Hot Dog Chili Sauce

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Today I’m bringing you our recipe for hot dog chili sauce. The term “sauce” is used loosely here because we drain the liquid out when we top our dog with it. It’s a highly seasoned loose meat sauce that takes dogs to a whole new level – and it is perfect to add to your summertime arsenal. This hot dog chili sauce recipe will transform your hot dog experience.

The great thing is that this recipe makes a lot so I usually make it once and freeze it in family sized portions to reheat later. One cooking session – lots of delicious hot dog meals with all the trimmings. Can’t beat that with a stick!

If you are new to make this hot dog easy sauce, no worries I walk you through hit. Great for birthday parties, summer cookouts and so much more. Pile on your favorite toppings like chopped onions, pickle relish, cheese, and more.

ingredients for Hot Dog Chili Sauce


  • ground beef
  • sal
  • chili powder
  • black pepper

How to Make

You’ll also need some water but most of us are tremendously blessed in that we have it just flowing out of the faucets.

ground meat in water in a pot

Place all of your beef in a large pot and add enough water to cover.

seasoning crumbled ground beef in water

Use your hands and smoosh all of the beef until it is completely spread out in the water like this.

I know this may seem gross to some of you but trust me, there are far worse things to have to do. We will not go into those now, but know that if examples did not immediately come to your mind, life will offer them up in due time and you’ll find yourself looking back on smooshing ground beef in water as one of the lesser happenings on the scale of grossness. Trust me.

Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Add all of your seasonings. 

stirring meat in water

Stir well and put over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.

removing oil from the meat in water

Ladle the grease off of the top of the chili and discard. 

spoon with hot dog sauce on it

Use a slotted spoon to spoon it out and put it on top of your hot dogs. 

Hot Dog Chili dog on plate with chips and pickles

Some might look at this and say “But that doesn’t make sense. You’ve taken a meat hot dog and added another meat to it.” To them I would say “Yes I have, and your appreciation is noted.” 🙂

Recipe FAQs

Can I use ground turkey in replace of ground beef?

You are more than welcome to swap the ground beef for a ground turkey if you would like. You will follow the same ingredients as the recipe. It will just give the hot dogs a leaner take to them.

How to freeze leftover meat sauce for hot dogs?

Freezing the meat is super easy to do. Just take what you don’t eat and place in a freezer bag, or even a sealable freezer container. You can freeze the meat mixture for 3-4 months. Then when you are ready to reheat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight. Then reheat on the stove, microwave, or even a slow cooker.

How to make the sauce spicy?

If you want to spice up the sauce you can add some hot sauce in the mixture, or cayenne pepper. Either method will help amplify the heat. You can add in the sauce or the pepper as you are cooking the meat so it has time to soak into the meat and really infuse the flavor.

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!

Tell me your favorite hot dog brand in the comments! You might also enjoy this recipe! Loose Meat Sandwiches

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  1. One of my favorites is Nathan’s but I’ve come to really like Kirkland brand from Costco.

  2. 4 stars

    This is very similar to the recipe of a former restaurant in Huntsville, AL. Mullins’ Chili Dogs used 6 Tbsp of Mexene to 3 Lbs of meat; I’ve seen 3 Tbsp elsewhere on an “old Southern recipe,” and I notice you say 4 – 6 Tbsp…so my first time, I’ll try FIVE. ha

    Mullins offered the option of having the chili (in a slotted spoon) mashed against the inside of the pan. Thus, “Dry” Chili Dogs. I’d then top them with A-1, Heinz 57, and Worcestershire…or I could go as is, if I had to. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Yes, I’m so very familiar (and heartsick) over Mullins. I can’t even begin to tell you how special that place was to me or how many precious memories I have of my family going there. This is very much modeled after their recipe.

  3. We have a convey place here in Florida that uses that same recipe and they have been business for over 80 years. I use this recipe as it..thank you

  4. Oscar Mayer is our go to brand. Nathans if they are on sale are my favs though. I love going to Fudruckers for a hotdog with everything in the house added and piled on deep.

  5. I’m From West Virginia. I use tomatoes juice instead of water and a little bit of sugar and onions . Cook until it’s a little thick. With onions and slaw. Roast the hot dogs over an outside fire of wood. A meal fit for a KING. We use to have them a lot growing up.

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