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  • Makes 8 carrot dogs
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Don’t doubt the deliciousness of carrot dogs until you’ve tasted one. Cooked whole carrots soak up tons of flavor from a smoky marinade. Though these carrot dogs need four hours to marinade, this recipe requires only about 20 minutes of active prep time. 

Give these other healthy vegan recipes a try today!

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 8 large carrots
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 8 whole wheat hot dog buns, toasted if desired
  • ½ of a red onion, finely chopped (¼ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • ½ of a medium cucumber, spiralized


  • Peel carrots and trim to 6 inches long. Trim wide end to make a consistent thickness. Place carrots in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Cover pan and bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cook carrots 8 to 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain well.
  • Place carrots in a large resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, in a bowl combine the next 11 ingredients (through cloves) and ½ cup water. Pour over carrots; seal bag. Chill 4 to 24 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and discard marinade.
  • Grill carrots, covered, over medium-high 5 to 8 minutes or until grill marks start to appear, turning occasionally. Or place carrots in a foil-lined baking pan and bake at 450°F 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.
  • Place grilled carrots in buns. Top carrot dogs with red onion, mustard, and cucumber.

Comments (120)

(5 from 53 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Amazing--taste just like hot dogs...I have had a number of meat eating friends taste them and none of them could believe how much they tasted like hot dogs. Perfect for Memorial Day weekend.

Derrick Johnson

Sounds amazing


Step 3 is a little confusing. If I grill on bbq do I still have to cover?

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Laura, Yes, if you are grilling on the BBQ, cover them if you can. This will help keep them moist while still getting the yummy smoky flavor.


These are great. Still working on my hot dog loving 6 year old to enjoy these. He ate about half of one. Oddly enough, I made them on his request! 2 year old wouldn't touch it... But he also doesn't like actual hot dogs so 🤷🏿‍♀️


We use to call them Bunny Dogs. You can add your fav veggie toppings. These are favorful.


Love these! I never comment on recipes but this one has definitely inspired me and I cannot wait to make them again!


We laugh because they look so much like hot dogs! I actually enjoy eating this version.


I have made many carrot dog recipes over the years ans this one is the best I have had. The flavors are awesome!


This recipe is confusing. The end 1/2 c water mentioned in the directions of is not on the list and the first 1 cup broth is not used?


It looks to me like the broth is #1 of the 11 ingredients you are combining and then you add 1/2 c of water to this into the bag to marinate the carrots.

Courtney Davison

Hi Joyce, Adam is correct: The broth is used in Step 2, for the marinade. As for the water, we generally do not include water in ingredient lists; we instead call for it in the instruction steps. The reason being that often our recipes call for small amounts of water throughout. Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives

Anne Smith

It's been a while since I made these, but I remember cooking the carrots right in the marinade solution, saving some time. I love them, but have trouble finding good hotdog buns, so I just wrap them in slices of organic, sprouted whole grain bread.


Gave 5 stars even though I haven't tried yet but sounds wonderful! will make tomorrow. As a single older woman, going to try doing these in my small air fryer basket. All tips will be thankful!


After reading all the reviews, and with skepticism, I decided to give these carrot dogs a try. Mind blown! Very slight “carrot taste”, but especially with diced onions, vegan mayo and ketchup it was a delicious and much healthier alternative to hot dogs. Served with the FOK onion rings…also a hit. I never cease to be impressed with the FOK recipes. Thank you!


I have made these several times. Love ‘em. I have cooked them on the grill, but the best way is to use a large stainless steel skillet and pour the marinade on the carrots, turning them often. Cook until the marinade is absorbed by the carrots.

Mary Kay

Can these be microwaved? I am in a hotel room with a kitchenette for 4 months. It has a stovetop and microwave oven, but no oven. Thanks!

Megan Edwards

Hi Mary Kay, While we haven't tried it ourselves, you could likely make this recipe through step 2 (marinating the carrots) and then microwave them for about 60 seconds to replace the grilling. After that first minute of microwaving, put the carrot dog in a bun and microwave for an additional 30 seconds so everything gets warm and soft. If you're craving char marks on your carrot dog, you could always get a grill pan and use it on the stovetop in your room to make the recipe as is. Let us know what you do and how it turns out!


