This Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Bacon is the perfect savory salad topping! It is super flavorful and satisfying but 100% meatless so everyone can enjoy it. This recipe is super quick and easy, made with only mushrooms, oil, paprika and salt, but it tastes amazing! I love to add it to the top of a big salad or stir it into a side salad.
I originally shared this recipe on May 5th, 2017. I have updated the images and text to share it with you again today.
Why We Love This Recipe For Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Bacon
If you’re wanting vegan bacon, but think you won’t like this shiitake bacon because you’re not a fan of mushrooms, think again! The texture of this meatless bacon is nothing like a raw or even sautéed mushroom so don’t worry. It is hard and crispy with a little bit of leathery chew just like real bacon!
It’s a totally satisfying alternative to pork bacon and has a wide variety of uses. Shiitake bacon can be used to top off salads like this Vegan Tempeh and Cauliflower Power Salad, or these Meal Prep Wasabi Salmon Salads. I also like to use them in place of bacon in Vegan Broccoli Salad and to top off Corn Chowder. In actuality, you can replace bacon in just about any recipe, just stir them in at the end so they stay crispy!
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
I’ll always advise that you purchase mushrooms from the bulk bin if you can—that way you can choose the freshest ones. We also recommend washing shiitake mushrooms by wiping the cap with a damp paper towel. Mushrooms are so absorbent that if you wash them under the tap they will retain some of the water. If this happens, place on a paper towel to dry for a few minutes.
Avocado oil or organic canola oil work best for this recipe but you can use olive oil as well.
Smoked Paprika is the essence of the bacon flavor in this shiitake bacon. Look for it in the spice isle at large supermarkets. I only use 3/4 teaspoon, but you can add more to taste if you like a stronger smoke flavor.
Kosher salt is great for cooking but sea salt will work too, just make sure to use half as much as you would with kosher salt because it is higher in sodium.
Step-By-Step Instructions To Make Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Bacon
Step 1: Prepare the oven and mushrooms.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms. Just pull them off by hand. The stems are tough and pithy so they’re really not good for eating. You can add them to vegetable stock or homemade chicken stock if you like. Next cut the caps into thin strips (a quarter-inch thick is perfect.) They shrink considerably while they are roasting, so you don’t have to make them paper-thin.
Step 2: Season Mushrooms
After they are sliced, toss them with oil. I like to use a neutral oil like avocado oil because I want the smoke to be the real starring flavor here. Because shiitake mushrooms are really absorbent, it is helpful to drizzle the oil along with the bowl (intentionally), then toss the shiitakes. The oil will be more evenly dispersed.
For flavoring, all you need is a little salt and smoked paprika. The smoky paprika will taste just like bacon! Add the seasoning in and toss again to coat as evenly as possible.
Step 3: Spread on a Sheet Pan
Next comes the roasting. Spread the mushrooms out over a large rimmed baking sheet. Try not to let them overlap too much.
Step 4: Stir To Bake Evenly
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Make sure to stir the shiitake bacon with a spatula a few times while it roasts, so that it crisps up evenly. Otherwise, the pieces on the edge of the pan may overcook and burn.
You’ll know the shiitake bacon is done when it is browning but not burnt. That means that most of the moisture is roasted out of it and the small amount of natural sugars are caramelizing a bit. You can read more about the interaction of moisture and caramelization of sugar here.
Let the “bacon” cool completely. It will become crisp as it cools.
FAQs and Expert Tips For This Recipe
Shiitake bacon isn’t made from pork like normal bacon. It is a vegan meatless alternative made with shiitake mushrooms, seasoned with smoked paprika to give it a smoky flavoring. It is roasted to dehydrate it and crisp it up to give it a texture similar to bacon.
They have a rich, nutty, toasty buttery, and woodsy flavor, and a meaty texture when cooked. You can eat shiitake mushrooms raw, but their flavor is much more enhanced when they’re cooked.
Shiitake is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, though they are grown all over the world for consumption.
The shiitake mushroom is a good source of Vitamin B6, zinc and magnesium too, and in some traditional medicines, has been considered to have medicinal qualities. They are commonly used in Asian recipes like Tom Kha Gai (try our Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Coconut Soup) or as a meat alternative like Mock Eel.
This vegan bacon is best used within a day of baking, but it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
It will lose its crispy texture if you seal it into a container when it is not completely crispy and cool. Store at room temperature in a paper bag or a plastic bag that is not sealed shut. Re-crisp if necessary in the oven at 350 degrees or air fryer for 4 to 5 minutes or until sizzling hot. Then let it cool before serving.
Yes! It seems a bit too simple, but all you need is a little salt and smoked paprika to turn these mushrooms into little perfect pieces of vegan bacon perfection!
What to do with your Vegan Shiitake Bacon
More Mushroom Recipes To Try
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie
This Vegan Shiitake Bacon is the perfect savory salad topping! It is super flavorful and satisfying but 100% meatless so everyone can enjoy it. And it’s ready in just 30 minutes!
- 4 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (5 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Toss shiitake mushrooms, 1 tablespoon oil, smoked paprika and salt in a medium bowl.
- Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven.
- Bake, stirring and turning occasionally until the mushrooms are dried out and browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.
- You’ll know the shiitake bacon is done when it is browning but not burnt. That means that most of the moisture is roasted out of it and the small amount of natural sugars are caramelizing a bit.
- This shiitake bacon will lose its crispy texture if you seal it into a container when it is not completely crispy and cool. It is best used within a day of baking. Store at room temperature in a paper bag or a plastic bag that is not sealed shut.
- Re-crisp if necessary in the oven at 350 degrees or air fryer for 4 to 5 minutes or until sizzling hot. Let cool before serving.
- You can substitute some smoked paprika for liquid smoke, but only do a small amount. If you chose to do this, use half the amount of liquid smoke that you’re removing from the paprika.
- Serving Size: 5 tablespoons
- Calories: 41
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 70 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g