Crispy Eggplant “Bacon”

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Parchment-lined baking sheet with Crispy Eggplant Bacon slices

After trying my hand at coconut bacon and loving the flavor, I was left hoping for a texture that was closer to the real thing.

Enter: Eggplant.

We’ve used eggplant to make delicious things like Baba Ganoush, Harissa Eggplant Dip, Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Ups, and Cashew-Less Vegan Queso, but bacon may perhaps be its most brilliant use yet.

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients (and it comes together in about 45 minutes).

Thin strips of eggplant are marinated in a mixture of smoky spices, maple syrup, tamari, and vegan Worcestershire for the ultimate savory, sweet, spicy flavor.

The eggplant is then baked at a low temperature for 35-50 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Brushing sauce onto sliced eggplant laying on a parchment-lined baking sheet

The result is crispy, smoky bacon-like strips that are 100% vegan and 100% delicious.

I hope you all love this eggplant “bacon.” It’s:

Slightly chewy
Easy to make
Insanely flavorful
& SO delicious

How does one use eggplant “bacon,” you ask? Great question. I enjoyed mine directly from the pan (true story), but it would also be delicious mixed into (or served alongside) a tofu scramble, layered on a sandwich (more to come soon!),  or atop salads, dips, and so much more.

If you try this recipe let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Smoky vegan Eggplant Bacon slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet

*Recipe modified 12/31/2020 to address reader issues with crispiness and improve clarity.

Crispy Eggplant “Bacon”

Crispy vegan bacon made with eggplant! Sliced eggplant is brushed with a smoky sauce and baked to perfection! A tasty, plant-based bacon alternative.
Author Minimalist Baker
Slices of Crispy Eggplant "Bacon" on a parchment-lined baking sheet
4.11 from 83 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 14 (slices)
Course Breakfast, Side
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days


  • 1 medium eggplant (you’ll only use half)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp tamari
  • 1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire (I like Annie’s brand, or this one for GF!)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (plus more for topping)


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (121 C) – you can turn it to “convection bake” if you have it to speed cooking time. Line 1 large or 2 small baking sheet(s) with parchment paper (amount/size as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Slice an eggplant in half lengthwise and set one half aside for other uses (such as Baba GanoushVegan Queso, or 1-Pot Pasta). Then cut the remaining eggplant in half lengthwise once more so you have two long, skinny pieces.
  • Use a mandolin to slice into very thin strips (resembling the size/shape of bacon). They should be slightly thicker than paper thin – less than 1/8th inch thick (measure with a ruler for best results). If slices are too thick, they may have trouble crisping up and/or will take longer. Set aside.
  • Make sauce by adding avocado oil, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine.
  • Use a brush (or a spoon) to brush both sides of the eggplant slices with sauce. Arrange in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet(s) and sprinkle with more black pepper.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, then flip eggplant slices over, and bake for an additional 5-15 minutes (or longer if slices are thicker) or until the eggplant is deep red in color, appears dry, and is slightly crispy. If browning too much, but not crispy, reduce temperature and bake longer to dehydrate (this likely means the slices were too thick). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. It will crisp up the more it cools.
  • Use immediately on things such as on sandwiches, in salads, or alongside or mixed into a tofu scramble.
  • Once cooled, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. To reheat, heat a skillet over medium heat, add a little oil of choice, then heat bacon on both sides until warmed (be careful not to burn).


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with avocado oil.

Nutrition (1 of 14 servings)

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 21 Carbohydrates: 2.8 g Protein: 0.4 g Fat: 1 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 139 mg Potassium: 60 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 1.8 g Vitamin A: 62.3 IU Vitamin C: 0.5 mg Calcium: 4.1 mg Iron: 0.1 mg

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  1. Joanne Blodgett says

    You are my “GO TO” for all my vegan foods, so when I found a new vegan restaurant serving eggplant “bacon”…I knew you’d help me. The recipe is great! Another time, you might want to experiment with a dehydrator…makes the bacon amazingly crispy if that’s a quality issue…thanks! Jo

  2. Jordan says

    Love this recipe and LOVE this blog! I swear I’m on here almost daily looking at new recipes and referencing things. Thanks for doing what you do!

    On this recipe: My partner and I found these tiny little eggplants in the store for really cheap and decided to experiment. I’m not usually a fan of eggplant, but the little ones were just so cute I thought I’d give them another try. I found this recipe after we came back from the store and had to make several alterations based on what we had on hand. We subbed aminos for tamari, agave (just 1 tsp) for maple syrup, and eliminated Worcestershire and liquid smoke. The flavor was probably not a savory or smokey as yours, but it was SO delicious! We are making them again today to have a variation on BLTs. Thanks again for all of your fabulous food inspirations!

  3. Christine says

    Pretty good! I ate this in an ELT with some homemade pesto. So this isnt bacon obviously, the texture is a bit leathery like dried fruit, but not as crispy like bacon. I think its similar to shiitake bacon! Which i like. Next time I would add less sweetener. I like my “bacon” with just a hint of sweetness. I found this recipe to be one that takes patience to get it to be good. If its limp, soggy, or still wet, you definitely need to put it in longer. It would be great cut up into salad or a carbonara.

