Looking for a super simple and savory addition to your salads, soups, or even to enjoy as a snack? Look no further! This homemade twist on a beloved classic lets you decide if you prefer it crispy or not.
These imitation bacon bits can be made in 5 minutes or less than 15 minutes! Why two different times? Because you can choose whether you want crunchy or soft bacon bits! That's right, say you want a softer texture to add to your favorite potato soup, or maybe you want to add some more crunch to your next BBQ side of macaroni salad.
For Gluten-free, you can use tamari, or coconut aminos.
You can absolutely use liquid smoke or smoked salt to add a more smokey flavor. Of course if you're not a fan of those you can also use BBQ sauce, molasses, or marmite to add a smokey flavor.
Other acceptable sweeteners would be agave syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar, or date syrup. I am unsure about artificial sweeteners like Stevia, though. I feel it may change the flavor, but if you want to try it out, I won't stop you.
Do let me know if you did, though!
Please see recipe card for exact quantities
Step One - In a small bowl, add the TVP and warm water. Mix well and let the TVP soak up the water.
Step Two - Add in everything else.
Step Three - Mix everything well together. You should not have anymore water left, but the mixture should be moist.
Spread your bacon bit pieces out onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You should not have to spray the sheet with anything. Bake in 5 minute intervals at 350 degrees F or 180 C.
Your vegan bits might be a little soft when you first pull them from the oven, even if they look the right color. Just let them cool down, they will continue to get crispier in the cool air.
If you try to keep baking them until they get crispy, you may end up with burned bits!
Keep in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 months.
I have not frozen these delicious veggie bits, however, I do not see why they would not freeze and thaw well. Do let me know if it does not work, I want to keep my information accurate.
If not baking, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
There are several ways to enjoy these delicious crumbles!
- top some Vegan Egg Salad with Black Salt
- Baked Potato
- Top off casseroles
- Garnish your favorite soup.
- Eat as a snack
You don't have to bake these bits to enjoy them. If you're looking for an easy, fake bacon to add to soups and aren't a fan of crunchy things in your soup, once you add everything and mix your tvp together, just cover and let marinate over night.
Open the container the next day, fluff the mixture with a fork, and use as you would a pre-packaged, pre-cooked bacon product to top your delicious soups!
Be sure to store these in the Refrigerator when not in use.
Looking for more vegan tvp recipes?
That depends! Vegan bacon can be made from many different things, like: TVP, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, tofu, or tempeh. But this is not an exhaustive list of course. There are surely tons of other amazing ways to make these delicious veggie bits!
Typically, no. Most brands of bacon bits are made from the meat of an animal. Currently, there are only two brands that I am aware of that everyone knows about which are vegan, are McCormick's original bacon bits, and Badia's bacon bits.
If you've tried this recipe and enjoyed it, I would love it if you could rate it 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a comment! It's a great, and free way to support me!
Imitation Vegan Bacon Bits
- 1 sheet pan
- 1 bowl
- 1 sheet of parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 350 °F or 180 °C
- In a bowl, place the TVP and all ingredients.1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein, 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 Tablespoon Soy sauce
- Mix well until all pieces look well coated. You should not have a lot, if any liquid left, but it is okay if you do.Q
- Spread TVP out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. It's okay if they touch, just spread them as well as you can.
- If you are keeping them soft, you can place them in an airtight container after about 5 minutes of letting them rest and place them into the refrigerator.
- If you are going for crispy, once oven is ready, place sheet pan on middle rack and close the door. Bake for 5 minutes and then stir the bits around.
- Repeat the previous step 2 more times.
- Pull your bacon bits out of the oven and allow them to cool entirely. Then place in an airtight container in your pantry.
- Do everything the same up until the baking part, but just cover the bowl well and place in the refrigerator over night. The next day, uncover and fluff with a fork. Serve over your favorite soup.
- For Gluten-Free - use Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- For soy-free - You could try hemp seeds! I haven't tried it yet but I have seen it done.
- More smoke flavor - Liquid smoke or smoked salt will get you the smokiness you're looking for!
- Other smoky flavors - If you're not a fan of liquid smoke (or smoked salt), you can also use BBQ sauce, molasses, or marmite to add a slightly smoky, but fantastic umami flavor that you're trying to achieve.
- Sugar substitute - You are welcome to skip the sugar entirely, or if you don't have maple syrup, you can use agave syrup, cane sugar, or brown sugar. I would not recommend alternative sugars like stevia because it may change the flavor. However, I am not stopping you! If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!
- Storage - If baking, store in an airtight container in your pantry or on the countertop for up to 3 months.
If not baking, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I have not frozen these bits before, I can't see why they wouldn't freeze well, especially if they've been baked. If you do try, let me know how it goes! I'd love to share it with everyone! Of course you'd get credit!
This post was first written on 2-12-22 and has been updated on 6-8-23.