Have you ever wondered, are bacon bits vegan? You may be surprised to find out that a product called 'bacon bits' are actually vegan! Many of the top brands of bacon bits don't include any actual bacon at all. That means they may be perfectly suitable for adding to your favorite plant-based soups, salads, pasta dishes, or whatever you like!
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It's still important to check the ingredients beforehand to make sure the brand you choose is actually vegan (see my list of vegan brands below.) And you may even find that you prefer to make your own meat-free bacon bits at home!
How to spot vegan bacon bits quickly
There are tons of brands that make bacon-flavored toppings. A quick way to tell it they are vegan is to look for the word imitation on the front of the package. Most vegan varieties call it "imitation bacon" and non-vegan bacon bits will say "real bacon."
What are bacon bits made of?
Many brands of bacon bits are vegan because the main ingredient is actually textured vegetable protein (soy protein), typically soy flour, which is produced from ground soybeans. Brands choose to use soy flour because it is typically cheaper than bacon, and has a much longer shelf life. Canola oil and salt are added for flavor and texture, and the bacon bits are typically colored using red 40 dye and caramel color.
Why make homemade bacon bits?
I like to make homemade bacon bits without artificial color. This way I can make them lower sodium too if I want and I can be sure they are gluten-free. (You just need some TVP, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, and salt to make your own, plus they taste great!)
Bacon bits ingredients that are vegan
- textured soy flour (aka TVP)
- canola oil
- caramel color
- red 40 dye
- yeast extract
Bacon bits ingredients that are not vegan
Well, bacon. If it says real bacon bits on the package it is not vegan. The brands that contain real bacon are using it as a selling point, so they usually announce this in large print on the front of the package and it will be hard to miss.
Vegan bacon bits brands guide
Mainstream accidentally vegan bacon bits
- McCormick - (both bits and chips)
- Badia Bacon Bits
- It's Delish Imitation Bacon Bits
- Many generic brands and store brands that say "imitation bacon."
Natural Bacon Bits
- Mr. Tortilla Crunchy Vegan Bake'n
- Y'all Foods Vegan Bacon Bits
- Cool Foods Bacon Bits
- Frontier Vegetarian Bac'Uns
- Organic Coconut Bacon
- Beans are the New Bacon Bits
How to use vegan bacon bits
Veggie bacon bits are super easy to make yourself with some TVP or Butler Soy Curls and some spices. I love to always have some on hand to toss on salads, add to vegan mac and cheese, and use in potato casseroles, or baked potatoes.
Here are some more recipes that use vegan bacon bits...
- Vegan Quiche Lorraine
- Vegan Breakfast Casserole
- Vegetarian German Potato Salad
- Vegan Zuppa Tuscana
- Savory Vegan Muffins
- Vegan Egg Muffin Cups
- Vegetarian 15 Bean Soup
- Vegan Twice Baked Potatoes
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