Baked Carrot Bacon

MeetTheShannonsCarrotBaconVegans have been making “bacon” from everything from beets to coconut for years, but every once in awhile it’s fun to try a new take on this old favorite. Back in 2010, the folks over at Geeksystem introduced the internet to a guy named Kent Brewster and his clever trick for turning carrots into vegan friendly strips of crispy bacon using a deep fryer. I bookmarked it in my head as a cool idea to try later, but I didn’t return to it until a few weeks ago when I was having brunch at MOB in Brooklyn and noticed they had added the infamous carrot bacon to their menu. They served theirs as a side that you could add to your grits and vegan sausage bowl or tofu scramble, but my mind was already dreaming up how to use these smoky, crispy curls in sandwiches, salads, and soups before we’d even left the restaurant. I scribbled down ideas for dishes like carrot carbonara and carrot bacon wrapped asparagus in my notebook, and went home with a mission.

(The Inspiration – MOB’s Carrot Bacon made in a deep fryer)

Sadly though, when we got home and it came time to make our own, the idea of deep frying carrots didn’t really appeal to me. Their approach also didn’t address the necessary “smokiness” that is hands-down my favorite part of any vegan bacon. So I did a little research and found this feature on the best way to bake bacon. There was some trial and error in the early batches of carrot bacon. Followed by a hazardous adventure through a Polar Vortex snow storm for more carrots, but in the end we cracked the code of crispy oven-baked carrot bacon. Baked carrot bacon doesn’t curl up like its deep-fried peers, but gets a nice crispiness and keeps that smoky flavor.
Next step, Carrot Carbonara!

Baked Carrot Bacon

6-8 large carrots
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400.
Slice carrots into thin strips using either a mandolin or food processor to keep them uniform.
In a small bowl, whisk together broth, Braggs, olive oil, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika. Then, in a shallow dish, toss sliced carrots with broth combination until carrots are completely coated.
Arrange carrot slices on a foil-wrapped baking sheet so that they don’t overlap. Put in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Pull baking sheet from the oven and flip carrots. Put baking sheet in the oven to bake for another 7-8 minutes. It might take more or less time depending on how thick or thin you sliced your carrots.
You’ll know your carrot bacon is done when the edges are crispy and the center of each slice looks dry.
Move carrot bacon to a plate with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Let cool to room temperature before crumbling over a salad or putting in a sandwich. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

(Baked Carrot Bacon in a salad with Tahini Dressing)

Leave a Reply

  1. “whisk together broth, olive oil, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika”, Assuming that the Braggs AA should be added along with the other ingredients?

  2. As a carrot lover of the my-skin-is-slightly-orange variety and not such a big coconut fan, the idea of carrot bacon is making me ridiculously excited. Looks wonderful – I can’t wait to try it!

  3. I am so very excited to try this!!! Last summer, I made someone’s recipe…can’t remember who…for slow cooker carrot “hot dogs” and they are sooo good…..can’t wait to try this!!!

    Thank you two for all you do!!! (Love…I mean LOVE your book!!!)

    • I don’t think vegans are so much crazy for bacon but it’s nice to have something smokey and crispy to add to a sandwich or veggie burger (see my response above to Rocky’s comment). This is something you can use to veganize your favorite recipe that called for bacon in the past. So we can live a cruelty-free life without having to give-up our favorite sandwiches or whatever. 🙂

    • Humans go crazy for bacon! Carnists are constantly making ‘bacon’ jokes to vegans… and this, I think, is our way of saying -yeah, we can have it too… but no one had to die for it.

    • It’s smokey, savory and crispy but not really oily or exactly like bacon but it’s more about having something bacon-ish to put in a BLT or on a veggie-burger. It works for that.

  4. The last time I made coconut based ‘bacon’ my son looked at me and said ‘When was the last time you had bacon- because this tastes nothing like it’. Ever since I’ve been looking for that recipe that offers salt/smoke/fat that gives an oomph in the B of BLT. Thank you!

  5. OOOOOOOOOHHHH! I am all over this!
    I don’t care if it’s like “real” bacon as long as it’s some sort of animal-free crispy, smoky, salty, crumbly material for my sandwiches!
    I assume I can use a little less soy sauce rather than the Braggs, (seems less tasty to me/more expensive/not available around here).

  6. This is amazing! I’m going to have to try it asap. It reminds me of the roasted cumin carrots we made at the restaurant I used to work at in NYC (Alice’s Tea Cup).

    P.s. I featured your cookbook in my latest post of my weekly obsessions! Keep being awesome…I’m slowly baking my way through the dessert section. 🙂

  7. I made these this evening. None of the salt or smoke flavors came through in the final product, even after I marinaded them for over an hour. They are delicious, but taste exactly like thin-sliced, roasted carrots. After tasting the marinade, and acting on experience, I basted them in the marinade after flipping them. The burnt bits on the edges were just that: burnt. The center sections had a lovely texture, almost meaty, but tasted only of carrot. NOT a bad thing, in my book! But definitely not “bacon-y.” As always with a first attempt at a recipe, I followed it exactly (with the exception of the basting). Not an absolute knock on the Shannons, I love you guys, but this was my experience.

  8. I knew I had to feature this carrot bacon as soon as I saw it! I’m intrigued, and gotta give it a try. 🙂 You’re featured on this week’s Five Friday Finds – stop on by and grab a button or share some other recipes. 🙂

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