vegan bacon bits

Jessica Penner, RDMeatless, Salad16 Comments

vegan bacon bits

Crispy, salty, sweet, and smoky… just like real bacon bits! And about one million times better than those “simulated bacon bits.”

I recently added lentils to a recipe, but my husband was disappointed when he took a bite because he had mistaken them for bacon bits. I love lentils and all, but bacon is in a class of its own. I could empathize with his disappointment. But then I thought “I bet I could make lentils taste like bacon.” So I dared myself to try. And I accepted the challenge.

Introducing… My Bacon Bit Replacement!

These little things are amazing! Crispy, salty, sweet, and smoky… just like real bacon bits! And about one million times better than those “simulated bacon bits.” Let’s take a look at the ingredients in those things:

soy flour, high oleic canola oil, salt, artificial and natural flavour, colour, vitamins, and minerals

My recipe has NO artificial flavour, NO artificial colour, and naturally contains vitamins and minerals!

Bacon, you’ve been replaced.

Simulated bacon bits, you were never in my pantry to begin with.

There are many ways to eat these:


Lentil Fakin Bits
Don’t know where to buy liquid smoke? Order some on Amazon today!

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.  

vegan bacon bits

Vegan Bacon Bits

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD


Crispy, salty, sweet, and smoky… just like real bacon bits! And about one million times better than those “simulated bacon bits.”


  • 1 (19 oz) can of lentils (or 2 cups canned lentils), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes and stir.
  5. Bake another 10 minutes and stir.
  6. Keep baking and stirring at 5 minute intervals until the lentils are nice and crispy.


Other Lentil Recipes:

Moroccan Beef and Lentils

Moroccan Beef and Lentils

mediterranean quinoa and lentils

Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa

prairie lentil granola

Canadian Prairie Lentil Granola


vegan bacon bits

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16 Comments on “vegan bacon bits”

    1. I conveniently made these while my husband’s band made up of mostly vegetarian eaters was over at our house practicing. They all loved it and thought the flavour would also be good on chickpeas for a snack. I imagine black beans would probably be tasty too! Or maybe kidney beans?

  1. i’m not sure I’ve ever seen canned lentils where I live. Could I substitute for 2 cups of cooked lentils?

    1. Hi Amber,
      Yes, you can substitute cooked lentils. I’m just learning about the different varieties that exist. In the past I had only bought dried red lentils. Those would not work as they just disintegrate when cooked. But green lentils should work. The main thing is that they need to remain intact after being cooked!

  2. Ok, I made these when I was having a vegetarian friend over for supper to add to her pizza. Honestly, I could eat these delicious morsels by the handful! They are sooo good!! I added an extra 1/4-1/2 tsp liquid smoke to give it an extra smoky flavor. Mmm!! Thanks for the awesome (and healthier) option!

    1. Thanks for the review! The first time I made these, my husband’s band was over to practice. I don’t think any of the “bacon bits” made it into a recipe that night. They were devoured before I got a chance to use them!

  3. I tried these out and my family all loved them! I always have a batch in the fridge now. They keep for a long time in the fridge. We eat them on salads, Mac and cheese, and anything that needs a bit of crunch and flavour!

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