We Taste-Tested the 6 Best Vegan Bacons That Taste Like the Real Thing
Is there such a thing as a 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
4. 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.
5. Hooray Foods Plant-Based Bacon
Hooray Foods is a new 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
6. 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.