Vegan Carrot Lox

You won't miss the fish in this smoky, savory vegan carrot lox recipe! Piled onto bagels with all the classic fixings, it's just as good as the real thing.

Carrot Lox Bagels

I have to admit, I was skeptical when I first tried this carrot lox recipe last spring. At this point, we’re all used to the idea of vegan burgers, meatballs, and taco meat, but vegan smoked salmon still seemed like a stretch. I loved the idea of creating a vibrant veggie version of traditional lox, but would it really work?

Well, fast forward a year, and this carrot lox is now my go-to bagel topping! Thanks to a tangy, smoky marinade and a long roast with plenty of salt, the carrot lox is surprisingly similar to smoked salmon. It’s tender and a tiny bit oily, with an irresistible smoky, savory flavor. Topped onto a toasted bagel with all the classic fixings, it’s just as good as the real thing.

If you want to step out of the pancakes and eggs box for Mother’s Day (or any weekend) brunch, try this carrot lox recipe! It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s really darn delicious. 🙂

Salt-crusted roasted carrots

How to Make Carrot Lox

This vegan smoked salmon recipe has three key steps: roasting, peeling, and marinating. Here’s how it goes:

First, roast the carrots with salt. A lot of salt. You should have a 1/4-inch layer at the bottom of your baking dish and a generous coating of salt on top of the carrots too. Don’t worry – the salt infuses the carrots with flavor as they roast, but you’ll only end up eating a small amount in the final dish.

Carrot ribbons

Then, peel them into ribbons to mimic thin sheets of smoked salmon. Allow the carrots to cool, and rub off any excess salt with your hands. Slice a long, thin strip of skin off each carrot with a knife, and then use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots lengthwise into ribbons.

Finally, marinate! I make a bold, smoky marinade with ingredients you likely already have on hand: olive oil, rice vinegar, smoked paprika, lemon juice, and pepper (no liquid smoke here!). Toss to coat the ribbons in the marinade, and transfer them to the fridge to soak for at least 15 minutes. Stored in the marinade, the carrot lox will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

That’s it!

Carrot Lox Marinade

Carrot Lox Serving Suggestions

When you’re ready to eat, pile the carrot lox onto toasted bagels with vegan cream cheese (or regular cream cheese, if you’re not vegan), fresh dill, chives, capers, cucumber, and thinly sliced red onion. Pickled red onions would be great here too!

If it’s just the two of us, Jack and I often enjoy these carrot lox bagels as a meal on their own. However, they’re also great for serving a crowd. Pair them with fresh fruit, a veggie crudité platter, or a salad. They’d be fantastic with any of these salad recipes:

Don’t forget the mimosas to drink! Enjoy!

Vegan Lox Bagels

More Favorite Brunch Recipes

If you love making carrot lox, try one of these plant-based brunch recipes next:

Then, find more of my best brunch recipes here and more of my favorite vegan recipes here!

Vegan Carrot Lox

rate this recipe:
5 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Serves 4
This vegan carrot lox is just as smoky and delicious as the real thing! I recommend using large, thick carrots for this recipe, as they're easier to peel into ribbons than smaller carrots.


  • 4 large carrots
  • Sea salt, for coating
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Big squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

for serving:

  • bagels
  • vegan cream cheese
  • cucumber slices
  • capers
  • chives and/or dill


  • Preheat the oven to 475°F and line a medium baking dish with parchment paper. Coat the bottom with about a ¼-inch layer of salt, then place the whole carrots in the dish and sprinkle with a good amount of salt (see photo). Don’t worry, you won’t be eating all this salt in the final result. Roast the carrots until easily pierced with a fork, but not mushy. The timing will depend on the size and freshness of your carrots. Check them, starting around 40 minutes - my very large carrots took 60-90 minutes. This step can be done in advance.
  • Make the marinade: In a shallow dish or small bowl, combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, paprika, lemon juice, and several grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Remove the carrots from the oven and let cool. Use your hands to rub off any excess salt. Use a knife to slice a thin strip off one side of the salty skin, and then use a peeler to peel the carrot into ribbons. If your peeler get's snagged on the soft carrot, that's ok, just slice pieces as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. Place the strips in the marinade and toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  • Serve with bagels, cream cheese, cucumber slices, capers, chives and/or dill.
  • If you have extra carrots, cover and refrigerate them in the marinade for up to 4 days.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Gretchen Grivel

    5 stars
    I made this and it lived up to my high expectations. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Solveig

    We’re a salt loving bunch og people, but all my guests thought this ended up too salty, so not sure what I did wrong.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Solveig, I think you could have brushed some of the salt coating off, maybe too much of it made it in? Did you use sea salt or another type?

  3. Bunny

    I’m so excited to try this recipe! One of my local vegan cafes serves this, but knowing I can have it at home is even better.

    Can you reuse the leftover salt in the casserole dish for a second batch (if you double the recipe) or does it always need to be a fresh layer?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Bunny, after baking, the salt gets kind of crusty and crunchy – I suppose you could try to reuse it if you can?

