Try these Eggplant Bacon filled with all the flavor and crispiness of bacon in thinly sliced eggplant! Perfect for vegetarian breakfast, BLT sandwiches, and any other time you crave bacon.

 When adopting a vegan lifestyle, bacon is probably one of the most difficult food items to give up. Bacon is delectable on its own, as well as in sandwiches and salads. However, even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, bacon contains some ingredients you probably like to avoid.

However, anything is possible these days, including meatless bacon! That’s what exactly we’re going to make today. See also Coconut Bacon and Tofu Bacon.

Fortunately, making vegan bacon is quite easy and simple. This vegan bacon is made using eggplant. Eggplant is quite absorbent and pairs well with smokey flavors, so it’s an obvious choice. Simply coat it with a tasty spice blend and bake it in the air fryer or the oven! I like to bake it in the air fryer for optimum crispiness. Bacon, boom!

This meatless bacon substitute is a low-cost alternative to store-bought vegan bacon and a fantastic way to intake more vegetables. It stores for up to a week in the refrigerator and for a month in the freezer; therefore, make a large batch and use it for numerous recipes until you need to make more.

Learning how to make vegetarian bacon is a simple and healthy way to enhance the flavor of your favorite foods with crispy bacon. Keep reading the article to learn how to make eggplant bacon.

What is Eggplant Bacon?

Bacon is prepared with eggplants instead of meat by slicing them into strips and then usually seasoned with soy sauce, maple syrup, and some spices to get a bacon-like flavor.

Vegan eggplant bacon resembles real bacon in appearance and texture. However, the flavor is slightly different. I think it tastes fantastic, so I use it in sandwiches and salads instead of regular bacon.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe?

I hope you will love this eggplant “bacon” as much as I do. Because it is:

  • Plant-based bacon substitute
  • Crispy
  • Slightly chewy
  • Smoky
  • Sweet and Salty
  • Low in fat
  • Easy to prepare
  • Healthy
  • Amazingly flavorful
  • Low-cost bacon
  • And oh so delicious

Is Eggplant Bacon Healthy?

These eggplant bacon are as healthy as delicious because Eggplants are a nutrient-dense food. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are low in calories. Additionally, eggplants contain traces of other nutrients such as niacin, magnesium, and copper.

Along with other essential nutrients, eggplants offer a high concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants help in the protection of the body against damage produced by harmful substances called free radicals. Eggplants are particularly high in anthocyanins, an antioxidant pigment that gives them their vibrant color.

According to some studies, eggplants may assist in lowering the risk of heart disease due to their antioxidant content. For example, in one study, eggplant was found to lower both LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, two blood markers that, when raised, can result in a higher risk of heart disease.

Eggplants are a good source of fiber and polyphenols, which may help lower blood sugar levels.

Eggplants also help in losing weight because of their high fiber and low calories content. Fiber passes slowly through the digestive tract, promoting fullness and satiety while lowering calorie intake. Top 10 Health Benefits Of Eggplants.

eggplant cut into thin slices with marinade in a

How to Make Air Fryer Eggplant Bacon?

To prepare air fry Eggplant Bacon, you’ll require the following few simple ingredients and  steps to follow:

Ingredients

Eggplant Bacon

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
eggplant bacon marinating in smoky sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 370º F for 5 minutes
  2. Cut eggplant into thin strips lengthwise, about ⅛ inch thickness, using a mandolin for best results.
  3. Combine olive oil, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika in a bowl.
  4. Brush olive oil mixture on both sides of eggplant slices and place in a single layer on air fryer basket for 10 minutes
  5. Flip eggplant and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until eggplant is crispy on the edges.

Serving suggestions

Serve immediately in sandwiches or salads, or alongside. Pair it with Tofu Scramble.

You can also add it into your Pasta or pizza just as regular bacon.

Serve with cauliflower hash browns,  banana pancakes, or even baked veggies wedge!

How to Store Eggplant Bacon?

Let the bacon completely cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a week or a month in the freezer. To preserve the flavor, I recommend storing it in a freezer-safe bag or container.

To reheat, heat a pan over medium heat, add some drizzle of oil, and cook bacon on both sides until heated (be cautious not to burn).

Substitutions and Variations

This vegetable bacon recipe is quite simple, using only a few ingredients. However, you may like to make some changes. Here are some possible substitutions:

  • You can substitute maple syrup with any other plant-based sweetener; however, the maple flavor enhances the flavor of these eggplants’
  • If you do not have liquid smoke, you can substitute it with smoked paprika, cumin and ground chipotles for a similar level of smokiness.
  • Swap out olive oil with tahini.
  • Topped with your favorite cheese.
  • You can add more spices according to your taste and preferences.
  • Substitute eggplant with carrots.

Recipe Notes

  • The cooking time may vary depending on the type of your air fryer and the thickness of eggplant slices. If your slices are very thick, they may take longer to cook or to crisp up.
  • You can replace avocado oil with olive or grapeseed oil.

 

Give this recipe a try. I’m sure you’re going to adore this vegan bacon!  And, don’t forget to share your feedback in the comments!

Other Eggplant Recipes To Prepare

  1. Best Eggplant Recipes
  2.  
eggplant bacon overlay on a white platter on a beige concrete background

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 22 kcal / 92 kJ
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Carbs: 4.8 g

Cook Time

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 370º F for 5 minutes
  2. Cut eggplant into thin strips lengthwise, about ⅛ inch thickness, using a mandolin for best result
  3. Combine olive oil, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika in a bowl
  4. Brush olive oil mixture on both sides of eggplant slices and place in a single layer on air fryer basket for 10 minutes
  5. Flip eggplant and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until eggplant is crispy on the edges.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.