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.–Renee Schettler


You can! If you’ve been invited to a BYOCHD, you can in fact bring your own dog. Once you’ve made these, let them cool and store, until you’re ready to grill. Barbecue like you would any other weiner, until warmed through and sporting grill marks.

Four carrot hot dogs filled with assorted garnishes.

Carrot Hot Dog

4.43 / 19 votes
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. The best vegan hot dog we’ve ever had.
David Leite
Servings8 carrot dogs
Calories185 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, toss the oil and carrots together in a small roasting pan.
  • 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.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • 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.
  • Slip each carrot hot dog in a bun and add your choice of toppings.
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Serving: 1 carrot hot dog with bunCalories: 185 kcalCarbohydrates: 28 gProtein: 5 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 625 mgPotassium: 275 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 6 gVitamin A: 10291 IUVitamin C: 6 mgCalcium: 98 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Thug Kitchen. Photo © 2015 Thug Kitchen. All rights reserved.

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 snack.

In the future, I’ll 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, just slightly longer than the carrots, to roast them.

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!

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 2 stars
    Sorry this really didn’t work for me. I am a big fan of carrot dogs so that’s not an issue. I cooked them at over 200C fan, that oven was blazing. But after more than an hour now, the carrots, which are no larger than the ones pictured, are still quite firm. I took one out and microwaved it to try to move things along, and it helped but I found the carrot pretty tasteless. I’ll be going back to my old, simmering recipe.

    1. Andrea, I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work for you. Let me ask you this: Did you marinate the carrots in the warm marinade for an hour and a half?

  2. Making these for the first time tonight and realizing I started too late. How bad do you think it would be to let them marinate in the fridge all night then bake them up for lunch tomorrow? Will the extended marinate time soften the carrot dogs too much? Fingers crossed.

    1. Hi Amy, sorry for the delay in responding. Did you end up marinating them overnight? If so, how did they turn out?