If you are craving the best homemade hot dog chili to top your classic chili dog, I've got the quick and easy recipe you need!
Apple pie, baseball, Chevrolet, and chili dogs. It doesn't get much more Americana than this recipe. We've all enjoyed a deliciously messy chili dog spilling out of a soft hot dog bun growing up, but re-living the classic taste in your own kitchen is likely easier than you imagined.
This is a good recipe to make in advance of your next cookout. Just load this sauce on your favorite hot dog, along with the toppings of your choice, and get ready for some rave reviews. You'll want to serve these deliciously sloppy hot dogs with some piping hot French fries, crisp potato chips, or cool homemade potato salad!
What is the difference between hot dog chili and regular chili?
Also called hot dog sauce and used to craft the classic chili dog, hot dog chili is a cross between the flavors found in a traditional homemade chili and the texture of sloppy joes. This meaty chili is loaded with ground beef and seasonings, sans any chunky vegetables, and can be enjoyed on its own or to crown the world's best chili dogs.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Ground beef - I use lean ground beef because I don't like my chili to be greasy, but a little fat does improve the flavor.
- Garlic - This is the only vegetable needed. You can substitute garlic powder too.
- Beef broth - This thins out the chili. You can use beer for a different flavor.
- Tomato sauce - This is the backbone of the saucy texture.
- Tomato paste - Paste adds a lot of tomato flavor while also thickening the sauce.
- Ketchup - Ketchup is needed for sweetness and to fortify the tomato flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Seasonings: Chili seasoning, salt, ground black pepper, and brown sugar.
How to Make Hot Dog Chili
This simple homemade hot dog chili sauce is much quicker and easier to make than traditional chili recipes. There aren't any vegetables to prep, which is a big time saver, and it doesn't need to simmer long. You only need to simmer it to thicken it slightly to your desired consistency.
The best way to make this chili is to brown ground beef over medium-high heat in a medium pot, or Dutch Oven, crumbling it with a wooden spoon as it cooks. I prefer to use 90/10 beef so the chili isn't greasy. Once browned, the garlic and seasonings can be added, followed by all the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Let it simmer for 15 minutes to thicken slightly then serve.
Note: When using lean ground beef the fat does not need to be drained. A little fat will add flavor.
How to Store Hot Dog Chili
Leftover chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or can be frozen instead. The chili thickens as it sits, so if you want to return it to its saucey state when re-served just stir in enough water to thin it out slightly. It won't take much.
Toppings for Chili Dogs
Hot dog chili is a nonnegotiable topping when crafting chili dogs, but there are additional toppings you can include as well for your hot dog bar. Pick and choose any of the following great options to pile on top of your hot dogs. You are only limited by your creativity:
- Finely shredded Cheddar cheese
- Diced onions - I like white onions for their superior raw crunch.
- Sweet Pickle Relish - Dill pickle relish is also great.
- Hot Sauce
- Nacho Cheese Sauce
More Chili Recipes
- Steak Chili
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- Smoked Chili
- Chili Cheese Dip
- Chili with Noodles
- Venison Chili
- Chicken Queso Chili
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The Best Homemade Hot Dog Chili
- Add ground beef to a medium pot or large saucepan and brown over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground beef with a wooden spoon into small pieces as it cooks.
- Once browned, add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle in chili seasoning and stir to distribute evenly.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until thickened to your liking.
- Serve immediately with hot dogs, hot dog buns, and your favorite toppings.