Skip to Content

Best Vegan Carrot Hot Dogs

These perfectly smoky and sweet Carrot Hot Dogs are incredible and perfect for summertime cookouts and gatherings. Who knew that carrots could make a delicious vegan hotdog that is fantastic on the grill!

carrot hot dogs with chili, vegan cheese, and jalapenos on cutting board

Okay, my confession is that, though I love raw carrots, I have never cared for cooked carrots much. That is until these carrot dogs came into my life. No kidding, these things have completely changed my mind about cooked carrots!

Carrot hot dogs

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? 

carrot hot dogs with chili, relish, and jalapenos on cutting board

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. That is until now!

Ingredients needed

  • Carrots- Choose carrots that are similar in width to a hotdog.
  • Soy sauce- Tamari is a great option for those needing gluten-free.
  • Maple syrup- Other sweeteners will also work.
  • Liquid smoke- Be sure not to skip the liquid smoke because it add so much flavor.
  • Seasonings- Spices like ground mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika combine to make the perfect seasonings.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

What does a carrot hot dog taste like?

Carrot dogs look very similar to hot dogs when they are in a bun, but people will definitely be able to tell they are different when they take a bite. They are similar in flavor due to the smoky and sweet seasonings, but the texture is different.

My family and friends that I’ve served them to have all raved over the taste. They absolutely love it. But, they are not going to fool anyone into thinking they are a regular traditional hotdog.

Are they healthy?

Absolutely! Made with carrots and seasonings, what’s not to be healthy about these delicious vegan hot dogs. Carrot dogs are full of fiber, beta carotene, and even about a gram of protein.

How to make carrot 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.

peeled carrots on red cutting board with knife

Marinating carrots

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 flavors.

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.

carrots boiling in stainless pan

While the carrots are cooking, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. The marinade recipe was inspired by PCRM’s Carrot Dog Recipe and Pass the Plants.

marinade in glass bowl on countertop with whisk

Remove carrots from boiling water and place them 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 are listed below.

carrots in baking dish with marinade beside

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 a 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 dogs on wooden stump with homemade potato chips

Carrot dog topping ideas

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 carrot hot dogs

  • Carrot size- 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.
  • Cook time- Don’t overcook when boiling. Less is more. They cook relatively fast in about 5-7 minutes in boiling water.
  • Marinate- 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.
  • Grilling- Handle gently when grilling and allow them to get those lovely grill marks.
  • Cooking method- 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 them to brown on the other side. Remove from heat and serve.
overhead shot of carrot dogs topped with chili, vegan cheese, jalepenos

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.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q: Can these be made without liquid smoke? 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? 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? 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? 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

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

overhead shot of carrot dogs topped with chili, vegan cheese, jalepenos

Grilled Carrot Hot Dogs

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 7 minutes

These perfectly smoky and sweet Carrot Hot Dogs are incredible and perfect for summertime cookouts and gatherings. Who knew that carrots could make a delicious vegan hotdog that is fantastic on the grill!

Ingredients

  • 6-8 carrots that are around the size of a hotdog
  • 6-8 whole grain or gluten-free buns

Marinade Ingredients

  • 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 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/-1-2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  1. Choose 6-8 carrots that are about the diameter of a hotdog. Wash them, then peel.
  2. 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.
  3. While the carrots are cooking, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Notes

Instant Pot Method:

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!

Frequently asked questions:

  • Q: Can these be made without liquid smoke? 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? 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? 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? Some oil-free hotdog bun options include Ezekiel, Silver Hills, and Trader Joe's whole wheat pita bread brands.

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

Vegan Plant Based Starter Kit
Plant-Based Starter Kits $27
plant based meal delivery service collage for mamasezz and eatplantbased terri
Photo collage for carrot dogs for pinterest

Linda Ellis

Saturday 10th of September 2022

These are delicious. I marinaded them (6"L x 3/4"-1"D) in the fridge for about 1 1/2 days. As they were already tender from marinating I cooked them in the IP just to get them to pressure than quick released, then grilled them on a cast iron griddle on the stove.

Chantry

Monday 28th of March 2022

These are so delicious! They might be making it into my weekly rotation for the next year!

Terri Edwards

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Chantry- Awesome! For the WIN!

Allison

Friday 4th of June 2021

I will start off by saying that I have been shying away from trying a carrot dog for probably a year and a half. Like you, I love raw carrots but am not particularly a fan of cooked. I made these tonight and daaaaang! Super impressed. My 8 year old son also loves them. Definitely a new summer staple around here. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

Terri Edwards

Saturday 5th of June 2021

Hi Allison- That's AWESOME! So glad to hear that these were a hit at your house.

Vanessa Smith

Friday 10th of July 2020

Love love my carrot hotdogs.....I made a large batch can i freeze them for enjoying later?

Terri Edwards

Friday 10th of July 2020

Hi Vanessa- I love these carrot dogs. So glad you do too! I haven't frozen them for later but see no reason why they wouldn't do just fine.

Sue Gilmore

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

Are the smoked seasonings a must? I've been kind of leery of using them.

EatPlant-Based.com

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

Sue, I think they are a really important part of the flavor. However, if you're already a fan of cooked carrots, it might be interesting to see how they turn out without the liquid smoke. Please let me know if you decide to try it.

Skip to Recipe