This is my original carrot bacon recipe that started an internet craze! It's salty and sweetly smoky, really delicious, and easily made from carrots and five other basic ingredients. Try it for yourself!
The original carrot bacon recipe!
You saw it here first!
Years before anyone in the West had even heard of TikTok, I developed and published this baked carrot bacon recipe. What's that saying about often imitated but never bettered? Well this is it - the real deal. The original and the best!
Okay, let's get this straight - carrots are not the same as bacon!
I know that. However, a lot of people, when they give up meat, miss bacon, so my carrot bacon goes some way to filling that void.
I also know that some Americans seem to be obsessed with cooking their bacon to a cinder (why?!), and most Europeans, in my experience, don't. While you can clearly see from my photos that my carrot bacon is crispy, it's not so crispy that you touch it and it shatters!
Ingredients for original carrot bacon
- rapeseed oil
- maple syrup
- all-purpose soy sauce
- liquid smoke
How to make carrot bacon
Making my carrot bacon is simplicity itself; simply peel and top & tail your carrots, slice really thinly (I use a Y peeler for this), blitz the rest of the ingredients together, marinate for half an hour, then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. As I said, it's really simple!
By the way, have you tried carrot lox yet? If not, you're in for a real treat!
Dehydrated carrot bacon
Update May 2018: I've experimenting with making carrot bacon in a dehydrator (this one, from Excalibur, to be precise), and apart from being super-easy, the result is a very crispy 'bacon', without being in any way charred around the edges... which happened the first time I made it in my new oven when I moved back to Britain!
At Beet Bar (Margate), where I developed their entire menu, my dehydrated carrot bacon continues to be hugely popular, and a firm favourite with vegans and omnivores alike!
To make dehydrated carrot bacon, simply marinade as usual, and lay out in a single layer on each tray - make sure you use the ParaFlexx sheets - and then set your dehydrator 150ºF, and let it work its magic for 12 hours. For the nine tray model I use, four large carrots is sufficient to fill it.
What is rapeseed oil? This is also known as Canola. It's made from seeds of the Brassica napus plant, which is a member of the cabbage family. It's not the same as grapeseed oil.
Can I use a different oil? Absolutely! But do choose one with a neutral flavour, such as sunflower or rice bran, that's suitable for roasting.
Can I use olive oil to make carrot bacon? No, absolutely not! Olive oil really isn't good for this type of baking, and the flavour it imparts really doesn't work for this recipe.
I can't have soy, what can I use instead of soy sauce? Liquid coconut aminos are your friend!
I can't have gluten but I'm fine with soy, what can I use? Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce.
What can I use instead of liquid smoke? Try some smoked paprika. Start with ½ tsp, taste, and if necessary, add a bit more. It all depends on your taste, and the age of the paprika.
I'm allergic to sesame, what can I use instead of tahini? Although I haven't tried it, you could probably use a nut or sunflower butter. You may want to add a dash more liquid smoke though, to replace the smoky tahini flavour. Let me know in the comments if you've made it without tahini.
Do I really have to marinate the carrots for 30 minutes? Yes, yes you do. Unless you want tasteless carrot strips instead of tasty carrot bacon!
Know your oven! If you know your oven runs a bit on the hot side, either reduce the baking time or the temperature. Similarly, if you know that normally you have to increase the temperature by a few degrees for everything else you bake, then do so accordingly for this recipe!
Want more more vegan deliciousness?
- The world's best vegan sausages
- How to make vegan condensed milk
- Best-ever vegan nacho cheese (no nuts!)
- Cashew pesto
- How to make vegan 'Nutella'
You'll love this Carrot BaconBecause it's...
- slightly sweet
- easy to make
- gluten-free if you use tamari
- soy-free if you use coconut aminos
- full of Vitamin A
- really, really delicious
If you can resist eating it straight from the oven (and no one would blame you if you can't!), this carrot bacon is fab in BLTs, in bagels, in salads, added to pizza and pasta... there are so many possibilities. Enjoy!
How To Make The Original Carrot Bacon Recipe
- Peel and top & tail the carrot, then slice very thinly.
- Blitz the rest of the ingredients together for 20 seconds or so, until you have a thick marinade.
- Place the carrot and marinade into a dish, mix together so that all of the carrot slices are coated, and set to one side for 30 minutes.
- Heat your oven to 200°C/400°F
- Place the carrot strips side-by-side on a cookie sheet (lined with a silicone baking mat or baking parchment if it’s not non-stick), spread a little of the remaining marinade evenly over the strips, and then bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your ‘bacon’ to be.
- Remove from the oven, and enjoy your delicious plant-based bacony treat!
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tablespoon = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml