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 the idea of carrot dogs. 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!
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.
What You’ll Need
- Carrots. Big fat ones if you can find them!
- Soy sauce
- Red wine vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Liquid smoke
- Smoked paprika
- Onion powder
- Garlic Powder
- Hot dog buns
- Hot dog toppings
How to Make Carrot Dogs
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.
You can let them soak longer, 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.
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 give you mushy carrot dogs!
When they’re done, stuff your dogs into buns and pile on your favorite toppings.
Carrot Dog Tips & FAQ
- Can carrot dogs be made gluten-free? Absolutely! Substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce and use gluten-free buns.
- Shelf life & storage: Carrot dogs are best served right away, but if you do have leftovers they’ll keep in a sealed bag or container in the fridge for about 3 days.
- Where can I find liquid smoke? Most supermarkets sell it near the barbecue sauce. If you can’t find it there, try online.
- Can I use the leftover marinade for 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.
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!
- 6 large carrots
- 1/2 cup water, plus more for boiling the carrots
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- High-heat oil, for grilling
- 6 hot dog rolls
- Toppings of choice
Peel and then trim each carrot to about the length of a hot dog bun. If you'd like, you can peel it to an even thickness and round the edges to make it resemble a hot dog.
Place the carrots into a large pot and cover them with water. Place the pot over high heat.
Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the carrots until just tender (not mushy). This should take between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your carrots.
Carefully drain the carrots and rinse them under cold running water.
To make the marinade, stir the water, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, onion power, and garlic powder together in a small bowl.
Place the carrots in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Let the carrots soak for 1 to 2 hours.
After the carrots have finished soaking, lightly oil and heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium, or lightly oil and place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Grill the carrot dogs for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly charred and tender.
Stuff the carrot dogs into rolls and top with toppings of choice.