  4. Chessie says

    Outrageous! Addictive! I just don’t understand what you mean about storing these — does anyone manage not to eat them all right off the pan? (I’m trying my hardest to have some left to share.) Holy smokey maple, Batman, this is a good one!

    I guess people who hate eggplant may not be thrilled, because I at least am still aware of it being eggplant even when nice and crispy … but I doubt any will be left long enough for me to find some tasters who hate eggplant.

  5. Katia says

    Not crispy at all and it stayed and the oven at 270f for almost an hour. Sorry but I am very disappointed. The taste is good though. We are far far from bacon!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katia! Did you use a mandolin to thinly slice? I’ve found that’s key to getting them to crisp up.

  6. Lisa Costello says

    Hello! I made this recipe and found the eggplant to be too soggy after baking. A few ideas questions to pose to you:

    1) I think the idea of using Trader Joe’s smoked salt (or any other smoked salt) is probably going to cut down on the moisture problem. Liquid smoke is water after all
    2) I think next time I will use dark soy sauce/tamari. The darker the better. More flavor, less liquid
    3) I think I will try throwing all of the marinade in a bag and toss in the eggplant, soak a bit, then lay the pieces on a wire rack versus parchment sheet.

    Any feedback on those ideas?

  7. Jenn says

    After reading all the comments, I decided to follow the recipe, but reserved the right to pull them from the oven if they didn’t crisp. Sliced them so thin that they were translucent. I couldn’t see how they would crisp on parchment paper, but let them cook on 225, then 250 for a full 50 minutes. Finally pulled them out, still pretty limp, and fried them in olive oil in my cast-iron skillet. They crisped up immediately, but I had to be careful not to burn them. I think next time I’ll just fry them – not as healthy, but quicker and easier in the long run. Taste was great though, and amazing on my faux BLT!

  8. Jim K says

    I made this today. I think it would be safer when using a mandoline if you cut the eggplant into four rectangular shapes instead of triangular. The food holder would get a better bite into the eggplant and thus making slicing it easier. I tasted the eggplant bacon right out of the oven and didn’t think that it tastes like bacon. I am going to try it in a BLT, as a turkey club, and with eggs. I’m not a vegan so if this does not knock my socks off, I’ll revert back to turkey bacon. One other thing, the recipe mentioned marinating the eggplant in the sauce. I picked the right choice of brushing it on. I think the word marinating could be confusing to some cooks.

  9. Juliet says

    I made this and followed the directions exactly. I ended up baking mine for an hour because it wouldn’t crisp up, and finally we took it out and ate it soggy because it was way past dinner time. Not sure where I went wrong. Checked the recipe like 6 times. I don’t know.

  10. Jessica says

    After reading the reviews, I went into this recipe expecting floppy eggplant but I loved the idea of it (especially for a BLT). Long story short, I got floppy eggplant.

    I used a mandolin for thin slices and then I baked it at 225 for about 45 minutes and then kicked it up to 250 for about 10-15 minutes. It dried the eggplant out nicely (like the texture of dried apples) but was definitely not crispy at all. I might try this again but drain the eggplant first with salt. Or I might just embrace the flop and slice it thicker for a hefty sandwich.

  11. Mary says

    For those of you that have a hard time getting your bacon crispy, try drawing out the water from the eggplant. Place the sliced eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let sit for an hour. Rinse, drain, and pat dry. Then you can start at the beginning of Dana’s recipe. So good!!! Made “BLT’s” with mine! My meat eating husband liked them!

  12. Michelle says

    Finally figured out how to get it to work out for me – 375 for like an hour-and-a-half. Delicious! Think I might like this better than actual bacon ;)

  13. Jelly Bean says

    I’ve made this several times and it turns out better each time. It makes wonderful vegan BLTs. I also tossed some chickpeas in the leftover sauce and roasted them. I love this recipe!

  14. Laura says

    I just made a batch and it was pretty crispy and tasty! omitted the liquid smoke, added some brown sugar because I only had 5 drops of maple syrup left. I experimented by doing a batch using a potato peeler and then “thin slicing by knife” and the potato peeler version turned out great. I also grated the heals of the leftover eggplant and experimented with some “bacon bits.” I’ve got a mandoline coming, hopefully it works as good as peeler, because using a peeler is a pain.

  15. Kari says

    Unfortunately I had the same experience as many others. I tried making it in the over per the directions low and slow, up to 250 for additional time, etc and letting it cool but these did not come out crispy at all. I tried pan frying and it also didn’t work in the crisp department but the flavor was a lot better pan fried than baked. Thanks anyway.

