Coconut Bacon

This savory, mouthwatering coconut bacon is made by baking flaked coconut in a smokey marinade. So amazingly flavorful, you’ll never miss the real thing!

This stuff will change your life.

Coconut bacon is something long overdue to come into my life. I was never a fan of bacon. In fact, I find it rather weird when I talk to other vegetarians who tell me bacon was the toughest thing for them to give up. I always found it completely gross, from my meat eating days as a kid, into my early twenties when serving breakfast to hungry tables at the local Friendly’s. The breakfast shift was my least favorite for the mere fact that the aroma of bacon continuously pumped out of the kitchen.

So I never thought a whole lot about veganizing bacon. That is, until I started veganizing recipes that called for bacon. There was most definitely something missing. I’ve had success marinating tempeh, tofu, mushrooms, eggplant and even almonds in a smoky baconesque marinade. All were delicious, but there was still something missing.

I have to thank Dawn from Florida Coastal Cooking for giving me a push in the right direction when she posted this deliciousness. I got really excited about the recipe and went out in an attempt to obtain all of the ingredients in advance of an impending snowstorm. Coconut bacon was the only thing I couldn’t get my hands on (everyone must have been scrambling to stock up on coconut bacon for the snowy day), so I went and made my own. The results left me asking myself how I made it this far in life without coconut bacon.

This stuff has everything that I consider to be good about bacon, and none of whatever it is that turns my stomach (I’m guessing it’s the animal fat). It’s crispy, smoky salty and amazingly satisfying. I was a little concerned that the coconut flavor would overpower all of the bacony flavors, but instead it come through very subtly and surprisingly compliments the seasonings. These are the perfect substitute for bacon bits. Thus far I’ve used them in Dawn’s recipe and one of my own, which I’ll share in just a couple of days. I’ve got lots more big plans for these tasty little buggers though. Twenty years of a vegetarian life living without them is a long time. Hang in there. Recipes forthcoming.

Coconut Bacon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • a dash of smoked paprika
  • 1½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk everything except coconut together in small bowl. Add coconut and mix to coat. You should have just enough sauce to coat all of your coconut.
  3. Spread coconut in an even layer on parchment.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, tossing every 3-5 minutes during cooking. Watch closely, because this stuff can go from crispy to char in a very short time.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
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      • Tima says

        I just made this and I got to say the flavor is fantastic, but with that said, I don’t know how you achieved the flat big pieces cause mine came out like coconut flakes. Can you please elaborate on how you did it. Thank you, and thank you for all the great recipes in the past year. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015, Best wishes for the new year.

        • says

          Hi Tima! Make sure you use coconut flakes, and not shreds. The pieces are much larger. Bob’s Red Mill and Let’s Do Organic both make flakes. You should be able to find these at places like Whole Foods and at some regular supermarkets, but just in case you can’t I’ve added a link in the recipe to where you can get them online. Other than that my only advise is to handle the coconut carefully when stirring, to avoid breaking too many pieces. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

  1. says

    I am an avid meat-eater and do love my bacon…but coconut? Coconut > bacon….always (I suppose it is a bit of apples and oranges here) any whoo! Are you able to omit the soy sauce? Can you use worchestshire sauce instead? I’m allergic to soy but I sooo want to make this!

    • says

      The soy adds a bit of savory flavor and a lot of salt. You might want to try thinning out worchestershire with a bit of water and adding some salt, though the flavor will probably be a little bit different since worchestershire has a lot more going on than soy sauce. Marmite might be another good thing to try this with. I’ve also seen some recipes online for soy sauce substitutes, though I haven’t tried any myself so I’m not sure how good they are. It might take a little trial and error. Please let me know how it works out if you try any of these options! Thanks so much for your comment!!

    • says

      Thanks, but there are actually vegan brands of worchestershire sauce, such as Annie’s and Edward & Sons. Recognizing that I have readers who are vegan, vegetarian and omnivore I generally leave it up to the individual what brand of any given ingredient suits their particular dietary needs. The original commenter did state that she’s a meat eater, so it would seem a little silly for me to try and steer her towards a vegan brand of Worchestershire sauce.

