Coconut Bacon made with smoky flavors and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup bakes up savory, crispy and is SO easy to make. It’s healthy, oil free and a tasty guilt-free vegan bacon!
I find it pretty amazing that you can replicate a baconish flavor and crispness with coconut flakes. It’s savory, crispy, and a great vegan ‘bacon’ for those looking to replace the other bacon with a cute face!
Now, I’m not going to fool you into believing this tastes exactly like bacon. But if you can appreciate it for what it is, and that it makes a pretty darn good plant-based bacon replacement – well then, I think you’re going to love this coconut bacon recipe as much as I do!
It’s super versatile and great to have on hand! It’s also super easy to make and bakes up fast within 15 minutes. Plus, it’s gluten free, grain free, and can be made oil free!
Ingredients You’ll Need
In this recipe, coconut is tossed with tamari, pure maple syrup, smoked paprika and liquid smoked and baked until golden brown and crispy for a delicious faux vegan bacon!
Here is what you’ll need:
Large flaked coconut with it’s wide, oversized flakes are perfect for making coconut bacon! I buy my large flaked coconut from the bulk section at my local Sprout’s, but you can find it on the shelves or online (affiliate link).
Tip: When purchasing your coconut flakes, make sure it’s all white, with no yellowing on the flakes – yellowing is a sign that it’s old or has not been properly stored.
- Tamari: To add saltiness and flavor, tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce will work wonders!
- Pure Maple Syrup: Use more or less maple syrup to suit your taste. I like the maple flavor and usually add a heaping tablespoon. Omit it if you don’t want any maple flavor at all.
- Liquid Smoke: There are different flavors of liquid smoke – hickory, mesquite, etc. – use your favorite. For a more intense smoke flavor, add up to 1 tablespoon more of the liquid smoke of choice. Since liquid smoke can be a little controversial, feel free to omit it. I’ve made coconut bacon without liquid smoke and it’s just as delicious, you may like to add a little extra smoked paprika instead.
- Smoked Paprika: The smoked paprika added a wonderful layer of warmth that I fell in LOVE with, and I highly recommend adding it to your coconut bacon seasoning.
How To Make Coconut Bacon
- Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine the tamari, liquid smoke, maple syrup and paprika, making sure to break up any clumps. Add coconut flakes and gently toss to coat each flake well, about 45 seconds or so.
- Layer: Scoop seasoned coconut flakes onto a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined, rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with a bit of mineral salt if desired. Tip: The key will be to stir during baking to cook evenly, so don’t worry if the coconut flakes aren’t spread out perfectly even.
- Bake: Place in the oven, on the center rake, and bake for 15 minutes. Every 5 minutes stir the coconut flakes (you can see the progress in the above photo). Remove when coconut has a nice browned and caramelized color (pictured below). Tip: If you need to bake longer than 15 minutes, keep close and watch as the coconut bacon can burn very quickly at this point.
- Cool: Let the coconut bacon cool, it will get crispy as it cools.
How To Store Leftovers
Once completely cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the pantry for up to 2 months. If it softens a bit, re-crisp in the toaster oven on medium for a few minutes, or under the broiler for a few seconds, keeping an eye that it doesn’t burn.
Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions
- Oil-Free: To make this coconut bacon recipe oil free, simply use a silpat or parchment paper (affiliate links) to line your baking sheet, you won’t need to use any oil.
- Gluten-Free: For gluten free coconut bacon, use tamari or coconut aminos. If using coconut aminos, be sure to add a little extra salt since it isn’t as salty as tamari or soy sauce.
There are so many possibilities with coconut bacon and I have no doubt that you will find all kinds of ways to add this quick and tasty tidbit to your meals! Here are a few of my favorite options:
- Sandwich: make the classic B.L.T. sandwich or wrap. It’s great on avocado toast too (shown below)!
- Soup: Add it on top of Split Pea Soup, Vegan Cauliflower Soup or Potato Leek Soup.
- Breakfast: Serve crumbled on Tofu Scrambles or Sweet Potato & Yukon Gold Home Fries.
- Salad: It’s great in this Crisp Apple & Coconut Bacon Salad, Cobb Salad or simple house salad.
- Veggies: Top it on stuffed or mashed potatoes, roasted veggies like brussels sprouts or other cooked vegetables, beans and/or legumes.
