Vegan Carrot Bacon Recipe

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perfect vegan carrot bacon recipe served on a plate
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Cruelty-free bacon? Can it possibly be true? You won’t believe how close our carrot bacon recipe comes to real thing. Crispy texture and slightly curly strips with that same savory/salty taste experience. This is everything you love about bacon and entirely animal-free.

If you thought you could never live without bacon, it might be time for another visit. This time, with vegetables in mind! Most people don’t realize that the real reason why they are attracted to bacon is the flavor. But, that flavor can easily be recreated using spices, salt, and the right type of vegetable (in this case, the cool and crunchy carrot).

Don’t worry if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen. If you can’t your partner, friends, or kids to make this recipe for you, we have a full vegan bacon guide for all the best store-bought brands. But, if you’re curious about how this carrot bacon is created, keep reading!

You can do it! We’re rooting for you!

smoky vegan carrot bacon piled up on a white plate next to brunch bagels and vegan sour cream

Why This Carrot Bacon Recipe is So Awesome

  • Simple and fun to make
  • Healthy snack
  • Whole food
  • Plant-based
  • High fiber
  • Savory, but not artery clogging
  • Dairy-free

Star Ingredient in This Vegan Carrot Bacon

This bright orange root vegetable is right up there in our top five favorite healthy plant-based foods. It’s the main ingredient in the most unique, mouthwatering recipes such as carrot cake, carrot lox, and pickled carrots. We’re also pretty partial to the charasmatic cocktail, the MosCarrot Mule!

  • Carrots – Loaded with vitamin A, this Bugs Bunny-approved veggie is not only sweet tasting but also high in fiber. Carrots are low in calories, as well as full of calcium, iron, biotin, potassium, lutein, and vitamins C, K1, and B6.
Key ingredients for carrot bacon with labels.

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need for this Plant-Based Carrot Bacon

Though we can’t beat the fun and festive TikTok video of Tabitha Brown’s carrot bacon recipe, rest assured ours is just as tasty. Seriously, she inspires us on a daily basis! For our version of vegetarian carrot bacon, here are the simple tools to search for in your kitchen.

How to Thinly Slice Your Carrots with a Peeler

Struggling to get that perfect bacon slice from a wobbly carrot? The first trick is to use large, thick carrots that are pretty straight. Save those thin zig-zaggy carrots for a stir fry.

Using a peeler, hold the carrot stead and press down while you shave thick ribbons slices. The first strips you make will be quite skinny, but as you work toward the center of the carrot you’ll start to get those dreamy pieces that are about 1 inch. Once you reach the center, flip the carrot over, stabilize it on the flat side, and finish peeling. Continue with all carrots.

This is an imperfect art – it’s okay if the strips are different sizes! They will still taste delish.

How Long Does This Recipe for Carrot Bacon Last?

Carrot bacon should last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator in a covered container. To re-heat, we recommend toasting them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees to crisp them up a bit. Any leftovers should freeze well if stored properly and will be good for about 3 months. Use the same reheating method as above, but let them defrost overnight in the fridge first.

Suggestions for Serving Up Your Veggie Bacon

Our favorite ways to serve up smoky slices of crackly carrot bacon are to add them on top of sesame-bunned veggie burgers, alongside hummus platters for hungry bellies, and in a cool and crispy CBLT sandwich (carrot bacon, lettuce, and tomato). But, really, you might find yourself eating it right out of the pan until it’s gone!

  • Smart Seasoning Selections – It’s always best to adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you like a less smoky taste, add only half the amount of liquid smoke. If spicier is better, add more pepper and cayenne pepper. If saltiness and crispness is all you’re looking for, omit all of spices and just add the liquids. Garlic powder is also a good idea, if you want a bit more punch.
  • Gluten-Free Goals – No worries if you’re gluten-sensitive or even gluten intolerant. While shopping, make it easier on yourself by choosing a gluten-free tamari over soy sauce and you’re good to go!
  • Save Your Scraps! – Any too-thin or poor-looking carrot peels can be saved for soups, salads, animal companion snacks, homemade vegetable broth, or simply put into the compost. Many experts say that the most nutritious part of the carrot is actually in the outside skin. So, choose organic if you can and simple rinse your carrots (instead of peeling) before preparing.

More Scrumptious Sides and Best Vegan Bacon Recipes To Try:

Recipe note from our recipe tester J.J. Steele: “I tried this recipe in the over directly on parchment paper, on a wire rack, and in an air-fryer. I got the best results with crispy texture from the wire rack. I also marinated both overnight and for only 15 minutes and found that I got better texture from the quick soak, but better taste from the overnight.  The overnight soak held too much moisture in the carrot so it was a little soggy in the center.”

carrot bacon brunch with bagels

Recipe FAQs

Can you make carrot bacon in the air fryer?

You sure can! Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Then, carefully add the carrot ribbons to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook at 300 degrees for 4 minutes. Turn and then continue cooking for another 4. Since air-fryers differ, keep a close eye on them in the last few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.

