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17 hot dog topping ideas to embellish your summer staple

I’m the type of host who puts all my effort just to satisfy the bellies of my guests. During barbecue parties, for instance, I always make sure to serve my signature cookout dishes such as corn on the cob, coleslaw, pasta salad, and my go-to summer staple, HOT DOGS!

I like having hot dogs at the summer table because they can feed a crowd fast, easy to put together, and the majority of people love it.

But the mustard and ketchup combo tends to put a boring impression on the guests (from my personal experience, btw!). So I ended up with a wonderful solution for this dilemma: that is spicing up the summer staple with creative hot dog toppings! 

From the classic fries and cheese combo right down to caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms, these nine toppings for hot dogs will make a difference to your next BBQ party. 

If you love fries and cheese, this combination is for you! 

Infuse the flavors of the classic ultimate snack into your hot dogs by sprinkling them on top. You’re free to choose what type of cheese for the topping, but the combo of shredded cheddar and mozzarella is my ideal. You can add some parsley and homemade gravy too!

The star of this topping is the steak sauce. Combining this tangy sauce with tomatoes and white onions creates a nice burst of flavor!

And what would be the result if you add them on top of your hot dogs? It’s your job to find out!

Quick tip: Thinly sliced the white onions, so it’s easier for you to add them to the sandwich. 

OK, so enough with sauce and cheese! Let’s try peaches, chopped jalapeños, and cilantro. Shall we?

This trio offers your hot dogs a slight sweetness and some spicy kick. At the same time, lemon juice and cilantro add a pleasing combination of fresh and citrus notes with a mild spicy flavor.

This topping combination, also known as Cuban hot dogs, features melted Swiss cheese, ham, crispy dill pickle spear, red onions, and yellow mustard as finishing. 

They’re so flavorful, crunchy, and tasty! Trust me, and you’ll never think about putting ketchup on your hot dogs again.

If you’re looking for an easy way to add extra flavor to your hot dogs, then try topping them with sautéed mushrooms and onions!

Sauteing these vegetables (especially onions) is easy and only takes a few minutes to bring out their interesting flavors. 

Once onions and mushrooms get added, feel free to top your hot dog off with some yellow mustard for more color and taste.

Who said avocado wouldn’t work with hot dogs? Top your grilled summer staple with avocado, tomatoes, jalapeño chile peppers, cilantro, hot pepper sauce, and lime juice. 

The fresh and spicy flavor of avocado salsa intensifies with the rich, sweet, and tangy taste from sour cream and cheese.

There’s nothing more irresistible than hot dogs topped with barbecue sauce, bacon bits, and cheddar cheese. Uhm, yum?!The aroma of cheese will leave your mouth watering and convince you to keep going back for seconds. In contrast, the BBQ sauce and bacon bits give a combination of sweet, savory, and tangy flavor profiles to the overall dish.

The dominance of bacon in the world of hot dog toppings isn’t over yet! 

Take your favorite summer staple to new heights by topping them with bacon and baked beans. You heard it right! These two ingredients are already the perfect pairs, and incorporating both into your hot dogs is sure to be a big hit at your next BBQ party.

For extra color and flavor, finish it with yellow mustard. 


Bacon and mac & cheese are a staple for burgers–especially when stuffed with sautéed onions and some hot sauce. They’re so heavenly! So why wouldn’t the same work for a hot dog?

Expect to see the kids and comfort food lovers go crazy whenever you serve some mac-and-cheese-topped dogs at the table. So better make a large batch!

10. Chili

Sometimes it’s okay to skip the mustard-ketchup combo and go for a generous amount of chili for your hot dogs. 

This recipe I’ve stumbled upon features a complex flavor, thanks to chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and paprika. And when you combine this with dogs, a mouth-watering meal is born! 

If the flavors of the spices aren’t enough, then mix the chili with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and thinly sliced green onions. 

Here’s the recipe

11. Sweet relish

Sweet, simple, and versatile: This recipe has it all! The savory spices on this sweet relish will bring out the flavors of your favorite entrees, including hot dogs, hamburgers, deviled eggs, or even potato salad. 

Ensure to make ahead of time or a large batch so you won’t run out of the ingredient. Also, keep relish in a jar or an airtight container before refrigerating it for safer consumption. 

Get the recipe here.

12. Sauerkraut

This sauerkraut and hot dog blend is an iconic duo you shouldn’t miss. The tangy-tart flavor profile of this sauerkraut harmonizes with the taste and texture of the entree. 

The best part? The recipe only calls for two essential ingredients: cabbage and salt. Sauerkraut is also a perfect accompaniment for grilled burgers, salad, and any of your BBQ favorites.

More details about this recipe here.

13. Boiled peanuts

Feeling adventurous today? Serve these boiled peanuts on top of your hot dogs for a crunchy and tasty meal. They’re made in the instant pot, so putting them together at home should never be a bother. 

Season the peanuts with salt, cook them in boiling water, then wait for several minutes until they’re done! A dash of Cajun seasoning or garlic powder should allow the recipe to get that extra aromatic spin.

Here’s the recipe.

14. Mango salsa

Incorporate the fantastic color and texture of fresh mango salsa into your hot dogs for a fun and exciting bite. The mangos and red bell peppers get a double dose of flavor – all thanks to the inclusion of lime juice and fresh cilantro. 

This mango salsa recipe is so versatile – one that works well with black bean lettuce wraps!

Get the recipe here.

15. Barbecue sauce

Barbecue sauce is a sought-after condiment at the grilling get-together, and this sweet and tangy sauce should elevate the taste of your grilled hot dogs, giving the entree a new exciting twist. 

If you aren’t afraid to add some calories to your diet, include butter, coconut oil, or heavy cream to the sauce, as these ingredients can make the recipe creamy and thick. 

Learn other alternative ways to thicken barbecue sauce here.

16. Mashed potatoes

A classic in my recipe box, this mashed potato recipe isn’t just born to combine with meat dishes like steak or pork chops—it works well with hot dogs too! Just bear in mind to pick a potato variety with a high starch content, so it’s easier for you to achieve that creamy taste and fluffy feel.  

Get the recipe here.

17. Cream cheese and sriracha

You might find this pair quite unusual but trust me, this might easily delight your palate. The cream cheese and sriracha toppings should give your hot dogs a pleasantly tangy mouthfeel with a nice spicy kick. Meat-based dishes like chicken wings and burgers also match perfectly with this topping combo.

The bottom line

I made up my mind to make this compilation of the best hot dog toppings so you can make your barbecue party extra special and exciting.

Take this also as a reminder that you shouldn’t stick with your squeezable mustard and ketchup. You must start unleashing your creativity and effort, particularly if you want to make a difference to your hot dog meal.

hot dog topping ideas

hot dog topping ideas

Follow this guide and unlock these creative and hearty hot dog toppings to spice up your summer staple right now!

Ingredients

  • Fries and cheese
  • Tomatoes, onions, and steak sauce
  • Peaches, chopped jalapeños, and cilantro
  • Ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, onions, and mustard
  • Sautéed mushrooms and onions
  • Avocado salsa, cheese, and sour cream
  • Bacon, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce
  • Bacon and baked beans
  • Bacon and mac & cheese
  • Chili
  • Sweet relish
  • Sauerkraut
  • Boiled peanuts
  • Mango salsa
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cream cheese and sriracha

Instructions

  1. Pick one hot dog topping to try
  2. Gather the ingredients to make one
  3. Top them on your grilled hot dog
  4. Serve the hot dogs at the cookout table

Did you make this recipe?

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Daniel Perkins

Monday 18th of January 2021

Great Article. Loved the way you presented things here.

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