January 24, 2021

Easy Vegan Recipes

Eat Vegan – Eat Well

Tofu Bacon

4 min read

This tofu bacon is packed with smoky flavor! Perfect for breakfast, sandwiches, salads, or just snacking, this stuff is incredibly easy to make, vegan, and optionally gluten-free.

White Wooden Surface Set with Coffee Cup, Baking Sheet and Plate of Tofu Bacon and Strawberries

There are so many ways to make vegan bacon, and I’ve shared many of them on this site: coconut bacon, tempeh bacon, even rice paper bacon. But believe it or not, I’ve yet to share the meatless bacon that I probably make the most often: tofu bacon!

I love all my vegan bacons, but I find tofu bacon is the most versatile, plus, I usually have all the ingredients to make it on hand (whereas I’m not always one for keeping a stock of flaked coconut or rice paper).

Let’s talk about how this stuff is made!

What You’ll Need

Strips of Tofu Bacon Arranged in a Row on a White Wooden Surface

  • Soy sauce. Feel free to sub gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Maple syrup. You can sub another sweetener, but the maple flavor really does make this stuff taste bacony.
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Liquid smoke. This is the key to giving your tofu a bacon flavor.
  • Olive oil. This will help your bacon to crisp up, but you can leave it out if you follow an oil-free diet.
  • Smoked paprika.
  • Garlic powder.
  • Tofu. Use firm or extra-firm.

How to Make Tofu Bacon

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make tofu bacon. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by pressing your tofu. Use a tofu press, or simply wrap it in a few layers of towels and place something flat and heavy on top to squeeze out the water. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Block of Tofu Wrapped in Towel with Cast Iron Skillet on Top

  • Make your marinade by mixing up soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  • Now cut your block of tofu. For thin strips of tofu bacon you’ll want to slice it thin, so you get about 16 slices out of your tofu block. But feel free to cut your tofu in whatever configuration you like! Dice, or even crumble it — it’ll taste good no matter what!

Two Images Showing: Hand Mixing Marinade in a Bowl, and Block of Sliced Tofu on a Cutting Board

  • Place your tofu into a shallow dish and pour the marinade on top. I like to let mine sit for 30 minutes, but just a few minutes will do in a pinch.

Tofu Strips Marinating in a Glass Dish with Spoon

  • Now arrange your tofu strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon any excess marinade on top.
  • Pop the baking sheet into the oven and bake the tofu until the strips have darkened and shrunken up quite a bit. For extra crispy bacon, brush or spritz the strips with oil during the last few minutes of baking.

Marinated Tofu Strips on Parchment Paper

  • Let your tofu bacon strips (or cubes, or whatever) cool a bit before serving.

Tofu Bacon Strips on Parchment Paper

Tofu Bacon Tips & FAQ

  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Yup! Just use gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.
  • Shelf life & storage: Tofu bacon will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
  • Serving ideas! Serve your tofu bacon just one might serve regular bacon: as a side dish for breakfast, on a sandwich, over soup like this vegan split pea soup, or on a salad like this vegan Caesar salad.

White Wooden Surface Set with Coffee Cup, Baking Sheet and Plate of Tofu Bacon and Strawberries

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Close up of Tofu Bacon Strips on a Plate

Tofu Bacon

This tofu bacon is packed with smoky flavor! Perfect for breakfast, sandwiches, salads or just snacking, this stuff is incredibly easy to make, vegan, and optionally gluten-free.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 35 minutes

Marinating time 30 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings 4

Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing or spritzing (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into small pieces or slices. For strips of bacon, slice the block width-wise into about 16 strips. Alternatively, you could cut it into 1/2 inch cubes, or whatever shape you like.

  2. Stir the soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, liquid smoke, olive oil, smoked paprika, and garlic powder together in a small bowl.

  3. Place the tofu into a shallow dish and pour the soy sauce mixture over it, coating the tofu evenly.

  4. Let the tofu marinade for about 30 minutes. You can marinade it for as few as 5 minutes if you’re short on time, or cover and place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. Arrange the tofu strips or pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet. Reserve any excess marinade.

  7. Bake the tofu for about 35 to 40 minutes, taking the baking sheet out of the oven about halfway through and spooning any reserved marinade over the tofu.

  8. Optionally, spritz or brush the tofu bacon with a bit of oil during the last 5 minutes of baking.

  9. The tofu bacon is finished baking when the pieces have darkened and shrunk a bit.

  10. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the tofu bacon cool for a few minutes before serving.

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