I was intrigued by the recipe, so gave it a go this week. Super good flavor and interestingly enough, really do have a 'hotdog' taste and feel. Definitely need sides and a protein source to make it a complete meal, but will make them again.


These worked out great! We had 8 adults over for dinner, and everyone liked the flavor and it was a hit! I made quick pickled red onions, which really went well with it too! Easy and flavorful. I will definitely make these again when I'm craving a hotdog.


We love these in our house! Top them with Kimchi.....yum!


Delicious and surprisingly more hotdog-like than I imagined a carrot dog could be! They also have much better texture than soy dogs. Especially when they are cooked a little on the al dente side.


I used smoked paprika( 1 tsp) instead of liquid smoke. Still awesome.


Thanks for the ➕ idea

Jennifer Suarez

This is helpful since I don’t like liquid smoke!!!! Thanks!


Thanks! I was planning to try that n see how they turned out bc I’m done w the grocery store & forgot to get liquid smoke. I’m glad you liked the sub-in of extra smoked paprika.


I made these with baby carrots and cooked to almost tender (about 5-6min), then cooled completely. I used them to make "pigs in a blanket" with Immaculate brand crescent roll dough. They went great with honey mustard dipping sauce. A huge hit! Will definitely make again.


Did you cook the carrot dogs first? How long did you bake the rolls?


What a great idea!!


These are AMAZING! Love them in corn tortillas. We make a lentil sloppy joe mix and the FOK Mac n cheese and have some sauerkraut. You just put your favorite topping on and onions and mustard and pickles Always a great meal! Thank you for a fantastic recipe

Linda Mesko

I adore hot dogs but gave them up. This recipe captures the essence and taste of an excellent veggie substitute. I have already made them twice with a batch marinating tonight in the fridge! Can’t wait.


Sept #2 says (through cloves) what does that mean??

Barb Piel

It means add all the ingredient up to and including the cloves.

Dee Dee

This recipe just sounded too interesting not to try. I was pleasantly surprised at how much the carrots tasted like hot dogs. I would definitely make them again.

Rede Batcheller

I am near to drooling. I have the carrots. I have the spices etc. Must make some "hot dog" buns. Glad I found your site.


First, let me say that I am a carnivor in a family that is skewing vegetarian/pescatarian and that I rarely leave a comment. However, I was intrigued by the rave reviews for this carrot dogs recipe. I prepared this recipe over the weekend for my family and they loved it! I, myself was pleasantly surprised at the flavor and texture. I will definitely be keeping this recipe to make not only for my family but myself! I already have a request from my sons and grandchildren to make them next time along with a vegetarian chili sauce for chili dogs. Thank you for such an amazing recipe.

Denise McKenzie

I read all the comments and thought people were exaggerating. I was skeptical. We marinated organic rainbow carrots for 5 hours and grilled them. Surprisingly, the carrots were delicious. They tasted similar to the Field Roast Classic Smoked Plant-Based Frankfurter, which we love. I was initially a little put off by the texture of the carrot, but got used to it. I would definitely make these again.


Hallelujah I can have hot dogs! I love these. I personally will use smaller carrots next time and I marinated overnight. I don't have a grill but cooked in the oven and they were great.


I don't have maple syrup. could I substitute molasses?


Can I reuse the marinade I made for the Carrot Hot Dogs for more carrot Hot Dogs later. Can I store it in the freezer or fridge?

Megan Edwards

Hi Pat! You could store the leftover marinade in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week to make more Carrot Dogs, but we don't recommend freezing it. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Lara Lueder

Could this recipe be made with baby carrots?


amazing! I am completely shocked it tasted spot on!


I made these for the first time three years ago. LOVE THEM!! I look forward to making them every summer!


After reading all of the great reviews, I had to try these. They are actually really really good and I will definitely make them again. If you try them alone, they do have a bit of the carrot taste still (which I don't mind), but dipped in a little homemade ketchup and v mayo, they really feel/taste like a hot dog! Next time I'm going to get some gf hotdog buns and sauté onions like another reviewer suggested. We also always have sauerkraut on hand so will try that as well. Thanks for a fantastic hot dog alternative! These will be a regular for me (whether or not my family eats them). :)


I am trying to watch sodium intake (hypertension) and wondering if anyone had eliminated the soy sauce in the recipe, or substituted it with a better alternative?


