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Meatless Monday: Try out tempeh for International Bacon Day

Omnivores don’t get to have all the fun on International Bacon Day

Bacon lovers everywhere can celebrate Aug. 31, but there are plenty of alternatives to getting the smoky, salty taste of bacon.

There are a few brands found in the frozen food section that try their own take on meatless bacon. Mock meat can be an acquired taste and isn’t always vegan-friendly. 

Tempeh is a fermented, soy-based protein that can be used in place of tofu, mock meat or whatever other proteins you cook with. Much like tofu, it takes on the taste of whatever you cook it with. It’s low-maintenance, keeps well after it’s cooked and is only about $3 at most supermarkets. 

I had heard about tempeh a lot before I actually tried it not too long ago at Bartertown Diner, a plant-based brunch restaurant in Grand Rapids, Mich. 

The texture isn’t anything like real bacon, but it nails the salty, smoky taste. The key is cutting the tempeh into thin strips without it crumbling (which it does easily) and letting it soak in sauce for a strong flavor. 

Try it in place of bacon on a BLT sandwich or for breakfast-for-dinner tonight. 

From Healthy Happy Life

I tried this recipe shortly after I had tempeh bacon in Grand Rapids and immediately wanted more. It’s really easy, just be sure to use a good knife to cut clean, thin pieces of tempeh. 


  • 5 oz. tempeh 
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil 
  • ½ tsp. cumin 
  • Dash cayenne 
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce 
  • ½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil (for pan)


  1. Slice tempeh into thin strips.
  2. Combine all spices, sauce and syrup into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Soak tempeh slices in marinade for 2 minutes.
  4. Heat saute pan on high and drizzle in oil. Lay tempeh flat on the skillet in one layer. Drizzle excess marinade into pan.
  5. Let cook for one minute, then flip and cook on the other side until crispy.
  6. Lay cool tempeh on paper towel-topped plate and sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.  
Follow editor Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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