This tofu bacon is easy to make and is the perfect balance of smoky, salty, savory and umami rich flavors. Thin tofu slices are marinated in a delicious sweet, salty and smoky sauce, then baked until chewy and crispy.
This recipe is
- high in protein
- great in a vegan BLT sandwich
- animal-friendly alternative to bacon (pigs are smarter than dogs)
- cholesterol free
- a great way to cook tofu if you're new to using it
- Liquid smoke - This is what gives the tofu bacon that smoky flavor. It's a definite must have.
- Nutritional yeast - This gives the tofu bacon a nice umami flavor. Tips on how to substitute below.
- Tahini - Make sure it's runny tahini and not the crusty stuff at the end of a bottle. This will give the tofu some fat and umami flavor as well.
- Maple syrup - This helps to balance out the saltiness in the recipe and adds a little bit of sweetness. But it's not overpowering.
- Soy sauce - Gives the tofu the salty flavor that bacon has. Use low sodium soy sauce to lower the sodium of this recipe.
- Garlic powder & Onion powder - To add a little bit more flavor. You can also add some black pepper.
- Tofu - Extra firm tofu works best for this recipe, since it's the most chewy option and has a nice meaty texture when it bakes.
If you don't have nutritional yeast
Use 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to substitute the nutritional yeast. Tomato paste is great for umami flavor.
If you don't have tahini
You can substitute vegetable oil for the tahini.
If you don't have liquid smoke
Use 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika to substitute the liquid smoke.
Oil your baking sheet to make sure the tofu doesn't stick to it when baking. You can also use parchment paper.
Marinate for at least an hour. This makes the tofu a lot more flavorful. If you have time, this tastes amazing if it marinates over night.
If you want crispier tofu, bake it longer.
The tofu firms up even more, when it starts to cool down after baking.
Make sure to scroll to the recipe card for full step-by-step instructions.
Step one: Take the extra-firm tofu out of the container and drain the excess water. Put the block of tofu in a tofu press or wrap it in a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel and lay it on a plate.
Top it with some heavy pans or books. Once the tofu is done pressing, cut it into thin strips, about ⅛" inch slices
Step two: Add all the marinade ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Add the tofu strips into a tupperware bowl and pour the sauce over. Cover with a lid and let the tofu marinate for at least an hour.
Step three: Oil a baking tray and put your oven to 375. Place the marinated tofu slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Keep the remaining marinade for later.
Place the tofu in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip the tofu and brush some extra marinade on the strips. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. Bake until it starts to turn golden brown.
Storing & reheating
In the fridge - Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
To reheat, use a microwave or heat it up in the oven. Heating up in the oven will help keep it crispy.
Use this like you would traditional bacon. Serve it with a tofu scramble. Put it on toasted bread with some vegan mayo, lettuce and tomato and make a vegan BLT sandwich.
Add it to a sweet potato breakfast hash.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this is a must for this recipe. Pressing the tofu helps get excess moisture out. This in turn, helps the tofu to crisp up better.
If you're going to be cooking with tofu often, and want it to be crispy, I highly suggest getting a tofu press (use DAMNTASTY for 10% off). It makes the pressing process a lot easier and quicker.
I waited for years to buy one, and when I finally did, I wished I had gotten one sooner.
This is my favorite tofu press. Use DAMNTASTY for 10% off.
Yes, those all work in this recipe.
Yes! An air fryer works amazingly well to make tofu bacon. Air fry on 375 for about 5-10 minutes, flip, then another 5-10 minutes.
Yes, after cooking, this can be frozen. Let it thaw, then heat it back up in the oven. It may be a little dry, so brush on some oil.
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Press the tofu
- Drain then press the tofu for 15-30 minutes with either a tofu press, or by placing a towel, then a few heavy pans or books on top of the tofu.1 block extra firm tofu
Make the marinade
- In a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients, minus the tofu and stir well.½ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons liquid smoke, 2 tablespoons runny tahini, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- After the tofu is done pressing, slice it into thin slices, about ⅛" thick. Add marinade to a shallow bowl or tupperware. Place tofu slices in the bowl and try to get every piece covered. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 1 hour. Overnight would be best.
- Oil a baking sheet and put your oven to 375. Place the strips of marinated tofu on the baking sheet. Keep the marinade for later. Place the tofu in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, gently flip the tofu, and brush on the marinade to the tops of the tofu. Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes. Watch that the tofu doesn't burn. If you would like crispier tofu, let it bake longer. Edges should be crispier than the middle. The tofu firms up more as it cools.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.