Chili dogs, really?!! Yes, but this is not your ordinary, fat and salt-laden, processed “I wonder what’s in here” dog.

Thanks to Susan from FFV, I was inspired to make my own version, and I hope you’re inspired to try these.

Suggested toppings: spicy brown or dijon mustard, relish, cole slaw, hot peppers, pickles, sauerkraut or anything else you can dream up!

Makes: as many carrot dogs as you want!

The chili recipe makes plenty to top at least 6 carrot dogs, and you’ll have leftover…yay!

Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 3-24 hour carrot marinating time; the longer the better)

Cook time: 20-30 minutes


This three-part ingredient list includes the chili I made and the marinated carrot dogs.

Carrot Dogs

  • 4-8 large thick carrots


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbls liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbls vegan worchestershire sauce
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika
  • several dashes of pepper


  • 1 can cooked black beans
  • 1/2 can red kidney beans
  • 1/2 can canillini beans (because they were leftovers)
  • 1 large vidalia onion, minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large can no-salt crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bottle dark beer (optional)
  • 2-3 cups no-salt vegetable stock
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced into 1/2″ pieces


Start by making the marinade for the carrot dogs:

  1. Place all marinade ingredients in bowl and mix well. Pour marinade into large plastic bag with zipper top. Set aside.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut off the ends so the remaining carrot resemble ‘hot dogs’. Try to keep the size of the carrot dogs consistent and similar to your bun.
  3. Fill a large pot with water enough to cover all the carrots.
  4. Boil them just until you can easily slip a knife into each carrot, but you don’t want them soft.
  5. Immediately remove from the heat and place all carrots in a shallow pan of cold water to stop the cooking process.
  6. Add the carrots to the plastic bag of marinade and seal tightly. Place in fridge for at least 3 hours; longer is better.
  7. Occasionally shake the bag to redistribute the marinade around the carrots.

Now, let’s make the easy chili:

  1. In a deep, heavy pan, saute onions and peppers in water or a little vegetable stock, until softened.
  2. Add the celery, garlic and 1 cup of stock and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the beer.
  4. Stir to combine well, cover and cook on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to low, stir in beer and let cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Onto the carrot dogs:

  1. Fire up the grill and begin to cook your marinated carrots.
  2. It shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes to get a good char, and make sure to rotate them.
  3. Build your carrot dogs: bun, carrot dog, chili and any other condiments and toppings you like!