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Quick & Easy Vegan Bacon (tofu) • It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

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!

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!

I have several vegan bacon recipes on the blog including my famous Banana Peel Bacon, Wheat Starch Bacon, Mushroom Bacon, and Tofu Bacon Bits. I also have a recipes for Rice Paper Bacon and Coconut Bacon in my first cookbook Fuss-Free Vegan! So yeah, I guess I have a thing for making vegan bacon recipes.

While I love all of those recipes, I was craving a vegan bacon recipe that was even quicker and easier to prepare than any before! So I came up with this recipe for tofu bacon which I love because I can do the prep days in advance and then just cook it up when I’m ready to enjoy it. Leftover cold vegan bacon is really good too, making it great for meal prepping, BUT I warn you, if you leave this vegan bacon sitting out on the counter, it WILL get devoured and you will have to make it over again (good thing it’s easy to make)!

I love enjoying tofu bacon as a side with a hearty vegan breakfast, but you can also use this recipe pretty much anywhere you want smoky saovry tastiness!

Other ways to serve vegan bacon:

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!

Common questions:

How To Make Vegan Bacon?
Slice extra-firm tofu into thin, bacon-sized strips. Marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes or for up to 3 days in the fridge. Pan-fry, air-fry, or bake it. Easy!

How long will this vegan bacon last?
Marinate the bacon for up to 3 days in the fridge. 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.

Can I freeze this vegan bacon?
Yes! Once the cooked bacon has cooled, put in a freezer-safe container and pop it in the freezer. (I do not recommend freezing the tofu when it is in the marinade, only the fully cooked tofu freezes well for this recipe).

Slice the tofu in to thin, bacon-sized strips.

How to make Quick & Easy Vegan Bacon:

Prep the tofu: drain and cut the tofu into bacon-sized strips. I like to make long skinny strips like in the picture above, 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.

Mix together the salty, sweet, smoky marinade

Marinate the tofu: In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, maple syrup, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and liquid smoke.

Marinate the tofu for a minimum of 15 minutes or up to 3 days in the fridge.

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.

Pan-fry the bacon in oil

Cook the vegan 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. Or you can bake the vegan bacon, or use an air fryer (which is my preferred method)

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.

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!

This recipe is…

  • crispy
  • chewy
  • smoky
  • savory
  • easy to make

What to serve with quick & easy vegan bacon:

Tofu Scramble Spice Mix (use to make tofu scramble)
Hashbrown potatoes
Vegan Egg Yolk
Vegan Cream Cheese (on a bagel or toast)
Easy Vegan Sheet Pan Pancakes
Super Easy Vegan Croissants
Easy Vegan Carrot Muffins

If you try this recipe let us know by leaving a comment, rating it, and don’t forget to tag @itdoesnttastelikechicken on Instagram.

Bon appetegan!
Sam Turnbull.

Print Recipe

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!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time6 mins

Marinating time:15 mins

Total Time26 mins

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Servings: 20 – 28 strips of vegan bacon (about 1 lb)

Calories: 23kcal

Prevent your screen from going dark

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 recipes)

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

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