These homemade vegan bacon bits are unbelievably easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have gluten-free, dye-free bacon bits that taste just like store-bought bacon bits for a fraction of the price. This bacon bit recipe is made from TVP (textured vegetable protein) that you flavor in a smoky broth and then dry out until crispy and crunchy.
Did you know that most store-bought bacon bits are not made from bacon? Many brands are vegan and made from TVP and spices. When I learned this I knew that it would be super easy to make my own.
I love to make homemade bacon bits because I know that mine are free of food dyes and preservatives, it saves money, and they taste better than store-bought varieties. I make up a big batch every few weeks and toss them in salads, soups, pasta dishes, baked potatoes, and even vegan omelets. They're perfect for a little smoky crunch in anything that you want.
❤️ This recipe is
- easy to make.
- simply delcious!
🧾 Ingredients and substitutions
- TVP - (textured vegetable protein) This serves as the "meat" of the bacon bits. It is a dehydrated soy product that will soak up the flavor of anything that you rehydrate it in. You can also use Butler fine soy crumbs instead of TVP if you wish. You can find TVP at most health food stores or order it online. If you want to learn more about it check out my full guide to cooking with TVP.
- Water - as the base of the broth.
- Oil - any neutral flavor oil will work. I usually use refined coconut oil, light olive oil, or canola oil.
- Smoked Paprika - this gives it a great smoky flavor and a beautiful red color.
- Liquid Smoke - (optional) for a smokier flavor. If you don't have any, just add an extra teaspoon of smoked paprika.
- Salt - to give them a salty bacon flavor. Feel free to reduce the salt for low sodium bacon bits.
🔪 Helpful tools
- A cookie sheet with edges to dry out the bacon bits.
- Preheat your oven to 225° F (107° C).
- Heat 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke in a saucepan.
- Once it comes to a boil, turn it off and pour in 1 1/2 cups of TVP and stir, coating the TVP in the broth.
- Spread onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 225°F (107° C) for about 45 minutes.
- Give them a little stir or shake the tray every 10- 15 minutes while in the oven to make sure they cook evenly.
👩🏻🍳 Pro tips
- If you dry them out well and then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, they will last a few weeks.
- This makes a fairly large batch (2 cups) so you may want to cut it in half if you don’t think that you can use that many within 2-3 weeks.
- If you want them to be lower in sodium, reduce the salt.
- If you have a convection oven, you can turn on the fan and dry them out faster.
🥣 How to use vegan bacon bits
Use these bacon bits to add flavor and crunch to anything that you want. I love them on salads with my maple balsamic dressing. They are also delicious sprinkled on baked potatoes, deviled potatoes, or mashed potatoes. I also toss them into my vegan quiche and vegan egg muffins. They add a ton of flavor to soups like vegan Zuppa Toscana or vegetarian 15 bean soup too!
🧈 Can I make it oil-free
If you want fat-free bacon bits, simply leave out the oil, they will still turn out great!
Pantry: They will keep in a sealed jar at room temperature for a few days, but be sure that they are completely dry before storing them this way. Any moisture left in the bacon bits could cause them to spoil.
Refrigerate: These vegan bacon bits will keep well in the fridge for about a month if they are dried well and kept in a sealed container.
Freeze: Store the bacon bits in an airtight bag in the freezer for 3 months.
🌟 More TVP recipes
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
Easy to make homemade bacon bits that are vegan, gluten-free, and dye free.
Preheat your oven to 225° F (107° C).
Heat 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke in a saucepan.
Once it comes to a boil, turn it off and pour in 1 1/2 cups of TVP and stir, coating the TVP in the broth.
Spread onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 225°F (107° C) for about 45 minutes.
Give them a little stir or shake the tray every 10-15 minutes while in the oven to make sure they cook evenly.
- Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, they will last about a month.
- If you want them to be lower in sodium, simply reduce the salt.
- Make sure to shake the cookie sheet or give a little stir a few times while baking to make sure they cook evenly.
- You can also substitute Butler soy crumbles instead of TVP. These are very similar, but they are made with whole soy instead of soy flour.
- If you taste them before they are done cooking, they will taste different than the finished product, so don't toss them out thinking that they are not done.
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