Savory, sweet, and crunchy these Vegan Bacon Bits made from textured vegetable protein (TVP) are perfect for topping salads, baked potatoes, and everything else!
Vegan bacon bits? Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron that couldn’t possible taste normal. What if I told you these taste so much like bacon that my meat-eating friends thought they were bacon bits?
Ya, these are that good! They are made with TVP, aka textured vegetable protein. For the unfamiliar, TVP it is a soy-based protein that contains no fat, can be stored at room temperature, and makes a fantastic meat substitute for vegetarian or vegan folks. You can learn all about TVP here!
So in short, these bacon bites are vegan, low in fat, and super easy to make. Need I say more?
Ingredients for Vegan Bacon Bits
This vegan bacon bits recipe is super simple. It just uses protein, a little sweetener, and seasoning. Because TVP is pretty flavorless you want to be sure to use the full amount of seasonings to really enhance the bacon flavor (hello smokey paprika!).
- Textured Vegetable Protein: You can’t have these bacon bits without TVP! It can be found online or in some natural food stores, like Whole Foods.
- Water: TVP is stored dried which means it needs to be rehydrated to be cooked. This is where the water comes in.
- Maple syrup: I always like to add a little sweetness to these bacon bits to compliment the saltiness we will create to replicate bacon.
- Liquid Smoke: Yup, it actually *is* smoke. Hardwood smoke is condensed into this liquid and lets you get that perfect smoked flavor without any of the hard work.
- Spices: For this “bacon”, I use a combination of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smokey paprika to replicate the flavor of bacon.
TVP is a byproduct of soybean oil production, after removing the fat. This is why it does not need to be refrigerated before cooking and why it has no fat!
How to make Vegan Bacon Bits
Making these is so simple and way less messy than making traditional bacon! You literally just mix ingredients, how awesome!
Step 1: Stir
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until evenly mixed.
Step 2: Serve
Serve anywhere you want smoky bacon flavor, like baked potatoes, salads, or soups!
Recipe Tips and Questions
Want them extra crispy? To make these crispy, you can spread them out evenly on a baking tray and bake for a few minutes at 300 degrees. Just be careful to not burn them as they cook quickly!
Are bacon bits vegetarian? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is sometimes. Despite the name, some store-bought bacon bits are made out of soy of some type. They may not be made out of TVP like these vegan bacon bits are, but soy nonetheless.
Ways to Use Bacon Bits
On everything. The end. But if you are looking for specific ways to use these bacon bits, try one of these recipes!
- Vegetarian Wedge Salad is delicious with bacon bites and super easy to make!
- Pumpkin Pasta is fantastic with a little salty bit. Think pasta carbonara but pumpkin.
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup is a must served with vega bacon bites! Like a baked potato in soup form.
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP) granules I used Bob's Red Mill brand for this recipe, 100g
- 2 Tbsp water 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup 30 mL
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp liquid smoke 5 mL
- Stir: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until evenly mixed.
- Serve: Serve anywhere you want smoky bacon flavor, like baked potatoes, salads, or soups!