Have you ever considered swapping out the bacon on your BLT for a delicious vegan alternative?
If so, you might be wondering what the best vegan substitutes for bacon are and how to cook and use them.
Vegan bacon comes in many shapes and forms, from brands making crispy strips from coconuts to those that replicate the chewy texture of traditional pork cutlets.
But there’s more to cooking with vegan bacon than just knowing which type to buy — there are also techniques such as marinating or stir-frying needed to achieve a delightful smoky flavor.
With all these delicious options available, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is best for you.
Let’s discover the five best vegan substitutes for bacon and dive into how to get creative in using them.
Is Vegan Bacon Healthier?
Recent years have seen the emergence of vegan bacon, pushing the discussion around its health benefits to the forefront.
While it’s better for the environment and a more ethical choice than traditional bacon, does it stack up nutritionally? The answer is maybe.
Vegan bacon is typically made from plant-based ingredients like tempeh or seitan.
It also commonly contains soy protein and preservatives.
The primary differences between vegan and regular bacon come down to taste, texture, and fat content; vegan bacon is lower in calories and fat with no cholesterol.
What most people find interesting about vegan bacon is that it can be cooked in much the same way as regular bacon: fry it up in a skillet or bake it on some parchment paper.
It adds flavor to salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and Tacos alike.
All in all, whether vegan bacon is healthier than traditional bacon will depend on its ingredients list– check the package before you buy.
The 5 BEST Vegan Substitutes for Bacon
If you’ve been missing the smoky, savory flavor of bacon but are trying to go vegan, you don’t have to feel like you can’t enjoy your favorite dishes anymore.
Here are 5 of the best plant-based alternatives that will give you a similar flavor and texture as bacon:
1 – Store Bought Vegan Bacon Products
If you think vegans are missing out on bacon, think again.
Store-bought vegan bacon products provide a realistic yet animal-friendly alternative to traditional bacon.
Many leading brands like Beyond Meat and Lightlife offer vegan products that replicate the smoky flavor and wonder of real bacon.
It’s often said that these vegan options taste strikingly similar to their counterparts, with many users noting surprise at the meaty texture when cooked properly.
When it comes to cooking and usage, many vegan kinds of bacon undergo minimal treatment prior to being sold in stores so they can be cooked in a variety of ways, like baking in an oven or pan-frying with oil.
Furthermore, other uses include adding as a garnish on top of salads as well as including into sandwiches, wraps, and hamburgers.
These store-bought vegan bacon products have certainly made adopting a plant-based lifestyle much more delicious.
2 – Tempeh
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybean.
It’s rich in proteins and contains many important micronutrients like manganese, zinc, and magnesium.
What makes it unique is its appealing taste and spongy texture that can make even the pickiest of diners salivate.
Tempeh has a slightly nutty flavor that can be easily enhanced with marinades or seasoning.
It can be used to replace minced meat in vegan burgers or crumbled into stir-fries and salads.
The best way to cook tempeh is to steam, boil or bake it first before adding it to any dish.
With proper handling, exciting flavors, and essential nutrients, tempeh could be the secret ingredient your meals have been missing.
3 – Carrot Bacon
Carrot bacon is an intriguing new vegan food item that has recently gained popularity.
It is made by slicing carrots into thin strips and marinating them in a mixture of tamari, oil, liquid smoke, and spices.
After the strips are marinated, they can be cooked up like regular bacon by frying them in a pan or baking them in the oven.
The taste and texture of carrot bacon can be surprisingly similar to traditional bacon, with a smoky, almost meat-like flavor.
Carrot bacon is perfect for adding crunchy texture and flavor to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes as an appealing plant-based substitute for typical crisp bacon.
4 – Tofu
Tofu might appear to be a health enthusiast’s bore, but its versatility and flavor will leave you questioning why you have never tried it before.
Used around the world as an incredibly healthy alternative to meat, tofu offers unique flavors and textures depending on how it is cooked.
Suitable for stir-fries, stews, soup, sandwiches, and more, tofu can be deep-fried, baked, or boiled.
Scrambled with spices as garlic and turmeric make, it a perfect egg replacement, while cubes of firm tofu are ideal for salads.
Delightfully creamy when blended, you can use it as an awesome sauce or cheese alternative.
5 – Potato Skins
Potato skins are a surprisingly delectable and versatile ingredient, perfect for those nights when you’re in a cooking rut.
With their delicate crispy exterior, creamy inside, and subtle flavor, potato skins are the perfect addition to elevate any dish.
Whether it’s mashed potatoes, a casserole, or a simple salad, the inventive possibilities are endless.
Oven-roasted potatoes paired with an array of spices make a guaranteed hit appetizer for any gathering.
Moreover, these potato peels can also be used as vegetarian bacon that is not only nutrient-rich but tasty too.
A great vegan and gluten-free option. Who thought peels could be so fancy?
In conclusion, vegan bacon substitutes provide a delicious and nutritious alternative to regular bacon.
Whether it’s tempeh, carrot bacon, tofu, or potato skins, these vegan ingredients can be used in many dishes to add flavor, texture, and nutrition.
With a bit of creativity and experimentation, you can easily create delicious meals filled with plant-based goodness.
So go ahead and start exploring the world of vegan bacon substitutes today.