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Best Ever Chili Dog Recipe

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This simple, hearty recipe for homemade chili dogs is a family favorite you’ll want to make again and again.

We think this flavorful recipe is the absolute best. Everyone loves hot dogs, but what can make hot dogs better? A delightful, homemade southern chili!

Beyond being delicious, this quick and easy dinner option is perfect for a potluck, barbecue or a meal at home. Simply make the chili and hot dogs and provide a bunch of fun toppings for everyone to customize their dogs as they like. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe soon! (Beef and bean chili would also taste great.)

Best Ever Chili Dog

What is a Chili Dog?

A chili dog is a name for a hot dog served in a bun and topped with meat sauce. Usually, other toppings are added too like cheese, onions, jalapenos and mustard.

I happen to think this homemade hot dog chili is the best. Plus, it’s easy to make and you could feed an army with it. Win, win, win!

What is in a Chili Dog?

A chili dog is a hot dog in a bun covered with delicious meat sauce aka chili. Paired with other toppings like cheese, onions, jalapenos, mustard, it is a wonderful way to have an fast and fun meal.

Ingredients You Need to Make a Chili Dog

A delicious chili doesn’t require complicated ingredients. You’ll need the following to make an awesome chili dog:

  • ground beef or ground turkey
  • green peppers
  • yellow onion
  • diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste
  • water and masa flour
  • kidney beans
  • hot dogs and buns
  • toppings such as cheese and jalapeno

From the spice rack, we’ll be using chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt and white pepper — which is really what makes our chili sauce stand out.

Steps for making chili dogs

How to Make Hot Dog Chili

This recipe is no fuss. You can make it in a large dutch oven like we’re doing here, or click here if you’re looking to cook this with your slow cooker. Here is how to make this easy Southern-inspired chili dog sauce.

Dice up some green peppers and yellow onions. Saute the chopped peppers and onions in a large dutch oven until they start to become translucent and caramelize. Your kitchen should smell amazing already!

Add your seasonings. Cook for 1-2 minutes while making sure they don’t burn by constantly stirring.

Add in ground meat, and cook until just browned. Dump in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato dices. Pour in the water as well. It’s ok if the meat is a little pink at this point, because you’ll be cooking it much more. Let it simmer on medium low heat. While it’s cooking, drain the beans and add them into the dutch oven after it’s cooked for 15 minutes.

Mix masa and water together in a small bowl. Add half of that mix to the chili and stir until smooth and dissolved. Then, add the rest of the bowl and stir until thick. Remove from heat.

Once the hot dog is cooked, you can serve this delicious sauce over the hot dogs. Pair with all of your favorite toppings.

If you’re feeding a smaller crowd, you can easily cut the recipe in half.

How to Make Chili Dogs

How to Cook Hot Dogs

Chili is a big part, but don’t forget the hot dogs. The best ways to cook them are either on the grill or in an oven.

Hot dogs are simply unparalleled over a grill. I personally love the additional charcoal aroma it adds to the already wonderful taste. I also like to grill the hot dog buns a little on the grill too for a little crunch.

When firing up the grill is too much work, the oven is also an amazing alternative. To prepare hot dogs in the oven, preheat it to 400. Once the oven is preheated, cook the hot dogs on parchment paper on a baking sheet for 10-12, rotating them at around 5-6 minutes of cooking.

Once the hot dogs are done, simply place them in hot dog buns and drizzle your chili over it. Present with your topping selection. Dinner is served!

What Goes Well with Chili Dogs

There are so many toppings and side dishes that go well with chili dogs — the fun part about them is also how customizable they are.

Toppings are one way to add some spunk to your basic chili dogs. Add a bit of shredded sharp cheddar cheese for extra creaminess. Jalapeno peppers or diced onions give them an extra kick.

There are many other toppings you could be using, from bacon bits to pickles. It’s easy to be creative when you have such a yummy canvas to start with.

Chili dogs are also much better when eaten with some tasty sides. When it’s chili dog night, I like to whip up a caesar salad to add a fresh addition to dinner. Potato salad, Simple Sauteed Vegetables, classic coleslaw and elbow macaroni pasta salad are also great choices.

Banana Pudding is my go to dessert recipe for potlucks and barbecues.

Ultimate Chili Dogs

What to do with leftover chili?

What can you do with the rest of your pot of flavorful chili once chili dog night is done? Pair some freshly baked cornbread with your leftover chili.

Drown some spaghetti in chili and sprinkle some shredded cheese for a quick Cincinnati chili dinner the family will ask for again and again.

Put it over fries! <- best recipe ever

I also love adding the leftover chili to our mac and cheese, it’s simply divine. The kids can’t get enough. Check out my chili mac recipe here.

I hope you’ll enjoy these amazing chili dogs at your next event!

More Easy Recipes You Will Love:

Chili Dog Recipe

Best Ever Chili Dog Recipe

These easy, hearty homemade chili dogs are the best!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 420kcal


  • 2 pounds ground beef/turkey
  • 2 small green peppers about 2 cups diced
  • 1 small yellow onion about 1.5 cups diced
  • 2-15 ounce cans Hunts Diced Tomatoes
  • 1-15 ounce can Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • 1-6 ounce can Hunts Tomato Paste
  • 2-15 ounce cans water
  • 2-15 ounce cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup masa flour
  • 20 Hot dogs
  • 20 hot dog buns


  • In a large dutch oven, saute diced peppers and onions until translucent and they start to caramelize.
  • Add seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. (Make sure they don’t burn.)
  • Add ground meat and brown until just done. It’s okay if it still has some pink in it before you add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water and tomato paste.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the drained beans.
  • Preheat oven to 400. Once it’s preheated, cook hot dogs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  • In a small bowl, mix together water and masa. Add half of the mixture to the chili and stir until it dissolves. Then add the remaining masa and stir until it starts to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and serve over hot dogs and top with your favorite toppings!


Calories: 420kcal
Tried this recipe?Follow me on Pinterest @spaceshipslb





Layne Henderson

Layne is a boy mom in love. Surrounded by three adventurous little men, she's in pursuit of an empty laundry basket, the perfect cup of coffee, and sleep. She blogs, parents, and manages social media while wearing her tiara.


    1. Avatar

      Marie | DIY Adulation

      June 4, 2018 at 7:40 am

      I seriously love Fabreze! I probably make my family crazy spraying it around the house but boys’ shoes are stinky lol. As for the chili dogs, that’s just perfect summer food. My kids would be ecstatic to have these show up on the dinner table. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at Merry Monday this week!

    2. Avatar


      July 26, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      Hmm…never tried adding masa to chili. Will have to try that the next time 🙂

    3. Khristine Alba

      Khristine Alba

      December 10, 2018 at 2:04 am

      Wow! Super delicious. I love chili dogs!

    4. Avatar

      Betty Foss

      January 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      My family loves chili dogs and I am always in search a good chili for them. I actually have two questions, first would it change the consistency of the chili if I left the beans out just bc I perfer my chili dog chili without the beans and secondly what does the masa do. Is it a thickener? Well I guess that was 3 questions lol.

      • Layne Henderson

        Layne Henderson

        January 7, 2019 at 7:24 am

        You could definitely leave the beans out but it will change the consistency. And the masa is a thickener. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

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