The best vegan bacon alternatives in the UK (2023)

Lucy the founder of Edible Ethics vegan food blog eating vegan noodles in a plant based restaurant

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Get your bacon fix with these tasty & nutritious vegan bacon alternatives. I have included a mix of options, some realistic & some healthy. You may even convince a few meat-eaters to enjoy some of these!

A plate of uncooked vegan bacon rashers on top of a towel on a wooden table

What about bacon, though?“, says pretty much every single meat eater when they find out that you are vegan. What they don’t realise is that there are so many incredible vegan meat alternatives that not only taste like bacon but are also high in protein and significantly more healthy than their animal counterparts.

In this article, I am going to take you through all of the best vegan bacon alternatives that can be bought in the UK. I have included a mix of different types of meatless bacon products so you have plenty of options to choose from. Each and every single one of these tastes great, I know since I have taste tested them all!

You will discover delicious soy-based bacon substitutes, meaty seitan alternatives and even some natural healthy versions made using tempeh and chickpeas.

Their uses are truly endless! Whether you are looking to make a delicious sandwich with smoky rashers for breakfast, veganise a meaty dish, or top your favourite vegan recipes with a tasty treat, there is a vegan bacon alternative for you here!

Ultimately, every single one of these meatless bacon products that I have mentioned in this article are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than bacon made using animals. Oh, and they are all suitably high in protein also! So there really is no missing out when you eat vegan.

My top picks

What is vegan bacon made from?

Vegan bacon alternatives can be made from many different ingredients. Popular versions are made using soya protein, like these from La Vie, and sometimes pea protein. Meaning they will have a high protein content, as well as a neutral flavour base for which seasoning is added to.

Other alternatives are made using vital wheat gluten (seitan) and you can even get some vegan bacon made using gram flour (chickpea).

Does vegan bacon taste like bacon?

This depends on the vegan bacon alternative. Some are made to mimic both the taste and texture of bacon, which is the case for the incredible plant-based bacon rashers by La Vie. These do taste like bacon, particularly smoky bacon rashers.

Whereas, some substitutes are made just to loosely resemble bacon, which is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want it to remind them too much of eating animals. A good example of this is these tempeh bacon rashers by Better Nature.

Is vegan bacon healthier?

As a whole, vegan bacon products tend to be much lower in saturated fats and calories, making them a much healthier alternative. On top of this, they are often made using high-protein ingredients like soya and pea protein. However, they can be higher in sodium due to the flavourings.

However, much like any other processed foods, vegan bacon should still be eaten in moderation alongside a healthy wholefoods diet. Read my vegan nutrition guide to find out more.

Here are the best vegan bacon alternatives

So, let’s get to it! Here are the best vegan bacon alternatives you can buy in the UK.

La Vie Plant-based Smoked Bacon Rashers - one of the best vegan bacon products in the UK
Best taste & texture

La Vie Plant-Based Smoked Bacon Rashers

  • Made from: Soya protein
  • Calories per 100g: 227 kcal
  • Protein per 100g: 14.9g
  • Packaging: Recyclable cardboard sleeve with a plastic tray and film
  • Cost: £3

This vegan bacon product is quite easily my firm favourite choice when it comes to both taste and texture. I always make sure to have a packet of this in my fridge. They have achieved something truly incredible with these rashers!

Straight out of the packet, they look quite realistic, with a white fat streak going through the middle of the rasher. Once cooked they go really crispy and maintain a good chew which makes them the perfect sandwich filler for breakfast or lunch.

They have a lovely smoky flavour that isn’t at all overpowering. The taste definitely resembles bacon from a pig, and it is the most realistic that I have tried so far.

I personally love adding these vegan bacon rashers inside a BLT sandwich or on the side of a vegan fry-up at the weekend. You could also cook these up into a recipe that calls for bacon.

You may also be interested in my review of La Vie bacon.

Since they are soy-based, they are also relatively high in protein and suitable for anyone who has an intolerance to wheat. Although La Vie does manufacture its products in a factory that handles wheat, meaning these aren’t suitable for anyone with coeliac disease.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a really tasty vegan bacon alternative that cooks and tastes like its animal counterpart, then this is the one for you!

THIS Isn't Bacon - one of the best vegan bacon products in the UK
Best for cooking with

THIS Isn’t Bacon Rashers

  • Made from: Soya & pea protein
  • Calories per 100g: 164 kcal
  • Protein per 100g: 25g
  • Packaging: Recyclable cardboard sleeve, plastic tray and film
  • Cost: £3

Coming in as a close second is THIS Isn’t Bacon Rashers. They are much thicker than other alternatives which does make them a little less realistic, but the taste is definitely very bacon-like.

They are really easy to handle and cook. You can achieve a really nice crispy texture with these after just a few minutes on each side in a frying pan. You can cook them as rashers or you can even cut them up into bits to resemble lardons. I like to do the latter and then add them to my vegan quiche recipe.

They are predominantly soy-based, but they also use pea protein, which may explain the amazingly high protein content of these rashers. On top of this, they are also relatively low in calories, making them a suitable treat for anyone who is watching their calorie intake!

You may also be interested in my review on THIS Isn’t Bacon.

Whilst I do enjoy eating these inside a sandwich as part of a BLT or a breakfast sandwich with vegan sausages, I much prefer to use these to cook with. They add a really love salty bacon flavour to vegan dishes and they maintain their crispy texture well inside wet dishes.

You can use these in anything from a vegan carbonara, to a topping on a vegan pizza.