  16. Katherine says

    Delicious. I made this after having a similar eggplant bacon at a restaurant (in the Deep South, surprisingly!). It’s a great recipe. I omitted liquid smoke and swapped honey for maple syrup bc that’s what I had on hand. Next time I will scale down or omit the sweetener all together. I used a whole eggplant and had enough marinade without doubling the recipe. Brushing it on and making slices ~1/16″ is key. Some slices were thinner and those stuck to the pan. I prepped the sheet pan with foil and olive oil for easy cleanup. The oven was set to 250F non-convection and two sheet pans took ~ 1 hour. Can’t wait to make a eBLT with end of summer tomatoes. Thanks Dana!

  17. Cindy says

    Sorry to say but my family is a meat loving family. I’m always trying to find different ways to add veggies in our meals and by chance came across your recipe. My question is how close dose it taste like bacon? If I use it in a casserole or something would they be able to tell? I even want to try this and I don’t even like egg plant.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cindy! While it does not taste exactly like real bacon, it is a great alternative for people that follow a plant-based diet. I recommend trying it out for yourself, as it may surprise you! Happy Cooking!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! You can omit it but we do find at least a little bit necessary for that smoky “bacon” flavor!

  18. Susie says

    I followed the recipe exactly and the flavor of the marinade/sauce is amazing. Unfortunately they came out soggy and floppy – lunch meat consistency. I was looking at the other comments and tried upping temp & time, nothing. Seems like a lot of people had similar issues. Maybe it varies by oven.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. To reheat, heat a skillet over medium heat, add a little oil of choice, then heat bacon on both sides until warmed (be careful not to burn).

  19. Jennie says

    What a complete flop. I made this and it did not crisp up AT ALL. I had it on 225 for 30 minutes, switched to 300 for another 5 minutes, and turned on the broiler for 7 minutes in a last-ditch effort to get it crispy. It didn’t work. The sauce might be good as a marinade for tofu in the future, but this eggplant recipe was not good at all.

  20. Lorraine Buttner says

    Oh my gosh, this eggplant bacon is AMAZING! I made it today using 3 Japanese eggplants and, aside from raising oven temp (to 350), followed the recipe exactly. Had ‘bacon’, lettuce, tomato and vegan cheese sandwiches on homemade wholewheat bread. DELICIOUS! My meat eating husband also really liked it. It is my new addiction. I wish I could post a photo of my sandwich. Drool worthy. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  21. Helenbeee says

    Also delicious with pumpkin skins….I roasted whole pumpkin wedges leave in the pumpkin seeds as well when roasted remove the flesh from skin this makes delicious puree or soup the roasted seeds are moorish as a garnish on soup or salad……….then roast the skins for a little longer they will end up being a cross between crisp and chewy but awesomely delicious…….best thing no wastage. Pumpkin and maple is a match made in heaven.

  22. Amanda says

    I’ve made this twice (tried to), and the eggplant comes out limp and sticks to the paper. If I leave it in too long, it burns. What am I doing wrong?! The taste is great, but the texture…not so much. Any tips?

  23. W. Waters says

    Made these but burnt most… Didn’t use parchment paper duh…. The few that survived we’re amazing!!! My wife and I were picking at what we could. Making a E.L.T. sandwich today for lunch. Eggplant, lettuce, and tomato! Would love to see your variation of something like that. Thanks again for another incredible recipe!!!

  24. Diamone says

    Yum! This was so good. I’m not vegan so I used a regular gluten free soy sauce & Worcestershire sauce. I also did not have liquid smoke, however I found a nice ‘holy smokes’ seasoning that gave it a nice smokey flavor. I’m am removing meat from my diet and focusing on more of a plant based diet and your recipes are bomb af! =)

  25. Lisa P says

    I’ve cooked several batches, and have experimented with temps/bake time. I just cooked a batch at 325 convection for 20 min, flipped them, and cooked another 10 (watch for burning towards the end). They came out perfect! Slightly crispy/chewy. I also marinated beforehand for about 30 min in a double batch of liquids.

  26. Rosalie says

    I made this and after 40 minutes at 225F – 250F had soggy eggplant bacon. Luckily, I solved that problem by turning the oven DOWN to 200 and cooking until crispy. That way – no concerns about burning and delicious crispness. Thanks Dana!

  27. Curt C. says

    Unless you’ve been vegan you’re whole life and have no idea what bacon actually tastes like, just…..NO. Followed the directions precisely and after the allotted time it was about as “crispy” as cottage cheese. So cranked it up to 350. Still no luck. Time to get serious. Crank up the broiler. After nearly 10 minutes like that I had some burnt edges and the rest was still a soggy piece of vegetable. Ok, so we aren’t going to get crispy. Maybe we can still get something like bacon. Floppy bacon. To me it tasted a whole lot more like BBQ eggplant than anything bacon-like. The true test was my vegan teenager. She took one bite, spit it out, and said “Oh Lord Jesus, no” and left the room. So while I appreciate the time and effort that went into coming up with this and sharing it, this is something that calling it “bacon” outside of California, Oregon and Washington may get you waterboarded.

