Smoky Carrot Dogs

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Yes, that’s right: carrot dogs! Marinated grilled carrots served on a bun with your favorite toppings. They don’t taste like hot dogs, but they’re absolutely delicious. Packed with smoky flavor and perfect for cookouts!

No, I didn’t invent this concept. In fact, they’ve been a pretty big thing for a few years now, and I resisted them like crazy. I had better ideas, like tofu dogs and portobello dogs. And while I stand by those other types of vegan hot dogs, I can now also tell you this: carrot dogs are delicious!

Jump to:
  • What Do Carrot Dogs Taste Like?
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How They’re Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Vegan Grilling Recipes
  • Smoky & Delicious Carrot Dogs

What Do Carrot Dogs Taste Like?

First, let me tell you what they don’t taste like. Hot dogs. These pups aren’t fooling anyone (not that my tofu dogs or mushroom dogs are).

A carrot dog tastes like a big smoky carrot on a bun. Kind of hard to imagine, I know! The flavor isn’t all that different from a hot dog, though it’s got a bit of extra carroty sweetness in there.

The texture is definitely not like that of a hot dog — carrot dogs are soft and tender.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Carrots. Although any carrots will do, big fat ones work best for this recipe. A trip to the farmer’s market will be worth your time!
  • Water.
  • Soy sauce. Liquid aminos or gluten-free tamari can be substituted if needed.
  • Red wine vinegar. Feel free to substitute another type of vinegar, such as apple cider or white vinegar if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Maple syrup. Other liquid sweeteners such as agave or coconut nectar will also work.
  • Liquid smoke. Look for this near where the barbecue sauce is sold at the grocery store.
  • Smoked paprika.
  • Onion powder.
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Oil. The recipe calls for canola oil, but any high heat oil will do. You could use vegetable oil, peanut oil, or corn oil, among others!
  • Hot dog buns. Check the ingredients list to ensure they’re vegan!
  • Hot dog toppings. This is the fun part! Ketchup, mustard, relish, guacamole, refried beans, and vegan chili are a few of my favorites!

How They’re Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by trimming and peeling your carrots. You want to cut each one to about the length of a hot dog bun, then peel it. If you’d like, you can even peel it so it’s nice and even in thickness and has rounded edges like a hot dog!
  • Boil your carrots. Cover them with water, place the pot over heat and boil the carrots until they’re just tender. Don’t overdo it! If they get too soft they’ll fall apart when you marinate and/or grill them.
  • Drain the carrots and rinse them under cool water when they’re done.
  • Now mix up your marinade ingredients: water, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • Place the carrots into a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Let them soak at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

Tip: You can let your carrots marinate longer if you’d like, but I don’t recommend going over 24 hours or they’ll start to get soggy. Make sure to stick them in the fridge if you soak them for more than 2 hours.

  • After they’ve soaked for a bit, you can grill your carrot dogs. Use an outdoor grill, indoor grill, or a grill pan like I’m using in the photos. Your choice! You could probably even just use a regular skillet if you don’t care about those cool looking lines.
  • Drizzle some reserved marinade over your carrot dogs while they grill.

Tip: I like to drizzle a little extra marinade over my carrot dogs while they grill.You only need to grill your carrot dogs briefly to heat them up and maybe char them a bit. They’re already cooked, and overdoing it will cause them to come out mushy.

  • When they’re done, stuff your dogs into buns and pile on your favorite toppings.

Leftovers & Storage

Carrot dogs are best served immediately, but if you do have leftovers they’ll keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can carrot dogs be made gluten-free?

Yes! Just use gluten-free buns and gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.

Can I use the marinade to make a second batch?

I don’t see why not! Just make sure to store it properly until you’re ready to use it. It should be good in the fridge for at least a week or in the freezer for at least 3 months.

What sides go well with carrot dogs?

They go great with classic vegan side dishes like vegan baked beans, vegan coleslaw, vegan corn muffins, or vegan pasta salad!

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