Vegan Tempeh Bacon

This recipe for vegan tempeh bacon makes a crispy and chewy plant-based bacon. It’s salty and smoky, packed with protein, and 100% vegan.

crispy tempeh bacon close up

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that are packed together into a firm, dense cake. It’s packed with protein and very nutritious.

Tempeh has no cholesterol and it’s also low in carbs. In addition to that, it’s a good source of iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.

There’s tons more info on tempeh nutrition benefits here, too!

Tempeh absorbs marinades really well so it’s goes perfect with this vegan tempeh bacon recipe.

raw tempeh close up cut into strips on a dark brown cutting board.

How to Make Tempeh Bacon

This recipe is really easy to make! Slice a block of tempeh into “bacon strips” and set aside. Then, prepare a marinade of simple ingredients.

Instead of letting the tempeh sit in the marinade, add both the marinade and tempeh to a sauté pan/skillet.

Cook and reduce the marinade until the tempeh has absorbed it all. Then cook a bit longer to crisp up the tempeh strips.

Cooking the tempeh slices in the salty and smoky marinade creates a delicious bacon flavor. The marinade coats the tempeh with a sticky glaze, the edges of the tempeh get crispy while the center stays chewy.

Voila! You now have an extremely versatile vegan tempeh bacon to add to SO many dishes.

overhead graphic showing all ingredients to make this recipe.  Sliced tempeh on a brown cutting board, soy sauce, minced garlic, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, black pepper and liquid smoke.

How to Use Tempeh Bacon

This recipe for vegan tempeh bacon can supplement so many different recipes. Some of our favorite ways to use vegan tempeh bacon are:

  • Mac and Cheese – What’s more delicious than vegan bacon mac and cheese? We are obsessed with topping our favorite mac and cheese recipe with this savory bacon.
  • Baked Potatoes – Everyone knows that the best parts of a baked potato dinner are the toppings! We love to use roasted broccoli, crispy onions, and chopped tempeh bacon bits.
  • Pasta – Yeah, you heard me right! There are some amazing pasta dishes that use bacon (or similar) and we’ve got you covered with recipes for vegan penne alla vodka and creamy vegan carbonara.
  • Tofu Scramble – You NEED to try our recipe for the best tofu scramble. Add this vegan tempeh bacon for an even more delicious and protein-filled breakfast.
  • BLT Sandwich – How much do you miss a good BLT? Add an avocado if you so dare.
  • Burgers, Salad, Pizza and more….
Close up of vegan mac and cheese with vegan tempeh bacon on top and roasted broccoli.
Vegan Mac and Cheese with Tempeh Bacon Crumbles

If you try this vegan tempeh bacon recipe…

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5 from 4 votes
Tempeh Bacon
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

This recipe for vegan tempeh bacon makes a crispy and chewy plant-based bacon. It's salty and smoky, packed with protein, and 100% vegan.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: tempeh bacon, vegan bacon
Servings: 4 servings
Calories per Serving: 242 kcal
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce sub tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Slice tempeh into 1/2-inch thick strips. Set aside.

  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, and black pepper. Mix to combine and heat up.

  3. Once the pan is hot, add the sliced tempeh to the pan in an even layer. Cook the tempeh, flipping occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the tempeh is crisp around the edges.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Tempeh Bacon
Amount Per Serving (5 tempeh bacon strips)
Calories 242 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 764mg33%
Potassium 294mg8%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 81mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

January 3, 2021



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