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The 5 Best Substitutes for Bacon

At the mere thought of bacon, many people’s mouths start watering.

But how do you cook and use it? While some might be tempted to simply fry this meat product up along with eggs or potatoes, bacon is actually quite versatile and can be cooked in many different ways.

This can make substituting it difficult if someone avoids pork or prefers a vegan lifestyle.

Fortunately, there are five tasty substitutes for bacon that can bring the same sort of taste, texture, and flavor that we all love about bacon.

What’s Bacon?

Bacon is one of the most beloved and widely used ingredients in many countries around the world.

It’s not only a delicious addition to meals but also a great option for snacks, appetizers, and side dishes.

Bacon is made from pork belly, which is cured and smoked, then sliced into thin strips.

The flavor of bacon has a delightful smoky-salty taste that can’t be replicated with any other type of meat.

Bacon’s texture is always unique to its form; it can range from crunchy and crispy when fried or baked in the oven to soft and chewy when boiled or microwaved.

Bacon can liven up nearly any dish you’re cooking – sprinkle it on salads, pasta, or vegetables for an extra dose of flavor or use it as an ingredient for making sandwiches, burgers, or hearty breakfast meals such as omelets or quiches.

All in all, bacon adds an interesting character to your food.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bacon

If you’re looking for a healthier and cruelty-free alternative to bacon, there are plenty of tasty options available.

Here are the five best substitutes for bacon:

1 – Prosciutto

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that has been enjoyed around the world for centuries.

Unlike regular ham, it is much saltier and thinner due to its curing process in sea salt.

Prosciutto also has a more robust flavor, adding an elevated level of complexity to dishes when used as an ingredient.

It has a soft texture that melts in your mouth with a combination of nutty, salty, and sweet flavors.

For those looking to substitute bacon with something slightly lighter, prosciutto is a great alternative with its strong flavor without being too overwhelming– especially when thrown on top of salads or wrapped around proteins.

2 – Beef Bacon

Beef bacon is a tasty and unique alternative to the more standard pork-based bacon.

While it has a similar flavor profile, beef bacon stands out with its own unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from the rest.

Made with select cuts of beef, beef bacon’s texture can range from crispy to tender, depending on how you choose to prepare it.

Its rich and flavorful taste is sure to make your mouth water; some even argue that its complex flavor outperforms traditional pork-based bacon.

If you are looking for an easy way to change up your outdated breakfast routine, consider substituting regular bacon for beef bacon.

It’ll be sure to add some extra flavor and excitement to your usual breakfast plate.

3 – Pancetta

Pancetta is a cured Italian pork belly that can be used to add flavor and joy to any meal.

It is typically flavored with spices, like pepper, nutmeg, and juniper berries, giving it a unique and flavorful taste.

Pancetta is saltier than bacon and has a bit of an intensity that regular bacon doesn’t have.

It has the same tender consistency but crumbles slightly instead of having those crispy edges like bacon.

If you are looking for a substitute for bacon in your sandwiches or pasta dishes, try using this flavorful Italian delight – you won’t regret it.

4 – Capicola

Capicola, also known as coppa, is a type of Italian dry-cured ham that can be served cooked or raw.

It is traditional Italian cold-cut meat made from cured pork neck or shoulder and then seasoned with garlic, pepper, and other spices.

The curing process gives it a unique flavor that enhances its robust taste and meaty texture.

Capicola pairs well with cheeses such as fontina and Parmigiano Reggiano for an unbeatable flavor combination.

Those looking for an alternative to bacon in recipes can substitute capicola to give dishes an electric flavor that can add a kick to any meal.

5 – Tempeh (Vegan)

Tempeh is a vegan food staple that is made from fermented soybeans.

It has been enjoyed for centuries in Indonesian and Southeast Asian cooking, but it has become increasingly popular in Western countries as well.

Tempeh has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that makes it an appealing substitute for meat dishes, especially bacon.

To make tempeh “bacon,” simply marinate thickly sliced pieces of tempeh with a mixture of tamari or soy sauce, liquid smoke, and maple syrup.

Fry or bake the slices until heated through for desired crispiness before enjoying it in salads, sandwiches, tacos, or topping off your favorite breakfast scramble.


In conclusion, bacon may be the classic choice when it comes to breakfast, but there are plenty of alternatives that can add an extra kick of flavor and texture to your usual dishes.

You can try one of the more traditional options like prosciutto, beef bacon, or pancetta for a salty and savory taste.

Or, if you are looking for something vegan-friendly, tempeh is a great way to enjoy the flavor of bacon without compromising your dietary needs.

No matter which option you choose, these five substitutes for bacon will be sure to add some extra flavor and excitement to your meal.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bacon

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bacon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Prosciutto
  • Beef Bacon
  • Pancetta
  • Capicola
  • Tempeh (Vegan)


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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