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They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. We’re not experts on canine behavior, but we do know that hot dogs can be made way more exciting with inventive toppings (not to mention new cooking techniques, namely spiral cutting them before grilling). These hot dog recipe ideas will make you sit up and beg for more.
For some background, we first spotlighted these creative options, as discussed on Chowhound’s General Topics forum, in an earlier version of this article oriented around March Madness (back in 2014)—and while some of these creations are indeed a bit mad scientist, they’re all delicious (at least to someone).
Sweet fruit is a classic partner to certain savory cuts of meat (think pork chops and apples), so why not hot dogs? A spicy-sweet cherry relish makes a pleasantly piquant topper, and goes great with grainy mustard too. Get our Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs with Spicy Cherry Relish recipe.
Movie-inspired snacks are too good to be reserved for the Oscars, so try topping a hot dog with gooey nacho cheese sauce and sliced jalapeños any time of the year. Crushed tortilla chips lend crunch. Get our Nacho Hot Dogs recipe.
Bacon makes everything better. So does cheese. Combine them both on a hot dog and you’ll be in flavor heaven. This is the real dream team (and the one we’re rooting for). Get our Spiral-Cut Bacon Cheese Hot Dog recipe.
Slather a grilled hot dog in BBQ sauce and top it with crushed Fritos. Take your pick from the plethora of regional barbecue sauce styles to make it your own. And consider using chili cheese Fritos for extra oomph.
Community member mrszondo who is part said her Mexican family’s way of topping hot dogs is with grilled onions and jalapeños, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese. Um, yes, please. (Jack cheese is good too if you like a little more melty stretch.)
Community member deborah24‘s “best hot dog ever” is topped with Easy Cheese (yes, the kind in a spray can), chili, and potato sticks for crunch. Honestly, this sounds extremely intriguing—and like a prime candidate for 4/20 eats too…
Community member pacz‘s dog is wrapped in bacon and served with avocado, sour cream, and salsa. Maybe this was what inspired our own bacon dog recipe above?
Community member tartiflette tops Toronto “street meat” with “hot mustard, hot peppers, green olives, sliced pickles and a few dribbles of Sriracha sauce.” That’s quite a mouthful. And not completely dissimilar to a classic Chicago dog.
Sometimes simple is best: Community member wanderluster opts for a fried egg, which “improves everything.” Honestly, we can’t argue with that.
Community member kcijones001‘s twist on a chili dog was to swap in baked beans and add sauerkraut and spicy mustard. We’ve definitely eaten baked beans with hot dogs plenty of times, so may as well pile them on the bun!
Per the blurb for this one from 2014, “jjackiex33‘s idea for a sweet-savory combo of marshmallow creme, hot fudge, and melted peanut butter comes from the now-closed Papa Jim’s Exotic Hot Dogs in Winchendon, Massachusetts.” Whether this sort of thing contributed to the closing of said establishment is a mystery, but please report back if you try this at home!