The Complete Guide to Cooking Lightlife Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh bacon has become an increasingly popular alternative to regular pork bacon for those looking to cut down on meat or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Lightlife is one of the major brands of tempeh bacon on the market. But how exactly do you cook Lightlife tempeh bacon to make it taste delicious? In this complete guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to cook Lightlife tempeh bacon perfectly every time.

What is Tempeh Bacon?

Tempeh bacon is made from tempeh, a fermented soy product with a firm, cake-like texture and nutty flavor. Tempeh starts with soybeans that have been cooked, partially dehulled, and combined with a culturing agent. This mixture is then pressed into a firm cake and left to ferment, which binds the soybeans together into a solid block.

Tempeh bacon is made by thinly slicing tempeh blocks and marinating them in a blend of savory seasonings like liquid smoke, maple syrup, soy sauce or tamari, spices, and herbs before cooking. This gives the tempeh a smoky, salty, sweet bacon-like flavor.

The marinated tempeh slices can then be pan fried, baked, or grilled until crisp When cooked properly, tempeh bacon has a similar taste and chewy-crisp texture as regular bacon, while being lower in fat.

Why Cook Lightlife Tempeh Bacon?

Lightlife is one of the major brands producing tempeh bacon from organic, non-GMO soy tempeh. Here are some of the benefits of choosing Lightlife tempeh bacon

  • It’s vegetarian and vegan – contains no animal products
  • Has a good source of plant-based protein
  • Lower in saturated fat than pork bacon
  • Provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Has no cholesterol
  • Can be part of a flexible diet

The smoky, savory flavor makes it a tasty addition to breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and more. Its versatility and nutrition profile make Lightlife tempeh bacon a smart choice for those looking to cut back on meat.

How to Cook Lightlife Tempeh Bacon

Lightlife tempeh bacon can be prepared using a few simple cooking methods. Here are step-by-step instructions for baking, pan-frying, and grilling Lightlife tempeh to perfection:


Baking is a simple, no-fuss way to prepare Lightlife tempeh bacon.


  • 1 package Lightlife Tempeh bacon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk together oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, garlic powder and pepper in a shallow dish.

  3. Slice tempeh bacon strips horizontally into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Add them to the marinade and let sit 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

  4. Arrange tempeh slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Reserve leftover marinade.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan, brush tops of tempeh with leftover marinade. Bake 10 more minutes until crispy.

  6. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy in your favorite breakfasts and sandwiches.


Pan-frying adds crispy edges and rich flavor. Be sure to use a nonstick skillet.


  • 1 package Lightlife Tempeh bacon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  1. Whisk together oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and paprika in a shallow dish.

  2. Slice tempeh into 1/4 inch thick strips and add to marinade. Let sit 15-30 minutes, turning occasionally.

  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh strips in a single layer. Reserve excess marinade.

  4. Cook 2-3 minutes until browned. Turn strips and pour reserved marinade into skillet.

  5. Cook another 2-3 minutes, turning once, until marinade evaporates.

  6. Remove from heat and serve on sandwiches, breakfast tacos or in wraps.


The high heat of the grill gives tempeh bacon extra crispness and infuses it with delicious smoky barbecue flavor.


  • 1 package Lightlife Tempeh bacon
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Whisk together barbecue sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, paprika, chili powder and black pepper.

  2. Slice tempeh into 1/4 inch thick strips. Add to marinade and let sit 15-30 minutes.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Oil grates.

  4. Place tempeh strips directly on grill. Close lid and cook 2-3 minutes per side until grill marks appear.

  5. Flip occasionally until tempeh is browned and crispy around the edges.

  6. Remove from grill and enjoy on salads, in wraps or in vegan BLTs.

Cooking Tips

Follow these tips for perfectly cooked, crispy Lightlife tempeh bacon every time:

  • Let it marinate – Marinating for at least 15-30 minutes infuses flavor.
  • Use a nonstick pan – Prevents sticking and breakage.
  • Don’t crowd the pan – Cook in batches for even browning.
  • Add marinade to pan – Extra flavor and moisture.
  • Flip halfway through – Ensures both sides get crispy.
  • Adjust heat as needed – Lower heat prevents burning.

Serving Suggestions

The smoky, savory flavor of Lightlife tempeh bacon enhances both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some delicious ways to serve it:

  • Breakfast tacos or burritos
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Pasta carbonara
  • Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches
  • Salad or grain bowl topping
  • Brussels sprouts with bacon
  • Loaded baked potatoes
  • Bacon mac and cheese
  • Burgers or sandwiches
  • Pizza topping
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus

With its versatility, nutrition, and meaty texture when cooked right, Lightlife tempeh bacon can add tasty plant-based protein to breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in between. Follow this guide for crispy, flavorful tempeh bacon every time.

Review Light Life Tempeh Smoky Bacon Plant based


Do you have to cook LightLife tempeh bacon?

Many of our LightLife products go through a pasteurization process after they have been packaged. This pasteurization step is a critical food safety step in our process and fully cooks the product. Although you can safely eat them out of the package, we recommend following the cooking instructions on the packaging.

How do you cook LightLife tempeh?

Cooking Instructions Add Tempeh Cubes to pan, use tongs or a spatula to break apart cubes, and stir occasionally for 6-8 minutes until warm. AIR FRYER: Toss Tempeh Cubes in 2 tsp oil. Cook in air fryer at 400°F for about 5-7 minutes or until they have reached desired crispness.

Is LightLife tempeh bacon healthy?

Our fermented, organic Smoky Tempeh is a super versatile superfood, with 12g of complete protein per serving. Try it as a bacon alternative on breakfast sandwiches or in wedge salads for a quick, easy, delicious meal.

Does tempeh bacon taste like bacon?

Tastes so much like bacon! Here, a blend of pantry-staple ingredients is used to give you a tangy, sweet, spicy, salty, and smoky marinade. The result? Tempeh bacon with the same rich, smoky flavors as traditional bacon.

How do you cook tempeh Bacon in the oven?

Bake tempeh bacon – Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Arrange the marinated tempeh slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Pour any leftover marinade over the tempeh and bake for 15 minutes. Flip each tempeh piece and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the tempeh is crispy.

How do you cook tempeh in the oven?

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer tempeh (reserving excess marinade for brushing) to the parchment-lined baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip, and brush generously with reserved marinade.

Can you cook tempeh bacon without oil?

Oil-free: You can make this recipe oil-free by subbing in 1 tbsp water for the oil. However, you will need to be a bit more careful about the marinade burning or sticking to your pan. Just keep a close eye on the tempeh bacon and lower the heat if it looks like it is darkening too fast.

How do you smoke tempeh?

In a shallow bowl, rimmed plate, or baking dish, whisk together the oil, tamari, maple syrup, salt, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, black pepper, and cayenne (optional). Taste and adjust flavor as needed. It should be quite salty, smoky, a little spicy, and plenty sweet (even a little too sweet, as it needs to balance the bitterness of the tempeh).

Leave a Comment