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Gourmet Hot Dog: The Big Apple

Tom Lohr has eaten a hot dog at all 30 MLB ballparks and is the author of "Gone to the Dogs: In Search of the Best Ballpark Hot Dog."

About a year ago, I was sitting at a New York Mets game chomping on one of their specialty hot dogs. It was the pastrami dog, a beef hot dog loaded with fatty and delicious pastrami. It was so tasty that I wanted another, but I opted not to because I wanted to live to see next year. Let's face it: hot dogs are delicious but can lean on the wrong side of healthy food fare. Plus, I really pitied non-meat eaters who couldn't enjoy a dog now and again. Sitting in the cheap seats at Citi Field, that is when "the Big Apple dog" was born.

There are some pretty bad-tasting veggie dogs out there, but a few companies really get it right. Field Roast is one of the best faux-dog manufacturers on the planet. They make an apple smoke veggie sausage that is absolutely delicious, and it became the centerpiece for this veggie treat.

The Big Apple

The Big Apple

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

about 6 hot dogs


  • 1 package apple smoked veggie sausage, use Field Roast brand
  • 1 package hot dog buns, whole wheat
  • 1 can apple sauce
  • 2 apples
  • 1 bottle caramel sauce
  • 1 can cooking spray

NOTE: To ensure a vegan versus vegetarian hot dog, check your brand of buns and caramel sauce for dairy products in the ingredients.


  1. Slice apples into thin slices and set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausages, rolling frequently to ensure even cooking. When the sausages are nearly done, push to one side of the skillet.
  3. Spray hot dog buns with cooking spray.
  4. Place buns in the skillet on one side and cook for 20 seconds. Repeat for the opposite side for another 20 seconds. Pull bun slightly open and place in skillet on the open end so that it sits in the skillet like a pup tent. Cook for an additional 20 seconds.
  5. Place sausage into bun. Lay apple slices on one side on top of the sausage, spoon in apple sauce on the other side. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

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