best vegan hot dogs

Best Vegan Hot Dogs: A Comprehensive Review and Taste Test

When it comes to finding the best vegan hot dogs on the market, it’s all about the taste and texture. With more and more brands entering the plant-based arena, the competition is tough. In this comprehensive review, we’ve conducted a taste test of the most popular vegan hot dogs, grading them on flavor, texture, and overall satisfaction. We aim to help you find the perfect plant-based hot dog to satisfy your cravings.

Understanding the Composition of Vegan Hot Dogs

A vegan hot dog comprises various plant-based ingredients designed to replicate the taste and texture of traditional meat hot dogs. 

Common Ingredients in Vegan Hot Dogs

Vegan hot dogs come from a variety of plant-based ingredients. The base often consists of vital wheat gluten and wheat flour, providing protein and structure. A mix of seasonings like celery seed, paprika, onion, and garlic is used to achieve the desired flavor. Brands like Upton’s Naturals also incorporate unique ingredients like an algae-based casing for a satisfying snap. Other common additions include brown sugar for a touch of sweetness and even baked beans for a hearty, comforting taste.

Evaluating the Taste and Texture of the Best Vegan Hot Dogs

The primary focus is on taste and texture when evaluating the best vegan hot dogs. The ideal vegan hot dog should have a savory flavor profile reminiscent of its meat-based counterpart. Using vital wheat gluten as a base ingredient often helps achieve a meaty texture, while the variety of seasonings contributes to a rich, satisfying taste.

The Taste Test Process

The taste test process for these vegan hot dogs was straightforward. We prepared the hot dogs according to the package instructions, ensuring consistency. Some brands recommended boiling, but we opted to cook the wheat-based dogs in a skillet and the soy-based ones on the grill for a more authentic flavor. Once cooked, each hot dog was placed on a bun with ketchup, providing a neutral base flavor for the taste test.

We evaluated each hot dog mainly on taste and texture. We aimed to find the vegan hot dog that most closely resembled the taste and texture of traditional meat-based hot dogs. This comprehensive taste test offered a clear insight into the world of vegan hot dogs, helping us select the best.

How We Rated Them

We considered several factors to find the best vegan hot dogs. The first is the taste. We evaluated the hot dogs based on their smoky to savory flavors and how well these flavors mimic traditional hot dogs. The texture was also considered. We examined the consistency and how satisfying the “bite” was, whether it was too soft, firm, or just right.

Ingredients were another critical factor in our rating. We looked into the composition of the hot dogs, focusing mainly on their use of vital wheat gluten and how natural and unprocessed the ingredients are. Finally, we considered the overall satisfaction of eating vegan hot dogs. It includes how well they hold up when cooked and their compatibility with various toppings.

Detailed Reviews of Top Vegan Hot Dogs

Now – we’ve explained our rating process. Let’s dive into our detailed reviews of some of the top vegan hot dogs on the market. We’ve included brands like Lightlife, Field Roast, and Upton’s Naturals, to name a few. Read on to find out which vegan hot dog stood out.

1. Lightlife Smart Dogs Plant-Based Hot Dogs (Jumbo)

Score 8.6 OUT OF 10
1. Lightlife Smart Dogs Plant-Based Hot Dogs (Jumbo)

Lightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs have made a name for themselves in the world of vegan hot dogs. Made primarily from soy protein, these plant-based hot dogs offer a unique taste and texture different from traditional meat hot dogs. Using vital wheat gluten adds a chewiness to the texture. The pea protein contributes to the overall protein content. Adding soybean oil, cane sugar, and natural smoke flavor gives these vegan dogs a unique flavor.

These vegan franks come with a smoky flavor courtesy of the natural smoke flavoring. They also contain slight sweetness from the cane sugar. The texture is soft yet satisfying, and the dogs hold up well during the grilling season. Lightlife’s Jumbo Smart Dogs are a vegan-friendly alternative to traditional hot dogs, offering a taste that’s different, yet enjoyable.


