This savory smoky eggplant bacon can be made 3 different ways and to different degrees of crispiness.
This Eggplant Bacon is savory, smoky, and has a touch of sweet. Depending upon which way you make it, it can be crispy or slightly crispy on the edges.
It tastes great in sandwiches with some lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo.
Even though I've already created Tofu Bacon and Almond Bacon for the blog, I had to try Eggplant Bacon to see how it compares. In all honesty, none of them tastes like bacon, so don't expect them to.
These vegan bacon recipes are meant to provide you with a savory smoky flavored bite.
In the almost 20 years of being vegan I haven't missed bacon once. But then I became vegan for the animals, and I can understand that if you're doing it for your health it can be harder.
There are many guilty pleasures that are vegan.
Vegan wine, anyone? How about some vegan cream cheese and rice crackers. Guilty on both fronts.
What Is The Best Substitute For Bacon?
I think the question shouldn't be, does it taste like bacon, but how am I going to use it.
Personally, I love Tofu Bacon the best because of the taste and texture. It's a great source of protein - one that I eat all the time.
For crunch, Almond Bacon and Coconut Bacon both win for me. They are best suited in place of bacon bits, or eaten by themselves as a snack.
The Eggplant Bacon falls in between those vegan bacon recipes. It is crunchy, especially if you bake or dehydrate it. I however, prefer it fried.
It is slightly crunchy on the edges, while staying soft in the middle. It is perfect for getting more veggies into your diet.
Both the Eggplant Bacon and Tofu Bacon are perfect for sandwiches or as a side to a morning tofu or Chickpea Scramble.
If you really want something that tastes like bacon, you might want to check out the analogues (meat substitutes) out there, but FYI, most are highly processed, like the vegan cream cheese that I am guilty of eating now and then.
This is an overview of the ingredients. To see the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Eggplant: I used an American eggplant (Globe eggplant), but you could also use a Chinese eggplant.
- Tamari: Adds a salty umami flavor. I use low sodium tamari because I like to control the amount of sodium.
- Maple syrup: For a sweet maple flavor. Balances out the other flavors.
- Liquid smoke: Adds a smoky flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar: Adds a tangy sour flavor. You could also use red wine vinegar or rice vinegar.
- Olive oil: To cook the eggplant in. Adds flavor.
- Paprika: Adds a spicy smoky flavor.
5 Secrets to Transforming Tofu
FREE 5 part email series to help you cook tofu like a pro.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
- Mix low sodium tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, paprika, liquid smoke, and olive oil.
- Marinate the eggplant for at least 30 minutes to let it soak up the flavors.
- Frying: Fry until browned on each side, about 5 minutes total. Baking:Bake at 300° for 25-35 minutes (depending upon thickness), or until crispy. Watch eggplant because it burns easily! Dehydrating: Place eggplant strips on a Teflon lined dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 110° for 3 hours, or until crispy.
- If you prefer a crispier texture, slice it ⅛" thick.
- If you just want it crispy on the edges (my preference), slice it to ¼" thick.
- If you're baking it, you have to watch it closely - it burns easily.
- If you bake or dehydrate it, it will be crispy and last longer, like jerky. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.
- If you bake or dehydrate it, peel it for the best texture. If you are frying it, there's no need to peel it.
- On veggie burgers
- Any place you want to add a savory, smoky taste.
Other Vegan Bacon Recipes
This eggplant bacon is perfect for a vegan BLT.
*Don't forget to come back and leave your feedback and star rating.
Affiliate links below. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Here's the dehydrator that I have. It's perfect for making this eggplant bacon as well as other raw recipes.
Eggplant Bacon 3 Ways
- 1 eggplant, sliced ⅛" - ¼" thick
- ¼ cup low sodium gluten free tamari
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- If baking, preheat oven to 300°.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinate sliced eggplant for at least 30 minutes in a large shallow dish.
- Frying: Fry until browned on each side, about 5 minutes total. Baking: Bake at 300° for 25-35 minutes (depending upon thickness), or until crispy. Watch eggplant because it burns easily! Dehydrating: Place eggplant strips on a Teflon lined dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 110° for 3 hours, or until crispy.
*Note: Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only. Different nutrition calculators give you different results.
Loved this recipe! I followed the marinade instructions and baked it in the oven. I can't say it tasted EXACTLY like bacon (maybe it needed to be a little saltier?). But it is definitely the best alternative I have tried since going vegan. I think next time I will try it with a bit more tamari and less maple syrup to see if I can get a saltier taste.
Willow Moon says
Thanks Adele! I agree, it doesn’t taste exactly like bacon. Hopefully more tamari and less maple syrup will give you the flavor you’re looking for!