My dear, sweet, coconut bacon skeptics, hear me out. This vegan “bacon” is amazing! It’s crispy, sweet, salty and tastes just like the real deal, so don’t knock it til you try it! I could go on about it, but I think Cookie’s coconut bacon desperation says it all.
Granted, my dog loves kale and ate half a pack of gum when I was at yoga last week, but I’ve honestly never seen her work so hard for crumbs that aren’t meat. (And look at those irresistible fuzzy ears! She kills me.)
I shared coconut bacon last year with my heirloom BLT salad recipe, but this stuff is so good that I decided it needed its own post. You can use it as an accent in any recipe that calls for crumbled bacon—salads, BLTs, you name it. It’s incredibly easy to make (it’ll take you 15 minutes, max) and you can freeze extra for later. Although, it’s hard not to eat all of this bacon as it comes out the oven. I dare you to try it!
How to Make Coconut Bacon
- Prep Time: 2 mins
- Cook Time: 13 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 3 Cups 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Fake bacon that tastes like the real thing. Use it in salads, BLTs, or anywhere else that you would add bacon. This coconut bacon is vegan and gluten free, as long as you use gluten-free soy sauce (like tamari). Recipe yields 3 cups coconut bacon.
- 3 cups large, unsweetened coconut flakes (not regular shredded coconut!)
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (or other soy sauce)
- 2 ½ tablespoons liquid smoke (any flavor, choose your favorite)
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (optional).
- Measure the coconut flakes out onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the coconut flakes with tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup. Mix well. Spread the flakes into an even layer on the parchment paper.
- Bake on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes, flipping halfway, until flakes are mostly dry and turning golden on the edges. (Keep an eye on the coconut as it can go from golden brown to deep burnt brown fairly quickly. For softer bacon, you’ll probably only need to bake for 12 minutes. For crispy bacon, aim for 14.) The coconut flakes will further crisp up as they cool.
- Let the coconut bacon cool, then use it immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Coconut bacon keeps well in the freezer for several months. No need to defrost!
Recipe originally seen on my heirloom BLT salad (looove that salad!).
Make it gluten free: This dish is gluten free as long as you use gluten-free tamari, which is a variety of soy sauce that is usually (but not always, check the label) gluten free. I always use tamari instead of soy sauce because I prefer the flavor of it!
Where to buy: Look for coconut flakes in the baking aisle or health food section at well-stocked grocery stores. Look for tamari next to the soy sauce in the Asian aisle. Look for liquid smoke near the barbecue sauce.
So good! It’s easy and adds a really nice flavour to the vegan BLT. The fact that it can be stored in the freezer is a real bonus too.Thanks!
I made this thinking it will be a great backpacking snack. Then I made a “bacon” cherry tomato, and fresh herb, quinoa salad for a fourth of a July party and it was a hit.
Thank you so much this is a delicious recipe.
what can i substitute for the maple syrup? I really want to try this..I have all the ingredients except the syrup…:Love
You can buy to coconut at Walmart.
OMG…I shouldn’t be typing in the middle of the night…I was trying to type…You can buy the coconut at Walmart. So sorry. This is my first visit to your website. I think I’m gonna like it here!!
Hi, I’m just about to try your spicey lentil and veg soup
what can I substitute for maple syrup?
Hi, I’m a beginner vegetarian and I’m pretty young so I would just like to know if these recipes including the coconut bacon is going to be supplying my body with enough iron/sodium/calcium/protien.
Hey Destiny! The coconut bacon itself won’t meet those requirements, that’s for sure. My recipes tend to be well balanced, made with whole grains and lots of greens and veggies. I think the key is eating a wide variety of whole foods. You don’t need to worry about getting enough sodium as pretty much everyone eats enough salt (or too much). I would definitely suggest researching how to meet those other requirements if you’re worried about them, so you have a better understanding of what kinds of recipes to eat, but you are in a good place!
Yay I’m so excited to make this! Thanks so much!! Cookie is so freaking adorable!!
Thanks, Krissy! :) Hope you love it!