  • The use of vital wheat gluten, soy protein, and pea protein makes these hot dogs high in protein.
  • The natural smoke flavor gives them a distinctive, smoky taste.
  • They are perfect for grilling and hold up well when cooked.
  • Despite their unique taste, they serve as a delicious alternative to traditional hot dogs.


  • The cons of vegan hot dogs can be subjective and vary depending on individual preferences and dietary needs.

2. Field Roast Classic Smoked Plant-Based Frankfurters

Score 8.8 OUT OF 10
2. Field Roast Classic Smoked Plant-Based Frankfurters

The Field Roast Classic Smoked Plant-Based Frankfurters are a popular choice among vegan hot dog enthusiasts. They are known for their unique composition and flavorful taste, making them a top contender in the vegan hot dog market.

The Field Roast’s Classic Smoked Plant-Based Frankfurters contain unique ingredients contribute to their distinct taste. They include vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, yeast extract, organic expeller pressed palm fruit oil, barley malt extract, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and natural smoke flavor. The Frankfurters also feature paprika color and oleoresin as their coloring agents, adding to their aesthetic appeal. These ingredients combine to create a savory umami flavor reminiscent of traditional hot dogs.


  • The natural smoke flavor and apple cider vinegar contribute to a tangy, smoky taste that many enjoy.
  • Organic expeller-pressed palm fruit oil and expeller-pressed safflower oil helps ensure a healthier fat content.
  • The unique blend of spices, sea salt, and yeast extract enhances the overall taste and texture of the Frankfurters.


  • The frankfurters may be unsuitable for those with a wheat or gluten intolerance due to vital wheat gluten.
  • While natural, The paprika color and oleoresin may alter the expected color of a traditional hot dog, which could be off-putting to some.

3. Upton’s Naturals Updog Vegan Hot Dog

Score 7.4 OUT OF 10
3. Upton’s Naturals Updog Vegan Hot Dog

The Upton’s Naturals Updog Vegan Hot Dog is an exceptional plant-based alternative that offers a unique blend of ingredients. It contains water, vital wheat gluten, canola oil, and wheat flour. These ingredients contribute to the texture and taste of the hot dog. The apple cider vinegar, sea salt, paprika, onion, potassium chloride, spices, garlic, calcium alginate, natural hickory smoke concentrate, ground mustard, konjac, and ground celery seed add to the flavor profile of this vegan hot dog.

This vegan hot dog boasts a robust flavor, thanks to the apple cider vinegar and natural hickory smoke. Its texture is firm and meat-like, achieved by using vital wheat gluten and canola oil. Adding sea salt and potassium chloride provides a balanced and savory taste that many savor.


  • Offers a robust and savory flavor due to the apple cider vinegar, natural hickory smoke, and sea salt
  • Has a firm and meat-like texture appealing to many
  • Made with a variety of natural ingredients


  • It may not be suitable for people with wheat allergies
  • Some consumers might find it a bit salty due to the addition of sea salt and potassium chloride

4. Tofurky Plant-Based Italian Sausage

Score 7.4 OUT OF 10
4. Tofurky Plant-Based Italian Sausage

The Tofurky Plant-Based Italian Sausage is a meat alternative favored by vegans and meat eaters. Instead of replicating the traditional hot dog, this product offers a unique twist by imitating an Italian sausage. It is packed with 24 grams of protein per link, making it an excellent source of protein for those following a plant-based diet. The vegan sausages are made from vital wheat, gluten, and soy. They contain spices such as onion powder to enhance the flavor. These sausages offer a sweet Italian flavor that differentiates them from other vegan hot dogs.

