Homemade vegan chickpea bacon bits for topping your salads, pasta, soups, pizza, tofu scrambles, or even simply for snacking. Now you have an answer for when people come to you with “but bacon tho”.

There are two common responses from people out there who aren’t familiar with veganism when they’ve figured out you’re abstaining from all animal products. You probably already know them, but in case you’re new to the world of veganism or you’ve somehow magically managed not to hear them, here they are.

1. “I could never give up cheese.”

2. “But bacon though”

Have you ever seen somebody post “but bacon though” in response to a vegan post shared on social media? 

This recipe is your response to that. We’re not giving up anything, we’re just having it in a way that no longer causes harm to our animal friends. 

These crispy chickpea bacon bits have all the smokey savory maple flavor that we often associate with bacon.

And I’ll tell you right now that I didn’t go vegan because I didn’t like the taste of animal products. That wasn’t it at all. I went vegan first and foremost for the animals. The end. Period. Veganism is for the animals. So, if I can enjoy the familiar flavors I’m comforted by and used to without harming others, why wouldn’t I choose to do that?

I know many out there question why vegans replicate meat or other animal products that we’re morally opposed to and it really comes down to enjoying flavor without cruelty. None of us are opposed to specific flavor profiles, we’re just opposed to the needless harm of animals. 

Besides, most of the flavors we find delicious come from plants anyway. These chickpea bacon bits, for example, are flavored with maple syrup, liquid smoke, soy sauce, and smoked paprika.

Enjoy this recipe and let me know in the comments your response to the “but bacon though” comments you get. 

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5 from 1 vote

Chickpea Bacon Bits

These smoky, sweet chickpea bacon bits are great for topping your salads, pastas, pizzas, breakfast scramble, or simply having by themselves as a snack
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, Chickpeas, Garbanzo beans, liquid smoke, maple, paprika, soy sauce
Prep Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup


  • Drain and rinse your chickpeas and pat dry with a towel to remove any extra liquid
  • Combine ingredients from soy sauce to maple syrup in a bowl and whisk to make sure they are well mixed
  • Add the dried chickpeas and store covered in the fridge for at least two hours or up to overnight for maximum flavor absorption
  • After chickpeas have marinated, preheat the oven to 425*F, line a baking sheet with foil, and coat with nonstick spray. You'll want to use a liner of some sort for this one bacause the maple syrup sugar starts to crystalize and can make a mess.
  • Place the marinated chickpeas on your baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes
  • Stir well and bake for another 10 minutes
  • After the chickpeas are done with their bake time, turn off the oven and crack the door of the oven for 15 minutes. This should help the chickpea bits get nice and crispy
  • Remove and enjoy
Categories: Snacks

1 Comment

Alex · September 30, 2019 at 6:33 pm

5 stars
I added these to a tofu scramble and they added a great crunch and flavor!

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