Homemade veggie hotdogs

Veggie hotdog

A while back, I bought a pack of veggie bratwursts made by Viana. I loved the taste and texture of those sausages and — as luck would have it — the ingredients listed the percentages of the two main ingredients (tofu and gluten). Using that info & the nutritional values, I “back engineered” a recipe.

The bratwursts that I made using that recipe were great. My FIL (who is omni) tried them, and I overheard him telling someone a few days later that they’d be hard-pressed to distinguish them from the type containing dead animals (well, he didn’t put it quite like that, but that was the gist).

After that successful experiment, I turned my attention to making veggie hotdogs… or weiners, wieners, frankfurters or whatever you want to call them! I thought it should be pretty easy, considering it was just a matter of fiddling with the spices and making them a tad softer and smaller than sausages. The first time I made them, I was in vegan heaven, because not only did they taste better than store-bought veggie hotdogs, they were a whole lot cheaper to make.

You’ll notice that the base ingredients are the same as my Vegan Deli Slices, because that recipe was also derived from the original bratwurst recipe. I won’t repeat the info on ingredients, so you may want to peruse that recipe if there’s any ingredient you’re not sure about.

Edit: I now add a teaspoon of arrowroot to the gluten flour before mixing in the wet ingredients. This makes a more “cohesive” dog.




Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Yield 8 hotdogs


  • 5 Tablespoons ground almonds (30g)
  • 9 ounces tofu (250g)
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons mild vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (35g)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 1+1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten flour (140g)
  • 1 teaspoon ground arrowroot


  1. If you're starting with whole almonds, grind them in the blender first while it's still clean and dry, then remove and set aside.

  2. Crumble the tofu into the blender. Measure the soy sauce into a measuring cup and add enough water so the mixture equals 100ml (6-1/2 tablespoons). Add this to the blender.

  3. Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT gluten. Blenderise until completely smooth. Empty into a large mixing bowl.

  4. Add wheat gluten flour and mix until evenly combined. You'll have a soft dough.

  5. Divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a hotdog shape (make sure you don't roll them longer than your steamer!). Wrap each hotdog in parchment paper and then in aluminium foil. Lightly twist the ends together.

  6. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Arrange wrapped hotdogs in your steamer insert with the seam side down. There is less chance of the hotdogs bursting the foil if they are packed tightly in the steamer. I arrange four dogs on the bottom, then another four at a 90 degree angle on top.

  7. Steam for 45 minutes over gently simmering water. If you've arranged your dogs in two layers, switch their positions halfway through the cooking time (bottom ones on top and top ones on bottom). Turn heat off and let cool.

  8. To cook, simmer unwrapped dogs in water for 5 minutes.


Can be frozen for future use (leave them wrapped in parchment/foil, and place in a plastic freezer bag).


  1. Oh I have to try me some of these!

  2. Now….show us your freezer!

  3. heh, oh yeah, my freezer! Thank you so much for reminding me πŸ™„

  4. These look great! I will have to try them. I’ve been making more things with gluten lately as my own Mr Thrifty likes the chewiness. I like it less chewy, so I’ll experiment. Thanks!

  5. thank you Felicity. I will try to make this hot dog which I would like to make it myself, since I am vegetarian. and was not sure how they make it or what ingredients they have in it. so thank you once again.

  6. Thank you soo much for this! I found since going vegan the only thing I craved was hotdogs (weird, because I never used to like them when I was a meat-eater) and veggie dogs are too expensive. I made a batch of these and they are wonderful! Also after I took them out of the freezer and had them in a pot for 5mins, I threw them in a pan and fried them with tofu (and nutritional yeast, green pepper, corn and some spices) … it is wonderful for a scrambled egg/sausage kind of deal.

  7. oh I forgot to add that we didn’t have ground almonds so we used ground flax meal and it was great!

  8. Ashley — I like the idea of frying them with veggies and nutritional yeast, yumm πŸ™‚

  9. Made the hot dogs today with okara instead of ground almonds and tofu . Because I did’t have smoked paprika I added liquid smoke for the taste and cook them under pressure 6 min. They are excellent and taste so good. This recipe is the best. Thanks

  10. Janine — Thanks so much for sharing! What a great way to use okara. And cooking them in a pressure cooker sounds like a real time and energy saver. Very Thrifty!

