Pigs in the Blanket – Low Carb and Gluten-Free



Gluten Free Pigs in the Blanket A healthier, gluten-free version of pigs in the blanket, a family favourite of ours. Kids love them and they make great finger food for game day. March Madness, anyone???

March Madness is something of a foreign concept to me, even after 15 years of living in the US. I believe it was in my first year of grad school at Arizona State that I even heard of this event that was so highly anticipated by many. My roommate, a rabid University of Arizona basketball fan, monopolized the television to watch many of the games, and was aghast that I had no idea what all the fuss was about.

Truth be told, basketball has never been high on my list of watchable sports, and the excitement over college teams will forever elude me. In Canada, we simply don’t make much fuss over our university sports teams. My alma mater, UBC, was such a large school that I’m quite sure we must have had a basketball team, but if we did, I certainly never heard about it. Football, sure. Hockey, naturally. And we weren’t called U-B-Ski for nothing! Basketball simply wasn’t on my radar at all.

Gluten Free Low Carb Pigs in the Blanket

My husband, however, is very keen on March Madness and understandably so. He’s exceptionally tall, so almost everywhere we go, someone has to ask him if he played basketball in college. He did indeed, for a small, Quaker liberal arts school, although from all accounts their team wasn’t very good. They even spent one season losing every single game. Still, it’s a sport he loves and he has a particular affection for college basketball, so March Madness is certainly on HIS radar. He’s not quite as serious about it as he used to be, but he always makes time to watch some of the first few rounds, and gets increasingly intense as it approaches the final four. A few years ago, he even scheduled a surgical procedure toward the end of March, just so he’d be laid up in bed recovering in time for the end of the playoffs.

Besides a love of basketball, my husband has a long-standing affection for pigs in the blanket. As a child, they were his favourite food, and he would ask for them for dinner whenever he had the chance. He even got proficient at making them himself as a young lad. His version, mind you, is made with canned crescent rolls. They are oh-so-delicious, but seriously bad for you, so naturally, my kids love them. Besides being full of gluten, I shudder to think what’s in that dough, but I don’t want to deny my kids and my husband a favourite food. So I wondered if I could come up with a comparable version with almond flour dough. I figured that the dough from my Brie and Bacon Tartlets might be just the thing.

Low Carb Pigs in the Blanket

Now that we have kids, it’s fun to involve them in our hobbies and interests. We had a little family Super Bowl party, replete with wings, veggies, dips, chips, and beer (no beer for the kids, mind you.) So perhaps we will do something similar for the final game of March Madness, which, by the way, ends in April this year. April Madness? April Insanity? In any event, it will give me an excuse to make this fun, kid-friendly treat again. The whole family loved them and ate without complaint, a rarity in my house.

They are great made ahead of time, because they warm up nicely in the oven. The only thing I would change is the size of the dogs. We were using some of the long, 10-inch hot dogs and I think they’d be cuter, and even more kid-friendly, if I used mini hot dogs or at least cut them down to size.

Low Carb Pigs in the Blanket

Pigs in the Blanket – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 12 hot dogs

Can Pigs in the Blanket get a healthy makeover? They can if you make them low carb and gluten-free!


  • 12 regular hot dogs or 36 mini hot dogs
  • 3 oz cheddar cheese, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tbsp unflavored whey protein powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup plus one tbsp butter, melted


  1. With a sharp knife, make a slit in each hot dog from end to end, without cutting all the way through.
  2. Fill slit with matchsticks of cheddar cheese.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, whey protein, coconut flour, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and xanthan gum.
  5. Stir in eggs and 1/4 cup butter until dough comes together. It will be quite sticky.
  6. Turn out dough onto a large piece of parchment, and then pat into a rough rectangle.
  7. Top with another piece of parchment and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness (about 12 inches by 12 inches). Peel off top piece of parchment paper.
  8. Cut into 12 squares, if using regular hot dogs, or 26 small squares if using mini dogs (if your squares aren't perfectly even or have some ragged edges, that's okay...and you can gather up extra dough and re-roll as well).
  9. Place each hot dog in the middle of a square and roll dough tightly around it. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  10. Brush dough with remaining tbsp butter. Bake 20 minutes, until dough is light golden brown and cheese is melted.
  11. To reheat, just place in a 250F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.


Makes 12. Each hot dog has 4.3 g of carbs and 1.9 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 2.4 g.



This post is part of BlogHer’s March Madness editorial series, made possible by Kettle Brand Chips.

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  1. says

    My boyfriend claims that his specialty are pigs in a blanket but I think I’m going to have to show him up with these babies! the perfect party food!

    • Carolyn says

      Your boyfriend and my husband are peas in a pod…mine even used pigs in the blanket as his contribution to his sister’s wedding cookook!

