45 Insane-Slash-Brilliant Ways To Eat Hot Dogs

·16 min read
sonoran hot dogs

During the summer you have one very important question: Hot dog or hamburger? I won't go as far as saying that your answer determines your personality (though I want to), but I will say that I'll probably judge you if I see you passing up a patty for a dog. Here's why I don't think you ever lay your hands on one:


Don't believe me? In a brilliant, bold move, TIME submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to learn what foreign objects people had reported finding in the diggity dogs. The ones that should make you want to hurl most (and never order another dog again)? A clump of hair (maybe eyelashes) and a silverfish (yes, the insect).


One link sets you back a whopping 600 milligrams, which is nearly half of what the Dietary Guidelines of America recommends for a mindful daily salt intake.


Yeah, yeah, you're no stranger to the negative press that hot dogs get, but the findings are real: Diets high in processed meats have been linked directly to cancer, particularly colon cancer. You're likely familiar with the naughty "N" word in hot dogs, too. Nitrates are the real enemy, which can have a reaction in the stomach that forms cancer-causing compounds.


That juicy dog meat isn't made up of anything worthy of a single bite. After a pork production plant carves steaks and chops, the trimmings—which make up the dogs—are scraped into a stainless steel vat. YUM.


Mmm, how delicious does that sound? Before the hot dogs are baked, they're a thick, smooth mixture that resembles a liver mousse, but is so not that.


Sorry, Joey, we do respect your dog-eating..err..talent, but we just can't watch it anymore! It's too painful to see the sweat and near-choking that goes on as you drown the competition. The Internet has officially seen enough images of you—though it's damn near impossible to unsee any of them.


It might be because I live in NYC, where I see tubs of warm dirty hot dog water sitting in street carts, but I'm not overlooking the salty liquid that's in the bottom of the package.

Follow Delish on Instagram.

Right on top of our favorite scents and sounds ever? A sizzling grill with plenty of hot dogs on it. But whatever you do, don't stop at just topping with mustard or relish. Topping your hot dog, like pizza, can be incredibly personal depending on where you live. So we took it on ourselves to create 45 insane-slash-brilliant ways to eat a hot dog this grilling season, even going so far as to find out how all 50 states top their hot dogs (which range from from wrapping with bacon to topping with mango salsa, green chiles, and even boiled peanuts), and, yes, made a hot dog board. Try all of these cleverly delicious hot dog recipes for the best summer eating ever!

It doesn't get more iconic than a classic Chicago-style hot dog. Don't even think about getting ketchup near a Chicago dog. Locals say it should be topped as if it's been "dragged through a garden," and it shows. Chicago dogs get layered with fresh sliced tomatoes, quartered pickles, yellow mustard, chopped onions, bright-green relish, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. And thank goodness they are.

The question that's always on our mind: Why are there never enough hot dog buns? You can always make your own homemade hot dog buns, or use a variety of different ingredients to mimic a bun. We're now total converts to weaving hot dogs into pigs in a quilt, pressing them into our hot dog cubans, or rolling them into our garlic bread hot dogs. No bun doesn't have to mean no hot dogs. Not on our watch.

Our other favorite summertime combination? A nice crisp beer with a grilled hot dog. Whether you choose to stir up a summer shandy punch or another easy beer cocktail, here are our favorite summer beers for mixing or just drinking straight up.

How To Make A Hot Dog Board

At this point, a beautiful charcuterie board is old news. We've tried our hand at a s'mores board for summer cookouts and a mini pie board for Thanksgiving, and now we've moved on to a new obsession: a hot dog board! Untraditional? Sure, but imagine all of the fun toppings you can include. At Delish we believe every BBQ needs a good hot dog alongside a perfect burger. This is the opportunity to make them feel pretty darn special.

Get the How To Make A Hot Dog Board recipe.

hot dog board
Erik bernstein - Hearst Owned

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Chicago is as picky about hot dogs as New York is about pan pizza. The specific toppings are as important as the order in which they get layered. It's been "dragged through the garden," as the locals say, and we love it so very much.

Get the Chicago-Style Hot Dogs recipe.

chicago style hot dogs
Hearst Owned

Sonoran Hot Dog

This tasty Mexican-inspired hot dog is one of our favorites, and it’s not just because it’s bacon-wrapped… it’s also the condiments, which make up a totally irresistible, fully loaded dog. Our take on the Sonoran hot dog is based off of versions made in Arizona where it's a standard—warm pinto beans, fresh jalapeño salsa, onion, tomato, mustard, and mayo. The split top bun is essential to the look, but the hot dogs can be prepared on regular buns; you can simply split the tops yourself and load up!

