Tofu Bacon Recipe

If you've never heard the words "bacon" and "tofu" used together, then you are missing out. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn outdid herself with this tofu bacon recipe, which helps vegetarians enjoy the same great taste of bacon that we all know and love. "My favorite thing about tofu bacon is how easily it replaces something unhealthy with something good for you. I have made this hundreds of times in my wellness and cooking classes, and people are amazed at how good it tastes and how similar it tastes to bacon," Hahn raves. "If it is chopped in a salad or made into a TLT (tofu, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich, you think you are eating bacon!"

And the taste is so good. "It tastes a lot like bacon. I find that if people aren't told they are eating tofu, they think it is bacon," Hahn shares. "Visually, it looks a little different. It is not greasy, and you won't see any fatty areas, so if you see it, you know it is not bacon, but if it is hidden in food, you won't know. You can also cut it in a longer shape to make it look more like bacon."

Gather the ingredients for tofu bacon

The first step in this recipe, or any other for that matter, is to gather all of the necessary ingredients. Start with a package of extra-firm tofu. Next, swing by the international foods aisle of your grocery store and grab some soy sauce and sesame oil. You will also need a few other items, including tomato paste, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar.

When you hit up the spice aisle, be sure to grab garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and smoked paprika. As a reminder, it's always a good idea to check your pantry for items you may have at home already.

Press the water out of the tofu

Okay, now that you've gotten the shopping out of the way, you can get cooking! Grab your tofu and remove it from its packaging. Place the tofu in a shallow bowl and put something heavy on top of it, like a plate. Let the plate or heavy object sit on the tofu for about 20 minutes to press out the excess water.

Once your timer goes off, drain the water and wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel or a paper towel. This step should remove any remaining water. If you'd prefer, you could always use a tofu press instead.

Make the tofu bacon marinade

While the tofu presses, you can mix the marinade together. This sauce gives the tofu a nice bacon flavor. Simply grab a small bowl and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, tomato paste, liquid smoke, maple syrup, vinegar, and your spices. So, that's pretty much all of your other ingredients aside from the tofu. Stir them together with a spoon or a whisk to mix.

"The marinade flavor is smoky and has the same flavor as bacon," Hahn explains. "The liquid smoke is a big part of this, and also the smoked paprika."

Slice and marinate the tofu

Grab your tofu and slice it into ¼-inch thick slices. If you want it extra crispy, cut it into ⅛-inch pieces, instead. Then, pour some of the marinade into a glass and lay the tofu on top. Use a silicone pastry brush to coat each piece with sauce and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F and use the convection setting if you have it. "You can do it in the air fryer at 400 F for 15 minutes, flipping halfway. You can [also] do [it in] a nonstick [skillet] for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway," Hahn shares. "Both of [these] methods you would have to work in batches if you are doing a whole block of tofu because of the amount. The stovetop method won't get as crispy. If you are using the convection setting on your oven, you really do get the same effect as an air fryer."

Line a baking sheet and bake

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a baking rack on top. Lay the tofu pieces in a single later on the rack and bake for 10-12 minutes per side. The thinner the pieces are, the faster they will bake. 

"There might be a little trial and error with this because all ovens are a little different. You just have to keep checking," Hahn shares. "If you aren't using the convection setting, you may have to cook 15 minutes on each side. Also, it is important to press out the tofu — you can't skip this step — and always use extra firm [tofu]. It won't work well with soft or medium tofu."

Serve and enjoy

Once you take the tofu out of the oven, you can serve it as you wish. There are plenty of things to add this tofu bacon to. "You can use this bacon for several things. The tofu, lettuce, tomato [sandwich] with vegan mayonnaise is my favorite way," Hahn shares. "Also, [it's] great in a buddha bowl, a Cobb salad, chopped and used as a topping for a stuffed baked potato, or alone as a side with eggs or a tofu scramble."

And if you happen to have leftovers, you don't have to ditch them. "Leftovers are good for over a week. When using this for sandwiches, this makes about 4-5, so it is nice to meal prep this and have [it] for the week," Hahn notes.

We hope you love this unique dish as much as we do!

Tofu Bacon Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
Who says bacon can't be vegan? This recipe for tofu bacon tastes almost like the real deal, and is perfect as part of a tofu lettuce tomato (TLT) sandwich.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tofu bacon on plate
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  1. Press the water out of the tofu by placing it in a shallow bowl before topping it with a plate and putting something heavy on it for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel or paper towel to remove any excess water. Alternatively, you can use a tofu press.
  2. While the tofu is pressing, mix the marinade together. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, tomato paste, liquid smoke, maple syrup, vinegar, and spices.
  3. After the tofu has pressed, slice it in ¼-inch thick slices (if you want it extra crispy, cut it into ⅛-inch slices). Pour some of the marinade in a glass Tupperware and start layering the tofu on top, brushing each slice with a silicone pastry brush as you go, until all the pieces are coated. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 F (use the convection setting if you have it).
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put a baking rack over the top if you have one. Lay the tofu pieces in a single layer on the rack.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes on each side. (the thinner the pieces are, the faster they will cook, so if you have ⅛-inch slices, 10 minutes should be plenty.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve.
Calories per Serving 45
Total Fat 2.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 204.9 mg
Protein 3.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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