Sometimes it’s nice to have a veggie dog that is actually made out of veggies, and owns it. These IKEA Inspired Veggie Dogs are proudly made of quinoa and lentils, and they aren’t afraid to show it off. When paired with pickled red cabbage, fried onions, spicy brown mustard, and served on a soft and chewy pretzel bun, these confident dogs will be the star of next outdoor (or indoor) BBQ.
If you’re lucky enough to have an IKEA within 100 miles of your home, then you probably already know how awesome their veggie dogs are. And I’m sure that most folks, like me, were surprised that they got their first taste, that they were visibly made out of grains and legumes instead of trying to look like the classic pink tube of “meat”.
To top them off, IKEA’s veggie dogs are served with a spicy brown mustard, a sweet and sour pickled red cabbage and crispy fried onions. Although the veggie dogs themselves have a great texture and flavor, it’s the curation of toppings and condiments that really pushe these dogs over the top.
The only real issue that I have with their veggie dogs it that IKEA stores are few and far between, and so not everyone has access to these delicacies. In fact, before we got our very own IKEA here in Las Vegas, I would have had to drive a couple of hours, across state lines, to get to one.
However, having an IKEA near you doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to even get one of their veggie dogs. If you’ve missed lines, then post-quarantine IKEA is the place to be. It’s like people have been stuck inside for three months, and then they all decided to go to IKEA at the same time.
Either way, after some research online, I found a list of ingredients that IKEA claims to use in their veggie dogs. Not seeing a copycat recipe anywhere, I decided to concoct my own. Since there are both grains and legumes in this recipe that need to be cooked, I just decided to devise a way to cook everything, including the final wrapped sausages in the Instant Pot.
The list of ingredients may seem long, but many of them contribute to the structural integrity of the dogs. However, once you’ve got the basic structure, you can play with the flavor and seasonings. These dogs are a blank canvas, so get creative!
So, here’s what you’ll need to make these IKEA Inspired Plant-Based Veggie Dogs.
- Instant Pot or “electric multi-cooker” – I was an early adopter of the IP, and I’ve grown to become quite dependent upon it. It’s so fast and easy, and you can just set it and forget it. Grains and legumes cook particularly well inside an eclectic multi-cooker, so I decide that the IP would be the perfect tool for the job. Don’t have an Instant Pot? Any multi-cooker will work. Don’t have anything of the sort? You’ll still be able to make this on the stovetop. Check out the notes in the recipe to see what adjustments need to be made.
- Parchment paper and aluminum foil – The foil is a necessary tool to keep the sausages in their shape as they cook. Gluten likes to expand, and the foil keeps them from expanding too much. Now, it’s hard to roll the sausages in just foil, and folks don’t normally like foil touching their food while it cooks, so enter the parchment paper. The parchment makes it easy to roll and creates a barrier between the food and the foil.
- Bench scraper – I watched a YouTube video of Dorie Greenspan making her famous World Peace Cookies. She used this technique using a bench scraper and parchment paper to get the shortbread dough into a perfect cylinder. I’ve stolen that same technique to perfectly form these veggie dogs. It’s hard to explain, so just watch the video HERE.
- Lentils – In addition to adding an earthy flavor to these dogs, the lentils also add a ton of protein and structure. Ikeo uses red lentils in their dogs, but I’ve decided to use green lentils in mine. Pretty much any whole lentil will work, though. I’m sure you could get by with a split lentil, but they won’t stay in-tack throughout the whole cooking process.
- Quinoa – Like the lentils, quinoa is here for flavor, texture and protein. Any color of quinoa will work here, so take your pick. Although I haven’t tried it, I do think you could use brown or white rice in place of the quinoa. The cook time will vary, but it might be worth a try if that’s all you’ve got on hand.
- Vital wheat gluten – Gluten does a lot for these dogs. Without the gluten, you’ll be left with a very soft and mushy dog that won’t be able to stand up on its own. Gluten also adds a bunch of protein, and a bit of flavor. Although I haven’t experimented with it, I do think that you could use chickpea flour instead if you wanted to make these gluten free. The texture will be a bit softer, but it should provide enough structure to hold everything together. (See Quinoa Burgers: Two Ways)
- Water or broth – None of the other ingredients can cook or stay together without some type of liquid. You could use water and Better Than Bouillon, like I did in the recipe video, or you could just use your favorite brand of veggie broth. Water will work just fine, too, if that’s all you’ve got. Just make sure to season it well before forming your dogs.
- Seasoned rice vinegar – This is my current obsession and secret weapon. One ingredient to pickle them all! It already has the perfect amount of salt, sugar, and water, and it’s ready and raring to pickle whatever you’ve got.
- Olive oil – My oil of choice. You could use any oil in this recipe since you won’t really taste it. Could you avoid oil completely in this recipe? Absolutely.
- Tomato paste – Richness, sweetness, and color. You only need a small bit, so if you don’t want to open up a whole can, you could use a squirt of ketchup instead.
- Ground turmeric – Color, flavor, and nutritional benefits; ground turmeric is just as vital to this recipe as it is not vital. IKEA used it, so I used it. Have it? Add it. Don’t have any? Forget about it.
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms give these dogs a meatier taste and texture. I’ve tested this recipe with both shiitake and crimini mushrooms. Both worked great. You don’t really taste “mushroom”, so if you’re cooking these for someone who hates mushrooms, they probably won’t even notice them.
