Vegan Bacon

Learn how to make vegan bacon three ways! Crispy, smoky, salty, and slightly sweet, it's just as good as the real thing.

Vegan Bacon

Whenever I take a tray of vegan bacon out of the oven, Jack, my bacon-loving husband, appears instantly. “What’s this?” he asks. As soon as I say, “Vegan bacon,” he reaches for it right away. Now, Jack is no fool. I make vegan bacon three ways: with tempeh, with coconut, and with shiitake mushrooms. None of these ingredients transforms into an exact replica of real bacon, and they wouldn’t fool him for a second. However, seasoned the right way, they have all the traits that make bacon so irresistible: they’re smoky, salty, and slightly sweet with a perfect crispy texture.

You’ll find all three of my vegan bacon recipes below, along with my favorite ways to use them. Each one is easy to make and really darn good. Even the most devoted bacon fan (re: Jack) won’t be able to get enough of them!

Tempeh bacon

Vegan Tempeh Bacon

First up: tempeh bacon! It has a delectable crispy, meaty texture and a tangy, smoky flavor. If I’m craving a side of bacon strips with pancakes or French toast, this type of vegan bacon is always my first pick. I also like to pile it onto a veggie club sandwich or crumble it up to make bacon bits to top onto salads and baked potatoes!

Crumbled tempeh on a baking sheet

To make it, I season thin strips of steamed tempeh with a flavorful marinade. Tamari or soy sauce makes it salty and savory, rice vinegar adds tangy flavor, maple syrup sweetens it up, and olive oil adds richness. Then, for a final smoky touch, I add a pinch of smoked paprika (no need for liquid smoke here!). Let the strips marinate for 30 minutes. Then, spread them onto baking sheets and bake until they’re crisp and charred around the edges. To make bacon bits, let the strips cool slightly, then use your hands to crumble them into bits.

Coconut vegan bacon

Coconut Vegan Bacon

Coconut bacon is quick and easy to make – just toss unsweetened coconut flakes with tamari, maple syrup, and smoked paprika, and pop them in the oven until they’re golden brown and slightly crispy (they’ll crisp up more as they cool). It’s totally delicious, but it’s also totally addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when it disappears in a snap!

I like to sprinkle crispy coconut bacon over creamy soups like my potato soup and vegan corn chowder. It also adds a perfect savory crunch to these vegan stuffed potato skins!

Vegan bacon recipe

Shiitake Mushroom Vegan Bacon

If you’re looking for an all-veggie bacon substitute, shiitake bacon is the one for you! The mushrooms themselves have a rich umami flavor, so just two ingredients turn them into delectable vegan bacon: tamari and extra-virgin olive oil.

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel (don’t wash them, or they won’t crisp up in the oven), and slice the caps into thin strips. Toss them with the tamari and olive oil and bake until they’re shriveled up and crispy, tossing halfway.

When the mushrooms come out of the oven, pile them onto a veggie BLT, stuff them into a breakfast burrito, or tuck them inside breakfast tacos!

What’s your favorite vegan bacon recipe? Let me know in the comments!

More Vegan Basics

If you love this recipe, try one of these plant-based basics next!

Get This Recipe In Your Inbox
Share your email, and we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, enjoy daily doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!

Vegan Bacon

rate this recipe:
4.94 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
With these three easy vegan bacon recipes, you won't miss the real thing! Each one has a delicious smoky, salty flavor and crispy texture. Gluten-free and vegan.


Tempeh Bacon

  • 8 ounces tempeh, sliced crosswise into thin strips, steamed according to this recipe
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Shiitake Bacon

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Coconut Bacon

  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¾ tablespoon tamari
  • Scant ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika


  • Make tempeh bacon: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the steamed tempeh in an 8x8 or similarly sized baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, paprika, and sprinkles of pepper. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and set aside for 15 minutes. Layer the tempeh strips onto the baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and charred around the edges. Remove and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes. If desired, make “bacon bits” by using your hands to crumble the crispy tempeh into bits.
  • Make shiitake bacon: Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a damp cloth to wipe the mushrooms clean (if you wash them in water, they will not become crisp in the oven). Stem and slice the mushrooms, place on the baking sheet, and toss with the olive oil and tamari until well coated. Spread in an even layer on the pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the mushrooms are shriveled up and crispy.
  • Make coconut bacon: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes, tamari, maple syrup, and smoked paprika on the pan and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer on the pan and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, about 6 to 10 minute. Watch carefully, oven temperatures may vary and the coconut flakes can burn quickly.


Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Christy Lea

    How long does the mushroom bacon keep?
    How do I store and reuse?


    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Christy, the mushroom bacon is best on the day it’s made, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The leftovers won’t be quite as crispy, but they’ll still have great flavor.

  2. Keith

    4 stars
    Made the coconut bacon. Only gave it four stars as it tasted great out of pan but want to see how it stands up in soup, salad, etc. if it works out will make again as there are so many recipes that are mostly vegetarian but they add bacon.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Keith, I’m glad you loved the vegan bacon!

  3. Natalie

    Hi, I’m going to make both the coconut bacon and mushroom bacon for your corn chowder recipe, and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for how to store the bacons if I make them ahead of time? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Natalie, I store both uncovered on the counter at room temp (not for more than a day or two).

  4. Susan

    5 stars
    Your recipes are AH-Mazing!!!! I recently became a plant based eater and your recipes have made me very happy that I made the move to a healthier lifestyle! I will be making the tempeh bacon tomorrow. I’ve made coconut and mushroom bacon before. Delicious and satisfies that smoky sweet taste found in bacon. I look forward to your emails and trying every recipe❣️Thank you for making healthy eating so delicious 😍

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susan, oh I’m so happy to hear how much you’ve been loving the recipes! Thank you for leaving this kind note, it made my day 🙂

  5. Judy horst

    Are these recipes in you cook books

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Judy, no, the cookbooks have different recipes that aren’t on the blog.

  6. Lily

    5 stars
    Made the tempeh bacon for a BLT sandwich. Made me so happy! We made mayonnaise from scratch and used tomatoes from the garden on butter croissants. I’m still thinking about it. The tempeh bacon was so easy to make. Can’t wait to have another BLT today.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lily, I’m so glad you loved it!

  7. Carmen Young

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazingly creative and delicious soup! I’m not a fan of split pea soup, but now I have a favorite soup with peas. Thank you for your recipes and inspiration!

  8. Mallory

    Loved the shitake bacon. I actually added it, with crumbed and pan fried tofu, to a fresh spaghetti sauce, with basil, zucchini, pine nuts… so good!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Sounds so good, I’m glad you loved it!

  9. Tina Wilson

    Can any versions of these bacon bits be frozen?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tina, the tempeh bacon bits freeze really well! I haven’t tried freezing the other two. I imagine that the coconut bacon would be fine. I think the shiitakes might become less crispy.

      • Tina Wilson

        Thank you!
        Love and Lemons Every day is my new favorite cookbook. And I have a lot of cookbooks. My husband is a big meat eater and I’d rather go without most of the time. He has, however, loved every recipe from your book and website I’ve made so far, which is many. Thank you so much for doing what you both do!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Oh, I’m so so happy to hear that! Thank you for taking a minute to let me know, it really makes my day!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.