Okay, my confession is that, though I love raw carrots, I have never cared for cooked carrots much. That is until these vegan carrot dogs came into my life. No kidding, these things have completely changed my mind about cooked carrots!
The ultimate vegan hot dog
Before I even begin to explain how to make grilled carrot dogs, I have to admit that I really thought it was a dumb idea. Not only did I not care for cooked carrots, but a carrot hot dog, seriously?
The thing that made me finally try them is that my husband loves carrots any-which-way I make them, and I thought these would be a great treat for him. I’m telling you, the man LOVES carrots!
Truth is, I already had great recipes for vegan hamburger chili, cheese sauce, and coleslaw that would be the toppings, but there just weren’t any good vegan hotdog options. Until now!
These carrot dogs are…
- Amazingly delicious
- Easy to make
- Versatile with toppings
- Simply fabulous!
How to make grilled vegan dogs
Choose 6-8 carrots that are about the diameter of a hotdog. Wash them and then peel. Some folks have asked if they can just leave the peels on, and the answer is yes you can.
In order for carrots to marinate, they need to be softened first in order for the marinade to seep in and give them lots of flavor.
Boil or steam the carrots for 5-7 minutes, or until they are barely tender. You definitely don’t want a fork to be able to go through them, because you’ll be grilling them in the final step and don’t want them to fall apart.
Remove carrots from boiling water and place in a flat pan or container (or even a ziplock bag), then pour marinade over them. Cover with cling wrap or lid and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Quicker InstantPot instructions listed below.
Once fully marinated, place on grill for about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to get those great grill marks on each one and heat thoroughly. Place in whole grain bun (or gluten-free) and top with your favorite toppings.
If you would like to make your own ketchup for this recipe, check out my 10-Minute Vegan Ketchup recipe.
Carrot dog topping ideas
- Vegan Chili
- Cheese Sauce
- Country Coleslaw
- grilled onions and peppers
- Low-Fat Vegan Mayo
I have to say that my homemade Vegan Cheese Sauce is really a must for these vegan hot dogs. It’s really simple to make and so good with other dishes like pizza, nachos, lasagna, baked potatoes, and more.
Tips for making grilled carrot hot dogs
When choosing which carrots to use, make sure they are about the diameter of a hotdog and all about the same size. One that I used was a bit larger than the others, so it didn’t cook as quickly in the boiling water. My husband said he preferred the smaller diameter ones.
Don’t overcook when boiling. Less is more. They cook relatively fast in about 5-7 minutes in boiling water.
Marinating is necessary for soaking up the flavors, so don’t skip this step, even if you are using the InstantPot method. Longer is better.
Handle gently when grilling and allow them to get those lovely grill marks.
These can easily be made on the stovetop. Simply place the marinated carrots in a frying pan set on medium. Allow to brown on one side for 3-4 minutes. Turn them and allow to brown on the other side. Remove from heat and serve.
Chuck with BrandNewVegan has easy InstantPot instructions. “Simply add your raw carrots and marinade to your Instant Pot and cook on MANUAL for 3 minutes.”
Your Questions Answered:
Q: Can these be made without liquid smoke?
A: Yes, they can, though I haven’t tried it. I’ve heard that adding add two teaspoons of smoked paprika in place of the liquid smoke works too.
Q: How long should these be marinated?
A: The longer the better. They need to marinate at least 3 hours or so but overnight is even better.
Q: Can these carrot dogs be frozen?
A: I haven’t personally frozen them, but some followers have told me they freeze them in the marinade and they do well.
Q: Where do you find oil-free hotdog buns?
A: Some oil-free hotdog bun options include Ezekiel, Silver Hills, and Trader Joe’s whole wheat pita bread brands.
Recipes that go well with carrot dogs
- Vegan Country Smoked Baked Beans
- Low-Fat Homemade Potato Chips
- Easy Black Bean Corn Salad
- Four Bean Salad
- Red Coleslaw
- • 6-8 carrots that are around the size of a hotdog
- • 6-8 whole grain or gluten-free buns
- • ¼ cup veggie broth
- • ¼ cup rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce (other options tamari or amino acids)
- • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- • 1/-1-2 tsp liquid smoke
- • ¼ tsp ground mustard
- • ½ tsp smoked paprika
- • ½ tsp garlic powder
- • ½ tsp onion powder
- Choose 6-8 carrots that are about the diameter of a hotdog. Wash them, then peel.
- Boil or steam carrots for 5-7 minutes, or until they are barely tender. You definitely don’t want a fork to be able to go through them, because you’ll be grilling them in the final step and don’t want them to fall apart.
- While the carrots are cooking, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.
- Remove carrots from boiling water and place in a flat pan or container (or even a ziplock bag), then pour marinade over them. Cover with cling wrap or lid and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Quicker InstantPot instructions listed below.
- Once fully marinated, place on grill for about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to get those great grill marks on each one and heat thoroughly. Place in whole grain bun (or gluten-free) and top with your favorite toppings.
To speed the cooking time, simply place all marinade ingredients and peeled carrots into your InstantPot and cook on manual for 3 minutes. Once they are finished, hit the quick release and allow them to sit for at least an hour or until you’re ready to grill them. Easy-peasy!
Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gFiber: 3.6gProtein: 6g
To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.