5 Fun Ways to Eat Hot Dogs


Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement regarding the choking hazards of hot dogs. I agree that parents need to monitor what (and how) their young children eat. However, hot dogs are a pretty inexpensive meal. While I’d never consider them to be a “health food,” they are inexpensive, and you can buy them in varying degrees of fat/nitrates. Tofu dogs could even be substituted in the following recipes.

Ghetto Spaghetti

This recipe comes courtesy of my late mother-in-law. I absolutely love it. My thoughtful husband will make it for me when I’ve had a bad day — it is great comfort food.

  • 1 package hot dogs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • One package spaghetti or angel-hair pasta
  • One jar of spaghetti sauce
  • One green pepper, sliced in strips
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in skillet.

2. Add green pepper and saute until soft.

3. Add hot dogs and heat through.

4. Add spaghetti sauce.

5. In large pot, cook pasta as directed.

5. Drain and return to pot.

6. Serve spaghetti with sauce; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Hot-Dog Spread Sandwich

Here’s a recipe that will stick to your ribs. My “other mom,” Gayle, used to make this to feed the sheep-shearing crew. That gives you an idea of its heartiness. As these were pre-Cuisinart days, she used a meat grinder to grind the hot dogs.

  • 1 package of hot dogs
  • 1 package of hot-dog buns
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 3 T. mayonnaise

1. Chop up hot dogs.

2. Combine with other ingredients.

3. Spread 1/4 cup of spread onto bun, wrap in foil and heat in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Polka-dot Mac and Cheese

I don’t think it gets much easier than this (or cheaper).

  • 1 box macaroni and cheese
  • Four hot dogs, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1. Prepare macaroni and cheese as directed on box.

2. Pour into a casserole dish and top with hot dog slices.

3. Heat in 350-degree oven for twenty minutes.

4. Serve with high degree of perkiness.

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Appetizers

This is a great recipe from allrecipes. Set these down at a party and watch even the food snobs scarf them.

  • 10 hot dogs, cut into thirds
  • 15 slices bacon, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1. Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around each piece of hot dog. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.

2. Place hot dogs into a slow cooker on low heat. Pour brown sugar over hot dogs, let cook for 5 to 6 hours; until bacon is cooked.

Potluck Fave

My co-workers ASK me to bring this to office potlucks.

  • Two packages of hot dogs, sliced into thirds
  • One jar grape jelly
  • One jar chili sauce

Combine in crock-pot and heat until bubbly.

I see that hot dogs are on sale again, already. Readers, if you have any suggestions, please share!

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Guest's picture

Another idea that my wife and I love is to make the equivalent of hot dog pigs in a blanket. We buy the pre-made Pillsbury pizza dough. Seperate it out and wrap each hot dog in one. Before closing it up, add in what you would normally place on a hot dog, your ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, whatever. I sometimes add a little cheese as well. Then place it in the oven and bake according to the instructions on the Pillsbury can. It's awesome.

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I often take Pillsbury biscuits cut them in half spread the halves out and fill them with diced hot dog mixed with mustard, relish and a few other spices. Bake 25 degrees lower than the normal biscuit temp and cook 5 minutes longer. They are good snacks or pitch-in sides.

Guest's picture

Best hotdogs you can get for any of this - depending on where you are located - are the Kogels Viennas. Old-recipe, good-quality hotdogs. Unfortunately I think they're only here in Michigan.

Guest's picture

this post just made me salivate considering the "prison" diet that am currently on. things like this are what make make me throw the extreme frugality that i am adopting to the wind. but therein lies another problem, i dont like cooking so in the end i just find myself in a fast food joint :)

Guest's picture
careful mom

I learned long ago when working with children that you never slice a hotdog. The best way to cut a hotdog for children is to slice it in half lengthwise and cut into slices. This makes a half circle shape which is less of a choking hazard. I thought this was common knowledge, but the recent warnings point out that what I learned isn't that common after all.

Guest's picture

A cheap can of chili sauce and a pack of buns along with some hotdogs = junk food bliss! Easy on the budget and a delicious dinner alternative.

Guest's picture

Here's a good suggestion for children: Hot Dog Octopus.

