Published Dec 28, 2020, Updated Jan 21, 2024
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This easy tempeh bacon is marinated and baked to perfection. It’s crisp and has a delicious savory and sweet flavor.
I honestly don’t know how I haven’t shared how to make tempeh bacon before! I’m a huge fan of tempeh and tempeh bacon is a great recipe to start with if you’re intimidated by cooking tempeh at home.
Tempeh is such an easy protein option to keep in your fridge (it’s a fermented product so it lasts a long time) plus it’s a great source of fiber. If you’re following a plant-based diet or just want to try something new, I highly recommend trying tempeh.
What is Tempeh?
Let’s start with the basics. Tempeh is a plant-based protein made of cooked soybeans that have been fermented. The fermentation process binds the soybeans into a cake/patty, which is what you’ll find at your local grocery store.
It’s similar to tofu, however there are some differences – tempeh is less processed, fermented, has a stronger flavor and a bit more texture. The flavor is usually described as nutty or earthy, but there are different varieties with subtle taste differences.
I’ve tried a ton of different tempeh varieties and Lightlife is definitely my favorite for a few reasons: it’s organic, GMO-free and easy to find at mainstream stores.
Tempeh Bacon Ingredients
You don’t need a ton of ingredients to make tempeh bacon… just some pantry staple seasonings and liquid smoke.
- low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- avocado or olive oil
- maple syrup
- liquid smoke – this is one item you might not have in your pantry, but I highly recommend buying it because it gives tempeh that smoky bacon flavor. If you can’t find it at your local grocery, buy it online.
- smoked paprika
- garlic powder
- black pepper
How to Make Tempeh Bacon
Making tempeh bacon is so simple and way less messy than cooking pork bacon, which always leaves grease splattered everywhere.
- Cut tempeh – start by cutting the tempeh into 1/4 inch thick strips/slices.
- Make marinade – add tamari/soy sauce, oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder and pepper to a shallow dish. Whisk together with a fork.
- Marinate – add the tempeh slices to the marinade, cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
- Bake tempeh bacon – Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Arrange the marinated tempeh slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Pour any leftover marinade over the tempeh and bake for 15 minutes. Flip each tempeh piece and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the tempeh is crispy.
You can also sauté tempeh bacon in a pan, but I prefer to bake it because it gets crispier.
How to Use Tempeh Bacon
You can use this tempeh bacon in almost any recipe that calls for traditional bacon! It’s delicious on this vegan breakfast sandwich, would pair perfectly with these healthy sweet potato skins and works great on this vegan Cobb salad. Have fun experimenting!
How to Store Tempeh Bacon
Store any leftover tempeh bacon in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to one week in the fridge. To reheat, you can throw it in the toaster oven or traditional oven for about five minutes. If you’re in a rush, microwaving or reheating on the stovetop works as well. I personally like eating it cold, straight from the fridge.
More Tempeh Recipes to Try:
- Marinated Tempeh
- Tempeh Tacos
- Curried Tempeh Salad
- Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala
- Maple Mustard Tempeh Meal Prep Bowls
- BBQ Baked Tempeh Chips
- Curried Cauliflower and Tempeh Bowl
- Cut tempeh into 1/4” – thick strips/slices.
- Add tamari, oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder and pepper to a shallow dish. Whisk together with a fork and add tempeh slices. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tempeh slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. You can pour the leftover marinade over tempeh or discard.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Toss tempeh and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until tempeh is crispy. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.