This Vegan Shiitake Bacon is the perfect savory salad topping! It is super flavorful and satisfying but 100% meatless so everyone can enjoy it. I love to add it to the top of a big salad or stir it into a side salad. So that’s why I am sharing it during salad month.
If you 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 bacon!
The smoked paprika makes it smoky like bacon, so it’ll add that satisfying smoky contrast that bacon normally would add to a dish.
How to Make Vegan Shiitake Bacon
- To make the vegan shiitake bacon, start off by removing 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 home-made chicken stock if you like. If you have another tip for what to do with the stems, please leave a comment below!
- Next cut the caps into thin strips, like a quarter-inch thick is perfect. They shrink considerably while they are roasting, so you don’t have to make them paper thin.
- 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 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.
- Next comes the roasting. Spread the mushrooms out over a large rimmed baking sheet and transfer them 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.
- Culinary Science Nerd Alert: 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.
What to do with your Vegan Shiitake Bacon
- Substitute the regular bacon in this French Bistro Brunch Salad to make this recipe vegetarian.
- Add it to pasta. If you’re a fan of arritbiata sauce, but you want to make it meatless, skip the bacon and stir this vegan shiitake bacon in just before serving for best texture.
- Make Vegan Broccoli Salad.
What would you use this vegan shiitake bacon for?
Do you know of other uses for shiitake mushroom stems?
Click here to see all of the Salad month recipes I have shared over the last few months of May.
If you make this recipe, please let me know by either coming back to give this recipe a rating, leave a comment or tag me on social media.
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.
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