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This tofu bacon is an absolute game-changer! It’s one of our favorite vegan bacon substitutes – it’s easy to make with ingredients you have on hand and begging to be turned into a hearty vegan BLT sandwich. All you need is 10 ingredients!
What is vegan bacon made from?
The best part of a vegan diet is there are an infinite number of options to choose from when it comes to finding your perfect vegan bacon substitute. To make good vegan bacon, you need two things: a plant-based ingredient that mimics the texture of bacon and a mixture of seasonings to mimic the flavor of bacon.
This smoky tofu bacon is perfect for tofu lovers, is naturally high in protein, and has a realistic meaty texture.
Or, if you’re open to exploring different vegan bacon recipes, check out these:
- Homemade Tempeh Bacon (8-Ingredients)
- Vegan Eggplant Bacon, 2 Ways! (Baked or Fried)
- Crispy Shiitake Mushroom Bacon (Gluten-free)
- Crispy Vegan Bacon (Easy & Gluten Free)
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Super firm tofu: The difference between super firm tofu and extra firm tofu is simply how much water they contain. The less water content, the firmer the tofu is. Super firm tofu is the firmest, least watery tofu you can purchase and does not require any pressing. Extra-firm tofu will work as well, just press it first. Learn how to press tofu without a tofu press in this simple tutorial!
- Tamari: Adds umami, saltiness. We recommend using full-sodium, but if you are sensitive to salt, you can use a low-sodium soy sauce or tamari. Liquid aminos is another good option.
- Apple cider vinegar: Balances the saltiness and smokiness with acidity. If needed, white vinegar will work well, too!
- Oil: Any neutral cooking oil with a higher smoke point will work well. We used avocado oil, but olive oil, vegetable oil, or refined coconut oil can be substituted. Avoid using oils with strong flavors, like unrefined coconut oil, unless you don’t mind that flavor lingering in the flavor of your vegan tofu bacon.
- Maple syrup: Adds a light sweetness that compliments the salty, smoky flavors.
- Liquid smoke: Essential to adding a smoky flavor to make your bacon taste just like the real thing. A little goes a long way but is highly recommended.
- Spices: A simple blend of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and ground black pepper is all you need.
How to Make Tofu Bacon
- Prep the tofu. Remove the block of tofu from the package and drain. Lightly pat away any excess moisture using a clean tea towel or paper towel. Slice thin horizontally, about 1/4th to 1/8th inch thick, then slice vertically in half so you have long rectangular strips. Set aside while you prep the marinade.
- Whisk together the simple marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together the tamari, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and spices.
- Coat the tofu. Add in half of the tofu and toss very gently. Once well coated, arrange the tofu in a single layer on a large, greased baking sheet. Repeat these steps with the second half of the tofu.
- Drizzle and bake. Drizzle the excess marinade on top of the tofu and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. flipping halfway through.
- Serve. Allow the tofu bacon to cool slightly then serve immediately as desired.
Tofu bacon isn’t just for breakfast! Although we love enjoying bacon on the side of breakfast classics such as Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes, Rye Waffles, Vegan Strata, Breakfast Potato Hash, Tofu Scramble, and Vegan Eggs Benedict, the options don’t stop there!
Here are some of our favorite ways to use vegan bacon, both cold and warm:
- Serve on a Vegan BLT sandwich or Vegan Black Bean Burger
- Dice it up and sprinkle it on top of Vegan Mac and Cheese or stuff it in these Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese Bites
- Add it to your pasta, such as this Instant Pot Pizza Pasta, Vegan Broccoli Rabe & Sausage Pasta, or Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Fried Sage.
- Toss it in your favorite salad such as Vegan Cobb Salad in a Jar.
- Add a slice on top of your favorite Avocado Toast or Sweet & Savory Avocado French Toast.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If freezing, allow the bacon to cool completely on the baking sheet, then stick the baking sheet in the freezer to freeze the bacon until solid, about 1 hour. This will help prevent the tofu bacon strips from sticking together in your freezer bag or container.
Reheat leftovers in the oven, in a large skillet, or even in the microwave!
Technically, yes! All of the ingredients in this vegan tofu bacon recipe are safe to consume raw, including tofu. For the best flavor, you will want to bake it. This is going to allow the tofu slices to absorb all of the marinade and become nice and crispy.
We have not tested an oil-free version of this recipe. You may be able to omit the oil – if you give it a try and it works well for you, we would love to know.
Unfortunately, this will not work well. In order for the tofu to be sliceable and have a meaty texture that holds up when baked, it needs to be at least extra firm tofu. Silken tofu is very, very soft and custard-like. Instead, use silken tofu for recipes such as Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse or Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip.
Yes! If you use tamari instead of soy sauce, this tofu bacon recipe is 100% gluten-free and vegan.
More Vegan Tofu Recipes You’ll Like:
- Tofu Musubi – Our vegan spin on spam musubi. If you grew up enjoying musubi, don’t miss this recipe!
- Tofu Katsu – Delicious crispy, breaded tofu that’ll satisfy your deepest Japanese comfort food cravings.
- Grilled Barbecue Tofu Skewers – Perfect for summers and the perfect chicken substitute.
- Easy Tofu Ricotta Cheese (7-Ingredients) – Savory and creamy homemade ricotta that pairs well with lasagna!
- Buffalo Tofu Sandwich with Homemade Ranch – The ultimate combo of spicy and creamy.
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