  4. Veronika

    Hello, I’m not sure what I did wrong but these were barely edible. Too intense!
    I used brown rice vinegar instead of just rice vinegar. I had regular table salt, didn’t say iodised or sea salt on it.
    I also wonder if it was the carrots – they were quite thin so I used 5 thin ones I wonder if they overcooked and absorbed too much salt in the oven and too much marinade? Would love to try it again as it’s so simple!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Veronika, it does sound like too much salt made it in – I’d try with large carrots and sea salt, specifically. Table salt will have a much different taste.

  5. Jess

    5 stars
    Discovered this recipe awhile back and I now grow extra carrots, for this recipe! Seriously so good. Wonder if there is a way to preserve for longer, or how it might freeze?

  6. Micaela

    Hello! I’m trying this recipe out now. Is there a maximum time that I should cook ahead? Is it possible to marinate the carrot ribbons overnight?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Micaela, you could cook it ahead and leave it in the marinade in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

  7. Rachel

    5 stars
    I’ve never had lox so I can’t comment on how well the taste compares, but this was absolutely delicious! I think this is something I will want to have on hand frequently! It was delicious on toast with hardboiled egg and pickled veg.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it as much as I do! I love to keep these carrots on hand 🙂

  8. Raina

    I see it says 4 servings but do you have a guess on how many ounces of carrot lox this would make? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Raina, I didn’t weigh the final recipe once it was done. It’ll be enough to top 4 bagels, as shown, depending on the size of your carrots.

  9. Jane

    Can I substitute parchment paper with aluminum foil or just omit either and put salt and carrot on glass baking dish? The parchment paper I have has a heat limit of 425°. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yep – either one of those options will be fine.

  10. Yuma

    5 stars
    Well, here I go. My first ever comment on any site!!! But I have to tell you that this was mind blowing! I am not vegan. I LOVE smoked salmon and gravlax. A week doesn’t go by without me grabbing a bagel with lox from my local Brooklyn deli. Now THIS is the bomb! I am not saying it tastes just like the real thing but I totally satisfied my lox craving!!! Wow! Thank you!

  11. Genna

    5 stars
    Your recipe has been my go to fix for carrot lox. This is so delicious and even my mom from Massachusetts really enjoyed them – the texture is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Adam

    Ugh making your recipe but only have iodized salt. Currently in oven. Hope it doesn’t suck. 😟

  13. Pat

    So, I was so intrigued by this recipe that I had to try it out right away. I’ll confess, I tasted the carrots after roasting but before marinating and thought that it was going to be a disaster. , Was I ever wrong! I’ll admit, I don’t quite get that it’s a substitute for smoked salmon but these are so incredibly delicious! I paired them with some homemade hummus, roasted red peppers, and, because I am a meat eater, some grilled chicken with some pita bread. I am in heaven! Thank you so much, this is making it into my book of go to recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved the carrots!

  14. Cathy from

    Wow! I haven’t seen carrot well sliced like that before. I love your recipe. The meal looks really delicious.

  15. Danielle

    This looks incredible and basically is everything I need right now! I couldn’t figure out to have on Sunday and now I know. Thank you!

  16. mary

    Ohh they look so good – I love that they’ve been roasted so should be nice and sweet!

  17. Annie

    Hi Jeanine! I can’t wait to try this, my fiance loves his lox but I never eat fish- this will be something for us both! Do you just rub salt on the plain carrots for roasting? Or do you coat a little bit of olive oil on the carrots, and then rub the salt on? I wasn’t sure if the carrots would need something for the salt to stick to them. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Annie,

      Nope, no oil – use a shallow baking dish, put a layer of salt on the bottom, nestle them in and put a (good amount) on top. Some will fall off, that’s ok. Just try to get it similar looking to the photo up there. It’s helpful to use large carrots so that a good amount sits on top like in that pic. Hope that helps!

  18. Zoe

    Sea salt is expensive – can I just use regular table salt or Kosher salt? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Zoe, you can use Kosher salt, I’d stay away from iodized salt because it has a bitter taste. The sea salt I’m referring to isn’t fancy – I use the fine grain sea salt that’s sold in the canisters right next to the regular salt and it’s not very expensive.

      • Zoe

        Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. I’ve had wonderful success with all the recipes I’ve tried between your blog and cookbooks. Many thanks!

  19. Colleen

    this look wonderful, but I don’t understand one part of your instructions “Slice a long, thin strip of skin off each carrot with a knife, and then use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots lengthwise into ribbons.” I understand the vegetable peeler but not the knife. are you taking off the outer skin? and it sounds like only one slice…I am just confused about this step. please explain…thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Colleen, when they come out of the oven the outside of the skin will be dry and crusty from the salt. The vegetable peeler gets stuck on that part, so I cut a little bit off so that the peeler can peel through the softer inside. Does that make sense?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.