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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.