Waffle iron tofu bacon? Once you try it, you’ll be a believer!
It’s safe to say that bacon is off-limits when you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet. That’s too bad, because bacon happens to be super delicious. There’s something about bacon’s sweet, salty, ultra-savory flavor that just makes everything taste better! Not to mention that it’s pretty impossible to make a classic BLT without it. Vegan bacon alternatives have never quite hit the mark until we realized you could make tofu bacon in the waffle iron. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a Vegan BLT Sandwich that hits all the notes that make the original sandwich shine.
This recipe doesn’t require a lot of advanced planning, either. The waffle iron tofu bacon only needs to marinate for a few minutes, and you don’t have to press all of the water out of the tofu, either. Simply give the tofu a light press, combine the ingredients, fire up the waffle iron, and get ready to enjoy your new favorite sandwich.
The Ultimate Vegan Substitute for Bacon
It might sound weird to make tofu bacon in the waffle iron, but it totally works. Unlike other tofu bacon cooking methods, the waffle iron does a perfect job of squeezing out the tofu’s excess water. That allows it to crisp up more effectively, just like real bacon!
It’s important to start with a firm or extra-firm tofu and slice the block into 1/2-inch pieces. Any thicker and the bacon won’t crisp up. Thinner slices tend to burn when exposed to the waffle iron’s heat, so 1/2-inch is perfect. After about four to five minutes in the waffle iron, the tofu should be golden brown and crispy. Every waffle iron is different, though. So if it’s not quite there yet, keep cooking it in one- to two-minute increments until it reaches the desired level of crispness.
While the waffle iron is the key to giving the tofu the right texture, the marinade is where the magic really happens. We combine salty, savory soy sauce with sweet maple syrup and smoky paprika, cumin, and coriander. The tofu soaks in all those flavors, resulting in a product that tastes pretty similar to real bacon.
Build Your Vegan BLT Sandwich
When the bacon is finished cooking, it’s time to build this Vegan BLT Sandwich. Grab a few slices of whole-grain bread (or pick up your favorite gluten-free bread, if you prefer). We like toasting our bread for a brief minute to give it a lightly caramelized flavor and a crunchy texture, but you can skip this step if you prefer a softer bread for your BLT. Then, layer on the vegan mayonnaise, waffle iron tofu bacon, tomato slices, and lettuce.
There are several vegan mayonnaise options at the grocery store, but you can also make your own plant-based mayonnaise. Our recipe uses an avocado combined with olive oil, soy milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and a little salt. It’s so easy to make, and it’s good in the fridge for up to a week!
- 8 ounces firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- pinch of kosher salt
- 4 whole grain bread slices
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (additional recipe)
- 4-8 tomato slices depending on the size
- 4 iceberg lettuce leaves or romaine or butter leaf lettuce
To make the tofu bacon, drain the tofu and cut it into 4 slices about 1/2-inch thick. Place the slices on a clean kitchen towel and cover them with another towel. Gently press the towel with your hands to remove the excess water.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, cumin, coriander, and salt. Soak the tofu slices in the marinade for a minute or two.
Preheat your waffle iron on the highest setting. When the iron is hot, remove the tofu slices from the marinade and place them on the waffle iron in a single layer. Depending on the size of your waffle iron, you may have to do this step in two batches. Cover any remaining marinade and save it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Gently close the waffle iron and cook the tofu for 4 to 5 minutes, until it is golden brown and no longer looks wet. Try not to open the waffle iron too often, as the tofu will crisp up better when the iron is fully closed. Continue to cook the tofu in 1 to 2 minute increments until it is crisp and delicious.
To assemble the sandwiches, lightly toast the bread in a toaster. Spread 1 tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise on each side of the bread. Top one side with the tofu bacon, tomato slices, and lettuce leaves. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread.
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 15
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