Vegan Carrot Hotdogs or Carrot-Dogs are such a a fun and tasty meal. Surprisingly these veggie hotdogs do actually have the texture and taste similar to regular hot-dogs. The carrot-dogs are pretty easy and quick to prepare in one-pot and are perfect for family movie nights, game day snacks, parties, buffets, pot-luck, or for just fun and easy meals.
Also, why not prepare a batch of carrot hot-dogs and take them on your next camping trip, or enjoy them as a meat-free option for a BBQ or cookout, as they can be easily reheated over a camp-fire or grill where they will develop authentic looking grill or char lines!
Alternatively, if you would like to cook Carrot-Dogs in a slow cooker we have also include an easy method.
Carrot hotdogs can be easily prepared gluten-free by using a gluten-free soy sauce such as Tamari, as well as a gluten-free veggie broth, and using gluten-free bread buns or lettuce cups. Add all your favourite veggie burger toppings to carrot-dogs and serve with fries, wedges, chips and a crisp salad. Delicious!
These carrot hot-dogs are my family's ultimate favourite fun meal. My kids were skeptical at first as they watched their mum boil whole carrots and claimed they were having hot-dogs for dinner! Even I was a tad concerned! However, we were all very happy with the delicious results and with a few tweaks to the hot-dog cooking sauce and lot's of hot-dog testing batches to munch through, we all agreed that the carrot hot-dogs were so much better than the shop-bought meat-free hot-dogs. And our visitors agree with us as our carrot hot-dogs are a very popular recipe.
Where did hotdogs come from?
Hotdogs, evolved from the German Frankfurters, which in turn evolved from ancient sausages.
Origin of Sausages
A sausage is essentially ground meat that has been flavoured with animal fat, herbs and spices and is usually stuffed into a casing that has been made with animal intestines, but in more modern times a synthetic casing may be used.
For centuries, sausages have been a staple dish in many civilizations. Sausages were a popular food in ancient Greek and Roman, and they were often served as a main course or as a snack. The ancient Greeks called sausages "hila" or "hilla," and the ancient Romans called them "farcimen."
Sausages were made with a variety of meats, including pork, beef, lamb, and goat. They were also made with a variety of spices, including garlic, onion, and pepper. Sausages were often smoked or dried to preserve them.
The Spanish and Portuguese brought sausages to the Americas in the 16th century and sausages quickly gained popularity in the Americas, and they are today a common staple in many countries.
In modern times some of the most popular sausages include the Italian salami, the German bratwurst, the British banger, the Spanish chorizo, the Polish kielbasa, and the American hot dog.
Next came the Frankfurter Sausage
The frankfurter sausage is claimed to have originated in the 14th century in Frankfurt, Germany. A frankfurter is a smoked, lightly spiced sausage traditionally made of pork.These sausages, consisting of pork and beef, were frequently served at imperial coronations.
The first written mention of the frankfurter sausage occurred in 1367, when it was referred to as "Frankfurter Würstchen."
In the 19th century, German immigrants brought the frankfurter sausage to the United States, where it quickly became popular.
And finally the hot-dog!
A hot dog is a long thin sausage that is generally served in a hot-dog bread bun. It is a type of sandwich and is also often referred to as a "frankfurter" or a "wiener". The sausage used is the wiener (Vienna sausage) or frankfurter (Frankfurt sausage).
In the 1870s, the first hot dogs were offered in the United States. These hot dogs were manufactured from frankfurter sausages and were frequently served in a long, soft roll. In 1871, the first hot dog stand appeared in New York City, and hot dogs quickly became popular across the country.
Hot dogs are now a mainstay of American and British cuisine and a popular snack at sporting events, fairs, and other gatherings.
Although, many other cuisines around the world have their own version of a hot-dog including the Mexican street food "hot dog estilo Sonora," which is wrapped in bacon, grilled and topped with pinto beans, grilled and fresh onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, cream sauce, mustard, and jalapeno salsa.
