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Vegan Bacon Bits

Vegan Pancetta Recipe (Bacon Bits)

The Pesky Vegan
Salty, smoky, crispy, and with a slight chew, these vegan pancetta cubes offer up a delicious, meat-free, and gluten-free alternative to regular bacon bits.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Condiment, Side
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan
Servings 4
Calories 102 kcal


  • Approx. 200 g extra-firm smoked tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Good pinch of salt
  • A few twists of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • In a large freezer bag or bowl, mix together all of the ingredients apart from the tofu. The great thing about a freezer bag is that you can use your hands to combine everything without any mess.
  • Once mixed together, add in the tofu pieces. Take a couple of minutes to coat the tofu evenly in the marinade. Again, a freezer bag makes it easy to move everything around.
  • Empty the contents of the bag onto an oven dish or baking sheet, and spread out the tofu pieces evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, shaking the pieces around a few times during cooking. If the tofu seems to be sticking or burning, you can add a little more oil and reduce the heat slightly.
  • After 30 minutes, the pieces should be crispy with a slight chew and will have reduced in size. Bake for longer if necessary, but keep an eye on them as they can easily overcook.
  • Once cooked, you can use the vegan pancetta in other dishes or allow it to cool and store it in the fridge for several days.


Tofu: If you don’t have extra-firm smoked tofu, no worries. You may just need to drain and press it before marinating, add a touch more smoked paprika, and possibly cook for slightly longer.  
Enhance flavour: If you have time, you can enhance the flavour by preparing the vegan pancetta in advance and keeping it in the fridge for up to a few hours before cooking.  
Gluten-free: Tamari is a variant of soy sauce that’s usually gluten-free. If this recipe needs to be 100% gluten-free, make sure you use a GF soy sauce or tamari.
Liquid smoke: This is an optional ingredient, but it has a seriously smoky flavour that I love. Use sparingly. 
Reuse your freezer bag: If using a freezer bag for the marinade, remember to wash it out and reuse in future. We keep one at home that we wash and reuse every time we cook something like this. Note that acidic ingredients may weaken the bag over time, but you should be able to get at least a few uses out of it. 
Storage: Store this vegan pancetta in the fridge for up to four days or freezer for up to six months. Be aware that the tofu pieces may take on a more porous texture after having been frozen and defrosted. 
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* The nutrition info below is for one serving, based on a total of four servings.


Calories: 102kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 540mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 287IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Pancetta Recipe (Bacon Bits)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 102 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 540mg23%
Potassium 152mg4%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 287IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword tofu, tofu bacon, vegan bacon
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment down below or tag me on Instagram @thepeskyvegan along with the hashtag #thepeskyvegan