Before you call me crazy, just hear me out. This coconut bacon recipe isn’t trying to act like bacon, yet it is a surprisingly yummy plant based option for that vegan blt recipe calling your name. Try it before you knock it, then try and tell me it didn’t blow your mind… because it blew mine! Read on for all my tips + tricks for making the coconut bacon of your dreams.
What is a BLT?
BLT stands for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. It started appearing in Great Britain in the 1920s, as an easy main dish. Americans began to love this simple sandwich following World War II.
My family uses this sandwich as a fun way to use up the fresh tomatoes from our backyard garden. We always go for the bakery-style bread because it levels up the sandwich a bit. While I do indulge in bacon every now and then, I wanted to find a plant based alternative to this iconic ingredient… and found out about the joy that is coconut bacon.
How to make a vegan BLT
There are 2 main components of a BLT recipe that aren’t plant based: the mayonnaise and the bacon. With my coconut bacon recipe below, you’ll have that ingredient covered, so let’s talk about the mayo.
I wanted something equally creamy and smooth, so I immediately thought of avocado. It is often my go-to ingredient when trying to replace dairy and other sauces, so why not on a BLT?
For this sandwich, I mash then spread the avocado on the toasted bread, so that it isn’t in thick pieces. This makes it more sauce-like, and also helps make the sandwich not so bulky.
Now… onto the bacon!
Coconut bacon recipe
I’m not trying to make an equal-to-bacon equivalent, I promise. Nothing compares to that crispy, fresh from the oven, smoky wonder that is real bacon. Yet I knew I could find a suitable substitute in crunch, with good flavor as well.
The key to making crispy coconut bacon is getting coconut strips. The shredded stuff won’t work here, nor will the thick dried fruit. I can find coconut strips in raw nut section at Publix, my local grocery store. Make sure they aren’t sweetened!
The other trick to crispness is spreading out the strips evenly on the baking sheet. Make sure those pieces don’t overlap, or you’ll get soggy bacon… which doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it?
Plant based sandwich toppings
Now I know you want to get started on the recipe, so I’ll just share a few of my fav topping combos to jazz up this vegan BLT, then send you on your way.
If I’m feeling a bit zesty, then I’ll swap the mashed avocado for some avocado crema. Vegan pesto is another fav of mine, and goes great with lettuce + tomato. Feel free to swap out the lettuce for the leafy green of your choice. Arugula adds a nice peppery spice!
Coconut Bacon + Vegan BLT Recipe
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 cup coconut strips, unsweetened wide-flaked
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 slices sandwich bread
- 1 avocado, divided into 4 pieces
- 4 slices tomato
- 4 leaves lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir together in a small bowl, tamari, maple syrup, and liquid smoke.
- Place the coconut strips in a bowl and pour the tamari mixture over top. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the paprika, salt and black pepper over top, then gently toss again.
- Spread the coconut mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Lightly toast the sandwich bread.
- Mash 1/4 avocado each on 4 slices of bread.
- Top with tomato, coconut bacon, and lettuce. Serve immediately.
Vegan recipes that actually taste good
If this coconut bacon BLT was as shockingly delightful to your tastebuds as it was mine, then I’ve got more to share. Plant based food doesn’t have to be bland, yucky, or salads! It can be fun, delightful, and still simple. I don’t wanna eat food that is complicated to make, then doesn’t even taste good; that’s just not worth it. So I worked hard to create recipes that are simple to say, make, and enjoy.
If you’re looking to jazz up your weekly menu with whole food, then you should check out my meal planner Rawk the Year. It will have you feeling like a pro in the kitchen, yet give you the flexibility to make these meals when and how you want to. Oh, and did I mention that it comes with weekly meal plans AND shopping lists ready to go?!
If you still aren’t convinced, then check out some of these plant based recipes that are included in Rawk the Year:
With hundreds of recipes to choose from as well as customization to fit your family’s needs, Rawk the Year is here to make life simply delicious.