Recipes > Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh Bacon


This tempeh bacon has a sweet smokiness. And once pan-fried crispy, it's a perfect addition to weekend brunch, or in sandwiches and wraps.
  • Serves: 10 to 12
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 35,452
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Steaming the Tempeh

Steaming the Tempeh
  • 1 8–ounce package tempeh


To prepare the tempeh, in a steamer or steamer basket, heat the tempeh for 15-20 mins, then let cool. Slice into 1/4–inch strips, place in a shallow baking dish and set aside.

Step 2: Preparing the Marinade

Preparing the Marinade
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (mesquite preferred)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp onion granules
  • pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced


To prepare the marinade, in small bowl add the garlic, tamari, optional liquid smoke, maple syrup, onion granules, sea salt and freshly–ground black pepper.

Whisk well and pour marinade over the tempeh strips. Allow to marinate overnight, or gently place in a seal-able bag, vacuum seal and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Frying the Tempeh Bacon

Frying the Tempeh Bacon
  • 1 to 3 tbsp oil for frying


Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the tempeh. Let cook for a few minutes and then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown and heated through.


  • Joanne G
    Joanne G
    Why is the first step necessary? Couldn't you just slice the tempeh and marinate it?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Good question Joanne! The first step is like a pretreatment to the tempeh that makes it much more palatable. If you steam or poach tempeh, you cook it through. It actually helps the marinade penetrate the inside and creates more flavor as well as a more pleasing texture. I always steam or poach tempeh before I use it- whether stir frying, marinating, grilling, pan frying or baking. Give it a try! Lauren
  • Tria W
    Tria W
    I made this recipe as part of the Plant Based Professional course. I don't remember what pork bacon tastes like anymore but I can tell you these tempeh "bacon" strips make awesome BLTs!
  • Robert H
    Robert H
    Is there a way to make this without the oil used for frying? Could you bake this? if so what temp and how long?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Robert: Great question. My suggestion would be to either use an air-fryer--at a temp of 350 degrees, 10 minutes on each side. And the same if oven-roasted. Just line the marinated tempeh on parchment paper to prevent sticking. You can achieve the same lovely color. I do not cook with oil, and this method works well. Great question, thanks for writing. Cheers, Char
  • Lakiesha H
    Lakiesha H
    Hello, There are a lot of recipes that require tempeh but not one on how to make tempeh. The grocery stores have tempeh but the sauces/flavors are already applied. Is there a recipe for tempeh provided by the chefs/staff at Rouxbe or a comparable substitute? Is there a store that someone can recommend to purchase tempeh online (Amazon did not have it unflavored). Thanks in advance.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Lakiesha: Thanks for writing. I will refer to the brand of "Lightlife," and will point to the "original tempeh" variety. The ingredients: "cultured and organic soybeans, water, organic brown rice." That variety has no added flavors, sodium, etc. Let me know if this information works for you. Head to You can purchase it directly from the website. Thank you. Cheers, Char
  • Sherry B
    Sherry B
    Can you substitute onion powder for the onion granules?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Sherry: thanks for writing. Using powders vs. granules can be a matter of choice. However, granules have a smaller surface area than powder. The only real difference is that the onion powder has been ground finer. I use both, or what I have on hand. Let us know if you make the tempeh bacon! Cheers, Char
  • Sherry B
    Sherry B
    Made it and I liked it. Considering I don't like tempeh (until now!) it was a success and I will make it again as I am trying to move away from faux meats and overly processed foods in general. It's been thirty years since I had bacon and I wouldn't say this was anything like what I remember but my breakfast sandwich (the tempeh bacon, tofu with black salt, lettuce, broccoli sprouts, whole wheat toast and mayo with a drizzle of ketchup (old habits die hard) was delicious.
  • Deborah L
    Deborah L
    I made this tonight. I fried the marinated tempeh in a nonstick pan with just a drop of oil. It worked like a charm. I made the sandwich for dinner and used cashew cream, samba oelek, lemon juice, acv and salt to make the spicy ‘mayo’. Lettuce, tomatoe, onion and arugula, on lightly toasted sourdough. This is a great recipe. Thanks.
  • Julieta A
    Julieta A
    We made this yesterday and actually looked up how to make the buns and how to make the sriracha. I also made cashew mayo (a variation of the cashew sour cream). As for the tempeh, besides the liquid smoke it was not something I would make again. Perhaps I would try and make a lentil patty with the liquid smoke instead if at all. We try to avoid foods that only come packaged in plastic (which includes meat substitutes... we just do not eat them).

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