THIS isn't bacon

Although it’s good to eat ‘natural foods’ (like lentils), most people like the taste of meat. But in a country of 60 million people, there is not enough land for everyone to eat free-range. So if you (almost certainly) don’t agree with factory-farming, it’s necessary for everyone to eat plant-based for at least of the time. Read more on lots of ways to help pig friends!

THIS Isn’t Bacon is a popular pea/soy protein bacon. Fortified with iron and vitamin B12, unlike pork this is free from nitrates (which can cause cancer).

Recycle plastic packaging at supermarket bag bins, if your council does not collect kerbside. Keep vegan meats away from pets (due to unsafe ingredients like onion and garlic). Read more on keeping people & pets safe in the kitchen.

good brands of vegan bacon in grocery shops 

la vie vegan bacon

La Vie is a French brand of vegan bacon (in natural or smoked) that is so popular worldwide that a product is now sold every 12 seconds. Made with pea protein, it’s sold nationwide and also in Burger King meals (alas their plant-based whoppers are cooked on the same broiler grills as meat, which rather defeats the point).

Sgaia vegan bacon rashers

Sgaia Foods (Scotland) offers lovely vegan bacon based on seitan (‘wheat-meat’). Created by two Italian foodies who live in Glasgow, you can even buy ‘wheat meat boxes’ to your door. Ideal for a BLT or full English breakfast.

Richmond meat-free streaky bacon

Richmond is an Irish company that makes meat bacon (so buy the right version, as the packaging is similar) and now offers vegan streaky rashers. Some prefer not to buy from companies that sell meat, others say it’s the best way to get them to change what they make (plus these are affordable and widely sold). Try this full English with their meat-free sausages and scrambled ‘oggs!’ In supermarkets, VBites, Asda, Aldi and Sainsbury’s all do vegan rashers.

meatless farm tortellini

Meatless Farm’s plant-based tortellini with chicken & bacon takes 5 minutes, served with a drizzle of olive oil and vegan cheese. Seasoned with garlic, black pepper and plant cheese, the company offers vegan bacon for food service.

inspirational vegan bacons from abroad

vegan bacony bits

Sometimes it’s good to know what’s going on abroad, to inspire on what could be done better here.

  1. All Y’Alls Bacony Bits (US) are sprinkled on pasta, omelettes, salads and soups, with a portion of profits helping to support a Texas farm sanctuary (run by former beef farmers who had a change of heart!)
  2. Toforky Smoky Maple Bacon (US) is made with tofu’s ‘weird-but-cool cousin’ tempeh (the national food of Indonesia, which is high in protein and tastes very similar to meat).
  3. Sunfed boar-free bacon (NZ) is made with yellow pea protein and locally-grown pumpkin, along with yeast extract.

recipes to make your own vegan bacon

vegan bacon

Most of us are not going to do this, but some ambitious chefs may wish to give it a try. It’s actually pretty simple, you just take a base ingredient (this could be aubergines, mushrooms or coconut as a rule) then use the same ‘smoky’ flavours used to replicate bacon (like liquid smoke and maple syrup).

Before cooking, read up on food safety for people & pets (many human foods are unsafe around animal friends).

Vegan Bacon (Feasting at Home) is made with tofu, which absorbs flavours of what you marinate it with. Cookbook author Sarah Kramer says that saying you don’t like tofu is ‘like saying you don’t like cake flour!’

vegan bacon

6-ingredient vegan bacon (Broke Bank Vegan) is ideal to serve with BLTs or breakfast burritos, with smoked paprika, smoked sea salt and tamari.

vegan bacon substitute

Vegan bacon substitute (Chef Ani) is made from vital wheat gluten and cheesy-tasting nutritional yeast, hickory smoke, onion and dried mushroom powder, along with liquid aminos, maple syrup and tomato paste. You can vary this recipe up with herbs, spice, mushroom or liquid smoke.

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