1. Cut a hot half-way up the length. Do this three times on the same half. This will create the octopus's legs.
2. Take a toothpick and poke two holes on the uncut end of the hot dog to make the eyes.
3. Boil the hot dog and watch as the octopus comes to life!

The instructions here may be a little vague. It's easier if I could include a picture, I think.

Guest's picture

bleh, tube meat, lol.

that said, when i was a kid, my favorite hotdog usage was, cut into circles and scramble with an egg. easy peasy and yum.

Guest's picture

Sorry, but ghetto spaghetti is NOT fun. It's gross. You may as well call it ghetto chef boyardee.

On the other hand, the hot dog spread sandwich is a fantastic idea.

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Don't Adulterate the Mac!!!

I still have issues with my mom for wrecking my mac and cheese with hot dogs!! Don't do it. Also, NEVER put tuna and peas in there. Please. It is just wrong. I feel better now.

Regarding the dogs, there is a place in Vancouver BC that is famous for them known as Japadog. You can see it on Anthony Bourdain's show. I made a homemade version and it was pretty good! Different. I use Costco hot dogs because I know they watch their meat quality. I also use Bavarian Meats from Pike Place Market, but that won't be available to most people.

First, marinate the hot dogs overnight in Teriyaki Ginger marinade (bottled - use whatever's cheap). Bring 'em up to temp at low heat in a frying pan, making sure the sauce does not burn. It is sugary. Serve on a regular bun with wasabi mayo (mayonnaise with some wasabi horseradish mixed in) and terimayo (mayonnaise with teriyaki sauce mixed in), a lot of grilled onions, and some thin ribbons of nori (sushi wrapper)(for authenticity, but I thought it was better without). The teriyaki dogs are also really good with regular fixins.

FYI, a Seattle-Style hot dog is served with generous amounts of cream cheese, grilled onions and sauerkraut on a toasted bun. No idea why.

Veggie dogs are common in Seattle, and the best are at Cyber Dog downtown. In keeping with the veg theme, they are served with lots of vegetable toppings.

Guest's picture

Cut a pound of hotdogs into 1/2" pieces and brown in butter along with some chopped onions. Stir in 2 cans drained kidney beans, 1 can tomato soup, 1-2 tsp chili powder, 2 tblsp water, 1 tsp vinegar and 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Serve over toasted french bread slices. Very yummy!

Guest's picture

We make what you call Ghetto Spaghetti, but we just call it the bell pepper and hot dogs dish. It may not be "fun," Robert, but it is surprisingly delicious. For those who like (and can tolerate) onions, it is great if you saute them along with the bell peppers. We also sometimes use green onions. Really good. I like some of the other suggestions in comments, too. I plan to try several of them. Now I am starving!

Guest's picture

Easy Supreme Hotdog Casserole

6 boiled hot dogs (cut into semi-circles)
Sloppy Meat Sauce (prepared)
Can of Corn
Can of Navy Beans
Shredded Cheddar
Jiffy Mix (prepared)

Combine the first four ingredients and spread in square baking dish. Sprinkle cheese generously over the mixture. Spread Jiffy muffin mix across bottom ingredients. Bake casserole per the muffin instructions. Voila!

Guest's picture

Is it just me, or does anyone cringe at the flippant use of the word "ghetto?"

It's a very loaded word that brings up visions of Anti-Semitism or marginalized/oppressed communities in the United States.

Kinda makes me lose my appetite.

Guest's picture

Mmm...I actually bought some hot dogs today because someone's been eating them at work everyday and smelling up the kitchen with yumminess.
My grandmother slices them and cooks them in chicken or beef rice. We like them in our cheesy macaroni, baked beans, chili, and Jambalaya. I also like to cook them in BBQ sauce, fillet them and make a BBQ hot dog sandwich.
I'm really loving the comments on this post. A lot of great ideas. I may have to go get some more!

Guest's picture

I have heard of using hot dogs in a version of an egg mcmuffin:
...but I think I will pass.

I recently tried turkey hot dogs and hated them so was trying to find something to do with them. I heard of 'Hot Dog Soup' but have yet to settle on a recipe.

I should learn not to stray from buying any other hot dogs other than Hebrew National Beef Franks or Hempler BunBusters.