  28. Luann Johnson says

    Hi Dana,
    I bought your cookbook a few weeks ago and been using it ever since. My family is loving all these recipes. My son and I are vegan and I’m trying to help my boyfriend with healthy & Enjoyable eating. He had a kidney removed from cancer and also has melanoma(stage one). With this new way of cooking and eating he lost 10 pounds and loves all this food. He is not ready to be a vegan but these recipes are a good start and better then eating all of what he is use to.

    I have to start taking photo’s of my dishes. Everyone comments not only how it taste but also the presentation.

    Thank you,

  29. Monica says

    As a fan of your blog/recipes, this recipe definitely let me down. I’ve made rice paper bacon before with beautiful delicious results but wanted an added bonus of nutrition…
    The cooking time is way off, and so is the temp. I’ve used the other half of the eggplant and got slightly better results at a higher temp and lower time but still, it was pretty flavorless.
    That’s a first timer though, I usually LOVE your recipes.

  30. Karen says

    I used the link to purchase the vegan Worcestershire sauce. I read the ingredients though it is vegan, it is not a gluten free item. Was there another product that was GF?

  31. Stephanie says

    I dont know why, but My bacon never got crispy :( I followed the instructions exactly and it’s so soggy even after putting it at 250 and after letting it cool. I don’t know what to do about it cuz I really want this to come out right… The taste of the sauce is great though

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Not that we’ve found Abygail! If you’re having trouble finding it, you can always order it online here :D

  32. Abby says

    Yum! I sprinkled salt on the eggplant slices and let them sit for 20 minutes to take out some of the water. Rinsed and patted dry. Then, brushed the sauce on. I baked on wire cooling racks. Followed your baking instructions. All worked quite well. We had BLTs for dinner. Hooray. So, so yummy. Thank you for the recipe!

  33. Amy says

    Omg DO NOT omit the oil lol! I did because I’m on a stupid “no oil” craze right now and it just doesn’t work for this recipe. Then again, I didn’t use parchment paper either…
    Anyways the flavor was good and bacon-y, I just absolutely detest pepper so I would omit that next time because for me, it was just too spicy. But very genius!!

  34. Kate says

    I just made this and it turned out great! I made two trays at once so I bumped the oven temp up to 275 and baked it 15 mins longer. If anyone is having trouble with crispiness, I would suggest sweating out the eggplant first. Salt both sides and let it sweat out for about 30 mins and pat dry! Just be careful about your salt levels in the marinade.

    • dizzy5 says

      “Sweat”? Do you mean, salt both sides of each “bacon” slice, or slice the whole veg in half and salt just those two halves on the cut-sides?

      • Kate says

        Salt each side of the slice! As it sits you’ll see beads of liquid from the eggplant get pulled to the surface and you can pat away the excess.

  35. Nicole A Go Go says

    This recipe definitely takes a wee bit of playing around with it but it’s definitely worth it! I also had the same problem with the eggplant not crisping up following the timeline and heat setting that Dana provides in the recipe. I tried it both on convect and regular and found that after 30 minutes it was still super floppy.

    The good news is… just need a wee bit of patience. I increased the heat to 250 and cooked it for about 20 minutes longer (50 minutes total cook time). Then I turned the oven off and just let them “cool” in there. After about 20 minutes I opened up the oven door and voila…crispy eggplant!

    I also recommend just slicing up the whole eggplant and making one batch right after the other. You’ll have enough sauce leftover for the extra batch anyway and it’s always nice to have ready made stuff in your freezer. I’m also a liquid smoke fan but I’m going to try just half a teaspoon next time. I like the smokiness but the overall flavour is so good that I don’t think it needs quite that much of it. Just depends on your tastes though.

    I made this along with the aquafaba mayo and had a BLT. I really don’t miss meat but I do miss the comfort of certain meals that I had as a kid before going vegetarian. This combo definitely hit the spot and fits the comfort food bill perfectly for me. Thanks for the great recipe’s Dana!

  36. Kristen says

    Thank you for taking the time to develop this recipe Dana! I did need to extend the baking time considerably but was able to achieve nice crispy “bacon”. I may leave out the liquid smoke next time; that flavor may not be for everyone.

    For those looking for tips and tricks…
    I used a mandolin to slice the eggplant, brushed on the sauce, baked on a parchment lined baking sheet in a non-convection gas oven at 250 degrees for about an hour (but I like my bacon very crispy and not chewy), and cooled it on a wire rack. It turned out great!

  37. Hannah says

    Tried this recipe and it worked really well! Time and temp that you recommended were perfect. My meat-eating friends were even impressed, we made it for BLTs. Will be making this again, thank you Dana!

  38. T says

    This is a brilliant recipe! I’ve made it twice now – once as a side to your southwest tofu scramble, and once in a sandwich with avocado, lettuce and tomato. I do find I have to leave it in the oven for a lot longer to get it crispy (maybe about an hour) but it’s worth it in the end.

