Ah, bacon – the salty, smoky flavor that’s so hard to resist!
Whether you’re trying to cut down on your meat consumption or just looking for a healthier alternative, there are plenty of options out there.
From mushrooms and tempeh to eggplant and tofu, here is a list of 25 delicious substitutes for bacon that will have you drooling in no time.
What is Bacon?
Bacon is a type of cured pork made from the belly or back cuts of a pig.
It is usually smoked and heavily salted, which gives it its signature flavor and aroma.
Bacon can be eaten on its own as a snack, used to add flavor to dishes such as salads and sandwiches, or cooked with other ingredients in recipes like bacon-wrapped shrimp or bacon-stuffed mushrooms.
Bacon is also commonly used as an ingredient in many dishes such as quiches, omelets, soups, stews, casseroles, pasta sauces, and more.
The 25 Best Substitutes for Bacon
Are you looking for a vegetarian or vegan alternative to bacon?
Or maybe you just want something different to try in your recipes.
If so, there are plenty of great substitutes available.
To help you out, here is a list of 25 of the best bacon alternatives:
1 – Prosciutto
Prosciutto is a type of Italian cured ham that has been aged for several months.
It has a salty, savory flavor and a delicate texture that makes it perfect for slicing thinly and adding to salads or sandwiches.
The meat is usually served uncooked, but can also be lightly fried or grilled.
When substituting prosciutto for bacon, the key is to use it sparingly as its saltiness can overpower other flavors in the dish.
Prosciutto adds an elegant touch to any meal and pairs well with fresh fruits like melon or figs as well as vegetables like artichokes or mushrooms.
It’s also great when wrapped around chicken breasts or fish fillets before baking them in the oven.
2 – Beef Bacon
Beef bacon is a great alternative to traditional pork bacon. It’s made from beef brisket and has a smoky, salty flavor that pairs well with many dishes.
It can be cooked in the same way as regular bacon, either by pan-frying or baking in the oven. The key difference is that it takes longer to cook due to its thicker cut.
Beef bacon is also lower in fat than pork bacon, making it a healthier option for those looking for an indulgent treat without all of the calories.
It can be used as an ingredient in sandwiches, salads, tacos, and more! Its unique flavor makes it perfect for adding extra depth to any dish.
3 – Pancetta
Pancetta is an Italian cured meat made from pork belly.
It has a salty, smoky flavor that makes it a great substitute for bacon in many dishes.
The texture of pancetta is slightly firmer than bacon and the flavor is more intense due to its curing process.
When cooked, it becomes crispy and can be used as a topping or added to salads and pastas for extra crunch.
Pancetta also works well when diced up and sautéed with vegetables like onions, garlic, mushrooms, or peppers.
4 – Capicola
Capicola is a type of cured pork that has been seasoned and smoked.
It has a deep, smoky flavor with hints of sweetness from the spices used in the curing process.
The texture is firm yet tender, making it perfect for slicing thin and adding to sandwiches or salads.
Capicola can be an excellent replacement for bacon when you want to add some savory flavor without all the fat and calories.
It’s also great for adding depth to dishes like pasta sauces or omelets.
Plus, since capicola is already cooked, it requires minimal preparation time compared to bacon – simply slice and serve!
5 – Tempeh
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.
It has a nutty, earthy flavor and a firm texture that makes it an excellent substitute for bacon in many dishes.
Tempeh can be cooked in various ways, including grilling, baking, sautéing or steaming. It can also be crumbled and added to salads or sandwiches for extra protein and flavor.
The fermentation process gives tempeh its unique taste and texture, as well as providing beneficial probiotics that aid digestion.
For those looking to reduce their consumption of animal products but still enjoy the smoky flavor of bacon, tempeh is an ideal alternative.
6 – Turkey Bacon
Turkey bacon is a great alternative to traditional pork bacon.
It has a similar flavor and texture, but with fewer calories and less fat.
Turkey bacon is made from ground turkey meat that’s been seasoned and smoked.
