Despite the name, there have been rumours about bacon bits being vegan for several years now, however, that should depend on the company that is selling them.
To be honest with you, bacon bits (or bacon) has never been a thing for me, but I have a few friends that love it, and if I ever find out high-quality vegan bacon bits, then I’m more than glad to recommend them.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, the truth is that some brands of bacon bits are suitable for vegans, and unlike pork-based bacon bits, they’re made from soy protein. Because the manufacturers add different natural and artificial flavors to the soy protein – they’re able to create a product that tastes like real bacon but without the cruelty.
Let’s have a quick look at what bacon bits are, whether they’re 100% vegan, and which brands should you be purchasing if you want to eat vegan bacon bits.
What Are Bacon Bits and Are They Vegan?
Bacon bits are generally made from cooked bacon that has been dried, treated with preservatives and crumbled up into little bits, so in most cases, they’re probably not vegan.
However, there are also imitation bacon bits, which are made from textured vegetable protein (usually soy), which means they’re usually suitable for vegans.
While this is probably not good news for bacon lovers, vegans and vegetarians will rejoice because they can have some bacon without the pork. However, it’s important to point out that imitation bacon bits are not healthy.
Even though they are lower in fat and cholesterol, they’re also highly processed. Generally, they contain artificial flavors and colors, and some brands also use liquid smoke.
Let me point out that some bacon bits are also a mix between meat and textured vegetable protein, so make sure you always look at the ingredients before you bring them home.
Vegan Bacon Bits Brands
McCormick Imitation Bacon Bits
While it’s not clearly stated on the label, McCormick’s imitation bacon bits are accidentally suitable for vegans, as they do not contain animal ingredients.
Here is the list of ingredients: Textured Soy Flour, Canola Oil, Salt, Caramel Color, Maltodextrin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Lactic Acid, Yeast Extract, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate (Flavor Enhancers), and FD&C Red 40.
Even though it contains a few controversial ingredients like added flavors and colors, it doesn’t contain any flagrant animal ingredients.
Louisville Vegan Bacon Bits
Louisville has a range of different vegan jerky products, and one of them is the Louisville vegan toppins, which are essentially imitation bacon bits. Compared to the previous option, these are extremely delicious, but that comes at a cost, because two small 3-oz bags cost $14.95.
I didn’t find the ingredients list of this product, so I’m unable to verify whether they’re legitimately vegan, but Louisville markets itself as a vegan jerky brand, so it should be a safe option.
Jerky Y’all Plant-Based Bacony Bits
According to the brand, these vegan bacon bits are a healthier option when compared to most option on the market. They use non-GMO whole soybeans and all natural ingredients, which is an upgrade from brands that rely heavily on artificial flavorings and colorings, which are clearly unhealthy.
However, like the previous option, these are also premium-priced vegan bacon bits, which obviously leaves many people unwilling to test them out. Let me mention that Jerky Y’all also has a range of different flavors aside from bacon, which include black pepper & sea salt, prickly pear teriyaki, prickly pear chipotle, and sweet & spicy.
Bacon Bits FAQs
Are Oscar Mayer bacon bits vegan?
No, unfortunately, Oscar Mayer uses real curated pork to make their bacon bits.
Are Hormel Bacon Bits Vegan?
Hormel’s bacon bits are not suitable for vegans. They use real bacon, which you can immediately verify by looking at the product packaging.
Are Pizza Hut’s bacon bits vegan?
Yes, Pizza Hut’s bacon bits are suitable for vegans, so if you’re having a salad, they’re certainly a great addition that would make your salad less boring.
Though, let me mention that I’ve taken this information from Pizza Hut’s UK-based website, so I don’t know whether that’s the same in other countries.
Bacon bits are generally made with pork, but there are brands like McCormick’s that create imitation bacon bits that are made using textured vegetable protein.
Textured vegetable protein usually refers to soy, which is typically flavored and colors with natural or artificial ingredients. Although it’s not a healthy option, it’s something that vegans should be able to eat.
Also, pay close attention to the ingredient labels, as some brands may contain both pork and soy.