The one piece of advice I can give you when it comes to making your first carrot dogs is…do NOT be afraid!
Okay, I realize I can’t tell you what to feel. So, maybe what I’m trying to say here is: If the thought of turning carrots into hot dogs freaks you out, try it anyway. I speak from major experience on this one.
Before going vegan, I used to love hot dogs…especially the cheap dollar dogs my dad and I would get at Phillies’ games when I was growing up. (Sidenote: I hear you can still get vegan hot dogs for $1 on Dollar Dog Night at Citizens Bank Park; DAY MADE!)
When I first went vegetarian, I started trying different store brands of animal-free hot dogs and was so sadly disappointed. I mean, they tasted great, but something was always off about the flavor. None of the ones I tried really nailed that classic ballpark dog taste I was hoping for.
Pssst…Looking for a classic ballpark version of the carrot dog? We gotchu! Click here for that recipe.
How I First Heard of Carrot Dogs
And then, I heard about the almighty “carrot dog” when reading a thread in a vegan Facebook group where the poster was talking about how her family was so weirded out by how dead-on they tasted to hot dogs. “No. Freaking. Way.” I thought. But the number of comments re-affirming this statement kept pouring in.
That was it; I had to try these. I stopped by the store on my way home to grab a bag of carrots. And when I told T about my plans, he was hesitant but more up for the challenge than I was because he’s one of those people who would choose a carrot over a hot dog any day. Not me. I was hopeful but skeptical, and actually a little scared.
Long story short (not one of my strong suits…can you tell?), we boiled and marinated 2 batches of carrots before actually going through with the whole recipe. But when we did and I took that very first taste, I was FLOORED.
This was it! I found my perfect vegan hot dog!
Friends, I’m writing this now with happy, nostalgic tears in my eyes. That’s how emotionally connected I am to this discovery. Because, come on. A CARROT DOG??? How stereotypically “vegan” and veggie-loving weirdo and SO. NOT. ME.
But it works. And it’s unbelievably awesome. And today, we’re sharing a mini version of that carrot dog recipe with all of you. May I present (finally): Carrot Dogs in a Blanket aka – Piggies Safe-in-Their Blankets
I love the idea of using these as a holiday appetizer this year because you know everyone is looking for something tasty wrapped in puff pastry at all the holiday parties and gatherings. We’ve tested this recipe with literally (old definition) hundreds of people, both vegan and not-yet-vegan, and it’s consistently been a hit and major topic of conversation.
Even my Dad – the guy who took me to all those Dollar Dog Nights way back when and is definitely not someone I would expect to enjoy a carrot in a bun – tells all his friends about how awesome this recipe is.
I love these carrot dogs in a blanket!
Enough of my nostalgia. Let’s talk about the recipe, shall we?
How to Make Carrot Dogs in a Blanket
It’s pretty easy to make but does require 24 hours to marinate, so you’ll want to plan a day or two ahead if you’re bringing these to a party. You’ll boil the carrots for about 6-10 minutes, let ’em marinate, saute them and let the marinade carimalize (preferably, in a cast iron pan 🙌🏻), wrap them in puff pastry, and bake them. Pretty low-maintenance on your part, perfect for the busy holiday season.
This recipe makes A LOT of Carrot Dogs in a Blanket which makes it even more perfect for the holidays, but feel free to half the recipe if you just want a snack for yourself. Or not. No shame there.
Other Vegan Holiday Appetizer Recipes
You should TOTALLY make these Carrot Dogs in a Blanket and shock all your family and friends with their magical-ness. Then, let us know! Rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram (we’re @theplantpowercouple, with the ‘the’).
We can’t wait to hear all about it!
Yield: about 40 carrot dogs in a blanket
This is a great way to use the classic carrot dog recipe in appetizer form! They're such a huge hit at parties and easy to make, requiring some marinating time but very little active work.
24 hrPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
24 hr, 30 Total Time:
- 1 16-oz bag of baby carrots
- 1 can crescent dough or puff pastry dough*
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the carrots. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil again. Remove the cover and let the carrots cook about 7-10 minutes. The thicker they are, the longer they'll need to cook. You want the carrots to be fork tender but not falling apart when you put a fork in them.
- While the carrots boil, make the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. When the carrots are finished boiling, strain them and add them to the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and place in your fridge for 24-36 hours (the longer you marinate, the stronger that hot dog taste).
- Finally, cook them: Heat a large saute pan (preferably a cast iron pan ) on medium high heat and add the carrots along with the marinade. Saute for 7-10 minutes or until all the marinade has evaporated / caramelized onto the carrots. While the carrots saute, use a spatula to move the carrots around and make sure all sides are being cooked evenly. This step is KEY to making them look less like carrots and more like little hot dogs!
- While the carrots are cooking, preheat your oven to 375F and prepare your crescent dough: Use a pizza cutter or small knife to cut the dough into strips that are - ideally - 1/2 inch wide and 6 inches long, but it does NOT have to be perfect.
- When the carrots are finished sauteing, allow them to cool a bit before wrapping them in the puff pastry. This is a safety step. 😉
- To wrap the carrot dogs, lay your dough strip on a clean surface - diagonally - and slowly roll the carrot upwards, wrapping it in the dough as you go. Pinch the end of the dough to seal it and place on a greased baking sheet.
- When all the dogs are wrapped, bake them for 12-15 minutes, or until the puff pastry is nice and browned.
- Then, serve them with spicy mustard and enjoy!
*So many regular old store brands are "accidentally" vegan, so just check the ingredients at your local grocery store.