      • Heather from Canada says

        Hi Carolyn, so far I react violently to the powders I’ve tried, could I use actual egg whites as binder? Thanks

        • Carolyn says

          To the protein powders? Is that what you mean? Can you find meringue powder? It’s just powdered egg whites and should be a good substitute.

          • Heather from Canada says

            Yes, I get violent migraines from the protein powders I’ve tried, so far Jay Robb egg protein is the worst for me… not sure why but anyway… The only meringue powder I could find was also loaded with sugar. I’m going to give this a go with beaten egg white and report back. I will probably also cut back to one whole egg due to the difference in moisture and possibly add a sprinkle of chickpea flour – not quite as low carb as your original, but still fairly low carb and gluten free.

          • Heather from Canada says

            My version without the protein powder was delicious, and it did roll out just fine. I needed to use the parchment to roll it over the hot dogs, but once they were rolled I could pick them up and move them. They split open in the oven though, because my hot dogs with the cheese opened up quite a bit. I just realized I didn’t halve the egg amount, so that might be why. I have included the corrected version (i.e. one egg) here: 1 cup almond flour, 2 tbsp chickpea flour, 1 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 egg, 1/8 cup melted butter.

  2. Mary says

    Made these for dinner tonight using the recipe exactly as written and was really excited. The dough, when I attempted to roll it onto the dogs just totally fell apart and stuck to my hands. Total flop. Don’t know what I did wrong, but there was no rolling them. Couldn’t even just get the dough patted onto the dogs as it just kept coming off stuck to fingers. No pigs in a blanket here tonight. ;-( Suggestions?

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Mary…oh dear, I am so sorry about that. REally not sure what happened, unless you were using almond meal instead of almond flour??? That would be a huge issue in the consistency of the dough. I know this recipe is good because I’ve made it for other things like the brie and bacon tartlets. It is fragile, but it shouldn’t be THAT fragile. So something had to be different. What brand of almond flour?

      • Mary says

        Carolyn, I used Bob’s Red Mill almond meal/flour. It is evidently more meal than flour. Which brand almond flour do you find works best? I guess I didn’t realize there was a difference.

        Tonight I put the almond meal/flour in my coffee grinder, cut the recipe in half (I had 5 dogs left from last night’s try) and made them again. They worked great and I love the recipe! They are delicious and fun! Thanks so much for the tip on the meal/flour issue. That must be what the problem was. Thanks for the great recipe!

        • Carolyn says

          I thought it might be the almond flour/meal issue. I love Bob’s but theirs just isn’t that finely ground so if you need a fine-textured dough, it won’t hold together. I use Honeyville, I buy it directly from their website and I signed up for their mailing list so I only buy it when I get a coupon code from them. The coffee grinder was inspired, though! Great tip!

  3. says

    Thank you for these. The marriage between pastry and hot dogs is one made in heaven. I look forward to trying them–as soon as I can get past my fear of making a total mess with a rolling pin and parchment. I’m good at many things, but making pastry is NOT one of them.

  4. Gladys says

    Good morning…these look wonderful.

    Do you have a carb count on these…assuming a zero carb, nitrite free hot dog is used?
    Maple Leaf and Schneiders in Canada both sell the most delicious all NATURAL products…
    THAT is their name….NATURALS….
    Gluten free, sugar free, nitrite free…real food. I purchase their hot dogs every couple of months…because….you JUST have to have a hot dog….every once in a while.
    The ultimate junk food…but finally healthy junk food.

    I prepare a flax roll…and add sugar free ketchup…heaven.


  5. says

    I’m with you. I didn’t learn about March madness until I met Hubby. Being from Chicago, we had outstanding professional sports teams so everyone focused on them. Down here in the south though, everyone eats and breathes college ball, both kinds.

    I love what you’ve done with the pigs in the blanket. I don’t know why I never think to make them. I should because Dudette and I are hot dog freaks. Your low-carb version looks delicious.

  6. Renee Howe says

    You’re awesome! Honestly, I love all the food you create. These are perfect for weekend ‘munchies’. And, the Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Salted Pecans would a perfect follow up. All good for watching March Madness. Have a fantastic day! Renee

    • Carolyn says

      Some grocery stores sell it, but it’s easier to get online. Bob’s Red Mill sells it, you can buy it on amazon, etc.

  7. sara says

    Thanks for the recipe. I think my nephew will love it! He is a seliac so not gluten for him so this is the perfect recipe for him.