    • says

      Thank you! Yes…Dawn’s scramble was awesome! And coconut bacon is becoming a new obsession. I’ve got one more recipe planned at the moment, but I’m totally hooked so coconut bacon might soon become a running theme on the blog 😉

    • says

      Thanks Mercedes! That’s awesome that you’ve been veg for your whole life! The last time I had bacon I was probably twelve and if memory serves me correctly, you aren’t missing anything. This stuff is way better :)

    • says

      I wouldn’t recommend using wax paper. My understanding is that wax paper isn’t heat resistant and the wax can melt and transfer to your food. Of course I’ve never tried it, but better safe than sorry. Thanks for your question!

  2. says

    I am going to try Coconut Aminos (soy sauce substitute) I can’t wait. I am severely allergic to the fumes from frying bacon (weird, yes) so I am so excited to try this.

    • says

      Thank you! The longest I’ve kept this around was a week and a half in a ziplock bag, and it was still good until the end (when the last of it got eaten). That was at room temperature. I’d guess you could get at least twice that amount of time if you stuck it in the fridge.

    • says

      That’s actually kind of an interesting idea. I don’t think they would crisp up as much, due to the lower fat content and temperature, but I bet it would still be delicious – something like smokey veggie jerky. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

    • says

      You’d probably end up with something a little less crispy due to the lower temp. Baking in the oven gets the coconut just to that point of browning before you hit burning. It would probably still be delicious, but more chewy and less crispy. Thanks and please let me know how it works out for you if you try it in the dehydrator!

  3. Anonymous says

    Hello! We have a soy allergy in our family and coconut aminos became really hard to find (not to mention expensive…). We’ve adapted this recipe (rapunzel vegan boullion cube instead of the beef boullion), and it is fabulous and easy to make with ingredients we always have on hand. In case that helps anyone!
    Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to try it!

    • says

      The liquid smoke is the strongest and most predominant flavor, so upping that might disguise more of the coconut flavor. Be careful though, because it is strong and therefore easy to overdo. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to cover up the coconut flavor entirely though. If you aren’t a fan or the flavor combo isn’t doing it for you, I’d suggest trying the marinade on something else. Tempeh, tofu and mushrooms are all potential candidates, though I really like the crispiness you get by using coconut. Please let me know how it works out if you try anything different!

    • says

      I bought mine at Wegmans, which is a local chain. You could probably also get it at Whole Foods or a similar store and you can definitely get it on Amazon. Just look for unsweetened flakes (as opposed to shredded coconut). The brand I used is Let’s Do Organic, but Bob’s Red Mill Makes it as well.

  4. says

    Once I’d had the coconut club at the Memphis Taproom, I kept looking for a good method to do it myself. And finally found it here, posted by another Philly native, hooray! This turned out really well for me, thanks.

    • says

      I bought the coconut at Wegmans. You could also get it at places like Whole Foods or on Amazon. Just look for unsweetened flakes as opposed to shredded and/or sweetened. Let’s Do Organic is the brand I used.

  5. Monique says

    OMG! I can’t do soy so I used coconut aminos and added extra salt (because coconut aminos aren’t as rich as soy/tamari) and this turned out amazing! Talk about crispy, savory goodness! Yummmmmmmmmmmmm…. I’m so excited to try these in broccoli crunch salad and on top of soups and greens! Thank you.

    • says

      Awesome! Thanks for the feedback and thanks for letting me know how the coconut aminos worked – as you can see, I’ve have a bunch of questions on soy sauce subs. I’m so glad you enjoyed this :)

  6. Jen says

    I went in search of liquid smoke & they have different flavors hickory & mesquite. Do you recommend one over the other?

    • says

      I’ve always used hickory and it works great. Never tried the mesquite, but now you’ve got me curious. I’ll give that a try next time and leave a follow-up comment if I like it!

  7. Rachel says

    I don’t know how I made it through 17 years as a vegetarian before trying coconut bacon, but this is fantastic! Even my meat-loving husband (who has been unenthusiastic about all my other favorite bacon substitutes) couldn’t stop snacking on it. This recipe will definitely make multiple return trips to my kitchen. Thank you!

    • says

      That was pretty much my reaction when I made this stuff for the first time! I’ve also fed it to a bunch of omnivorous friends and family members who loved it. I’m glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed it!! :)

  8. says

    Finally, the last hurdle to turning my family and my own diet to vegetarian/partially vegan has been surmounted! My children and husband drool at the very mention of bacon! I hope it would be okay to share this on my (very tiny, rather new) blog. I will absolutely give you props- I adore your blog!! Thank you for all your amazing recipes!

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