Vegan BLT with Sautéd Tempeh “Bacon”

Vegan BLT

Crunchy, smoky tempeh bacon and a BLT sandwich

It seems like everyone is obsessed with bacon lately, doesn’t it? I don’t quite get it – I mean, I like bacon as much as the next gal, but I don’t know that I think it’s the best food in the world or anything.

That being said, I do love a good BLT! This vegan BLT recipe definitely fills that craving. You’re not going to be passing this stuff off as real bacon, but it’s got a great smoky, salty, crunchy thing going on that works really well on a sandwich, and could also be great crumbled over a salad or next to a tofu scramble.

First you need to slice some tempeh up as thin as you can – I slice mine down the long side and then cut it in half, but it doesn’t really matter, just depends on how long you want your slices to be.

how to slice tempeh for bacon

Then mix together some soy sauce, spices, and a touch of agave or other sweetener if you want the sweet smoky flavor, and marinate the tempeh in the sauce for 10-30 minutes. (You can skip the marinating if you’re in a hurry.)

marinating tempeh bacon

Pour the tempeh AND all of the marinade into a pan over medium-high heat, and cook until the sauce has evaporated and the tempeh is nice and charred on both sides – the time it takes can vary so just keep checking and flipping it until it’s nice and crunchy.

tempeh bacon

That’s it! To make a BLT just spread some mayo on bread and then add slices of tomato, lettuce, and some fresh avocado if you’re feeling feisty.

vegan tempeh bacon

Vegan BLT

Vegan BLT with Sautéd Tempeh "Bacon"

vegan, gluten free (if you use GF bread and soy sauce), low fat
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 block of tempeh sliced very thinly into strips
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Whisk together all ingredients except tempeh in a shallow dish (I used a pie plate)
  • Add tempeh to liquid and marinate for about 30 minutes (you can skip the marinating step if you like)
  • Pour tempeh and all of the marinade mixture into a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté for 5-10 minutes per side until liquid has evaporated and tempeh is blackened and crunchy. Serve immediately.
  • To make a BLT, add mayo, lettuce, and tomato to sandwich bread - avocado is also great!
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  • 5 stars
    Mmm, I love tempeh! But, I am so with you on the bacon thing. I loved bacon, it is so tasty, but I really find tempeh bacon to be just as good.

    I might go a step further and add avocado!

  • I am interested in cooking with Tempeh, but in your picture the tempeh looks charred black. Isn’t that carcinogenic? It doesn’t have to get that black to the get the flavor I hope? I am looking into entering a mostly vegetarian life-style and although I am interested in tempeh, I wonder if meat-eaters like my husband and son would eat it. Thanks.

  • Looks good. I make this many times and enjoy it with avocado, tomato and lettuce on Gunter’s home made bread.
    Check out The Tempeh girls on facebook. Joy put up a picture of our latest creation which is black chana tempeh that everyone loved.
    Feel free to write with any questions/comments.
    betsy shipley