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This coconut bacon features wide strips of coconut that are infused with a smoky flavor. Sprinkle on your favorite salad or sandwich for the perfect meal!

How to make coconut bacon

We’re not about to bash bacon. Bacon has a intoxicating smoky flavor that adds a unique intensity to everything from salads to gourmet doughnuts. And it’s darn good. Since we eat about 90% mostly whole food plant based (WFPB), we do allow ourselves a bit of bacon every once in a while. But most of what we cook at home is vegetarian and vegan. And it’s incredibly hard to imitate that unique flavor that bacon can add to a dish. Enter: coconut bacon!

What’s coconut bacon?

Enter: homemade coconut bacon. It might sound a little odd: coconut that tastes like bacon? But after experimenting with this concept, Alex and I agree it is definitely worth making! Wide strips of coconut are infused with a spicy, smoky flavor that both crisps in the oven and maintains intermittent chewy parts, reminiscent of the crispy and fatty texture of bacon.

While its shape and size are not a substitute for bacon strips on a breakfast plate or in a BLT, it works perfectly sprinkled in a salad or on one of those fancy gourmet doughnuts. Oh, and for snacking. (Pop them in the freezer for a quick fix of smoky, salty goodness; they thaw in a few seconds.)

Coconut Bacon Recipe | A Couple Cooks

The ingredients you’ll need

Making vegetarian bacon is a surprisingly straightforward process and requires only a handful of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Unsweetened large coconut flakes. Do not use shredded coconut! It won’t give you the right consistency. Double check that your coconut flakes large are unsweetened.
  • Olive oil
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Soy sauce (or liquid aminos for soy free)
  • Liquid smoke This one’s required! There’s no good substitute for liquid smoke, but it’s fairly easy to find at the grocery store and online.

How to make coconut bacon

Coconut bacon couldn’t be simpler! You’ll need 20 minutes of total time, plus the time it takes to preheat your oven. Here’s how to make coconut bacon:

  1. Stir: Gently stir together the coconut strips with olive oil, Sriracha hot sauce, soy sauce, and liquid smoke.
  2. Bake: Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes, stirring halfway through. Coconut burns quite easily, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your vegetarian bacon near the end of the cook time.
  3. Cool. The coconut bacon will continue to crisp up as it cools, so don’t worry if it’s not perfectly crunchy when you pull it out of the oven.
Coconut Bacon Recipe | A Couple Cooks

How to store it (to keep it crispy)!

After your coconut bacon is cooled, you can enjoy it right away! Here’s a trick to keep leftovers crispy. Store leftover vegan bacon the freezer! Yes, place it in a sealed plastic bag or container and pop it in the freezer. This keeps the bacon crisp, and it comes back to room temperature right when you take it out!

Other ways to make vegan bacon

There are a few other ways to make vegan bacon outside of using coconut! Here are our other favorite methods:

  • Shiitake bacon. Use shiitake mushrooms to make smoky, salty bacon! It’s perfect as a garnish for soups and salads, much like coconut bacon.
  • Tempeh bacon. Use soy-based tempeh as a canvas for your bacon. This one is protein packed and great for BLTs and alongside scrambles.

This coconut bacon recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan / plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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Coconut bacon

How to Make Coconut Bacon


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3 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x

Description

This coconut bacon features wide strips of coconut that are infused with a smoky flavor. Sprinkle on your favorite salad or sandwich for the perfect meal!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups large unsweetened coconut flakes (not shredded coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently mix all ingredients until the coconut is coated.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the coconut in a thin, even layer on top. Bake 10 to 14 minutes, stirring once and flipping the pan halfway through, watching carefully towards the end of the cooking time to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Remove when bacon is just browned.
  4. Allow to cool on the baking sheet; the bacon will crisp up as it cools. Eat immediately, or store leftovers in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer (this keeps the bacon crisp, and it comes back to room temperature quickly).

Notes

Inspired by Cookie and Kate

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for more easy vegetarian recipes? 

Last updated: December 2019

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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21 Comments

  1. Amy says:

    I made this recipe and couldn’t get the coconut to stick together so that I could break it into pieces of “bacon”. So it remained in flakes. Any tips to get it to stick together? Do I need to add more liquid?






    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there, sorry for the confusion! The intention with coconut bacon is that this would remain as separate flakes — sometimes if they’re stacked when baking they stick together, but it shouldn’t form sticks that look like bacon. It’s just pieces of coconut that taste like bacon!

      1. Cathy Lewis says:

        Do you know which brands of coconut has the largest flakes. Thank you for the idea to freeze it.

  2. AngelaKin says:

    Wowiiieee it looks so delicious…Mouth watering one!!!!

  3. Nicole M Callen says:

    Oh my, I love it, love it, love it!!!!

  4. Laura says:

    How long does it last in the freezer?






    1. Sonja says:

      It can last several months in the freezer!

  5. Danita says:

    I just discovered this blog via Annie’s Eats. I am very intrigued by this recipe.
    We are also “mostly” vegetarian and additionally I can’t cook bacon in the house because the smell (which lingers for days) gives my husband very bad headaches. I can’t wait to try this.

    1. Sonja says:

      Thanks for visiting! That is very interesting about bacon headaches — I’ve never heard of that! This faux bacon is pretty delish, even for people not fond of faux meats (us!) — let us know if you tried it out!

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