way. If zou are craving pulled pork on a vegan diet, try my vegan pulled jackfruit and pulled jackfruit sandwich.

Tempeh Marinade in a Jar with a Spoon 

What Is Vegan Bacon Made Of?

Let me introduce you to the wonders of tempeh, a very versatile ingredient made from fermented soybeans. Tempeh is a fantastic vegan bacon substitute that is protein rich and full of nutrients.

It is an excellent source of vegan probiotics, vitamins and dietary fiber. One of my favorite ways of using it is as a ground beef substitute in my Tempeh Vegan Taco Meat recipe

Thanks to its ability to absorb flavor, all you have to do is gather a few key ingredients together to transform it to a smoky vegetarian bacon.

The great thing is that you very likely have all the ingredients in your cupboards just waiting to be mixed together.

Smoky Marinated Tempeh

How to Make Vegan Tempeh Bacon

This is perhaps one of the simplest tempeh recipes you’ll ever find. It’s so easy because it uses my Smoky Tempeh Marinade. All you will need is one bowl, a spoon or fork for mixing, two minutes and the following ingredients:

  • Tempeh;
  • Soy sauce;
  • Sesame oil;
  • Maple syrup;
  • Sriracha;
  • Smoked paprika;
  • Garlic powder;
  • Salt and pepper ;
  • (optional) 1 tsp Marmite.

Marinated Tempeh in a Frying Pan and on a Baking Tray

  1. Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the tempeh in one large bowl. Set aside three tablespoons of the marinade for serving. Add the tempeh slices and coat each one evenly.
    Put the BBQ tempeh into the fridge to marinate for 20 – 60 minutes.
  2. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan and add tempeh. Working in batches, cook on medium heat for up to five minutes on each side until it starts to brown.

Drizzle with the reserved three tablespoons of marinade and enjoy!


Fried Vegan Tempeh Bacon Being Brushed with Marinade

Ways to use Vegan Bacon

The great thing about this vegan substitute for bacon recipe is that it’s flavor can add so much life to everyday dishes.

  1. Start off your day by saying, “Good morning!” with fresh rashers of vegan bacon and a plate of vegan scrambled eggs and a slice of vegan wholemeal bread.
  2. Or if you want to get a bit fancier serve it on top of a toasted English muffin, vegan poached eggs and drizzled with hollandaise sauce to enjoy a vegetarian smoky eggs benedict.
  3. Make the best vegan BLT sandwich with this vegan tempeh.
  4. Leftover vegetarian bacon? No problem! Try crumbling it up and use it as a topping on a baked potato for a quick and easy vegan lunch.
  5. Make this delicious vegan rice bowl with smoky tempeh.
  6. Use crumbled vegan bacon as a garnish on your favorite cream of baked potato soup or vegan corn chowder.

The options are endless. Anywhere you could use normal bacon, you’re pretty much guaranteed that vegan bacon will also work.

Vegan BLT Sandwich with Tempeh Bacon

Cook’s Tips

  • This recipe works well with batch cooking. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 1 month. Keep the marinade separate from tempeh.
  • Consider making marinated tempeh a day ahead. You can marinate the tempeh for up to 24 hours.
  • Tempeh bacon can be baked in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C).
  • For more creative recipe ideas check these 20 best tempeh recipes.

Recipe Variations

  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for sesame oil. Instead of using oil, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the marinade.
  • Use agave syrup or other sweetener instead of the maple syrup.

Make sure to check my ultimate guide on how to cook tempeh that I put together and discover more delicious ways to cook tempeh!

Here is the recipe video and full instructions for this smoky vegan tempeh bacon recipe. If you don’t see the video, disable your AdBlock for this page by clicking on the AdBlock button and selecting Don’t run on this page.

 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and if so, make sure to give it a 5-star rating! I really appreciate your feedback!

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4.5 from 4 votes

Smoky Vegan Tempeh Bacon

This tempeh bacon will seduce you with its heavenly smoky, savory flavor.  Jazz up your breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) with a sensational vegan substitute for bacon.

Course Main course/starter/side dish
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan bacon, vegan substitute for bacon, vegan tempeh bacon, vegetarian bacon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating time 18 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 102kcal
$3

Ingredients

  • 7 oz tempeh sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Marmite optional

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients except tempeh in a large bowl. Keep 3 tablespoons of the marinade for serving. Add tempeh slices and coat evenly. Let marinate for 20-60 minutes in the fridge.
  • Heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan and add tempeh. Working in batches, cook on medium heat for up to five minutes on each side until it starts to brown. Drizzle with the reserved sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

Cook’s Tips

  • This recipe works well with batch cooking. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 1 month. Keep the marinade separate from tempeh.
  • Consider making marinated tempeh a day ahead. You can marinate the tempeh for up to 24 hours.
  • Tempeh bacon can be baked in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C).
  • For more creative recipe ideas check these 20 best tempeh recipes.

Recipe Variations

  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for sesame oil. Instead of using oil, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the marinade.
  • Use agave syrup or other sweetener instead of the maple syrup.

Nutrition

Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 575IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Follow @happykitchen.rocks on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #happykitchenrocks!

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Recipe Rating




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Sunny Joy

Monday 5th of April 2021

Thank you, Elena, for this with all its details. You have saved me from having my third package of tempeh reach its expiration date after living in my fridge never used. I've wanted to use tempeh for health reasons ... I go through 2 pounds of tofu per week (for two of us) and would like to move into tempeh as being less processed than tofu and lower fat, but for some reason, tempeh defied my creativity. Finally my eating partner nudged me firmly enough to not let another package of tempeh expire, and you gave me the confidence to push through. :) I followed your marinade model and then put the slices under the broiler in my little toaster oven, and it worked very well. I'll be exploring more of your tempeh recipes. Thanks again.

Elena Szeliga

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Thank you so much for your feedback! Tempeh is so versatile and I'm so glad you enjoyed the marinade! Here are some more tempeh recipes for you. Hope you find something new to try.

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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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