I love you! Love your recipes and generosity of sharing them and last but not least, LOVE YOUR DOG! Pics make me laugh.
Haha, yay! Thank you very much, Deb!
Cookie needs her nails cut.
Wish I had read the comments about adding salt and oil before trying it as I am not overly thrilled with my results. I was thinking of using liquid aminos instead of tamari and that would have added a more salty taste. I’ll try that next time
I am adding to my previous comment. I added a few squirts of liquid aminos and shook the bag to evenly coat and it now tastes like bacon! Changing my rating to 5 stars
This is great! I just made a BLT using this “bacon”. I was surprised how good it really is. I added 1tsp grape seed oil and coconut is pretty fatty, this will be my go to recipie when I need a meaty, fatty, salty fix! Thanks
A couple years ago I had a really delicious coconut bacon BLT at a vegan restaurant in San Fran that I have been thinking about ever since. I am nothing close to resembling a vegetarian, but I have been trying to cut back on the meat so I thought this would be worth a try. First, for anyone who actually eats bacon, these taste nothing like bacon. However, they are delicious. I’m not crazy about them by themselves, but over a salad or in a BLT I think they will be wonderful. I did take a couple other people’s advice and add some salt, which was absolutely necessary probably because I used low-sodium soy sauce. Next time I make them I think I’d cut back a little on the liquid smoke, and add a touch more soy sauce and maple syrup. Thanks for the recipe!
Hey, Caitlin – I’m so glad this is helping you cut back on meat! Moderation is always a good thing. Thanks for the comment!
it sure would be nice to see someone make the dish before giving it a star rating. I like to use the star ratings to judge whether or not to make the dish
Did you read through the other comments here? They should give you a good idea of readers’ outcomes.
Hi, thanks for the recipe. Just wanted to urge you to be careful with gum and your dog. Xylitol, which is in lots of types of gum, is really toxic to dogs.
Thanks, Mandy! And great reminder. My cookbook will have an excellent resource listing ingredients that are toxic to our fur-babies, so I know how important it is to keep these things in mind.
Saw some organic coconut flakes in Winners today, so bought them to try this. I have liquid smoke, but years out of date. Unopened. What the heck, it smells good. Will try making this tomorrow
i’m not a fan of smoked foods. do you think it would ruin the recipe if i left the liquid smoke out?
It won’t ruin the recipe, but bacon generally has a smoky flavor so you’ll miss out on that component.
They discontinued “Dang” bacon coconut chips. This is a nicely flavored (and economical) sub–thanks!
I’m glad! Thanks, Maureen!
This comes closest to that balcony flavor than any commercially made & I’ve tried several. Tempeh bacon is OK in some things. Your recipe is fabulous & my dogs love it too!
Dang autocorrect! bacon-y not balcony! Good grief
Oh, I’m so glad, Tina!
I love this recipe! The flavor is really good and I usually end up munching on pieces while I’m preparing the rest of dinner. My cat and dog are totally fooled by the scent – they also want to try some, too! I’ve found that it does keep really well in the freezer if you suck the air out of the bag and roll it up tight. I like to warm it up in my toaster oven for a (c)BLT, you just have to be careful when reheating it because it browns REALLY fast.
These are great pointers, Zoe, thanks! I’m so glad everyone (including the fur babies) enjoy this!
Hi, I just made this and I love it. It works so well for a vegetarian lunch bowl with black beans, avocado, etc etc. Here’s my question: did you use raw or pre-toasted coconut? I used raw but was wondering if the other kind would work.
I used raw coconut, Hannah!
This recipe is easy and SO GOOD!
Thanks, Dana! That’s what I was going for. :)
Who knew? My sister and I had to hide it from ourselves because we couldn’t stop eating it. My pup loved it too!
That’s when you know it’s good! I’m glad everyone enjoyed it, Katharine.
This came out so much better than I expected and I had high hopes! I went with the pecan flavored liquid smoke. Sprinkled it straight from the freezer onto my salad and now all I want to eat is salad.
