Quick & Easy Vegan Bacon (made with tofu)

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Quick & Easy Vegan Bacon (made with tofu)

This quick and easy vegan bacon recipe is crispy, chewy, smoky delicious, and made with just 6 ingredients! Tofu strips are marinated in a salty, sweet, smoky marinade that tastes just like bacon. This tofu bacon can marinate in the fridge for up to 3 days so you can prep this ahead of time, and cook it up fresh. Cook it in your air-fryer, bake it, or pan fry it. Perfect for a stress-free morning. It’s so easy-peasy you’re gonna love it!
My Notes:
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Marinating Time:15 mins
Total Time26 mins
Meal Type: Breakfast
Special: 10 Ingredients or Less, 30 Minutes or Less, Freezer-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Nut-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan Meat
Tool: Air Fryer, Oven, Stove
Ingredient: Tofu
Servings: 20 - 28 strips of vegan bacon (about 1 lb)
Calories: 23kcal
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoon(s) soy sauce gluten-free if preferred
  • 3 tablespoon(s) maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) liquid smoke
  • 1 12oz block(s) extra-firm tofu drained and sliced into thin strips (see notes)
Instructions
  • Marinate the tofu: In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, maple syrup, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and liquid smoke. Add the tofu to a sealable container or bag (make sure the container or bag is secure enough that you can flip it upside down without any liquid leaking out). Pour the marinade over the tofu, and gently turn the container or bag to coat the tofu. Let marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes or up to 3 days in the fridge. If you are marinating it for a long time, I like to flip the container every now and then to ensure it marinates evenly. The longer you marinate it, the more flavorful it will become.
  • Cook the bacon: to cook the vegan bacon you can either pan fry it, air fry it, or bake it.
    Pan-fry method: heat 1 - 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When hot gently add the marinated tofu slices in a single layer, working in batches. Fry 2 - 4 minutes per side until dark golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. Cook the tofu on a lower heat and for longer to ensure it gets crispy. Drain on paper towel, the tofu will crisp up and become chewier as it cools.
    Air Fry method (my fave): preheat your air fryer to 400F (200C). Lightly grease the air fryer basket with a bit of spray oil. Add the tofu slices in a single layer working in batches if needed, and spray the tops with a bit of spray oil. (Omit the oil for oil-free). Air fry for about 6 minutes until the tofu has reduced in size and is golden brown. It will crisp and get chewy as it cools.
    Oven method: preheat your oven to 425F (220C). Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Lay the tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet, using two baking sheets if needed. Bake for 7 - 12 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, until the tofu has reduced in size and is golden brown. It will crisp and get chewy as it cools.
Notes
Tofu notes: I like to cut the tofu into bacon-sized strips, but this does make them delicate to work with. If you want the tofu to be a bit easier to handle, cut the tofu into thin strips then cut the strips in half to make shorter pieces of bacon that will be easier to flip without breaking.
I also tried pressing the tofu first, but I didn't find the end result had much difference so I don't think it is worth the extra time, but if you wish to press the tofu first, you can do so.
Make-ahead/ storage/ freezer: This vegan bacon gets more flavorful the longer it marinates so this is a perfect recipe to prep ahead and have ready to cook fresh in the morning. Leftover cooked vegan bacon is also delicious, just allow it to cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or you can freeze it. (I do not recommend freezing the tofu when it is in the marinade, only the fully cooked tofu freezes well for this recipe)
Nutrition
Serving: 1vegan bacon strip (recipe makes 20 strips) | Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Tag @itdoesnttastelikechicken on Instagram and Hashtag #easyveganmealplan