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:

Smoky
Crispy
Salty
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
Print
Slices of Crispy Eggplant "Bacon" on a parchment-lined baking sheet
4.13 from 88 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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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).

Notes

*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. Karen Barna says

    I made this recipe and it’s delicious! I used a Ziploc baggie to coat the eggplant and it tastes really wonderful! I think it resembles more of a “chip” as in BBQ flavored potato chips. And I also used the whole 1 lb eggplant and doubled the sauce recipe! I now have an excellent “go to” recipe for the 4 Italian Long Eggplants I just planted in my garden this 2024 season! Thanks for sharing. 🍆❤️💋

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Karen. Thank you for the lovely review! Wishing you a bountiful eggplant harvest this summer :)

  2. Melanie Scott says

    Not a vegetarian but I don’t eat pork. Have some veg family that I will share the recipe with. Turkey bacon is meh. Beef bacon is yum but expensive. And I like eggplant. My hubs hates it, I keep trying to find some way he likes it. It isn’t done cooking yet, taking longer than the 40 mins using convection. My mandolin and eggplant are a little old … And I have trouble getting consistent thickness of slices. May have brushed too much sauce on. IDK. Smells yum, even though I had to sub steak sauce for worc (I don’t know when I ran out!?!). Licking fingers as turning and that is yum. We’ll see. Cautiously optimistic.

      • Melanie Scott says

        Husband did not like. But I didn’t. It is a little addicting.

        I think a less old and less seedy eggplant might do better and maybe hubs might like.
        I agree with another poster that maybe dipping slices rather than brushing would give better results.

  3. CAT says

    I had eggplant bacon on a sandwich at a vegan restaurant and it was so good that I had to find a recipe and make it myself.
    I doubled this recipe because I did not want to waste the other half of the eggplant and I am so glad that I did. This is so so incredibly delicious. Some pieces were chewy ,some were crispy and some were both.. All so wonderfully tasty.
    The only thing I did differently was that I used liquid amino (I didn’t have any tamari)And I also marinated the eggplant for a minute or two instead of brushing it on. I also did cook it a bit longer after I flipped it.
    I believe this is a recipe you have to make your own by tweaking to fit your taste and crunch/chew preference. I will be making this recipe on repeat.
    5 stars.

  4. Corelia says

    These are really good! You don’t need a mandolin; I sliced my eggplant thin as I could and it was fine. Perfectly crispy – especially after letting the slices cool for ~20 minutes. Subbed coconut oil for the olive oil, that was also delicious, and my tamari was just that coconut soy sauce that has like 75% less sodium (and that worked fine as well!) One thing is, you kind of have to double this recipe to make any bacon at all, because the slices shrink a lot in the oven.
    The bacon would definitely be useful chopped up in a salad or wrap or something, and I think that’s what I’ll do next time. Would recommend for that kind of thing! :)

  5. Rob says

    I don’t have a mandolin, so I had to hand slice the eggplant and it was a bit thicker than the recipe called for. Based on the recommendation to cook longer at a lower temperature if the slices were thicker, I put them in my dehydrator at 195 degrees for two hours. Worked really well. I used a purple long eggplant which is perfect for making bacon shaped strips and I salted the strips for about 20 minutes and then rinsed and patted them dry before dehydrating. I will play with the spice proportions a bit to meet my own tastes, but the technique works great!

  6. 'beth says

    I am making a vegan quiche and would like to try the eggplant bacon instead of Bac-Os. Have you ever used this as crumbles?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi ‘Beth, we haven’t tried that, but it sounds tasty! It might not get quite as crispy though. Let us know if you try it!

  7. Ashley says

    I made this and it was wonderful! I used soy sauce instead of tamari and it was very salty. Next time I’ll use less soy sauce.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Glad you still enjoyed the results even though they were on the saltier side, Ashley!

  8. Kate says

    Super yummy! Would have been a lot easier with a mandolin, but overall great flavor and texture. Love the umami combination. I used it in the vegan BLT sandwich with eggplant bacon recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Natalie, we haven’t tried this recipe in a dehydrator, but another reader mentioned success at 165 for about 4 hours. Let us know if you try it!

