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Smoky Carrot Dogs with Nacho Sauce

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 20 mins
Total (including soaking) time 9 hrs, 20 mins

Serves 8 (serving size: 1 carrot dog)

It’s no coincidence that the words “vegan” and “vegetables” share a root. We've embellished the humble carrot to mimic the smoky taste and snappy texture of a hot dog. But the magic doesn’t stop there. The new-wave star of your next cookout is smothered in vegan nacho sauce and garnished to lend a jalapeño popper vibe—one we guarantee will entice vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Cashews add silky body to the nacho sauce, while turmeric contributes the quintessential golden hue. To lend a dairy-free cheesy flavor to plant-based nacho sauce, we use nutritional yeast; look for it in health food stores or well-stocked specialty grocers. Our recipe saves 8g saturated fat over standard cheese dogs without losing any of the flavor.


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 8 large carrots, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup jarred salsa
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 8 whole-wheat hot dog buns, lightly toasted
  • 2 small jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion

Nutrition Information

  • calories 228
  • fat 7.8 g
  • satfat 1.3 g
  • monofat 4 g
  • polyfat 1.9 g
  • protein 8 g
  • carbohydrate 32 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 412 mg
  • calcium 120 mg
  • sugars 7 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 1 g

How to Make It

  1. Place cashews in a bowl with water to cover by 1 inch. Let stand 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Trim ends from carrots to fit hot dog buns. Using a vegetable peeler, peel carrots, and round edges to create a hot dog shape.

  3. Place oil, tamari, liquid smoke (if desired), paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk. Place carrots in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Pour oil mixture over carrots; rub to coat on all sides. Bake at 450°F for 35 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

  4. Drain cashews. Place cashews, jarred salsa, almond milk, yeast, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, and salt in a high-powered blender. Process until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in up to 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  5. Place 1 roasted carrot in each bun. Top each with 2 tablespoons nacho sauce; top evenly with jalapeño slices and diced red onion.