Get the Sonoran Hot Dog recipe.

sonoran hot dogs
Erik bernstein

Korean Corn Dog

If you’ve been anywhere on the Internet during the last few years, you will have seen that cooks in South Korea have managed to take the humble corn dog to a whole new level. With toppings like fries, puffed rice, and crushed ramen, and with a finishing sprinkling of sugar, corn dogs have proven to be the one of the most popular street foods in the world. In New York alone, there have been six or so new restaurants dedicated just to pumping out these delicious, crispy, golden brown dogs on a stick and now you can make one at home!

Get the Korean Corn Dog recipe.

korean corn dog topped with sugar, ketchup and mustard

Vegan Chili Dogs

We have to be honest, these meatless chili dogs might be better than the meat-full version. Sure it's hard to replicate the snap of a true hot dog with plant-based ingredients, but this complex chili is world changing. You're going to want to put it on way more than just veggie dogs. We see chili mac, tamale pie, and plenty of chili fries in your future.

Get the Vegan Chili Dogs recipe.

vegan chili dogs
Suzanne Clements

Big Mac Hot Dogs

We all know and love the Big Mac. The sauce is addicting and can go with so much more than just hamburgers. If you go for the hot dogs at the summer BBQ, then you’ll love these. Hot dogs are finally getting more dressed up, and these are just too fun not to try.

Get the Big Mac Hot Dogs recipe.

big mac hot dog

Hot Dog Cubans

Cuban bread is a white, French bread-like loaf made with lard, which makes it incredibly soft and perfect for a toasty Cuban sandwich. This allows the bread to get super-crispy when pressed without destroying the roof of your mouth when you bite into it. Can't find it? Use a hoagie roll instead.

Get the Hot Dog Cubans recipe.

hot dog cubans
Hearst Owned

Hawaiian Hot Dogs

Half the fun of eating a hot dog is loading it up with all kinds of toppings. This time we took a tropical approach. The pineapple salsa combats the spice from sriracha, creating a perfect balance of flavor and texture, especially when you toast and butter a Hawaiian roll bun!

Get the Hawaiian Hot Dogs recipe.

hawaiian hot dogs
Hearst Owned

Curry Sausage Corn Dog

Give it up to Disney for teaching us what our corn dogs have been missing—curry powder! Warning: Once you’ve tried this flavorful take, traditional corn dogs will be ruined for you.

Get the Curry Sausage Corn Dog recipe.

curry sausage corn dog
Suzanne Clements

Air Fryer Hot Dogs

Your air fryer and hot dogs were simply meant to be. It gives you grill quality without the hassle of cleaning the grates and waiting for the grill to preheat. Hungry for more air fryer summer fare? Try our air fryer hamburgers.

Get the Air Fryer Hot Dogs recipe.

air fryer hot dogs
Lucy schaeffer

Perfect Corn Dogs

No one can deny the crispy, slightly sweet, perfectly fried lure of a corn dog. Surprisingly, they are super easy to make at home. The batter fries up quickly and super crispy. These will transport you right back to being a kid at the local fair.

Get the Perfect Corn Dogs recipe.

perfect corn dogs
Parker Feierbach

Garlic Bread Hot Dogs

These are the hot dogs for when you're feeling a little fancy. A toasty, crusty baguette becomes the ideal garlicky bun in this hot dog made for garlic lovers.

Get the Garlic Bread Hot Dogs recipe.

garlic bread hot dogs
Joel goldberg

Mini Corn Dogs

Could these corn dogs be any cuter? Food on a stick is already a main summertime food group, but these state fair classics have an extra-special secret ingredient in the batter: fizzy Coca Cola.

Get the Mini Corn Dogs recipe.

mini corn dogs
Justin walker

Pigs in a Quilt

Yes, believe your eyes. You know we had to take pigs in a blanket to another level by weaving them with even more flaky, buttery crescent dough.

Get the Pigs in a Quilt recipe.

hot dog quilt vertical
Ethan Calabrese

Hot Dog Chili

From chili cheese dog enchiladas to chili cheese dog egg rolls, there's no cuisine we won't corrupt with hot dogs and canned chili. Sometimes, though, we like to make things from scratch, and when we want a classic chili dog, this is the chili recipe we turn to.

