Vegan Carrot Bacon

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Garlicky, smoky, and so simple to make – vegan carrot bacon is an addictive, delicious snack that is packed with flavor! Carrot bacon is great for a snack, breakfast, or in sandwiches, wraps and salads – it is delicious and easy to bake with simple ingredients.

picture of carrot bacon on a plate with chives on and salt top
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picture of carrot bacon on a plate with chives on and salt top

Easy Delicious Carrot Bacon

Don’t let the name fool you – this delicious recipe is a great snack that is full of flavor with simple, fresh ingredients. It isn’t an exact match for bacon – but is a delicious, smoky, crunchy, flavorful treat that everyone enjoys!

If you’re looking for a delicious, easy snack that has a great, salty kick but won’t break the calorie bank, or your vegan eating plan, these baked carrot strips are for you!

We’re soaking carrots in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic powder, paprika, and herbs, to bring out rich, delicious flavors that make a perfect easy snack.

While the name is a bit of a misnomer – this “bacon” doesn’t really replace meat, at least for me, it IS totally delicious and addictive, and is a nice change-up for when you’re making lighter dishes and don’t want to use turkey or soy bacon.

I personally think the flavor of carrot bacon works much better than a lot of other bacon substitutes – and I love that it is from carrots, unprocessed, and I can change up my herbs depending on whatever flavor I am going for.

You can make this smoky with liquid smoke, or go smokeless – it is all up to you!

picture of carrot bacon on a plate with chives on and salt top

How To Make Carrot Bacon

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Carrots (2 cups) – Carrots, thinly sliced, serve as the base for vegan bacon, providing a natural sweetness and the perfect texture when baked or fried.
  • Soy sauce (3 tbsp) – Soy sauce imbues the carrot slices with a deep umami flavor, mimicking the savory aspect of traditional bacon.
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp) – Olive oil helps in marinating the carrot slices, ensuring they crisp up nicely while retaining moisture during cooking.
  • Maple syrup (½ tbsp) – Maple syrup adds a hint of natural sweetness to the marinade, balancing the savory and smoky flavors with its subtle, woody notes.
  • Paprika (¼ tsp) – Paprika lends a smoky undertone and a vibrant color to the carrot bacon, enhancing its bacon-like appearance and taste.
  • Garlic powder (½ tbsp) – Garlic powder contributes a mild, savory depth to the seasoning, adding complexity to the carrot bacon’s flavor profile.
  • Liquid smoke (2-3 drops) – Liquid smoke is the key ingredient that gives carrot bacon its signature smoky aroma and taste, closely mimicking the essence of real bacon. Perfect for vegan carrot bacon!

Use this Method

Prep. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grab your carrots and start thinly slicing them. 

Assemble. Add sliced carrots to a mixing bowl, then add the soy sauce, olive oil, maple syrup, paprika, garlic powder, and liquid smoke. Let marinate for 15 minutes. 

Bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place carrots on the sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on how thick the carrots are. 

Enjoy. Let cool for about 5 minutes then enjoy!

picture of carrot bacon on a plate with chives on and salt top

Tips and Tricks Perfect Carrot Bacon

Slice Thinly: Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to slice the carrots as thinly as possible for the best bacon-like texture.

Marinate Well: Allow the carrot slices to marinate in the seasoning mix for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge, to deepen the flavors.

Adjust Seasonings: Taste the marinade before adding the carrot slices and adjust the seasonings to your preference, adding more maple syrup for sweetness or liquid smoke for smokiness as needed.

Bake Slowly: Bake the carrot bacon at a lower temperature to dehydrate the slices slowly, which helps achieve a crispy texture without burning.

Use Parchment Paper: Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking and ensure easy removal of the carrot bacon slices.

Watch Closely: Keep a close eye on the carrot bacon while it cooks, as it can go from perfectly crispy to burnt very quickly due to its thinness.

Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to add other spices or seasonings like smoked paprika, cumin, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for extra flavor.

Store Properly: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven or a pan to crisp up before serving.

Pan Fry for Extra Crisp: For an even crispier texture, pan-fry the marinated carrot slices in a bit of oil over medium heat until they’re crispy.

Use Quality Liquid Smoke: The brand and quality of liquid smoke can vary greatly, so choose one that has good reviews for a more authentic smoky flavor.

picture of carrot bacon on a plate with chives on and salt top

FAQs

Can I make carrot bacon soy free or keto?

Carrot bacon can be made soy free – or keto – by using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Do I have to use liquid smoke for carrot bacon?

Carrot bacon tastes more bacon-like with liquid smoke, but some people don’t like the flavor and after-taste of liquid smoke. You can skip it if you like, and the flavor is still delicious!

What temperature do you cook carrot bacon at?

Bake carrot bacon at 400 degrees.

How long does Vegan carrot bacon cook?

Carrot bacon will take about 8-10 minutes to crisp and brown, depending on the size of your carrots and how thick they are sliced.

picture of carrot bacon on a plate with chives on and salt top

What to Enjoy with Vegan Carrot Bacon

Vegan BLTs: Layer carrot bacon on toasted bread with lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo for a plant-based BLT sandwich.

Breakfast Scrambles: Toss carrot bacon into tofu scrambles or vegan omelets for a smoky flavor boost.

Avocado Toast: Top creamy avocado toast with crispy carrot bacon for a delicious contrast in textures.

Salads: Crumble carrot bacon over fresh green salads or Caesar salads for added crunch and flavor.

Loaded Baked Potatoes: Garnish baked potatoes with carrot bacon, vegan sour cream, chives, and shredded vegan cheese.

Soup Toppings: Add carrot bacon bits as a smoky, crunchy topping for soups, especially creamy ones like potato or pumpkin soup.

Pasta Dishes: Incorporate carrot bacon into creamy vegan pasta dishes for a burst of savory flavor.

Veggie Burgers: Use carrot bacon as a topping on veggie burgers, along with your favorite fixings, for an extra layer of taste.

Breakfast Burritos: Fill vegan breakfast burritos with scrambled tofu, veggies, avocado, and carrot bacon for a hearty meal.

Charcuterie Boards: Include carrot bacon on vegan charcuterie boards alongside vegan cheeses, fruits, nuts, and crackers.

Try these other vegan recipes:

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Roasted carrots on a plate with parsley, perfect for vegans.
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Vegan Carrot Bacon

Garlicky, smoky, and so simple to make – vegan carrot bacon is an addictive, delicious snack that is packed with flavor!
Course Vegetables
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword bacon, bacon alternative, gluten free, healthy bacon, keto, keto vegan, paleo, vegan bacon, vegetable bacon, whole 30
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 209kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups carrots thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce swap for coconut aminos for keto
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup omit for keto
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 drops liquid smoke

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grab your carrots and start thinly slicing them. 
  • Add sliced carrots to a mixing bowl, then add the soy sauce, olive oil, maple syrup, paprika, garlic powder, and liquid smoke. Let marinate for 15 minutes. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place carrots on the sheet. 
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on how thick the carrots are. 
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes then enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 1423mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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2 Comments

  1. Joyce L Marshall says:

    When do you use the liquid smoke if you choose to use it. Do you add it to the marinade or do you add it after baking. BTW thank you for sharing this recipie, I cannot wait to try it.

    1. Katherine says:

      It goes in the marinade, I updated the recipe, thanks!