26 fun hot dog recipes to savor

Hooray for National Hot Dog Day! Although its origins can be traced back to Europe, hot dogs have become as American as apple pie. They’re a staple snack at sporting events, a must-have at cookouts, an iconic street food across the country, and the go-to food for competitive eating contests.

But, to be blunt about sausages, it’s not all good times and games when it comes to savory sausages. There have been hot disputes for a long time over many aspects of the beloved links. Is a hot dog considered a sandwich? Is it okay to put ketchup on them? Is New York style or Chicago style better? Boiled or grilled? Plain or covered in condiments?

Controversial debates about dogs aside, it’s no wonder why they’re such a popular food. They’re affordable for any budget, incredibly easy to cook, family-friendly, and a classic nostalgic comfort food. Anthony Bourdain once said, “Man does not live by foie gras alone. It is a noble thing to make a good hot dog.” The humble hot dog may lack style or refinement, but it’s a delicious canvas for all kinds of flavor-packed creations. And basic seasonings are just the tip of the iceberg. These wonderful sausage recipes push the boundaries of seasoning combinations, introduce a variety of cooking techniques, and add creative twists that make sausages even more amazing. It’s pure fun in a bun!

THIS DAY

This recipe combines some of the best things in summer recipes: guacamole, hot dogs, and Mexican street corn. This is a quick guacamole, so don’t worry about getting it perfect, and the corn relish works as a stand-alone salad too. You’ll eat it by the spoonful.

seattle dogs

joel gamoran

These dogs just scream on game day! The combination of salted bonito flakes, fresh cream cheese, and everything spiced up makes this frank taste like a wonderful combination of smoked salmon bagel and a hot dog in one. Pro Tip: Level up your hot dog game by loading up your condiments in squeezable bottles. Very professional.

Sunny Anderson's BLT Hot Dogs

Olena Danileiko / Alamy Stock Photo

Sunny Anderson loves all things grilled, but especially hot dogs. “Grilled hot dogs are great served simply with mustard, but they’re also a great canvas for a wide variety of toppings and flavor combinations,” she says. “Here, I added smoked bacon, crisp lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, and fresh tomatoes to give yummy dogs the classic flavors of a BLT sandwich.”

Provolone Wrapped Hot Dogs with Giardiniera Relish

Anthony Contrino adds his signature Italian twist to hot dogs in this tasty recipe. “Nothing says summer like a good hot dog. I’m a minimalist when it comes to serving the grilled classic, but there’s something magical about this version,” he says. “The combination of strong cheese, salty beef and a sweet yet spicy Italian taste creates the perfect balance of flavors best enjoyed on a warm day.”

Walter's dog

Gotham Burger Social Club

Grilling hot dogs, a trick Michael Puma learned from Walter’s Hot Dogs, adds so much flavor and texture. The trick is to split them about 3/4 of the way and butterfly them open before placing them in a pan or on a griddle. This doubles the surface area and you get a crispy brown all over.

dogs bowling

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

This is an Italian version of a chili dog. It’s a great entertaining dish because guests can add their own ingredients and use as many as they like. Marinated peppers, creamy burrata, and hearty ragu make these hot dogs a truly satisfying meal.

hot dog flower buns

Courtesy of Kristina Cho

These Flower Hot Dog Buns are a popular item in Chinese bakeries. Adults and children alike will love the whimsical design and sweet and salty flavor of these buns. Hot dogs are the traditional stuffing, but you can swap them out for your favorite chicken or pork sausages or use veggie dogs for a vegetarian version.

Sonoran hot dog

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Hotdogs get a makeover Arizona style. The dogs are wrapped in bacon and topped with pinto beans, yellow mustard, jalapeno salsa, pico de gallo, grated cheese, grilled plantain peppers, and grilled scallions. The result is an explosion of fresh, spicy and smoky flavours.

Bacon and Onion Covered Hot Dogs

Anthony Michael Contrino

Anthony Contrino reapplies his spicy magic to hot dogs with a tasty homemade jam. “Is there anything that says ‘summer’ more than hot dogs?” he says. “I like to give them a twist, dressing them with gooey Dijon-cheddar sauce and a bit of sweet and salty bacon and caramelized onions!”

Seattle-style hot dogs

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

What makes these dogs different is the combination of hot peppers and fresh cream cheese. They’re like jalapenos and stadium-style hotdogs rolled into one tasty bite. Pro Tip: Split the dogs in half for a quicker, more charred roast.

Swanky Franky Hot Dog

THIS DAY

Dress up hot dogs with crispy bacon, pecan gruyere cheese, and melted cheddar cheese for a fancy flavor twist. Rich cheeses and salty bacon make this a truly indulgent dish. Play with the choice of cheeses to customize them to your liking.