These carrot hot-dogs have been garnished with vegan mayonnaise, mustard, tomato ketchup and Vegan Campfire Stew. So delicious and the perfect example that vegan and plant-based diets are absolutely not boring!
Modern evolution - the meat-free Carrot hot-dog!
Carrot-hotdogs or carrot-dogs have recently become become very popular especially over social media sites. Carrots literally replace the meat hotdog and are cooked in a flavoured broth until they are butter soft and delicious. The carrots beautifully soak up the smoky, sweet, tangy and savoury flavours that are added to the vegetable broth.
Your first carrot hotdog experience will likely be a very surprising one as its quite a shock that a carrot can actually replace a hot-dog and easily mimic the texture and flavour! So do suspend your disbelief and give the carrot hot-dog a go!
Carrots date back to ancient and medieval times
Domesticated carrots have been around since at least the medieval times and were cultivated from wild carrots that are indigenous to Europe and Asia. The root of the wild carrot is white, yellow, or purple, and it was used medicinally by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Carrots were initially cultivated in Persia (modern-day Iran) around the fourth century BC. These purple or yellow carrots were used for both food and medicine. The Romans introduced carrots to Europe.
Orange carrots didn't become common until the 16th century, and are claimed to have been bred by the Dutch who cultivated these carrots as a tribute to William of Orange! This is somewhat debated, but it is true that by the 17th century, orange carrots were the main type in the Netherlands.
In medieval times, carrots were grown but they were not a major crop like leeks and cabbages.
In terms of food, carrots were often used in pottages, a kind of thick soup or stew that was a mainstay of the peasant medieval diet. Carrots would have been boiled along with other vegetables, especially peas, and grains such as barley and oats, and possibly a bit of meat if it was available.
How to prepare vegan carrot-dogs
These vegan carrot hot-dogs are so easy to prepare. Simply bubble the prepared carrots in the flavoured broth until they are really soft and the sauce is nice and rich.
The texture of the carrot will be surprisingly just like an actual hot-dog and the carrots will soak up the flavours of the sweet, savoury, smoky and tangy flavoured broth.
Long thinner carrots are perfect, but if your hot-dog buns are short go for shorter stubbier carrots so that they fit your hot-dog buns.
First, prepare the carrots by cleaning and removing any blemishes.
Trim the carrots if necessary so that they are roughly the same size, if a few of your carrots are too thick simply slice in half down the centre to create two carrot dogs.
If preferred you can use a vegetable utility knife to carve the edges to look like rounded hotdogs but this isn't necessary.
Add the carrots to a saucepan with the vegetable broth or stock.
Add the nutritional yeast flakes, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika powder, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar, and give it a good mix.
Bring the sauce to the boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 55-60 minutes until the carrots are very soft, but still holding their shape, and the sauce is reduced, thick and strongly flavoured.
The carrot hot-dogs can be removed from the pot and used directly on a bread bun or roll, or cool the carrots in the sauce and chill both until required.
Top your carrot-dogs with your favourite burger sauces, relishes, and pickles. If you'd like grill lines on the carrot-dogs then simply add the cooked carrot-dogs to a BBQ or outside grill, turning the carrots frequently until grill lines appear.
Recipe Notes And FAQs
Carrot hotdogs can be stored within a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store the hotdog cooking sauce with the carrot dogs and the carrots will continue to soak up the flavours. The carrots and sauce flavours will improve even more during storing.
Yes, carrot dogs can be frozen for 1-2 months, although do keep in mind that the texture of the carrots may change and that carrot hotdogs are at their best when enjoyed fresh.
The carrot hotdogs can be reheated by placing the carrot dogs in a saucepan along with the sauce, add a little vegetable broth or water to loosen up the sauce if required, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the carrots are piping hot throughout. Adding a lid over the pan will help the carrots reheat quicker.
Alternatively reheat under a grill or broiler, turning a few times for even reheating, until the carrots are piping hot.
Also, these carrot dogs are amazing for BBQs or outside grills. Reheat the carrots on a BBQ, turning frequently to evenly brown the sides. Optional: brush the carrot hotdogs with some of the cooking sauce during reheating.
After all the carrot hotdogs have been eaten you may be left with some of the cooking sauce. If its still a little runny it can be gently boiled and reduced until its very thick and concentrated.
The carrot hotdog sauce can be added to many dishes to provide a flavour burst, try one of the following ideas:
* Add the sauce to any soups, stews, chilli's, lasagnas, or sauces that would be complimented with a BBQ flavour such as our Slow Cooker Campfire Stew
* Use the sauce as a marinade for air-fried, pan-fried, or oven baked tofu. For an easy method for air-frying and baking crispy tofu check out our recipe for Crispy Tofu Bites
* The sauce can also marinade cauliflower, tempeh, Textured vegetable protein chunks [TVP], soy curls, and lots more
* Stir the sauce through a tray of vegetables prepped for roasting and make a delicious sheet-pan tray of BBQ roasted veggies
Any of your favourite condiments, sauces, dips and toppings that you enjoy with veggie burgers, sausages, etc are perfect for carrot hotdogs.
A few ideas:
- vegan mayonnaise or aioli
- vegan sour cream
- vegan salad cream
- vegan thousand island dip/sauce
- sweet chilli sauce
- tomato ketchup
- brown sauce
- BBQ sauce
- guacamole, for an easy Guacamole recipe have a look at our Loaded Black Beans Potato Wedges recipe
- vegan refried beans
- gherkins/dill pickles
- fermented red cabbage
- kimchi/pickled cabbage/sauerkraut
- vegan grated cheese
- sliced onions
- fried onions
- fresh chilli's
- vegan bacon bits
- vegan coleslaw or slaw
- Vegan Campfire Stew
For an easy quick pickled red onion we have an easy recipe over on our Italian Bread Salad [Panzanella] recipe, this recipe can be used to quickly pickle any vegetable that can be eaten raw.
A carrot hotdog can be enjoyed on its own or with a simple salad, but here are a few more tasty ideas:
* vegan coleslaw
* mixed salad
* mixed bean salad
* pasta salad
* pasta salad
* couscous salad
* baked potato
* chips and dip
* grilled veggies
* cooked mix of frozen peas and sweetcorn
* Home-made Baked Beans in a Tomato Sauce
* Boston Baked Beans
* Traditional British Mushy Peas
* Classic Waldorf Salad
* Quick Cheesy Pasta [one-pot mac and cheese]
Absolutely! The humble carrot is perfect for vegan, vegetarian, plant-based diets and any kind of diet!
Carrots provide many health benefits, including:
High in Vitamin A: Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. This nutrient is essential for good vision, immune function, and overall health (source: National Institutes of Health, Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Health Professionals).
High in Fiber: Dietary fiber can help keep your digestive system running smoothly, reduce your risk of heart disease, and help control blood sugar levels. A medium-sized carrot contains about 3.1 grams of fiber per 100grams (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, FoodData Central).
Source of Other Vitamins and Minerals: Carrots also provide vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and other nutrients that are essential for good health (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, FoodData Central).
For more interesting information regarding the health benefits of carrots check out this useful article Carrots 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits from Healthline.com.
Another bonus is that carrots are relatively inexpensive compared to other vegetables and they can be used in lots of different dishes such as a flavouring for soups, stews, and stocks or broth. Carrots can also be steamed, boiled, baked, braised, mashed, grated or shredded, juiced, blended, and of course gently boiled in a flavourful broth to create meat-free amazing hot-dogs!
For more tasty vegan carrot recipes do check out our Old-Fashioned Carrot Cupcakes, and our Orcadian Oatmeal Soup [carrots, leeks, and swede] and this deliciously easy Carrot and Cumin Soup.
A meat-free hot-dog party station is a great idea for a budget-friendly birthday celebration or party or simply a fun family summer activity, movie night or games day meal.
