HAPPY 4th of JULY WEEKEND!
I’m guessing you are reading this recipe because one of two things:
- You’re looking for an awesome plant-based option for your 4th of July weekend BBQ.
- You’re wondering what in the world a CARROT dog is.
If you fall in the second camp, I know, I kind of had the same reaction a few years back when my mom and I made them together for the first time. I believe the reaction is usually something like “a carrot…what??!?” A carrot DOG, like a hot dog, but a carrot.
Stick with me here… I promise you won’t regret it.
Carrot Dogs are an amazing alternative for vegetarians or vegans at summer BBQs. How many times have we suffered through with store-bought, frozen veggie patties that taste like cardboard (it can’t just be me, can it?). That’s not fun for anyone, never mind the fact that you don’t actually get to enjoy the best part of BBQs if you’re eating cardboard.
No more, my veggie-loving friends, carrot dogs are here for you. And honestly, your meat-loving friends will be so curious you’re going to be swaying some over to the plant side once they take a bite. Mwhaha.
Carrot Dogs have an oddly similar texture to hot dogs; they’re marinaded in a soy-vinegar mixture (with a lot more goodness we’ll get into in a minute), so they soften up overnight and are ready to be grilled.
Over the years, I’ve learned the best way to make them is to first boil them in the marinade – it makes sure they are soft throughout before you sizzle them on the grill. Once boiled, you can grill them along side all your other yummy BBQ fixin’s. They’ll have the grilled char texture, soft on the inside, with a little bit of bite, and a smoky, savory flavor.
Let’s get to that flavor…
- soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- liquid smoke
- white pepper
- onion powder
- sesame oil
Back up to liquid smoke for a minute… have you tried liquid smoke before? It’s the craziest thing ever. Just a dash provides this amazing smoky flavor without actually using real smoke. It’s what makes carrot dogs taste like hot dogs. Bonus: it’s also vegan and gluten free, so it’s not messing with anyone’s mojo!
THREE favorite ways to serve Carrot Dogs – the standard ketchup and mustard (you guys, I’m such a sucker for ketchup… who’s with me? 🙋🏽), with some pickle relish and extra banana peppers, or with a little red cabbage and jalapenos. You could also throw some Sriracha slaw on there for a real POW! Or mix it up with a little chili cheese… I mean, the possibilities are ENDLESS!
Carrot Dogs are part of my Simple Summer Recipes Series – I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes with you this summer as I’m out traveling around. Stay tuned!
Carrot Dogs – a savory, smoky plant-based option for summertime BBQs!
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 medium sized carrots*, peeled and ends cut
- Whisk together soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, liquid smoke, garlic, ginger, white pepper, onion powder, and sesame oil.
- Pour marinade in baking dish and add peeled carrots. Turn carrots to coat in marinade and place in fridge for at least 12 hours (overnight until you decide to make them is fine – more time to marinade is better!). Turn carrots occasionally (I just “swoosh” them around a few times when I’ve opened the fridge).
- When ready to cook, place carrots and marinade in a large sauce pan and boil for 15 minutes, until tender. Finish cooking carrots on a grill or fry pan over medium-high heat. Cook evenly on each side until grilled to your liking and tender throughout (approximately 2-3 minutes on each side).
I use a small baking dish to marinade the carrots in – one that fits the carrots but isn’t too large so the marinade goes at least halfway up the carrots.
You can make as many or as little carrot dogs as you’d like – 4-6 is just a suggestion!
Make sure the carrots are “hot dog” sized – you don’t want them too large or they’ll be difficult to eat.
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