Serious Eats

“Vegan” and “bacon” are two words that typically don’t go together. Until now.

Plant-based nutrition has been taking the world by storm. Vegans are converting their favorite dairy and meat dishes into delicious, plant-based meals. One yummy alternative is vegan bacon – made from mushrooms.

Why Mushroom Bacon?

Choosing a plant-based alternative for bacon is healthy for a variety of reasons. The World Health Organization classifies processed meats like bacon, beef jerky, hot dogs, and sausages as carcinogens. These meat products are in the same carcinogen class as cigarettes.

Not to mention, vegetables like mushrooms provide for a better nutritional profile than meats.

“When we substitute mushrooms for bacon, we cut down on animal-based saturated fat and associated calories, while bulking up on nutrients without losing any flavor,” said Lisa Hayim, R.D., a New York City-based nutritionist.

What You’ll Need

Here are the ingredients for this healthy, plant-based bacon:

  • 4 cups of fresh shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt

And here’s how it’s made:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Next, toss the thinly sliced mushrooms in a bowl with the coconut oil, paprika, and salt.
  3. After they’re tossed, spread your mushrooms over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil.
  4. Bake the mushrooms for 25 to 30 minutes, while stirring them occasionally. The mushrooms should look dry and browned when finished.
  5. Finally, remove the mushrooms from the oven and let them cool. Once cooled, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.

Mushroom Bacon Mania

From here, let your plant-based imagination run wild. Mushroom bacon’s smoky flavor can be just what your favorite soup, salad, or pasta dish needs.

Did someone say vegan BLT?