Coconut ‘Bacon’ – Vegan & Gluten Free

by Sharon on February 10, 2014


OK people, let’s talk bacon. I’ve heard that for vegetarians and vegans one of the hardest things to give up is bacon. I guess I can see why. Bacon is pretty delicious. But whether or not you eat meat, bacon is probably not something you should be eating with any regularity. It is full of a host of additives that are extremely unhealthy, not to mention the obscenely high amount of sodium. Giving up bacon for all diets is a smart idea.

Now speaking of smart ideas, someone out there thought to turn flakes of coconut into something that really resembles bacon in both looks and taste. I found this recipe last week when the photo for it was next to my avocado cookie photo on foodgawker. I was admiring my own work and thinking how good my cookies looked when I spied Connoisseurus Veg’s shot of coconut bacon. “What’s this?” I thought to myself. “Bacon from coconut?” From that moment on I was on a mission.

The recipe had a relatively short ingredient list and I had all of the components except for one. Liquid smoke. I found it in the hot sauce aisle at the grocery store and I was off and running with Project Fake Bacon.


I used my own Faux Soy Sauce for this in place of the regular soy sauce called for in the recipe. I like my version because it is gluten free and has no soy! 😉


After mixing all the flavourings in a large bowl I added in the flaked coconut and stirred it well.


Here’s my coconut ready for the oven …          

Coconut-Bacon-Vegan-Gluten-Free-5… and here’s my coconut transformed into bacon bits!


I was super impressed how much the appearance was so similar to that of crumbled bacon.


What about the flavour? Was it bacon-y? I’m going to say … Yes! It was pret-ty darn close. I would recommend it as a sub for bacon in things like a BLT or on a salad. Being a non-vegan, I enjoyed mine sprinkled on top of some scrambled eggs doused with hot sauce and was a great addition.


It was a fun experiment and when I gave it to some co-workers to taste test, none of them guessed it was coconut but, all of them knew it was some kind of bacon. Try it for yourself!


Lightly adapted from this recipe.

Coconut ‘Bacon’ – Vegan & Gluten Free
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  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp faux ‘soy’ sauce (or use regular soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together all the seasonings in a bowl then add in the coconut and coat it well
  3. Spread the coconut in an even layer on the parchment lined sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes watching that it doesn’t burn. An oven thermometer comes in handy here
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. I stored mine in mason jar on the counter

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie February 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm
I love this idea! I've never seen this and am going to have to pick up liquid smoke next time. It does look impressively like bacon and I'm so interested to see what the flavor is like. We've been making a lot of hummus/sauteed veggie/avocado/spinach/tomato paninis that could probably use some of this sprinkled on! Thanks for the pass on of the I continue to experiment. :)
Sharon February 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm
I loved this too! How cool! :) I think it would be a great addition to a panini.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health February 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm
I've actually had a BLT with coconut bacon at a restaurant in Berkeley and thought it was delicious! I've wanted to make it at home too and now I have a recipe to go by. Thanks! :)
Sharon February 10, 2014 at 7:04 pm
Yes! These babies are perfect for sandwiches. I have no idea how this has alluded me for so long ... I already know you'll love it. :)
Julia February 11, 2014 at 8:50 am
YES! I LOVE vegan bacon!!! (Let's be honest, I love real bacon too, but bacon made out of coconut is just amazing). I tried a recipe similar to this a while back and couldn't keep my hands out of the ziplock bag I was storing it in. SO tasty!!
Sharon February 11, 2014 at 10:13 am
Well, if we're being honest ... I also enjoy the 'real' stuff from time to time. ;) This recipe, however, is a tasty sub! I can't believe I'm just hearing about this. People are amazing. :)
Meagan February 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm
Where do you find liquid smoke? How do they make it? Seems like a sketchy ingredient to me?
Sharon February 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm
This is a good article explaining the process. ---> <---I liken using it to that of food smoked traditionally, like say on a grill.
Mary April 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm
Sadly, this is not vegan when using your faux soy sauce. Could vegetable broth be used instead of the chicken broth for the soy sauce?
Sharon April 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm
Kenton Bolte May 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm
Chicken stock in your Faux Soy kind of eliminates the vegan part.
Sharon May 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm
You are right! A previous comment suggested veg broth could be subbed in to make it vegan. Pretty easy solution. :)
Lorrie Fitzpatrick July 29, 2017 at 10:06 am
Sounds good, I'll have to try it. Thanks
Sharon July 29, 2017 at 10:08 am
I hope you enjoy! Thanks Lorrie. :)

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