  9. andrea johnsen says

    I’m going to try this but just happened to see another version of this before your site. One thing I noticed is that the other site salts their eggplant after slicing on both sides and lets it sit for about 15 mins This draws out the moisture which should help with the crispiness.

  10. Abbie says

    First off – I love how this recipe packs a punch of flavour! It is perfect to add to a Vegan BLT.
    However, I do find this recipe finicky and a little high maintenance. I don’t have a mandolin. The first time I made this I tried slicing the eggplant lengthwise and ended up with uneven results. Combined with the unevenness and getting impatient and turning up the oven I burnt them. The second time I made it I sliced the eggplant in half and then thinly sliced it into half moons which gave much better control to keep it thin and even. While it isn’t the same look and length as bacon it still has the flavour and texture! I just allow for more time to cook the “bacon” – more like an hour. I find that the last ten minutes I check them every minute or so and pull out the ones that are almost dry. They crisp up once out of the oven.
    Despite the trickiness of this recipe I still make it and we throughly enjoy it!

  11. Anne says

    This is such a delicious snack! I substituted Worcestershire sauce with 1 tsp tamarind concentrate + 1 tsp vinegar + 1 tamari. Like others, the baking time and temp in the oven did not successfully dry out the eggplant. I actually have a dehydrator so after the oven, I dehydrated at 165 for about 4 hours. The result was a crisp eggplant chip. This is my new favorite snack. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Anne! Thanks for sharing your experience. If it has trouble drying in the oven, that usually means the slices were a bit too thick. But it sounds like you found a great solution!

  12. Suzanne says

    I made this last night, and found that like other commenters, my ‘bacon’ just never really crisped up. I’ve made carrot bacon using very similar ingredients, and I usually bake that at 350 and it turns out great after only 15 minutes. I baked it for another 10-15 minutes and some of the pieces got crispy and even burnt a little bit while others just never crisped up… bummer! I’ll try it again but at a higher temperature and see if that will work.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Bummer! We recently revisited this recipe and had great luck! Did you modify anything? And were you able to slice thinly or use a mandolin?

      • Suzanne says

        Yes, I sliced it with a mandolin and followed the recipe exactly. BUT I think I figured it out after giving it a second try! I found that if you bake it at 250 for 45 min, flip it, bake for another 30-45 min then it comes out crispy and delicious! The first time it got a little burnt because I increased the temperature to 350 after it didn’t crisp up.

  13. Xirema says

    Gonna cosign with the other comments that the baking temperature (and maybe the time too) are way too low. My oven barely goes as low as 225°F, and oven temperatures are notoriously unreliable below 300°F in general—Additionally, most people don’t have access to a Mandolin, and while I can reliably say I got my slices to about 1/8 an inch in thickness, I’m guessing a Mandolin gets them a lot thinner than that, because I really don’t see how you could get them crispy at the temperature recommended. I like the flavor and plan to try to adjust the recipe the next time I make it, but it’s pretty clear that 225°F is far too low.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Xirema. For this reason we have it on our retest list and will add some improvements ASAP!

  14. Di says

    Making this as I write this to you. The vegan worcestershire sauce that you mention is not GF. It clearly says wheat on the label. I found a brand called The Wizards that is organic, vegan and GF. Always love your recipes!! Thanks !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Di, so sorry for any confusion! There are two links- one is Annie’s which is not gluten-free, but the other link is The Wizards brand and is linked by the words “this one is GF”- we’ll see if we can improve clarity there!

  15. Jennifer says

    I was so excited to try this recipe, MB recipes ALWAYS work both with my skill set and my family’s food preferences. Like others who have posted, I believe the temp and time need adjusting. I did convection bake 225/250, parchment paper, exact ingredients, and tried a variety of slice widths. After 30 min the egg plant slices were wet, droopy and pale. I put them back in for another 10 min and then again (per another review) on to a cooling rack in the oven for 5 more mins. The final result was a little oily and slightly burnt- never got crispy on any of the widths.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Bummer! Sorry to hear that Jennifer. Did you use a mandolin to slice? We’ll give the time / temp another look.

