Easy, smoky, delicious, and vegan tempeh bacon. This homemade vegan bacon is ready in just 20 minutes, and so much better than store-bought!
What Is Tempeh?
Tempeh is Indonesian fermented soybeans. It’s traditionally made by fermenting soybeans in a cake form between a banana leaf, and a fungus grows around the beans as it binds them together. You might hear about this fungus as it’s usually referred to as tempeh starter.
Tempeh is quite popular between vegans and vegetarians, it’s used as a meat-replacement and it’s quite nutritious with many health benefits. It’s high in protein and probiotics, vitamins and minerals.
I love how versatile tempeh is, you can do so many things with it. Although I was never a real fan of bacon, I LOVE this tempeh bacon! It’s smoky, so flavourful and delicious!
How to Make Tempeh Bacon
To make this vegan bacon, you need to slice it in long strips as thin as possible but the slices shouldn’t be too thin as they will start falling apart. So slice is very carefully.
Then you will need to marinate the tempeh for at least 10-15 minutes, I usually leave the tempeh to marinate for longer just to get more flavour.
Here’s what you can use for the marinade:
- Soy sauce or tamari if gluten-free.
- Olive oil – I use extra virgin olive oil.
- Liquid smoke – or smoke powder (if not available, then you can use barbecue sauce).
- Maple syrup – or agave syrup.
- Smoked paprika – or regular paprika.
- Ground cumin (optional).
- Tabasco or any hot sauce that you like (optional).
- Salt and black pepper.
In a container with a lid, arrange the tempeh slices and pour the marinade over them. Make sure that the tempeh slices are fully covered in the marinade. Cover with the lid, and leave to marinate (the longer the better).
Once your tempeh is ready to be fried (or baked!), heat a pan over high heat and add oil (that doesn’t burn at high temperatures). Add the tempeh slices along with the leftover marinade, and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes until it’s brown and crispy.
Lay cooked tempeh over kitchen towels to cool and remove excess oil, and enjoy!
You could also bake the tempeh in the oven at 390f (200c) for 10-15 minutes, just make sure to arrange the tempeh over a baking sheet with parchment paper. Or make air fryer bacon tempeh.
This tempeh bacon is great to be served within traditional breakfast, in salads, sandwiches, pasta, eaten on its own or you can even use it as a pizza topping!
For more great vegan recipes, visit my vegan category page.
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I hope that you love every recipe that you make! – Diana x
Easy Tempeh Bacon
- 1 (250g) block tempeh
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup (adjust the quantity depending on how sweet you want the bacon to be)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil for frying
- Slice the tempeh in long strips as thin as possible but the slices shouldn’t be too thin as they will start falling apart. So slice is very carefully.
- In a small bowl, whisk the soy or tamari sauce, olive oil, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, cumin, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Take a container with a lid, and soak the tempeh slices for at least 10-15 minutes with the lid closed.
- Heat coconut oil in a frying pan on high heat, add the tempeh slices along with the leftover marinade and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Remove excess oil by laying the tempeh bacon on kitchen towels and serve.