I love veganizing regional foods, like these Vegan West Virginia Hot Dogs. We recently moved to West Virginia from Florida. I was looking up regional foods for WV and surrounding states, when a friend of mine said, “They sure do love their hot dogs!” Well, that piqued my interest!
After a lot of googling, I found West Virginia hot dog recipes vary a lot. What they all have in common is the hot dog is topped with a thick meat chili (sometimes called just “sauce”). Most of the time, the chili is topped with coleslaw. But in some WV counties, they skip the slaw altogether.
I’ve made vegan slaw a dozen times, and vegan bean chili, but never a vegan “meat” chili. Challenge accepted!
Make this recipe with any favorite vegan meat or beef substitute you like. I used Impossible Foods ground for this recipe. But you can use Beyond Beef or any other ground substitute. The important thing with this chili topping is that you cook it until it is seriously thick. To me, it’s the consistency of a Sloppy Joe filling, but maybe even thicker. You want it to set on top of the hotdog, not soak into the bun and make it soggy.
I made an ultra simple vegan coleslaw for my slaw topping. I like to pepper my slaw, but you can leave that to each diner, if you don’t want to pre-pepper it.
Obviously, vegan West Virginia hot dogs are made with vegan weiners. I like to toast my hotdog buns in the toaster or toaster oven, to have that nice crusty bite.
I recommend cooking the chili in a Dutch oven or soup pot. The deepness of the pot prevents splatter on your stove. I made mine in a large iron skillet and I had a hard time controlling the splatter until the sauce thickened. Since you are cooking down the sauce, you’ll want it to simmer uncovered. If you must cover it, be sure to put the lid off center so steam can escape. Because the recipe calls for salt and pepper in both the slaw and in the tomato mixture for the chili, you won’t want to add salt and pepper to the browning vegan meat, even though it probably feels natural to do so.
Serve with gluten-free hot dog buns for a gluten free hot dog.
The recipe below actually serves 4 to 6 hotdogs and the recipe can be exactly doubled to accommodate 10 to 12 hotdogs.
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