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Roast carrots in a salty, savory, smoky, tangy marinade to make a surprisingly impressive vegan salmon alternative – Aka carrot lox. It’s perfect for making lox bagels, salads, and more!

completed Carrot Lox [Vegan Smoked Salmon] spread out on bagel half on a white surface
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Up Your Brunch Game with Quick Carrot Lox

It may have been wary skepticism that first encouraged us to try homemade carrot lox (aka vegan salmon slices), but now it’s a recipe we’re proud to share for anyone craving lox bagels on a cruelty-free diet. Plus, unlike many other recipes, there’s no need to salt-bake whole carrots for our version, so you can enjoy the vegan carrot lox in record time.

Instead, this recipe bakes carrot slices in a briny, tangy, slightly smoky marinade and leaves them to marinate for an hour in the fridge afterward for vegan carrot salmon that’s tender, a little oily, and sure to hit the spot. And while we can’t claim the texture and flavor are identical, it’s a surprisingly delicious alternative made of simple, wholesome ingredients (unlike store-bought ‘fake salmon’).

Looking to try even more plant-based ‘fishy’ favorites? Try our chickpea tuna salad, watermelon tuna (sashimi and steaks!), and tofu fish sticks.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Carrot Lox [Vegan Smoked Salmon] on a white surface

Carrot Lox

  • Carrots: Use large, thick carrots, as they’ll be easier to ribbon for this carrot lox recipe.
  • Olive oil: This helps vegan salmon mimic the fatty oiliness of regular salmon.
  • Salt: Use kosher/sea salt. For extra umami-rich saltiness, optionally add a splash of soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free).
  • Rice vinegar: Or apple cider vinegar for tang.
  • Lemon juice: For tangy depth and extra brightness. Fresh lemon is best.
  • Smoked paprika: To add the smoky element for carrot smoked salmon.
  • Black pepper

For a Lox Bagel

  • Bagels: Use your favorite– i.e., everything bagels, wholegrain, rye, or even bagel thins.
  • Vegan cream cheese: Use your preferred dairy-free cream cheese.
  • Shallot: Or red onion. For extra tang, use pickled red onion.
  • Capers
  • Fresh dill

You could also add some thinly sliced cucumber, avocado, tomato, microgreens, and/or a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning.  

What Could I Add to This Vegan Salmon Recipe?

  • Liquid smoke: A few drops of liquid smoke make even smokier vegan lox. Use it instead of or alongside the paprika.
  • Nori flakes: (Nori sheets blended) will add extra ‘fishiness.’ Dulse flakes will also work.
  • Garlic powder: Just a small pinch for extra flavor depth.
  • Maple syrup: Or agave, to add a very subtle sweetness that tastes delicious.

How to Make Carrot Lox

  • First, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and drizzle it with about 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Then, wash, dry, peel, and thinly ribbon the carrots to about ¼-inch thick (thinner, if possible) using a mandoline, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler.
  • Transfer the carrots to the oiled tray in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.
  • Meanwhile, mix the water, remaining olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • With a brush/ fingers, evenly coat the carrots with the marinade, cover the sheet tightly with foil, and set aside while preheating the oven to 450F/230C.

If you have any leftover marinade, optionally use it to brush the bagels or add to the carrots post-bake.

  • Bake the vegan lox for 15 minutes, then lift the foil and see if the carrot is tender. If not, continue baking in 5-minute increments until ready. The time varies depending on the exact thickness of the carrot slices.
  • When ready, carefully transfer them to a lidded Tupperware dish, seal it, and leave them to cool and marinate for an hour.

For the best flavor, allow the vegan carrot lox to marinate with a little extra marinade for even longer – overnight or even 24 hours. The taste improves over time.

How To Make a Lox Bagel

  • First, thinly slice the shallot and optionally toast the bagel halves, if preferred. Then, if you have leftover marinade, brush the bagel slices with it.
  • Next, add generous lashings of vegan cream cheese. 
process shot showing bagel halves alongside vegan cream cheese
  • Top with 3-4 slices of carrot lox, folding them to fit the bagel.
  • Sprinkle each bagel half with 5 capers, 3 slices of shallot, and some fresh dill to garnish – enjoy!

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Make the slices thin enough: Similar to regular salmon slices.
  • To speed up prep: A mandoline/vegetable peeler gets the carrots ribboned in seconds.
  • Tightly cover the baking sheet: This traps the steam to ensure the carrot becomes tender.
  • Allow the flavors to meld: After baking, leave the vegan lox to marinate for an hour minimum. However, if you have the time, we highly recommend adding a little excess marinade and leaving it for 24 hours.

FAQs

Do I need to peel carrots for carrot lox?

If scrubbed properly, then there’s no need to peel the carrots unless you’d prefer to.

What is lox vs smoked salmon?

Lox and smoked salmon aren’t actually the same thing. Whereas smoked salmon is literally just salmon that’s been salted and smoked, salmon lox has been brined (and only sometimes then smoked) for more of an acidic, briny flavor.

completed Carrot Lox [Vegan Smoked Salmon] spread out on bagel halves on a white surface

Serving Suggestions

Along with making delicious vegan lox bagels, this vegan/ vegetarian substitute for salmon can be used:

Storage Instructions

Store the carrot lox in an airtight container or Ziplock/Stasher bag (with excess air removed) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

We don’t recommend freezing it, as the thawed carrot will probably become mushy.

completed Carrot Lox [Vegan Smoked Salmon] spread out on bagel halves in a storage container

More Easy Vegan Carrot Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Carrot Lox [Vegan Smoked Salmon]

5 from 18 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4 bagel slices
Roast carrots in a salty, savory, smoky, tangy marinade to make a surprisingly impressive vegan salmon alternative– Aka carrot lox. It’s perfect for making lox bagels, salads, and more!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 large and thick carrots
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Pinch of black pepper

For serving:

  • 2 bagels, sliced in half and toasted
  • Plant-based cream cheese
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill

Instructions 

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and drizzle the olive oil. Set aside.
  • Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the carrots lengthwise to about ¼ inch thick, or thinner, if possible. With your fingers or a brush, brush the oil all around the baking sheet to evenly coat it. Place the carrots on a single layer on the oiled baking sheet and sprinkle the salt. Set aside to absorb some of the salt while you make the marinade.
  • In a small bowl, mix the water, olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and black pepper.
  • With a brush or your fingers, evenly and heavily coat all of the carrots with the marinade. Tightly cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside to marinate while the oven preheats. If you have some marinade left, save it to brush the bagels.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully lift the aluminum foil and test one carrot. If it’s very soft, it is ready, if not, add another 5 minutes. Continue baking in 5-minute increments until they are soft. Cooking will vary according to the thickness of the carrots.
  • When they are ready, carefully lift them one by one and place them in a tupperware with a lid. Close the lid while they are still hot and allow them to cool and continue to absorb the marinade flavors for 1 hour.
  • To serve, lightly brush some of the extra marinade on the bagel slice and then spread some plant-based cream cheese. Top with 3 to 4 carrot slices (depending on the length of the slices) and place them so they fold on top of the bagel. Sprinkle 5 capers, 3 small slices of shallot, and some fresh dill on top.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • Make the slices thin enough: Similar to regular salmon slices.
  • To speed up prep: A mandoline/vegetable peeler gets the carrots ribboned in seconds.
  • Tightly cover the baking sheet: This traps the steam to ensure the carrot becomes tender.
  • Allow the flavors to meld: After baking, leave the vegan lox to marinate for an hour minimum. However, if you have the time, we highly recommend adding a little excess marinade and leaving it for 24 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 751mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 6087IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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