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How to make Tempeh Bacon

Learn how to make Tempeh Bacon with a smoky and savory marinade of maple syrup, soy sauce, and liquid smoke to top your favorite plant-based salads, sandwiches and soups. 

Bacon seems to be a universally loved flavor.

Even if you're plant-based, it's hard not to love the smoky, salty and subtly sweet flavors and smell of crisping bacon.

With this tempeh bacon recipe, you can replicate the crispy texture and umami-packed flavor with vegan ingredients.

close up of cooked tempeh bacon

What is Tempeh Bacon?

Tempeh bacon is simple cooked tempeh that has been flavored and cooked to taste like bacon. It only uses a few simple ingredients to get there too!

Here is what tempeh bacon is made of:

Tempeh: You'll need one block of tempeh (usually 8oz) which you'll thinly slice. Temeph is made from fermentd soy beans and has a kind of nutty flavor. It's also got a great texture and really soaks up flavor!

Olive oil: Since bacon has fat, it's good to add some olive oil to boost the rest of the flavors and help make the tempeh crispy.

Tamari/soy sauce: bacon is traditionally quite salty, so we're using tamari to give it a salty/umami flavor. If you aren't gluten-free, feel free to use regular soy sauce.

Liquid smoke: probably not something you'd use super often, but since bacon is usually smoked, the liquid smoke gives it a really nice smoky flavor.

Maple syrup: I think bacon always needs a little sweetness and maple is the perect complement!

Nutritional yeast: I add a little nutritional yeast because it helps round out the umami flavor and also adds a little crispiness to the bacon.

Hot sauce: optional but encouraged!

collage of smoky sauce for tempeh bacon

How to Make Tempeh Bacon

Make your tempeh bacon in the oven. It becomes wonderfully crispy and golden. Here are the simple steps to make smoky tempeh bacon:

collage of slicing and marinating tempeh for making bacon

Preheat the oven to start. Meanwhile, slice the tempeh into thin strips. Thinner strips will give you more surface area to absorb the marinade.

Next, whisk together the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the tempeh to the bowl and marinate for 15 to 20mintues.

collage of tempeh bacon being cooked before and after on baking sheet

After marinating, arrange the tempeh pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave space between each piece of tempeh for crisping. Bake the tempeh for 35 to 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Tips for Storage

You can store fully cooled tempeh bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Enjoy it cold or reheat the bacon in a skillet on the stove.

overhead of a bowl with layered vegan cobb salad and creamy dressing

How to Use Tempeh Bacon

You can enjoy your vegan bacon all on its own. Here are some of my favorite recipes featuring this crispy and savory plant-based protein:

You can also make a delicious vegan BLT!

close up on a bowl of corn chowder with fresh corn and cashew cream

More High-Protein Plant-Based Recipes

If you make this Temeph Bacon recipe, let me know what you think with a comment below!

How to Make Tempeh Bacon

4.7 from 7 votes
Tempeh Bacon is an easy to make and delicious smokey, savory and spicy topping for sandwiches, salads and soups.
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
close up of four strips of cooked tempeh bacon
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the tempeh into thin strips and set aside.
    overhead of sliced tempeh on a wood cutting board
  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl.
    collage of smoky sauce for tempeh bacon
  • Add tempeh and toss to coat. For best flavor, allow the tempeh to marinate for at least 15 - 20 minutes.
    overhead of thinly sliced tempeh marinating in sauce to make tempeh bacon
  • Once ready to cook, place the tempeh strips on baking sheet. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, flipping halfway through until golden brown and lightly crispy.
    collage of tempeh bacon being cooked before and after on baking sheet
  • Use immediately or allow to cool and store in the fridge.
    overhead of cooked tempeh bacon


Serving: 3strips | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg
cuisine: American
course: Snack

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