  16. Katie says

    I followed the recipe as is (something I’m mostly incapable of) and based on reviews used the mandolin for slicing. As another commented, it definitely tasted like the Asian BBQ pork. If my memory serves me correctly, this is not a bad thing! But there wasn’t quite enough bacon flavor for a BLT, which is what my ultimate goal is. (Before I went plant-based, a crispy BLT was the only time in which I ever ate bacon!) It was too sweet for me, and it seemed to be missing something essential I can’t pinpoint right now… Also, the slicing and such was just so tedious… I get that the point is to make it look like bacon, but next time I’ll just slice thin rounds. It’s also much faster to just dip each piece or even toss it all in the marinade rather than spooning or brushing. This is not a bad review; I’ll definitely be using it as a base and try to alter the flavors a bit next time!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the honest feedback, Katie! We’d say maybe try playing around with reducing maple syrup and/or more liquid smoke? Let us know how it goes!

  17. Shelley says

    I love the texture & flavor! I subbed tahini for the oil; based on comments I used a mandolin; cooked at 225 for 20 minutes, 250 for 7 minutes, & perfect. Thank you!!

  18. Alison says

    Wow! This is delicious! I really think the key is using a mandolin to get the eggplant bacon-thin because my batch was done in 30 minutes. I sampled a piece right away and the flavor and texture was great! I have the rest cooling on a baking rack and cannot wait to eat it in vegan BLTs for lunch later. I also had enough liquid leftover to coat *almost* the other half of the medium-sized eggplant I used. Thanks for this recipe! It’s even better than the cocobacon(which I also enjoy!)

  19. Alexis says

    I really liked this! I hate eggplant in general but this made it tasty and fun and countered the general sogginess of baked eggplant. The texture and taste are evocative of bacon minus all the salt and fat.
    Only thing is I might have sliced it too thick to make sure the slices were even – it took at least 1h. I eventually increased the temperature to 300°C.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Alexis! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! And yeah, we’d say try slicing more thinly next time and that should help it cook faster.

  20. Gina says

    The flavor of the eggplant bacon is fantastic, thank you! The cooking temperature may need to be altered to compare with standard ovens and their cooking temps? I do not have a convection oven, so the cooking took more than twice the cooking time (60+ minutes) and I increased the heat also. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Gina! It should work as written! We wonder if maybe your slices were thicker and that contributed to longer cook time?

  21. Molly says

    I made this recipe to go along with a vegan BLT sandwich. It came out so good, the taste is unreal! I will definitely be making this from now on instead of the store bought fake bacon. My only edit is that I noticed the eggplant wouldn’t get crispy at 225° so I did have to raise it quite a bit. About 300-325° and added an extra 10 minutes. It’s possible I sliced my eggplants a little to thick or put too much sauce and that’s why it didn’t crisp up. But overall I’m very pleased with this recipe.

  22. Kaz says

    This was great but I think it tasted more like Asian bbq pork than bacon. I used honey instead of maple syrup (and think I will use a bit less next time as it was very sweet) and soy sauce instead of tamari. To get the moisture out the aubergine, I cut the pieces as thin as I could before coating in kosher salt and paper towels for 30 minutes. Then I rinsed with cold water and dried again with more paper towels. I think this helped with getting it to crisp up later. I cooked at 110c for 20 minutes and turned up to 120c for another 20 minutes. It didn’t appear to be crisping so I turned the pieces over and grilled at 120c for 15 minutes, watching very closely so it didn’t burn. I then removed from the grill and put each piece onto a metal rack and they crisped up nicely on that in just a couple of minutes. Delicious!

  23. HyeMi Jung says

    I love eggplants bibimbap we eat in korea so i decided to give a try! and I loved it and my toddler loved it too!! I reduced soy sauce to 1 TBS and omit the salt. and it was perfect for us! and i also made asian meatballs for my toddler and I used the left over sauce for the meatballs and it was amazing!! I think this sauce it the best for a lot of things!! Thank you :)

  24. Megan says

    I FIGURED IT OUT! I was skeptical because MB is a straight A recipe blog for me, and they almost never has mixed reviews, but I made sure to use whatever information I knew about baking veggies so I would end up with crispy eggplant bacon. Success! They were very crispy and some pieces even resembled crumbly bacon! I only subbed Cocoaminos as I don’t have tamari. I cut down on the sweetener as cocoamino sauce is sweet already (I used a little Agave nectar)

