Easy Tempeh Bacon For Stovetop, Oven, and Air Fryer

cooked tempeh bacon

With its smoky, savory flavor and satisfying crispiness, this homemade easy tempeh bacon is a versatile addition to your vegan and vegetarian kitchen repertoire. In just a few simple steps, you can create this delectable bacon alternative that’s perfect for wraps and sandwiches, salads, or as a flavorful topping for a variety of dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to try something new, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your meatless cooking collection.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to make this mouthwatering tempeh bacon in multiple cooking methods! If you’re interested in more plant-based air-fryer recipes, feel free to explore my complete Vegan Air Fryer Recipes Collection here.

Ingredients & Substitutions

The key ingredients for this tempeh bacon recipe include tempeh, low sodium soy sauce or tamari, extra virgin olive oil, pure maple syrup, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, and a dash of onion powder.

If needed, there are some potential substitutions you can consider. Instead of low sodium soy sauce or tamari, regular soy sauce can be used, but be mindful of the saltiness.

In place of maple syrup, agave nectar or honey can provide a similar sweetness.

If you don’t have liquid smoke on hand, you can enhance the smoky flavor with a touch of smoked paprika.

Adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences, but keep in mind that these substitutions may alter the final taste and texture of your tempeh bacon.

Helpful Tools

  • Shallow Bowl or Baking Dish: You’ll need a vessel to mix and marinate your tempeh slices. A shallow bowl or baking dish works well for this purpose.
  • Whisk: A whisk is essential for thoroughly blending the marinade ingredients to ensure an even coating on the tempeh.
  • Parchment Paper: When baking the tempeh in the oven, lining your baking sheet with parchment paper makes cleanup a breeze and prevents sticking.
  • Baking Sheet: A standard baking sheet provides a flat surface for even cooking of the tempeh in the oven.
  • Brush: You’ll want a brush for applying the marinade to the tempeh when it’s time to flip them during baking. A silicone brush is a good choice for even distribution.
  • Alternative Cooking Appliances: If you plan to use the air fryer or stovetop methods (as described in the notes), make sure you have access to these appliances and are familiar with their operation.

How to Make This Easy Tempeh Bacon

To make this tempeh bacon recipe, begin by preparing a marinade in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Combine low sodium soy sauce (or tamari), liquid smoke, extra virgin olive oil, pure maple syrup, smoked paprika, and a dash of onion powder.

tempeh bacon marinade in glass container

Next, slice the tempeh into strips and immerse them in the marinade, letting them soak up the flavors for at least 15 minutes.

tempeh bacon in marinade

For the cooking process, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or consult the notes below for alternative methods like air frying or stovetop cooking). Place the marinated tempeh strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

tempeh bacon on baking sheet

Bake them for the first 10 minutes, then flip them and generously brush with the remaining marinade. Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes until they achieve a crispy, delicious texture.

Easy Tempeh Bacon on baking sheet

Finally, serve and relish your homemade tempeh bacon, savoring its smoky goodness. If you prefer alternative cooking methods, you can also pan-fry the tempeh in a bit of oil or use an air fryer for about 12-15 minutes, ensuring to flip them halfway for even cooking. Whether you opt for the oven, stovetop, or air fryer, this tempeh bacon is certain to satisfy your bacon cravings!

Tips & Tricks

  • Slice Uniformly: Cut your tempeh into evenly sized strips to ensure they cook consistently.
  • Marinate Adequately: Allow the tempeh to marinate for at least 15 minutes, or longer if possible, for deeper flavor.
  • Preheat the Oven: Ensure your oven is fully preheated to 400°F for even cooking.
  • Use Parchment Paper: Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking and simplify cleanup.
  • Monitor Closely: Keep a close eye on the tempeh during the final minutes of cooking to prevent burning.
  • Experiment with Cooking Methods: Try different cooking methods like stovetop or air frying for variety.
  • Serve Creatively: Use your tempeh bacon in sandwiches, salads, or as a tasty topping for various dishes.

FAQ: Easy Tempeh Bacon

Can I use regular soy sauce instead of low sodium soy sauce or tamari?

Yes, you can use regular soy sauce, but be mindful of its saltiness, and adjust the recipe to your taste.

What can I use if I don’t have liquid smoke?

If you don’t have liquid smoke, smoked paprika can add a smoky flavor to your tempeh bacon.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, simply ensure that you use gluten-free soy sauce (or tamari) to make the recipe gluten-free.

Can I freeze tempeh bacon?

Yes, you can freeze cooked tempeh bacon. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw before reheating.

Can I double or triple the recipe?

Certainly, you can scale up the recipe to make more tempeh bacon. Just ensure that you have a sufficiently large container for marinating and use additional baking sheets if needed when cooking.

cooked tempeh bacon

Easy Tempeh Bacon For Stovetop, Oven, and Air Fryer

Discover how to make irresistible tempeh bacon with this easy-to-follow recipe. Enjoy its smoky, savory goodness in various dishes!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinade Time: 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Vegan Basics
Cuisine American, Asian, Fusion
Servings 4


  • 8oz tempeh (about 200g)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • dash of onion powder


  • In a shallow bowl or baking dish whisk together soy sauce, liquid smoke, olive oil, maple syrup, paprika and onion powder.
  • Cut the tempeh into 12 equal strips and place into the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 15 mins.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. (Air fryer, and stovetop directions are in the notes below)
  • Place the tempeh strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 mins. Flip the tempeh, and brush with the marinade. Bake for another 10 mins.
  • Serve, and enjoy!


Pan Fried Version: Cook in a pan on medium heat with a little oil for 3-4 minutes per side. (These are delicious cooked on a cast iron)
Air Fryer: Cook in the air fryer at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Conclusion: Easy Tempeh Bacon

Crafting your own easy tempeh bacon at home unlocks a world of delicious plant-based possibilities. With its rich flavor and versatility, this recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to enhance their vegan or vegetarian culinary journey.

Whether you savor it in a Vegan BLT sandwich, salads, or as a standalone snack, your taste buds are in for a treat. Embrace the joy of creating this savory delight, and let tempeh bacon elevate your meatless cooking adventures. Enjoy every bite!

4 thoughts on “Easy Tempeh Bacon For Stovetop, Oven, and Air Fryer

  1. Jackie says:

    5 stars
    Perfect loved the flavor and spices

  2. Jacquelle says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was perfect definitely a flavor enhancer for my tempeh.

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