How To Make Coconut Bacon

How To Make Coconut Bacon {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

We had the opportunity to eat dinner at the most amazing Mexican restaurant in LA last week, Gracias Madre. Everything about this place screamed perfection! From the amazing decor and courtyard full of beautiful trees to sit under to the exquisite beverage and food menu full of 100% organic vegan fare. Todd and I had quite possibly one of the best meals we have ever had. We shared everything from the Repollitos Fritos to their special of the day vegan ceviche and when we felt like there was no more room for anything else our waiter delivered the most gorgeous dessert I have ever laid eyes on. A beautiful gluten free brownie topped with Mezcal whipped coconut cream, vegan caramel, and coconut bacon! OMG it was pure perfection on a plate. Their coconut bacon was mind blowingly good and my brain immediately started reeling with ideas about what I could make with something like that in my pantry. Hello! Vegan BLT anybody?

Let’s make BACON!!!

Step 1: Season the coconut flakes.

How To Make Coconut Bacon {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

In a medium sized bowl mix the liquid smoke, Tamari, maple syrup, and water together until combined. Add the unsweetened shredded coconut flakes and stir well until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the coconut.

How To Make Coconut Bacon {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

Add the smoked paprika and black pepper and mix again. Your coconut flakes should now look like the picture below.

How To Make Coconut Bacon {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

Step 2: Bake & Stir

How To Make Coconut Bacon {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

Preheat the  oven to 325°F. Pour the seasoned coconut flakes out in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning. You can see in the picture above the different stages of browning at each of the 5 minute marks. I could have gone 3 or 4 minutes longer even, but decided that for this particular batch I was happy with the color. It is very important to keep an eye on the coconut bacon as it cooks because this stuff will burn fast.

Now enjoy….how about a BLT? We slathered our gluten free bread with spicy hummus, a heaping handful of coconut bacon, fresh heirloom tomatoes, and Romaine lettuce.

How To Make Coconut Bacon {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan


How To Make Coconut Bacon (Gluten Free & Vegan)

  • Author: This Mess Is Ours
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups


  • 1/2-1 tablespoon liquid smoke, depending on taste
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspooon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the center position.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the liquid smoke, Tamari, maple syrup, and water; beat with a whisk to mix well. Toss in the coconut and stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed into the coconut. Sprinkle the paprika and black pepper over the coconut flakes and stir to combine.
  3. Spread the seasoned coconut flakes in an even layer onto the sheet pan and place into the preheated oven. Cook the coconut for 15-20minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the coconut is dark in color, it will closely resemble the color and look of crumbled bacon.






    • Meg

      Thanks Dixya! I totally get it. The good news about coconut bacon is it doesn’t try to mimic texture and flavor like some of the store bough fake bacon. Look at it as a smokey, salty addition to salads or on top of baked potatoes.

    • Meg

      Lauren, I originally thought the same thing which is why I knew I had to share it here after I tried it. It is insanely easy and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  1. I totally love that this recipe can be done with what just about anyone has at home… no dehydrator or other fancy gadgets. I can’t wait to try it!!!

  2. Hi Meg!

    Thanks for the lovely and surprising shout out 🙂

    Isn’t coconut bacon the best-est!? I love how it stores so well too. I have some in my fridge right now and love to just randomly sprinkle it on a dish….or I admit it… much on it straight from the jar, while I am looking for something else to eat!
    Welcome to the addiction 🙂

    • Meg

      Hey Sam, you are so very welcome!:) The coconut bacon is crazy addictive…I have been adding it to everything. I can’t wait to try the eggplant bacon from your e-book I bet it is amazing too!

  3. That bread looks delicious! I love BLTs but do not get to enjoy them much, unless I’m visiting my favorite bakery that makes the BEST gluten free vegan bread. Which looks really similar to your photo. Do you have a recipe? Mmmm…. and I may have just spent the last 30 minutes looking at all your recipes and pinning them for later. Always excited to find a wonderful blog! It’s like Christmas morning for me!


    • Meg

      Yay Kristin, I am so glad you found B&B! I actually used Canyon Bakehouse bread for that image. You can find their gluten free bread at Whole Foods and I have also seen them at Sprouts. Their bread is SO good I keep it on hand at all times and their hamburger buns are insane! Even our daughter who isn’t gluten free loves their bread.

    • Meg

      The coconut bacon should last about a month. I keep mine stored in the refrigerator but it isn’t necessary.:)

  4. Monika

    This turned out great! I couldn’t find the coconut flakes (I live in a rural area), so I just used fresh coconut. I made two batches as an experiment. For the first batch, I shaved the fresh coconut with a veggie peeler into strips and then dehydrated the coconut strips in a dehydrator. For the second batch, I left the coconut strips raw. I marinated both in the marinade and spices and baked as per instructions. Both batches came out great. The first batch (with the dehydrated coconut) came out crispy, as I imagine it would if one used the bought coconut flakes. The second batch, using fresh coconut, came out great as well, but had a softer texture, more like bacon. While both were equally yummy, my husband preferred the batch with fresh coconut, as the texture for him was closer to bacon. As a side note, some of the strips of coconut were thicker, as I had to cut some by hand. These thicker pieces were actually tastier than the ones where I used a veggie peeler. So for next time, I plan on using fresh coconut, and cut the strips by hand, so they are a tad thicker than if using a peeler. Just wanted to post this for those people who are having a hard time finding the coconut flakes. Plus, one fresh coconut makes about 3 cups of product, and only costs a little over a dollar!

  5. Alicia

    My bacon burned at 8 minutes. I only coked mine for 6 minutes and turned every 2. “Let’s Do Organic” brand flakes must be a finer cut. Fair warning if you buy that brand. It took two burned batches for me to get the timing right. 🙂

  6. Veronika

    I also had this at Gracias Madre and I fell in love. Now back home in Austria I made my own coconut bacon and it tastes AMAZING. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! Can’t wait to go back to LA and Gracias Madre this summer!

    • I totally agree Brooke! I love to find plant based alternatives for my family as often as possible and this coconut bacon really does make us all happy.

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Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.