    I sliced the eggplant as thin as I could with a bread knife (sounds weird but that knife is so sharp lol) even if the slices looked like they would fall apart. I find that step to be crucial. I prepared two separate pans with ALUMINUM FOIL making sure not to overcrowd. I put one pan on the top rack, one on the bottom) at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, flipped the eggplant over then switched the pans so the top pan was on the bottom rack, and vice versa. Then I baked them for 10 more minutes. I babysat them during the last 10 minutes to make sure no burning occurred. Then I couldn’t stop eating them out of the pan. Haha! You gotta put them on a cookie cooking rack to help them get crispier.

    The flavor was on point!!! My meat eating husband said, “Holy S*** that’s bacon!!” He is amazed that he can have bacon without the absurd amount of fat and calories. One whole eggplant is around 20 calories! My toddler ate 8-10 pieces and she even asked for more later in the day. I immediately made the other half of eggplant and I had great results again. Thank you Minimalist Baker!! I’m keeping this recipe for ever.

  25. Beverly says

    Hi i tried making this. It never got “crispy” and I cooked 2 batches the first batch I turned the oven up to 250 and cooked it another 10 min, started at 25 min. Then the 2nd batch I put in on 250 and cooked it around 45 min still not crispy.

    • Beverly says

      Hey, yes I think they were thin. They were not the size of thick cut bacon… thinner than that. I put them back in the oven after I cooked my husband a pizza and almost forgot about them.! But they were not burned yet and they were way more closer to being “crispy”.! I also laid them on a cooling rack before putting them back in, so the heat could get all around them.
      I’m going to try and get a mandolin before I do it again, cutting them was tedious .! I also want to try carrots !
      I still ate quite a lot before cooking the ones I put in and almost forgot lol but I really wanted that crispy!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Beverly, we’re glad to hear they crisped up better with more baking. A mandolin should help!

  26. Diane says

    I was trying to think of a way to flavor my Colcannon for St Patrick’s day. I have always made a mixed mash of potato, rutabaga and bacon. I would usually crisp the bacon and fry the cabbage in the bacon fat. No longer appealing but I wanted the smoky flavor. I mixed up your eggplant bacon marinade in a large pan, added 1/2 a large head of cabbage chopped and sauteed until tender. I folded it into my potato rutabaga mixture and it gave such a wonderful flavor. Happy St Patrick’s day and thank you so much!

  27. PC says

    I used olive oil, habanero infused maple syrup, smoked paprika because it was what had in the house. It turned out delicious. I used the bacon as chips for hummus. To get it extra crispy, I used a dehydrator. My setting were 135F for 7 hours on parchment paper. I flipped the bacon midway through.

    I’ll probably omit the liquid smoke on the next batch. The smoked paprika will probably be enough.

  28. Steve Richardson says

    as others have stated the cooking time in the recipe is off. I used a mandolin and sliced them extra thin and it still took almost an hour and I even increased the oven temp! So next I will try salting the eggplant and see if that helps.

    Thanks for sharing.

  29. Eileen says

    Wow! This goes on my short list of awesome vegan tricks. I fed this to 4 carnivores and had to keep slapping hands for them to leave some for the vegan. You’ll have extra marinade — don’t be a fool and throw it out, save it for when you run out and have that other half an eggplant staring at you. In fact, buy more baking pans, that’s what I’m going to do. This technique works great for portobellos too. I’m actually going to buy a mandoline just for this recipe to get thinner, more uniform slices. Mine took much longer than 30 minutes and I had to raise the temp to 300 just to get dinner on the table, which burned the thinner slices… although that didn’t stop anyone from eating them.

  30. Trish says

    I took a chance on this recipe. I am trying to prepare more plant-based meals. Not a vegetarian. Not a vegan. But absolutely loved this recipe. I’ll be making an eggplant bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwich later. Great for snacking too. I’ve eaten 5 pieces just tasting alone. Lol. Thanks for keeping this carnivore honest for a meatless Monday meal.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Unfortunately, we haven’t tried this without oil and haven’t experimented with an air fryer. Let us know if you give it a try!

