While making a batch of seitan, I decided to explore the world of seitan bacon. Since I've never actually tried making seitan bacon, I figured I should also be the pioneer in air-frying it instead of baking or pan-searing it. In fact, the only seitan bacon I've ever eaten was at a vegan restaurant. Although memorable, the fried restaurant version was greasy, so air-frying it without oil seemed logical.
I often cook coconut bacon, so I used my go-to bacon marinade but replaced coconut with seitan. To my surprise, the bacon got crispy and tasted fabulous in the middle of my seitan BLT sandwich.
Seitan bacon is easy to make in 7 minutes in the air-fryer
Even though the seitan bacon literally took 7 minutes to cook in the air fryer, I made the seitan from scratch. Despite the cooking time of 1 ½ hours, the dough is relatively easy to make. And, the cooking is really only a slow boil, so it doesn't take much effort. The time and magic, however, is waiting for the bacon or any seitan recipe to marinate.
As a golden rule, I suggest allowing the seitan to marinate, in whatever marinade you choose, for 1-2 days. The longer you can leave it marinating, the better. As a result, the seitan absorbs the marinade like a sponge, enhancing any flavor you throw its way.
Another bonus to making seitan is that the recipe makes 2 pounds of seitan, divided and marinated differently, yields a ton of different recipes from one batch.
Of course, store-bought seitan exists, but it's full of additional processed ingredients. Making homemade is always best.
Remember, though, vital wheat gluten, the main ingredient of seitan, is not gluten-free. In fact, it's the complete opposite. So, stay clear if you are gluten-free.
Seitan bacon packs in the protein with very few carbs
On the other hand, as a meat alternative, seitan packs the protein and has little to no carbohydrates.
According to Maggie Moon, author of Mind Diet, “Seitan contains more protein than most other vegan protein sources," says Michalczyk. For example, 100 grams of seitan has around 22 grams of protein, while an equivalent amount of firm tofu has only 7 grams. However, seitan isn't a complete protein—it lacks the amino acids lysine and threonine, says Michalczyk. As with other incomplete vegetarian protein sources, she suggests pairing seitan with other foods like beans to make sure you're getting enough of the essential amino acids our bodies need to run properly.
“Seitan also is a good source of iron, selenium, and phosphorus, giving it a little more nutrient credibility than just its protein content,” says Michalczyk.
Plus, unlike other products that are made with wheat, it's relatively low in carbs, Michalczyk adds (5 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving). This is because most of the carby starch content gets washed away during processing. So, it’s a pretty good option for low-carb diets. However, watch out for added sugar content in prepared pre-marinated products, which could rack up that carb count.
Instead of frying it up in a pan, fry it in the air-fryer oil-free
Once marinated, the seitan cooks quickly in the air fryer. In 7 minutes the seitan bacon is crispy on the outside, while still soft and flavorful on the inside. Because only one batch cooks at a time, prepare a plate and cover with aluminum foil until all the pieces are cooked.
Making the Seitan BLT recipe...if you are adventurous.
To make a seitan Blt with seitan bacon, gather the following ingredients per sandwich.
- Ciabatta (oil-free toasted) or brad of choice
- 3 ounces seitan bacon
- 2 slices tomato
- 1 Romaine lettuce leaf
- Raw white onion (optional)
- Vegan Cashew Mayo or dijon mustard
Other uses for seitan bacon
- Mixed with Potato Hash for breakfast
- Serve on the side of a Chickpea Omelette
- Use on a vegan breakfast sandwich
- Side dish for Southwest Tofu Scramble or inside a Veggie Tofu Scramble
- Inside a Vegan Breakfast Burrito
- On top of Vegan Breakfast Tacos
If you love vegan bacon, try seitan the next time you plan to make fakin bacon. You'll love the texture and flavor.
- ¼ recipe seitan 8 ounces
- ½ cup soy sauce or Tamari
- 3 Tablespoons Maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
- Make the seitan in advance, slice thin, and set it aside.
- Whisk all the marinade ingredients together and pour into a refrigerator safe container.
- Add the slices of seitan to the marinade.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days (the longer, the better).
- Once marinated, set the temperature to 370 degrees in the air-fryer.
- Place a single layer of seitan bacon on the air-fryer base and cook for 7 minutes, stopping to flip the bacon over once 3 ½ minutes, elapses.
- Remove the pieces and cover with aluminum foil on a plate, so you can batch cook the rest and keep the pieces warm.
- If making a BLT, toast the bread or bun.
- Then, spread vegan cashew mayo on the bun, add pieces of seitan, 2 tomato slices, raw onion (optional), and lettuce.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