These easy and delicious carrot dogs are pure vegan magic! It’s our favorite vegan hot dog recipe, a long-time reader favorite, remarkably simple to make, and the marinade uses common pantry staples. They’re perfect for a summer cookout and make a fun lunch for both kids and adults alike! Both the flavor and texture of these plant-based hot dogs are so mind-blowing; you’ll be shocked you’re eating a carrot!
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Turning CARROTS into HOT DOGS?! Oh, yes we did!
The carrot dog recipe is one of those ridiculous myths you think will NEVER work.
I mean, how the hell do you make a carrot taste like a hot dog?! We wondered that too…until we took the leap and tried our hand at this elusive carrot dog craze.
We’ve been hooked ever since.
And please, please know I am not some health freak on a mission telling you to waste your time preparing some sub-par vegetable substitute that’s only going to slightly kind of mayyybe resemble the hot dogs you once loved.
If you’ve spent any length of time with us here at Plant Power Couple, you know that is so not how we operate.
No, my friends. This vegan carrot dog recipe is the real deal.
But if this is your first time making or even hearing of carrot dogs, you might have to exercise some trust with us on this.
*puts hand out for you to hold it*
Why I Love Carrot Dogs
I promise your skepticism will vanish with that first bite. At least, it did with mine, and I’m someone who was a pretty big fan of hot dogs in my omnivorous days.
In fact, it was a big tradition for my dad and me to attend Dollar Dog Night at Phillies games during this time of year, so (even though this sounds kind of silly when I put it in words), hot dogs are one of those foods with which I have a really strong emotional connection.
We all have them, right? The weird but delicious tuna casserole your mom made every week, that chicken noodle soup you still crave every time it rains….
That’s what hot dogs were to me, and that’s why I was super serious about finding a more ethical version that would still allow me to enjoy those classic ballpark flavors I loved and the fond memories that come with them.
It just so happens that I found this perfect vegan hot dog in a carrot dog recipe. Weird, but true, and oh so very good.
How to Make Carrot Dogs
So, now that I’ve gotten all sentimental (and hopefully convinced you a bit 😉), let’s talk about how you’re going to make this carrot dog recipe:
First, you’ll peel and shape your carrots.
We like to use our hot dog buns as a guide here.
Cut them down to bun size, peel them, and use your peeler to”carve” your ends into a rounded shape. I use a peeler like this with a nice comfortable grip that makes shaping the dogs a lot easier unlike those sharp peelers from my childhood that I swear I still have nightmares about.
Shaping the carrots is totally optional but HIGHLY recommended, as it does make these carrot dogs look even more creepily (or rather, awesomely) like a classic ballpark dog.
Next, you’ll boil ’em.
The boiling time will depend on the thickness of your carrots, but it should be somewhere between 10-15 minutes.
When you can put a fork in them with the tiniest bit of resistance (but before they start falling apart), you’re good to go! This is the part that CAN take a few tries to get the hang of. It certainly did for us.
So, if you’ve had some unsuccessful tries with carrot dogs in the past, a great troubleshooting step is to play with the cooking time.
From here on out, it’s pretty easy.
You’ll mix up your marinade, pour it over the carrots, and let them sit in the fridge for 24 hours. This means you’ll need to plan a little in advance.
Marinating time is another crucial element to nailing this carrot dog recipe. 24 hours is usually where we find the flavor sweet spot, but they can go up to two days. Just be forewarned, the hot dog flavor will get stronger with time.
There’s another troubleshooting tip though: If the carrots have too strong (or weak) a flavor for your taste, play with that marinating time!
Time to cook the carrot dogs!
You’ll brown ’em up in a saute or cast iron pan with a few Tablespoons of the leftover marinade.
The cast iron pan is IDEAL for this because it helps get those perfect slightly charred sides with a little caramelization from the marinade. Heaven.
Carrot Dog Topping Ideas
Finally, throw the carrot dogs in some buns and top them with alllll your favorite toppings.
Go crazy here. One of the things we love about this carrot dog recipe is how fun it is to top them.
Providing a variety of fun toppings can be a great idea for families or gatherings too. Everyone can have fun making it their own!
Here are some of our favorite topping ideas:
- Cheese sauce
- Mac and cheese
- Coconut Bacon Salt
- Pickled jalepeno
- Diced onions
- Ketchup, mustard, the works!
Vegan Hot Dog Wine Pairing
This may seem silly, but if you’ve been watching our IG Live series this summer, you’ll know how much we’ve been enjoying learning how to pair wine with our meals – especially something as fun (read NOT fancy) and unexpected as a hot dog, or in this case, a carrot dog!
The wine you choose to pair with your carrot dog really depends on the toppings you’re using!
If you’re a traditional straight ketchup kinda person (or ketchup AND mac and cheese – YUM), I’d suggest an easy-drinking red wine like this Beaujolais!
So, the only question left to ask yourself is: When are you going to make this epic vegan carrot dog recipe, and how are you going to serve it?!
Whatever it is and whenever you try it, let us know!
Rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in all your carrot dog creations on Instagram. We LOVE it when you do that! If you’re not already following along, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.
And if you want to be sure you never miss a Plant Power Couple recipe, don’t forget to sign up for our email list.
We cannot wait to hear what you think!
Yield: 4 carrot dogs
These easy and delicious carrot dogs are pure vegan magic! They’re a long-time reader favorite, remarkably simple to make, and the marinade uses common pantry staples. Both the flavor and texture are so mind-blowing; you’ll be shocked you’re eating a carrot!
24 hr, 20 Prep Time:
20 minCook Time:
24 hr, 40 Total Time:
5 based on 4 review(s)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 large carrots
- 4 hot dog buns (check ingredients to ensure vegan friendliness)
- First, shape and boil your carrots: Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Peel the carrots and cut the ends off, so they are able to fit into the bun. We also like to use our peeler to round off the ends of the carrots, making them look more like hot dogs. Add them to the pot and boil for about 10 -15 minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of your carrots. When you can easily stick a fork in them (but before they're falling apart), they're ready. Remove carefully with tongs.
- While the carrots boil, make the marinade: In a shallow dish, whisk together all the ingredients. When ready, add your boiled carrots, cover, and set in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
- Finally, make and serve: Pull your dogs out of the fridge and heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a Tbsp of refined coconut oil and allow it to melt (sub veg broth for oil-free). Add your carrots carefully along with 3 Tbsp of the marinade and sauté them for about 5 – 10 minutes, rolling them around often. You want the outsides to get a little charred, so it really looks like a hot dog. Serve your carrot dogs in buns immediately with ALL the toppings!
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. We suggest reheating them in a saute pan, covered, with a Tbsp or two of the marinade.
If you dig this recipe, you'll probably love our Carrot Dogs in a Blanket recipe. Check it out; they're perfect for parties!