These Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes are crispy, slightly smokey and very bacony. We couldn’t stop snagging bacon flakes off of the pan.
It took me years to start experimenting with vegan coconut bacon. I’d been over-exposed to the idea of bacon everything, i.e. bacon cotton candy, bacon toothpaste, bacon ice cream, and all of the other stuff that will show up in a “crazy bacon” google search. Back before I’d gone vegan, bacon had become as overdone as the PSL and all of its other pumpkin spice spinoffs. I’d wager one can find a bacon-flavored PSL.
Yummy bacon—coconut bacon
Recently, while dining at a favorite vegan buffet I enjoyed some coconut bacon on my salad. A few employees were eating BLTs made with the coconut bacon. I was ready. I’d gotten over my annoyance of the collective, pervasive fetishizing of bacon. I had enjoyed the coconut version without giving any thought to crazy bacon-ized things like bacon-wrapped Twinkies or lasagna with bacon in place of pasta. It was time to make bacon—coconut bacon.
There is a Twitterverse inhabitant with the handle:
the only good bacon is kevin Ⓥ@vegansavage
I’m guessing the above Twitterverse inhabitant has never tasted these Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes. I like Kevin Bacon, but I really like coconut bacon. It’s crazy good! Even though I like Jon Hamm I don’t think I’d like Jon Hamm’s John Ham. I was never into ham or eating on the toilet pre-vegan so it tracks. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have a last name like Bacon or Ham(m)?
We enjoy these Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes on:
- Caesar Salad with Garlic Shake and Homemade Garlic Nooch Croutons
- Loaded potatoes and Lux twice-baked potatoes
- BALT (Bacon Avocado Lettuce Tomato) sandwiches
- Power bowls with roasted veggies and quinoa
- Soups and stews
The trick is to let is crisp up out of the oven
The trick is to trust that it will crisp up when it’s cooling, but not while in the oven. After burning a few test-batches, I realized taking it out when it looks a little golden brown is key. If you wait for it to crisp up in the oven it will burn.
I’ve used both thin, small flakes and larger, slightly thicker flakes. Either way, make sure to use flakes and not shreds. Also, be sure the flakes are unsweetened.
If you are using the thin small flakes, use 1 & 3/4 cup.
If using larger slightly thicker flakes use 2 cups (approximately 90 grams).
Look for coconut flakes in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
I recommend a high smoke point oil like avocado oil or non-virgin olive oil for this recipe.
Low Sodium Tamari
I use low sodium, gluten-free tamari in this recipe. If you use full sodium, I’d skip or reduce the salt in this recipe.
This recipe is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free tamari. Tamari is a variety of soy sauce that is usually gluten-free, just check the label to confirm.
I always go with dark, Grade A real-deal maple syrup. Once you’ve opened your maple syrup, be sure to store it in the fridge to avoid mold growth.
Smoked paprika, not sweet paprika is pretty important here because this helps make the coconut tastes like bacon.
Another important ingredient that really helps add the smokiness that makes our tastebuds taste bacon.
Salt & Pepper
I use fine salt and fresh ground pepper.
Makin’ Bacon! Let’s make coconut bacon
First, preheat oven to 325° F and line a baking sheet with a sil-mat or parchment paper. You can also go with a naked baking sheet, but it might get messy.
Next, mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Keep mixing until coconut is uniformly coated.
Spread mixture onto the lined baking sheet as thinly and evenly as possible.
Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven, stir it up and spread it out again, getting it as even and thin as you can.
Then bake for 6 -8 more minutes, watching during the last few minutes of baking. Ideally, you want golden brown, but it won’t look as dark as bacon can be. The trick is to trust that it will crisp up when it’s cooling, but not while in the oven. It’s better to get it out of the oven too early than to burn it. You can always let it cool to see if it crisps up and then put it back in the oven if it doesn’t crisp up.
It crisps as it cools
Let cool for 10 minutes – it will crisp up as it cools.
Enjoy the crispy addictive bacon-ness! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 – 10 days, or in the freezer for a month. You don’t really have to defrost it, it’s ready to go out the freezer.
In case anyone asks, coconut bacon comes from the belly of the coconut, even when it’s Canadian.
Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes
- An oven
- A baking sheet
- A mixing bowl
- A spatula or something similar
- 1¾ cups (90 grams) large flake, unsweetened coconut see notes below
- 1 TBSP oil non-virgin olive oil, avocado oil or other high smoke point oil
- 2 TBSPs low sodium tamari
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon salt fine
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325° F and line a baking sheet with a sil-mat or parchment paper.
- Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, keep mixing until coconut is uniformly coated.
- Spread mixture onto the lined baking sheet as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven, stir it up and spread it out again, getting it as even and thin as you can.
- Then bake for 6 -8 more minutes, watching during the last few minutes of baking. Ideally, you want golden brown, but it won't look as dark as bacon can look. The trick is to trust that it will crisp up when it's cooling, but not while in the oven. It's better to get it out of the oven too early than to burn it. You can always let it cool to see if it crisps up and then put it back in the oven if it doesn't crisp up.
- Let cool for 10 minutes – it will crisp up as it cools.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for a 7 – 10 days, or in the freezer for a month. You don't really have to defrost it, it's ready to go out the freezer.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.
For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.
Looking for another super easy snack or salad topper recipe? Try these Easy Stove Top Maple Pecans.
Did you make these Addictive Coconut Bacon Flakes? What did you eat them on? Any substitutions or variations? Tell me about in the comments section below.
This was fantastic. I ate about half of it right off of the pan. It was so good. I also enjoyed coconut bakin in a salad at lunch and it worked really well. The salty and smoky flavors tasted great in the salad.
Thank you for sharing Ryan!
Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂
The baked coconut flakes retain only a subtle trace of their original flavor the smoke and spice dominating the conversation instead. It’s not just about flavor, either. Baked in the oven, the flakes become oily and crispy, mimicking the texture of crispy bacon.