Tofu Bacon is a delicious, high protein alternative to meat! The tofu is thinly sliced, marinated and baked until crispy. It’s smoky, crispy, chewy and full of flavor!

tofu bacon stacked in a row on parchment paper

I have been making Tempeh Bacon for years, but tofu bacon is something I just recently started making, and wow! I’m in love. I know meat-eaters love to hate on tofu based vegan meats, but don’t knock it till you try it! It may not taste exactly like traditional bacon, but my family can’t stop eating it. It’s got that savory, salty, smoky flavor along with being crispy and chewy in places. And the best part about it? No pigs were harmed in the making of this “bacon”.

How to make Tofu Bacon:

I suggest using super firm vacuum packed tofu, if possible, because it will be easier to slice thin and it will be less likely to fall apart. You also don’t need to press it. However, if you must you can use extra-firm tofu, and press it.

Slice your tofu very thin, about 1/8th of an inch. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place the tofu slices in a shallow dish or bowl, and then pour the marinade over the top. Move the pieces around gently to coat them the best you can. Let the tofu marinate for about an hour, in the refrigerator. You could also marinate them in the morning before work to prepare for dinner that evening.

tofu marinating in a white bowl

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a large baking sheet with oil. Place the tofu strips on the baking sheet, saving the marinade for later. Spray with oil and bake for 20 minutes, then carefully flip each piece. I use a fork to gently flip the pieces, but you could use a thin small spatula as well.

Brush on a little more of the marinade, spray with a little more oil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Be very careful at this point not to burn the tofu bacon. You want it to be crispy, even a little blackened in some places, but not overly burnt to a crisp. Check every couple of minutes to make sure this doesn’t happen.

marinated tofu on a baking sheet getting ready to be baked.

What goes good with tofu bacon?

tofu bacon on the pan after being baked

Want more vegan tofu recipes?

tofu bacon in a row

Inspired by Mississippi Vegan.

square image of tofu bacon
4.84 stars (24 ratings)

Tofu Bacon

Tofu Bacon is a delicious, high protein alternative to meat! The tofu is thinly sliced, marinated and baked until crispy. It's smoky, crispy, chewy and full of flavor!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Marinating time: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 16 ounce block super firm tofu*
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • spray oil

Instructions 

  • Remove tofu from the package and pat dry with a paper towel. If you don't have the super firm variety, you will need to press your tofu now.
  • Slice the tofu very thin, about 1/8th inch thick. Place the tofu slices in a shallow bowl or container that you can marinate in.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the low sodium soy sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup and liquid smoke together until smooth. Pour over the tofu slices and let them marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator (overnight is fine is you prefer).
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spray a large baking sheet with oil. You could also line with parchment paper, but the oil works better.
  • Transfer the tofu strips to the baking sheet, saving the marinade for later. Spray the tops of the tofu slices with oil and bake for 20 minutes. Flip gently (I used a fork), brush a little more marinade on, spray with oil again and bake for 15-20 more minutes.
  • Be very careful not to burn them at this point. How long they will take depends on how thin you sliced them. Watch carefully; you want them to be crispy in places but not blackened to a crisp all over. If you prefer a chewy tofu bacon, take them out sooner. For crispier bacon, you may want to bake them a few extra minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately as a side dish, or between bread slices with vegan mayo, lettuce and tomato for Vegan BLT's. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. To make in an Air Fryer: Place the marinated tofu slices in your air fryer (you will have to do this in batches) and cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Check it halfway and then often after that point to make sure it doesn't burn.
  2. To reheat tofu bacon: It's best reheated in the oven (or air fryer) so it can crisp up again, but a microwave works too. I also eat it cold!
  3. To make without oil: You can certainly do this, but it won't get as crispy or delicious. I only use spray oil here, and you don't have to use a ton to get results. To make without oil, make sure to use parchment paper, super firm tofu or well-pressed tofu and flip very gently.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 683mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Love this recipe! It’s my go to tofu bake- I’ve done it at least 3 times now. I like my slices thicker for ease of handling. They aren’t crispy, but they last longer in the fridge & are great cold! Cold they remind me of deli meats. I use less maple syrup or skip it altogether, substitute sriracha &/or ketchup for the tomato paste (I never have it handy), and add a few spices like garlic powder, chili powder or cayenne. Using a nonstick sheet is absolutely the best way to go.