Banh Mi Style Hot Dog

Jason Santos

This recipe is great for entertaining because it can be made ahead of time and is so easy to make. It also makes something as simple as a hot dog look and taste amazing. The pickled vegetables add a bright, refreshing crunch that brightens the entire dish.

All pigs in a blanket with cranberry mustard

Courtesy of Robin Ventress

Here, pigs in a blanket get a grown-up twist with all the bagel seasoning and a cranberry mustard sauce. This is a great family snack recipe any time of year, but it’s especially fun for the holidays to counteract the abundance of sweet snacks. Cranberry mustard is also served with grilled or roasted meats and added to turkey sandwiches.

hot dogs

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Donatella Arpaia combines two ballpark favorites into one tasty bite with these Nacho Topped Hot Dogs. “You’ll get the perfect complement of a grilled hot dog with the spicy, cheesy crunch of nachos,” she says. “When you put the sausages on the fire, don’t walk away! Keep turning them to leave grill marks around them and watch them carefully. When they start to expand, but before they start to sizzle, they’re done.”

hot dogs and rice

Ashley Loving

Joanna Gaines makes hot dogs even more comforting and nostalgic with this childhood favorite. “This is a recipe my mom leaned on when we were on a tight budget,” she says. “It’s not exactly authentic, but she infused the dish with Korean spices and my kids love it.”

italian hot dog

THIS DAY

This is a more refined version of the bacon wrapped hot dog, but just a little bit! This recipe uses prosciutto and staples from your favorite Italian market, like roasted red peppers and mozzarella. Pro Tip: Cook the dogs lightly before adding the ham, allowing the hot dog and ham to crisp up and cook evenly.

Siri Beer Soaked Hot Dogs

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Siri Daly loves to entertain with comfort food stations. “I’m a big fan of setting up cover bars so guests can help themselves,” she says. “In the summer, nothing is more fun or festive than a hot dog bar…except maybe grilling those ingredients in foil, making cleanup a breeze!”

Giada's Signature Hot Dogs

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Iconic Los Angeles hot dog restaurant Pink’s created a hot dog named after Giada De Laurentiis. “They topped it with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. This is my riff,” she says. “Grilling the hot dog gives this dog an extra layer of flavor. If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, you can also just brown them in a pan with a little oil.”

Caribbean Hot Dogs with Creole Potato Salad

nina compton

This recipe adds a fun Caribbean twist to a tailgating party. The hotdogs are easy and fun, and the Creole Potato Salad is super tasty. This is football food, NOLA style! Pro Tip: Mix the sauce ahead of time.

Elena Besser's Chicago-Style Hot Dog Sandwich

Elena Besser

This recipe pays homage to the classic Chicago-style hot dog but turns it into a sandwich using most of the traditional ingredients to create a delicious topping. It also proves that sliced ​​bread is a perfectly adequate substitute for buns in a pinch, or on purpose. Spread relish and mustard on both sides of bread for maximum flavor.

hot dog hash

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Make the most of leftover hot dogs after a cookout with this twist on a breakfast classic. Onions, peppers, and potatoes make this a dish that sticks to the ribs. Add a few fried eggs for a perfect and complete meal.

frank fenway

Jason Santos

There’s nothing better than a ballpark-style hot dog on a summer day. If you can’t get to the stadium, this is the next best thing. It has all the country flavor of a sausage you would buy in the game, but you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. Pro Tip: Boil the sausages in beer or use a beef bouillon cube in the water for more flavor.

Sausage and Polenta Corn Dogs

gina marinelli

In this recipe, Gina Marinelli takes something that is so common and traditional, but that no one ever makes at home, and gives it a savory twist with polenta, harissa, and sausage. The variety of sauces and dressings can really create a bar-like feel at your personal back door.

Mustard Beer Brat Sliders

Andrea Behrends/ Helene Dujardin

True Midwesterners will tell you to first dip the brats in a mixture of beer and onions, poaching them over the fire until cooked through, a technique that helps them absorb more delicious flavor while keeping them juicy. After that, it’s all about getting that crispy char on the outside, something you’ll easily accomplish with direct heat. Serve the sliders with lots of spicy mustard and a cold beer, of course.

Hot Dog Quesadillas

Joy Bauer

Give plain sausages a fun and tasty Tex-Mex makeover by wrapping them in tortillas and topping them with a delicious cheese sauce. Imagine if hot dogs and quesadillas had a delicious baby.

No Bake Twinkie 'Hot Dogs'

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These Twinkie “hotdogs” are a classic favorite reimagined and always get a great response! These dessert dogs are a classic favorite reimagined and they always get a great response. Kids and adults alike will love seeing and eating these fun treats.

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