Coconut aminos are a great alternative to soy sauce!


Trader Joe's has an awesome organic BBQ Coconut Amino's that will also provide the smokey flavor


Well, I was sold on the reviews, so I thought I'd add my five stars to the mix. I was SHOCKED at how much these tasted like hotdogs. I was actually a little put off by the smell of the marinade, because it was so much like hotdog that it took me a minute to reconcile with the fact that it wasn't real. There was definitely a carrot taste that I didn't see anyone else address, which is fine unless you're serving them to someone who is completely anti-vegan. (As some of my family is.) My kids all loved them, and when we're talking hotdogs, I'm taking their opinion over anyone's. But yeah, SO MUCH LIKE a hotdog. Someone else mentioned they froze the marinade and used it again, and I'm really sad I didn't do that. Next time, for sure. Make these!!


So very delicious! I love to saute onions and add sauerkraut. Then top with mustard. OMG so good!!!


Freezing the marinade! GREAT idea!!


Great flavor and texture! The flavor is spot on. Love these!


I cried. This is the taste that I have missed over the last 10 years and FOK you’ve done it! My house smelled like hot dogs. They are amazing!! The smell, taste, texture all topped with spicy brown mustard made my dreams come true. FIVE STARS.


Excelllent. Love this. Interestingly I made bbq carrots in the 80's once when I found mysefe sans hotdogs. They were good. These are better. Big thanx!


I was very skeptical of this recipe. I do not like cooked carrots. I made it exactly as said. They were very good. I really enjoyed them and will make them again. Thanks to all reviews that said they were good.

Henrietta Aline Wolf

Could Forks over Knives please include the calories in their recipes. Thanks.

Arthur Haule

I was thinking the same thing. It would be interesting to do a side by side comparison with all the nutritional numbers on name brands like Hebrew National or Nathan’s.


There are a couple great free apps for calculating nutritional information. It’s good to learn how to do this yourself.


If you are WFPB, no oils, there is no need to worry about that unless sugar or salt are an issue.


These are great! Even though I no longer have a grill, they were tasty just fried in a skillet. I really missed hot dogs and never liked any of the vegan ones I tried. They make a super quick lunch as leftovers too. So thrilled to have this recipe!


These carrot dogs are amazing ! My husband & I both love them, even our 11 year old grandson prefers them over hot dogs. I make them a lot & they last in the fridge easily 10 days. I have even put the brine in a bag & freeze it & reused, I just add more liquid smoke 2nd time around, A real winner


These are freakishly good! It even felt like I was biting into a hot dog. I didn't do the cucumber. I don't have a spiralizer, and I don't like cucumber. I just put onions and stone ground mustard on it. So good!


I could not believe my eyes when I saw the carrot inside the bun... I will give it a try : )

K Nix

Can anyone tell me the health risks of liquid smoke please.

James Felder

Dr. Greger at NutritionFacts.org answer this. All of the carcinogens in smoke itself are fat soluble, so food with fat that is directly exposed to smoke absorb those carcinogens. So definitely one doesn't want to eat any smoked meats including fish. But liquid smoke seasoning use a water extraction process that captures only the water soluble part of the smoke and very little of the carcinogens. Here is a link to the full video. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-liquid-smoke-flavoring-carcinogenic/

Tina Brown

FYI, I believe liquid smoke does contain MSG.


This recipe is great! It really lives up to all the rave reviews.

Joy Klawiter

This was a decent alternative to hot dogs. Way less salt content-so way better for me! Can’t wait to get the stone ground mustard in the house. I only had Dijon when I made these. Yum.


I am allergic to liquid smoke and smoke paprika, is there anything else I can use to make these taste great.


This comment is very unfair. You are asking questions about the recipe and haven’t made it, yet rate it one star?


