Tempeh “Bacon” Bits

Unpopular opinion: I’ve never really been a fan of bacon bits. My family used to LOVE to get them on pizza and I hated it. I felt like they were tough and had a dry, stale flavor. But I know a lot of people love bacon and that is one of the hardest meats to “give up” when going vegan. So I decided to try out a few ideas on how to make “bacon” bits that can be added to salads, pizzas, anything really! And I think I’ve landed on a pretty delicious recipe!

First, take your block of tempeh and slice it into small pieces. This step isn’t completely necessary, however I find it much easier to crumble the tempeh when it is in smaller pieces. Once you’re done slicing into pieces, begin crumbling either by hand or with a fork and place in an oven safe dish so that the tempeh is evenly distributed and not overlapping. I used a medium sized corningware dish. 

Next, prepare your marinade in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour over the tempeh so that every piece is coated. Let the tempeh sit in the marinade for at least an hour, covered in the fridge. You can let the marinade sit longer if desired, but at least allow the tempeh to soak in the flavor for an hour. 

Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Bake the tempeh in the oven for 10 minutes and then stir and toss and bake for 10 more minutes. 

Enjoy the tempeh “bacon” bits topped on salad, bake it on some pizza, eat it as a side dish or whatever you desire! Let me know in the comments what you think!


  • 8 oz Tempeh

For the Marinade:

  • 1.5 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Cut tempeh into strips to make it easier to crumble.
  2. With a fork or by hand, crumble tempeh into bits and pieces.
  3. Place tempeh in an oven safe dish so that it is evenly distributed and not overlapping.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the marinade.
  5. Pour marinade over tempeh and stir until every piece is coated.
  6. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  8.  Bake tempeh for 10 minutes, toss tempeh and bake for 10 more minutes. Enjoy!

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