But also as soon as I get my hands on some Hatch green chile I’m going to use this to make vegan green chile bacon mac and cheese. I’m not vegan but C+K has me dabbling with her recipe magic.
This is THE BEST bacon substitute ever! Works great for a BLT for our whole food plant based no oil healthy eating :) Even an awesome snack too. I cook mine even longer for that extra crunch. Thanks for sharing!
We just made it as topping for our veggie burgers. The taste is really good. It has a bit less bacon structure as bacon made from tofu but the taste is similar.
I made a large batch . How long can I preserve it in the fridge?
Hi Patricia, can you store it in the freezer? I have details in step 4.
This stuff is heaven. Although, I almost ate the 3 cups of it all by myself within an hour, which probably isn’t very healthy :) Delicious!
Sometimes you just have to do that! Thank you, Deirdre for sharing.
The pictures of your dog are SOO cute!!
I will be sure to let Cookie know! :)
Pretty article! I found some useful information in your blog, it was awesome to read, thanks for sharing this great content to my vision, keep sharing..
You’re welcome, David!
This was absolutely delicious. I was skeptical at first as I’ve never heard of coconut bacon, but it was great (even my bacon-loving, meat-eating husband loved it). I had it on BLTs (you could call them CLTs, I suppose) with avocado, and you couldn’t even tell it wasn’t actual bacon aside from the slight coconut flavor. I added a little sprinkle of salt – after reading the comments – to make it even more bacon-y.
I’m glad you tried it, even though you wee skeptical! Thanks for trying and for your review.
I dreamed off coconut bacon while on holiday in minorca! I woke up and checked google and your recipy came up bonkers,
But i made it when i got home tastes fantastic,
I love that you dreamed of it, Wayne! Thanks so much for your review.
I am a coconut bacon convert! So much better than the fake-on in the frozen food section. I found coconut flakes at my local Asian grocery store and coconut slices at my local Indian supermarket. The flakes were about the size of a fingernail but the slices were about half inch wide by several inches long. And BTW the slices, although dried, smell and taste exactly like fresh coconut. The brand was called Swad, from India.
2 &1/2 tablespoons of liquid smoke makes this inedible. Had to throw out. On further research of other recipes it seems 1 teaspoon is about right.
I’m sorry you didn’t love the coconut bacon, River! I have made this coconut bacon several times and thought it was just right.
After some research I am pretty sure the brand of liquid smoke makes a huge difference. The brand I am using is very concentrated.
When I found this recipe a couple of years ago I was ecstatic! This makes my tomato sandwiches my comfort food, my husband loves this recipe too! Thank you!!!!
Love it! Thanks for your review, Christina.
What would this taste like without the liquid smoke?
You won’t get as much for the ‘bacon’ taste. It will be lacking flavor.
Made coconut bacon for the first time ever. Turned out great !!!
Got your book ” Love real food” yesterday. Looking forward to trying some more delicious recipes from there as well !! :)
Hooray! Thanks for your support and love hearing this was just a great recipe for you, Manu.
Excited to try this, but I’m wondering if anyone has ever tried this with coconut aminos instead of tamari? I have a recently discovered soy allergy and coconut aminos seem to be the only thing I can find to sub for soy sauce and tamari. Thanks!
You can try it! I know a lot of people substitute that when they need to. I’m not sure if it will work, but does for other recipes. Let me know what you think, Grace!
I get why this calls for the wide coconut but I’m wondering if you could find Unsweetened shredded coconut, I’m thinking you could “baconize” it and use it as bacon bits in dips, etc….?
Hi Pamela, that might work! Coconut bacon loses its crispness when it’s mixed with wet mixtures, and some of the flavors might seem into surrounding areas.
Ah, I hadn’t thought of that possibility….so adding it to wet mixtures is probably a bad idea.
Its soooooo good
Thank you, Sarah!
I’m intrigued. Both of my children are baco-vegetarians. I’d love to try this but have recently jumped on the Keto bandwagon. Is there a substitute I can use for the maple syrup so I can have some as well?
