cassava bacon

cassava bacon_hot for food

Are you ready? This is the holy grail of veggie bacon… and I discovered it! Honestly, it’s the best veggie bacon I’ve ever tried or made and it’s made from cassava (also known as yuca). It’s a starchy weird looking root veg.

It’s actually how tapioca starch is made too, when dried, and I use that all the time as a thickener instead of cornstarch!

These crispy cassava bacon slices were layered on crisp lettuce leaves and drizzled in vegan caesar dressing for one hell of a salad.

vegan cassava bacon recipe

This was part of my latest YouTube episode for the big salad challenge. Watch the madness below! You can also get the recipe for the roasted carrot & avocado salad here

cassava bacon_hot for food
3.67 from 3 votes
Print Recipe

cassava bacon

This cassava bacon is officially the holy grail of veggie bacon… no joke! Make it and serve it with a crunchy and creamy vegan caesar salad.

Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, cassava, vegan bacon, yuca
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
marinate 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lauren Toyota



  1. Combine low-sodium soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and sea salt together in a dish.

  2. Peel the tough brown skin off the cassava and discard. Using the peeler, shave off strips of the cassava root. Marinade the strips of cassava in the dish with the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat with coconut oil and once the pan is hot place 4 to 5 strips into the pan. Cook time is about 4 to 5 minutes for the first side, and 3 minutes after flipped. You might need to lower the heat as you’re frying in batches so the pan doesn’t get too hot.

  4. Once or twice while frying the strips, add a little bit more of the marinade to the pan to help caramelize the strips of cassava bacon.

  5. Remove the fried pieces from the pan and place onto a plate. No need for paper towel to catch the grease! In fact, placing the strips on paper towel isn’t advised as they will stick.

Recipe Notes

The serving size varies depending on what you’re making. I used half a root and had enough bacon for about 3 to 4 large caesar salads. You can either shave half the cassava as per the recipe or use the whole thing and double the marinade amounts.

If you’ve heard that cassava is poisonous and contains cyanide, you’re not wrong. But you don’t need to worry about it. From our research it seems that the issue is with the bitter variety of cassava which is harder to prepare (to cook out the cyanide) and it isn’t the one commonly sold in our supermarkets. Cooking the cassava properly is all that matters. You can read more here

If you want to make the caesar dressing and croutons get those recipes here in the original kale caesar salad post.



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20 thoughts on “cassava bacon”

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I’m always looking for a good bacon recipe. I never would have thought of this.

    Just fyi, cassava = yuca ("yoo-ka"). Yucca is something quite different! Sorry for being pedantic, but I don’t want people to get confused.

    1. you’re welcome!
      that’s ok, BUT how come at the grocery store is says both things on the label AND when you google it also says cassava (or yucca or arrowroot or tapioca) … tell me! I have no idea

    2. I’ve seen it labeled incorrectly on menus and it is an easy mistake to make. Try googling "yuca vs. yucca."

    3. Danny chavarro

      Yucca is a shrublike plant.. yuca is the root vegetable.. however stores and restaurants interchange them alot.

  2. How long will the root last if you put it in the marinade and put it in the fridge for later? I’m about to find out 🙂

  3. Oh, nice! I’m from the Caribbean and cassava is everywhere, and for once I’m in luck.Gonna try this one out today!

  4. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong with this. I just tried to make this but had to use Agave nectar instead of Maple syrup. A lot of things went wrong I think. First of all my slices didn’t come out broad and intact when i peeled it. Then my marinad seemed to be way to thick (keep in mind that I halved the recipe in half) but I’m guessing that’s because of the agave nectar, it’s a bit thicker than maple syrup is, at least here in Sweden. After the cassava had layed in the marinad for 15 mins and I was about to put them in the pan (heated at meduim and maybe a little hotter) the pieces all fell apart into really small, uneven shapes when I tried to take them out of the bowl. Since my marinade were kind of thick it looked more like I were going to make cassava wings instead of cauliflower. If you have any tips or tricks to share with me I’d gladly try them! I really want them to be crispy and flavourful, of course. ^^

  5. Hi Lauren,

    I am in the process of converting my family…they have no choice. Lol. We live in Hawaii, and a favorite food is Spam musubi. I know it’s terrible, but we’ve grown up eating this and we love it. I am currently marinating sliced tofu in your bacon marinade. The sauce tastes amazing! Can’t wait to try the final product. I doubled the soy sauce and maple, but did not double the smoke or paprika. It’s plenty smokey without the extra. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  6. okay, I live on the American east coast and I just tried this out. I have a few thoughts on how it went.

    arguably this is a recipe that will take some practice to get exactly right, as with most other recipes. cassava makes for a very convincing chewy bacon texture when not completely crisp, and the marinade is obviously delicious. a couple of tips I have for someone who might not be as experienced a cook and confused about the recipe:

    1. the maple syrup in this recipe is going to cause the marinade to carmelize quite a bit, especially while frying in a hot pan. this means you should expect some areas on the bacon to burn or char, for the end result to be a bit sticky, and for a layer of burnt sugar to build up on the bottom of your pan. you can handle this last point by waiting until it cools, adding some water to the pan (a few cups maybe), and simmering until all the sugar lifts off the bottom.

    2. when you drizzle more of the marinade over the frying cassava, make sure you do so *evenly*. if you just drizzle it randomly, you’ll get parts that will caramelize more than others, leaving some areas burnt and others not well cooked.

    3. this is NOT a walk-away-and-leave-it-to-finish recipe. expect to stay near the stove and finish the whole batch at once. I use a gas burner and I needed to adjust the heat constantly, flip the bacon pieces multiple times to cook them evenly, and shift them around the pan because some areas were hotter than others. even leaving it alone for 5 minutes could mean charring it completely (which does not taste nice, I can assure you).

    4. remember to keep adding a little bit of coconut oil between batches so that there’s a layer of fat between the burning sugar on the bottom of the pan and the bacon pieces.

    5. freshly caramelized sugar is several times hotter than boiled water, and obviously a good deal more difficult to remove once you touch it. wait for these to cool before handling them. you could seriously hurt yourself.

    6. when these come out of the pan, they will look very shiny. naturally you’ll assume this is due to the grease. while there’s definitely some fat kicking around on the outside, the shine is mostly caramel. keep this in mind before you decide to neglect lauren’s instructions and place them on a paper towel anyway.

    hopefully these are helpful, and I wish everyone luck!

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