  31. Ellie says

    These were wonderful! I had to bake them for a lot longer in the oven, though. I baked them for about 50 minutes, but I think that might be because I didn’t use a mandolin, and my pieces might have been too thick. It was still lovely! I will definitely make this again, and possibly with a tiny bit less liquid smoke next time. It’s the perfect amount if you are only going to have 2 pieces or so, but if you plan to eat more then it might be a bit heavy on the smoke. Thanks!

      • Ellie says

        I made these again, and this time I salted the eggplant for 1.5 hours beforehand, which is something I have done before with eggplant. It both dries the eggplant a bit, making it easier for it to crisp up, but it also makes the eggplant less bitter, so I recommend it if you have the time, or if you are sensitive to the taste of eggplant. Just pour some salt over the cut parts of the eggplant, and let it sit for at least 45 minutes, and up to 2 hours, then rinse it off with some water, pat it dry with some lint-free kitchen towels, and proceed with the recipe!

  32. Melissa Kolander says

    The sauce is wonderful! The time and temp didn’t work out for me but knocked it down to 170° F and let it ride till it was crispy. Over an hour not sure exactly how long. It eventually got crispy and I was I heaven! The whole fam approved! Love your recipes! Keep up the his work sister!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for sharing your experience, Melissa! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it!

  33. MMC says

    Flavor is great. The first time I tried the recipe, my eggplant didn’t crisp up. The second time, I had more pieces, so I used a second baking sheet. After about two hours in the oven at 225, the pieces on the the second baking sheet (which is a bit thinner and has no raised edges, so maybe conducts heat better?) had crisped up nicely, while those on the original baking sheet remained limp. So for people with limp eggplant, maybe try a different baking sheet and a longer cooking time.

  34. Kitty Krell says

    I like that you state to be kind. We are all in this together. My question is, maybe I skimmed the recipe too quickly but do you peel the eggplant? Looking forward to making your BLT w/aquafaba mayo!

  35. Laurie says

    Tried the eggplant bacon. Not a fan. My eggplant slices were probably too thin but didn’t like the smell well enough to try it with bigger slices.

  36. Nancy F says

    Made this today – I used the 1/8 inch setting on my mandoline and a two convection ovens since I didn’t want half an eggplant leftover. At 40 minutes, the oven with one tray was perfectly crisped, and the top tray in my oven with two racks was also perfectly crisped. The lower tray took another 20 minutes – I think that tray had some slightly thicker pieces on it. I had a tough time getting the pieces off my parchment paper – the thinner edges liked crackling off. We used it in an ELT sandwich, and it was a hit for two of three children and a winner for me. I’ll use the crispy pieces on salads for flavor bits, and enjoy some more sandwiches with the rest! Thanks for the recipe and thanks to your readers for reviewing their successes and failures.

  37. Lisa says

    Just FYI 107 C is NOT 250 F, it is 386 F. Let this cook for 30 mins before I realized. It would be helpful if you corrected this above.

  38. Erika Fields says

    I love the flavors of this! They are spot on! At 1 hour and 10 minutes my mandolin-cut eggplant is still wiggly. (otherwise, totally 5 stars!) I am wondering whether it might work to VERY carefully broil them? I have never broiled eggplant and I like the slow roast idea because I think it soaks up the flavors much better, but I’m hungry and trying to think of ways around waiting, haha. Any ideas?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing. You could definitely try broiling! Or, you can bake for longer at a lower temp, and then broil carefully at the end.

  39. Sydney says

    This was super tasty. I agree with the other comments about temperatures; I turned mine up to 350 and they still weren’t crispy after a while, but they were yummy anyways.
    I didn’t have Worcestershire or maple syrup… so I subbed 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar snd 1 tbsp soy sauce. I really like how this turned out, and how it leveled in with the flavors. I put the “bacon” strips on a black bean-beet-quinoa burger I had made a few days ago. Great combo with arugula and sautéed leeks ??

  40. Ethel says

    First off…I really like eggplant & I did try this recipe. My slicing skills leave something to be desired so I had various thicknesses of pieces therefore not all crisped up. I only did half if the eggplant “just in case”. I must say, I loved it….even the limpies. I will definately do this again…maybe in my air fryer or convection oven. I did omit the oil and lightly spray the sliced pieces with spray oil to make it a zero point food on Weight Watchers. Even with the limpies, I give it a 5 star. I could eat the whole eggplant fixed this way.?

