The Sonoran dog is like no other.
A Tucson specialty, this isn’t your ordinary frank. It’s delicately wrapped in bacon and grilled until it’s crispy. It is then stuffed into a split-top roll called a bolillo — often made in Mexican bakeries — and topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeño salsa. A roasted chile güero (a pale pepper) is typically served on the side.
However, NOTHING about the Sonoran dog screams “vegan!” to you at first glance. I mean… first of all, there’s the hot dog itself. Did I mention it’s wrapped in bacon, of all things?
Then… you’ve got the toppings. Sure, tomatoes and onions and pinto beans are typically veg-friendly… but mayonnaise? On a hot dog? That’s enough to send any veg-head running for the hills.
Luckily, we live in a day and age where you can find a vegan alternative to pretty much anything. Vegan hot dogs are a regular visitor in our house (especially since my kiddos LOVE pigs in a blanket!), and our fave hot dog brand Lightlife makes both vegan franks AND vegan bacon.
Unfortunately, in the process of going plant-based, this vegan bacon loses it wrap-ability. We try to keep a minimal waste kitchen, so I very rarely have toothpicks on-hand. If you’ve got ’em, I’d recommend using them to keep the bacon tightly wrapped around your hot dogs.
Alternatively, you can also use metal skewers if you’ve got them lying around.
I was feelin’ a little lazy on the day I made these Sonoran dogs so instead of making salsa from scratch, I opted for this store-bought jalapeno and cilantro salsa from Frontera. It’s got the perfect combination of flavor and spice… but not too spicy. This one’s definitely kid-friendly.
While I saved time opting for pre-made salsa, I did spend a longer amount of time making the perfect caramelized onions. This is a process that can’t be rushed… and if you try, you’ll be able to tell with the first bite. I’ve outlined how I like to perfect my grilled onions in this recipe post.
When we make vegan Sonoran dogs, we almost NEVER have leftovers. In the off-chance that you’ve got some extra pinto beans or caramelized onions lying around after you feast, store them in an air-tight contained in the fridge and use them in the next day’s breakfast scramble. Yum!
Vegan Sonoran Dogs
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 people
- 1 package of Lightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs (5 hot dogs)
- 1 package of Lightlife Smart Bacon (5 oz.)
- 1 14-oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 c. caramelized onions
- 1/2 c. diced raw onions
- 1 tomato, diced
- Salsa of choice
- Mustard and mayonnaise for dressing
- Buns of choice
- Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While your oven is preheating, wrap your vegan hot dogs with your vegan bacon. Consider using toothpicks or metal skewers to keep the bacon tightly wrapped around your franks.
- Bake your bacon-wrapped dogs for at least 5 minutes (recommended 7-8 minutes). The longer you bake, the crispier the bacon will be once cooled.
- Place bacon-wrapped franks in buns and dress with toppings of choice. Traditional Sonoran dogs include pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeno salsa.