Have you ever heard of carrot dogs? And before you scoff, “there’s NO WAY a carrot can taste like a hot dog,” HEAR ME OUT.
Carrots, YES carrots, can be used as a hot dog substitute. You can top them with anything and everything veggie that you place on a “regular” hot dog, and it tastes fabulous while simultaneously serving a variety of dietary “restrictions”.
You can make these soy-free, gluten-free, nightshade-free, low-histamine, low-carb, and probably anything else you can think of, so it’s naturally a #winwin.
Because dealing with food sensitivities (or a new change in diet) while also honoring your family’s palette can be tricky– particularly when you have picky eaters and/or are trying to please a wide range of eating styles. That’s why it’s beneficial for you to take common “crowd-pleasers” and place your own little spin on it.
And that’s where these carrot dogs really come into play.
Now, I know what you’re thinking if you’ve never had one. Really? Like, how can a CARROT taste like a hot dog? Classic skeptic.
You see, today I’m going to share with you the super secret reason that this TOTALLY works, and you can use it as your guide when coming up with your own carrot dog creations…
…are you ready?
Why carrot dogs taste like hot dogs
It’s all in the toppings. Seriously.
It’s not that a hot dog and a carrot taste the same, but when you season the carrot dog (by “marinating” it), stuff it in a bun (gluten-free even!), and top it with your absolute favorite toppings (I’m talking chopped onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup, hot peppers, you name it), it surprisingly tastes like a hot dog!
You get all those delicious hot dog flavors, without any cruelty or processed soy, and STILL honor your personal food requirements.
I LOVE this idea because:
- It’s EASY. I skip the drawn out method and share my easy carrot dog recipe that can be completed in 30 min.
- Versatile. Toppings for hot dogs are endless! Which is why I’m providing you with 3 ways to enjoy these yummy non-franks, but feel free to go off the tracks to recreate your own favorites.
- Allergy friendly. With just a few tweaks, this recipe is perfect for those following gluten-free, low-histamine, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and more! The choice is yours.
Now, onto the 3 ways you can enjoy YOUR carrot dog!
Carrot Dogs 3 Ways:
Chili Cheese Dogs:
veggie chili + smokey cashew cheese* + sliced jalapenos
*Smokey cashew cheese: ½ C cashews soaked in ½ C almond milk for 10 minutes, and then blended with ¼ C nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, and ¼ teaspoon pink salt.
dairy-free coleslaw + mustard + chopped onions + sliced pickles
shredded red cabbage + chopped cucumbers + sprinkle of dill weed + maple mustard drizzle*
*Maple mustard drizzle: 1 tablespoon tahini + 1 tablespoon maple syrup + 1 teaspoon ground mustard + 1 teaspoon turmeric + ⅛ teaspoon pink salt + splash of water, blended.
I hope you get a chance to try this AMAZING alternative, and please let me know what you think in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Just set your air-fryer on the bake setting at 350°. In step 2, transfer the carrot dogs with BBQ sauce to your air-fryer without the parchment paper and continue with recipe.
YES! Instead of placing them in the oven, transfer your dogs to a heated grill and baste the carrot dogs with BBQ sauce as you continue to cook them. This would really add to the flavor! If you’re worried about your carrot dogs falling through, use a grilling tray.
Totally! Top your carrot dogs however your heart desires. Other toppings include relish, ketchup, mayo, olives, bell peppers, artichokes, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.
Allergy Information & Notes
- These carrot dogs are 100% vegan, meaning they are meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.
- Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free hot dog buns.
- For allergies, see the 3 varieties above to pick and choose what you need to build your own.
- Don’t want to use liquid smoke? Trade it out for smoked paprika.
Need a nacho cheese for the chili cheese carrot dogs? Try my vegan nacho cheese.
Allergy-Friendly Easy Vegan Carrot Dogs
- 1 lb carrots ends removed and cut into hot dog length pieces
- ½ cup vegetable broth + more if carrots are extra large (you can also use vegan not-beef broth)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- BBQ sauce for basting
- Black pepper
- Buns + toppings of choice (see in post for notes)
- Place carrots in a large skillet with the vegetable broth and liquid smoke. Cover and steam until all liquid is absorbed and carrots are fork tender, about 20 minutes (may add more vegetable broth if liquid is absorbed and carrots are not cooked through- this is possible with extra large carrots).
- Once tender, stop if doing low-histamine and serve. Otherwise, continue by transferring carrots to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with BBQ sauce and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes, until carrots start to lightly brown.
- Remove from oven, pop in buns of choice (white, whole wheat, or gluten-free), and garnish with desired toppings. Please see post notes for three types of toppings!
Thank you for taking the time to invest in your health and happiness!
My hubby and I have been having a version of your low histamine carrot dog about once a week since you posted the recipe. We love them!!!! We don’t use BBQ sauce as the topping, mainly as we don’t have it in the house much, but use sauerkraut and mustard as those are common staples for us. I also add a bit more garlic and onion powder to the broth along with a shake of red pepper flakes just to ramp up the flavor. I save the broth to use a few times as it gets really flavorful. Thank you so much for introducing us to a new family favorite! 🙂
Oh, this is wonderful Heidi!! I’m so glad you guys have been enjoying them! Saving the broth sounds like a great idea too, as I’m sure it builds in flavor. And classic sauerkraut and mustard sounds divine! Thanks for sharing your experience with this recipe, I really appreciate it!
Thanks for your response. Good enough– I am cooking for one. Ground mustard vs. store-bought is interesting as I don’t seem to have a challenge with either. However, I also don’t use them very much. I seem to tolerate hot peppers like jalapenos. Who knows? I never liked hotdogs as a kid (perhaps I was smart) Carrots and buns are A-OK. I have enjoyed them in the past. I will try your version. I have been a vegetarian for 45 years now and am almost vegan.
I am sure your recipe will be great and will now try it.
Lol, sounds like you were wise at a young age to turn down the hot dogs Lynne! And yes, I’ve never had reactions to store bought mustard, although I’ve heard of others who have (perhaps since it contains vinegar and other preservatives). If you don’t notice any kind of negative reaction to jalapenos, that’s good too! I hope you enjoy these dogs, and thanks for giving me an update on your thoughts:)
Pickles, jalapenos, ketchup, mustard– aren’t those all histamine “”bad guys?” Your site has been very helpful to me, but I just don’t understand sometimes. Where you have helped me is to remind me to step back, be calm and look for balance as I don’t have any known food allergies. I realized, however, that my diet was on histamine overload and have been eliminating triggers. Things are going pretty well. I think you were the person who said that the thing you crave the most is probably what you are allergic to. Tomato sauce and most nightshades are off the menu, and that seems to make a huge difference. Plus I unloaded a lot of stress in my life.
Thanks for what you do here,
Hi Lynne, I apologize for the confusion, but if you’ll please note in the toppings section of the post, I have a specific recipe for low-histamine vegans, which does not contain pickles, jalapenos, or ketchup; the mustard “drizzle” is made using ground mustard (not store-bought mustard, which contains vinegar). The other two dogs (ballpark and chili cheese) are not low-histamine friendly, but can come in handy for families who have to incorporate a variety of diets (a common concern I’m hearing). I am happy to hear that you are doing well, and finding what does/does not work for you. And yes, balance is key! I hope you come back to this post and give the low-histamine dog a try- it’s my husbands favorite of the three!
Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of carrot dogs. I think I’ll have to try them on my family and see what happens!
Welcome to the carrot club lol! I’d love to hear how they turn out Charlee- my kids love them with ketchup and pickles:)