Smoky Eggplant Bacon

You know that saying, “everything is better with bacon?”

Well, I believed that to be true for a long time. Most of my life, in fact.

However, throughout the years, I haven’t felt great about eating bacon. Not from a health standpoint, and not from a compassion-for-animals standpoint either. I mean, those pigs are smart! Smarter than our dogs, for sure.

But even if you still love pork bacon — but it doesn’t love you back (high cholesterol, etc) — you can still enjoy it with this healthy eggplant-based version.

Eggplant, sliced thin and marinated in a sweet-and-smoky mixture, is surprisingly tasty and bacon-like. Perfectly crisp and savory, and sure to satisfy your bacon cravings. Without the guilt, which is always a good thing.



  • eggplant
  • eggplant bacon marinade
  • eggplant bacon sheet pan
  • eggplant bacon

Makes about 20-24 slices


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • a dash of hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)
  • A few grinds of freshly cracked pepper


  • Step 1

    Yay let's make some bacon! Get the oven ready by preheating to 300°. Also, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Step 2

    Now for the slicing part. You can either use a sharp knife, or a mandoline if you have it. The goal here is to get the slices to be thin. Real thin. Like 1/8" thin.

    If you use the mandoline, please be careful! I love my mandoline, but it kind of terrifies me too, you know what I mean? Be sure to use a cut resistant glove or the safety food holder so you can keep your lovely fingers intact.

    Okay. Safety speech over. Back to the eggplant...

    Cut the eggplant into quarters, lengthwise. Then, slice each quarter into long, thin strips.

  • Step 3

    In a small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, tamari, Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic, and hot sauce.

  • Step 4

    Arrange the eggplant onto a shallow bowl or pan, and pour the marinade over the eggplant slices. Make sure the slices are evenly coated with marinade. Set aside and let marinade for about half an hour.

  • Step 5

    Next, transfer the eggplant slices onto baking sheets. Brush with some of the marinade, and crack some pepper over the slices.

  • Step 6

    Bake the eggplant slices for about 30-45 minutes, checking occasionally. Flip the slices about halfway through, and brush with a little more marinade.

    Continue backing until the eggplant strips are cooked through and starting to crisp up. Or you can let them get even crispier, depending on how you like your bacon.

    Let cool, and use in sandwiches or wraps. You can also chop up the strips and sprinkle on top of salads or bowls.

    To reheat, simply warm in a non-stick pan — but be careful not to burn the strips. They're thin, so they won't take long to reheat.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4 days.