Vegan Portobello Bacon Is a Crispy Meat-Free Alternative
Photo: Kelly Ohnona

Vegan Portobello Bacon Is a Crispy Meat-Free Alternative

Vegan portobello bacon does NOT taste like bacon.

I’ve been there(yes, it was a long time ago)and I can attest to the distinctions. Still, if you’re looking for a way to beef up a Passover friendly spring quinoa salad, loaded with crisp veggies you may want to consider this sweet and salty stand-in.

My friend, Kelly Ohnona at My Organic Diary invited me to her sweet apartment with drop dead views of NY’s grand city hall just a stone’s throw from the Brooklyn Bridge. Together, we made this portobello vegan bacon,  mysteriously setting off the smoke alarm despite the absence of any sign of smoke.

We also made a fun video to show you how it all came together. We’ll be posting that on facebook today.

We also shattered what we were sure was a heatproof glass plate in her oven. Yes, we should have googled it first, but we were already on a roll to find the perfect crispiness factor and we just couldn’t pause.

So what’s the deal with vegan portobello bacon if it’s so different from the real treif deal?

This version has a pleasant but not overwhelming smokiness from two tablespoons of smoked paprika. Use the best you can buy. A couple of spoons of maple syrup with teriyaki sauce lend a sweet/umami/ yin/yang that we loved.

Kelly did the heavy lifting by trying different techniques for achieving a crisp exterior while maintaining that plump meatiness that we love in mushrooms.  BINGO!

If topping salad with vegan bacon isn’t your game, consider layering it with lettuce, tomato, avocado (OK, maybe a smear of mayo) for a delicious and much healthier version of that BLT you may still be hankering for.

Photo: Kelly Ohnona





  1. There is a whole new world of smokey, spicy and salty versions of foods of animal origin (treif or not) that are making waves on the vegan scene; vegan lox made from carrots and bacon from mushrooms are the tip of the iceburg. Thank you for sharing this idea. These newly re-imagined versions of the originals can really add kick to a recipe. Love it!

    • Can’t wait to explore more with you, Maddie. As a flexitarian, I find all of this so interesting, especially the conversion of treif items to acceptable eats. As for smoked salmon or lox…. I’ll stick with the traditional stuff but am open to exploring ALL of the alternatives.

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