Hot Dog Chili Recipe

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Transform a regular hot dog into a scrumptious chili dog with this easy, flavorful, and low-carb hot dog chili recipe.

hot dog chili

 I love hot dogs. I really do. But I know, they can be boring sometimes. So to freshen them up a bit, I add my Daddy’s homemade hot dog chili recipe. This is one of those recipes you get told over the phone whenever you need it and no one actually bothers to write it down.

So I called Mama: “Can you tell me how to make the hot dog chili recipe again?”. She told me the instructions and I was off to the races. Only this time, I’m gonna write it down. For y’all. Because I love y’all.

When I say this is an easy hot dog chili recipe, I’m not lying. First, the only ingredients you need are ground beef, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Then it’s just a matter of cooking them up quickly and adding them as a topping to your chili dog. I also added shredded cheddar cheese, but you can add whatever you like, including chopped onion, yellow mustard, the works!

Trust me, once you have a hot dog topped with this tender homemade chili, you won’t be able to have a normal hot dog again. Hey, it’s double meat on a bun. How can you go wrong?

Recipe Ingredients

  • Ground beef
  • Chili powder
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Water

How To Make A Hot Dog Chili Recipe

FIll up a pot with water to cover up ground beef

Fill a pot with about enough water to cover up your ground beef.

Take the ground beef and submerge it in the water.

smoosh ground beef up with a masher

Moosh it up in there with your hands or a masher.

add chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Add chili powder. We add 3 teaspoons for every pound of meat, so for this recipe, I am adding 9 teaspoons.

Add salt to taste.

You’ll need a good bit though. I am adding a heaping tablespoon. You might even want to add more.

Add a tablespoon of pepper as well (more if you like).

Boil the hot dog chili up gently

Stir that up and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for about an hour. It’ll look like this.

Drain excess fat from the chili

Now get a ladle and skim the majority of the grease off the top of the pot and into a separate bowl.

Use a slotted spoon to serve hot dog chili.

This is what we have left.


Now get out what you need with a slotted spoon but to make the hot dogs really good, you need to put a bit of that juice on them, too!

add the chili to the hot dogs

Alright, now this looks good but it needs a little something… It looks naked to me.

add your cheese to the hot dog and chili

Aww yeah, that’s the stuff! Enjoy your chili cheese dog!


  • Store hot dog chili sauce leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • This chili also freezes really well. I make a big batch and freeze smaller portions, so my family and I can enjoy hot dog chili all summer long. 

Recipe Notes

  • You can use any ground meat you like in this chili recipe, including lean ground beef, ground pork, and ground turkey.
  • To give your chili a tomato flavor, add 8 ounces of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of ketchup.
  • If you can’t resist adding more chili seasoning, I recommend 1 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
  • For more spice, add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
  • Traditional homemade hot dog chili doesn’t include beans, but you can add a can of black beans if you prefer.
  • Here are some suggestions to add to the top of your hot dog and chili sauce:
    • Diced or fried onions
    • Jalapenos
    • Cheese of your liking: shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
    • Pickles
    • Sour cream, salsa, or hot sauce.
    • Crispy bacon bits
    • Black olives

Recipe FAQs

What kind of chili powder is the best?

My Mama insists on Mexene chili powder. She swears by it. I insist on Morton Salt for reasons I’ve mentioned a few times on Southern Plate. 

What can I serve with hot dog chili besides a hot dog?

This hot dog chili sauce is not only delicious, but it’s also a very versatile main dish. Add it to a serving of French fries, an omelet, a baked potato, hamburgers, nachos, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Here are some more serving suggestions:

hot dog chili

Hot Dog Chili Recipe

Transform a regular hot dog with this easy, flavorful, and low-carb hot dog chili recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hotdog
Servings: 12
Calories: 297kcal


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 4-6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pepper more or less to taste
  • water enough to cover your ground beef


  • Place enough water in a pot to cover your beef. Take handfuls of the beef and submerge in the water, smooshing it up with your hands. Add seasonings and stir.
    3 pounds ground beef, 4-6 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, water
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and boil gently for about an hour. Ladle off grease from the top. Remove chili with a slotted spoon to put on hot dogs.
  • Freeze leftovers for your next cookout!


I first published this recipe back in 2009 but am republishing it with updated photos and a printer-friendly format. Hope you enjoy it!


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 701mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be.

-Clementine Padford

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