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tofu bacon crumbles in white bowl with red checked cloth in background

Tofu Bacon Bits

Course: Snack, Topping
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon tofu, tofu bacon, tofu crumbles
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 126kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey
These tofu bacon Bits taste like the real thing! They are made with extra-firm tofu, seasonings, and spices. Sprinkle on top of veggie dishes, potatoes, salads, soups, and sandwiches for a sweet smokey bacony flavor.
Print Recipe


  • 16 ounces tofu extra firm
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini paste
  • 2 Tablespoon Braggs Aminos sub low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cocoa powder unsweetened

To Brush on The Final 5 Minutes

  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup


  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Press and drain the tofu, pouring off liquid as necessary. This will take about 10 minutes using a tofu press. If pressing between plates with weights, it might take up to one hour. (This is for the quick and easy method. See notes below for the freezing instructions.)
  • While the oven is preheating and the tofu is pressing/draining, stir together all other ingredients (EXCEPT FOR THE MAPLE SYRUP) into a medium-sized bowl. You will be saving the maple syrup to brush on the last five minutes of cooking.
  • When the tofu is pressed and drained, hand crumble into small pieces directly into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients. Toss together and stir to evenly coat.
  • Turn onto a silicone baking sheet - or a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Spread evenly and put it in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, checking at intervals. (See next instruction. Also, see note below about the freeze method as it will affect the cooking time.)
  • After putting the tofu in the oven, set the timer for 15 minutes. Open the oven after the first 15 minutes and turn and stir the tofu, moving the dryer tofu from the outer edges to the center and the moister tofu in the center, out to the edges. Put back into the oven and check again in 15 more minutes.
  • Take out of the oven again and turn and stir again, moving the dry tofu to the center. Before putting back into the oven, brush with the maple syrup. (See next instruction).
  • (Now is when you get to make a personal choice of how sweet you want to make your bacon bits. I like mine sweet so I use the whole two tablespoons of (pure) maple syrup. If you do not like sweet bacon then use less maple syrup. I really can't tell you...)
    With a pastry brush, cover the baked and stirred tofu crumbles with the maple syrup, a bit at a time so that it absorbs into the tofu. Put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • You will know when your tofu is done because it will be nicely browned - but not burned. I check after 5 minutes and if I don't think it is finished, I put back in the oven for up to 5 more minutes, checking every two minutes. Allow setting till slightly cooled for the full flavor to develop.
  • You can keep these tofu bacon bits tightly in the fridge for up to a week - but I've never managed to keep them around that long!


The recipe instructions above were for the quick and easy method. You simply press and drain the tofu and proceed. The second method is the freeze method. It will produce a chewier texture and a slightly more intense flavor. If I have time and forethought I will do this method - if not, I'm very happy with the quick and easy method. 
For the freeze method:
  • Cut the tofu block into about 5 slices and wrap in plastic or put into baggies.
  • Freeze overnight or at least 6 hours.
  • Allow to thaw and THEN press to remove any liquid.
  • Proceed with the recipe instructions.
  • When cooking, check every 10 minutes rather than 15. The tofu will dry out and start to burn more quickly. I usually cut about 5-7 minutes off the total cooking time.


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg