Vegetarian Substitute for Bacon Fat: What Can You Eat Instead?

As bacon fat is a versatile and useful ingredient, your baking and sautéing might take a hit if you’ve decided to stop eating meat.

But, whether your decision is influenced by health or environmental reasons, your cooking habits won’t have to change with your eating habits.

There are ways to replace bacon fat and keep the flavors intact.

A wide array of plant oils can come in handy when cooking recipes call for bacon fat.

That includes vegetable oils such as avocado, olive, coconut oil, and other plant oils like peanut and sesame oil. Of course, butter and vegan lard can also get the job done.

If you’d like to come close to the original, an excellent pre-made vegetarian substitute for bacon fat is available. Keep reading to find out which option works best for you.

vegetarian substitute for bacon fat

Why Choose a Vegetarian Substitute for Bacon Fat?

There are several reasons you might be on a mission to replace bacon fat. For example, you could be aiming to get healthier or stop eating pork products like prosciutto or pancetta for environmental or religious reasons.

For example, consuming bacon fat can have a detrimental effect on your health.

Having too much saturated fat in your diet can spike cholesterol levels, putting you at a higher risk for heart disease or stroke.

Meat not only affects your health but our planet as well.

For example, the meat industry is a significant driver of climate change. Although beef production plays a more substantial part in this, pork’s carbon footprint shouldn’t be ignored.

Finally, eating pork might be out of the question for religious reasons. Avoiding pork products is a distinctive food practice in several religions, notably Judaism and Islam.

How Do You Simulate Bacon Flavor?

Getting the flavor right can make or break a vegetarian meat substitute. Bacon, in particular, has a distinctive flavor profile that might prove tricky to replicate.

However, like any other meat alternative, it boils down to the spices. If you’re aiming to simulate bacon flavor, consider using smoked paprika, liquid smoke, and BBQ seasoning.

If you’re concerned about the flavor of your chosen vegetarian substitute for bacon fat, a simple marinade can tie it all together.

Knowing how to simulate bacon flavor makes it easier to choose the perfect bacon fat alternative.

Is There a Vegetarian Substitute for Bacon Fat?

Luckily, good vegetarian fat sources are easy to come by.

When looking for a vegetarian substitute for bacon fat, the challenge is to replicate its distinctive smoky aftertaste.

There are plenty of options to consider, and if your ingredient of choice lacks that aftertaste, you can make up for it with the proper seasoning.

Fat is a flavor carrier. However, the source of fat may make a difference in the final product, so you want to look for an ingredient with an equally rich flavor like vegan lard.

Luckily, bacon’s flavor is reasonably easy to mimic. If you can’t find an already flavorful ingredient, find the one that you can infuse with the smoky flavor.

Let’s take a look at my recommended vegetarian substitutes for bacon fat.


Butter is a great vegetarian option if you aim to replace bacon fat for sautéing and pan-frying.

Butter blends nicely with spices so that you can play up its flavor to your liking.

Additionally, butter doesn’t have an overpowering scent, making the cooking process cleaner.

You can find a plant-based butter alternative in your local supermarket if you’re a vegan.

Vegetable-Based Lard

Lard is an excellent bacon fat substitute as it has the same taste and smell and a very similar texture.

There are several different types available, primarily animal-based.

However, you can also find vegan lard, usually made from coconut fat. If you used bacon fat as a spread ingredient, lard would be a perfect replacement.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is as dense as bacon fat but not quite as flavorful.

Add your favorite seasoning mix and spices that simulate bacon flavor, and you’re all set.

Avocado oil has a high smoke point oil, so it’s your best option when replacing bacon fat for frying.

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening is a solid fat usually made from soybean or cottonseed oil.

It’s most commonly used in greasing pans.

As vegetable shortening is excellent for the light texture in pie crusts and biscuits, it can serve as an exceptional bacon fat substitute when baking.

However, if you’re looking for a flavor boost, vegetable shortening on its own won’t cut it.

Instead, you’ll need to add smoked and other spices to simulate the bacon flavor.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is prevalent in Asian cuisine, and many are switching to it for health reasons and convenience.

You can use it to sauté your food or make sauces, dips, and marinades.

It has a high smoke point, so you can also use it for stir-frying and deep-frying instead of bacon fat.

Note that the peanut oil has a nutty taste and scent. This might be delicious on its own but has to be adjusted with seasoning when using it as a vegetarian substitute for bacon fat.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is one of the most versatile oils on the market.

You can use it in soups, stews, sauces, pasta, and desserts.

It can also be a substitute for bacon fat in various dishes. It’s packed with flavor and very aromatic.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can substitute bacon fat only in select dishes like curries.

It’s high in fat, but it also has a very overpowering coconut taste.

Olive Oil

Due to its benefits, olive oil is an excellent substitute for bacon fat if you’re avoiding it for health reasons.

In addition, it’s an excellent choice for marinades and dips.

However, it has a mild flavor, so don’t forget to add herbs and spices if your goal is to replicate the taste of bacon fat.

Pre-Made Vegetarian Substitute for Bacon Fat

Having a wide array of options for a vegetarian substitute for bacon fat is terrific, especially when you can grab something from your pantry.

However, if the alternative options don’t meet your needs, meet Magic Vegan Bacon Grease.

This product is made to look, smell, and, most importantly, taste the same as bacon fat. It features all the taste but none of the unhealthy or unnecessary ingredients.

There are less than 10 ingredients in the substitute, including coconut oil, non-GMO soy protein, sea salt, pure maple syrup, and black pepper.

You can use it to fry, bake or toast your bread.

In Summary

Whether baking, sautéing vegetables or making stovetop popcorn, bacon fat makes all the difference.

It’s an invaluable cooking ingredient, so finding an adequate vegetarian substitute for bacon fat is a serious task.

However, you can reach for any of these options when the need arises. They are sure to deliver a worthy alternative.

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