These vegan bacon chickpeas taste just like bacon but without the excess salt or grease. They’re super easy to make, require almost no hands-on time and are perfect for topping all of your favorite foods.
Happy Monday lovely faces!
Did you have an amazing weekend? I accomplished approximately zero packing but I did manage to get rid of more items that we just don’t need to be taking with us so that’s something. I also ate a lot of tacos, banana bread and bagels piled with all the things so obviously I had my priorities straight.
Today I’ll be making/photographing and then demolishing more tacos (blackened salmon tacos, to be exact) for the blog but also my belly because apparently I haven’t eaten enough tacos already. I also haven’t said tacos enough in this post.
For real though, I feel like I crave all the wrong foods in all the wrong seasons at all the wrong times of the year. In July I want pumpkin, in October I want Christmas, in January I want tacos, salads and watermelon and I can almost guarantee that come June, I’ll be jonesin’ for slow cooked, meaty pasta sauces and thick, rich stews. I don’t think my body fully understands the seasons.
At least bacon doesn’t have a season. Bacon has a place in all the foods, all the times of the year. On pizza year round, in pastas, on potatoes, in salads and casseroles. You name it, bacon can probably make it better.
HOWEVER. I’m actually not a big bacon eater. Love it as I might, I don’t usually love how I feel if I eat it too often. To be honest, the greasiness grosses me out sometimes and I have a super sensitive digestive system that doesn’t always respond very well to grease. I’m pretty sure I can only get away with eating fries like 3 times a year without just wanting to curl up in to a ball and cry from pain. A few bits of bacon just aint worth the pain that usually comes along with it SO I found an acceptable alternative.
Meet: Vegan Chickpea Bacon. Hickory Maple, to be exact. First, yes. It does taste like bacon. Second, no it will never have the same texture. Obviously. Actually, to be honest, I never really liked crispy bacon. I liked it cooked enough to be, well, cooked, but not crispy. So I don’t cook these chickpeas to be crispy. Just hot and flavorful while still maintaining their creamy chickpea texture. I tried cooking them longer to crisp them up a bit but I found they just dried out and didn’t store very well. Roasting them for less time helps them store better and, in my opinion, gives them a much better texture.
I so appreciate being able to have ‘bacon’ bits to top all the things with WITHOUT the accompanying grease and heartburn that would follow. While I know turning mushrooms and coconut in to bacon has been a very real trend in the vegan community for quite a while, I prefer the chickpea route because frankly, I find them a million times more filling and satisfying.
They don’t require much effort- simply marinate the chickpeas in a mixture of tamari, hickory liquid smoke, salt, pepper, maple syrup and a little evoo for minimum an hour but the longer the better. They spend 20 minutes in the oven at 400F along with the marinade and then bam, done. Vegan chickpea bacon bits for days.
Top all the things, friends. All the things.
- 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1½ TBSP reduced sodium tamari soy sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 TBSP maple syrup
- heaping ¼ tsp hickory liquid smoke
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl them add the chickpeas. Toss until the chickpeas are well coated then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for minimum 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400F.
- Place chickpeas and half of the marinade on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss with remaining marinade then place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Taste chickpeas for seasoning- adding more salt/smoke as needed and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet (also, obviously eat some warm).
- Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.