Classic Carrot Dogs (Great for Grilling or Pan-Searing!)

These carrot hot dogs are the perfect plant-based alternative to traditional hot dogs, especially since they taste just like the real thing! The rich, smoky marinade lends a familiar flavor you’d expect from a real hot dog while the grill marks give a charred flavor that just can’t be beat. Keep reading to see how to make the easiest carrot dogs ever…on a grill or the stove!

Classic carrot dog

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I’ve never liked hot dogs. There. I said it.

That’s about as un-American as you can probably get, but it’s true. Hot dogs always gave me headaches when I was a kid, and I never liked the greasy feeling in my belly after I ate them. As you can imagine, I had no problem whatsoever giving them up when I went mostly plant-based back in 2016.

However, my meat-loving man is a big hot dog fan, so we were both pleasantly surprised to find a plant-based alternative that satisfied his hot dog craving and actually made me enjoy hot dogs for the first time in my life!

I call that a double win.

About My Easy Carrot Hot Dog Recipe

Classic carrot dogs
  • Whole food, plant-based
  • Oil-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free (with gluten-free buns and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce)
  • Free from nitrates and questionable meat by-products
  • 100% delicious!

This carrot hot dog recipe tastes just like the real thing, from the flavor all the way down to the texture. By steaming your carrots first, you get a nice tender texture that has the same mouthfeel as a real hot dog. And that marinade…whoa! It gives that familiar smoky flavor you’d expect out of a good hot dog.

And the best part is that this is a really easy dish to throw together. You do need to let the carrots marinate overnight, but once that part is over, you really don’t have to do much else.

In fact, you have several cooking options depending on how much time you want to dedicate to this recipe.

How to Cook Carrot Dogs

Easy carrot hot dogs

You can:

  • Heat the carrots and eat as-is. The carrot dogs will be covered in toppings anyway, so no one will even notice that they’re missing the grill marks.
  • Sear the carrots in a skillet on the stove. This is a quick way to get some charred marks without having to fire up a grill. But be warned: you’ll want to use a non-stick pan sprayed with a bit of oil to keep the juices from burning onto the pan. Ask me how I know…
  • Grill the carrots on a grill. I haven’t actually tried this method yet, but I know lots of people who grill their carrot dogs with fantastic results. You get that charcoal flavor (if you use a charcoal grill) and gorgeous grill marks, but it does take a bigger time commitment.

And once you’ve got your basic carrot hot dogs cooked and ready to go, you can top them with all kinds of delicious toppings! Some of our favorites are slaw, quinoa “chili,” ketchup, and mustard. These are probably the more classic hot dog toppings, but you can definitely top them however you like.

So now that I’ve got your mouth watering, let me share with you the best recipe for carrot dogs!

Easy Carrot Dog Recipe

Easy carrot hot dog

I originally learned how to make carrot dogs from my mom. I’m not sure where she got her recipe, but I tweaked it a bit to suit my needs and came up with this gem:

Carrot Dog Ingredients

  • 8 medium carrots
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for a gluten-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (be sure to use smoked, not regular!)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Buns and Toppings

Instructions

1) Shave the skin off of the carrots with a vegetable peeler. Trim the carrots down to 6 inches so they fit nicely on a bun. If your carrots are very thick, consider shaving them down to the thickness of a regular hot dog so they don’t overwhelm the bun.

2) Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place the carrots in a steamer basket and lower the basket into the pot. Cover with a lid and steam the carrots for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.

3) Combine the vegetable broth, vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, smoked paprika, and garlic in a gallon Ziplock bag. Swish the marinade around in the bag until all of the ingredients are well combined.

4) When the carrots are finished steaming, add them to the Ziplock bag and spread them out in a single layer. You can put the bag of carrots into a shallow baking dish just in case it leaks. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning the carrots a few times so all sides can evenly soak up the marinade.

5) Remove the carrots from the bag and discard the marinade. Heat a grill or nonstick pan sprayed with a little bit of oil to medium high heat. Place the carrots on the grill or in the pan and turn them so they get grill marks or sear marks on several sides.

6) Serve on whole wheat buns with desired toppings and enjoy!

This recipe makes 8 carrot dogs.

Printable Recipe for Carrot Hot Dogs

And here is a printable version of this carrot hot dog recipe:

Classic carrot dog

Classic Carrot Dogs

Summer Sebastian
These carrot hot dogs are the perfect plant-based alternative to traditional hot dogs, especially since they taste just like the real thing! Vegan, whole food plant-based, oil-free.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Marinating Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 27 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 184 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 carrots
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 8 whole wheat buns

Instructions
 

  • Shave the skin off of the carrots with a vegetable peeler. Trim the carrots down to 6 inches so they fit nicely on a bun. If your carrots are very thick, consider shaving them down to the thickness of a regular hot dog so they don’t overwhelm the bun.
  • Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place the carrots in a steamer basket and lower the basket into the pot. Cover with a lid and steam the carrots for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.
  • Combine the vegetable broth, vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, smoked paprika, and garlic in a gallon Ziplock bag. Swish the marinade around in the bag until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  • When the carrots are finished steaming, add them to the Ziplock bag and spread them out in a single layer. You can put the bag of carrots into a shallow baking dish just in case it leaks. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning the carrots a few times so all sides can evenly soak up the marinade.
  • Remove the carrots from the bag and discard the marinade. Heat a grill or nonstick pan to medium high heat. Place the carrots on the grill or in the pan and turn them so they get grill marks or sear marks on several sides.
  • Serve on whole wheat buns with desired toppings and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe makes 8 carrot dogs.
Top your carrot dogs with ketchup, mustard, slaw, quinoa “chili,” or any other toppings you want!
The calorie count for this recipe is approximate and should only be used for informational purposes.
Keyword plant-based, vegan

Final Thoughts on Carrot Dogs

Carrot dogs are a great alternative to regular hot dogs, even for the most avid hot dog fan! They have the same texture and flavor as a traditional hot dog but without all the yucky ingredients such as nitrates and questionable meat by-products.

And when you smother your carrot hot dogs with all sorts of delicious toppings, you can bet your family won’t even mind the orange carrot hiding in the bun!

So go ahead and give this recipe a try. I just know you’ll love it as much as I do!

Other Plant-Based Recipes You May Enjoy

What about you? Do you like carrot dogs? Or do you have another plant-based hot dog alternative you like better? Let me know in the comments!

XO, Summer

Want to remember this? Save it to your favorite Pinterest board by clicking the images below!

Classic plant-based carrot dogs
Vegan oil-free carrot dogs
Vegan oil-free carrot hot dogs

Classic Carrot Dogs (Great for Grilling or Pan-Searing!)

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