The Best Vegan Bacon That Tastes Just Like the Real Thing
Is there such a thing as truly good vegan bacon? For years, companies have been trying to create meatless bacon that tastes exactly like the real thing. There have been dozens of new entries into the vegan sausage and burger categories, but fewer have tried to meet this challenge. So where is the plant-based world on this quest for amazing vegan bacon? With all the new plant-based meat players such as Beyond, Impossible, and Lightlife, we set out to find the ones that are worth your taste buds and your money.
To get to the bottom of this vegan bacon mystery, we tracked down six of the latest and most widely available plant-based kinds of bacon on the market to see how they would stack up. Here is our take, and we would love to hear from you if you have any that you prefer! Plus, you may want to try making these bacons in the oven, for an even more crispy bacon taste.
Avoiding Processed Meat for Your Health
Bacon is America's favorite processed meat with some estimates claiming that the average American consumer eats 18 pounds of bacon per year. But now, increasing research has shown eating processed meats such as bacon regularly can lead to several chronic health conditions including heart failure, kidney disease, and several forms of cancer, among others. Eating processed or red meat regularly can increase your heart disease and cancer risk by 18 percent and 29 percent, respectively.
To help improve your overall well-being and lower your risk of heart disease, introducing new plant-based bacon to your diet can significantly help improve your health for longer. Adding a few plant-based meals to your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease 30 years later, according to a recent study. Another study shows that switching to a more dominantly plant-based diet can actually prolong your life expectancy by 10 years or more. So next time you are cooking breakfast or making a B.L.T., check out some of these top bacon alternatives for a healthier protein.
For all the Beet Meters, check out the best vegan products.
Be Leaf Vegan Bacon
BeLeaf’s vegan bacon hits all the right taste and texture notes. For that reason, it tops our list. It cooks up extremely easily and yields a consistency and is easy to work with to create any bacon dish you desire. BeLeaf captures that meaty, salty bacon-like taste.
Price: $9.99, 10 oz package
Where to buy: Besties Vegan Paradise, Lassens, and other local natural grocery stores. Also on online retailers like Vegan Essentials, GTFO It's Vegan, and more.
Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g
Hooray Foods Plant-Based Bacon
Hooray Foods is a plant-based bacon designed to look, cook, and taste like the real thing. The pieces stick together if they touch while cooking so make sure you use a large pan to keep separate. This bacon has a heavy coconut aftertaste so we would recommend using it on salads or as a topping.
Price: $8.49-$8.99, 5 oz package
Where To Buy: Select Whole Foods Market
Total Fat 4g, Saturated Fat 3g
LightLife Smart Bacon
LightLife is a long-time player in the vegan food space and you can feel good about eating its Smart Bacon which is easy to find on most grocery store shelves. LightLife’s Smart Bacon has a slight soy taste which some people might not love. Use this Bacon on a plant-based patty or vegan BLT the next time you have a hankering for bacon.
Price: $5.99, 5 oz package
Where to buy: Various mainstream grocery stores, health-food retailers, and online shops.
Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g
Prime Roots Superprotein Bacon
Prime Roots uses fermentation technology to mimic real bacon. Their secret weapon is an ingredient called Koji, a Japanese fungus that is actually a whole-food protein, packed with nutrients. It certainly smells and tastes like bacon. It can overcook easily, so it's a good option if you like “crispier” bacon. This would go well in a sandwich or as crumbles on a salad.
Price: $9.99, 8 oz package
Where to buy: Online at www.primeroots.com
Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 6g
Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon
Sweet Earth has been a consistent plant-based brand that doesn't ever disappoint. And their Benevolent Bacon is no exception. This bacon is teeming with flavor and a “meaty” texture. You’ll enjoy notes of hickory, sage and garlic in every bite. It cooks like the real thing is available for purchase both in frozen and refrigerated packaging.
Price: $3.99, 5.5 oz package
Where to buy: Check out Sweet Earth’s online locator tool to find a store closest to you, including select SafeWay, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, and more.
Total Fat 1.5g, Saturated Fat 0g
SUPRIMA Bacon Crack
As if we needed reminding just how addictive bacon is, along comes a plant-based bacon product called "Bacon Crack" that is cooked and crispy and ready to eat right out of the box. Bacon Crack from Superhumn, is an all-natural, gluten-free, soy-free plant-based formula that "checks all the boxes" when you're searching for healthier bacon. The most important box of all? When it comes to bacon, that's taste. When it comes to the savory, smoky, slightly sweet, crispy salty fix that bacon lovers have come to count on, many plant-based versions fall short. Bacon Crack checks that box too. At 60 calories for 2 strips, a saturated fat content of 2.5 grams, and 2 grams of protein per serving, this bacon has half the fat and 40 percent less sodium than real bacon. We see a BLT in our future.
Price: $6.99 for one 2.5 oz package.
Where to Buy: Check out Superhumn's website to purchase this tasty bacon. Currently offers limited availability.
Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 2.5g
Upton’s Bacon Seitan
Upton’s makes a tasty and smokey bacon that is well suited in a BLT, or crumbles on a salad. While it doesn't quite resemble the real thing, it’s still a good substitute when you need bacon in a recipe. We suggest you cook it longer to get a crispy bacon crunch.
Price: $4.69, 5 oz package
Where to buy: Whole Foods Market and other retailers as well as online Amazon.com, ThriveMarket.com and more.
Total Fat 0.5g, Saturated Fat 0g