At least a couple times a year, I get an intense craving for a vegan chili dog that I just can’t shake.
I don’t know if it’s the baseball weather or promise of summer cookouts to come. I just know that when that longing comes, there’s only one remedy.
There’s no restaurant in town that sells a veggie dog, let alone a vegan chili dog. So when this urge hits, it’s all on me.
Luckily, a coney is easy to make – even if you prefer to make chili from scratch like, I do.
See how easy it is to make vegan three bean chili in this video:
First, I turn to my favorite vegan three bean chili. It’s filled with pinto, Great Northern, and black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices.
After the flavors in the chili have had a chance to co-mingle and the liquid has reduced a bit, I give the quickest of blitzes with an immersion blender into the chili.
I don’t leave it in long enough that it becomes a chili bisque. It only stays in the soup pot for a few seconds, so that some of the beans are broken up, and it thickens the texture.
That thicker texture means that it can hold its own on a vegan chili dog without slipping off or instantly making a soggy bun.
Vegan chili dog
As for the frankfurter, there are lots of vegan hot dogs out there.
Field Roast frankfurters are my usual choice. They have a good bite to them and smoky flavor.
They come 6 to a pack, which is more hot dogs than I need at any one time.
But what’s handy is that they freeze well. So you can just cut off a couple of the links, let them thaw, and then when another craving strikes, cut off the amount you need from the line.
(Although, if you have a large family, this may well be a non-issue for you.)
I like to top my vegan coney with green onions, stone-ground mustard, and a single pickle plank. (Those long, thin Trader Joe’s planks are the perfect size on a hot dog bun.)
If you feel like adding a sprinkling of non-dairy cheese, that would not go amiss. I like to grate some from a Daiya cheddar block by hand.
Instead of using standard bakery hot dog buns like I usually would, this time I went with pretzel buns. They added a subtle sweetness. And their denser size meant that they could stand up to the chili without disintegrating.
With savory chili, a smoky frankfurter, a hit of vinegar from the pickle & mustard, and finally a gentle squish of the buns, this is a full meal that you can hold in one hand.
But if you’d like to pair it with a pile of fries, hot out of the air fryer, I wouldn’t blame you.
What to do with leftover chili?
If you have chili leftovers, not only does chili freeze well, it also can be re-purposed on:
Make chili dog pizza on a cornmeal crust, and let your guests add their favorite toppings.
Make chili cheese tater tots with a ladling of cashew queso.