Looking for a healthy, soy-free vegan bacon substitute? You’ll love this chewy, crispy mushroom bacon that’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
When I initially went plant-based, I thought bacon would be off the table for good. Thankfully, I was totally wrong! These shiitake mushrooms are the best substitute for bacon cravings with their next-level chewy, crispy texture.
This recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional bacon and processed vegan bacon options. Not only is this vegan bacon made without soy, it’s also made without liquid smoke. The mix of maple syrup and coconut aminos delivers that delicious sweet and salty taste.
This recipe is:
- vegan + vegetarian
- refined sugar-free
- Shiitake mushrooms – they have the best ‘meaty’ taste and texture!
- Vegetable broth
- Vegan butter – you can substitute this for oil
- Maple syrup
- Coconut aminos
- Truffle salt – the secret ingredient that makes this vegan bacon amazing!
- Black pepper
How to make vegan mushroom bacon
This vegan bacon recipe is super easy! Cooking the mushrooms in vegetable broth makes it extra flavorful and gives them that chewy bacon texture. Then we’ll brown them in vegan butter to make them crispy.
For the sauce, just mix the 4 ingredients — maple syrup, coconut aminos, truffle salt, black pepper — and coat the mushrooms. If you’re looking for extra crispy bacon, you can even finish them in the oven for 5 minutes on parchment paper.
Mushroom Bacon FAQs
This recipe is made without any soy or liquid smoke! Instead, we’re using shiitake mushrooms as the base. The mix of maple syrup, coconut aminos, truffle salt, and black pepper gives the sweet and salty bacon flavor without any liquid smoke.
Shiitake mushrooms are a great substitute for meat. They naturally have a meaty flavor, especially when seasoned properly. Shiitake mushrooms have many health benefits and may boost the immune system (Healthline).
Smaller mushroom strips will make bacon bits. You can also chop up this recipe after you’re finished.
What to do with vegan bacon
- Serve as a side with this vegan french toast
- Sprinkle on top of avocado toast
- Add to a pasta dish like this truffle fettuccine alfredo
- Serve on top of these asian-inspired brussels sprouts
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced with stems removed
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter see notes for substitute
- 2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon coconut aminos
- ⅛ teaspoon truffle salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Prep the sauce in a small bowl by mixing maple syrup, coconut aminos, truffle salt, and black pepper.
- Add the mushrooms to a medium-size non-stick pan, then pour the vegetable broth over the mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetable broth evaporates and mushrooms darken to a tan color, approximately 5-8 minutes.
- After the mushrooms are tan, stir in the vegan butter. Use a spatula to press down the mushrooms so they can brown. Don't be afraid to really press them down into the pan to get them crispy! The less you stir them, the crispier they'll get. Cook for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
- Lower the heat and pour the sauce over the mushrooms. Mix around to coat, then let sit for 2 minutes.
- Optional: For even crispier mushrooms, preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread out the mushrooms. Bake for 5 minutes.
- As a substitute for vegan butter, try avocado oil or olive oil.
- Use large shiitake mushrooms for longer strips.
- Shiitake mushrooms are the only mushrooms recommended for this specific recipe.
- Mushrooms shrink when cooking, so keep in mind this makes about ⅔ cup of cooked mushrooms.
- These mushrooms are best enjoyed warm and fresh. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove, or in an oven / toaster oven.