Guest's picture

In Ecuador you will see this type of dish served in fast food restaurants.

Cook the hotdogs (fried, boiled, microwaved)
Cook up some french fries
cut up the hotdogs and add them to a plate of french fries
add ketchup and mayo

its pretty good and filling.

Guest's picture

My hubby loves hot dogs, cut up into bite-size pieces and cooked in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Then add a can of baked beans (strangely enough, usually the less-fancy the baked beans are, the better this is. Save your Bush's for a higher purpose) and some hot sauce. He especially likes this with potato pancakes.

Using ghetto in this context doesn't exactly bother me. I figured out long ago that any dish that substitutes hot dogs for higher-quality meat can be called "ghetto", but if you substitute Spam for higher-quality meat it's called "redneck".

I've also seen references to hot dog fried rice but I've never had it before. I've never tried to make my own fried rice.

Guest's picture

Among all the other examples of frugality on this site, you'd think "inexpensive" would be understood pretty strictly here.

At $5.25+ per pound (for a cheap "mystery meat" brand), hot dogs aren't exactly fillet mignon. Still, I think Wise Bread readers could do better.

Guest's picture

Fry them in vegetable oil until the skin just starts to split. Top with mustard and saurkraut. Completely unhealthy but hey, you´re eating hot dogs....

Guest's picture

NASTY!! For the price, you really should just buy actual real meat! Meat that you know what part of the animal it actually came from, meat that doesn't have requirements of how much animal hair can be included, and meat that is actually cheaper and better for you! I haven't eaten a hotdog for about 32 years (since I was 6 or 7 years old and could read) and I won't ever have one again. There are so many better choices, let's make some of those!!

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I don't eat hot dogs anymore but when I was little my grandma made them for us and we loved them! Slice the hot dog down the middle and put a piece of american "cheese" in the cut and pile on mashed potatoes along the length of the hot dog. Garnish with dried parsely. Serve without bun. It's actually really good!

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Los Angeles style salchiches con tocino (weenies with bacon). Wrap the dog in bacon, hold it on there with a toothpic if necessary. Fry on griddle. Also fry sliced onions and bell peppers. Optionally, fry a yellow chili or jalapeno for spice. Serve in a bun like a regular hot dog, top with the vegetables, and offer mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, and mayo as optional condiments. (Believe it or not, this is considered Mexican or Central American or Latin American food here in LA.)

Weenie Royale - popular in Japanese American internment camps (aka, relocation camps, aka concentration camps). Chop up dogs on an angle (Japanese style), cook with 1/2 cut up onion. Add 3 eggs and a teaspoon or so of soy sauce. (This actually tastes really good - the eggs with soy sauce especially.)

I used to eat weenie fried rice. It's just fried rice with cut up hot dogs in it. Roughly the same ingredients as Weenie Royale, but cooked in a different order. Fry onions and dogs in a little oil. Add cold leftover rice. Add two eggs, and mix into the rice, and fry it all up. Add a dash of soy sauce, or to be authentic omit soy sauce and use salt and white pepper to taste.

If you want to save some money on the fridge biscuit dough, you can just make regular dough. Into a cup of tepid water, add a dash of sugar and 1/2 to 1 pouch of yeast. Let rest until it's foamed up and growing. Add flour and mix until it forms a ball. Knead in bowl, and let rest, covered half a day or a whole day. Remove from bowl, and knead on a floured board, incorporating flour until the dough is very smooth and elastic, but no longer sticky. Let rest in a greased bowl another hour or two. Roll the dough into "snakes". Wrap the dough around dogs, like stripes around a candy cane (or a dna helix), and bake in a 350 oven until done.

There's also beans and weenies. Slow cook some white beans, when mostly cooked add tomato sauce, and sugar or molasses. Last, add hot dogs. For more flavor add a cube of salt pork or bacon early on. You can also add some ketchup or BBQ sauce.

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Except for the Mac & Cheese recipe, everything hot dog recipe on this list made me wanna vomit.

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If you've never been to a Native American pow wow, especially in Canada, you need to go! Hit the food booths and get a scone dog! Hot dog wrapped in fry bread dough and deep fried. Absolute heaven!