I don’t have a substitute, sorry!
Hi- I tried this recipe because a friend had put me on to the idea of coconut bacon and I looked for a recipe. Are you sure you mean 2 and a half tablespoons of liquid smoke? I did try this and I’m afraid it went straight into the compost heap it was so inedible. Since then I have talked to my friend who says her recipe called for 1/4 TEASPOON of liquid smoke for 1 cup coconut flakes. I wonder if there’s a difference in liquid smoke between where you are and where I am in New Zealand? Sorry – about this as I cannot understand it and I know my friend thinks it’s a beautiful dish. :-)
Hi Beth, I’m so sorry this didn’t turn out for you! I’m completely not sure on a difference, but it sounds like that is the case. I know that is the case with chili powder here in the US compared to other places.
I have made this recipe a few times (using gluten free tamari). I also add a dash of paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. I use only 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke. The hardest thing about making this recipe is not eating it all before my family gets any.
I like the additions, Genoa!
Thank you for the wonderful tomato free vegan recipes!!! I can’t use Liquid smoke that your Coconut Bacon recipe calls for because it has hidden ingredients(on strict medically necessary diet). Do you have any substitutions you can suggest?
Hi Lily! I’m not 100% sure, but perhaps smoked paprika would offer similar flavor. Reducing the liquid may also reduce the baking time, so please keep an extra-careful eye on it.
Mine came out pretty sticky like delicious fresh bacon granola. I added salt and a little smoked paprika and I love it. I’m an avid meat eater but I am addicted to coconut bacon and my favorite brand went under but I finally got around to making my own.
Thank you for sharing, Kim!
Very good, keep a close eye on it in the oven.
Look at that cute pupppy.Thanks for the chuckle and the recipe.
Just made the “bacon “ and we can’t stop munching ‼️Delicious ‼️ And no guilt. Thank you so much
Oh my goody-goodness – yumo – winner winner! I could keep on going, this is seriously good. My freezer will never be without a bag of this. My husband keeps asking for meals that can incorporate them. So simple to do, so exceptionally yummy to eat – thanks Kate for sharing another gold star recipe.
I’m happy you loved it, Kylie! Thank you for your review.
Can I use something else instead of soy sauce/tamari? I don’t like the taste. Would Worcester be any good? Thank you!
Hi! I like this as is, but feel free to play with the sauce and let me know what you think.
What method do you use to “flip” an entire baking sheet of stuff on parchment paper?
I assume you mean flipping it over, and not rotating the tray 180 degrees?
Hi Michael! You can achieve flipping them with a good spatula. I hope that helps!
I can’t find large flaked coconut ANYWHERE. Please help. Sources? Brand names?
Oh no! I haven’t tried to get some in awhile. I have got some from Let’s Do Coconut and Bob’s Red Mill in the past.
Thank you so much for this and for the adorable pics of the pup. Those made my day!!
You’re welcome! She is always waiting for something to drop. I appreciate your review.
This is ridiculously good. The texture really makes this seem bacon like. It is super easy to make too. My son hates coconut and he thought this was delicious. Thumbs up!!
Thank you, Brooke! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
“This coconut Bacon is just delicious! My entire family loves it .We just made your Vegan Pizza tonight and this was just perfect on it.
You can also try Pimp my salad’s Coconut Bacon – ready to eat & perfect toppings for your pizza and salad”
Of all the vegan bacon recipes, this recipe is the one I always use and have made this over and over for the last few years now. It is great in my tomato sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups etc…
When I prepare it I find it easier to mix the wet ingredients first and then pour over the coconut in a bowl and mix everything before placing on baking sheet.
Thanks so much!
I’m glad this one is the one you go-to, Christina! I appreciate your review.
\hello! Could you please tell me how to make coconut flakes from a whole coconut? I’m trying to cut down on pre-packaged foods. Many thanks! Kika
Hi Kika, I don’t have a recipe. Sorry!
These were actually really good–nice bacon taste. Thank you.
Question: would they be alright unrefrigerated?
I recommend freezer. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe, CT!