  39. Frances says

    These did not crisp up for me, but I wonder if I should have used a different oil. However we fried them quickly in a pan and they turned out great! We’re also going to try them out in our dehydrator and see if we can make some vegan jerky!

  40. Janet says

    I just pulled my first batch of these from the oven and couldn’t resist waiting to let it cool.. all i have to say is – WOW! I found this recipe to be delicious and satisfying. I read through all the comments and questions first and attempted to deduce what would be the best cooking method for my oven. I actually used a round aerated pizza baking dish (lined with parchment) to attempt to get them to maximum crispiness and I will say it worked quite well. I do not have a convection setting on my oven so I baked (in gas oven) at 250 for 50 minutes. I managed to get the eggplant cut quite thin and these are super crispy and tasty. I omitted the liquid smoke (because I didn’t have any on hand) and this recipe is fantastic. I will say that I agree with others.. you still can taste the underlying eggplant but I personally love the flavor of eggplant so that’s not something that bothers me. If you strongly dislike eggplant this recipe may not be the one for you. Thanks for the recipe, Dana, you nailed it again! :)

  41. Rocsan Vaillancourt says

    Hey there,
    I made these last night and then a second batch this morning. They are awesome. Thank for the recipe. I just wanted to add a tip to those without a convection oven. I baked for 50 minutes at 255 degrees and let sit in the oven until completely cooled. I didn’t have parchment therefore uses a silicon baking mat sitting on a cooking stone. Worked like a charm! Oh and just use the whole eggplant! You’ll regret not making more!

  42. Arkaidy says

    This is genius, but I think I can see why so many people are having problems. (btw Dana, I love MB and am a happy photography school subscriber and was introduced to Fizzle through you guys, which I now LOVE).

    First, if you try to slice the eggplant with a knife you are doomed. And this is coming from a chef who can cut anything with her eyes closed. Eggplant is just too spongy overall to make into nice, neat, even, THIN slices. Use a mandolin or even a vegetable peeler. (I don’t have a mandolin but I quartered my eggplant and used a vegetable peeler thereafter).

    I think if people got the thickness right, the rest is a breeze.

    Also, I recommend that people stop being impatient! 20-30 minutes might not be enough, especially if you DON’T have a convection oven.

    My first batch was delicious, but not crispy (due to hand-slicing). My second batch, I got them nice and thin and it took a good 40 minutes, maybe a little more, til they got crisp. And when they did? BOY I was a happy customer! Eating a BLT right now as a matter of fact :-) And both my kids, ages 7 and 9, loved this.

    So, to everyone who is having trouble! Your eggplant needs to be THIN, very THIN, and if it’s not crisping up after 30 minutes, just let it go a little longer AT THE SAME TEMP, and it will get crispy! Bumping up the temp is just going to cause our eggplant to burn! I did mine at 250 for roughly 40-50 minutes in a really old oven and they are sooooooo goood.

    I also had your cashew-less queso last night that I combined with elbow mac and vegan chili to make a “hamburger helper” type of thing last night, it was SSOOOOO good!

    Hope this helps a few folks get this recipe right because this is sssssssooooo worth it!

    Love you guys eternally, and you are my inspiration as I start my own food blog! (Lifelong dream here).

  43. Sue says

    Personally, I loved this recipe. I dried out the eggplant first, with the strips on parchment in the convection oven at 250, for about 20 minutes. I let cool, then put the marinade on, and back in the oven.
    Pulled them out, nice and crispy, and vegan son says, “it just tastes like eggplant”. (I thought it was amazing, and that the secondary flavour was eggplant.) Ugh, so I slopped a bit more marinade on them and popped them back in the oven. I then didn’t cook them long enough (a bit too moist and limp), and pulled them out when everything else was ready. I still thought it was really good, but kids prefer the rice paper “bacon”.
    Oh well, I’ve been nibbling on them the rest of the afternoon, and they actually crisped up again. Would totally have loved this with pancakes, or in a BLT.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  44. PhatUnicorn! says

    I made this this morning – am still working on it, in fact. Has anyone but me had a problem with it NOT crisping up? At all? Mine has literally been in for almost an hour, and I’ve turned it up to 300 degrees F. My slices are really thin – not sure what the problem is. (Yes, the stove is on!)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      To clarify, it will not be stick straight and crispy like a cracker right out of the oven. But it will become dried out and, after cooling for 5 minutes out of the oven, should be crispy!

      • Arne says

        I’m eating this now and while I love the taste, I couldn’t get it crisp either. I baked it for well over an hour. It would definitely substitute for bacon on a BLT and be really good, just no crisp.

  45. Anna says

    I also had issue with a lack of crispness using the convection oven and the temperature guide you recommend, but as one other reviewer mentioned, I did toss the eggplant strips into the marinade and then laid them out on the parchment paper. Next time I will baste them instead and see how that goes.

    When cooking eggplant in the past, I’ve always salted my slices and allowed the water content to be pulled out before cooking. If I don’t have any luck with the basting next time, I’ll try this method the third time. I’ve also heard that cooking them on a wire rack allows the moisture evaporate all around.

    The liquid smoke was interesting, but a little strong. Will probably cut back on that next time, too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      To clarify, it will not be stick straight and crispy like a cracker right out of the oven. But it will become dried out and, after cooling for 5 minutes out of the oven, should be crispy!

  46. Jan Carter says

    do you think these would crisp up better if put on a cooling rack instead of parchment paper? or would they burn?

  47. Jo says

    Hello- what a great idea! I was just wondering if liquid smoke was bad for you? Is it carcinogenic? Really looking forward to trying this. Thanks.

  48. Mary Dossett says

    My life is now complete.

    I think I found the problem that many are having. The first batch I made, I dipped the eggplant in the spice sauce. It was hard to not jump in after it myself, it smelled so Divine! While that batch turned out incredibly flavorful, the strips were soft and limp and the flavor was pretty intense, even after doubling the baking time. Then I re-read the recipe and the comments, and wondered if the problem might be too much sauce?

    So next batch (I’ve made 4 batches just today…!) I did exactly what Dana said to, and *brushed* the sauce on. What a difference! Perfect flavor, perfect texture — stiff and crispy, yet with just a little give.

    While I’d like to take a bath in the sauce, this is a case where less is more.

    Dana — thank you!

  49. Emily says

    This was a total disaster for me, which is the first time ever this has happened with one of your recipes!

    I cooked for almost an hour, never ended up getting crispy. I raised the temp to 300 for the last 15 mins or so. :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Shucks! So if you have convection 2225 F should be perfect, with a slight increase at the end. Otherwise, try starting at 250 F and slightly increase at the end for crispiness. If you cook it too high at the beginning it will burn. Slow and low is the way to go here. Also make sure each strip has plenty of room on the baking sheet. And if you’re trying to cook more than 1 batch at a time, that can also create too much moisture in the oven (bake one sheet at a time). Hope that helps!

      • Emily says

        I definitely did all of this- lots of room, started st the lowest temp…..Started at 225, up to 250 after most of the prescribed baking time, then 300 for the last 6 minutes. GOt kinda charred. I don’t know, maybe this is just not a recipe for me.

  50. Kelly says

    The flavor on this is SO GOOD that I’m going to keep trying until I get it right. The first time I foolishly used a silpat instead of parchment paper and the eggplant just didn’t crisp up (not crisping seems to happen frequently with the silpat). I made it again today on parchment and I think I sliced the eggplant too thick — I cooked it extra time and it still didn’t get crispy, except around the edges after I finally broiled it for 5 minutes. But it was still super tasty on wheat bread with vegan mayo and basil. The marinade was so good and bacon-y that I made an extra batch and used it on tofu, which made an awesome blt.

  51. Antoinette says

    This sounds amazing! Have you ever tried doing it in a dehydrator? I’ve made eggplant “chips” so I’m sure it would work out well.
    I’m LOVING all your recipes and have tried a number of them that are all fabulous! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Haven’t tried that! If you give it a try, report back on how it goes! Thanks for being a fan!

  52. Jes says

    I live in Australia. My local cruelty free store stocks liquid smoke, but there are two kinds (Hickory and Mesquite). I’ve never used this before, but have noted that you’ve used it in a few recipes. What kind of liquid smoke would you recommend for this recipe, and would it be suitable for the other recipes?
    Thanks :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jes! Hickory is a good all-round wood that produces a sweeter fragrant smoke. Mesquite produces a very strong, distinctive smoke. I think both could be used, just depending on what flavor appeals more to you! Good luck!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t done a recipe like that yet, but if you try the vegan bacon in a gyro, report back on how it goes! :D

  53. Sherri says

    I looked up Annie’s vegan Worcestershire sauce and it is NOT gluten free. It says on the bottle that it contains wheat. The recipe and the idea of using eggplant for bacon is fabulous.
    What would be the substitute?

  54. Kelly Frampton says

    Hi Dana!
    First and foremost, you have totally saved my partner & I from boring, complicated vegan recipes. All of your recipes are original, delicious, and simple as heck. I usually always have all the ingredients on hand, & use your recipes DAILY. I have promoted your website religiously for 2 years now. Friends, family & complete strangers have made the leap! :D
    On to the eggplant bacon recipe…….
    This is the first of your recipes that I’ve had a tough time with. :/ I followed the instructions/ingredients to a T. After 30 mins I noticed they were quite floppy still. So I popped them back in and increased to 300 degrees. Took them out after another 30 mins and they are still slightly limp but now curled up on some edges and floppy. Zero crispiness. Total bummer. The flavor is amazing though, just wished they would have cooked up crispy. Will attempt again soon. Any clue as to what could have went wrong?


      • Ellie Kennard says

        I wonder if it has to do with the oven temperature question I asked Dana above. She hasn’t replied to me, but it does look very cool. I haven’t tried it yet, waiting to get a reply on that. But reading these posts I think I was right.