The result is a savory, smoky flavor that can be used in many of the same dishes as regular bacon.
It’s perfect for adding crunchy texture to salads or sandwiches, or for topping off breakfast dishes like omelets or frittatas. Turkey bacon also works well when added to soups or stews for extra flavor and protein.
When substituting turkey bacon for regular bacon, it’s important to keep in mind that it cooks faster than pork-based varieties due to its lower fat content.
To prevent burning, cook over medium heat and watch carefully while cooking.
7 – Duck Bacon
Duck bacon is a delicious alternative to traditional pork bacon.
It is made from duck breast, which has a higher fat content than chicken or turkey, making it an ideal substitute for those looking for a more flavorful option.
Duck bacon has a unique flavor profile that combines the smokiness of pork with the sweetness of duck.
The texture is slightly chewier than regular bacon and it renders more fat when cooked, giving dishes an extra boost of flavor.
It can be used in place of pork bacon in recipes such as BLTs, omelets, and quiches.
Duck bacon also works well as an ingredient in salads or sandwiches and can be used to top pizzas or burgers for added crunch and flavor.
8 – Salmon Rashers
Salmon rashers are a great alternative to bacon for those looking for a healthier option.
These cold-smoked strips of salmon come from the top cut of the fish and have a rougher texture than bacon, but pack an intense smoky flavor.
They can be used in many different ways, such as adding them to scrambled eggs or using them as a sandwich filling.
Salmon rashers also make an excellent addition to salads and pasta dishes, providing a unique flavor that will elevate any dish.
For those who want to get creative in the kitchen, try using salmon rashers instead of bacon when making quiches or frittatas – you won’t regret it!
9 – Fish Skin Bacon
Fish skin bacon is a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional pork bacon.
It’s made from the skin of fish, usually salmon or cod, which is cured with salt and sugar before being smoked.
The result is a crispy, smoky treat that has all the flavor of regular bacon without the unhealthy fats.
Fish skin bacon can be used in many of the same ways as regular bacon – it’s great for topping salads, soups, rice dishes and more.
Not only does it taste great but it also provides numerous health benefits due to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats.
These help improve circulation and heart health while also providing anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce joint pain.
So if you’re out of bacon, why not give fish skin bacon a try?
10 – Salt Pork
Salt pork is a traditional form of cured pork that has been around for centuries. It is made from the belly or fatback of a pig and is usually salt-cured to preserve it.
The curing process gives salt pork its distinct flavor, which can range from mild to intense depending on the amount of time it’s been cured.
Salt pork has a unique texture that makes it ideal for adding richness and depth to dishes like soups, stews, and casseroles.
It can also be used as an alternative to bacon in recipes such as frittatas or quiches. The salty flavor pairs well with eggs and other ingredients, making it a great substitute when you’re out of bacon.
When cooking with salt pork, make sure to rinse off any excess salt before using it in your dish – otherwise, the end result may be too salty!
11 – Guanciale
Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product made from pork jowl or cheeks.
The name comes from the Italian word for “cheek”, and it has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other cured meats.
It is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices like nutmeg or fennel before being air-dried for several weeks.
When cooked, guanciale develops a rich flavor that can be used to enhance dishes like pasta carbonara or amatriciana sauce.
Unlike bacon which is usually smoked, guanciale has a more subtle taste that pairs well with vegetables and herbs.
For those looking to replace bacon in recipes, guanciale can make a great alternative – however you may need to adjust the cooking time as it takes longer to render its fat than bacon does.
12 – Vegetarian Bacon
Vegetarian bacon is a great alternative to traditional pork bacon. It’s made from plant-based ingredients like soy, wheat, and coconut oil that are designed to mimic the flavor and texture of real bacon.
Vegetarian bacon has a smoky, savory flavor with a hint of sweetness that pairs well with eggs, sandwiches, salads, and more.
It’s also much lower in fat than regular bacon and contains no cholesterol or animal products.