  11. Hi I love the idea of making your own veggie dogs too but am a little worried about all that gluten is there anything that would make a good substitute? I do eat wheat but I dont want to eat a lot. Otherwise the recipe looks and sounds great. thank you Valerie

  12. valerie — I haven’t experimented myself with gluten-free sausages, but Monique has what looks like a good recipe here, which uses chickpea flour (besan) instead of gluten. You can modify the spice mixture for hotdogs. There are also some gluten-free veggie sausage recipes here. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  13. Are these blanched almonds in the recipe?

  14. I use unblanched because I’m lazy πŸ˜‰ Either will work.

  15. Do you mean Gluten Flour or should I look for something else?

  16. Never mind. I see the answer in your comment about arrowroot.

  17. Ok, I am IN LOVE with these!
    Not only are they pretty, but they’re DELICIOUS!
    I prepared them exactly as written, but rather than boiling them, I finished them on the BBQ.
    Thanks for such an exciting recipe!

  18. What firmness of the tofu should be used?

  19. Alison — so glad you love them! They’re one of my favourites.
    Cindy — the tofu I use is regular (not silken) and medium firmness.

  20. THANK YOU!! I am so pleased to find this recipe. I have been searching for a vege hot dog recipe for several years and will be trying this one very soon!!! Thank you again!!

  21. I made these last week end. LOVED THEM. I need to work a bit on my technique to get the dogs looking slender and more “hot-dog-esque” but I will be definatley be making these in large batches and freezing. Thanks!

  22. Mark & Margaret Torbit

    We are so happy to see your great recipe so looking forward to cooking them in the next week. However a ? regarding “cooling” .Do we allow them to cool in the pot with steamer or do we remove steamer from heat source? We want to follow your directions carefully as we are SO grateful for your backward engineering & believe your efforts are a true boon to our now “Lost w/o Morningstar’s Veggie Hot Dogs ” family .

  23. Hi Mark & Margaret — When I finish cooking them, I simply turn the heat off and let them sit as-is (with steamer insert over pot and lid on steamer insert). I’ve got a gas hob, so the heat goes off instantly; if you’ve got an electric stove you should probably move the whole thing onto another (cold) burner, or onto a trivet. Hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚ I used to love Morningstar’s veggie bacon before I was vegan!

  24. Hi, just wondered if you ever tried wrapping the sausages, wieners, brats in a bean curd sheet for that extra “bite” (texture) you get with the meat version?

  25. Hi John — I haven’t tried it, but I *have* thought of it. I think it would work really well. Next time I hunt down some bean curd skin I am going to try it!

  26. I just made these, except I baked them in the oven (because of course, they were longer than the steamer). 350F, 35-30minutes. Amazing!
    Great Recipe!

    I imagine slicing them up and pan frying them would probably be equally amazing!

  27. I love this idea. One question: are the almonds raw or roasted? It shouldn’t change the texture too much, but I want to try it the ‘right’ way first.

  28. Hi Matthew — I use raw almonds πŸ™‚

  29. I am sooo excited to have found this! I’ve been looking for years. We loved Loma Linda Veggie links and ate them for years, but realized that they are made with ingredients that we are trying to avoid. Tried many times but without success to develop my own recipe using ideas from my favorite cookbook – Modern Vegetable Protein Cookbook, by Joan and Keith Kendig (out of print but really worth tracking down.) Can’ wait to try this. Thanks so much for your efforts and for sharing this.

  30. I want to make these for someone who has a nut allergy. Would it work if I substituted rice flour or semolina for the ground almonds? I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  31. Hi LCoyoteS — If they’re not allergic to seeds, you could substitute sunflower seeds. For a nutless/seedless version, semolina or cornmeal would probably work. You could also try just leaving the almonds out, without substitution — I don’t think they’re critical to the end result. Good luck πŸ™‚

  32. that hotdog was better then a real hot dog yum yum

  33. I would like to know it dried ground mushrooms can be sucessfully used in your recipe. Could the mushrooms be substituted for the nuts???


  34. Hi Brenda — I’m not sure substituting dried mushrooms for the nuts would work that well, because the dried ‘shrooms would absorb liquid and might make the sausages drier. If you don’t want to use nuts, you can probably just leave them out.

