Tempeh Bacon Recipe. Vegan 'Facon' for All.

I'm obsessed with vegan tempeh bacon. My first inspiration for this recipe was because I wanted to make a vegan club sandwich. This recipe is sweet, smoky and possibly a bit spicy too.
Warm up a skillet and whip some up today!..

(Updated Content) Over the past eight years since I first posted this recipe, it has absolutely been one of my most referenced and shared. I love adding a form of tempeh bacon to all sorts of recipes. It adds a big vegan protein punch to salads, sandwiches or just as a side. Sometimes I add more maple syrup, for a sweeter flavor. Or more olive oil for a richer, pan-fried, crispy texture.

Sometimes I slice the tempeh as thin as possible and other times I like a thicker strip - or even cubes or "bits."

I hope you love this go-to tempeh recipe as much as I have over the years!

Optional add-in spices...

- cumin
- cayenne
- smoky paprika
- garlic powder
- chipotle powder

...all good options if you want to diversify the flavors.

Some of my favorite tempeh bacon recipes:

* Creamy Cashew Pasta with Tempeh Bacon

* Bread and Butter Pickle Tempeh Bacon Toast

* Savory Scones - cheddar, scallion, tempeh bacon

* English Muffin

* Chili-Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

* Vegan Cobb Salad

* Picnic BLT

* Broccoli Tempeh Pita

Easy Vegan Tempeh Bacon

Kathy Patalsky

Published 06/11/2009

Easy Vegan Tempeh Bacon

This smoky-sweet tempeh bacon is packed with protein and tastes delicious. Perfect in sandwiches, on salads or as a side dish.


  • 8oz tempeh, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup - adjust to taste
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)**
  • 1-2 tsp tamari (or sub with sea salt) - adjust to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for the pan
  • optional: 2-4 Tbsp water if you like your tempeh soft rather than crispy
  • optional: pinch of cayenne for heat
  • **If you do not have liquid smoke you can add a smoky flavor using smoked paprika or chipotle powder - a pinch should do it


  1. Warm a skillet over high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil.
  2. When oil is hot, add the tempeh. Cook 2-4 minutes, enough time to lightly brown on both sides, flipping a few times throughout.
  3. Add the liquid smoke. Add the maple syrup. Jiggle the pan and toss tempeh a bit to evenly distribute the liquids. Turn heat to low. Continue cooking for another minute or two, just until the tempeh edges are caramelized, darker brown.
  4. Turn off heat when tempeh looks donw. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss the tempeh well in the pan to evenly distribute and lightly toast the black pepper. Serve warm!
  5. Water: If you want a moister tempeh, add the water in before you add the maple and liquid smoke. After adding it to the pan, cover the pan with a lid. This will allow the tempeh to soften and steam a bit. This should only take a minute or two. Uncover lid, and proceed with step three, above.

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 03 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 07 mins.

Total time: 10 mins.


  • Calories: 250
  • Protein: 20g

Tags: tempeh,tempeh bacon,vegan,side,protein,soy,easy,recipe,delicious

Once you master this recipe, marvel in your vegan culinary mastery. Then move onto vegan bacon cupcakes perhaps...

Tempeh Vegan Bacon Uses: sandwiches, sides, sliced into salads, soups and heck even desserts - maybe.

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