23 Wild and Crazy Hot Dog Ideas for the Grilling Season

The sound of the sizzle, the satisfying snap when you take your first bite, the sweet, savory, smoky, salty goodness of condiments and grilled meat and toasted buns

This is what hot dog season is all about!

Take your hot dogs from plain to insane with Foodal's round-up of wild and crazy hot dog ideas. From regional specialties to new takes on old standbys, this collection of recipe ideas from our favorite bloggers is not to be missed! https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/

But what about when that timeless and tasty tubed meat lets you down?

Not to worry, it’s just time to shake up your grill game a little.

And with that, we bring you our round-up of wild and crazy topping suggestions, homemade sauces, and prep methods from some of our favorite bloggers around the web, to help you bring some excitement back to your barbecue repertoire.

In the market for a new grill? Foodal’s got you covered with our series of reviews for every budget and space, from charcoal backpacking grills to full-size gas grills with rotisseries and infrared burners.

Super Cheesy or Saucy

Mac and Cheese

Deborah Harroun’s mac and cheese dogs are the real deal, topped with homemade cheesy pasta.

Two of your kids' favorite come together at last in this crazy hog dog. Check out these mac and cheese dogs and more wild and crazy hot dog recipes right here on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/

Grill the buns and dogs in the backyard, or just heat the hot dogs in a little simmering water on the stove before serving.

Get the recipe on Taste and Tell.

Dr. Pepper Barbecue

Sweet, savory, salty, and spicy, this one’s got it all, slathered with homemade Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce and topped with sliced fresh jalapenos.

Want to make your own wild and crazy hot dog creations and say goodbye to the boring dog on bun with ketchup and mustard forever? Check out our round-up of the best wild and crazy hot dog recipes from our favorite bloggers on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Spicy Southern Kitchen

Christin Mahrlig at Spicy Southern Kitchen is a Dr. Pepper lover, and you will be too when you try this recipe.

Chipotle Cheese Sauce & Bacon-Corn Relish

If you’re not craving sweet pickle relish, sweet summer corn is the answer. When that’s not available, feel free to use frozen. And a little bacon never hurts, right?

Want to grill up a batch of your own chipotle cheese hot dogs? Mac and cheese dogs? Mango salsa topped dogs, or vegetarian carrot dogs? Check out our round up of the best wild and crazy hot dog recipes now on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Cooking and Beer

Drizzled with homemade spicy chipotle cheese sauce and topped with relish, you won’t even miss the ketchup and mustard.

Check out Justine Sulia’s recipe on Cooking and Beer.

South of the Border & Tex-Mex

Mexican Mole

In the mood for rich, chocolatey molé? It’s great with grilled meat!

Take traditional hot dogs south of the border at your next backyard cookout, with this recipe and more on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Country Cleaver

Avocado, juicy tomato, crumbled cotija cheese, and earthy, flavorful molé sauce top these grilled franks. You won’t be able to stop at just one!

You can find Megan Keno’s Mexican-inspired recipe on Country Cleaver.

Nachos

Make your favorite tasty party snack or game night appetizer into a meal, with this recipe from Sommer Collier at A Spicy Perspective.

Love grilling in the warm weather, but you're not feeling like the same old same old? Check out our round up of wild and crazy hot dog ideas on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: A Spicy Perspective

Topped with crushed tortilla chips for added crunch, you can make your guacamole, crema, and salsa at home, or grab some from the story for a quick and easy summertime weeknight dinner.

Fajita

Donna Kelly’s recipe for fajita-style hot dogs is definitely protein rich. Refried beans are mixed with shredded cheddar and salsa, heated until the cheese is melted, and spread onto a bun.

You know what hot dogs are missing? Vegetables. Salsas. Creative sauces. Cheese. Mouth watering yet? We've got the wild and crazy hot dog recipes you've been looking for on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Apron Strings

Add grilled peppers and onions, a little bit of mustard, and you’re ready to go!

Well, almost – don’t forget the hot dog (though we’re thinking you actually could here… maybe skip the mustard, and you’ve got a great option to serve vegetarian guests at your next barbecue).

Check out the recipe on Apron Strings.

Green Chili Mole

Want to spice up the offering at your next barbecue? Make this Green Chili Mole Hot Dog, and more. Check out our round up of our favorite wild and crazy hot dog recipes on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: A Spicy Perspective

Merge Taco Tuesday with grill night and make this one for your friends, alongside some refreshing tomatillo mojitos.

First, start with Sommer Collier’s homemade molé, made with Ancho and Pasilla peppers, onions, garlic, peanut butter, and Mexican chocolate.

