Veggie Dogs – This meatless version of the classic Hot dog is loaded with vegetables, more flavorful and better for you!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Idaho Potato Commission. All opinions, as always, are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Love is in my tummy.
I grew up in India, and as much as my family instilled in me the love of all things food (Indian and Burmese), TV also had a role to play. As children, my brother and I watched a lot of Cartoon Network (as you can imagine) and as a result, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs were the stuff of our dreams, particularly because the only way we could ever taste them, was in our minds as we watched the animated characters noshing on them!
The first chance I got to eating anything remotely out of our childhood TV shows was on a flight to the Andaman Islands where they served toast, eggs and chicken sausages for breakfast. And while I did not hate it, it did burst my fantasy bubble a little bit. I guess my Indian taste buds, used to a minimum of 5 herbs & spices in every meal, expected more heat and flavor.
But to be fair, it was airplane food – and there is yet to be something served on a flight that I could learn to love. I read somewhere that the reason most of us hate airplane food is because the high altitude and pressurized cabin alters our taste buds, so that everything you eat tastes bland and unappetizing even if it isn’t actually so. And I say most of us, because my husband LOVES airplane food. He enjoys the tiny portions, the way it’s presented – how everything comes wrapped individually. It’s extremely weird, especially to sit next to him, jet lagged, hungry, hating limited legroom and the terrible food and there he is, giddy as a child when the food trolley comes a rolling!
Anyway, since my first assessment of the sausage came from such a poor source, I decided to give it a try again on land. It was definitely better, yes, but still nothing short of what I expected. Besides a little research on hot dogs (particularly the sausages) enlightened me on some of the crappy things they put in there, and I decided to steer clear of the thing forever.
BUT childhood obsessions have a way of nagging at you – so I gave in to the nagging and made it myself, the way I imagined hot dogs should taste like. I remembered these delicious ground chicken cutlets my mother used to make – and replicated the recipe, but using a ton of vegetables instead!
WHAT MAKES THESE VEGGIE DOGS AWESOME?
2. Unlike regular cutlets, this one isn’t deep fried. It’s lightly pan-fried and you can even get away with baking them.
3. The patty is perfectly freezable. My mother usually makes large batches of these and freezes them under layers of wax paper in sealed containers. When the cravings hit, all you need to do is pop one out of the freezer and fry them up!
4. Like all homemade things, you know exactly what goes into it, and that’s just peace of mind on a plate.
What’s in them?
The incredible Idaho® potatoes form the base of these veggie dogs, although I also throw in some beets (for color and sweetness), carrots, green peas, sautéed onions, and jalapeno (if I have some), fresh ginger, and my favorite spice blend: garam masala (Indian five spice), cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix it all in with some breadcrumbs (I usually get garlic+herb seasoned breadcrumbs) to absorb the excess moisture from the vegetables.
Now comes the fun part: rolling the veggie dogs. Use some cling wrap/wax paper and spread 1/4 c of filling in a 5″ log. Roll and twist the ends like a candy wrapper. Knot the twisted ends for extra stability. Repeat with the rest. You’ll get about 8 sausages with this recipe.
Reusable alternative to waxpaper or cling film
Thanks a million to Tracey for leaving a comment asking for a reusable alternative to using waxpaper or cling film in shaping these veggie dogs!
YES! You can absolutely use a reusable beeswax wrap to just shape them (it’s just not easy getting a log shape when doing it by hand). Then place on a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining veggie mix. Then freeze. Even if you are planning to make them the same day, freeze for atleast 30mins-1 hr for them to be solid enough to handle. Then roll in breadcrumbs and fry. If you plan on making a double or triple batch for freezing, once they get firm in the freezer, transfer to reusable silicone freezer bags ( I LOVE THEM!). There’s no need to thaw before frying. They go straight from freezer to breadcrumbs to hot pan.
Neat huh! Just like a real meaty sausage sans all the crap and junk they put into the processed meat. And you can freeze these for a rainy day!
Oh but please don’t fry these without removing the wrapper.
Just before pan-frying, roll the veggie dogs in more breadcrumbs for that awesome crunchy coat. I normally buy a garlic+herb breadcrumbs, but when I run out of it (as was the case here), I blend panko with garlic powder, Italian seasoning herbs and salt.
Slide into a hot dog bun, top with ketchup/mustard/mayo/your favorite relish and enjoy your Veggie Dogs hot!
This recipe was first published on APRIL 26, 2016. Updated NOV 5th, 2020.
For the patties
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¾ cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 -3 green chilies, de-seeded, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- ¾ cup carrots, finely grated
- ½ medium beetroot, cooked, finely grated
- 3 medium Idaho® Russet potatoes, cooked, mashed
- ½ cup peas, cooked, mashed
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- Salt to taste
- 2 -3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
For the crumb coat
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- For frying
- Vegetable Oil, for shallow frying
Make the veggie dog mixture
- In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat.
- Saute the chopped onions with a pinch of salt until translucent. Stir in the chopped green chillis and ginger.
- Add in the grated carrots and cook for a minute. Make sure all the water is evaporated.
- Add the grated beetroot, potatoes, peas and ground spices. Season with salt, to taste.
- Continue cooking until the excess water is cooked off and you get a firm, but soft dough-like ball of veggie mixture. Turn off heat and let cool completely.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro and ¼ cup breadcrumbs until you get a stiff mix, ready to be rolled.
Shape the veggie dogs
- Divide the veggie mix into 8 equal parts (roughly ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon each).
- Using a small piece of clingfilm/wax paper, shape each ball into a sausage roughly the length of a hot dog bun, rolling with the help of the clingfilm/wax paper. Wrap in the same clingfilm/wax paper to refrigerate/freeze/until ready to fry.
Fry the veggie dogs
- Place ½ cup breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or plate. Roll each veggie sausage in the breadcrumbs and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan for shallow frying.
- Place the veggie sausages (2-3 in a medium pan) and fry them over medium-low heat until properly browned on all sides. Since the filling is pre-cooked, you’re only going to fry until the outsides crisp up.
Repeat with the remaining veggie sausages.
- Place inside a hot dog bun, top with mustard/ketchup/mayo, relish and serve immediately.
- The 3 medium Idaho® Russet potatoes when cooked yielded 1.5 cups mashed potatoes.
- ½ medium beetroot, when cooked and grated, yielded 1 cup grated beetroot.
- I used roasted garlic flavored breadcrumbs, it greatly enhanced the taste. If you can't get any, just use your regular breadcrumbs mixed with some garlic powder + Italian dried seasoning.
- You can pan-fry these with a little oil for a healthier version, but with deep-frying, you get a crispier crust. These were not meant to be grilled.
- These veggie sausages can be frozen in the clingflim/ wax paper placed in freezer bags for upto 6 months. They can also be made upto a week in advance and refrigerated until needed. They are best fried just before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.