Better Nature Smoky Tempeh Rashers - one of the best vegan bacon products in the UK
Best tempeh bacon

Better Nature Smoky Tempeh Rashers

  • Made from: Soya beans
  • Calories per 100g: 180 kcal
  • Protein per 100g: 15g
  • Packaging: Recyclable cardboard sleeve with a plastic tray and film that can’t be recycled
  • Cost: £5

When it comes to more natural plant-based alternatives to bacon, Better Nature’s Smoky Tempeh Rashers are quite easily the best option. These naturally meatless rashers are made using fermented soybeans and are coated in a lovely bacon marinade.

Because these are made using tempeh, they are less realistic than the direct vegan bacon imitations that I have mentioned in this article. Therefore, you couldn’t use these to fool non-vegans. But these do make for a really lovely and substantial dish.

Unlike many other alternatives, I find these really filling. Maybe because they are made using whole soybeans, or maybe because they are a little more on the chunky side of things!

There are many health benefits to eating tempeh bacon, particularly related to your gut! Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, which are jam-packed with good bacteria that will help support a healthy gut. Pretty cool, right?

See also: the best vegan probiotics for gut health

It’s pretty cool that you can replace bacon with a really healthy alternative! I like to alternate buying these with the other substitutes, to ensure I am eating a varied and healthy diet.

Vivera Plant Bacon Pieces - one of the best vegan bacon products in the UK
Best salad topper

Vivera Veggie Bacon Pieces

  • Made from: Soya protein
  • Calories per 100g: 87 kcal
  • Protein per 100g: 17g
  • Packaging: Recyclable cardboard sleeve with a plastic tray and film that can’t be recycled
  • Cost: £2.85

If you are looking for a vegan bacon product that can be easily used for topping your favourite vegan recipes, then these Bacon Pieces by Vivera will do the trick nicely!

They come in small strips that crisp up really nicely when cooked in a frying pan. You can then snack on them as they are (no judgement here) or you can use them to top dishes. I like to use them to make a delicious cruelty-free potato salad with vegan mayonnaise, tomatoes, cucumber, and boiled new potatoes.

You can also add them to pizzas, on top of pasta dishes, and on your favourite salads.

They are a really low-calorie option with a good amount of protein, so you can really load your dishes with these!

Their bacon taste is a lot more subtle than the others here, but I do still find they bring a good salty bacon-like hit to your dishes. The texture is chewy and crispy when cooked in a frying pan on its own. They hold up well when cooked into dishes with liquid in them, meaning they won’t just turn to mush!

Chiki Monkey Smokey Yaycon - one of the best vegan bacon products in the UK
Best gluten-free

Chiki Monkey Smokey Yaycon

  • Made from: Gram flour (chickpeas)
  • Calories per 100g: 264 kcal
  • Protein per 100g: 9.8g
  • Packaging: Recyclable cardboard box with a plastic film that isn’t recyclable
  • Cost: £4.69

This vegan bacon alternative is a little bit different and not something I’ve seen anywhere else because this one is made using chickpeas. Well, the flour of chickpeas (gram flour) to be more exact.

Gram flour is gluten-free and very nutritious. It has plenty of awesome health benefits, including the fact that it is high in protein, fibre and B vitamins.

It also makes for a great alternative to soy-based plant-based bacon. Meaning it can be enjoyed by anyone with a soy allergy. On top of this, it is also a very sustainable crop that has no known significant damage to the environment. Win-win!

The rashers themselves are lovely and smokey with a firm texture. They aren’t going to fool you into thinking they are actually bacon, but they made for a substantial alternative that can be used to make tasty sandwiches and vegan fry-ups.

Sgaia Smoky Flavour Rashers - one of the best vegan bacon products in the UK
Best seitan

Sgaia Mheat Smoky Flavour Rashers

  • Made from: Vital wheat gluten & soya protein
  • Calories per 100g: 172 kcal
  • Protein per 100g: 31.50g
  • Packaging: Recyclable cardboard box with a plastic film that isn’t recyclable
  • Cost: £4.89

These plant-based rashers are perfect for all the seitan lovers out there. If you don’t know what seitan is, it is a wheat-based mix that is popular in both the vegetarian and vegan communities. It is used to make pretty much any fake meat you want.

Seitan is a high-protein food, which will explain how Sgaia have managed to pack so much protein in to these vegan bacon rashers.

They have also added soya protein into the mix, which I find helps to create a good texture. Sometimes I find seitan products have the same texture as one another, but these are definitely a lot more bacony.

They go nice and crispy when you fry them and work perfectly inside a sandwich or as a topping on vegan buttermilk pancakes.

The only downside of these is that because they are made using seitan, they aren’t great for anyone who is intolerant to wheat. Personally, I can eat bread products regularly, but can’t eat seitan too often as I have a sensitivity to wheat. Therefore, I eat these as the occasional treat!

Vegan bacon comparison

Here are all the top vegan bacon products in the UK in a table which includes a comparison of their ingredients, calories, protein content and their price with links to the best places to buy them.

BrandMade fromCalories per 100gProtein per 100gCostBuy
La VieSoya protein227 kcal14.9g£3Ocado
THISSoya & pea protein164 kcal25g£3Amazon
Better NatureSoya beans180 kcal15g£5Amazon
ViveraSoya protein87 kcal17g£2.85Tesco
Chiki MonkeyGram flour264 kcal9.8g£4.69Greenbay
SgaiaWheat & soya protein172 kcal31.50g£4.89Greenbay

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