Sliced mushrooms are roasted into bacony perfection with a smoky, sweet marinade that packs just a little heat and harissa spices that give the mushroom bacon a well rounded flavor. No bacon fat required. So many uses, so little time.


bowl of crispy mushroom bacon.

Good Lord, I’m not sure what inspired me to create a bacony tasting mushroom recipe, but here it is! I love cooking with mushrooms because of how versatile they are, like in my very simple Three Ingredient Mushroom Soup, my even simpler seared Lion’s Mane Mushrooms, or my Shredded Bulgogi-Style Mushrooms & Tofu . Ultimately I decided this recipe should be combined with a Mexican style veggie tostado, for a flavor bomb recipe- so look out for that any day, but for now, enjoy this bacon, with your eggs, in a sandwich, or simply eat it as a snack with your fingers all in one sitting, no guilt required.

Floppy mushroom bacon served on a plate.

Top of Post: the lead photo shows the crispiest cooked mushroom bacon. Above: this thicker mushroom bacon is not as crispy, but rather, is for those who love a “floppy” bacon.

Why this recipe works

  • Flavor- first and foremost the marinade that coats the mushroom slices gives all the bacon vibes needed, from smokey to sweet, tangy, salty, and in addition, with harissa spices, it’s got a bit of heat. More complex than bacon flavor, and for that, I like it better than bacon!
  • Texture- the meaty texture of mushrooms lends itself to the sensation of eating bacon, especially when sliced thinly and with much of its moisture removed from cooking. There are trade offs, but I have learned, especially from Eric Kim of New York Times Cooking (great video), that one way we can develop the flavors of vegetables, is to, indeed, caramelize them by cooking out the water and concentrating the flavors.
  • Color- it always helps for the fake bacon to match the color of real bacon. But at the end of the day, I just love this recipe because the mushrooms taste delicious. I don’t often add liquid smoke to things but it’s delicious! Read more on that below.

Ingredient notes for harissa mushroom bacon

  • Mushrooms- my top choice is portobello mushrooms, since their wide brim allows for long slices. Oyster (especially king oyster) mushrooms hold up well also, and you can use shiitake for great flavor, but they will slice up for smaller little bacon pieces.
  • Marinade- All seven ingredients are key to the marinade, but you can sub brown sugar for maple syrup, and white for apple cider vinegar. If you don’t want to make my harissa spice blend, you can add a dash of spicy harissa paste (1 tsp), or tabasco, or ideally use a teaspoon total of dried chili powder or cayenne as well as some cumin/coriander powder for the harissa spice flavor. Adding the harissa flavor lends something extra to the overall bacon flavor; not necessary, but gives the recipe that extra somethin’ somethin’.
mushroom bacon marinade ingredients.

Step-by-step instructions for making mushroom bacon

When you set out to make this bacon (‘ish) you need to decide if you are aiming for a crispier or softer bacon. Photos 1/2 show 1/8″ sliced mushrooms (portobello and oyster) that are baked for up to 45 minutes for maximum dehydration and crispiness. Photo 3 shows thicker, 1/4″ portobello mushrooms roasted for 30 minutes to yield a softer but just as delectable product.

Firstly you can mix up all the marinade ingredients, so they are ready to toss with the sliced mushrooms.

If you purchase pre-sliced mushrooms, and can slice the slices in half, you should get 1/4″ slices. I believe most pre-sliced portobello mushrooms are more than 1/4″ thick.

Sliced portobello mushrooms seasoned with marinade and ready to be cooked.

Once you’ve sliced the mushrooms, toss them with the marinade, using your fingers, but taking care not to end up with most of the marinade on your hands.

Bake the mushrooms for 30-45 mins in a 375 degree oven until desired level of doneness.

platter of harissa mushroom bacon.

Tips for making, serving and storing harissa mushroom bacon

  • Slicing- aim for 1/4″ slices unless you want the super dry and crispy version, in which case, try to slice into 1/8″ (or try a mandoline slicer! I need to get one and try it out). Buying pre-sliced mushrooms is a great time saver, and I often do this with portobellos.
  • Clean up- I recommend using parchment paper under the mushrooms for easy clean up. That said, because we are cooking vegetables and not meat or fat, the clean up is still pretty easy without parchment. I’ve prepared the recipe both ways.
  • Serving- This mushroom bacon is a great healthy option to serve with a traditional eggs and toast breakfast, can be added to a grain bowl, salad, sandwich or vegan tacos. Stay tuned for a showstopper tostada recipe using this bacon, soon! Or, you can simply eat it all up as a snack, much like you would some kale chips. It is really flavorful and delicious on its own.
  • Storing- You can cover and store this mushroom bacon in the fridge, then re-heat it on the stove or in the oven. That said, it is delicious cold, depending on how you want to serve it.
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bowl of crispy mushroom bacon.

Harissa Mushroom Bacon (’ish)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings4
Calories80
Kitchen Tools
  • 1 sheetpan

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced (portobello- see notes)
Bacon Marinade
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari low sodium (sub soy sauce, I recommend low sodium always)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (sub brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (sub another plain vinegar)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (I use Colgin brand)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Harissa Spice Blend (Sofa Dinners Harissa Spice Blend– see notes)

Method:
 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Wipe mushrooms of any dirt with paper towel or cloth. Remove stems if using portobello or other stemmed mushrooms (no stems to remove from oyster mushrooms).
  • Slice mushrooms in 1/8-1/4" slices, see notes.
  • Mix marinade ingredients together.
  • Line sheet pan with parchment paper or if you don't have, then rub a bit of olive oil on your sheet pan.
  • Lay out the sliced mushrooms and toss thoroughly with the marinade, using your fingers to make sure all surfaces are covered with marinade, but take care not to get too much marinade all over your hands, since we want most of the marinade to stay on the mushrooms.
  • Bake/Roast the sheet pan of mushrooms in the center of the oven for approximately 30 min. See notes about "crispy" versus "floppy" mushroom bacon 🙂 .
  • Store any uneaten mushroom bacon covered in fridge. You may need to reheat in oven or in pan, but depending on how you serve it as leftovers, you may not need to heat it. See post for ideas and suggestions.

Notes

Mushrooms to use: I’ve used portobello because their shape and size work well. Oysters (including king oysters) work well also. Shiitake have great flavor but are quite small to manage. Portobello are my top recommended type to use. Also, you can use presliced portobello mushrooms, which typically come in 6 oz packs, and I’ve used two packs = 12 oz. The marinade works for 12-16 oz of mushrooms.
Harissa Spice Blend: If you can’t be bothered to make up my Harissa Spice Blend recipe, using some cayenne (1/2 tsp if you like spice) or some chili powder, and/or cumin/coriander ground all will add a nice flavor similar to harissa.
Mushroom slices: if you want to achieve the thin, crispy, leathery looking bacon like in the lead photo of this post, I recommend trying to slice close to 1/8″. Otherwise, 1/4″ works fine. 
Crispy versus floppy mushroom bacon: as indicated, thinner sliced mushrooms will more easily yield a thin, crispy bacon. Because mushrooms contain a lot of water, you will bake them closer to 45 min. 

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg | Magnesium: 5mg | Net Carbohydrates: 4g
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5 from 1 vote

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I may be obsessed with harissa (especially my dry spice blend) but it adds so much to the bacony flavor profile of this vegan mushroom bacon. I’m just loving it.