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front view of tempeh bacon on white plate

Air Fryer Tempeh Bacon with Stovetop & Oven Methods

This Air Fryer Tempeh Bacon is full of flavor, easy to make and both vegan and gluten-free! If you don't have an air fryer, you can also make it on the stovetop or in the oven.
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword air fryer, dairy-free, gluten free, tempeh, vegan, vegan bacon, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 179kcal




  • Cut the block of tempeh in half and steam for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of water to your rice cooker pot. Then, place the tempeh halves in the machine's steamer basket. Close the lid and press the steam or steam cook button (depending on your brand of rice cooker) and select 10 minutes for the steaming time. *See notes below for stovetop steaming instructions. Allow the tempeh to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the rice cooker or steamer basket.
  • While the tempeh is steaming, make the marinade. Add all of the remaining ingredients to a 9" x 13" baking dish and whisk together with a fork. Set the marinade aside and prepare the tempeh.
  • Place the steamed and cooled tempeh onto a cutting board and cut into strips approximately ¼" thick. Carefully place each strip into the marinade. Then, carefully flip over each piece. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to overnight, flipping once during marinating.
  • When you are ready to make the tempeh bacon, carefully flip the pieces one more time. You can spoon on any remaining marinade if you'd like as well.


  • Place the crisper tray/plate into your air fryer if your air fryer comes with one rather than having it built in. Lightly grease the bottom of the crisper plate or air fryer basket with olive oil or a non-aerosol, propellant-free olive oil spray.
  • Carefully place the tempeh strips into the air fryer basket in a single layer. You may have to air fry in 2 batches unless you have a large air fryer. Air fry at 325° F for 10-15 minutes until the strips are browned but not burned. You can remove the air fryer basket to check it to ensure it's not burning. Mine only took 10 minutes.


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh strips and cook on medium to medium-high for 2-3 minutes per side. It burns quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it.


  • Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tempeh strips on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once.



*To steam the tempeh using a steamer basket, boil about 1-2 inches of water in a pot that fits your steamer basket. Place the tempeh halves in the basket and carefully place the basket into the pot. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. 
Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Leftovers can be enjoyed cold or warmed. Leftovers are best reheated in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for several minutes until warmed throughout, turning frequently to prevent burning. Be sure to heat the pan first and you should not need any additional oil when reheating, but you can add a little if you prefer. The tempeh will reheat quickly due to its thinness. 
Check out the post above to see how to make a vegan BLT with this tempeh bacon.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Accuracy is not guaranteed. Information shown should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Nutrition was calculated using Lightlife Original tempeh. Please note that different brands have different nutritional content. Nutrition does not include the additional oil needed for the stovetop method. 
Cook time was calculated for the air fryer method. Stovetop and oven methods vary in cooking time as noted in the instructions.


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 5g