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.
Why These Are The Best Chili Cheese Dogs Ever
- 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:
- Mustard or ketchup
- Diced red or yellow onions
- Sliced chives or scallions
- Sliced jalapeño or sriracha
- Shredded lettuce
- Crushed corn chips
- Diced avocado
- Pickle relish
- Vegan sour cream
What To Serve With Chili Cheese Dogs
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:
- Leafy green salad
- Classic vegan potato salad
- Potato wedges, sweet potato fries, polenta fries, or zucchini fries
- Air fryer corn ribs (or corn on the cob)
- Pasta salad
- Jalapeno corn muffins
- Watermelon cucumber salad
- Air fryer broccoli
- Cut carrots sticks and/or celery
These vegan chili 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.
8 vegan hot dogs
8 hotdog buns
Mustard (to taste)
1 can of vegan chili (or use homemade)
Vegan cheddar cheese shreds (any brand)
Diced purple onion
Sliced chives (green onion or cilantro will work too)
- Cook hotdogs according to package instructions.
- Make a slit down the center of each bun and press down with your fingers to create a boat for the dogs.
- Add a slathering of mustard, if desired, and place a dog in each bun.
- Top with chili and vegan cheese, and heat in the microwave, toaster oven, oven, or air fryer until the cheese is melted.
- Top with diced onion, chives, and jalapeños (or your favorite toppings), and enjoy!
Keywords: barbecue, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, dairy-free, summer
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.
- Three Ingredient Vegan Hot Dogs are ideal for anyone working with a tight budget or limited pantry. All takes it chickpea flour, vegan mayonnaise, and ketchup to make a meatless miracle.
Homemade Vegan Chili Recipes
- Easy Does It Sunday Evening Chili comes from Ashely Melilo’s new book, Blissful Basil. It gets its name from the short, simple prep that lets you sit back, relax, and occasionally give it a stir.
- Meatless Texas-Style Chili has no beans about it! This is a 100% plant-based chili that would make a true Texan proud.
- Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is based on whole foods, which makes an invigorating yet comforting and hearty stew for all seasons.
Homemade Vegan Cheese Recipes
- Cheese Dip is intended to go with pretzels, but you can very happily drizzle it all over your chili dogs instead as an instant cheese sauce.
- Grateable Vegan Cheese shreds, melts, and tastes just like the real thing! You’ll need more time to make it in advance, but it’s worth the extra effort.
- Vegan Beer Cheese is a fun, grownup twist on a simple cheese sauce. If you already have shredded vegan cheddar and want to make them more exciting, here’s a way to dress up the basics.
More Quick Fix Vegan Party Recipes That Start With Pantry Staples
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!