You might want to check what type of wood is used to obtain the smoke flavor, the specific wood may be what you’re allergic to. What you may also look into doing is maybe smoking it yourself.


I would agree. If you have a specific allergy don’t rate the recipe low bc you can’t eat it move on and look for a different recipe.


I have to say these are almost weirdly EXACTLY like the real thing! I was shocked! This makes me think that when at least some people crave “meat,” what they actually are craving is a certain mix of spices and textures. I know that for a long time before I became PB I would just love the smell of meat, and that initial flavor of seasoning, and then yuck! What do I do with this flavorless stuff in my mouth?!

Mary Darnieder

My mind was blown away by these. Thank you!!!! I will be making these all the time. I figured I could use baby carrots for mini bbq dogs.


These smelled and tasted just like real hotdogs amazing.


These were fantastic and my picky teenager gobbled down two!


Can’t wait to try these! Anybody have any gluten-free (sprouted?) organic bun options/ideas?


Ezekiel sells those. I find them in freezer aisle at my grocers.


We aren’t fans of hot dog buns so we use corn tortillas. Delicious


I have an air fryer oven and I would like to know how I can cook the carrots in it?

James Felder

The only issue that I can see would be that blowing hot air rapidly over the dogs like an airfryer does would dry them out too much on the outside. One option is to make one extra carrot and cook just the one extra in the airfryer as a test and the rest in the regular oven.

Brenda Lowe

I have these often and I love them! I put one on a bun, add mustard, relish, and onion. Yummo! There's no reason to ever go back to meat dogs.



Ann Marie Acacio

I had a carrot dog at a vegan neighbor's picnic and was pleasantly surprised how realistic they tasted to a hot dog, which I haven't had in over 40 yrs of being a vegetarian. Unfortunately, that night I have the same indigestion I would have if I had eaten a hot dog. I'll be making the carrots without the spices that don't agree with me and, hopefully, that will do the trick. Has anyone else had this experience?


Ann Marie Acacio, It's probably the liquid smoke. I used to get bad heartburn from that.


I can hardly wait to try these! Such a brilliant idea!!


It’s the liquid smoke. I can’t have it. I get a massive headache


Every time I make these people are happily surprised-and love them. I have marinated them longer than 24 hours and they are still delicious. They go well with the FOK recipe for baked beans (I leave off the cornbread.)

Suzanne Wright

Sounds delicious, but why not skip the plastic bag? There is no need to use plastic for this, they'll marinate just fine without. I use reusable bowls covers when I want to seal something and it works perfectly. Let's all think about reducing our use on single use plastic items.


The one thing my husband missed the most, after switching to a plant-based, whole-food diet, was hot dogs. He loves these carrot dogs with a bit of mustard and some sauerkraut. For me, carrot dogs are not only tasty, but they do not upset my stomach like regular hot dogs did.


I just didn't believe that carrots could taste anything like a hot dog. But for sure, when I bit into it, I was biting into a hot dog. I never have to eat a hot dog again. Even my picky daughter thought these were fantastic. I will be making these for all my BBQ's this summer. Thanks.


Question- Could these be made ahead thru Step 2 and frozen, then thawed and grilled? Or fully cooked and then frozen? Any thoughts on which way would be best?


Based on the reviews it got i wanted to give them a try. After all how can a carrot taste like a hot dog. I brought them to a friends house to go with the homemade sauerkraut they make. I thought if nothing else we would have a good laugh. Well one bite and I was amazed at how they tasted. My friend who was skeptical was amazed and said this recipe was a keeper. It definitely it is.

Lynn Rooks

These carrot dogs are absolutely amazing. I used my own baked bread with these.

kokoro nagomu

don't boil them in water, just add the spices to the water you're going to boil them in.... when they're cool freeze leftover carrot dogs in sandwich bags with a tablespoon of cooking broth... use the left over spiced cooking broth to cook beans from scratch.... put an inch or two of dry beans (anything but kidney beans, kidney beans need to be boiled for a while so no slow cooker) use beans like pinto, black beans, small lima, navy, cranberry beans, etc. into a slow cooker crock and cover with 3 inches of water above the beans and soak overnight. drain soaked beans, pour carrot dog broth and water to cover beans about two inches over, cook on high for a few hours... add cumin seeds, mustard seed, rosemary and/or whatever seasonings you like (allspice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg etc). you can even add chopped onion and peppers... and then continue cooking on low until soft enough to squish them between your fingers. .... while cooking you might need to add boiling water to keep liquid level just above the beans.

