How To Make Slow-Cooked Carrot Hot Dogs (Bunny Dogs)

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Carrots for sure are not the preferred “hot dog” of Americans, but I think these slow-cooked carrot hot dogs are a super tasty alternative.  Especially if you prefer not to eat meat in your diet.  Therefore I am really excited to share my recipe below and I hope you will try it!

What exactly is a carrot hot dog?

Old Man River in Tonawanda, NY, is well-known for a menu item they call a “bunny dog”.  Basically a bunny dog is a marinated and grilled carrot on a hot dog bun. When I first learned of this bunny dog, I was intrigued and had to try one!

The first bunny dog I ever ate had no condiments on it.  I just wasn’t sure what to expect and having anything else on it like, mustard or ketchup, seemed confusing.  I figured eating a plain marinated carrot inside a roll couldn’t be that bad, right?!

It isn’t bad at all!

Surprisingly the carrot hot dog was delicious!  Now I couldn’t wait to try the bunny dog with all the toppings, being the condiment queen that I am.  The next bunny dog I ate had everything on it and it was even better than I expected.

So now every year I visit Old Man River multiple times to get my bunny dog fix.  For a couple of years now I wished I knew how to make those yummy carrot dogs.

To my surprise, there are a bunch of recipes out on the web.  However, I still haven’t been able to come close to the bunny dogs from Old Man River.  There’s just nothing like them! 

Even still, I recently made up this recipe for slow-cooker carrot hot dogs.  Thus far it has been the most satisfying and authentic taste.  It was so incredibly easy to make and my family loved them.  After sharing some pics on my Facebook page, I figured I would now share my process here on the blog.

How To Make Slow-Cooked Carrot Hot Dogs (Bunny Dogs)

How To Make Slow-Cooked Carrot Hot Dogs (Bunny Dogs)

Slow-cooked carrots with a nice mesquite flavor make an excellent substitute for hot dogs. Whether you are not a meat-eater or just trying to eat healthier, you will love this easy recipe!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slow cooker, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 185kcal
Author: WNY Deals and To Dos


  • Slow cooker


  • 6-8 thick carrots
    To me, the dark orange from the rainbow variety of carrots closely resembles the color of a hot dog.
  • Water Add just enough to cover the carrots.
  • 1 packet McCormick Mesquite Marinade Usually, you can find these for around $1, near the gravy mixes.
  • 6-8 Hot Dog Rolls
  • Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard, Relish)


  • Wash and lightly peel the raw carrots. Cut off the thinnest part of each carrot, making the thickest part of the carrot about the length of a hot dog.
  • Layer the carrots on the bottom of your crockpot. Add just enough water to cover the carrots.
  • Add the Grill Mates Mesquite Marinade mix from the packet.  Be sure to get the spices absorbed into the water.  No need to mix thoroughly as the marinade will slowly come together as the carrots cook.
  • Set your slow cooker to 4 hours on low.
  • Once done, the carrots should be al dente but still soft enough for a fork to pierce through.  You want the carrots to have a bit of a snap, just like a hot dog.
  • Add the carrot dog to a hot dog bun, put on your favorite toppings, and enjoy!!!
  • (Optional) - If you like, grill the slow-cooked carrots on each side for just a couple of minutes to get that chargrilled taste. It makes them even better!!


Calorie count includes hot dog bun but no condiments.

I really hope you try this recipe and love carrot dogs as much as I do! I realize these aren’t the same as hot dogs, but they are healthier for you, and for those that don’t eat meat these are a great vegetarian option!

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      WNY Deals and To Dos