Get the Hot Dog Chili recipe.

hot dog chili
Charlie gillette

BLT Dogs

Hot tip: To ensure the bacon stays wrapped while the dogs cook, secure ends with toothpicks. (Just remember to remove them before serving!)

Get the BLT Dogs recipe.

blt dogs
Joel goldberg

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

Canned chili and crescent dough makes this recipe ridiculously easy. It can be served as a main course or a fun addition to any Game Day party spread. For a more traditional Cincinnati-style chili cheese dog, we recommend using bean-less chili. Got time to make a homemade chili? Fancy it up by making our ultimate beef chili.

Get the Chili Cheese Dog Casserole recipe.

chili cheese dog casserole
Ethan calabrese

Everything Bagel Dogs

Think outside the bun with these upgraded pigs in a blanket made extra flavorful with our homemade everything bagel seasoning.

Get the Everything Bagel Dogs recipe.

everything bagel dogs
Jonathan Boulton

Hot Dog Skewers

Who doesn't love a good hot dog? This simple twist is great for low-carb dieters, or anyone trying to integrate more veggies into their diet. The tangy BBQ glaze is killer too.

Get the Hot Dog Skewers recipe.

hot dog skewers
Charlie gillette

Grilled Cheese Dogs

Can't choose between a hot dog and a grilled cheese sandwich? Why not both? 😈 Now you don't have to debate over whether "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" especially when it means perfectly seared hot dogs and melty cheese.

Get the Grilled Cheese Dogs recipe.

grilled cheese hot dogs
Ethan Calabrese

Chili Cheese Dog Cups

Consider these your new favorite (and way more portable!) chili dogs. Less mess, but still so much flavor.

Get the Chili Cheese Dog Cups recipe.

chili cheese dog cups vertical
Jon Boulton

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Thankfully, there's so many ways to make a bacon-wrapped hot dog. We can't get enough of the BLT dog and the sour cream and chive dog.

Get the Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs recipe.

bacon wrapped hot dogs group shot
Ethan Calabrese

Pizza Corn Dogs

Do you love crunch? Do you love cheese? This pizza corn dog will be your favorite from this day forward: It's a whole mozzarella stick covered in classic corn dog batter, then coated in panko bread crumbs for an extra crunch. Wow your friends and family with the ultimate cheese pull when they take a bite.

Get the Pizza Corn Dogs recipe.

pizza corn dogs
Brandon bales

Campfire Pigs In A Blanket

Fact: Our favorite part of camping is mostly being able to have hot dogs on a stick over a campfire. These roasty, toasty pigs in a blanket even have the mustard already included.

Get the Campfire Pigs In A Blanket recipe.

campfire pigs in a blanket vertical
Jonathan Boulton

Flamin' Hot Corn Dogs

We love thinking outside the bag to create all kinds of recipes with spicy, tangy Flamin' Hot Cheetos, from Flamin' Hot wings to Flamin' Hot Mac and cheese. For these corn dogs, Cheetos get blended down into dust and mixed into our batter and the result is actually an extremely crispy, slightly hot, really good corn dog.

Get the Flamin' Hot Corn Dogs recipe.

flamin' hot corn dogs
Brandon bales

Jalapeño Popper Dogs

We took our jalapeño poppers and adapted them to combine with the beloved hot dog. We can't have a hot dog any other way now.

Get the Jalapeño Popper Dogs recipe.

jalapeño popper dogs
Chelsea Lupkin

Grilled Chili Cheese Dogs

It just wasn't enough to mix a grilled cheese with a hot dog for our grilled cheese hot dogs, so we went to the next level and created our newest favorite hybrid. These make grilled cheese look positively boring.

Get the Grilled Chili Cheese Dogs recipe.

grilled chili cheese hot dog
Jonathan Boulton


Fluffy tortillas enveloping cheesy hot dogs, and a nacho cheese sauce to dip into? This is the cheesy Tex-Mex mashup of your dreams.

Get the Quesadogas recipe.

delish quesadogas
Jonathan Boulton

Jalapeño Popper Pigs in a Blanket

These aren't your regular ol' pigs in a blanket. Consider these the lovechild of our bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers and flaky, buttery pigs in a blanket.

Get the Jalapeño Popper Pigs in a Blanket recipe.

jalapeño popper pigs in a blanket
Chelsea Lupkin

Hot Dog Hash

Bacon or corned beef hash are typically what we love with our potatoes, but we might be converted to a new tradition with this unexpected, but totally brilliant breakfast hash. Crack an egg on top, and breakfast is ready.

