Recipe: A Near Perfect Bacon Alternative With Only 3 Ingredients

Posted on Monday, August 24, 2015 | By Alycia Lang |

I could say that this post is especially for all the vegetarians out there, but let's be real – this one is for everyone because it's about bacon.

For most meat eaters, there is no substitute for the texture of the real thing. But I'm here to tell you that we may have found an alternative that scratches the bacon itch so well that even non vegetarians approve: Shiitake Bacon. The best part is it has only three ingredients!

Last weekend I spent an afternoon with friend and chef extraordinaire Elena Shelton of Midway Bake House in Santa Barbara learning how to make crispy, delicious, mushroom bacon. I can tell you from first-hand experience that Elena's recipes never disappoint, but this one is really something special because it can be added to pretty much anything.

If you want to take this recipe one step further and grow your own mushrooms, check out our mushroom cultivation classes HERE!

If you still need some "real" bacon in your life, why not learn how to make your own at our Home Charcuterie Workshop! 

Here is the recipe along with step-by-step photos!

All you will need for Shiitake Bacon is:

• 2 cups fresh medium-to-large shiitake mushrooms
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
• 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari

Plus: a small bowl, measuring cups, a knife and an ungreased cookie sheet with edges.


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Clean your mushrooms with a damp dish towel. Be gentle enough to not bruise them, but firm enough that you remove any excess dirt they may have.

3. Remove any tough or woody stems, and then slice the mushrooms into 1-inch strips.


4. Place sliced mushrooms into a bowl and pour in the melted coconut oil and the soy sauce or tamari. If the mixture does not taste salty to you, feel free to add a little more tamari or soy sauce (the salt is what brings out the flavor, so you can be generous with it). Massage lightly with your hands so the mushrooms are evenly coated.

5. Spread the mushroom slices evenly on a baking sheet. Make sure the baking sheet has an edge-the excess coconut oil tends to run off and makes for a smokey oven (as you can tell in the photo, we missed this step so learned that lesson the hard way). Place the mushrooms at least 1/2 inch apart. When they are too close together, it's hard to achieve the desired crispness.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes (depending on the oven). If you have an especially hot oven, we recommend checking on the mushrooms often. That said, you want the mushroom strips to darken considerably so that they crisp.

7. Remove just before they burn. The darker they get the smokier and more pronounced that "bacon" flavor becomes. Your mushrooms will crisp up a little as they cool.

8. Let cool, then enjoy sprinkled on salads, pizza, pasta, sandwiches...whatever your heart desires!


We chose to sprinkle our bacon bits on a cobb salad made from farmer's market produce and oven-roasted garbanzo beans, but you can put your mushroom bacon just about anywhere you'd put the real thing!

Don't forget to let us know how you use your bacon!

Happy eating!