Here is a simple guide to get you started:
Carrot-dogs and Buns: Prepare lots of carrot hot dogs and have enough fresh hot dog buns on hand.
Cook the hot-dogs: Cook the carrot dogs according to the recipe. The carrot dogs can be kept hot in a pot with the cooking sauce and if preferred the sauce can be diluted with extra vegetable broth to help keep the carrot dogs piping hot. Serve the carrot dogs by removing from the broth with tongs and place directly onto bread buns or add to a BBQ or grill. A slow cooker or crockpot is a great way to keep the hot-dogs warm.
Toppings: Offer a selection of hotdog toppings, anything which pairs with veggie burgers are perfect including mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, and sauerkraut, vegan cheese, veggie chili, coleslaw, jalapenos, pickles, vegan bacon bits, and a variety of sauces.
Serving: Organize your station in a way that allows guests to move through the line easily. Start with plates and buns, then the hot dogs, followed by the toppings and condiments.
Sides: Depending on the size of your party, you may want to offer a few side dishes. Classic options include potato chips, french fries, chips or wedges, baked beans, or a variety of salads like potato salad or vegan coleslaw.
Drinks: Don't forget beverages. Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, plant-based milk, water, and lemonade are all popular options.
Decorations: Depending on the occasion, you might want to add some decor to your hot dog station. This could be as simple as a red-and-white checkered tablecloth or bunting for a classic picnic look, or you could get more elaborate with themed decorations.
Hope you have a lovely carrot hot-dog bar and be sure and pop back and let us know how it went!
Absolutely! Cooking carrot hot-dogs in the slow cooker is an easy way to prepare them and is an especially great idea during the warmer months as your kitchen will be free from the cooking liquid vapours. If your using the carrot dogs for a party, BBQ, or cookout then they can be kept warm [once cooked] within the slow cooker using either the low cooking setting or the keep warm setting if your slow cooker has one.
To prepare carrot-dogs in the slow cooker:
1. Simply add the carrots along with all the ingredients listed within the recipe card to a slow cooker, ensuring that the carrots are covered in liquid, so add more broth if necessary.
2. Cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours with exact times depending on your carrots thickness and your slow cooker. Our carrot hot-dogs weighed about 45-60 grams [1 ½ - 2 oz] each and took about 4 hours 45 minutes to cook in a Swan 3.5 litre slow cooker which has a ceramic cooking pot.
3. The carrot hot-dogs are ready once a skewer easily pierces through the carrot, so try to ensure that each carrot is similar in size so that they cook at the same time.
4. Dish up the hot-dogs or keep warm until required. Use a fork or tongs to remove the carrot hot-dogs from the cooking liquid.
Vegan carrot hot-dogs are a fun introduction to plant-based and vegan diets especially for kids who can learn about the versatility and deliciousness of vegetables!
Vegan dinner recipes that feature meat-free vegan sausages
If you enjoy meat-free sausages then we have a few of our family favourites which are also favourites with our visitors. My kids especially love this fun Cowboy Pie, and this Vegan Sausage Pasta and also this Vegan Sausage Casserole. And for another classic family favourite give this vegan adaptation of the Traditional Scottish Stovies a go!
Any meat-free sausages can be used for the recipes and if your not a fan of vegan sausages then simply replace them with juicy mushrooms, smoked tofu, tempeh, or even a can of drained meaty beans such as butterbeans.
For even more mid-week meal ideas do check out our growing collection of Vegan Dinner Recipes.
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Carrot Hotdogs
- A large saucepan with lid
- 8 whole carrots [small-medium in size depending on how large your hotdog rolls are. Longer, thinner carrots are best but larger carrots can be sliced down lengthways to create 2 hot dogs.]
- 1 litre vegetable broth [use a gluten-free variety if required]
- 60 millilitres soy sauce [or use Tamari soya sauce if requiring gluten-free]
- 60 millilitres apple cider vinegar [Alternatively use red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or balsamic. Or even malt vinegar.]
