Are you a bacon fan? Sadly, bacon isn’t always the healthiest choice if you are watching your cholesterol levels, but there are tasty substitutes.

Americans have a love affair with the salty, fat-laden meat, but many physicians are telling their patients to focus on weight loss, heart-healthy diets, and diabetes control. To stay healthy, many people must give up their bacon strips. In this article, we will explore bacon substitutes.

Don’t turn your nose up at the sound of a bacon substitute. Nowadays, they can replicate the texture, taste, and salty goodness of bacon without all the drawbacks. These choices are ideal for a breakfast or dinner of BLTs. You can also use them in recipes that call for the pork meat.

11. Prosciutto


Prosciutto has sprung to fame with the famous dish of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. The asparagus stays nice and crisp with the bacon flavor seeping in to co-mingle with the robust taste of the plant. However, you can get rid of the asparagus and just enjoy the prosciutto.

An Italian cured ham, prosciutto is much lower in fat than bacon and does not have as much cholesterol. Sadly, the sodium is about the same though. You can crisp the strips in a pan, just like you do bacon. Also, some people prefer to warm the prosciutto in the oven, but it lacks crispiness when baked.

The prosciutto is a bit chewier than bacon, but the taste is similar. It is an ideal bacon substitute on a BLT because of the satisfying crunch. If you want to change things up a bit, substitute the lettuce for basil leaves and use mashed avocado in place of tomatoes.

10. Beef Bacon

Beef Bacon

Many people in the world will not eat bacon because it comes from pigs. Certain religions abstain from the consumption of any pork products. However, you can enjoy beef bacon.

Historically, beef bacon was made from the stomach of the cow. However, in recent years it is now obtained from other areas, but it still has fat running through each ribbon which makes it look remarkably like bacon.

Pork fat has far more fat and protein than beef bacon. Choose uncured beef bacon to reduce the sodium content and enjoy a healthier food choice. You’ll find many brands of beef bacon. Overall, it tastes terribly like pork bacon.

9. Turkey or Duck Bacon

Turkey Bacon

Turkey or duck bacon has taken the meat market by storm. Nowadays, you’ll find a wide assortment of turkey products in your meat department. In fact, turkey bacon is one of the most popular options for people looking to cut pork bacon out of their diet.

Duck bacon tastes slightly different than turkey bacon. Many people think it is more like pork bacon in flavor and texture. Both turkey and duck bacon have far less fat than pork bacon, and it crisps nicely, giving the crunch that most people appreciate.

8. Capicola


Capicola is often called gabagool or Coppa. The cured meat is a little like prosciutto but has a greater bacon flavor. It has far less fat (about a quarter less than pork) and an impressive level of protein. However, it does have a little more salt, so this should always be factored in when making your diet modification.

You can prepare capicola in the same way as bacon and enjoy it with all your favorite recipes. Add it to anything that asks for bacon. Just be sure to remember that it will add a dash more salt, so be sure to modify your spices as needed so you don’t lose the flavor you seek.

7. Salmon Bacon

Salmon Bacon Sandwich

Honestly, salmon bacon does not taste like pork bacon. It tastes like a salty fish with an undertone of smoke. However, bacon eaters do enjoy it as a substitute. Depending on the recipe, it works great in a frittata or an omelet. You can even add it to a quiche. Salmon bacon is great in a souffle with cheese.

The only drawback of salmon bacon is that you might have a hard time finding it. The fishy bacon appears to be a specialty item, but there are a variety of naturopathic food stores that do sell it. There are several brands available and each one is very distinct.

6. Carrot Bacon


This is a great vegan or vegetarian choice. It has a smoky flavor and a similar texture to real bacon, but it’s made entirely of carrots. Many people love it fried up and laid on a slice of whole grain bread. You can also use it for your BLTs.

5. Dulse


Dulse is a little different. It tastes like a mixture of seaweed and bacon. However, many people love it. Simply pan fry the leaves and use smoke flavors to create what looks like strips of bacon and taste a little like the pork meat.

4. Tempeh


Tempeh is loaded with protein. Made from fermented soybeans, it really does taste like bacon. You can use it in a wide assortment of recipes that call for bacon. Tempeh contains an abundance of protein but with absolutely no cholesterol.

Related: The 3 Best Ways to Cook Bacon — and 9 Delicious Ways to Enjoy It

3. Mushroom Bacon


Bacon mushrooms are exceptionally good. The non-meat substitute tastes like the pork strips but is a healthy choice. The consistency is also remarkably like that of fried bacon.

2. Seitan


Seitan is a form of wheat gluten or wheat powder that is fashioned into a bacon substitute. It does not crunch, which is a drawback, and it doesn’t taste very much like bacon, but many people enjoy it. You can buy seitan in hickory or sage flavors.

1. Chickpeas

Chickpeas 1

Chickpeas are never going to take the place of strips of bacon, but they can substitute in a salad for bacon crumbles. Many people also enjoy them as a quick snack. Simply choose bacon roasted chickpeas at the supermarket and use in whatever you use bacon crumbles.



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