Carrot Dogs (Chicago Style)
I heard people rave about carrot dogs for years, but I never understood the hype. Of course, I've tried many carrot dog recipes, but I honestly wasn't all that impressed. So, I decided to throw my chef hat into the ring, create my carrot dog recipe, and see if I could love beloved carrot dogs. And, to my surprise, I finally found a combination I adore.
In the past, when I made carrot dogs, they didn't have the texture or the flavor I was looking for. Instead, the carrot dogs I made were soggy and tasted like a carrot rather than a 'hot dog.' Although I never really liked hot dogs as a kid, I learned to like them loaded with mustard, ketchup, and other toppings.
However, this time, my taste buds led me down a different path, and I must say, I now love carrot dogs. And the family agreed, which is always the goal.
CHOOSING THE CARROTS FOR CARROTS DOGS AND PREPPING THEM
As with most recipes, the quality of the product you choose and the preparation are sometimes more important than the execution itself. For this carrot dog cooking experiment, I decided on 4 organics, similar-sized and different colored carrots. Out of curiosity, I wanted to test using different color carrots to see what they looked like after cooking.
Although most recipes suggest boiling for 15 minutes, I kept my timer at 10 minutes to make sure my dogs weren't soggy, as in my attempts in the past.
CARROT DOG MARINADE IS THE SECRET SAUCE TO THE PERFECT DOG
Often, when I eat out, I attempt to taste all the hidden ingredients to make my version of the foods I love. Unfortunately, I'm not too fond of the marinades I've used in the past to make carrot dogs, so this concoction is a little different. I've become the taste tester throughout the years, and I tried to make my carrot dogs taste like vegan hot dogs rather than real hot dogs. After all, we are vegan. Who wants to eat a real hot dog? YUCK!
SO...WHAT MAKES MY CARROT DOG MARINADE SPECIAL?
- Vegetable Broth
- Soy Sauce or Tamari for a gluten-free option
- Vegan Worchestershire Sauce (I like Annie's)
- Hickory Liquid Smoke
- Rice Vinegar
- Maple Syrup
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
As always, I suggest marinating EVERYTHING overnight for the best results!
COOKING THE CARROT DOGS TO PERFECTION
Once the carrot dogs marinate overnight, it is time to cook up the dogs! In my opinion, slow and low is the way to go. As usual, you can cook the carrot dogs in a non-stick skillet or cook them on the grill. Regardless of how you choose to cook them, these veggie dogs only turn out perfectly if you use every last bit of the marinade while cooking.
- Pour small amounts of the marinade into the pan and rotate the dogs until all the liquid dissipates; continue until all the marinade is gone.
- Cook low and slow
- Place on the grill and continuously brush the marinade on the carrot dogs, rotating them and repeating until all the marinade is gone.
- Again, cook low and slow.
Next, choose an oil-free healthy bun, and load up with your favorite toppings. We kept it simple with pickle relish and mustard, but here are some more suggestions to liven up your dogs:
- BBQ Coleslaw Recipe
- Southwest Coleslaw
- Mexican Coleslaw Recipe
- Asian Coleslaw
- Vegan Coleslaw
- Vegan Coney Chili Sauce The Real Deal
- Jalapenos or Mild Banana Peppers
- Fruit Salsa Recipe
- Tomatillo Salsa
- Chopped onions
And, if you are looking for great side dishes, like the Crispy Air Fryer Steak Fries Recipe I served, here are some of my personal favorites:
- Vegan Baked Beans
- Greek Potato Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
- Cajun Pasta Salad
- Healthy Greek Pasta Salad
Instead of opting for a veggie dog, give healthy carrot dogs a try next time. You may be as pleasantly surprised as I was!
HOW TO MAKE A CARROT DOG CHICAGO STYLE (SHOWN ABOVE)
- Yellow Mustard
- Tomato Slices
- Pickle Relish
- Sliced Dill Pickle Spears
- Diced Onion
- Sport Peppers
- Poppy Seeds
- 4-6 organic carrots the same size, trimmed and peeled
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- [3 Tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari for a gluten-free option ]
- [2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce I used Annie's]
- [1 Tablespoon rice vinegar]
- [2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke]
- [2 Tablespoons maple syrup]
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- Trim and peel carrots, selecting ones that are approximately the same size.
- In a pot, add 1 teaspoon of salt and the carrots.
- Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
- Using tongs, gently remove the carrots and run them under cold water until they are room temperature and easy to hold.
- In a large plastic bag or a container (the width of the carrots, combine all the ingredients (I used a large ziplock bag)
- Place the carrots gently in the bag and seal, allowing the carrots to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- PAN METHOD
- Using a non-stick skillet, heat the pan to low and gently place the carrots in the pan.
- When the pan reaches temperature, add a small amount of marinade from the bag and all the carrots to cook until the marinade dissipates.
- Then, rotate the carrot dogs, add a little more marinade, and repeat this process of rotating and adding fluid until all the liquid is gone from the bag and the pan.
- Serve in heated buns with your favorite toppings.
- GRILL METHOD
- Heat the grill to low. When it is preheated, place the carrot dogs directly on the grill.
- Using a brush, add the marinade to the carrot dogs continuously as you turn them until all the liquid is gone.
- Serve in heated buns with your favorite toppings.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