  41. wendy herdman says

    Hello,
    I just made these and still waiting for them to become crispy, been in the over for almost an hour now. Very soggy.

  42. George M says

    First off, I love this recipe. The marinade is spot-on perfect as is, but is also very agreeable to the modifications most cooks eventually make to any recipe. I used soy sauce, a mix of vinegars (balsamic and ACV for bite and red wine and rice wine for a dash of sweet), added a few of my usual “house” spices (tumeric, cumin, and coriander for example) and it turned out fantastic.
    My only criticism is of the cooking method and temps. I don’t like using parchment paper, mostly because I don’t like generating trash. And I think a lot of the crunch controversy probably stems from there. Parchment paper tends to make things crunchy ?

    But I used my pizza rounds (with holes in them). That worked pretty well, but at 250° it took f..o..r..ever ? and still didn’t crunch up right. So I shifted strategies with my next batch (made 3 back to back).

    What worked for me was 350° for 5 minutes, then back off to 250° for 5 minutes, then back to 350° for 5, and so on. Once they’re close to “done” you have to watch them very closely (else they’ll burn a bit -still taste great to us but may not be everyone’s best taste). Setting the temp to 250° at that point and leaving it there for while would probably work. I also turned them over in the last 5 minutes of cooking, to aid crunchiness.

    This took cooking times from 50+ minutes with no crunch, to 15ish minutes and perfect crunch.
    They’re also fantastic reheated in a toaster oven for a couple of minutes.

    A+ recipe that’s going into our regular rotation ??

  43. Amanda says

    I have the eggplant in the oven right now. It’s been at 225 degrees for 20 minutes and far from crispy so I bumped it to 250 degrees for 10 minutes and basically no change. So I just bumped it to 400 degrees for 10 minutes and we shall see! It smells amazing! Just need it to get crispy.

  44. Megan says

    You are the only person whose gotten me to eat and enjoy eggplant, first with the queso and now the bacon. Well played, Dana. This stuff was awesome, did my my happy dance while eating the BLT.

  45. VeganDiosa says

    Hi Dana! This was a FLOP…
    I’ve made several of your recipes and they always turn out great. Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t know what happen with this recipe but I followed the recipe as written and I came out with floppy eggplant never crispy. My oven is at correct temperature. I will continue to follow your recipes because everyone 8 tried was awesome until This eggplant bacon.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t turn out for you! It seem as though others have had the same issue and I will pass along the feedback.

  46. Brian says

    Gave it try today. I would say that prep and cooking times are dramatically longer than on the recipe. I was a good half hour slicing the eggplant and mixing the spices. Cooking takes forever at the suggested temperature (though I am sure the temperature is correct). I eventually ran out of time (an hour later) needing to tend to my appointments. Then I raised the temperature and (of course) burned the strips, so I will have to try the recipe again when I have LOTS of time.

  47. Angela says

    The sauce was incredibly tasty but I could not get the texture right. I sliced the eggplant very thin and baked it as the recipe suggested and all of the eggplant was still soggy. I turned up the heat to 350 and baked it for 10-15 minutes more and it was still soggy. I love the taste, but I can tell it would be so much better if I could get it a bit more crispy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

      • louise bakley says

        Hello

        Yes I did use the mandolin on 1/8 inch setting. I followed the directions to the letter, so not sure why it did not work. Even to the point of burning, some were still not real crisp. I ate them, in my veggie wrap, and they tasted fine but not at all crispy.
        Louise

  48. Kathleen says

    The flavor of this was nice, but the eggplant didn’t get crispy, even after increasing the cooking time 3x. After the initial recommended time, the eggplant was very spongy and soft. In the end, it came out texture wise of eggplant leather or jerky.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Kathleen! 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!