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika [or ordinary paprika]
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon soft brown sugar or an alternative sugar or syrup, such as maple syrup.
Hot dog bread buns:
- 8 whole hot dog buns vegan, use gluten-free buns if required or can replace with large lettuce leafs
- vegan margarine or butter [for spreading on the bun]
- mixed salad leaves [for adding a layer on the bun]
- Prepare your carrots. Either peel or just scrub clean if the skins are unblemished. Remove the top and bottom part of each carrot.Using a small knife or peeler scrape at the ends of the carrots to create a more rounded end. although this is an optional step.8 whole carrots
- Place the carrots into the saucepan.
- Pour over the vegetable broth and add the rest of the ingredients. Give the broth a stir around the carrots so that the ingredients are mixed through.1 litre vegetable broth, 60 millilitres soy sauce, 60 millilitres apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes, 2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes pop a lid over the pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes, the exact times will depend on how thick your carrots are. Larger thicker carrots will take longer but smaller carrots may be cooked quicker than the times specified here.[The longer cooking time does result in butter soft carrots that still hold their shape so its so worth it]
- Meanwhile prepare your hotdog buns, including any fillings and condiments. Keep your eye on the carrots and don't let the sauce boil dry, just gently bubble and if you think the sauce requires a little extra liquid pour in a few tablespoons of water.8 whole hot dog buns, vegan margarine or butter, mixed salad leaves
- The sauce will now be very concentrated and thick so check to see if your carrots are very soft.
- Once cooked pop a carrot into each bun and add your preferred garnishes.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Carrot hotdogs can be stored in the fridge with any of the remaining cooking sauce. Use within 3-4 days.
- To reheat add a little extra veggie broth to the concentrated thick sauce just enough to help the carrots heat through. Bring to a simmer, place a lid on your pan, and cook for a few minutes until carrots are very hot.
- Or reheat your carrot dogs on a BBQ or grill. This will add more depths of flavour and achieve some authentic grill lines. Brush the leftover sauce over the carrot dogs as they reheat.
- Enjoy cooked carrot dogs, along with a bread bun, for a packed lunch or picnic. Just chill the carrot dog in the bun with the salad, and wrap up with food-safe wrapping. They taste amazing chilled.
- Leftover sauce will be very concentrated in flavour. So if you have eaten all the carrot dogs and have some of the sauce remaining it can be added to any stew, chilli, sauce, or soup you may be making that would be tasty with the extra BBQ flavour.
- Or use leftover stock as a marinade for tofu, brush the sauce over and allow to marinade for a few hours, before baking in a medium-hot oven for about 25 minutes. Add the tofu pieces to a salad or sandwich.
- Do have a look at our recipe notes and FAQ section above the recipe for more useful ideas about sides, repurposing leftover sauce, etc.
- For gluten-free carrot hotdogs choose a gluten-free bread bun or go with a large lettuce leaf to use as a bread-free wrap. Also select a gluten-free veggie broth and a gluten-free soy sauce such as Tamari.
- Add the carrots along with all the ingredients to a slow cooker, ensuring that the carrots are covered in liquid, so add more broth if necessary.
- Cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours with exact times depending on your carrots thickness and your slow cooker. Our carrot hot-dogs weighed about 45-60 grams [1 ½ - 2 oz] each and took about 4 hours 45 minutes to cook in a Swan 3.5 litre slow cooker which has a ceramic cooking pot.
- The carrot hot-dogs are ready once a skewer easily pierces through the carrot, so try to ensure that each carrot is similar in size so that they cook at the same time.
- Dish up the hot-dogs or keep warm until required by using the slow cooker low setting or a keep warm setting if it has one.
- Use a fork or tongs to remove the carrot hot-dogs from the cooking liquid.
Thank you for reading our Vegan Carrot Hotdog recipe post. If you tried this recipe do pop back and leave us a comment and 5 star rate the recipe.
Thanks so much! Love, Jacq x