Get the Hot Dog Hash recipe.

hot dog hash — delishcom
Charlie Gillette

Mac & Cheese Dogs

As kids (and even now), we love whenever hot dogs are mixed with mac and cheese. But how about the other way around? All your favorite comfort foods now rolled into another amazing combination.

Get the Mac & Cheese Dogs recipe.

mac and cheese dogs
Chelsea Lupkin

Pickle Dogs

Sometimes, you just run out of hot dog buns. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out on a great hot dog. Enter: your new favorite "bun." Yes we went there, and yes, it's delicious.

Get the Pickle Dogs recipe.

pickle dogs
Jonathan Boulton

Grilled Hot Dog Panini

Made with sliced fried hot dogs and melty American cheese, this twist on a summer classic is a total crowd pleaser. Load ’em up with a ketchup-mustard combo, and press on. If you don’t have a panini press, grilling them in a sauté pan works great too.

Get the Grilled Hot Dog Panini recipe.

grilled hot dog panini
Hearst Owned

Pretzel Dog Beer Cheese Dip

Salty pretzel pigs in a blanket and beer cheese are the dynamic duo we've been missing all along. This recipe may look intimidating, but you prepare it in one skillet and the crowd will go wild.

Get the Pretzel Dog Beer Cheese Dip recipe.

pretzel dog beer cheese dip
John komar

Hot Docos

We will always say most foods can be improved with hot dogs. Quesodogas? Mac and cheese hot dogs? And now... hot docos.

Get the Hot Docos recipe.

hot docos
Jonathan Boulton

Chili Cheese Dog Bread

Crusty, chewy French bread meets the baseball favorite with the addition of spicy chili dogs. Warning: Everyone will want to be your BFF when you bring these to the party.

Get the Chili Cheese Dog Bread recipe.

chili cheese dog stuffed bread — delishcom
Jonathan Boulton

Hot Dog Fried Rice

This might seem like just another kid-friendly dinner, but it's truly better than the sum of its parts. Trust us, it's better than it sounds and goes great with a bit of hot sauce.

Get the Hot Dog Fried Rice recipe.

hot dog fried rice vertical
Jon Boulton

Spiral Hot Dogs

These may look difficult to create, but they couldn't be easier thanks to handy-dandy skewers. The best part? The grooves in the hot dogs mean way more opportunities for toppings.

Get the Spiral Hot Dogs recipe.

spiral hot dogs
Jonathan Boulton

Hot Dog-Stuffed Cornbread

Want a corn dog but not necessarily all the hassle? Look no further than this easy, cheese-stuffed cornbread. We love adding chili and cheese on top, but these are also great as is.

Get the Hot Dog Stuffed Cornbread recipe.

hot dog stuffed cornbread vertical
Jonathan Boulton

Pickleback Dogs

Sometimes relish just isn't enough for topping a hot dog. Hollowed out pickles (!!!) meet an insanely good whiskey mustard sauce for all you pickle-lovers.

Get the Pickleback Dogs recipe.

pickleback dogs vertical
Jon Komar

Pizza Hot Dogs

Pizza and hot dogs? A no-brainer. Two of the best foods ever, now together in a buttery hot dog bun.

Get the Pizza Hot Dogs recipe.

pizza hot dogs

Waffle Corn Dogs

Corn muffin mix and hot dogs were destined to be combined in your waffle maker. These bring the state fair to your kitchen, and doggonit they are good!

Get the Waffle Corn Dogs recipe.

waffle corn dogs — delishcom
Jonathan Boulton

Slow-Cooker Hot Dogs

Don't want to be on grill-master duty during your next BBQ? Now there's no need to. This one party hack will save you so much time.

Get the Slow Cooker Hot Dogs recipe.

slow cooker hot dogs — delishcom
John Komar

Mummy Hot Dogs

For a Halloween appetizer, not much beats a mummy dog, but ours is the best for a couple of big reasons: First, they're stuffed with melty American cheese. Second, each mummy is brushed with melted butter before baking.

Get the Mummy Hot Dogs recipe.

mummy hot dogs
Parker feierbach

Pigs In A Pretzel

A quick boil turns humble pre-made biscuit dough into extraordinary pigs in a pretzel. Serve up with plenty of grainy mustard or nacho cheese sauce.

Get the Pigs In A Pretzel recipe.

pigs in a pretzel
Chelsea lupkin

You Might Also Like