        • Kelly Miller says

          I had the same problem. But reheated it on day two on the stove top as she recommends and threw it on a sandwich and it’s so good! The burnt ones ended up ok tasting like a true BLT!! Going to retry with the oven temp recommendation.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, so if you have convection 2225 F should be perfect, with a slight increase at the end. Otherwise, try starting at 250 F and slightly increase at the end for crispiness. If you cook it too high at the beginning it will burn. Slow and low is the way to go here. Also make sure each strip has plenty of room on the baking sheet. And if you’re trying to cook more than 1 batch at a time, that can also create too much moisture in the oven (bake one sheet at a time). Hope that helps!

  55. Sarah says

    Tried this, and it didn’t work out. I definitely sliced my eggplant thin enough, and it never crisped up. I even broiled it for a few moments, but it stayed pretty floppy.

    The flavor was okay, I think if the eggplant flavor hadn’t been so prominent it would have been gold. Maybe it came through more from not crossing up?

    Looking forward to trying that coconut bacon! Can’t go wrong with coconut. ??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah! I don’t find the eggplant flavor to be prominent, but I suppose that’s personal taste. I find this far superior to coconut “bacon.” As for the floppiness, try the baking temp to 250 F at the beginning and then slightly increasing at the end for more crispiness. And, as a reminder, it does crisp the more it cools. Good luck!

  56. Lauren says

    Hello !

    Just tried it tonight… LOVED IT.

    I made the slices slightly too thick (I only had a knife) and no liquid smoke but turned out pretty okay anyway (just less crispy I imagine). Thanks for the recipe :)

  57. Cierra says

    Hi! This looks so delicious and easy! I have tried eggplant once and didnt like it but desperatly want too so Ill try this one question though, tamari? Where do i find it/or whats an alternative? Thank you!

  58. Ellie Kennard says

    Hi Dana

    This looks amazing! I have everything to try it, even found vegan Worcestershire sauce! So I’m almost ready to go.

    But first I wanted to check with you on the oven temperature. It seems so low. Can you just confirm that please??



    • Dianne Smith says

      I made this this morning and thought the same thing, after 20 minutes and almost no crispiness, I turned the oven up to 350 and left in 10 minutes but it began to burn but still not crispy? What to do, what to do right? My oven is accurate temperature, I test it, but maybe because it is just a regular oven and not convection… please help. I’ve ruined one don’t want to ruin another one…TY

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hmm, so if you have convection 225 F should be perfect, with a slight increase at the end. Otherwise, try starting at 250 F and slightly increase at the end for crispiness. If you cook it too high at the beginning it will burn.

      • Dianne Smith says

        I did 225 in regular oven (no convection option) after 20 min. and still no change turned it up to 350 for another 10, half burned, so thinking this was too high obviously but hubby said throw it away, this was the first time ever he has said that, they were still soft…will not try again.

        • Kelly Miller says

          I had a similar problem with a regular gas oven but turned it to 250 after 20 min and and 300 after it was still not crispy at 30 min. half was burnt half was limp. Will try again and go for more uniform cuts on the eggplant and not sure about the oven temps yet.
          PS not that this isn’t 5star recipe but it won’t let me change it on my phone to anything less? I think the only improvement I would recommend just a technique for using a regular non convection oven. Thanks Dana!

          • veggielorie says

            I had the same problem! Fixed it by doing it in an airfryer. If you have one, it works really well. I don’t know for how long because I basically stayed there looking at it, stopping it, testing it, starting it again, etc. But the end result was pretty decent and crispy. A little bit too salty for my taste, but with some tweaking, I’m sure it will be a nice addition to my BLTs :)

  59. Rose says

    Hi, I just made this and I’m sorry, but I didn’t care for it at all. The entire thing (cue “Taps” music) went into the bin. I’m not against using a little liquid smoke, but this tasted extremely artificial to me and not like I remember bacon tasting at all. Still a fan of your blog and recipes so (cue upbeat, happy music) have no fear, you haven’t lost me!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the honest feedback. I definitely use a small amount of liquid smoke in this recipe, however, it’s not an appealing flavor to everyone. I do find at least a little bit necessary for that smoky “bacon” flavor. Next time you can try omitting it!

    • carol says

      I used a grinding of Trader Joe’s African Smoke seasoning instead of the liquid smoke. It does not have an artificial taste. I noticed that the market has 3 flavors of liquid smoke. Perhaps the flavor you used was not the best one for the bacon flavor profile.

    • Katie says

      Fortunately, Liquid smoke is not artificial as it is made from real smoke! Not saying it does not taste artificial, but it might be a mind over matter thing? I don’t know, but once I learned that its real smoke condensed with water I did not feel like I was escaping the “real” smoked flavor of something and it has tasted better to me.

    • Michelle says

      We also do not love liquid smoke, I omit it in this recipe & the smoked paprika gives it all it needs! This is amazing without it! I urge you to try it again minus the liquid smoke… it’s amazing!

