Smokey Tempeh “Bacon”


Its been 9 plus years since I have eaten a piece of real bacon. I eat turkey bacon from time to time and enjoy it but its nothing like real bacon… Smokey and salty bacon always catches my eye, even when I know I’m not going to eat it.

Today I’m going to tell you how to make the best bacon I’ve had since my last run in with real bacon. Smokey Tempeh “Bacon”.

Yes it’s that good, and it’s guilt free!

I am new to using tempeh so I was a little nervous. I didn’t want another failure like my last run in with a new vegan protein (check out my experience with seitan in stew). Fortunately I did a bit more research and everything turned out much better than I expected.

Before I share the recipe here are a few details/fact about tempeh. Tempeh is made from soy but amazingly the taste, texture and process in which it is made is very different. To make tempeh soybeans are cooked and fermented in molds. You can get all sorts of types of tempeh I bought the multi-grain type because… well I love flax seeds!


Tempeh is much less processed than tofu, making it much more nutritious, higher in protein, dietary fiber and vitamins. Plus Tempeh is loaded with isoflavones which are good for the heart and may even prevent cancer. Most prefer the taste and texture of tempeh over tofu.

I hope you try this bacon out. It simple easy to make and probably the best thing your sliced bread will see besides the real deal…

Smokey Tempeh “Bacon”- Vegan

1 Packet of Tempeh (I used multi-grain)

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke

1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder

1 Teaspoon Paprika


1) Mix all you ingredients together in a small bowl and combine well. Pour into a plastic ziplock bag.

2) Slice your tempeh lengthwise into .25 inch strips. Then cut those strips in half so they fit into your ziplock bag.

3) Place all your “bacon” strips into the ziplock bag and close tightly. Shake the bag well to make sure all you bacon strips get a nice coating. Let the “bacon” soak up the flavors in your fridge for at least 2 hours. I let mine sit overnight.

4) When your ready to eat. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and fry them up. I used the back of my spatula to press the strips into my skillet that way it would really dry up the liquid. From my experience the longer you cooked them the crisper they got, in a good way. 8-10 minutes of flipping and pressing should do the trick.

The best part about this recipe is that you can freeze what you don’t use!

Smokey Tempeh "Bacon"-




I added my smokey tempeh “bacon” to gluten-free sandwich bread with some spicy cilantro avocado spread (recipe coming tomorrow!).

It is one of the best sandwiches I have EVER had!



  Have you ever cooked with tempeh?

Download PDF

About rebacox

Pseudo athlete and vegan, learning to love all the imperfections in life. Follow me in my journey, training for races (a half marathon in all 50 states to be exact) and my adventures in the kitchen!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Smokey Tempeh “Bacon”

  1. Natalie says:

    I haven’t cooked with tempeh before but thanks for sharing, I would love to try this out.

  2. I’m totally impressed that bacon looks amazing!

  3. what a great idea…and 9 years since you’ve had bacon wow…i have to say i enjoy cooking with tempeh..i am not a vegetarian but i mix and mingle on meatfree monday and do vegan meals…i try to have a balance…but LOVE tempeh…have not thought to do as bacon…great idea…especially since i love a blt…now that would be a btlt right 😉

    • rebacox says:

      I will definately be cooking with tempeh more! I’ll have to take a look at your recipe index to see if you have any post on other ways to use it.

      Yes no bacon, some would say my life is incomplete lol!

  4. YES!! I’m so excited to try this out. I tried making tofu bacon and it was a disasterous mess (though, very delicious). It’s been 13+ years since I’ve had meaty bacon, and I have never been a fan of the smell. But I super love the morningstar farm veggie bacon. I know its super processed, so I’ve been looking for a homemade alternative.
    Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted…No-Clam and Potato ChowderMy Profile

  5. Pingback: Cracked Pepper Tempeh Bacon - Not So Perfect Life | Not So Perfect Life

Leave a Reply

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

CommentLuv badge