Shiitake Bacon

Shiitake Bacon

Shiitake bacon is crispy, smoky, and totally meat-free. It’s a delicious way to top a salad, burger, or even pasta. If you’re not eating meat, or you’re just looking to cut back, this vegan recipe is a great option to achieve that smoky, sweet flavor. 

Though easy by design, this dish is all about the seasonings and method. You simply saute the mushrooms with the seasonings, then bake to slightly dry them out to a more bacon-like texture. If you’re looking to omit the sugar, simply leave out the maple syrup and add in the tiniest drop of maple extract instead. Or, if you don’t care about the maple, you can just leave it out.

To be clear, this mushroom “bacon” is smaller and slightly different in texture than the fatty strips most are familiar with, but it’ll soon be one of your favorite treats. Make it for brunch, dinner, or a quick snack throughout the day.


  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms

  • 1/2 teaspoon canola oil

  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (substitution below)

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice the mushrooms in 1/4-inch slices.

    sliced shitake mushrooms

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  3. Whisk together the canola oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.

    marinade for shitake bacon

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  4. Add the mushrooms to the mixture and toss to coat. Allow to marinate for 5 minutes.

    marinated Shitake mushrooms

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  5. Place a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Transfer the seasoned mushrooms to the skillet, leaving excess marinade in the bowl, and spread into an even layer. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned and softened.

    shitake bacon sautéed in a skillet

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  6. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are firm, browned, and not soggy. This may take more or less time depending on the thickness and size of the mushrooms. Stir halfway through cooking to help the mushrooms cook evenly.

    shitake bacon in a skillet

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  7. Serve the mushroom warm, using them as a topping for your favorite dishes. Use them right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

    shitake bacon

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Recipe Tips

  • Shiitake mushrooms are the best for this technique because of their unique flavor and firm texture. Softer mushrooms like baby bellas won’t hold up to the cooking as well and will break down too much. 
  • Don’t cut the mushrooms too thinly. This will cause them to burn. You should get about five slices in an average size shitake mushroom.

Recipe Variations

You can substitute smoked paprika for the liquid smoke if you don’t have access to the liquid smoke. Use about a half teaspoon of the smoked paprika.

How do you use shitake bacon?

There’s tons of recipes that go perfectly with shitake bacon. You can’t use it in every recipe that calls for bacon, but it’s great as a smoky topper for a variety of dishes.  You can use it as a substitute for bacon in any of these recipes below.

Top a creamy potato soup

Replace the bacon in Cobb Salad

Make a vegan BLT

Top your favorite homemade pizza

Mix it in to your favorite macaroni and cheese

Garnish a baked potato

Replace the bacon in pasta carbonara


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