- chard or kale – IKEA puts greens in theirs, so I put greens in mine (Except for in the video, because I was out…) Kale, collards, or chard work well. I’m sure spinach would work, too. Or just leave it out like I did if you don’t feel like going to the store.
- Ginger – Ginger helps to contribute to the overall flavor of the dogs. Would you miss it if it wasn’t there? A little. Like with the mushrooms, it’s not a dominant flavor, but it does add to the total of the dish. Fresh grated or pre-minced, either will work just fine.
- Onion – Sweet yellow, white, or red; any onion will work in these dogs. I usually keep sweet onions on hand, so that’s what I used in my tests. Caramelizing them in the beginning helps to add depth of flavor to the dogs, but if you wanted to be a bit lazy, you could just add them in to cook with the lentils and quinoa.
- Potatoes – In addition to adding a bit of flavor, potatoes also add a bit of structural support to the dogs. And like the onions, any type of potato will work in this dish. In fact, sweet potatoes might actually be really amazing here. The potatoes cook down to a paste in the IP, so you can save a bit of prep time by not peeling them.
- Lemon juice – A bit of acid helps to counteract any strong gluten flavor. The dogs won’t have a lemony taste, but it will help to brighten things up a bit. I prefer lemon juice, but a splash of vinegar will work as well.
- Cilantro – Fresh herbs help to add a bit of life to the pantry staples that make up the majority of these dogs. I love cilantro, and that’s what IKEA uses in their dogs. Not a fan? Parsley or celery leaves will work just as well.
- Red cabbage – The earthy grains and lentils in these dogs are offset by the vibrant flavor and color of pickled red cabbage. You could pickle any type of cabbage you would like, or even pickle some red onions if you’re not a cabbage fan. Either way, these dogs are begging for a hit of acid and touch of sweetness.
Easy Grillable Plant-Based Veggie Dogs
Sometimes it's nice to have a veggie dog that is actually made out of veggies. These quinoa and lentil based dogs are proud of who they are and they're not afraid to show off what they are made of. Paired with pickled red cabbage, fried onions, and spicy brown mustard, these dogs are going to be a hit at your next BBQ with vegans and omnivores alike.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup diced mushrooms (any kind will work)
- 1 leaf of chard or kale, stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
- ¼ cup diced red or yellow onion
- 2 ½ cups water or broth
- ¾ cup whole brown or green lentils
- ½ cup quinoa
- ½ cup diced Yukon gold or russet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped red cabbage
- 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar* (or ¾ cup rice vinegar, ¼ cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar)
- spicy brown mustard
- pretzel buns
- fried onions (French’s style)
Chop your red cabbage into ¼ inch sized pieces. Fill a jar with the cabbage, and then completely cover the cabbage in seasoned rice wine vinegar. All the cabbage to pickle overnight, but preferable for at least 24 to 48 hours.
*If you can’t find seasoned rice wine vinegar (it’s either by the vinegars or in the Asian section near the sushi-making ingredients), you can make your own. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar in ¼ cup of hot water. Add ¾ cup of vinegar, and mix well.
Using the saute function on your Instant Pot, saute the mushrooms in olive oil until they are greatly reduced and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and onion; saute for another couple of minutes until the onions start to caramelize. Add the chard or kale, and cook for another minute. Transfer everything from the Instant Pot into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Set your Instant Pot to cook for 13 minutes on high pressure; add the water or broth, lentils, quinoa, and potatoes. Twist on the lid, and make sure that the release valve is set to “pressure”. When the 13 minutes is up, turn the valve to “quick release” the pressure. Test that the lentils are fully cooked. If there is still a bit of crunch and grit to them, add a few tablespoons of water or broth, and cook on high pressure for another 2 minutes.
Spoon the cooked lentil and quinoa mixture into the large bowl with the mushrooms, onion, and chard. Avoid adding any liquid that may be remaining at the bottom of your IP. Using a fork or spoon, gently mash any whole potato pieces that you see. Add tomato paste, lemon juice, turmeric, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.
Add the gluten to the bowl ¼ cup at a time, and fully incorporate it before adding more.
Prepare 8 pieces of parchment paper and 8 pieces of aluminum foil. They don’t need to be much larger than 6×6 inches.
Measure ½ cup of the veggie dog mixture onto each square of parchment paper. Tightly roll up the mixture into the parchment, and twist the ends. Then roll up each parchment roll in aluminum foil so they keep their shape while cooking. (Watch the video to see how to do this step.)
Place the metal trivet in the bottom of your cleaned Instant Pot, and add 1 ½ cups of water. Stack the wrapped dogs inside, and then pressure steam for 15 minutes. Use either natural or quick release when the time is up. Carefully remove the hot dogs from the IP with tongs, and allow them to cool to room temperature before removing them from their parchment and foil. They will seem soft at this point, but they will firm-up as they cool. Place them in an airtight container or plastic bag, and refrigerate them overnight.
Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor grill. Lightly brush each veggie dog with olive oil. Grill each dog on all sides until browned and warmed through. Serve on a traditional hot dog bun or pretzel bun topped with spicy brown mustard, fried onions, and pickled red cabbage.
Don’t have an Instant Pot, pressure cooker, or multi-cooker? Just use a large pot instead. Cover and cook the lentil and quinoa mixture for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils tender. You may need to adjust the water slightly. Steam the dogs in a large pot with a steamer basket for about 20 minutes.