Top your tasty franks with that sauce, plus chopped ripe avocado, salsa verde, pico de gallo, and queso fresco.

So good – we wish we had one right now! Check out the recipe on A Spicy Perspective.

Asian Flair

Bombay-Inspired with Mango Relish & Curried Mayo

Mayo flavored with Madras curry powder and honey is slathered on grilled hot dogs, then topped with a homemade relish of fresh jalapeno, cilantro, mango, and lime. Yum!

Fresh fruit chutney and Madras curry spiced mayo tops this tasty dog. Check out this wild and crazy hot dog post and more on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Feed Me Phoebe

Perhaps it’s a little ironic that beef dogs are called for in Phoebe Lapine’s recipe, as a large percentage of Indian eaters are vegetarian Hindus. Nonetheless, this is a tasty dog that’s big on Indian-style flavor. The toppings would make a great addition to veggie dogs as well!

Get the recipe on Feed Me Phoebe.

Kimchi

Whether you like to make your own kimchi at home or you buy it in a jar from the store, it makes an excellent topping for grilled frankfurters.

Looking for a little inspiration for your next backyard grill session? Our wild and crazy hot dog recipe round up is not to be missed! Check it out now on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Foody Schmoody Blog

At your next cookout, ditch the sauerkraut, and go for a spicier version of healthy fermented cabbage. Make it extra delicious by brushing the buns with melted butter before you grill them.

You’ll find Christine Hadden’s recipe on Foody Schmoody.

Sweet Chili Thai Peanut

Chop up some ripe mango and cucumber, fresh herbs and shallots, and add a drizzle of sweet chili sauce and some savory peanut sauce, and you’ve got an irresistible Thai-inspired dish.

Thai Peanut Hot Dogs
Photo credit: Country Cleaver

Its combination of flavor and textures hits all the right notes, a fresh and tasty way to serve your family and your guests something unexpected this grilling season. Megan Keno has the recipe on Country Cleaver.

Mediterranean

Greek Hummus & Tzatziki

Gyros and falafel aren’t the only dishes that taste great topped with a little hummus and a cool cucumber yogurt sauce.

Tried of the same old hot dog? How about something with a little Greek, Asian, or Brazilian flair? Or maybe a regional treat, straight out of Chicago or LA? Check out our round up of wild and crazy hot dog recipes from around the web on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Neighborfood

Courtney Rowland has the recipe on NeighborFood, and she recommends garnishing these with diced bell pepper, cucumber, and onion for a fresh take on a grill time favorite.

Pizza

Love pizza? Adults and kids alike will come running for these dogs, topped with pepperoni, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella and Italian herbs.

Added bonus: it’s a big hit with the ketchup and mustard averse!

Pizza Hot Dogs
Photo credit: Real Housemoms

Serve with a big green salad topped with marinated artichokes, mushrooms, pickled, eggplant and pepperoncini (or your own favorite Italian-style salad fixins) and dinner’s ready!

Nicole White is creator of the blog The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie. Check out her recipe on Real Housemoms.

South American Style

Brazilian

Denise Browning’s recipe for Cachorro Quente is topped with saucy ground beef sauteed with garlic, onions, cumin, bell pepper, tomato, and herbs, plus melted cheese.

Brazilian Hot Dog
Photo credit: From Brazil To You

If you like chili dogs, you’ll love these! Get the recipe for Brazilian-style deliciousness on From Brazil To You.

Colombian

Dogs heavy on the flavorful toppings are a tradition in Colombia, and Diana Lopez has the recipe for a basic version on Sweet y Salado.

Colombian Hot Dogs
Photo credit: Sweet y Salado

Topped with mayo, ketchup, mustard, cole slaw, shredded mozzarella, and crushed potato chips, you’re guaranteed to get the full cookout experience in every bite!

Diana also offers suggestions for even more adventurous and flavorful toppings, like garlic mayo, pineapple sauce, chimichurri, bacon, and even quail eggs.

There’s a how-to video to go with this recipe as well. Check it out here.

American Regional Favorites

L.A. Street Dogs

If you’ve ever walked around Downtown Los Angeles in the afternoon when the weather’s warm (which is just about always), or been ejected onto the sidewalk after a stadium show to find yourself moving along with the crowd as if you and the thousands of other concert-goers were suddenly one (Hollywood Bowl, anybody?), you’ve probably noticed the many sidewalk vendors selling deliciously greasy bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

LA Street Dogs
Photo credit: The 99 Cent Chef

Sizzling on sheet pans on the side of the road or passed through the windows of mobile food carts, you need to be quick if you want to get one of these (and careful where you’re walking, if you want to avoid a nasty burn)!