When cooking vegetarian bacon, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t need as long to cook as regular bacon does.
To get the best results, use a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until crispy.
Vegetarian bacon can be used in place of regular bacon in any recipe – just make sure you adjust your cooking time accordingly!
13 – Tofurky Smoky Bacon
If you’re looking for a cruelty-free, plant-based alternative to bacon, Tofurky Smoky Bacon is a great option.
Made from tempeh, a fermented soy product, Tofurky Smoky Bacon has a smoky flavor that is sure to satisfy your cravings.
To make it even more delicious, add some soy sauce, sea salt, maple syrup, and cider vinegar.
Not only is this vegan bacon option a delicious alternative to traditional bacon, but it is also free of cholesterol, trans fats, and animal products.
14 – Carrot Bacon/Zucchini Bacon
Carrot bacon and zucchini bacon are two delicious vegan alternatives to traditional bacon.
Carrot bacon is made by slicing carrots into thin strips, marinating them in a mixture of oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and spices like garlic powder and paprika.
The strips are then baked until crispy.
Zucchini bacon is made similarly but with zucchinis instead of carrots.
It has a smoky flavor that pairs well with other vegetables or salads.
Both carrot and zucchini bacons can be used as toppings for sandwiches or burgers, added to breakfast scrambles or omelets, or even eaten on their own as a snack!
They’re an excellent way to add some crunchy texture and savory flavor without the use of animal products.
15 – Mushroom Bacon
Mushroom bacon is a delicious vegan alternative to traditional bacon that’s made from mushrooms.
It has a smoky, savory flavor and chewy texture that makes it an ideal substitute for the real thing.
Mushrooms are marinated in tamari, liquid smoke, and maple syrup before being cooked until crispy.
The result is a flavorful dish that can be used in place of bacon in sandwiches, salads, or as a topping on pizza.
Mushroom bacon is also high in protein and fiber while being low in fat and calories – making it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their meat consumption without sacrificing flavor.
16 – Seitan Bacon
Seitan bacon is a vegan alternative to traditional pork bacon that’s made from wheat gluten.
It has a chewy texture and smoky flavor, making it an ideal substitute for those looking to avoid animal products.
The seitan is seasoned with spices like smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and liquid smoke before being cooked in oil until crispy.
Seitan bacon can be used in recipes just like regular bacon – it’s great for adding crunchy texture and savory flavor to dishes such as sandwiches, salads, omelets, or even pizza.
It also makes a delicious topping for baked potatoes or macaroni and cheese.
For an easy vegan meal option that still packs plenty of flavor, try substituting seitan bacon!
17 – Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a versatile and nutritious legume that can be used in a variety of dishes.
They have a mild nutty flavor and creamy texture, making them an excellent substitute for bacon.
Chickpeas can be cooked in many different ways, such as roasting, sautéing, or boiling.
When cooked with spices like smoked paprika and garlic powder, they take on the smoky flavor of bacon while still providing plenty of protein and fiber.
Chickpeas also make great additions to salads or soups for added crunch and texture.
For those looking to cut down on their meat consumption but still crave the savory flavors of bacon, chickpeas are an excellent alternative!
18 – Coconut Bacon
Coconut bacon is a vegan-friendly alternative to traditional bacon that has become increasingly popular in recent years.
It’s made from coconut flakes, which are seasoned with a combination of smoky spices and sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar.
The result is a crunchy, savory snack that can be used as an ingredient in salads, sandwiches, tacos, and more.
Coconut bacon is also incredibly easy to make at home – all you need are the ingredients mentioned above plus some oil for frying.
When substituting coconut bacon for regular bacon, it’s important to remember that the flavor will be slightly different due to its lack of fat content.
However, its smoky taste and crunchy texture still make it an excellent addition to any dish!
19 – Seaweed Bacon
Seaweed bacon is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional pork bacon.
It’s made from seaweed, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Seaweed bacon has a smoky flavor that pairs well with eggs, salads, sandwiches, and more. It can also be used as an ingredient in vegan dishes like tacos or burritos.