Lucy Huron

I reduced the liquid smoke ingredient and cooked on my outdoor smoker until crisp on the outside yet tender on the inside. These were delicious!

James Felder

The issue with cooking in a smoker is that smoke from burning wood contains high levels of carcinogens. These carcinogens are fat soluble, and so are not present in any substantial amount in liquid smoke, which uses a water extraction process to get the flavor elements without capturing the carcinogenic parts. The carrots are basically fat free, so it might not matter if the carrots are directly smoked. But it is possible that physical contact might be enough for the carrots to absorb some of the cancer causing portion of the smoke.

Jessica King



These are surprisingly delicious! Can’t wait to have them again


I made these tonight for dinner. I did not have time to boil them and then marinate them so I boiled them in the marinade then grilled them. These were so delicious.


These were delicious!

Maggie Shayne

I couldn't wait to try these. I just knew they would work, and they did! I think soaking in the brine for 48 hours might be even better, so we're leaving some in to try them again tomorrow. Wonderful recipe! Who would've thought?


Have you ever tried without the liquid smoke? I'm thinking maybe the smoky paprika is enough... Thanks!

Maggie Shayne

I didn't have smoked paprika and used regular. I thought the same, that the liquid smoke would be enough. And it was.


My husband said he was skeptical, but he liked them! I like them better than regular hot dogs and they are guilt free. Regular hot dogs are 70 %f fat.


A hit! I was inspired to make these after reading the rave reviews. They were AWESOME!! With all the fixings, smoked paprika and liquid smoke, they tasted like grilled hot dogs.


Hi! Would these keep for a few days in the fridge if I made in advance? Can't wait to try :)

Sherry Reilly

I don't have liquid smoke. Do you feel it to be a key ingredient or can I dom without it this time? I'm excited to try this

Anita M Koller

Liquid smoke gives it a smokie flavor. It's pretty cheap and easy to find in most grocery stores.


I live in a country where liquid smoke isn't available. Did make yours without it, and if you did was it still delicious? Thank you

Heather A

Strictly made this based on the number of 5 star reviews and BOY am I glad I did. Followed the marinade to a T and let the carrots sit for about 5 hours. My mother in law (playfully) made fun of me and changed her tune after she had a bite! Will one thousand percent make again.

Andrew Meades

Anyone know if they can be jarred and stored that way for easy cooking without the long marination? If so, what would be the steps? Thanks!

Bethany McMillan

“This has got to be the strangest thing you’ve ever made.” His first words. His last words were, “be sure to save this recipe.” We did not use the grill but I found a hot cast iron skillet provided the perfect char.


Just had these. Sooo very good! The marinade was perfect! I let mine marinade for a few hours and the dogs had a lovely smoky flavour to them. But you know what put these over the top? Proper stone ground mustard. Don't use Dijon. Don't use yellow. Get the real stuff. It works soooo well with this recipe!! Definitely going to be my summer go to!

Lindsey Hallstedt

These exceeded my expectations! So easy to make too!


Absolutely amazing! I honestly wasn't expecting much but we found them to be similar to the real thing! Just as satisfying! This will be our 'hotdog' meal from now on.

Susan Wilford

I can’t imagine this tasting like a hot dog, so I’ll just have to try this!!!


I’ll admit, I was very doubtful with this recipe. No way could a carrot be as satisfying as an occasional hot dog! But I’m all for new recipes, and has to try it. I marinated the carrots for 24 hours since that time frame coincided with my husband coming home and of course I was going to try these with him! The process was simple, and we followed the recipe to a T. E were both very pleasantly surprised! Don’t skip the liquid smoke, it really gave that extra little something. Give it a try! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Claudia Novellino

Delicious and easy! I will be making this again sokn

Claudia Novellino

Easy to make an absolutely delicious!! Would definitely have again.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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