Making your own bacon-wrapped Danger Dogs at home – topped with a flavorful combo of mustard, mayo, and ketchup alongside grilled onions, bell pepper strips, and a jalapeno – is less risky. Billy Vasquez, a.k.a. The 99 Cent Chef, has the recipe. You’ll find it here.

Billy’s post also includes a helpful video describing the history of Tijuana Dogs as he walks around L.A., and makes the local delicacy in his own kitchen.

Fancy Chicago Style

If you’re a fan of the Chicago-style dog you’ll love this recipe, topped with crispy onions, pickles, peppers, chopped tomato and – of course – mustard. No ketchup here!

What's your favorite way to serve a hot dog? If you're into wild and crazy topics, you'll definitely want to check out our recipe round-up on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: A Beautiful Plate

Plus, there’s an added twist… quite literally. These dogs are spiralized, so they’ll be extra crispy.

You’ll find Laura Davidson’s recipe for Windy City Hot Dogs on A Beautiful Plate.

Go Bunless

Cheesy Wonton

If you’re not all about the fluffy white bread bun, there are lots of options out there, to please every palate.

Here’s one of them: wonton wrappers.

Cheese Hot Dog Wontons
Photo credit: Cheap Recipe Blog

Filled with gooey cheese and baked until they’re crunchy and golden brown, this version from Haley Nelson at Cheap Recipe Blog is great for dipping.

Corndog Hamantaschen

Putting a Jewish spin on the whole hog dog thing, you’ll love Chanie Apfelbaum’s recipe for Corndog Hamantaschen.

In case you’re not already familiar with hamantaschen, they’re typically triangular cookies or pastries, filled with dried fruit, poppy seeds, jam, chocolate, or even cheese. But this recipe takes them to a whole new level, corn dog style!

Corn Dog Hamantaschen
Photo credit: Busy in Brooklyn

Sliced hot dogs are wrapped with cornmeal and then baked until lightly browned and crispy, ready for dipping in mustard or ketchup, or garnishing with your favorite toppings.

How’d Chanie come up with the recipe? She says she has no idea. You’ll find it on Busy in Brooklyn.

Pringles Deep Fried

Nick Chipman at Dude Foods is all about experimentation, and creating new combinations in the kitchen. Oh, and junk food!

Love Pringles? Make these deep-fried Pringles-coated hot dogs on sticks for game day, and get more wild and crazy hot dog recipe from around the web now, right here on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Dude Foods

If hot dogs on a stick are your dream come true, whip up this deep fried version at home, breaded with crushed Pringles potato chips. Nick’s helpful how-to video will (very quickly– like in 30 seconds or less) guide you through the process.

Summer-Style Mac & Cheese

Pasta makes an excellent substitute for your roll, but you’re going to need a fork to eat this one. Feel like a kid again with a big bowlful of chopped frankfurters and cheesy, gooey macaroni.

Hot Dog Mac and Cheese
Photo credit: Savory Style

Wondering what makes this dish “summer style”? Donny Gamble at Savory Style explains: the ketchup and mustard, of course!

Alternative Meats

Buffalo Chicken

Chicken tube meat is a thing, so why not make it buffalo style?

Buffalo Chicken Hot Dog
Photo credit: Simple Comfort Food

Just like your beloved wings, these are drizzled with classic Buffalo sauce, and topped with crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery.

Less messy to eat than wings, there’s also no bones to deal with! Dax Phillips has the recipe on Simple Comfort Food.

Smoky Barbecue Carrot Dogs with Creamy Chickpea Salad

If you haven’t checked out Estonian blogger Sandra Vungi’s vegan recipes yet, this is the perfect place to start.

Think grilling isn't for vegetarians and vegans? Think again! You'll love this bbq carrot dog, and more crazy veggie toppings for buns. Check out our round-up on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Photo credit: Sandra Vungi Vegan

Marinated and grilled carrots stand in for the meat, and the whole thing is topped with a creamy vegan chickpea salad.

You’ve probably eaten your fill of veggie burgers by now. So give these a try! The recipe is on Vegan Sandra.

Surf & Turf

Sometimes nothing beats the combination of seafood and meat – in wiener form, in this case.

Fried Shrimp Hot Dog Po' Boy Sandwich | Foodal.com

From Foodal’s Kendall Vanderslice, we bring you the po’ boy hot dog sandwich, a grilled dog on a bun with mustard, mayo, lettuce, and tomato, topped with buttermilk batter-fried shrimp. You’ve got to try this thing.

Bonus: Looking for a little light reading to enjoy in the backyard hammock while you’re chowing down?

