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How To Make The Best Easy Hot Dog Chili (Ingredients, Directions, & More)

Hot dog chili
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There’s nothing quite like easy hot dog chili simmering on the stovetop. This recipe is easy to follow and yields a delicious chili that will warm your heart and tummy all at the same time.

All you need is some ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, sugar, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Then all you have to do is simmer everything together until it thickens up and becomes amazingly delicious. Serve this chili with some hot dog buns and voila! You’ve got a recipe that everyone will love.

How to Make the Best Easy Hot Dog Chili

A hot dog is a snack item made up of grilled or steamed sausage served in a bun with a slit. The sausage itself can alternatively be referred to as a hot dog. A wiener or a frankfurter is the type of sausage used. These sausages’ names frequently also allude to the finished product.

Everyone loves a good hot dog chili recipe, and this one is no exception. It’s simple to make and perfect for any occasion—whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just want to make something quick and easy.

Plus, it’s made with ingredients that most people already have in their pantry, making it a great option for those on the go. Directions are included, but feel free to modify them as needed. For a bit of extra zing, serve hot dog chili with some easy toppings like sour cream, cheese, or avocado. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 28-ounce can of tomatoes*
  • tomato sauce* (such as San Marzano)
  • undrained Sugar**
  • Ground beef***** [enough for 6 servings]: 2 pounds lean ground beef {80% lean} *****
  • Canola or other vegetable oil spray******


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook ground beef until browned.
  • Drain any excess grease and season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper; set aside in a small bowl.
  • Add onion and garlic to pot; cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in ground beef, tomatoes with their tomato sauce (and sugar if using), and any seasonings reserved from the beef. Bring chili to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add hot dog chili and top with your desired toppings (such as cheese, sour cream or avocado).
  • Cook until hot dog chili is heated through and the toppings are melted or lightly browned. Enjoy!


*If you’d like to use a can of chili with meat in it (such as ground beef, turkey, or even venison) rather than tomato sauce, simply decrease the amount of tomato sauce called for by 1/2 cup.

**If you’d like to add a little sweetness to your chili, you can stir in about 1 tablespoon of sugar before cooking the chili.

***You can omit this step if you’re making a chili-free hot dog chili.

****If using ground beef that is not 80% lean, increase the salt and pepper by 1/2 teaspoon each.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • If you want to make this chili recipe vegan, simply omit the ground beef and use vegetable broth in its place.
  • For a gluten-free version of this chili recipe, use gluten-free ground beef or turkey instead of regular ground beef.
  • If you’d like to top your hot dog chili with cheese, sour cream, or avocado, be sure to cook the toppings until melted or lightly browned

There’s nothing like a hot dog chili recipe to warm you up on a cold day. This easy chili recipe is perfect for a crowd or for using up leftover ingredients. Plus, the recipe can be made with any type of meat, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re cooking for a big group, double the recipe and freeze half for later. Finally, serve the chili with some fluffy white rice, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I adjust the recipe to fit my preferences or dietary restrictions?

If you have dietary restrictions like being vegan or gluten-free, be sure to indicate that in the recipe notes. Additionally, you may want to consider substituting a different kind of seed or legume for the all-purpose flour. You can also omit the chili powder if you are sensitive to it or want a milder flavor. When cooking for a large crowd (or yourself!), add more water and simmer on low heat instead of boiling until thickened.

Can I freeze this chili, and if so, how long should it be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze this chili for up to six months. Thaw it before serving. Feel free to jazz it up by adding onions, green bell peppers, or ground beef. Directions are provided in recipe card form and also on the blog’s homepage.


Making chili is a great way to use up leftovers or to get your family together for a fun evening meal. In this blog, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about making the best easy hot dog chili. From the ingredients to the simple step-by-step recipe, we’ll have everything covered. So don’t miss out-start cooking today and enjoy the best hot dog chili recipe that you’ll ever try!

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