The Perfect Hot Dog Recipes for Your Next BBQ

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to fire up that grill. Summer barbecues aren’t complete without serving hot dogs. Can you name a better way to celebrate National Hot Dog Day, on July 21st? But this time around, amaze your guests with these fun, innovative recipes to spice up the all-American classic. Whether it’s the addition of a new condiment, topping, or a whole new combination, your hot dogs will definitely be crowd pleasers.

Forget the old ketchup and mustard combination. Let’s talk condiments!

We all know the iconic ketchup and mustard combination, but have you ever wanted a tastier, elevated hot dog experience?  Whether you like spicy, or sweet, condiments are quick ways to change up the flavor profile.

 Spicy Mayo


  • Sriracha hot sauce (chili garlic or gochujang would also work really well)
  • Kewpie Mayonnaise (traditional mayonnaise would also work fine)


  1.  Mix 1 part Sriracha, 2 parts mayo, adjust the spiciness to your own taste!

Add a squeeze of lime, or a drizzle of sesame oil for a twist.

To make it vegan, substitute vegan mayonnaise for traditional mayonnaise


three hot dogs with onions, tomatoes, pickles, and honey mustard sit on crumpled paper. a bowl on honey mustard, a unique topping for honey mustard, sits beside them.

Honey Mustard


  • 2 Tbsp Honey 
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard –
  • ¼-½ Cup of mayonnaise to taste (regular or vegan mayonnaise)


  1. Mix honey, mustards and add enough mayo until desired consistency is reached.

To make it vegan, substitute vegan mayonnaise for traditional mayonnaise, and agave for honey.



Recipe from: Barefeet Kitchen 


  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup sour cream
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 Tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 Tsp dried chives
  • 1/4Tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tsp  garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 Tsp black pepper
  • Lemon juice


  1. Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, and milk together in a bowl
  2. Add spices and lemon and continue to whisk.

To make this recipe vegan, the following substitutions can be made: vegan mayonnaise for traditional mayonnaise, unsweetened soy or oat yogurt for sour cream, and plant-based milk with a squeeze of lemon or lime (let the mixture sit and curdle for 15 minutes before adding) for buttermilk.


Bring on the Toppings!

a person with red painted nails holds two heavily-topped hot dogs while sitting in a feild Adding an array of toppings is another easy way to bring in fun, unique flavor combinations. These are so simple and can be prepped ahead of time.

Grilled pineapples: While grilling the hot dogs, throw a couple of pineapple rings on as well. Flip them once color begins to form. Dice them into bite sized chunks to fit on the hot dog.

 Pickles and Sauerkraut: This is the perfect way to add acidity and brightness to your hot dogs. Check out Cook & Culture’s recipe for homemade sauerkraut and homemade pickles. You’ll get to read about the health benefits of fermented foods as an added bonus! Vegetables that are great for pickling are: cucumbers, sweet or spicy peppers, daikon radish, carrots, and onions.

 Bacon: How could we not include this? Cook bacon using your desired method and crumble on top for extra flavor. Or wrap your hot dogs in bacon before throwing them on the grill! 

Balsamic caramelized onions: The perfect way to bring in sweetness and flavor the onions. Check out our easy recipe for our spin on caramelized onions.

Balsamic Caramelized Onions


  • 1 White Onion
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar


  1. Thinly slice white onion.
  2. Saute onions with a pinch of salt and drizzle of oil for about 20 minutes. Keep them moving, low and slow in the pan until they are aromatic and a nice golden brown color.
  3. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook until desired color and texture.
  4. You can even add sliced red and green bell peppers or mushrooms to the mix.

Your New Favorite Hot Dog Recipes

Hot dogs make the perfect canvas for guests to get creative at barbecues. Too tired to come up with your own combination of sauce and toppings? Here are some innovative and classic combinations that are proven crowd-pleasers.

Chicago Style Hot Dog is a classic but always a crowd pleaser. The celery salt is a must-have! Check out the list of ingredients from Tastes of Chicago’s website.

Coney Island Style Hot Dog is so delicious, we recommend the blog The Spruce Eat’s recipe.

A Japadog Inspired Hot Dog, is almost as good as the original at Japadog in Vancouver. This is also perfect to enjoy by the campfire! Coat teriyaki sauce (can substitute with three parts soy sauce, one part brown sugar) on the hot dog and grill until the sauce caramelizes, add Furikake seaweed rice seasoning, and kewpie mayo.

A Banh Mi Inspired Hot Dog is modeled after Molly Yeh’s take on the Vietnamese sandwich.  Enjoy your hot dog with a slathering of spicy mayo or plain kewpie mayo, a drizzle of Maggi soy sauce, a generous helping of pickled daikon radish and carrots, sliced cucumber, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos.


Three hot dogs with cucumber spinach, tomato, and onions, drizzled with ketchup,sit in a metal basjeket likes with paper, on top of a picnic table

Looking for Vegan Options?

Edano, Jason, Terriyaki Broccoli, 2021
Who says vegan and vegetarian dogs can’t be just as gourmet and tasty? All the condiments and toppings above can be substituted to be served vegan. See details in the recipe tips!

Nationwide brands currently leading the vegan hot dog and sausage market include Field Roast, Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods. But homemade is also an option– from carrot hot dogs to using lentils and seitan, the opportunities are endless. One popular recipe is from the blog Veggie Desserts. It uses lentils and carrots, while proving to be just as flavorful and delicious. 

Two girls standing next to each other holding hot dogs and smilingWhether you prefer the classic ketchup and mustard or a creative spin, there is no dispute that hot dogs have become an integral part of the American food scene. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, a trade association, there is a dispute over the first hot dog sold in America: whether the first shop was set up by a German immigrant in Bowery, New York City in the 1860s, or Charles Feltman on Coney Island in 1871. Regardless, in the year 1893, hot dogs took America by storm. The World’s Fair brought many visitors to America, where vendors sold hot dogs and they also began to be served at ballparks started by Chris Von de Ahe of the St. Louis Browns. 

Fast forward to the 21st century, hot dogs are served anywhere from stadiums and ballparks to convenience stores and at new pop up restaurants with innovative twists. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear Americans love their hot dogs. So much so, that on the fourth of July alone, it is estimated that over 150 million hot dogs are consumed! There is even the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, New York, on the fourth of July. Currently, Joey Chesnut, holds the record at 73 hot dogs eaten, and has won in 2007, 2014 and 2016. 

Whether you choose to eat 73 or just one at your summer barbecues, or to celebrate National Hot Dog Day, just remember, your hot dogs don’t have to be boring. Give these recipes a try this Summer… happy grilling! 


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Olivia deGregory

Written by Jacqueline Yee