Got Too Many Carrots? Make Carrot Bacon (Yes, Really)

People are *obsessed* with this TikTok star’s latest video. Here’s what you need to know before cooking the vegan bacon.

April 23, 2020
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Photo by: ©Daniela White Images/Getty

©Daniela White Images/Getty

Have some extra time — and carrots — on your hands? (Hey, no one is judging if you accidentally ordered five pounds instead of five individual carrots. We’re all still getting the hang of this online grocery thing.)

Fortunately, one influencer with over two million followers has churned out a creative recipe for your vegetables that doesn’t involve any roasting, glazing or shredding. There’s not even a salad in sight. How does carrot bacon sound?

In a new popular video, vegan TikTok star Tabitha Brown turns carrot peelings into delicious, crunchy bacon using little more than a smoky spice blend and an air fryer. It’s fast, nutritious and easy to make by the bowlful — exactly the type of addictive treat that’s perfect for a bunch of carrots you might otherwise forget about or toss into a boring soup.

Almost as great as this recipe is Brown herself. Her good vibes and warm voice are exactly what we need right now. (Her playful sense of humor doesn’t hurt either. Who doesn’t love a cook who tells you that if you want to make more, “That’s your business”)?

This might seem like the type of sophisticated dish you’d order up at a fancy Sunday brunch, but making carrot bacon is deceptively simple. Brown’s brilliant idea inspired us to think about how we would try out carrot bacon. Here's our version and some extra tips and tricks:

Air Fryer Carrot Bacon

Yield: 4 servings


2 medium carrots
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
Kosher salt


Use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrots lengthwise into paper-thin ribbons (you can also use a mandolin but make sure to shave the carrots as thin as possible). In a medium bowl, stir together the maple syrup, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, liquid smoke and several grinds of black pepper until combined. Add the shaved carrots and toss until evenly coated; let the carrots marinate for 2 minutes.

Preheat an air fryer to 380 degrees F and spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray (this will keep the bacon from sticking). Lay the shaved carrots in the basket in a single layer (you will need to work in batches). Air fry until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate, then season with salt while still warm.

Important Notes:

  • Make sure the carrots are shaved paper-thin. This will ensure that the bacon is crispy and not soggy.
  • Spray the basket with nonstick spray to prevent any sticking from the sugary maple syrup.
  • Lay the carrots in a single layer to help with even cooking.
  • Brown doesn’t mention seasoning at the end, but we recommend seasoning the bacon with a pinch of salt once it comes out of the air fryer.

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