Chickpea bacon (GF)

GF baconMy Mum is gluten free and this means finding good vegan substitutes can be hard. Vegan diets often rely on gluten based products as a source of protein but also it allows the creation of some truly unique and flavoursome delights.

For a while I’ve been promising to crack the code to produce a credible alternative to my seitan bacon for her. I’d make a very poor relation from aubergines but it wasn’t great. And last night it came to me in a flash of inspiration. I’d previously made chickpea tofu – although I have to say it was bland and really not my kind of thing. However I remember it having a solid texture – perfect for creating the gluten free vegan bacon as long as I could get the seasoning right. And I had to create a streaky bacon to match the seitan.

So this morning – I did it and my Mum tested it at lunch time. She was

My Mum pictured left is the inspiration behind my vegan gluten free recipes

over the moon – yay! One of my biggest concerns was not being able to use liquid smoke – however there is a gluten free version available from the US and available here in the UK via Amazon. The same supplier has old bay seasoning too – so perfect for my fish finger recipe I want to work on in the New Year.


The thing that’s perfect about this recipe is you’ll have most if not all of the ingredients in your cupboard. Or they’re available from most good supermarkets. So if you’re unable to get your hands on gluten easily to make the seitan bacon – this is a perfect and just as tasty alternative.

This does not take long to make but before you start get the following ready:

  • Two pots (one with 2 cups of water boiled, the other with 1 cup of water boiled)
  • Two mixing bowls
  • A rectangular oven dish (at least. 6 x 3 inches)

Ingredients – mix 1

  • 1 cup of gram (chickpea) flour
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups of water + water to make up 1 cup of liquid from the ingredients below
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 tsp gluten free liquid smoke (Colgin brand available from Amazon)

Ingredients – mix 2

  • 1/2 cup of gram (chickpea) flour
  • 1 cup of water plus water to make up 1/2 cup of liquid to the cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast – if you think mix 1 is not thick enough you can increase this to 1 tbsp
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

You are making two lots of the mix – this enables you to create the streaky effect as show in the pictures.

Roll your sleeves up and work quickly – make it easy by getting the water on the boil and having all the ingredients ready to just mix together.


  • Put your pots of water on to boil -one pot with two cups of water for mix 1, the other pot with 1 cup of water for mix 2
  • Grease your rectangular dish

Mix 1

  • Mix your dry ingredients together,
  • Place your wet ingredients in a cup measure and add water to bring it up to the full cup
  • Quickly add the wet and dry ingredients together whisking thoroughly to get a smooth batter
  • Once the water has boiled turn the heat down to medium then whisking continuously pour the ‘batter’ into the hot water and beat until smooth and glossy (approx. five minutes)
  • Set aside and get the next mix ready

Mix 2

  • Mix your dry ingredients together
  • Measure out the cider vinegar into a half cup measure then top with water to fill it to the top
  • Quickly add the wet and dry ingredients together, whisking thoroughly to get a smooth batter
  • Once the pot with one cup of water has boiled, turn it down to medium then whisking continuously pour the batter into the hot water and beat until smooth and glossy (approx. five minutes)

Creating the bacon block

  • With mix 1, create a thick layer covering the whole of the dish, smooth with a palette knife
  • Then take a little of mix 2, and thinly spread across mix 1
  • Repeat finishing with a layer of mix 2

Allow to cool at room temperature the refrigerate.

Once cooled, thinly slice your bacon. At this stage you can freeze for later use or you can cook immediately.

The best way I’ve found to do this is to place on a non stick liner under the grill or in the oven. When the topside is starting to brown and crisp turn it over – don’t be tempted to turn it too soon otherwise it will fall apart.

You can also brush the bacon with a mixture of liquid smoke and maple syrup before cooking for an extra tasty kick.

You can enjoy this vegan gluten free bacon in lots of ways – a BLT, on a sandwich with brown sauce – it goes perfectly with my black bean pudding and square sausage too for a yummy brunch or breakfast. And if you wrap this around the sage and thyme sausages you have the ultimate chipolatas for Christmas.


11 thoughts on “Chickpea bacon (GF)

  1. Hello … thank you for sharing this recipe it looks yummy. For mix 1 you have garlic powder listed twice in differing amounts and I’m wondering if this is correct. Thanks !


  2. How long does it have to refridgerate to be able to cut ? My mixes were pretty liquidy and I’m worried that I am not able to cut them. Also in what temperature should I bake them ?


    1. The mixture should have been quite thick and glossy before you poured into the dish – it only took an hour of refrigeration as it was starting to set before I’d finished layering it. Make sure you have boiling water before your pour the batter in and keep the heat going as you beat – up to five minutes. When it comes to cooking – cook until they are just crisping before flipping. I will get my son to film me making my next batch if that helps


  3. Tried this and unfortunately it was a bit of a disaster. The white layer didn’t solidify despite being thick and glossy, it stuck to everything I tried to bake or grill it on and it lacked salt. Personally I would double the flavours, since it still tasted a bit like chickpea flour. Always keen to try new bacon approaches, but sadly I won’t be trying this one again


    1. That’s a shame and sorry it didn’t work for you. I never use salt in cooking but I do always advise for people to adjust seasoning to their own personal taste. I use a non stick liner for all my vegan cooking because I found it a nightmare otherwise. I used to cover trays in polenta flour and still they stuck.


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