A super easy and salty topping to any salad, soup or to eat just as a snack! Want it crispy or not? You can choose with this homemade take on a classic favorite.
Did you know that store-bought bacon-bit brands like Mccormick or Badia are, what we like to call, accidentally vegan? It's true! They're actually made from a soy product called TVP, or Textured Vegetable Protein, which is made from defatted soy flour.
Another fun fact about these amazing veggie bits is that they are cholesterol-free, packed with protein and fiber while also being low in fat!
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!
- In a bowl, add the TVP and water.
- Then add in smoked paprika and maple syrup.
- Mix everything well until every bit is covered.
- Spread your TVP pieces out onto a baking sheet. If you've decided not to bake, allow all of the liquid to be absorbed into the bits by letting them rest for 5-10 minutes and place them into a container and refrigerator.
- You can also put them in an Air Fryer! This will 100% depend on your air fryer. I recommend covering the entire bottom of air fryer with foil or parchment paper. Be extra careful the paper/foil does not blow up and touch the heating elements.
- Bake in 5 minute intervals three times, being sure to mix in between, and then allow to rest. They will seem soft/chewy at first after baking, but leaving them sit to cool crisps them up
Keep in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 months. If not baking can keep in the fridge for up to a month.
I have not frozen these 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.
There are several ways to enjoy these delicious crumbles!
- Vegan Egg Salad with Black Salt
- Baked Potato
- Top off casseroles
- Garnish your favorite soup
- Eat as a snack
What makes these TVP bacon bits the best?
- Easily made Gluten-free
- Done in minutes
- No Cholesterol
- 4 simple Ingredients
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!
Fake Bacon Bits Made with TVP
- Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C. If baking.
- In a bowl, place the TVP and all ingredients.1 cup TVP,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.
- 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!