    • Jefg says

      Thanks for trying the recipe before posting. One of my big pet peeves is people saying “how good this looks” in their post and not ever tasting it. The review section for recipe blogs should only include how it tasted after you make it. Sorry for ranting but I had to scroll past 20 posts before I learned anything.

  60. A Posa says

    I’m wicked excited to try this, but we don’t have a convection oven. What would the best approach be to cook?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh! You don’t need one. Just bake for a little longer! Convection just speeds the process.

  61. Tori says

    Not sure if this was asked yet, but what kind of liquid smoke? When I go to the grocery store there’s two different kinds.

  62. Amelia says

    So I haven’t made this… yet. BUT I just wanted to tell you that it looks amazing and you are absolutely brilliant. That is all.

  63. Carolien says

    I haven’t had a BLT in so long!! I used liquid aminos and it was delicious! I tried the same sauce with portobellos thinly sliced and that was amazing too. I used convection and did need to increase temp for 5 additional minutes to 300 to add crispiness to the eggplant. I live at about 3800ft altitude, don’t know if that made a difference. Thank you! The whole family enjoyed our BLT night!

  64. Moulikta says

    Have been eating crisp eggplant since childhood and love it . Best way to use is im a subway sandwich with spinach tomatos cucumber fresh cilantro sliced onions sliced jalapeños and lime juice salt and pepper . Bread should be toasted before making this sandwich. Oh yeh don’t forget to put crispy eggplant sliced!!!! Best sandwich ever!

    • Melanie McNamara says

      OMG! That sounds amazing Moulitka! I have an eggplant in the fridge…I know what I am making for supper.

    • Tammy says

      How did you get the eggplant crispy. I made it and it was so “flabby”. (Very limp) It was not crispy at all. I think it would have been good if I could get it nice and crispy. I thought about frying it after baking it. Any suggestions.

      • Kelly says

        I had the same issue today. Wouldn’t crisp up. I wasn’t using it today just prepping ahead so I am going to pop it in a frying pan when we use it with our BLT tomorrow. See if that helps.

        • Tammy says

          Sounds like a good idea. Let me know how that works. I thought about not even baking it first, just frying in the cast iron.

          • Kelly says

            Frying it did crisp it up. However, it did quickly burn in spots too. Overall though, much better.

  65. Rosie says

    ah I need this in my life! Do you think it would work with zucchini or is the water content of that too high? It’s all I have in my fridge right now!

  66. Widder says

    What, exactly, is in liquid smoke? I only ever heard of it once I moved here to Canada. (from Australia) What alternatives are there?

    • Chelc says

      I am Australian and got it from BBQs galore but you can also buy it online. Some of the specialty supermarkets may stock it in their sauce ir international sections.

    • Maggie says

      Hello. I get this from IGA in Melbourne. It’s a brand called “Stubbs” they do Mesquite and Hickory Smoke. Life changing!!

  67. Carol Diamond says

    Destiny collides with my package of thinly sliced eggplant, waiting for a reason for being. (did not make it into the eggplant parm)
    Now in the oven, becoming bacon! Love the idea of putting it in a quiche “lorraine”.

    • Fran Thompson says

      Liquid smoke is simply distilled from smoking wood. Wood smoke and water. Commercial products sometimes also include vinegar, molasses, salt and caramel color. There is an old episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown from Food Network which shows how to do it yourself. You might find it on YouTube.

  68. Betsy says

    Have you ever tried shiitake bacon??? All it needs is EVOO, salt and pepper at 400 for about 15 minutes. The shape is obviously different but the flavor and texture are SCARY GOOD.

  69. Maria says

    if someone tries this with zucchini instead of eggplant post it please. I cannot have eggplant but I will try doing it with zucchini

    • Claudia says

      Zucchini make nice crisps eggplants do as well but they also go chewy like bacon. Fruit blended comes to mind ?
      I cant wait to find out if people are liking this, we have eggplant sortages here due to failed crops. Yep our egg plants, courgettes, peppers etc are rationed, tough times !

  70. Julia says

    OMG you have just blown my mind. I have to try this, this weekend. I never would have thought of eggplant. Awesome!

  71. Renee says

    I made this minus few ingredients and I marinated it for 4 hours and dehydrate the eggplant for 10 hours. I will try your recipe this weekend and let you know. I put the picture on my instgram

  72. Quinn Poer says

    So brilliant! I’m not vegan myself, but I love coming here to see all your genius ideas and learn alternate methods of preparing foods we love! Amazing work all around everyday, Dana!! :)

  73. Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen says

    Dana, this looks so good! I’ve been looking forward to seeing this recipe for some time now and plan to make it this weekend. Do you think liquid aminos would work OK in place of the vegan Worcestershire? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren! I have never used liquid aminos, only coconut aminos, but it *should* work. Let me know if you give it a try!

      • Zakiya says

        I will be using liquid aminos to make this recipe tomorrow to go along with my vegan quiche! I will definitely let you both know how it goes! Thank you Dana for such awesome recipes time and time again! I’ve tried and devoured plenty of them!