Can you really make ‘bacon’ out of mushrooms?

Can “mushroom bacon” compete with real meat?

According to a viral TikTok recipe, the answer is yes. This vegan cooking hack allegedly turns dehydrated mushrooms into crispy, smoky-tasting “bacon.”

There are plenty of recipes for mushroom bacon online, but a particularly popular one has been making the rounds thanks to popular creator Alexis Nikole.

Nikole is a forager and home cook who’s inspired recipes for prior Tried It episodes, so we were definitely willing to trust her here. That said, we’ve tried so many vegan bacon substitutes on this show before — from “bread bacon” to “banana peel bacon” and everything in between — so we had to try this out ourselves to see if it’s really the ultimate meatless bacon hack.

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To do that, In The Know producer Poppy Shen got a bunch of dehydrated mushrooms and put the recipe to the test. To see what happened, watch the video above or keep reading below.

How to make ‘mushroom bacon’

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s extremely simple. There are really just five ingredients you need:

  • Dehydrated mushrooms (we used portabello mushrooms, but you can use whatever you like most)
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Liquid smoke
  • Agave nectar (or a simillar natural sweetener)

First, a note on dehydrating mushrooms: You can do this yourself at home, but it takes time and equipment. For convenience, we suggest buying mushrooms dehydrated in advance, if possible.

Now for the recipe. To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and cut your mushrooms into large, thin slices — as bacon-y as you can get them. Next, toss the slices in your marinade, made of onion powder, garlic powder, liquid smoke and a natural sweetener, like agave nectar.

Cook your mushrooms for 20-25 minutes — or longer if you want them crispier. Poppy used a cast-iron skillet to cook hers so they’d get even crunchier on the outside.

And you’re ready to eat! Overall, Poppy really enjoyed this recipe — possibly more than any other bacon alternative we’ve ever tried. That said, the convenience of getting dehydrated mushrooms is a bit of a hindrance, but it’s worth the trouble for any vegans who want that crispy, savory bacon taste in the morning.

If you liked this video, check out our video on how to make Kool-Aid-flavored pickles.

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