Is it possible to air fry carrot chips?

Instead of making ribbons, it’s possible to use carrot chips to make carrot bacon. Though, they might not have the texture you’re looking for. If you do decide to cut them into slices, either make sure that you cut them very thin (probably best cut on a mandolin) and increase the air-frying time. The thicker they are, the longer they will take to cook. You may want to marinate the carrots for a much longer period of time, as well.

What other vegetables can replace bacon?

Good question! The most popular (and tastiest) vegetable substitutes are eggplant, coconut, tofu, and tempeh.

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Easy Vegan Carrot Bacon

Author: Gina House | World of Vegan
5 from 13 votes
This easy carrot bacon is crisp, savory, and instantly scrumptious! This recipe is everything you love about bacon, but it’s completely cruelty-free. The texture is perfect and can be added to sandwiches, as a bold breakfast side, or even crumbled on top of a salad. There are endless ways to enjoy this plant-based side!
Yields 1-2 cups of carrot bacon
carrot bacon strips served on a plate
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinating time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 -3

Ingredients

  • ½ pound thick carrots or 2 large width carrots
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari if gluten-sensitive
  • 2 tablespoons oil, olive, sesame, or peanut work well
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, or tahini if nut-sensitive
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

Instructions

  • Please plan to marinate your carrots for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • Prepare the carrots by rinsing them, chopping off the ends, and peeling the first layer off of the carrots (optional).
  • Placing one carrot at a time onto the cutting board, use the peeler to shave thick ribbons slices using a heavy hand and you peel. Try to aim for at least ½-1” in width. When one side seems to be close to the center, flip the carrot to the other side and continue to peel into thick strips.
  • Mix up your marinade by adding all of the rest of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk well. Add the carrot ribbons and toss gently. Let them sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or more. The longer, the better.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the carrots are finished marinating, place one ribbon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Leave a tiny bit of room between each ribbon. Bake for 10 minutes, turn each ribbon over, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven. In the last 5 minutes, check often so that the carrot bacon does not burn.

Notes

  • Air Fryer Alternative – If you’d like reduce the cooking time, try making these in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Then, carefully add the carrot ribbons to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook at 300 degrees for 4 minutes. Turn and then continue cooking for another 4. Keep an eye on them close to the end, so they don’t burn.
  • Salt Sensitive? – If you are trying to reduce your salt, try using a low sodium tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos instead. This is not a very salty recipe, so you may find you won’t need to leave it out altogether.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, and nut-free (if not using any peanut butter or oil)

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1122mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 19542IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
Course — Side
Cuisine — American
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

This recipe for bacon carrots was developed and written by Gina House and edited by Michelle Cehn. This vegan carrot bacon content is copyright of World of Vegan, all rights reserved. Photos by J.J. Steele. Please not that this article may include affiliate links when available and shopping through these links supports World of Vegan. 

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5 from 13 votes

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Recipe Rating




21 comments
  1. 5 stars
    I notice you say to preheat the air fryer to 400 but cook at 300 — is this right or a typo? I can see how the cooking could work with the temp falling, but just wanted to make sure! Thank you!

    • Hi Barbara! Most air fryers seems to only preheat at 400 degrees, so that’s why the directions are noted that way. Cooking at 300 degrees allows the carrot bacon to get crispy, but not burnt. If you don’t have to preheat your air fryer, you can skip that part and just cook the bacon a little bit longer. Just make sure to check it often. Hope this helps! 😀

  2. 5 stars
    One of my favorite recipes to make and the perfect substitute for a crispy, salty, smoky side. Soo good!

  3. 5 stars
    I never tried carrot bacon but this looks really good!

  4. 5 stars
    Love how creative this is!

  5. 5 stars
    WOW OBSEESED with how crunchy and tasty these carrot bacon were. what a fantastic recipe

  6. 5 stars
    Bacon-like carrot snack, wow! What a great idea, perfect for my picky eaters, thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    This one was a huge hit! I don’t even like carrots but I gave it a try, one of the most amazing vegan bacon recipes I’ve tried! Mine got a little burnt but still tasted really good.

    • Fantastic! So glad you shared. I almost feel like a little bit overdone is even better for this carrot bacon – lol!

  8. 5 stars
    Such a perfect carrot bacon recipe! Easy to make and full of flavor (with the perfect crunch!).

  9. 5 stars
    Thank you for a simple and flavorful recipe for carrot bacon! This is a great option for a snack, side…whatever your heart desires. My favorite part? The fact it’s guilt free.

    • I know! Isn’t that the best? Healthy and also snack-like. A win-win!

  10. 5 stars
    Love that there’s an air fryer version too. So good!

    • So happy that the air fryer version helps! I tried it both ways and liked both – a little different, but in a good way 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    the recipe was fantastic. I use the veggie bacon strips for our Sunday vegan grill on top of impossible burgers. Delicious!

    • So happy to hear it! What a great idea to add it on top of a vegan burger 😀

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