Nothing says summer like a barbecue grill and hot dogs. While we love to top our dogs with ketchup, mustard, and relish, it can be a lot of fun to get creative with hot-dog toppings.
Put the ketchup back in the fridge and try one of these 19 ways to jazz up your hot dogs. If the weather is not cooperating, pan-fry your hot dogs indoors so that you can have these delicious toppings all year round.
1. Macaroni And Cheese
When you combine the classic, cheesy flavor of macaroni and cheese with a hot dog, you can’t go wrong. Delish suggests starting with a homemade cheese sauce tossed with elbow macaroni. Top your cooked hot dog with a scoop of your homemade mac and cheese, and then take it over the top by sprinkling it with cooked, crumbled bacon and chopped chives.
2. Mashed Potatoes And Cheese
The Idahoan suggests using your leftover mashed potatoes for a fun and inventive twist on the plain old hot-dog dinner. Heat up your hot dogs and buns however you would like, pile on the mashed potatoes, sprinkle the dogs with cheese, and bake them until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
3. Pastrami And Swiss
Avoid choosing between a Reuben and a hot dog, and just put the two yummy lunch ideas together. This recipe from Norine’s Nest features beef pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and a mustard mayo sauce. This is a hot dog on steroids, and it will definitely earn your respect.
4. Mexican Street Corn
This idea comes from Spices In My DNA, and if you love Mexican street corn on its own, you are going to lose your mind when you put it on top of a hot dog. This recipe not only shows you how to make your own Mexican street corn, but it also demonstrates how great life can be when you top your food with drizzles of Sriracha mayo.
5. Salt And Pepper Potato Chips
6. Frito Pie
One of my favorite childhood treats was Frito pie, or Fritos smothered in chili and shredded cheese served straight from the Fritos bag. Honestly Yum takes the Frito pie idea to new heights by making it a hot-dog topping (minus the bag); it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family, especially the kiddos.
7. Jalapeño Cream Cheese And Black Bean Salsa
Gourmet hot dogs are growing in popularity, and these dogs topped with jalapeño cream cheese and black bean salsa are so good, you will want to savor every bite. The spice of the jalapeño cream cheese and the sweetness of the salsa give you the best of both flavor worlds.
A great idea for a summer party is to host a hot dog bar, where your guests can pick out their own toppings and create custom gourmet dogs. Just make sure to have plenty of jalapeño cream cheese and black bean salsa on hand, because everyone will want to try it.
Sommer from A Spicy Perspective has many great ideas to jazz up hot dogs, but this might be the best one of all. Add some crunch to your dogs with crumbled tortilla chips, and then load up the flavor with melted cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro.
9. Grilled Pineapple And Teriyaki Mayo
The Endless Meal recommends combining grilled pineapple and teriyaki mayo in a Hawaiian hot dog. You can make your dogs vegan-friendly by using vegan mayo and skipping the meat. You could also go gluten-free by using gluten-free buns or ditching the bread entirely. Honestly, you won’t need it.
10. Pepperoni, Marinara, And White Cheese
It’s always exciting to combine two well-loved dishes to make something new and amazing. You never expected pizza and hot dogs, did you?
11. Swiss Cheese And Strawberry Jam
The ultimate combination of sweet and salty, this Monte Cristo hot dog idea comes from Fox Valley Foodie. Start by cutting the hot dogs lengthwise, and then cook the dogs cut-side down — along with the buns — in butter until they are golden brown. Flip them and continue cooking until both the dogs and the buns are golden brown.
When the buns are done cooking, spread strawberry jam inside them, and place a slice of Swiss cheese on each dog. Finish up by placing a lid on the pan and letting the dogs cook for another minute while the cheese melts. Finally, put it all together, and get ready for a salty and sweet surprise.
12. Mango Salsa
Give your hot dog a fruity flavor by topping it with mango salsa. This idea comes from Damn Delicious, and it is one of the healthier options on this list. Fresh mango salsa will not only add a burst of flavor to your dog, but it will also add texture and beautiful colors.
13. Peanut Butter And Bacon
This is not a joke. Peanut butter and bacon belong together, and when you try these dogs for the first time, you’ll cry tears of joy. This recipe from Country Cleaver will make your taste buds go wild, and it will quickly become a family favorite.
14. Pulled Pork And Slaw
A barbecue pork sandwich topped with coleslaw is a treat all by itself. The next time you grill up some hot dogs, kick them up a notch by turning pulled pork and slaw into hot-dog toppings. Everyone will ask you for this recipe from Dinners, Dishes, And Desserts.
15. Caramel Popcorn
The first of two ideas on this list from The Weiner Shop, this one features a bacon-wrapped jumbo dog topped with cheese sauce, giardiniera, and caramel popcorn. Yes, this is a thing that happened, and we are so glad it did. It’s weird, it’s messy, and it’s delicious.
16. Caramelized Onions, Cream Cheese, And Jalapeños
Everyone knows about Chicago dogs, but other cities have their own versions of this summer treat. A Seattle dog is topped with caramelized onions, smoky cream cheese, and jalapeños, and this recipe from Show Me The Yummy will show you how to make the perfect Seattle dog at home.
17. Ramen Noodles
This idea from Tastemade is quite unique. Instead of topping your hot dog with Ramen noodles, you’ll turn them into the bun. Is it delicious? Absolutely. Is it cheap? Oh yeah. If you are living on a tight budget or looking for something creative to make while studying for midterms, then you must try these.
18. Green Chili Mole
If you love Mexican-inspired dishes, then you must try this recipe for green chili mole hot dogs from A Spicy Perspective. These dogs are topped with rich dark mole, chili peppers, bitter chocolate, and queso fresco. They’re hot dogs for grown-ups, but they look and taste so good, your kids just might be willing to try them.
19. Barbecue Sauce, Slaw, And Tater Tots
Tater tots make everything better. The Weiner Shop knows this to be the truth, so they created a hot-dog topping with tots plus creamy coleslaw and barbecue sauce. Technically, they used Polish sausage instead of hot dogs, but that doesn’t make this topping idea anything less than spectacular.
No matter how you cook your hot dogs, try one of these 19 over-the-top ideas the next time you make this family-friendly staple.