Sample Product Summary


  • Excellent source of protein per serving
  • Rich, savory flavor enhanced by natural ingredients
  • A crisp, satisfying texture that rivals traditional hot dogs


  • May contain gluten, which can be problematic for those with allergies
  • The price point may be higher than non-vegan alternatives

5. Loma Linda - Plant-Based - Big Franks

Score 9.0 OUT OF 10
5. Loma Linda - Plant-Based - Big Franks

Established in 1890 by Seventh-Day Adventists, the Loma Linda brand has provided vegetarian and vegan food options for over a century. Their Plant-Based Big Franks, a canned hot dog product, was a surprising contender in our taste test. Despite initial skepticism about a canned hot dog, we were pleasantly surprised by the authentic hot dog flavor and texture. Loma Linda recommends boiling the Big Franks but heating them on the grill or stovetop with oil brought out the best flavor. The Big Franks are from textured vegetable protein, a blend of wheat gluten and soy. They also contain red dye, which gives them a traditional hot dog color.

It is an established brand with a long history in vegetarian and vegan foods. It has an authentic hot dog flavor and texture from wheat, gluten, and soy. They can be boiled or grilled for optimal flavor and contain red dye for a traditional hot dog appearance.

Upton’s Naturals Updog Vegan Hot Dog is a game-changer in plant-based cuisine, proving that a vegan hot dog can rival its meat-based counterparts in taste, texture, and satisfaction.


  • Offers a surprisingly authentic hot dog experience
  • Flexible cooking options: can be boiled or grilled
  • Made by a trusted brand with a long history in the vegan food industry


  • The product is canned, which may be off-putting for some
  • It contains red dye, which some customers may prefer to avoid

Buying Guide

When buying vegan hot dogs, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best product for your tastes and dietary needs. 

Ingredients List

First and foremost, you should always check the ingredient list. You can make vegan hot dogs from several plant-based ingredients, so finding one that aligns with your dietary preferences or restrictions is fundamental.

Protein Content

Secondly, you should consider the protein content. Vegan hot dogs can be a great source of plant-based protein, but the amount can vary between brands. Looking for vegan hot dogs with a high protein per serving can ensure you get the most nutritional benefit from your meal.

Taste and Texture

The taste and texture of the vegan hot dog are also important. Some vegan hot dogs aim to emulate the taste and texture of traditional meat hot dogs, while others offer unique flavors and textures. Checking out reviews and taste test results can help you find a vegan hot dog you’ll enjoy.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of the product should be considered. Some brands are more sustainable than others, using less water and producing less greenhouse gas emissions in their production process. If sustainability is critical, look for brands that prioritize eco-friendly practices.

Price and Availability

Finally, consider the price and availability. Some vegan hot dog brands may be more expensive or harder to find than others. It’s important to find a product that fits within your budget and is readily available at your local grocery store or online.


Many wonder if vegan hot dogs are a healthier alternative to regular hot dogs. Generally, vegan hot dogs are lower in fats, cholesterol, and calories than regular hot dogs. They’re also higher in fiber and micronutrients. However, like all foods, they should be eaten in moderation as they are still processed food products.

Are vegan hot dogs a healthier alternative?

Yes, vegan hot dogs are generally healthier than regular hot dogs. They typically contain less fat, cholesterol, and calories while providing more fiber and micronutrients. Despite these benefits, it’s important to remember that vegan hot dogs are still processed foods and should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

What is the environmental impact of plant-based hot dogs?

Plant-based hot dogs offer a more eco-friendly alternative to regular hot dogs. Production of vegan hot dogs generally requires fewer resources and emits fewer greenhouse gases. This is primarily because raising livestock for meat is known to contribute significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, choosing plant-based hot dogs over regular ones can be a small but meaningful step toward reducing one’s carbon footprint. In conclusion, while vegan hot dogs can be more environmentally friendly compared to regular hot dogs, consumers should still strive to make informed choices about the products they purchase.

Final Takeaway: Embrace the Deliciousness of Vegan Hot Dogs

The final takeaway is simple – embrace the deliciousness of vegan hot dogs whether you’re a committed vegan or want to reduce your meat intake. These plant-based alternatives are a great option to consider. The range of flavors and textures available means there’s a vegan hot dog for everyone.

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