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
4.85 stars (13 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 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Marinating time: 1 hr
Total: 2 hrs
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. I didn’t have liquid smoke so made these with 1/2 teaspoon paprika and they came out great! The texture is great for packing a BLT sandwich for lunch

  2. This tofu bacon is absolutely delicious! I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a flavor bomb delivered to their palate. My whole family loved this! Another Nora hit! Thank you

    1. Hi Liz. You are welcome! I love your ‘flavor bomb’ description! Glad you love the bacon! Thank you for sharing your fun and great feedback!

  3. Hi Nora, I love your recipes! It says 6 TABLESPOONS for the liquid smoke…. Usually a drop suffices in all my other dishes lol can I confirm if this is a typo? Thanks!

    1. Hi Richard! I’m so glad you love my recipes, thank you! It looks like you hit the 3x button, making it 6 tablespoons of liquid smoke, which is correct IF you were to triple the recipe. It’s 2 tablespoons if you make it with 1 block of tofu. More than a drop though!

  4. Wow! Delicious! Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes. I always go to your site before anyone else’s, because I know if it comes from you, it’s going to taste great! This will be a staple in my home, just like your tuna recipe I make weekly. I always double the tuna recipe because it goes fast around here!
    Your recipes are always easy to follow and make. You are a vegan genius!
    Happy holidays to you and your family!

    1. Hi Laura. Your words of kindness and love for my recipes really mean a lot to me! I appreciate you using my recipes! Thank you for taking time to share your fantastic review and comments! I love that my recipes are part of your meal rotation! Happy holidays to you and your family as well! Happy holiday cooking!

  5. Delicious! Definitely going to be a staple. I did two batches. The first unfortunately cooked too long got burnt some, but we still ate it and was a yummy jerky snack. The second batch was perfect and made sandwiches and snacked on throughout the week.  So much better than any vegan lunch meat we’ve had!  Thank you and have a wonderful holiday! 

    1. How wonderful that you found the tofu bacon delicious! Thank you for taking time to share your terrific review and comments! Happy holiday cooking!

  6. Hi Nora
    Can you suggest an alternative to liquid smoke? It is not readily obtainable where I live.
    I understand that liquid smoke may contain carcinogens and hence may present a severe health risk. An alternative which is free of such substances would be preferable if one is available.

  7. Hi Nora, I have not made the recipe yet but am looking forward to it being part of  my first vegan meal. Just a quick question If may, is there an alternative to the maple syrup, I am trying to do vegan keto and it’s not allowed.
    Thanks in advance Nora :))

  8. Just made some vegan BLT’s using this recipe and they were beyond great – even my non-vegan hubby was impressed. So yummy!

    1. Thanks for sharing your great review, Kelly! I’m glad you guys loved the BLT’s with the tofu bacon!

  9. Absolutely divine. I followed the recipe and did them in the air fryer. I would not leave out any ingredients.

  10. I’m the only vegan in the house, but I’ve almost got 2 converts (my husband and bestie) based on this. They say it’s not like bacon, but hits all the right spots. In fact, we never end up having enough for whatever recipe I *plan* to use it in, because everyone just eats it straight off the pan! Last time I made a double batch and STILL had the same problem. Also, have you tried freezing the tofu strips beforehand then pressing them between towels? It’s a bit of a hassle, but you can get EXTRA crispy strips that way and they soak up more marinade (which I now just make a whole quart of to drizzle on anything that would typically have pork, like collards and posole).

    1. I’m so glad everyone likes the tofu bacon! I haven’t tried freezing it for this recipe yet, but I bet it’s great!

  11. Freeze that tofu first!  Its a game changer!  Just gently squeeze out the water by hand (like a sponge ). It soaks up the marinade and reduces cooking time:)  credit to crow moon kitchen:)

  12. Looks so good, Nora! I love your recipes so much! Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Wishing you many blessings for the year ahead.

    1. Hi Anastasia. Thank you very much for using my recipes! I hope you enjoy this one! Thank you for taking the time share. Best wishes to you!

  13. What could I substitute for liquid smoke? Would smoked paprika work? (and if so much how much would you suggest using?)

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