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From Tempeh to Prosciutto: Discover the Best Bacon Replacements

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Are you looking for an interesting and unique way to season your meals?

Looking for something more dynamic than regular salt? Seasoned salt can be a great addition to your pantry and dishes.

This type of salt combines regular table salt with herbs and spices, giving it additional flavor complexity.

If you are wondering about how to use seasoned salt in your cooking, as well as some of the best substitutes, this article will be perfect for you.

Learn about how to incorporate seasoned salt into your meals, as well as five of the best substitutes when you don’t have any on hand.

What’s Bacon?

Bacon is one of the most popular breakfast items around the world, but many people don’t quite know what it is or how to properly use it.

Bacon is actually a type of cured meat made from pork bellies, usually thinly sliced and typically cooked in a frying pan until crispy.

The taste and texture of bacon will vary depending on how it’s prepared, but most would describe it as having a salty, smoky flavor that pairs nicely with other breakfast foods like eggs, toast, and pancakes.

Bacon can be added to many recipes to provide extra flavor and texture, such as salad dressing or pasta sauce, but is perhaps best enjoyed when added to sandwiches for additional zing.

Cooking bacon correctly can be tricky since you have to make sure the fat has rendered out before removing it from heat and crispness should also be balanced with not burning the bacon.

There’s nothing quite like properly cooked bacon and once you discover how great it tastes there’s no going back.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Bacon

Unfortunately, this indulgence comes at a cost — especially for vegetarians and vegans, who cannot enjoy bacon due to its high content of fat and cholesterol.

Luckily, there are several meat-free alternatives available on the market that can step in when craving hits.

Here are five substitutes for bacon that have delicious flavor and texture – worthy replacements for any appetite or lifestyle.

1 – Prosciutto

Prosciutto is an Italian cured meat made from salt-rubbed pork hind leg.

This uncooked and unsmoked product is a popular sharing plate starter and can be served with melon or figs, in sandwiches, or on pizza.

Prosciutto has a slightly sweet flavor that’s similar to bacon, but it’s not as smoky or salty or fatty.

It might not bear much resemblance to the slice of bacon you’re used to seeing on breakfast plates, but prosciutto still brings a delightful salty edge that adds depth of flavor to any dish.

2 – Beef Bacon

When it comes to beef bacon, there are some important distinctions from regular bacon.

First, beef bacon is not only made from cow meat but it is also smoked differently.

Most traditional bacon goes through either a hot smoke or a cold smoke process; however, beef bacon is mostly just cured with salt and spices and sometimes sugar as well.

As a result, its flavor tends to be markedly different compared to regular pork bacon since none of the smokiness is found in the product.

Additionally, because of the type of meat being used, it should be noted that beef bacon has an extremely high fat content and should not be consumed often by those wishing to consume less fat in their diets.

Along with its strong smoky smell and taste profile, beef bacon has a crisp finish that lends very little chewiness or “squeak” when bitten into.

Ultimately, this distinct smokiness and cured flavor makes it a great substitute for those looking to avoid pork alternatives while still getting that unique smoky flavor they crave – just in different form.

3 – Pancetta

Pancetta is an Italian-style bacon made from the belly of pork that is cured in salt and spices.

It has a firmer texture than American-style bacon and is more tender, making it a great substitute for bacon in sauces, soups, and pasta dishes.

Pancetta has a sweeter, less smoky flavor than traditional bacon, so it works best when used in recipes where the smokiness of regular bacon isn’t as important.

But because pancetta tends to be saltier than American-style bacon, you may want to reduce the amount of added salt when using it in recipes that call for regular bacon.

Another advantage of using pancetta instead of traditional bacon is that it can be cooked without having to be precooked–allowing you to save time on meal preparation.

To reduce the fat content even further, feel free to remove some or all of the visible fat by blanching or cooking before adding to your dish.

4 – Capicola

Capicola, also known as hot or sweet coppa, is an Italian type of charcuterie made of cured pork shoulder or neck.

It is usually flavored with garlic, red wine, and spices like oregano, pepper and coriander.

Capicola is more flavorful than most bacon substitutes because it’s smoked and contains less fat.

It can be eaten cold as part of a charcuterie plate or cooked in pasta dishes for a smoky flavor.

To get the closest flavor to bacon from capicola, you may want to fry or grill the slices instead of eating them raw.

5 – Tempeh (Vegan)

Tempeh is a popular vegan substitute for bacon, made from fermented soybeans that have been compressed into cakes.

It has a chewy texture and slightly bitter flavor, but with the addition of spices and smoky flavors, it’s an extremely versatile kitchen favorite.

Tempeh can be thinly sliced and pan-fried to create a bacon-like texture or crumbled and added to dishes like salads, beans and quiches.

Here are some of our favorite recipes starring tempeh as a vegan alternative to bacon:

  • Vegan BLT Sandwich.
  • Tempeh Bacon Tacos.
  • Tempey Baked Beans.
  • Garlicky Maple Soy Tempeh Bacon.
  • Tempeh Carbonara.


Choosing bacon substitutes can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for something that carries with it the flavor and texture of traditional pork bacon.

That being said, there are some great vegetarian, vegan and poultry options out there that provide a wonderful alternative to regular bacon.

Whether you’re looking for a meat-free way to enjoy all the savory flavors of bacon or are simply trying to reduce your caloric intake, there is sure to be an option here that fits your dietary needs.

When it comes to “what’s bacon”, the answer is simple: There are many options out there – some even healthier than regular pork bacon.

From veggie strips and almond slivers to turkey slices and coconut chips – we’ve listed five of our favorite alternatives that make wonderful replacements in sandwiches, salads or simply eaten as snacks on their own.

No matter what type you choose, these five substitutes will add delicious smoky flavor and texture as part of any meal or side dish.

Try them today – your taste buds won’t regret it.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Bacon

Recipe by Kimberly Baxter Course: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time


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  • 1 1 – Prosciutto

  • 2 2 – Beef Bacon

  • 3 3 – Pancetta

  • 4 4 – Capicola

  • 5 5 – Tempeh Vegan


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.

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