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May 16, 2019

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

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I am aware that carrots are not the preferred "hot dog" of the majority of Americans, but after finding out what ingredients are in and the process of making regular hot dogs, I essentially stopped eating them.  Still to this day I can't bring myself to enjoy them the way I had before my hot dog manufacturing process revelation.

The first time I visited Old Man River in Tonawanda, NY, I found out they were known for their "bunny dog", which is just a marinated and grilled carrot on a hot dog bun. I was intrigued and just had to try one!

I wasn't sure what to expect that first time I ordered a bunny dog and definitely was befuddled when they asked me what condiments I wanted on it.  I couldn't even comprehend this whole concept of mustard, ketchup, relish and onions on a carrot, so for my first time I passed on the toppings.  I figured eating a plain marinated carrot inside a roll couldn't be that bad, right?!

Surprisingly the carrot hot dog was delicious and I was sold!  Being the condiment queen that I am, I couldn't wait to try the bunny dog with all the toppings.  So I went in line to order a second, this time with everything on it.  The bunny dog, condiments and all, was even better than I expected.

Every year I visit Old Man River multiple times to get my bunny dog fix, but for a couple of years now I wished I knew how to make those carrot dogs. To my surprise, there are a bunch of recipes out on the web. After trying different recipes, ingredients, and processes, I still haven't been able to come close to the bunny dogs from Old Man River.  There's just nothing like them!  However, I recently made this slow-cooker recipe that has been the most satisfying thus far.  It was so incredibly easy and my family loved them.  So after sharing some pics on my Facebook page I figured I would share my process here on the blog.


  • 6 to 8 large, thick carrots (to me the dark orange from the rainbow variety of carrots closely resembles the color of a hot dog)
  • Water - just enough to cover the carrots
  • Packet of McCormick Mesquite Marinade (usually you can find these for around $1, near the gravy mixes)
  • Hot Dog Rolls


  1. 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.
  2. Layer the carrots on the bottom of your crock pot. Add just enough water to cover the carrots.
  3. 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.
  4. Set your slow cooker to 4 hours on low.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the carrot dog to a hot dog bun, put on your favorite toppings, and enjoy!!!
  7. (Optional) - If you like, grill the slow-cooked carrots on each side for just a couple of minutes to get that char grilled taste. Makes them even better!!

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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