This tasty Vegan Chili Dog recipe features a vegan hot dog in a bun smothered with veggie chili, vegan cheese, and onions! This American classic recipe is made vegan while still keeping it easy to make, delicious, and filling, too.
We sat at the Dreamy Weenie restaurant on the outskirts of the French Quarter anxiously awaiting our meal to arrive. It’s not every day we get to order a Vegan Hotdog with Veggie Black Bean Cajun Chili, Vegan Cheese, and a Sweet Pepper Relish.
This was going to be good and we knew it. After it arrived the only thing we could say was thank goodness we split one, because it was a large meal, especially with curly fries. It was all worth the wait — delicious from the first bite!
I couldn’t wait to get back from New Orleans to recreate my own vegan chili dog recipe. And that’s exactly what I did.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Making your own, quick, vegan chili means you control the level of spice and flavors
- Cooking vegan hot dogs creates added flavor in every bite
- Adding vegan cheese means a tasty vegan flavor and creaminess in every bite.
What are Vegan Chili Dogs?
You make a vegan chili dog by stuffing hot dog buns with your favorite vegan hot dogs. Top these with vegan chili, vegan cheddar shreds, and any of your favorite toppings, such as chopped onions.
Since hotdogs are something you typically eat at the ballpark, then let’s just say this one is a grand slam. And, now you can even find vegan hot dogs at Costco! You may already know, but I love shopping vegan at Costco!
A chili dog smothered in homemade bean chili, cheese, and onions is a perfect weeknight dinner! You can add vegan chili dog sauce, too, by combining vegan mayo with your favorite seasonings, like sriracha. That makes every hot dog chili-infused bite even better!
Vegan Chili Dog Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Olive oil
- Veggie hotdogs — I love using Lightlife jumbo vegan hot dogs
- Hotdog buns — Look at the labels to make sure they’re vegan or make your own vegan hot dog buns
- Vegan cheese — Vegan cheddar shreds work great, or you can use whatever flavor you prefer
- Onion — Chopped red onion works great here, but green onions will work too
- Garlic — You’ll need a few cloves to add to the vegan chili (or use garlic powder)
- Black beans — Use 1 can of black beans or kidney beans for this simple vegan chili
- Veggie crumbles — These are optional but they add texture and plant-based protein
- Chili powder — Use plain chili powder or from a chili seasoning packet
- Petite stewed tomatoes — You can use diced tomatoes here, too
Quick Fix Tip
In a hurry? You can buy a can of vegetable chili and skip the quick, homemade chili in this recipe.
How to Make Vegan Chili Dogs
It’s easy to make vegan chili dogs! Here’s a synopsis of the steps:
- Cook the vegan hot dogs — You can use a grill, a skillet, or even boil them in a saucepan
- Make the vegan chili — This is a pared-down, super-simple recipe with all the right flavors
- Toast the hot dog buns — Toasting the hot dog buns is important. You can even add a slather of vegan butter
- Assemble the chili dogs — Add cooked hot dogs to the buns, and then top them with chili and more of your favorite toppings.
Here’s a visual guide to the instructions.
Step One: Cook Vegan Hot Dogs
Begin by placing some vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, place the hotdogs in the skillet and cook until the sides are browned. Use tongs to turn the hot dogs to cook them evenly.
Place the cooked hot dogs in an oven on low to stay warm.
Step Two: Make Easy Vegan Chili
Place the oil and chopped onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions until they are tender and translucent.
Stir in the remaining vegan chili ingredients. Cook the chili over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Give it another stir and then allow it to cook until some of the liquid has cooked out and you’re left with a nice, thick chili. See? It’s so fast!
You’ll notice I used black beans, even though kidney beans are a more typical chili bean. Either one will work here.
If you’re in a hurry, use my easy vegan chili recipe!
Step Three: Toasted Hot Dog Buns
While the skillet is still hot, drizzle it with some more olive oil and place hotdog buns (or brat buns) face down. The goal here is to brown the insides of the buns. Rub the buns in the oil and cook each one for a few minutes until toasted, and then set them aside.
Step Four: Assemble Vegan Chili Dogs
Place a cooked hotdog in each toasted bun. Top each hot dog with vegan chili and vegan cheese. Place the hotdogs back in the skillet, making sure the heat is set to low. Place a lid over the skillet and leave them there for about 5 minutes to allow the steam to melt the cheese.
If you’re in a hurry (like I usually am), go ahead and put them on a plate and microwave for a minute or so.
Eating Vegan Hot Dogs
We were poor when I was a kid. And that means we ate a lot of hotdogs. And they probably were the extra-unhealthy, super-cheap kind.
I ate hotdogs boiled. I had them sliced down the middle and fried. I even ate them cold; the slimy surface leaving behind a coating in my mouth.
Now as an adult I think about the kinds of things I ate as a child and I think about what ingredients we now know are in those cheap hotdogs, and I cringe.
Today I eat hotdogs made from soy. My hubby and I joke about what parts of the tofu bean is used to create these veggie hotdogs. Could it be soy lips? Soy intestines? Who knows what else?
And we laugh. There’s no part of a soybean that we are particularly disgusted at eating. So today I can eat my veggie hot dog boiled. Or I can fry it in a pan. Or I can even eat it cold, straight from the fridge. It doesn’t leave that fatty coating in my mouth and I’m OK with that. Completely.
Vegan Chili Dog Sauce
To add an optional vegan chili dog sauce, make this bell pepper aioli:
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seed
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. It will be runny at first, but it will thicken after a few minutes.
Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon or two of sriracha to 1/4 cup vegan mayo.
Want more Tofu Hot Dog Recipes?
Sure, you love this vegan chili dog recipe, but it leaves you wanting more! Be sure to check out these tasty recipes:
- This Baked Hot Dog Casserole dish is vegan through and through and so delicious!
- Make Vegan Hot Dogs with a variety of fun and tasty toppings!
- If you want some different vegan chili toppings, try this Vegan Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili as an option
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
Vegan Chili Dogs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 4 veggie hotdogs
- 4 hotdog buns I used brat buns since we had a hard time finding dairy-free hot dog buns…go figure!
- 1 cup vegan cheese
- Vegan Chili Dog Sauce (optional) See notes.
- 1/2 cup onion , peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , peeled and chopped
- 15 ounce can of black beans , rinsed and drained (or kidney beans)
- 1 cup veggie crumbles
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 15 ounce can petite stewed tomatoes
- Place a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and warm up to medium heat. Place the hotdogs in the skillet and cook until the sides are browned, turning so each side is cooked. Place in an oven on low to stay warm.
- While the skillet is still hot, pour another tablespoon of olive oil and place hotdog buns (or brat buns) face down to brown the insides of the buns. Rub the buns around in the oil and cook each one for a few minutes until toasted. Set aside.
- Place a warmed hotdog in each toasted bun. Top with vegan chili and vegan cheese. Place the hotdogs back in the skillet, making sure the heat is set to low. Place a lid over the skillet and leave them there for about 5 minutes to allow the steam to melt the cheese. If you’re in a hurry (like I usually am), go ahead and put them on a plate and microwave for a minute or so.
- Top with Sweet Pepper Aioli and serve warm.
- Place the oil and chopped onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, stir well, and cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Give it another stir and then allow it to cook until some of the liquid has cooked out and you’re left with a nice, thick chili.
- 1/2 cup red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seed
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published on June 14, 2013, and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.