  35. These were delicious!!! Next time, I’ll make a double batch. The flavor was awesome, but what impressed me most was the consistency! Seitan (wheat gluten) usually disappoints me in the consistency department (as do many other faux meats I’ve tried–don’t even get me started on store-bought veggie dogs), but these really felt close to meat hot dogs. A lot of mine burst out of the ends because I guess I didn’t twist them tight enough, but other than that, I wouldn’t change anything in the recipe. I also used mostly silken tofu, as I had that open in the fridge, and that turned out fine. Thank you!!

  36. Thanks so much for this recipe. I have been trying to find a recipe where I can actually find the ingredients in the grocery store. I live in Mo and for shopping choices we have few the closest whole foods market is 189 miles away. I have always wanted to start the vegetarian life style for a long time and I want my kids to start it as well little by little. I don’t like to buy hot dogs cause they are disgusting and so is baloney. But my kids love them I buy the kosher dogs but they are still made out of meat. With this recipe I can have more options to feed them. I don’t want to pressure them in to the life style they pretty much eat meat once a week so hopefully they like this.

  37. thx for the recipe but i have one question:
    the wheat gluten has to be in powder or in the cooked form? thx

  38. Hi isaac — wheat gluten powder needs to be used. I’ll change the recipe to clarify that.

  39. thanks for the recipe. If we do leave them in the freezer for future use, is there a particular way to cook them again. i know that frozen hotdogs from the store have a few ways of cooking them, so I was wondering what the best method would be for this.

  40. Hi Usha — I just cook them from frozen at a gentle simmer, same as the fresh ones.

  41. can I use whole wheat flour instead ?

  42. Hi margie — no, whole wheat flour can’t be substituted for wheat gluten flour in this recipe. Wheat gluten has all the starch removed, whereas other flour does not.

  43. is there a gluten free recipe?

  44. hi Janie — Sorry, I’ve not developed a gluten-free recipe for the hot dogs. You can try modifying one of the recipes from this website.

  45. Hi! I was wondering, is there anything I can use instead of the Gluten Powder? I’m allergic and this recepie sounds too amazing to pass up!

  46. Can’t wait to try these! Love Italian sausages. Will have to try adjusting the spices to make them italian as well.

  47. these look good, but I can’t eat gluten due to my celiac…. am wondering if you have any suggestions for a substitute? maybe beans? or beans and oat flour? anyone tried a gluten free version?
    thank you

    • hi Heather — I haven’t developed any gluten-free β€œmeat” or sausage recipes, but Rhea over at The β€˜V’ Word has, and they look fab. Check out her Gluten-Free Spicy Italian Sausages. You can experiment with gluten-free hotdogs by substituting hotdog seasonings for the Italian ones.

  48. I was just watching Little Bill and it was called Going Fishing little bill janette and her father and little bill’s father went fishing at first everyone was catching fish except for Little Bill then they ate Veggie Dogs for lunch and they were putting different things on it like peanut butter and little bill learned that everybody likes different thing and little bill said that the fish might like Veggie Dogs insted of their BAIT.When they finished eating lunch they got back in the boat and they put a peice of Veggie Dog on it .It was sooooo suprising Little bill put the line in the water with out plain bait but with the Veggie Dog on it and Little bill acctully catched a Huge fish WITH A VEGGIE DOG.I just went in the living room and told my mother what happened and she was also suprised too she told me to get on the computer and print out this recipe .She also said we will try and see if it acctully works in real lifeif it doesn’t work she we wil eat the veggie dogs and use plain bait for fish.

  49. I’ve only recently been introduced to okara and this recipe was a welcome find. I made the sausages last night but they turned out much redder than yours in the picture. Also, the texture was kinda flaky – any idea why that might be? Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Abs — hmmm, the only reason I could think of as to why they may be redder is the brand of paprika you are using must be darker red than the one I used. As for being flaky… sorry not really sure on that one either, if you want a firmer dog you can try adding a bit more arrowroot.

  50. I realize this is a very late response, but I just found this post and would like to know of a possible substitution for black mustard seeds and mace. Would yellow mustard seeds in lesser quantity work? Could I just leave the mace out?

    • Hi Kristy — You can sub yellow mustard seeds for the black (I have done so myself). According to this, you can sub nutmeg for the mace. Or you could just leave it out, would change the flavour slightly, but I’m sure they would still taste good!

