This mushroom bacon recipe is so easy to make in an air fryer with just a few ingredients. It's a healthy vegan bacon recipe that is crispy, smoky and delicious!
It's amazing how thin slices of mushrooms can be transformed into a vegan alternative for bacon. It doesn't taste exactly like bacon, but let's face it, nothing tastes like bacon except the real thing! Portobello mushroom bacon has a delicious savory taste; it's crispy, smoky, and buttery.
I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I enjoy plant-based substitutes for meat. Another one of our favorites is vegetarian enchiladas made with soy chorizo.
What you will love about this recipe
- Easy! It's made with simple ingredients, and there is very little prep time to make this portobello bacon recipe.
- Delicious! There is no replacement for real bacon, but this mushroom bacon comes pretty close.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
- Portobello mushrooms
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- Maple syrup
- Sea salt
- Smoked paprika
How to make this mushroom bacon recipe
Prepare: Remove the stems from the mushrooms and wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Use a sharp knife to slice the mushroom into thin slices. Mix the olive oil and maple syrup together in a small bowl.
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees f.
Arrange the sliced mushrooms in a single layer onto an air fryer basket or tray. Use a basting brush to brush the olive oil/syrup mixture onto the mushroom slices.
Sprinkle the mushroom slices with smoked paprika and sea salt; air fry for 10 minutes.
NOTE: Baking time can vary, mushroom slices should be slightly crispy. If they are not, air fry for 2 to 3 minutes longer and keep a close eye as it cooks quickly!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this mushroom bacon recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.
Portobello Mushrooms - Just about any variety of mushroom can be transformed into mushroom bacon. I like to use portobello mushrooms because they have a meaty texture and are larger in size.
We also like to use meaty shiitake mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, cremini mushrooms or white mushrooms to make bacon.
Smoked paprika - This adds a subtle smoky flavor to the mushroom bacon. It can be omitted or swapped with ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke mixed in with the oil.
How to use mushroom bacon
Vegan mushroom bacon can be used just as you would use regular bacon. Try it in a vegan BLT, add it to vegetable recipes, or pasta. Serve it breakfast as a side dish with a breakfast casserole.
It also tastes great crumbled into bacon bits on a salad or baked potatoes.
How to store and use leftovers
Mushroom bacon tastes the best right after it comes out of the air fryer, and probably will be devoured immediately!
In the event that there is leftover bacon, store it in an airtight container for a day or two. It will be a little soggy, heat it up in the air fryer at 375 degrees for a few minutes to bring back the crispy texture.
Spicy - Make spicy hot bacon, by adding ¼ teaspoon or less of your favorite hot sauce to the oil before brushing it onto the strips of mushrooms.
Pepper Bacon - Sprinkle ¼ to ½ teaspoon of black pepper onto the bacon before air frying it.
- For extra crispy bacon, slice the portobello as thin as you possibly can.
- Leave enough space in the air fryer basket or tray to allow the air to circulate around the strips of mushrooms.
- Save time and use pre-sliced mushrooms from your local grocery store.
- Depending on your air fryer, you may need to make this recipe in two batches. Keep the second batch warm on low heat in the oven or leave it at room temperature.
Yes, you can. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the mushroom slices on the parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the oil, and syrup mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to brown. Flip them over and bake until they are crispy, which will be approximately another 10 minutes.
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 8 ounces portobello mushroom caps
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice them into thin strips with a sharp knife.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees f.
- Whisk the maple syrup and olive oil together.
- Arrange the mushroom slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket or tray and brush each mushroom with the oil syrup mixture.
- Sprinkle the mushrooms with sea salt and smoked paprika and place the mushrooms into the preheated air fryer.
- Air fry the mushroom slices for 10 minutes. Flip them over and air fry until they are crispy - about 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
Check out more of our plant-based recipes here!
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