Vegan Carrot Dogs taste just like the real thing and are the perfect plant-based alternative to regular hot dogs! Low-fat, easy, great for the grill, and delicious!
Summer is a time for family reunions and cookouts.
Yes, that means the weird uncle serving up crusty hamburgers, and limp hot dogs, and always saying things like, “How’s my meat?” or “Put another dog on the barbie!” while ending every sentence with that creepy obnoxious laugh.
Sorry, I can’t help with the family dynamics. But, you can make my amazing vegan carrot hot dogs and avoid the aforementioned food disaster that awaits.
Hot dogs are a staple at any summer cookout. But, they’re also one of the most unhealthy things you could eat. So, when I heard about this healthier vegan alternative called carrot dogs my reaction was probably like yours – “WHAT THE …?!?
If you love classic hot dogs then you will love this vegan alternative to the traditional frankfurter. It’s amazing how much this carrot dog recipe makes carrots look and taste just like the real thing.
Table of Contents
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.
They also have a number of health benefits. They aid in weight loss and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and even improved eye health, the carotene antioxidants have also been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.
Carrots come in many colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, and purple. But, orange carrots get their bright color from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A. (source)
Ingredients You’ll Need
Marinade is the secret ingredient in this recipe.
Carrots: medium-sized carrots are perfect for this recipe. They’re close to the size of a real hot dog and you won’t have a lot of waste if you use a veggie peeler to shape them like hot dogs. Be sure and save the shavings and pickle them. They make great sandwich toppings.
TIP: you can take the leftover carrot shavings and pickle them!
Liquids: other key ingredients for the marinade are low-sodium vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, and rice vinegar. I prefer broth because of the flavor it adds, but you could also use water. Rice vinegar is a key element in getting that hot dog essence. Don’t ask me why, it just does.
Sweetener: Pure maple syrup balances out the savoriness. You can leave it out, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Spices: I quickly learned that the meat in a hot dog is merely a vehicle. All the flavor comes from the right combination of spices. The mixture of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper takes it over the top. And, your taste will be
Flavoring: Liquid smoke is something my pantry is never without. For me, this is when the magic happens in this recipe. It adds just enough smoky flavor to take it over the top. Spectacular!
How To Make Carrot Hot Dogs?
- Add all of the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined.
- Cut your carrots to bun length and peel them. I like making them look like hot dogs. But, it’s definitely not necessary.
- Instant Pot: Pour the marinade into the Instant Pot (my preferred method), add the carrots, and cook for 2 MINUTES! Once they’re done you just toss them on the grill, or a nonstick grill pan, or wrap them in foil and roast them in the oven.
- Boil the carrots for 8-10 minutes or until they are fork-tender. Drain and rinse them under cold water to stop them from cooking.
- Pour the marinade into a Ziploc gallon freezer bag or airtight container and add the carrots. Make sure the marinade completely covers the carrots. Let the carrot hot dogs marinate in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. But, it’s best if they sit overnight.
- Remove the carrot dogs from the fridge and cook the carrot dogs for 2-3 minutes per side or until you get those really cool grill marks. Use any leftover marinade to baste carrot dogs as they cook.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
I’ve been making these dogs for almost 10 years and this is still one of the most requested plant-based recipes from our non-vegan friends and family. They love them because they taste great and like to marvel at the creation. For us, it is about the taste, but the fact we know we’re giving them and ourselves something healthy and delicious.
Yes, you’ll probably get a few laughs at your next summer cookout. But, once someone finally takes a bite the smiles will quickly be followed by a huge number of high fives and “you are awesome!”
Here are a few specific reasons why you will love them:
- easy and simple
- healthy and delicious
- surprisingly meaty
- smoky and savory
- SO delicious!
Serve these bad boys on your favorite hot dog bun or whole wheat roll with any of these flavorful toppings. Take your pick from any of these delicious options: creamy cashew mayo or tofu mayo; crunchy coleslaw and pickled vegetables; or, sausage crumbles and spicy chili.
Whatever your taste you’ll have no problem satisfying it with this great lineup. Game day and cookouts will never be the same.
- Condiments: creamy rich cashew mayo, tofu mayo, mustard, ketchup
- Veggies: coleslaw, pickled red onions, sauerkraut
- Sauces: vegan cheese sauce, sweet relish, vegan chili
- Other: vegan bacon bits, vegetarian sausage crumbles, pickles
- Best Vegan Potato Salad
- Healthy Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Grilled Corn On The Cob
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- The Best Vegan Baked Beans
- Vinegar Coleslaw
- Five-Minute Fat-Free Potato Chips
If you make this recipe, be sure and let me know! Leave a comment, RATE IT, and tag a photo #shaneandsimple on Instagram.Print
- 4–6 medium to large size carrots, peeled and cut to bun length
- Favorite hot dog buns or rolls
- 1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup water or low-sodium veggie broth
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (use extra apple cider vinegar if don’t have this)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried ginger
- ½ tsp black pepper
Make The Marinade
- Pour all ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.
To Cook In Instant Pot
- Preheat grill.
- Place carrots in your Instant Pot, pour the marinade over the carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Once the carrot dogs have finished cooking in the Instant Pot, use the quick release, remove them from the Instant Pot and throw them onto the grill. Cook the carrot dogs for 2-3 minutes per side or until you get those really cool grill marks. Use leftover marinade to baste carrot dogs as they cook.
- Remove your dogs and serve on your favorite hot dog bun or roll fixed any way you like.
- If you don’t plan on eating your carrot dogs right away remove them from the Instant Pot and store in the fridge with the marinade until you are ready.
If You Don’t Have An Instant Pot
- Boil carrots for 8-10 minutes or until just tender enough to pierce with a fork. YOU DON’T WANT THEM MUSHY! Then, drain and rinse them under cold water to stop them from cooking.
- Put the carrots in a gallon Ziploc bag or airtight container and pour the marinade over the carrots. Be sure they all get covered. Let them marinate in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, but overnight is best.
- Remove and follow grill procedure mentioned above.
Don’t Want To Grill?
Prep and cooking time info is for the Instant Pot.
Nutritional info does not include bread or toppings.
Save leftover marinade to make more carrot dogs!
- Prep Time: 5 mins.
- Cook Time: 15 mins.
- Category: Party Food
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Vegan, American
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 1 dog
- Calories: 81
- Sugar: 9.3 g
- Sodium: 175 mg
- Fat: 0.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.5 g
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Protein: 1.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan, cookout, barbecue, entry, healthy, carrot, hot dog