This tofu bacon bits recipe is the ultimate way to enjoy some delicious vegan bacon. Simply crumble some tofu, flavor with a few ingredients and bake to crispy perfection!
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How to Make Vegan Bacon Bits
There’s a few different ways to make vegan bacon bits but one of the easiest and cheapest is to use crumbled tofu! Tofu is easier to find and since it has no flavor, can easily take on the salty and smoky bacon flavor you want.
Tofu is also a great choice because of its nutrition content. It’s is a good source of plant-based protein, healthy fats including omega-3s and some other essential nutrients for vegans like iron, zinc and calcium!
The other common ingredient used to make vegan bacon bits is TVP (textured vegetable protein). This is certainly an option but not everyone can access this ingredient which is why I decided on tofu for this recipe.
Crumbling Tofu for Vegan Bacon
When it comes to crumbling tofu for vegan bacon bits, there’s a couple of important considerations:
- Select extra firm tofu. Softer tofu options won’t crumble as well (they tend to just “mush”) so you won’t get the desired texture.
- Crumble as small as possible. To get the best texture for your vegan bacon bits, be sure to crumble the tofu into very small pieces. The size of tofu pieces used in a recipe like tofu scramble are too large for bacon bits.
Crispy Tofu Bacon Bits: Cooking Tips
If you follow the two considerations above, you’re well on your way to creating extra crispy tofu bacon bits!
It’s also important to remember:
- Don’t turn the oven temperature up. While a higher heat may seem to cook the bacon bits faster, it simply crisps the outside while the inside of the bacon bits remains soft. To get a truly crunchy bacon bit, the lower temperature and longer cooking time is essential.
- Spread the tofu bacon bits out as much as possible on the baking tray. This allows for faster and more even cooking.
Make Tofu Bacon Strips
This recipe can be used to create tofu bacon strips. To create bacon strips instead of bacon bits, simply:
- Slice the tofu thinly (or into the thickness of the strips you want).
- Marinate the tofu strips in the remaining ingredients. With bacon bits you can skip the marinating step because there’s so much surface area for the flavor to stick to. However, with strips, the flavoring ingredients need time to reach the centre of the larger pieces of tofu for the best flavor.
- Cooking time will vary when making tofu bacon strips. How long to cook the bacon strips for depends on the texture you want. If you like a softer inside, 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, should be fine. If you want the bacon strips to be crispy, 5-10 extra minutes would be helpful. I wouldn’t go too much more than this otherwise the tofu becomes too crispy and chewy (not in a good way).
Keep the Recipe Gluten Free
You can use tamari or soy sauce for this recipe. If you need to keep it gluten free, a gluten free tamari works great.
If gluten free isn’t a concern, use whatever option you have on hand!
What to Do with Tofu Bacon Bits
There are countless ways to serve your delicious, crispy tofu bacon bits.
Caesar salad is what comes to mind for me but some other options include:
- Topping some vegan mac and cheese
- In a wrap for a salty, smoky crunch
- As a pizza topping
- With tofu scramble
- In a vegan breakfast burrito
- Stirred into a creamy vegan dip for extra flavor and texture
As you can see, there’s plenty of ways to use tofu bacon bits!
These bacon bits last for up to a week in an air-tight jar/ container in the fridge. Just be sure to cool them down completely before placing into a container otherwise the heat creates condensation which ruins the crunch we’ve worked so hard for!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you make it, be sure to share your creation with me on social media by tagging @lettucevegout!
Tofu Bacon Bits (Vegan Bacon Crumbles)
- Baking tray
- Silicone baking mats
- Well-sealed container
- Stir together the tamari, maple syrup, smoked salt or liquid smoke seasoning, nutritional yeast and smoked paprika.
- Finely crumble the tofu and coat with the marinade mixture. Let sit for 20 minutes or overnight if possible.
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- Spread the marinated tofu out in a thin layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, toss it around, then bake for another 10 minutes. The bacon bits may need more time to crisp up, depending on the moisture in your tofu (so put the bacon bits back into the oven for 5 minute intervals as needed).
- Let the bacon bits cool completely then serve.
- Store in an air tight container, in the fridge, for up to a week – I doubt they’ll last that long!
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This is an updated post: Original post date August 2017.