    1. Hi Barbara. Love your ideas! I’m glad you are loving the recipe! Thanks for taking time to share your awesome review and comments!

  2. I’m a big follower of your recipes, Nora, but I made this tofu bacon and we found it to be too salty and heavy on the liquid smoke. I’m wondering if the measurements are correct. If I were to make it again, I definitely would reduce the amount of smoke and soy sauce.

    1. Hi Karen, yes the measurements are correct. The marinade is very flavorful and soaks into the tofu, but you don’t cook the tofu in all that marinade. Does that make sense? You don’t have to brush on more marinade while it bakes either, if you want it less flavorful. And you can always lower the soy sauce (note I use low sodium soy sauce) and liquid smoke if you prefer, of course.

  3. I’m making this right now. It marinated overnight. The smell from the oven is amazing and I can’t wait to taste it! I’m just wondering what amount is considered a serving.

    Thanks

  4. I’ve made this several times and I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. It’s very good and easy. Have you ever tried marinating soy curls with this marinade? I may have to try it sometime.

  5. This was a very easy to follow recipe and preparation was a breeze. I have not had the best of luck with tofu until this recipe. I will make this again and again! It was fantastic!

  6. Not sure if I’ve rated this before but I’ve been using this recipe for years. It’s so good and I prefer it to any of the store bought bacon I’ve tried. Thank you so much! When I’m in a hurry I’ll marinate it for 10/20 minutes, dust with cornstarch, and then pan fry in oil for 8/10 minutes on medium. It’s best following all of your instructions but sometimes you just need a BLT ASAP 😉 Thank you for another amazing recipe, Nora!

  7. I haven’t made it yet, but love all your recipes so 5 stars!
    But Nora, is it really 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke? That seems like SO much! What brand do you use? I’m going to try the recipe, but I please need your confirmation:)

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! It really is 2 tablespoons, which is more than I typically use, but the tofu just marinated in the sauce, you don’t end up using it all and you want to get as much flavor into the tofu as possible. That said, if you used less it won’t ruin the recipe, but it won’t be as smoky flavored. Hope you love it!

  8. I was a little skeptical of this recipe, but it was incredible. My kids devoured it! I had plans for making BLTs with it, but it didn’t last long enough for that.

    1. That’s great! I’m so glad you and your kids loved it. Thanks so much for your wonderful review!

  9. After discovering the amazing mayo recipe on this site, I was determined to make a vegan BLT. That being said, I made made the carrot bacon which was terrible, then an hour later, I made this one. I used tofu in the plastic with no water so I didn’t have to press it.

    OMG, I’m in love with this recipe. It has the EXACT flavor and texture of real bacon. This stuff is amazing! I think I liked the pieces I cut thicker better than the thinner ones.

    Thank you for an an recipe!!

  10. This was flavorful but way to salty for me even with the low sodium Tamari. I would do it again but using only 1/2 the tamari.

  11. Nora cooks is my favorite site for vegan recipes. Everything turns out great. I’m not a big fan of liquid smoke. Could I use less in this recipe or is there a substitute that would work?

    1. Thank you so much, I’m happy to hear that! You can leave it out and add a little bit of smoked paprika instead for a smoky flavor.

  12. Nora literally always nails it!!! This tofu bacon was spot on and so delicious. I had mine with lettuce, avocado and tomato on a wrap. 

    Almost always, I have a habit of messing with a recipe before I even try it because I think I can do it better but….with Nora Cooks I just do exactly what she says and ?? turns out perfect every time. 

    1. Hi Teresa. Welcome to Nora Cooks! I’m thrilled you discovered my site, and hope you enjoy your journey through my recipes! Please reach out with any questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you as you try out the recipes! Happy cooking!

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