8 Best Hot Dog Recipes

bacon and coleslaw hot dog
bacon and coleslaw hot dog - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

The idea of hot dog recipes almost seems like something that shouldn't exist. What kind of recipe do you need to grill a hot dog, put it in a bun, and throw some ketchup or mustard on top? Even if you like a few more toppings, you don't really need somebody else to tell you what you like on your dog. But the reality is, just like any great burgers or sandwiches, the best hot dogs must be curated. Despite their heavily-spiced flavor that can be delicious with minimal embellishment, hot dogs can also be paired with lots of unique toppings and unexpected flavor combos. They are very open to suggestion and experimentation; just because something can be simple doesn't mean you don't get to have fun with it, and what meal is more fun than a hot dog?

The sheer variety of regional hot dog styles in the U.S. shows what they are capable of. And the fact that hot dogs can be just as good dragged through a garden of vegetables Chicago-style or drowned in meaty chili sauce means they really are up for anything. So we have eight hot dog recipes here to show you just that, and get the humble hot dog started down the road to respect.

Read more: Styles Of Regional BBQ In The US

Authentic Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Chicago style hot dog
Chicago style hot dog - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Hot dogs are as American as, well, hot dogs, but no place in the country loves them quite like Chicago. In a city where every neighborhood has its local hot dog spot, the quintessential dog is accentuated with a true salad of toppings, for something made to be a meal all by itself. Proper condiments are the sweet and tangy combination of mustard and neon-green relish — but never ever ketchup. On top of that you get sliced tomato, onion, pickles, and mildly spicy sport peppers, along with peppery, grassy celery salt, all on the equally essential poppy seed bun. It has just about every flavor you can think of on it, and each one works perfectly with a hot dog.

Recipe: Authentic Chicago-Style Hot Dog

The Best Hot Dog Chili

chili cheese hot dogs
chili cheese hot dogs - Petar Marshall/Tasting Table

You can always top your hot dog with your favorite chili recipe, but those who love chili dogs know the sauce is kind of its own thing — a little sweeter and simpler than the classic stew. Most of all this hot dog chili is a lot quicker and simpler to prepare than your standard chili, as it's purposefully made to be condiment, not a meal by itself, but still packed with flavor. That light sweetness comes from some brown sugar, while apple cider vinegar, onion, and tomatoes add that important acidic bite and crunch that hot dogs need. Cumin, garlic salt, and fresh garlic round out the meaty, ground beef-based sauce.

Recipe: The Best Hot Dog Chili

Sweet And Spicy Corn Dogs

corn dogs with sauces
corn dogs with sauces - Jessica Morone/Tasting Table

Corn dogs may seem pretty simple, but as cheese-filled and french-fry-covered Korean corn dogs have shown us, that batter can hold a lot of different flavors and toppings. This corn dog recipe goes a unique route by packing extra flavor directly into the batter itself. The tangy buttermilk and cornmeal batter gets its sweet side from honey and its spiciness from sriracha, for an irresistible flavor combo. These corn dogs will go great with any of the usual condiments, but we suggest doubling down on the tasty pairing by drizzling this with a little honey sriracha sauce.

Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Corn Dogs

The Ultimate Hot Dog

fried pickle hot dogs
fried pickle hot dogs - Katie B. Foster/Tasting Table

Calling any hot dog "the ultimate" is setting the bar pretty high, but you can't argue that fried pickles on a dog are going to be something special. This recipe is built to hit every flavor that people love to pair with hot dogs: sweet, tangy, briny, spicy, and meaty. And it does so in a truly unique and melty way. Beyond the fried pickles, the hot dog gets topped with a homemade honey mustard mix, shredded Monterey jack cheese, and a jalapeño slaw made with pickled jalapeños and cabbage that delivers not only flavor, but a satisfying crunch as well.

Recipe: The Ultimate Hot Dog

Herby Pigs In A Blanket

herby pigs in a blanket
herby pigs in a blanket - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Pigs in a blanket are the party food that everybody reaches for first, but let's be real, you probably want them all the time. Thankfully for all of us, they are easy to make and even easier to upgrade. Our variation brings some bright herbal flavor to the standard recipe. It starts like any pig in a blanket, with cocktail wieners wrapped in store-bought crescent roll dough, but once assembled, they are brushed with a flavorful melted herb butter that uses fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme with garlic powder. A nice finishing touch is some flaky sea salt, which adds a little more texture to every bite.

Recipe: Herby Pigs in a Blanket

Kimchi-Sesame Hot Dog

kimchi slaw hot dogs
kimchi slaw hot dogs - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Sauerkraut is a long-time hot dog favorite, but if you want to mix it up, try this recipe with some of the best fermented cabbage there is: kimchi. The spicy, sour taste of kimchi gets tempered a bit by a pairing with a bright sesame slaw for the ultimate in crunchy toppings. The slaw is tasty on its own, with cabbage, carrot, and cilantro getting tossed with a dressing of rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and sesame seeds. Paired with the kimchi, this cabbage mixture is the only thing a hot dog needs.

Recipe: Kimchi-Sesame Hot Dog

Bacon Crunch Hot Dog With Creamy Slaw

bacon crunch hot dogs
bacon crunch hot dogs - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are a tasty combo, but sometimes the bacon can overshadow the actual hot dog itself. Solution? Some crumbled bacon goes a long way to bringing that salty, smoky flavor; and a cooling, creamy mayo-based coleslaw helps temper the richness. The bacon crumbles lend a pleasant crunch to the dog, which gets even better with the addition of a secret ingredient: crumbled potato chips. It's a hearty, satisfying topping, and so generous that the hot dogs should be cooked split to hold it all together.

Recipe: Bacon Crunch Hot Dog with Creamy Slaw

Vibrant Pickled Hot Dogs

pickled hot dog jar
pickled hot dog jar - Tess Le Moing/Tasting Table

This one might catch you off guard, until you remember the rows of pickled sausages you often find in grocery stores and meat shops. Since hot dogs are already pre-cooked they can be turned into a tangy treat, perfect for snacking. These pickled hot dogs can be used as an addition to other recipes or as part of a charcuterie board. All it takes is a mason jar and heating a simple pickling mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. It's almost like you're infusing the flavors of your favorite hot dog toppings right into the dog itself.

Recipe: Vibrant Pickled Hot Dogs

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