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No backyard cookout is complete without plump vegan hot dogs sizzling away on the grill, shimmering beneath the summer sun. Tucked into a soft bun, that alone would be enough to power an afternoon of outdoor revelry, but the best was still yet to come. Slathered with veggie chili and gooey melted plant-based cheese, suddenly that simple meal has transformed into these epic vegan chili cheese dogs—the stuff of childhood dreams. Equal parts indulgent and uncomplicated, you can’t beat that foolproof formula for a timeless comfort food staple.
Don’t save this classic bite of Americana just for summer. In fact, you don’t need to drag out the grill at all! Make the greatest chili cheese dogs whenever, wherever, with entirely plant-based ingredients! Even skeptics will be won over by this irresistible entrée.
High in protein: Anything meat can do, plants can do better! Nutrition varies depending on the brand but expect each meatless frank to have anywhere from 10 – 20 grams of protein each.
Serve one or one hundred: Scale the recipe up or down to accommodate any number of eaters, even if they arrive with a hearty appetite.
Four essential ingredients: You can go all-out with toppings, but there are only four core ingredients you need to bring this recipe together.
Ready in minutes: By using ready-to-eat staples, you have a quick fix meal that you just need to heat and eat.
Perfect for cooking newbies: Not confident in the kitchen? Have limited experience with fancy equipment? Trying to get the kids involved? This is an ideal place to start since it doesn’t require any knife skills, measuring, or even using a stove. There’s no shame in microwaving!
Vegan Hot Dogs: Meatless hot dogs are widely available in most mainstream supermarkets these days. You’ll find a wider selection at natural foods stores, such as Whole Foods or Sprouts, and don’t forget to check the freezer aisle as well as the fresh section, too. You can also try a more highly seasoned meatless sausage if you’d like to change things up.
Hot Dog Buns: White, whole wheat, pretzel, or gluten-free; top-sliced or side-sliced; it’s all fun on a bun! On rare occasion, you might find dairy, eggs, or honey in store-bought options, so always double check labels.
Vegan Chili: Make your own from scratch or crack open a can to get the spice right. While you have a huge number of choices from mild to extra-hot, err on the side of caution when serving a diverse audience. You can always spike yours with sriracha or jalapeño peppers to pump up the volume.
Vegan Cheese: Sharp cheddar-style shreds offer just the right amount of savory, gooey goodness here. We used Violife‘s Just Like Cheddar Shreds because it melts beautifully and tastes great in this dish. But you can use any vegan shredded cheese you can find near you!
What’s The Best Way To Cook Chili Cheese Dogs?
If you’re in a hurry, the microwave can’t be beat. It’s great for anyone cooking with since it’s fast, safe, and works in an instant. Solo diners might enjoy using the air fryer or toaster oven a bit more, since it allows the bun to get lightly toasted instead of slightly chewy. For a crowd though, it’s easier to assemble all eight dogs in a large casserole dish that you can just slide into the oven at once. In short, there’s no wrong answer; the best way to cook chili cheese dogs is the one that you prefer, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Chili Cheese Dog Topping Ideas
The fun in making chili cheese dogs is dressing them up with wild and wonderful toppings. Add a lot or a little, switching it up to keep every meal exciting. Everyone can get exactly what they want from the same basic meal this way. Just a few topping ideas include:
Chili cheese dogs could be a complete meal in and of themselves. If you’d like to round out the meal with some additional sides, there are lots of complementary accompaniments. Here are a few favorites:
These vegan chili cheese dogs are the perfect summer food — and you don't even need a grill to make them! They come together quickly (in as little as 5 minutes depending on the cooking method). They're great for parties, barbecues, family dinners, or just a quick lunchtime meal.
Keyword vegan barbecue recipe, vegan bbq recipe, vegan hot dogs, vegan party food, vegan summer dish
How To Make Chili Cheese Dogs From Scratch
Sometimes, you just want a semi-homemade solution to speed through meal prep. Other times, it’s fun to turn dinner into a project and craft every single element from scratch. If you’d like to take a DIY approach, here’s where to start.
Homemade Vegan Hot Dog Recipes
Vegan Carrot Hot Dogs may be the butt of many jokes, but don’t knock them until you’ve tried them! Humble orange tubers are transformed with a marinade of liquid smoke and liquid aminos. Almost like magic, you’ll craft a shockingly meaty alternative that’s truly plant-forward.
Seitan Dogs use wheat gluten and white beans to create a chewy, meaty bite. These are not for anyone with Celiac disease, of course, but perfect for anyone seeking extra protein in their diet.
This recipe was beautifully photographed by Kaylie Grace from Purely Kaylie. Written with support from Hannah Kaminsky. Recipe and photos copyright of World of Vegan, all rights reserved. This article contains affiliate links when available and shopping through these links supports World of Vegan. Thank you for stopping by, and enjoy the recipe!
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Unbelievably tasty and such a fun summer favorite. Love it!
delish melty cheesy vegan dogs. My kids couldn’t even tell it wasn’t the usual ssausages
That’s amazing! Love hearing this!
OMG! These were such a hit at our bbq!
Yay! They’re such a guilty pleasure, aren’t they? 🙂
These are so perfect for vegan cookouts! This recipe is a staple now!
They are! What do you like on your vegan hot dogs, besides the chili and cheese?
These vegan cheese dogs are so so good!
There’s a vegan bakery I love nearby that makes vegan hot dog like these sooo good!
I love this 5 minutes recipe. My family loves this too. Thanks for sharing!!
These chili dogs take me back to my childhood! They were a big hit at our BBQ!
Ohh so delicious! I set out all the toppings and let everyone make their own, makes it so fun!
Such a classic! Perfect for a BBQ get-together!
My vegan friends loved these, as did the rest of us! I’ll definitely be making again
These look soooo good!!!
Don’t they make your stomach rumble? Mmmmm!