Chili Cheese Dogs



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These chili cheese dogs are so easy to whip up! Flavorful stewed chili is scooped onto grilled hot dogs and then topped with melty cheese and crispy onions. Perfect for game day or a warm summer night. Make these vegan or vegetarian by substituting in vegan ground meat and vegan hot dogs–easy!

Chili Cheese Dogs Side Angle with Pot and Plate

I’ve had chili cheese dogs on my mind recently so I decided to make a version that didn’t scare me. Sometimes hot dogs can scare me a little.

This is why making hot dogs at home is the best case scenario for me. I can ensure that I’m eating hot dogs that are nitrate-free and are made with ingredients I can pronounce.

The chili might be my favorite thing ever (hello vegan chili and pumpkin chili) Both are SO good.

Ingredients You’ll Need for Chili Cheese Dogs

Chili Cheese Dogs Ingredients.
  1. Hot Dogs – I use all beef hot dogs that are nitrate-free. Use what you like!
  2. Ground beef – I’m using a 85%/15% ground beef because I want full flavor.
  3. Onions – We are making these oh so good.
  4. Cheese – Im using Monterey Jack but feel free to use what you like.
  5. Buns – I’m going fancy and using brioche buns but again, use your favorite hot dog buns.

For the full list of ingredients, please refer back to the recipe index card.

How to Make Chili Cheese Dogs:

  1. Start by making the chili. In a saucepan, cook down the onions until they’ve softened then add the beef along with the spices and cook until the beef has browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors come together.
  2. Heat up the hot dogs. You have options, whatever your preference is. I like to grill them for the additional flavor and the way the grill marks look.
  3. Toast the buns. This is important! You want the buns to not just be squishy soft all the way through, toasting them with not only add flavor but also help them stand up to the chili.
  4. Assemble! To assemble the chili dogs, place a hot dog in a bun, top with mustard, then finish with the chili, cheese, and onion.
Chili Cheese Dogs assembled.

What to Pair with these Chili Cheese Dogs

  • Onions. Onions are a crucial topping for chili cheese hot dog. They add a bite in both flavor and texture.
  • Mustard. Also crucial topping. It adds a nice brightness that cuts through the richness of the chili.
  • For sides: I love potato or macaroni salad and potato chips. If you’re having a party serve some fries so people have the option of chili cheese fries!
  • For drinking: ice cold beer or a margarita come to mind for summer refreshing.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you’re having an issue with the cheese melting, place it under the broiler or carefully on a grill not over direct heat and close the lid for a minute or so.
  • Make Frito Chili Pie! Serve the chili with fries or corn chips so people can make frito pies or chili cheese fries!
All melty chili cheese dogs with jalapeño and onion on top.

Recipe FAQs

What to pair should I pair with these chili cheese dogs?

Can I make this ahead?

You can definitely make the chili ahead and store it in the fridge for up to three days. And then assemble them when you’re ready to serve them.

How do I make this vegan?

Easy! Use vegan hot dogs and vegan substitute ground beef for the chili. And of course, use vegan cheese.

All melty chili cheese dogs with jalapeño and onion on top.

Recipes to Serve with these Chili Cheese Dogs

If you tried this Chili Cheese Dog Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

5 from 1 vote

Chili Cheese Dog Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
These chili cheese dogs are the best of all worlds, high quality hot dogs in toasted buns topped with cheese and a hearty homemade chili.


Quick Chili:

  • 1/2 white onion, diced and divided
  • 1 pound ground beef, 85% lean/15%fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

Hot Dog Assembly:

  • 6-8 hot dogs
  • 6-8 hot dog buns, (I like brioche buns)
  • Yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, or any other melty cheese you love
  • 1/4 white onion, minced
  • Pickled jalapeños , as garnish


To Make the Quick Chili:

  • In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, drop in half of the onions and cook until they're translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, salt, garlic clove and mix until the meat has browned, about 5 minutes. If you're using leaner ground beef than what's noted above, you may need to add a teaspoon or two of olive oil so it doesn't stick to the pan.
  • Add the tomato paste, beef broth, cumin and cayenne. Mix and cook for an additional minute or so. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To Cook and Assemble the Chili Dogs:

  • You have a couple options with the hot dogs: you can cook them on a grill (my personal favorite) or in a grill pan. Heat up whatever you're using to high. Cook the dogs on both sides until grill marks appear and the hot dogs are thoroughly cooked. Place them a 200 degree F oven so they stay warm.
  • Next, toast the hot dog buns. To get nice grill marks, add a teaspoon of butter to your grill pan. When the pan is really hot, add the buns, pressing them down for about 1 minute; toast on the opposite side for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining buns.
  • To assemble, place the hot dogs in the buns. Add some mustard to eat hot dog, top with a generous spoonful of chili and then cheese. If the cheese isn't melty, place the hot dogs under a broiler for about a minute—that'll do the trick! Top with the remaining diced white onion and pickled jalapeños.


How to Make this Vegetarian/Vegan: 
  • Use Beyond or Impossible Ground Meat in the chili. 
  • Replace the beef broth with vegetable broth. 
  • Use vegan hot dogs. Field Roast brand is delicious! 
Cutting Board | Chef’s Knife | Kitchen Towels | OXO Measuring Spoons | OXO Measuring Cups | Braiser Pan


Serving: 6g | Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 947mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. sometimes I just have to drop the diet (at least on a Saturday, and have a hot dog, or better a chili dog, I’ve missed them so much, so thank you for my weekend inspiration, thank you!

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  3. I think Kosher dogs only come 7 to the pack and they don’t seem to make buns to match. Regular hot dogs come in even numbers. But who wants to eat them?