Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Denise Perrault · 4 Comments

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This is the best crispy vegan tofu bacon recipe you'll ever make! Once you try my unique no marinate tofu bacon-making process and taste the intense smoky, umami flavor and crispy texture, you, too, will be a vegan bacon pro.

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (1)

Satisfy your bacon cravings with a versatile tofu recipe, ready for a veggie BLT with garlic aioli, bacon spinach salad, dill pickle pasta salad, or a deluxe vegan pizza.

This post contains helpful tips and tricks to ensure success on your first attempt. Below, you'll find a handy table of contents with links. But if you're in a rush, please use the link at the top to jump to the recipe card at the end!

Table of Contents
  • Why You'll Love This Recipe
  • Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
  • Recipe Variations
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Pro Tips
  • Serving Suggestions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • 🧾 Related Recipes
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe

Why You'll Love This Recipe

✔ The process for making this vegan bacon recipe is simple and quicker.

✔ Ends the fuss of marinating for hours or overnight like you do with traditional bacon recipes for tofu or vegan tempeh bacon.

✔ I've done all the testing for you. Different ways of prepping tofu, including main ingredients like coconut flakes, sheets of rice paper, shiitake mushrooms, and even carrot bacon. I've marinated. Marinated and frozen, steamed and massaged. Not to mention oven-baking, frying pan method, and air fryer. No more testing; this is the best vegan bacon, the only one I use.

Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (2)

Tofu. A block of firm or extra-firm tofu works best. Tofu is the one essential ingredient you need.

Soy sauce. Dark soy sauce or Tamari adds an umami salty flavor. Or use light soy sauce for less sodium. Substitutions include Bragg's liquid aminos or coconut aminos can also be used. Replace soy sauce with tamari for gluten-free bacon.

Liquid smoke: Liquid smoke is condensed wood smoke. Smoked paprika is the best substitute for liquid smoke (2 teaspoons). Chipotle powder also has a smoky flavor with extra spice too.

Maple syrup: Maple flavor is a bacon classic. Date paste has more of a caramel flavor.

Apple cider vinegar: Only use a little, but vinegar adds an acidic and refreshing flavor. Substitute with rice vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice.

Dry spices: A combination of onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add cayenne or crushed chili flake or a few drops of sriracha.

Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.

Recipe Variations

Tofu is a versatile ingredient and the perfect palate for playing with flavors. Get creative and adjust the ingredients list or amounts and create signature flavors.

Add nutritional yeast. a teaspoon of prepared mustard or mustard powder cheesy flavor. A little coconut extract for coconut bacon. Sprinkle coarsely ground black pepper before baking the tofu bacon. Play with tomato paste, your favorite vegan Worcestershire sauce, or miso paste. Your call!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (3)

Note: Preheat the oven to 400 F. before baking.
Step 1: Press the tofu if it has excess water. Quarter the tofu, then add it and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor with a sharp blade.

Step 2: Blend until smooth. Scrape the sides of the blender so all the flavors are mixed in. Start at a slow speed and keep increasing until the mixture is spreadable.

Step 3: Spread the tofu mixture on a baking tray or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. It should be evenly spread, no more than ¼ inch thick.

Step 4: Bake the tofu for 25-30 minutes until it starts to brown and firm.

Step 5: Remove the baking tray and cover the tofu with another piece of parchment paper.

Step 6: Lay another flat surface as big as the baking tray over the top. Grasp the edge so you have a secure hold of all the layers, then flip it over.

Step 7: Peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Slide the tofu and parchment paper back onto the baking tray.

Step 8: Carefully slice the tofu into strips, separate them, then bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Pro Tips

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (5)

Use a spatula or bench scraper to square the edges of the tofu so they are not too thin. Squaring makes it easier to slice.

The first time you make this recipe, you'll want to keep an eye on the tofu. Oven temperatures vary.

Don't panic if your tofu cracks a little or you have a few air pockets. This can happen during the spreading process. Once you slice it and continue baking, you won't notice. And imperfect slices will still taste great.

​The bacon will get crisper as it cools, so try not to overcook it or let it get too brown.

How to press tofu without a tofu press

No tofu press? No problem! Wrap a block of tofu in a few paper towels and place it on a plate or shallow bowl. Add another plate or cutting board over the top and place a heavy object for weight. Some firm tofu doesn't have much water, so pressing can be a matter of using your hands to press down for a few minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (6)

Bacon slices are great as a breakfast side dish alongside vegan baked oatmeal or tucked between healthy homemade bread for a yummy breakfast sandwich. Use it like real bacon, crumbled in salads, over easy twice-baked potatoes, or added to creamy vegan white sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you line a baking sheet with a baking mat rather than parchment paper?

It’s highly recommended that you use parchment paper rather than a baking mat for making vegan bacon. Mats are great and more environmentally friendly; however, they generate moisture that may prevent the tofu from firming during the initial baking process. This can cause the tofu to fall apart after you flip it. You can, however, use a baking mat after flipping and slicing it. This will save you a piece of parchment.