Check out this post from Emily Contois, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame… And Eat 33,000 Hot Dogs.” It includes a bonus reading list that links to books and articles that detail the fascinating history of franks.

What’s your go-to topping selection? And what will you do to spice it up this season? Let us know in the comments!

Photos Credits: All photography in this article is owned and copyrighted by their respective owners as identified. Used with permission by Ask the Experts, LLC. All rights reserved by all parties. Additional link contributions by Nan Schiller and Lori Hendrix.

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About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu is a foodie from Philly who is based in Los Angeles, where she loves exploring the local restaurant scene with her husband. She holds a master's degree in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a food-filled magazine at the beach.

15 thoughts on “23 Wild and Crazy Hot Dog Ideas for the Grilling Season

  1. Oh, how fun is all of this? The presentations are pretty great too. These make for some interesting flavor combinations and definitely jazz up the typical cookout. Nice.

    I’m a Chicago girl, so I miss that style but the LA one sounds pretty tasty too. You’ve certainly given us plenty of different types from which to choose. Nicely done.

    I’m going to have to try some of these, but I think I’ll be eating them with knife and fork (to avoid wearing them lol).

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Zyni. Eating with a knife and fork definitely seems like a good idea for some of the more heavily loaded options!

  2. Hot dogs have become more vogue lately I’ve noticed. They aren’t just the cheap thing at everyone’s BBQ party that’s the only thing left over.

    There’s a great bar & grille in Pittsburgh, PA that serves tons of dogs done up different ways. It’s called D’s Six Pax & Dogz. Some of the toppings are pretty out there, but I have to say the ones I was most skeptical about have turned out to the be the most tasty! My favorite on their menu is their “Angry Tiki Dog” which features pineapple, bacon and hoison sauce.

    I recently started making a hot dog recipe where you line whole dogs up in a baking dish and pour cornbread batter around them, essentially baking the hot dogs in their own cornbread bun. Then, I make a great homemade chili sauce to go on top after the cornbread and dogs come out of the oven. It’s become quite a family favorite!

    • As long as they are real meat not a bunch of fillers, I’m okay with the increased popularity. I still dont’ want the cheap ones though. They are pretty versatile, especially for feeding a number of people.

      I never knew there were so many ways to frankfurters. I’m thinking the hot wing style ones sound really good.

      Lisa, your chili cheese corndog casserole sounds interesting. I bet that’s something my kids would have liked when they were little. I wish I knew about it before.

    • So true, Lisa. The Tiki dog sounds delicious! I’d love to try your chili corn dog casserole recipe too.

  3. This one made my bookmarks. Hot dogs may not be the healthiest option, but they are cheap, easy, and fun. My kids love them. I can’t wait to try a few of these and see how my family likes them.

  4. Thanks so much for including my Kimchi Dogs in this great collection. So many creative options. Good thing I have so much of summer left to try them out! Looking forward to tasting my way through the collection.

    • Thanks for sharing, Christine! So many days of grilling to come, over the next couple of months… enjoy!

  5. I.. didn’t know there were so many hotdog combinations. I usually just do a regular one with sweet bread and ketchup, my favorite. Lately I’ve been adding vegetables as well which adds a lot to the taste, but that Chicago style one looks delicious!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing my recipe for Colombian hot dogs! I love this compilation and I already see a couple that I would love to try. The fajita version look delicious!

    • You’re so welcome, Diana! I’m definitely looking forward to trying as many of these as I can throughout the summer months.

  7. Hot dogs are a great go-to food when you’re in a hurry and when you don’t have a lot of time to fix a meal. These are some great ideas to add some zip to a regular stand-by. I always eat cheese on my hot dogs anyway, because I’m a cheese hound, so I like the idea of the macaroni and cheese dog. I often mix the two together and eat it in a bowl as depicted in the summer-style recipe, but I never thought about putting in on the dog and eating it in the bun. Thanks for the suggestions.

  8. There are literally so many variations of hot dogs! The fact that I only knew about the classic version makes me feel a little bit dumb, lol.
    As a Mexican, my personal favorites on this list were the nachos one, the molito one, and the kimchi, I want them all right now! The other variation that makes my mouth water was the hot dog flavored Pringles, I do need to give it a try, it seems to be heaven on a stick.

  9. I just had plain old hotdogs for lunch today. So many variations I wish I had thought of here. That cheesy wonton one was very imaginative. I`m saving the recipies for several of these to try out with my 5 year old.

    • Oh no! Not plain hot dogs! 😉 I hope you have fun spicing it up a bit next time, and that your child enjoys these as well. Thanks for your comment!

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