- Sweets: It’s perfect on these Butterscotch Cupcakes from PPK or these Maple Bacon Donuts from Phoney Baloney’s.
If you try this vegan bacon recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
Coconut bacon – a healthy vegan ‘bacon’ alternative with all the flavor. Use on top of soups, salads, tofu scrambles, home fries. Make the classic B.L.T sandwich or wrap. Lots of ways to enjoy this simple and easy recipe!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: Makes 2 cups 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 2 tablespoons tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons liquid smoke, optional
- 1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups large flaked coconut
- mineral salt for sprinkling, optional
- coconut oil for greasing, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine the tamari, liquid smoke, maple syrup and paprika, making sure to break up any clumps. Add coconut flakes and gently toss making sure to coat each flake well, toss for about 45 seconds or so.
Layer: Using a slotted spoon, scoop seasoned coconut flakes and place onto a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined, rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. The key is to stir during baking to cook evenly. Sprinkle lightly with a bit of mineral salt if desired.
Bake: Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Set the timer for intervals of 5 minutes and stir each time making sure to rearrange all pieces by bringing the center flakes to the outside, and the outside flakes to the center for even cooking. If making a double batch and using two cookie sheets, you may even like to change the position of the sheets in the oven after the second interval, moving the top sheet to the bottom rack and vice versa. Remove when coconut has a nice browned and caramelized color.
If for some reason you need to bake longer than 15 minutes, keep close and watch as the coconut bacon can burn very quickly at this point. I really babied my coconut bacon towards the end, it’ll be worth your while if you do too so it doesn’t burn.
Cool: Let cool, it will get crispy as it cools.
Store: Once completely cooled you can store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the pantry for up 1 to 2 months. If it softens a bit, re-crisp in the toaster oven on medium for a few minutes, or under the broiler for a few seconds, keeping an eye that it doesn’t burn.
Makes 28, 2 tablespoons, servings.
Use more or less maple syrup to suit your taste. I like the maple flavor and usually add a heaping tablespoon. Omit it if you don’t want any maple flavor at all.
Keep in mind there are different flavors of liquid smoke – ie, hickory, mesquite, etc., use your favorite. For a more intense smoke flavor, add up to 1 tablespoon more of the liquid smoke of choice.
If not using liquid smoke, add 1/2 teaspoon more smoked paprika and a dash or two more of tamari.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Using a silpat or parchment paper will help to keep your coconut bacon oil-free! (affiliate links)
Keywords: coconut bacon, vegan bacon
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Would this work for shredded coconut?
You can try it, but the cooking time will be reduced since thinner shredded coconut will crisp up faster than the thicker coconut used in the recipe. Keep an on it the whole time. We would love to know how it goes, it’s super helpful to others as well!
Outstanding! I was skeptical but I loved this.
Great taste. However in my oven the last 10 minutes yielded a Cajun version. Next time I think we will remove after ten minutes.
Delicious, great in sandwiches as well as the cobb salad recipe. Loving your recipes, so yummy! Having never had real bacon, I am not sure how this compares, but it has a nice umami and mesquite type flavour.
We absolutely loved this coconut bacon! It was so easy and delicious. Thank you for the great recipe!
Love your Earlywood scraper. Looking forward to trying this recipe.
Thank you, I love it too! Enjoy the recipe! Cheers :)
Thank you so so so much for this recipe! I’m trying my hardest to become a full fledged vegetarian and eventually vegan. Bacon is one staple that has kept me from this, but it won’t any longer due to this AMAZING recipe. In one word, LOVE!
I made this without any liquid smoke at all just using smoked paprika adding a little water to make up for that liquid. I don’t have maple syrup so used agave. I tasted it right out of the oven and was not impressed but after it cooled, it tasted great! The perfect combination of salt/sweet/smoke. Thanks.
This turned out great! I made it with fresh coconut and used your suggestions. Mom enjoyed it. I made way too much so I shared with friends and they seemed pleased as well. I was able to make enough for us and a quart jar to give away. Thanks so much!
I just can't bring myself to trust liquid smoke! I will be using organic lapsang souchong, which I found out is a common substitute. Can't wait to try this recipe! I do miss the smokey flavors and seasonings of bacon (not the meat of course!)