  51. Aha! The reason they were flaky is because I was using your okara alternative recipe and I didn’t blend the okara enough, so it was still very textured. Attempt no.2 soon!

  52. Hiya! I’m a baby vegan, and vital wheat gluten flour has been my nemesis for months, because no stores around here have it.
    Think I could get away with making seitan the hard way with whole-wheat flour and mixing it in?

    • Hi Buttface ( πŸ˜€ ) — I’ve never tried that, so don’t really know how easy it would be to mix in the other ingredients if the seitan were made first from flour. If it’s too difficult by hand, then perhaps a heavy-duty mixer or bread machine would be able to do it. If you try it, do post again and let me know how it went.

  53. I can not wait to give recipe a try.

    Thank you,

  54. What type of tofu do u use? Silken, or regular. And soft, firm? I’m really loving the way these look and cant wait to make them. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  55. How would you make this recipe soy-free? I’m thinking of trying this with cottage cheese blended instead! I’ve had to use that before instead of tofu but it changes the consistency of patties. I’m open to ideas as my husband and eldest child are soy allergic!

    • Hi Laurina — I have made seitan sausages successfully using cooked beans (eg butter beans, navy beans etc) instead of tofu. The texture is slightly drier than with tofu, but you could compensate by adding a bit of extra oil.

  56. Is there a reason I couldn’t stuff these into casings? I can buy Vegetarian and vegan casings

    • Hi–thanks for the link. The hotdogs should work fine with those casings. If you try it, please let me know how they turn out!

  57. Hey User 45, where can I buy vegan sausage casings?

  58. I LOVE this recipe! I’ve done a variation I like that uses smoked sesame oil, black cardamom, and kala jeera (black cumin). The smoked sesame oil especially gives it a nice flavor. I’m a big tofu enthusiast (I make my own in large batches). This is a great way to use up leftover tofu. As others have discovered, I add extra arrowroot for firmer consistency. Along the same lines, I find the dough is easier to work with and the end product is firmer if you work up the gluten by beating the dough until it comes away from the bowl before shaping into dogs.

  59. Hi–thank you for posting your recipe–these were delicious and fun to make! I inadvertently left out the oil when making them, and they still turned out wonderful. Just an fyi to anyone interested in making them in a low fat version.

  60. I just made these the color and texture are perfection I just bought some hickory smoke salt I wished I had thought to use it. I only had 3/4 of a cup of vital wheat gluten too late to do anything but forge ahead. I only steamed for 20 minutes the last time I did 40 on seitan it was too rubbery. They came out awesome no yucky stuff to worry about. No funny tasting tofu pup.Now I can make a big fat hotdog for a saturday bbq! these are perfect you rock!!

  61. So excited to try this recipe!! I live in Japan and there is no mock meat to be found, so finding this recipe is SUPER EXCITING for me! Thanks

  62. Hi, we have a project investigating if it was possible to add Taro to the veggie dog. any suggestions on the mixture?? pls pls help, i need it by tuesday:l

    • Hi Lance — Sorry I did not see your message until now, but you can try substituting cooked taro for half the tofu (by weight). If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  63. Is there anyway that I can substitute the gluts flour because I have the celiac disease and can’t eat gluten at all? And this just looks amazing I wanna try it so bad!!! Thanks!!!

  64. Thanks for this recipe! I have the same opinion as you have about how sausages made from only gluten and no tofu taste like rubber. I just made a batch of theese sausages and they are awesome! Its very nice to have a new use of all that okara that is filling up my kitchen ;).


  65. I’ve been making these hot dogs regularly for a couple of years now and they are delicious! They taste much better than any of the vegetarian/vegan hot dogs I can buy here in the U.S.!

  66. The veggie hotdogs came out delicious. My husband loves them. How much do you drain or remove the water from the tofu before using? Thanks.

    • Hi Mary — I’m so glad you and your hubby love the hotdogs. The tofu I used comes in a plastic box with water surrounding it. I simply drain the water off and use the tofu as is; I don’t press it to get more water out.

  67. I made these last night minus the arrowroot and almond and I threw a few different herbs and spices in. They were incredible!!! Absolutely delicious, great texture and in a bun with ketchup and mustard, tasted just like the real thing. Thank you for sharing this!

