A carrot dog is the same shape as a hot dog and close enough in color to make an obvious substitute. But what makes it different than a cooked carrot in a bun? The marinade is the key to the “cured” flavor and you can make it without oil too!
Photo by Ann Oliverio
What is a Good Plant Based Option for a Vegan Hot Dog?
What Other Vegan Recipes Are Great for Picnics or Cookouts?
What Exactly is a Carrot Dog?
It’s more than a steamed carrot in a bun. You marinade the mostly cooked carrots in a mixture of vinegar, sesame oil or tahini, and other seasonings.
This marinade transforms the lowly carrot into something that tastes reminiscent to hot dogs and close to the veggie dogs that I’m more familiar with.
I love carrot dogs so much that I had to include them in my book, The Easy Vegan Cookbook!
Can I Make Carrot Hot Dogs Without Oil?
You can easily make these oil-free by leaving out the sesame oil or using tahini in its place.
What Can I Substitute for Liquid Smoke?
You can find liquid smoke in most grocery stores and online. It’s actually just the condensation from burnt wood, so it is not made of artificial flavors.
With that said, you can certainly could use smoked paprika to get a smoky flavor as well.
Can I Over-marinade the Carrot Dogs?
Be mindful of how long you marinade these because they will get more vinegary as they sit. I don’t mind, but Cheryl won’t eat them if they are marinated more than 24 hours.
Better safe than sorry, right?
Carrot Dogs from The Easy Vegan Cookbook
A carrot is the same shape as a hot dog and close enough in color to make a decent substitute. But what about the taste? I promise you, this marinade really takes it to the next level. I think the sesame oil helps, but the vinegar gives it that “cured” flavor too.
- 4 carrots, cut into bun lengths
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar , (or apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil , , *leave out to make oil-free or use tahini
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos , (can substitute soy sauce; use unseasoned vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat water in a pot large enough for all the carrots. When it comes to a boil, turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Cook until you can just pierce them through with a fork; you want them have a snap when you bite into them. Remove from pot and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking.
- In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients to make the marinade. Tighten the lid and shake until well mixed.
- Place the carrots in a container in which they can lie flat. Pour the marinade over them and marinate at least 3 to 4 hours, up to 24. The longer they marinate, the more vinegar flavor they take on. If you know you need to leave them longer than a day, cut the vinegar to ⅛ cup (30 ml). If the carrots are very skinny, keep the time short.
- To serve, heat the carrots in a 350°F (177°C) oven, or in a grill pan on a hot grill, until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve in a toasted hot dog bun or wrapped in a lettuce or collard leaf, and pile on your favorite toppings.
- TIP: You can cook these in your slow cooker in the marinade. You need to check on them so they do not get mushy, so it is not a set-it-and-walkaway affair. Cook until a fork just goes through the carrot but it is still slightly firm.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Calories 68Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 0gSodium 217mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 1g
Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship says
Oh my- this a genius idea!!! What better way to eat carrots! I never liked hot dogs (though I must say I love veggie dogs) but these look perfect for when you want something lighter!!! (or when you got the buns to make veggie dogs and forgot to check the freezer for the actual veggie dog part- cause that ABSOLUTELY NEVER happens :P) Seriously- these just look like they’d be perfect for whenever and wherever! Just OH MY! (Maybe it’s just cause I like carrots).
Kathy, I’m not familiar with coconut aminos. Are you saying to use soy sauce & vinegar instead? Would that change the flavor much? TX!
Kathy Hester says
It’s just a low sodium, gluten and soy-free soy. Soy sauce will work fine. I say to use unseasoned vinegar when you use soy sauce because there’s more sodium in the soy. It will taste great!
Thanks for the recipe – I had fun with it. They smelled like hot dogs, they actually looked like hot dogs and even had the right texture… but they are not hot dogs 🙂 No difference to me, they were tasty and really more importantly, they were fun to eat. I rolled them up in some romaine lettuce and dipped them in mustard and was a happy camper…
Charlotte Everett says
Yum! Want to try these at a BBQ later today. But you can’t get liquid smoke in the UK – what’s an alternative I could use?
Kathy Hester says
You could try using some smoked paprika. Instead of using it in the marinade, I would sprinkle it on right before I do the final cooking step.
I made these with a marinade of tarragon vinegar, lite soy sauce, liquid smoke and a 21 blend spice mix. They absolutely smelled like hotdogs and have none of the downside of hotdogs. I topped mine with mustard, spicy relish and chopped onion. Thank you! Great Memorial Day treat!
How long do they boil for?
Kathy Hester says
The time varies to the thickness of the carrot which can be tiny or very large. The tell is stop cooking when a fork easily pierces them.