Carrot Hot Dog

This carrot hot dog is a superlative homemade vegan hot dog made with carrots marinated in vinegar and spices. Close your eyes and you may tell a slight difference between this and the real deal. But barely. Best vegan hot dog we’ve ever had.

Carrot Hot Dog

We were surprised, to say the least, by this carrot dog recipe. We’d been trying countless homemade vegan hot dog recipes and were about to give up. And then we found this one. Folks are calling it the best vegan hot dog they’ve ever experienced. Experience it for yourself. Originally published June 24, 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

Carrot Hot Dog

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • Makes 8
5/5 - 6 reviews
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Ingredients

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  • 1 cup store-bought vegetable broth or homemade vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder or ground mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled, skinny ends trimmed, carrots cut the length of the buns
  • 8 hot dog buns (whatever kind you like)
  • Onions, relish, mustard, ketchup, or whatever you wish for dressing your dog

Directions

  • 1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the broth, vinegars, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and spices. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile, toss the oil and carrots together in a small roasting pan.
  • 3. Pour the hot marinade over the carrots. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and, preferably, up to 1 1/2 hours to let the flavors infuse the carrots.
  • 4. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • 5. Slide the covered pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Take off the foil, stir the carrots and flip them over to coat them in the marinade again, and roast until tender on the outside with a little bit of resistance in the center when you stab them with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes more, depending on the size of the carrots.
  • 6. Slip each carrot hot dog in a bun and add your choice of toppings or, if you’re heading to a BYOCHD barbecue and want to bring these along, cover and refrigerate the carrot dogs and reheat them on a well-oiled grill.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This carrot hot dog recipe brought out my inner skeptic, but it really works! I thought I was imagining it when I took a bite of my carrot dog and found it truly had the texture of a hot dog. The marinade dulls the sweet flavor of the carrot, allowing my taste buds to think I had a hot dog in my hand. I thought maybe it was just me, but both my son and husband (a huge hot dog fan) were impressed with the carrot dogs.

Unlike hot dogs, this recipe does take some planning and preparation. And the resulting carrot dog is worth every bit of effort. I let my carrots marinate for 1 1/2 hours and then I roasted my carrots for 45 minutes. This timing seemed to be perfect. I served them right away. I topped my carrot with mustard and relish. Others in my house topped theirs with ketchup or enjoyed them plain in the bun.

Several years ago, a coworker told me about making carrot dogs. Let's just say my reaction was skeptical, to put it nicely. But you never know until you try, right? I should mention that I've never liked regular hot dogs, not even as a kid. The word "hate" has passed my lips in reference to hot dogs. The vegetarian versions available commercially have similarly had no appeal—they taste like a fake version of something I already don't like. So, okay, I thought, let's give this carrot hot dog thing a try.

Turns out a carrot hot dog is pretty good. This recipe worked well as written and produced a just-tender, sorta-hot-dog-flavored carrot which, when slapped in a bun and topped with relish and spicy mustard, made for a damn good sandwich.

In the future, I let the carrots marinate for 1 1/2 hours. I think longer is better here, although they do continue to absorb the flavor while they cook. Cook time was accurate to get a just-tender carrot. I'd marinate the carrots in a resealable plastic bag and use a smaller pan to roast them, just slightly longer than the carrots.

I served the carrot dogs with spicy mustard, homemade dill relish, and jalapeño ketchup. These might be better with milder tasting condiments so the flavor of the marinade comes through. The carrots tasted quite nice on their own.

I'm not going to claim that it will quench a hot dog craving, if you're one of those people who like hot dogs. But the spicing in this recipe is similar to a hot dog, although cranked up a bit, which isn't a bad thing. And isn't a hot dog really just a vehicle for condiments anyway? Well, load it up!

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Comments

  1. I need to make a triple recipe of the carrot hot dogs. Should I just triple everything and try to find a pan that will fit 24 carrots in a single layer for roasting?

    1. Yes, Jo Ann, you’re correct, you’ll definitely want to triple all the ingredients. And if you can’t find a single large pan simply use two. Chances are they’ll fit side by side in the oven at the same time. Thrilled you’re trying this recipe!

  2. Made these yesterday. I was skeptical until I took my first bite…wow! I followed the recipe as written. The longest part was measuring out the spices. Otherwise they were a cinch to make.

    A couple of tips, as the recipe suggests, try to use a pan that is just a little bigger than the carrots in a single layer. That way they will have a lot of the marinade surrounding them. I also stored the leftovers in some of the marinade. Figured that couldn’t hurt. Here is a pic of my loaded dog.

    1. Loaded, indeed, CA! Many thanks for taking the time to share your pics and to emphasize the tricks. We, too, were INCREDIBLY SKEPTICAL but thought, what the heck, we’ll try them. And were astounded. Love that you had the same reaction and appreciate the photo as inspiration for loading our next dog!

  3. Wow-O-Wow! I cannot wait to make this. Thank you for the killer recipe. Without the comments, I don’t know if I would do this, but I do trust you guys. Alaskan carrots are THE VERY BEST! We can buy them all year in the regular grocery stores.

  4. I made these today. Gave them the final cook on the grill. They were very good. I will make these again. Thank you for the recipe.
    Jodi

    1. Christel, you cook the carrots in the marinade. No need to drain it off or even to uncover the pan. Just slide it straight from the fridge to the oven. I just tweaked the wording of the recipe to reflect this so that no one else has the same question as you. Thank you for helping us make the recipe a little clearer! Looking forward to hearing what you think. Everyone we know who’s tried this recipe RAVES about the dogs!

    1. Hi Magen, we only tested the carrots in the oven so I can’t say for sure. The author does say that the carrots can be refrigerated after cooking and reheated on a grill, if that helps?

  5. This recipe was so easy and delicious! As I was simmering the marinade the smell made me think there were hotdogs on the grill — balance was so perfect. I used 1/2 the amount of liquid smoke though (hickory) because I find it so easily overpowering. When I was finished roasting them, I had one as a fully dressed hotdog, and one straight out of the pan. I’m looking forward to one right out of the fridge tomorrow to see how it is then. I will definitely put this recipe in my regular rotation. Thank you!!

  6. My daughter-in-love and I recently made these. We loaded them up with all kinds of goodies and bit in….I literally burst out giggling. THEY ARE AMAZING :)

  7. This is excellent. I must say, I am not a fan of the taste of cooked carrots. But these flavors work. By itself, you can still sort of taste the carrot, but it’s still not bad. And in a dog with the onions, mustard and relish. Outstanding.

  8. I’ve made carrot dogs in the past and this was a terrific spin on the recipe. If you really want to kick this up a notch, forgo the condiments and top with fresh daikon salad. Will blow your mind such a flavorful combo.

    1. John, we didn’t test technique in our kitchens so I can’t say for certain, but I wouldn’t try it. I think freezing the carrots would greatly compromise the final texture of the carrot dog, with the end result being mushy and watery.

  9. I’m wondering about the liquid smoke and what it is chemically made of and just how safe it is to use in this manner.

    1. Matthew, this is from our friends over at Cook’s Illustrated: “Liquid Smoke is actually made with real smoke: Liquid smoke is made by channeling smoke from smoldering wood chips through a condenser, which quickly cools the vapors, causing them to liquefy (just like the drops that form when you breathe on a piece of cold glass). The water-soluble flavor compounds in the smoke are trapped within this liquid, while the nonsoluble, carcinogenic tars and resins are removed by a series of filters, resulting in a clean, smoke-flavored liquid.”

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