The texture of seaweed bacon is similar to pork bacon but it’s much lower in fat and calories. Plus, it’s cholesterol-free!
To make your own seaweed bacon at home, simply soak dried seaweed in water for 10 minutes before draining the excess liquid and patting dry with paper towels.
Then season with salt and pepper before baking on a parchment-lined baking sheet until crisp (about 15 minutes).
For those looking for a healthier alternative to traditional pork bacon without sacrificing taste or texture – give seaweed bacon a try!
20 – Cheese Bacon
Cheese bacon is a delicious alternative to traditional bacon that adds an extra layer of flavor and texture.
Cheese bacon can be used as an ingredient in dishes like omelets, quiches, and casseroles, or simply enjoyed on its own as a tasty treat.
It also makes for an excellent topping on salads or burgers.
21 – Tofu
Tofu is a great alternative to bacon for those looking for a plant-based option.
It has a mild flavor and can be cooked in many different ways, such as pan-frying or baking.
The texture of tofu is spongy and absorbs flavors well, making it an ideal substitute for bacon in dishes like breakfast scrambles or BLTs.
When preparing tofu, it’s important to press out the excess water before cooking it so that it crisps up nicely.
For added flavor, marinate the tofu in soy sauce, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and other spices before cooking.
Tofu is an excellent source of protein and makes a delicious vegan alternative to bacon!
22 – Rice Paper Vegan Bacon
Rice paper vegan bacon is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional bacon.
It’s made from rice paper, which is a thin, edible sheet of starch that can be flavored and cooked in various ways.
The vegan version of this dish is usually seasoned with soy sauce, maple syrup, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices for an authentic smoky flavor.
When cooked properly it has a crispy texture similar to regular bacon.
Rice paper vegan bacon can be used as an ingredient in salads or sandwiches or as a topping on pizza or burgers.
It’s also great for adding crunchy texture to dishes like macaroni and cheese or omelets.
This tasty plant-based option is sure to satisfy any craving without the guilt!
23 – Shiitake Mushroom Bacon
Shiitake mushroom bacon is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional bacon.
Shiitake mushrooms are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals while being low in fat and calories.
The mushrooms are marinated in a mixture of tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper for an hour before being cooked on a skillet until crispy.
The result is a savory treat that has all the smoky flavor of regular bacon without the unhealthy fats.
It can be used as an ingredient in salads or sandwiches or served as a side dish with breakfast foods like eggs or pancakes.
Shiitake mushroom bacon is also great for adding texture to soups and stews.
24 – Eggplant Bacon
Eggplant bacon is a delicious vegan alternative to traditional pork bacon.
It’s made by slicing eggplants into thin strips, marinating them in a mixture of oil, soy sauce, and spices like smoked paprika and garlic powder, then baking until crispy.
The result is an incredibly flavorful and smoky-tasting dish that can be used as a topping for salads or sandwiches or enjoyed on its own.
Eggplant bacon has all the crunchy texture of regular bacon without any of the saturated fat or cholesterol.
Plus, it’s much easier to make than traditional bacon – all you need is some eggplants and your favorite seasonings!
25 – Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are a great way to add texture and flavor to dishes without using bacon.
They can be used as a topping for casseroles, salads, and pasta dishes or as a coating for fish, chicken, and vegetables.
Breadcrumbs come in various forms such as panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs), Italian-style seasoned crumbs, and plain unseasoned crumbs.
For an extra crunchy texture, try adding some chopped nuts or seeds to the mix.
To make your own breadcrumbs at home, simply pulse stale bread in a food processor until it reaches the desired consistency.
You can also toast them in the oven with some olive oil or butter for added flavor.
Breadcrumbs are an easy way to add crunch and flavor without relying on bacon!
What meat can I use instead of bacon?
If you’re looking for a bacon substitute, there are plenty of options. For vegetarians and vegans, tempeh bacon is a popular choice.