​Is liquid smoke vegan?

Liquid smoke is vegan unless otherwise noted on a specific brand bottle. Because liquid smoke is condensed smoke from burning a certain kind of wood chip, such as hickory, it is generally a vegan flavoring. Look for liquid smoke near the barbecue sauce or other liquid seasonings at the grocery store.

Can I make thick-sliced tofu bacon?

For bacon slices thicker than ¼ half an inch, spread the tofu evenly and lower the temperature to 375 F (180 C). Be careful to separate the slices so the edges get brown. Plan an additional 10 minutes to bake the top side and extra time after slicing it.

How long does vegan bacon last in the fridge?

Vegan bacon lasts 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Freeze it for months by placing it in a container or freezer bag. Place the bacon in a single layer with parchment paper to separate so the bacon strips don't stick together.

How do you reheat vegan bacon slices?

Reheat vegan bacon in the microwave or give it a minute or two in the air fryer. If you reheat it in the oven, it's best to wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it from burning.

Do you have a question or recipe request or need a cooking tip? Leave a comment below or contact Denise. I’m here to help! If you want more healthy vegan recipes, please subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for the latest updates.

If you make this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating. It’s much appreciated!

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (11)

Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe

The best crispy vegan tofu bacon recipe using a unique, no-marinating, oil-free, tofu-making process for intense, smoky, umami flavor for amazing vegan bacon.

Rate this Recipe:

4.67 from 3 votes

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 40 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr

Course Breakfast, Side Dish

Cuisine American

Diet Vegan

Servings 16

Calories 27 kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces tofu - firm or extra firm
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional

Instructions

  • Prep the tofu. If your tofu has excess moisture, press it using a tofu press. Press the tofu for 10 minutes. Alternatively, wrap the tofu in a paper towel and place it between 2 plates, weighing the top down. If you are using extra-firm tofu, you can skip this step.

  • Blend the bacon. Quarter the block of tofu and add it, plus the rest of the ingredients, in a food processor or blender. Blend until the tofu is smooth.

  • Spread the tofu. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread evenly, about ¼ of an inch thick. Use a spatula or bench scraper to square the edges so they are not too thin and for more uniform slicing.

  • Bake the bacon. Place the bacon in the center of the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top lightly browns and becomes firm.

  • Flip the tofu. Once the bacon is brown on top, remove it from the oven. Lay a fresh piece of parchment paper over the tofu. Then add something flat such as a chopping mat or cutting board. Grab both ends of the bottom baking tray and the other layers and flip the baking sheet over.

  • Slice and separate. Carefully remove the top layer of parchment paper from the tofu. Slide the tofu back onto the baking tray (the parchment paper should be on the bottom). Slice the tofu into bacon-sized pieces and separate them.

  • Finish baking. Add the tofu back into the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until it is crisp and brown.

Video

Notes

  • Vegan bacon lasts 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Freeze it for months by placing it in a container or freezer bag. Place the bacon in a single layer with parchment paper to separate so the bacon strips don't stick together.
  • The key to keeping the edges of the tofu from getting too brown is to make them as thick as the middle or slightly thicker. Using a blunt edge like a spatula will help keep the edges from tapering off.
  • If you make the bacon thicker, lower the baking temperature to 375 F. Bake the first side for 10 minutes or longer until it browns. Be sure to separate the slices to let the edges brown.
  • The bacon gets crispier as it cools, so try not to overbake or let it burn.
  • It’s highly recommended that you use parchment paper rather than a baking mat for making vegan bacon. Mats are great and more environmentally friendly; however, they generate moisture that may prevent the tofu from firming during the initial baking process. This can cause the tofu to fall apart after you flip it.

Nutrition

Calories: 27kcal (1%)Carbohydrates: 2g (1%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 0.1g (1%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 206mg (9%)Potassium: 14mgFiber: 0.3g (1%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 34mg (3%)Iron: 0.4mg (2%)

Nutritional information is an estimation only.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Cheryl

    Well.. Amazing that I'm apparently the first to comment - this is a good recipe! Very valuable to find a way to prepare tofu without all the marinade but in the food processor....I'm making this for a 3rd time right now, we think it is marvelous. An easy way to get the umami flavor and enjoy a bacon-like product. I've experimented with seasonings and this new batch has some hot BBQ sauce and from the sample I swiped off my spatula, it will also be a winner!! Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

    • Denise

      I am so excited to hear you love this plant-based bacon recipe and method as much as we do. Good on you for ramping up the spices. You can also use a blend to create pepperoni. It's a great pizza topper 🙂

      Reply

  2. Lisa

    Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (16)
    This is an amazing recipe.
    I use smoked paprika (as suggested) instead of liquid smoke.
    I have made this many times
    Great when the “good tomatoes” come in!
    Thanks
    Lisa

    Reply

    • Denise Perrault

      I am so glad you like this one - honestly, it's our absolute favorite vegan bacon. 🙂

      Reply

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Best Crispy Vegan Tofu Bacon Recipe - Vegan with Gusto (2024)

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