  49. Patique says

    I made this, in fact, it’s been several times now but I have to admit that I did have a problem with the eggplant crisping up— in the oven. But problem solved. I got a food dehydrator and I started making my eggplant bacon in it, and OMG, wonderful!!!! We love it. The flavors intensifies. I read somewhere that if you store your bacon in glass jars it will remain crisp so that is what I do. I don’t know if it will keep beyond the 5 days, because ours has yet to last that long. I crave the vegan French toast casserole that I make and “bacon” comes to breakfast. When I cook greens or beans, “bacon” is my “meat”. I make “BLT’s— delish! So 2???? Up and 5 stars Dana, for a wonderfully satisfying recipe. (Also, I am able to use 2 eggplants with my dehydrator, and I just have an average size one.)

  50. Amy says

    I love your recipes, but not this one. I’ve made it twice and both times I’ve gotten limp, slimy slices after following it exactly. Even 30 minutes cooking time at 250… not even close. Eggplant was sliced very thin so it’s not that. Tried higher heat and it burned. We left the last batch in the oven on lowest setting for almost an hour and they *still* were limp. Everyone at my fake bakin competition liked the flavor, but the texture was too disappointing (luckily I had also made rice paper bakin, so I still won!). I won’t make it again, but my suggestions would be to salt and press the water out of the eggplant slices first and then fry.

  51. Natalie says

    I made this tonight! Pretty tasty but my eggplant did not crisp, even after pan frying it. I wonder if I saturated the eggplant with too much sauce? Will try again, this time with a longer cook time. Still tasted good on the BLT.

  52. Brittany Zwicker says

    I made this the night before to minimize prep for eBLTs and it was all I could do to stop eating it and leave enough for the next day. The marinade is amazing and the bacon is so, so tasty! The only change I had for the recipe is that it took me longer than 30 minutes to get mine to the right crispiness/color – more like 50 minutes to an hour. When I tried turning up the oven at the end to crisp up the bacon it got away from me and I burned the batch. It’s certainly more of an art than a science, but worth it! Will make again.

  53. SLively says

    This ended up tasting pretty good, but it would not crisp up! After about 45 minutes at 275F they were still floppy, so I upped it to 375F, which did the trick.

  54. Laura Necker says

    OMG! I Can’t Stop Eating Them!
    I too met with wimpy pieces after baking. Luckily I had a dehydrator and in they went for 24 hours. Whala, perfect! Then I put the left overs in a brown paper bag and put in fridge for snacking at work. Well that bag didn’t last very long! I used to do something similar with zucchini, but don’t think I’ll be going back.
    Thank you for your experimenting,
    Laura

  55. Chaitali says

    I made this and it was delicious! I left out the liquid smoke and just upped the amount of smoked paprika. My first batch was chewy more than crispy, and I had cooked that batch at 225 for 30 minutes in a regular oven. So for the second batch, I was stingier with the sauce and just brushed a bit on. I cooked it at 250 for 30 minutes. And it was perfect! It crisped up nicely. I did use a mandolin to slice the eggplant and it was a regular oven.

  56. Michelle F. says

    Amazing recipe! I’m not a fan of mock soy meats, so when I saw this recipe I was instantly sold. I’ve since made this 4 times and keep coming back. The first time I made this I didn’t add as much sauce coating, which still turned out well, but the next few times I drenched them and they were amazing. However, this did require them to be in the oven longer, but it was definitely worth the wait!

  57. Brandy Crowe says

    So good! I realized during the process that I was out of parchment paper so I used a baking stone, and was delighted when they did not stick to it! Since the bacon recipe calls for half an eggplant, I used the other half to make a batch of your cashewless queso. This was my first attempt at either recipe, and they were delicious together, on top of a big pile of nachos. You rock my plant based world!!

  58. Tammy says

    Disappointed… did not crisp even with turning it to higher temps for 20 mins… burned some pieces in stead… did not taste anything like bacon….Healthy yes bacon no…. not even close

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  59. Zoe says

    I am an absolute MESS in the kitchen and pretty much butcher everything I try to cook :)
    BUT THIS BACON worked out and was absolutely delicious! I put it in a BLT with spinach and veganaise. Extraordinary. Even gobbled up by my carnivorous boyfriend!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  60. Charlotte Babb says

    Is there any way to leave out the oil? I am trying to be oil free, and I have all the other ingredients, but might as well eat bacon as fry eggplant for my food.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We wouldn’t recommend leaving the oil out as it is a large contributor to getting the eggplant crispy. Good luck!

