Vegan Copycat Lil Smokies Cocktail Weenies Recipe (Crockpot and Instant Pot Directions)

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Our vegan copycat Lil Smokies cocktail wieners recipe will blow your mind. It is so improbably delicious, and ridiculously easy to make, and uses – wait for it – baby carrots! And yes, it tastes like the “real” thing, only better, with less icky ingredients, and more good karma!


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The classic cocktail weenies recipe has three main ingredients: little tiny cocktail sausages (the ‘Lit’l Smokies’ brand from Hillshire Farms is often specified), either barbecue sauce or chili sauce, and some kind of fruit jelly (usually grape). You combine them and cook them in a slow cooker for a few hours, and voila, cocktail weenies. This is, by the way, the same basic recipe as graced many a party’s nosh table in the 70s, with a variation made with meatballs (but still with bbq sauce and grape jelly).

We promise you that if you make this recipe your guests will find these nearly indistinguishable from those ubiquitous cocktail weenies of the carnivore party circuit, both in looks and in flavor, as well as texture.

You can make this recipe in the Instant Pot, but if you don’t have an Instant Pot you can start it on the stove top and finish it in a crockpot – in fact in the crockpot is the classic way to make these.

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Vegan Copycat Lil Smokies Cocktail Weenies Recipe (Crockpot and Instant Pot Directions)

Ingredients

For the Weenies

2-3 cups baby carrots
1/2 cup liquid aminos such as Bragg’s
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard powder

For the sauce

1 cup vegan barbecue sauce
1/2 cup grape jelly

Directions

If You Have an Instant Pot

Put the carrots in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Whisk together all of the remaining ingredient except the barbecue sauce and grape jelly. Pour the whisked mixture over the carrots in the Instant Pot and give it a stir. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes, and when the two minutes is up let natural release (or wait 10 minutes and then quick release).

Pour all of the liquid off the carrots (or use a colander to drain the carrots and then return them to the Instant Pot.

If You Don’t Have an Instant Pot

Put the carrots in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and boil until just fork tender.

While the carrots are cooking whisk all of the remaining ingredients together except the barbecue sauce and grape jelly.

When the carrots are done cooking, drain them and put them in a bowl (or return them to the pot if you don’t want to dirty up a bowl). Pour the whisked ingredients over them and let the carrots marinate in the mixture for at least 2 hours, the longer the better. (You can also marinate them in a big Ziploc bag, however you do it is fine, just make sure that all the carrots are covered with the marinade.)

When the carrots are done marinating drain them.

Whether or Not You Have an Instant Pot

The rest of the recipe is the same whether you have an Instant Pot or not.

Place your drained carrots either back into your Instant Pot, or into a crockpot.

Whisk the barbecue sauce and the grape jelly together until fully mixed.

Pour the barbecue sauce / grape jelly mixture over the carrots.

Set your crockpot to ‘High”, or your Instant Pot to the ‘High’ setting of the crockpot function, and heat your cocktail weenies on the high setting, uncovered, for one to two hours, then turn it down to ‘low’ to keep them warm.

These taste great the next day but they will get mushy overnight in the fridge; it doesn’t affect the flavor but if you want them have nearer the texture of the real cocktail wieners then plan to serve them the same day that you make them.

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Vegan Cocktail Weenies: The Happy Gluten-Free Vegan
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