Now you can make your favorite childhood snack meatless with these Vegetarian Pigs in a Blanket. They’re made without meat substitutes and instead use “carrot dogs” for a nutritious, fun, and easy-to-make appetizer!
Cue the nostalgia, because this childhood favorite is making a comeback in a big way. A few months ago I had a craving – a very rare and therefore strange craving – for pigs in a blanket. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d even had pigs in a blanket. Was I five? Six? Seven? I couldn’t have been any older than that. Yet here I was, a mostly-vegetarian eater craving this nostalgic recipe.
And, now, as a huge fan of easy vegetarian appetizer recipes, ones that are flavorful and in this case especially, perfect for game day, I knew it was time to revive my favorite carrot dog trick, fulfill my craving.
What You’ll Need
The basis of this recipe is marinated baby carrots. There are quite a few ingredients in the marinade, as they add a whole lotta flavor to the carrots, giving them an ultra-savory taste for the pigs in a blanket.
In addition to that, you’ll need is crescent rolls. I like to keep things easy and go ahead and use storebought croissant dough. And did you know that Pillsbury crescent rolls are technically vegan? Yes, it’s true – there isn’t any dairy or eggs in them – so if you’re vegan, you can surely enjoy this appetizer, too! As always, be sure to check your specific ingredients!
Carrot Dog Marinade
For this recipe, I like to use baby carrots mostly for convenience. They’re all similarly sized and ready to go. If you want to use whole carrots, feel free to, and simply chop them into similar-sized pieces before marinating.
The ingredients in the marinade infuse into the carrots, giving them a wonderful umami undertone with a slightly smoky flavor.
- Soy Sauce and Stock (or water) – the main base, soy sauce gives us the umami flavor and adding a little vegetable stock or water simply gives us more liquid for the carrots to soak in.
- Rice Vinegar: some acidity
- Liquid Smoke: a little goes a long way! This is great to have on hand for adding a little smokiness to vegetarian BBQ recipes.
- Garlic: of course! In the past I’ve also added minced ginger, but I didn’t find a huge difference without out, so for ease, it’s optional!
- White Pepper: it’s earthy and a little musty, adding a unique flavor the marinade.
- Onion Powder
- Sesame Oil: I recommend toasted sesame oil for the most flavor.
- Brown Sugar: optional; it adds just a touch of sweetness to balance out all the flavors.
How to Make Vegetarian Pigs in a Blanket
To make this recipe, you will need to plan ahead of time to allow for the carrots to marinade, so be sure to prep it the day before the big game, party, or whenever you have a craving. That being said, the time to make this recipe is most hands-off and is super easy!
- Marinade the carrots. As I mentioned, start this the day before you want to make the veggie pigs in a blanket, or the morning of. The longer, the more flavorful the carrots will be.
- Boil the carrots. Transfer the marinade and the carrots into a saucepan and simmer until the carrots are tender. This is the main step for cooking the carrots, so be sure they are tender for eating. Drain carrots and let them cool slightly.
- Cut the crescent rolls. Crescent rolls come in a package of 8 triangles. These are too large for our mini carrots, so you will need to slice the triangles into two or three triangles. Cutting the larger triangles into half is good for the larger sized baby carrots. If I have tiny baby carrots, I’ll slice a third smaller triangle for it.
- Roll the pigs in a blanket. Place the baby carrot on the larger side of the crescent roll dough traingle and begin rolling the dough around the carrot. If you have a single strip (not a triangle), begin at one end and roll it around the carrot.
- Top with seasining – if you want. Everything But the Bagel seasoning is a super yummy addition to the tops of these little bites. You could also sprinkle on sesame seeds or sea salt flakes.
- Bake! Place the rolled pigs in a blanket on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Now, in typical childhood fashion, I love dipping these meatless pigs in a blanket in a good ol’ dollop of ketchup. There’s also mustard for those of you who are mustard fans. You could venture out and try dipping them in bourbon BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, or even this super easy garlic aioli.
Pigs in a blanket can be served as an easy finger-food appetizer by themselves or with other fun finger foods like scalloped corn arancini, mini vegetarian corn dogs, garlic herb breadsticks, or crispy zucchini fries.
Storage & Make Ahead Tips
- Leftovers: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat them in an airfryer at 350F until warm and crisp, or in the oven until heated through. I wouldn’t recommend the microwave as they will come out soggy.
- Make-Ahead: you can make the marinade up to 2 days in advance and then continue preparing the pigs in a blanket the day of. I wouldn’t recommend baking them ahead of time, as they’re best fresh.
Yes, as long as the crescent rolls you use are made without dairy or eggs, these are also vegan! Be sure to check the labels of the specific ingredients you buy to be 100% certain.
I tested this recipe with puff pastry dough strips too, and while it works, they don’t get beautifully golden brown unless you use an egg wash, so I would recommend doing so if you decide to use puff pastry instead.
Vegetarian Pigs in a Blanket
Carrot Dog Marinade
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock or water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or smashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, optional
- 16 ounces baby carrots
Pigs in Blanket
- 16 ounces crescent rolls, 2 packages
- Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, optional
- Marinade: whisk together soy sauce, stock, liquid smoke, garlic, ginger, white pepper, onion powder, sesame oil, and brown sugar. Place baby carrots in a bowl with a lid or shallow pan and pour the marinade on top. Ideally, the carrots will be submerged. Cover and store in the fridge for 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally if the carrots are not fully submerged.
- Place marinade and carrots in a large saucepan. The liquid should cover the carrots, and if it doesn't, add water until the carrots are submerged. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes until the carrots are tender. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate out the crescent roll pieces and cut each one into two or three smaller triangles or strips.
- Place one baby carrot on the wide end of the crescent roll strip and roll until the dough is completely wrapped around the carrot. Place on the baking sheet and top with seasoning, if using. Continue rolling the remaining carrots until all crescent rolls are used.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the rolls are golden brown. Serve immediately with dipping sauce of choice and enjoy!
- Recipe makes approximately 32-36 pigs in a blanket.
- Leftover Carrots: you may have leftover carrots depending on how many crescent rolls you cut from the package. You can save them in the fridge or freezer to make more later.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.