Ah, bacon. The super-savory, smoky ingredient that makes any recipe taste better. Not a meat eater? (Or just out of stock?) There’s no reason to miss out! You can make an excellent vegan bacon recipe from a vegetable you’ve definitely got hanging about your crisper drawer…carrots!
We shared the trick on TikTok, and viewers flipped. Trust us: You want to try this.
@taste_of_homeAnd just like that carrots become bacon. 🥕🥓 Inspired by @iamtabithabrown ##carrot ##bacon ##carrotbacon ##vegan ##veganrecipe ##fyp ##foryourpage ##foryou♬ Buttercup – MixAndMash
How to Make Vegan Bacon
Like our favorite kitchen hacks, the trick is surprisingly simple. You don’t need much more than a nifty cutting technique! The recipe is flexible, so make as many as you like (you can reheat leftovers in a cast-iron pan).
- 3-4 large raw carrots, scrubbed and peeled
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Step 1: Mix your seasonings
Prep the seasoning mix in a bowl. This recipe is flexible, so if you love extra spice, or loathe garlic, just use more or less. Psst! Use up your bottle of liquid smoke with these smart ideas.
Step 2: Cut the carrots
Cut each carrot in half, vertically. Hold the carrot in one hand, with the flat, cut side out. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thin strips down the length of the carrot. You’ll get wide slices that are similar in size to a typical slice of bacon. (Note: baby carrots need not apply for this recipe.)
Step 3: Marinate and bake
Marinate the carrot slices in the sauce for a few minutes: you want to let the sauce soak in a bit. Then, lay the slices flat on a roasting pan. (Don’t crowd the slices together, or they’ll steam and end up soggy.) Cook in a hot oven for about five to 10 minutes, until crisped-up and caramel-colored.
Let cool a bit, and then taste one. Listen to that snap! Use them up alongside eggs, in a salad or in any of our bacon recipes.
Why It Works
Although they’re very sweet and, well, vegetables, carrots are actually a good stand-in for thick-cut bacon. The root veggie is very hardy, so it has a good chew even when sliced thin. Plus, once you roast the moisture out of it, carrots can get as crispy as you like.
The other secret’s in the sauce, literally. Bacon is generally smoked, taking on both a smoky and a sweet taste that complements its inherent savoriness. Since carrots are already sweet, the sauce mix here adds the smoky-savory element, giving you that final finger-licking flavor balance.