  8. says

    Hi Carolyn,
    I just recently discovered your blog through Pinterest and I’m so happy I did! I’ve already spent hours looking through your recipes, for baked goods especially, and everything looks amazing. Unfortunately though I have a nut allergy and I’m not able to use almond flour. I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times before, but do you know of a good substitute? Do you think ground flax, sesame seed or any other seed might work? I like baking with coconut flour but I wouldn’t know how to use it as a replacement. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Carolyn says

      It’s really going to depend on the individual recipe. For this one, you need a dough that hangs together well and I am not sure flax or sesame will do so. Flax with perhaps a bit more coconut flour might work…but I am can’t say for sure. I’d start the recipe as is, with just flax and then vary the coconut flour depending on how moist it is. It should be like biscuit dough so you can roll it out properly.

  9. Dita MacDonald says

    When I was a kid we used to make Pigs In A Blanket by preparing hotdogs just as you do except we rolled them in a piece of bacon using toothpicks to secure and broiled them til done. Yours look scrumptious. Will try them soon! Thanks always for all your great recipes.

  10. Darlene says

    I made these earlier this week and they were great! I had leftover dough( I only had 8 hot dogs) which I used to make crackers. I pressed the leftover dough as thin as I could into squares, buttered the tops and sprinkled with onion powder and salt. They were baked along with the hot dogs and they were wonderful. Next time I want to sprinkle some powdered cheese on top. The cracker was sturdy enough to use in dips. I am thrilled to have discovered this dough recipe.

  11. Katie says

    These are absolutely fantastic! I made the recipe almost as-is, though I subbed 1 TBSP Psyllium Husk instead of Xanthan gum (I have weird reactions to the gum).

    The dough was -very- delicate, but I found that the longer I let it rest after rolling it out and cutting it, the better it stuck together. That said, I’m not a patient person, so I just smooshed the dough around the hot dogs, and they’re rising happily in the oven now.

    Thank you! Every now and then you just NEED an all-natural pig-in-a-blanket.

  12. Ashley G says

    I think I’ll make these for our Christmas Eve party. It’s been pinned for a while—I was wondering, though… I bet you could do something like this and make it pizza-themed. Something like a hot pocket–YUM! 😀 Can’t wait to give these a try!

  13. Caryn says

    Oh my goodness these were perfect! I have really missed hot dogs and they’re no fun to eat without a bun. I made the recipe just as is and it was VERY easy to handle. In fact, I couldn’t find my rolling pin and just patted them flat and rolled those hot dogs up. Easy as pie and quite good. And as long as I’m mentioning pie, this dough seems like it would make a decent pie crust. I had some left over so am going to make some mini-quiches for breakfasts this week. Thanks for a great recipe!

  14. Rick says

    Hello Carolyn,
    I made a batch of these last night for dinner. Since the only almond flour I have is Bob’s, the dough was a little harder to roll but it still worked. I actually patted out the dough for some of them and it worked really well.

    I had some leftover dough, as some of your other readers, and it did make really nice little crackers.

    We try hard to avoid nitrates so I always use uncured hot dogs. Fortunately there are a couple of brands that make uncured everything from bacon to pepperoni…….and it is actually available……at a price.

    I was having a hard time finding unflavored whey protein in a manageable amount (some people drink the stuff like water) so I bought hemp powder at the local health food store for a decent price.

    These were really good! As one of your readers noted, hot dogs just aren’t the same without the bread. My only difficulty was trying to tell when they had reached a golden brown……..with their Martian complexion and all. Definitely will make these again.

  15. rick says

    This recipe works great for crust for savory pies like quiche. I make quiche with this crust at least every other week for a convenient lunch at work. I make the crust ahead and bake it in the pie plate at 350 for ten minutes, then store in the fridge until I make the quiche. I did have it puff up one time but just pressed it back down while still hot.

  16. Rick says

    I forgot to say that I roll it out very thin like a flour crust. It is actually hard to tell that it is not a traditional crust……….except for the green color…….because I use hemp protein instead of whey.

  17. Hanna says

    I made these but substituted nutritional yeast for cheese and omitted the protein powder, and it was yummy! Mine was a bit dry though, any suggestions on how to help that for next time? Thanks for posting :)

  18. Danielle says

    Superb! Besides the fact that they weren’t too difficult to make, and they tasted great, the true hallmark for me has become my 21 year old son’s reaction. He is finishing his chef training, and anytime he comes in and tries something without seeing me prepare it (therefore, not knowing the ingredients/are they or aren’t they low carb) and can’t tell after looking and tasting, it has to be a great recipe! I love that I now have a great compilation of recipes for gameday/snack type foods. That was probably the one area that I truly missed the most, but no longer!

  19. Eileen says

    Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be more awesome, I find this post. The dough is very easy to manage and highly forgiving (can be re-rolled and/or smushed to repair as needed), and the results are delicious. My kids thank you!!! :)

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