    • hi Danielle — thanks so much for letting me know how they turned out with your variation. I’m glad that the recipe can be modified and still have such a great result! πŸ™‚

  68. I’m a bit tired of the “chemically” tasting store varieties. Morningstar seems to be the most authentic to my childhood, but they make the same mistake most others do by trying to make them fat-free and healthy, which just ruins the guilty pleasure that a hot dog brings you!

    After googling, I found this recipe and I’m anxious to try it. I see that it has oil in the recipe (huzzah) and tofu has fat too, so I’m hoping these give me that delicious juicy dripping fatty flavor I’ve been missing. If not, it should be pretty easy to adjust. πŸ™‚

    Quick question: anybody tried grilling these after steaming them? If so, do you get good tasty chars or does it just burn and dry out? I love grilling over charcoal and woodchips!

    • hi Timothy — I’ve not tried grilling the hotdogs, but I have done it with the veggie sausages (same basic recipe, just different seasonings), and that works well. It would probably work better if you didn’t boil them first, if you want to try it. The fat keeps the dogs from being dry, but they don’t have the same greasy mouthfeel that meat dogs have. You can always try increasing the fat if you want to make them more guilty πŸ˜‰

  69. Hurray for reverse engineering. I, too, dislike the store-bought hot dogs. I wanted to amp it up, so I added extra paprika and salt and garlic. I also cut back the oil a bit. We have a winner! Thanks!!

  70. I’m making these for the first time and I’m assuming that they are best if they sit and cool and then boil or grill them and nott try to eat them straight out of the steamer.

    • Hi Jeanna — I’ve never tried them straight out of the steamer. I always cool them and/or freeze them, then boil them. Hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚

  71. Delicious! My husband loves them. How much water do you squeeze from the tofu?

  72. I missed your earlier post with my answer. Thanks.

  73. Thanks for the recipe – my kids love hot dogs but i am trying to get away from packaged food – this will be great! Do you have a gluten free version of this recipe or can you tell me what i would use instead of the vital wheat gluten flour? Thanks, Pam

  74. They were awesome. Thank you for your effort. Greetings fom Berlin, Germany.

  75. I am a bit late to this discussion, having discovered it late Nov. 2013. I had long been looking for a clue to be able to make my own vegetarian hotdogs. Thank you so much for the answer I was looking for in how to get these formed! I also discovered VeganDad’s site at the same time. I did make the muslin cloth tubes and used with the plastic food wrap, works very well and easy to process! I am not a blogger, but I have posted a modified edition of the hotdog recipe at Vegetarian Hotdogs which also has the details for the cloth tube construction and alternate cooking with a pressure cooker. The page is a reference entry as part of my school program and may be part of a cooking display / course in the future. Additional reference documentation posted in it. I am now vege-meat independent!

  76. Whoops! That was the sausage recipe page! lol! Here is the correct Hotdog page: Vegetarian Hotdogs.

  77. Just made these and they are awesome. The taste and texture are great. I added a chili topping made with tvp and it really hit the spot. I was a little concerned with the lack of broth or liquid in the recipe but I needn’t be. They were perfect as is. Thank you!

  78. I tried these and they were fantastic! I am excluding the cardamom next time, since I’m not such a fan. Otherwise, wow!!!

  79. After many years, this has got to be the best tasting vegan hotdog I have ever had, made or bought! The spices are just right and the texture perfect! Thank you Thrifty Living!!

  80. Cannot wait to make these! Can’t tell you how grateful I am you shared your skills and efforts.

  81. I made your veggie dog recipe and just took them out of the steamer. I haven’t tried them yet but the texture feels very hot dog like and so does the smell. I added a small amount of grated cheddar cheese to the tofu mix to make cheese dogs Can not wait to try them thanks for the recipe.

  82. Oh man these are good. I have Crohn’s disease, and can’t eat a lot of the processed ingredients and soy protein isolate in store-bought veggie dogs. I tried some recently from Field Roast and they were inedible as far as I’m concerned. Crumby and weird tasting. But THESE are perfect! I cooked him in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes, let the pressure come down naturally, and was thrilled with how they turned out. They also grill up nicely or just crisp up in a cast iron pan with very little oil. SO HAPPY!

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