It’s made from fermented soybeans and has a smoky flavor that mimics the taste of traditional bacon.
Other plant-based alternatives include coconut bacon (made from coconut flakes), mushroom “bacon” (made from shiitake mushrooms) or eggplant “bacon” (made from thin slices of eggplant).
For those who eat meat but want to avoid pork, turkey bacon is an option. It’s made with ground turkey breast and seasonings like salt, sugar, spices and smoke flavoring.
Turkey bacon can be used in place of regular bacon in most recipes; however it does not crisp up as much as regular pork bacon when cooked so it may need to be cooked longer than usual.
Finally, beef or lamb can also make good substitutes for pork bacon depending on the recipe.
Beef pancetta is cured beef belly that has been seasoned with herbs and spices such as black pepper or juniper berries; it can be used similarly to regular pork pancetta in dishes like carbonara or pasta alla amatriciana.
Lamb Bacon is another alternative; it’s usually smoked over hardwood chips before being sliced into strips which gives it a similar flavor profile to traditional pork bacon without the fat content associated with pork products.
What is a healthier alternative to bacon?
A healthier alternative to bacon is turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is made from ground turkey meat and seasonings, and it has a similar flavor and texture to pork bacon.
It contains fewer calories, fat, and cholesterol than regular pork bacon, making it a better choice for those looking to reduce their intake of unhealthy fats.
Additionally, turkey bacon does not contain nitrates or nitrites like many brands of pork bacon do.
Turkey bacon also tends to have more protein than regular pork bacon, which makes it a great source of lean protein for breakfast or any meal.
How do you mimic bacon flavor?
Mimicking the flavor of bacon can be done in a variety of ways.
- One way is to use smoked paprika, which has a smoky flavor that is similar to bacon.
- You can also use liquid smoke, which is made from condensing wood smoke and adding it to water or oil. Liquid smoke can be used as an ingredient in marinades or sauces for added smokiness.
- Another option is to use vegan bacon bits, which are usually made with textured vegetable protein and flavored with spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
- Finally, you could try using nutritional yeast flakes for a savory umami flavor that mimics the taste of bacon without any animal products.
What can vegans use instead of bacon?
Vegans looking for a bacon substitute can try plant-based alternatives such as tempeh, seitan, tofu, and mushrooms.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and has a chewy texture that makes it an ideal replacement for bacon in dishes like BLTs or breakfast sandwiches.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten and has a meaty texture that works well in recipes calling for crispy bacon bits.
Tofu also works as a vegan alternative to bacon; it’s high in protein and takes on the flavor of whatever marinade you use.
Mushrooms are another great option; they have an earthy flavor that pairs well with smoky seasonings to create a delicious vegan version of bacon.
In conclusion, bacon is a delicious and versatile food that can be used in a variety of dishes.
However, if you’re looking for a healthier or vegetarian alternative, there are a variety of substitutes that offer a similar flavor and texture.
Some of the best substitutes for bacon include prosciutto, beef bacon, pancetta, capicola, tempeh, turkey bacon, duck bacon, salmon rashers, fish skin bacon, salt pork, guanciale, vegetarian bacon, and Tofurky smoky bacon.
All of these substitutes have a unique flavor and texture that can add a delicious twist to your meals.
So, the next time you’re looking for a tasty and healthy replacement for bacon, give one of these substitutes a try and enjoy the delicious results.
The 25 Best Substitutes for Bacon
- Beef Bacon
- Turkey Bacon
- Duck Bacon
- Salmon Rashers
- Fish Skin Bacon
- Salt Pork
- Vegetarian Bacon
- Tofurky Smoky Bacon
- Carrot Bacon/Zucchini Bacon
- Mushroom Bacon
- Seitan Bacon
- Coconut Bacon
- Seaweed Bacon
- Cheese Bacon
- Rice Paper Vegan Bacon
- Shiitake Mushroom Bacon
- Eggplant Bacon
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.