  61. Bacon Addicts says

    This is a great alternative Bacon recipe for the veggie-inclined. I could see how our vegan friends would appreciate it.

    We are assembling a guide to all known types of Bacon and have included a link to your recipe on our page.

  62. Autumn says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Living in a high altitude I bumped the oven temp to 400• cooked for 20 minutes on each side for thicker pieces, 15 for thinner pieces and the about a minute or two under the broiler for ultimate crispness. My boyfriend commented all of the flavor without any of the cruelty. Bravo and thank you for being a pioneer in cooking.

  63. Irene says

    So many have said they didn’t get crispy. My thoughts on this are you’re not necessarily “baking” to crispness, but dehydrating the eggplant. Soooo be cautious in raising the temp. I used the low temp, and kept watching to make sure none were burning. In a reg. oven, it helps to leave the door slightly ajar so the moisture escapes, otherwise it’s too limp or burn. That’s the key, that’s why a dehydrator or air fryer work well. Once I they look brown enough, I take them out onto a paper towel, and within a min they either crisp up or limp. The limp ones I put back in the oven a few min. Voila, it worked well and I didn’t raise the temp.

    Thanks for this recipe, it’s going to perk up my sandwiches & meals for sure!!

  64. Royce Landaluce says

    I was so excited to try this recipe and while the glaze was delicious, the recipe failed in my oven. I would recommend convection only. It did not crisp up at 225/250 degrees and then burned at 300 degrees.

  65. lindsey nanney says

    Warning! Annie’s brand of Worcestershire is NOT gluten free. It contains wheat! I love your recipes but want to warn those with Celiac that may try this. I’ve only found one vegan and gluten free brand of Worcestershire. It’s hard to find and expensive. It’s the wizard brand but make sure it’s the vegan and gluten free one (they have others).
    Will you please update this recipe for the sake of my fellow Celiacs who may not check?

    • lindsey nanney says

      Warning! Annie’s brand of Worcestershire is NOT gluten free. It contains wheat! I love your recipes but want to warn those with Celiac that may try this. I’ve only found one vegan and gluten free brand of Worcestershire. It’s hard to find and expensive. It’s the wizard brand but make sure it’s the vegan and gluten free one (they have others).
      Will you please update this recipe for the sake of my fellow Celiacs who may not check?

      Nevermind! I see now that you have a separate link to the GF one. I think that needs to be more clear. As it reads now it looks like you are saying Annie’s is GF.

  66. Miranda Mardis says

    i tried the recipe from delish, with just 4 ingredients. soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, and extra virgin olive oil. i put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. first time i burned it… second batch was made this morning at 250 degree oven for 1 hour, i think i put too much soy sauce in my sauce mix.. it comes out still almost goo-ey, but crispy on the outside.. i will be trying your recipe on the last of my eggplant. any suggestions on what happened?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Not sure, as that was not our recipe and is from a different site. Better luck with our version!

      • Lisa P says

        I love-love-love this recipe! It’s my go-to, and I make it in large batches (at least 2 full eggplants) because it gets gobbled up so quickly! That said, I sometimes quadruple the marinade. I’ve found that I can make “bacon bits” from the remaining ends after I put the rest through the mandolin. I just chop them up in little pieces, marinate, and throw them in the oven with the “bacon”! You just have to watch them carefully so they don’t burn, as they take less time to cook. They’re great to use on salads! YUM!!!!

  67. Evelyne says

    I did this without the liquid smoke and it tastes really good! Lots of flavours even without the smoky tast it’s delicious.

  68. Juel says

    I absolutely love this recipe. The flavor is awesome. I did make some minor adjustments – rather than using liquid smoke I use the South’s african Smoke spice from Trader Joe’s and I added a touch of garlic and onion powder. As for the cook time – I found it not to be substantial enough to crisp it up so I bake at 225 for 1.5 to 2 hrs. I tried slightly higher temps but it got too dark. But it was still great tasting. I also cut it by hand as the mandolin made the slices to thin for my liking. Great work on pulling these flavors together. I even use some of the leftover glaze on things such as Salmon and tempeh bacon that I had in the fridge.

    • Juel says

      Make sure you check on it periodically in the oven so that you don’t overlook. Also I like to give it a second glazing halfway through to intensify the flavors.