There’s nothing wrong with a classic hot dog, but it can be fun to change it up a little with some creative hot dog toppings. Simple, spicy, or sweet, here are some great options to help you serve up something beyond the same old ketchup, mustard, or relish.
1. Spicy Hot Dog For those who like a spicier dog, there are condiments galore. Momofuku’s beloved Ssäm Sauce is now available online. Sriracha sauce is pretty much a classic by now, and you can find all sorts of variations. Or try a spicy barbecue sauce you love, like shown at top.
2. Spicy-Sweet Hot Dog
While you’re thinking salsa, check the Mexican food aisle at your favorite grocery store (or “International food aisle” depending where you live) and consider a fruity salsa for a creative hot dog topping. Mango salsa or pineapple salsa, would be amazing!
3. Banh Mi Hot Dog
Want to cool things down a little? Try a banh mi dog. You can spice it up with extra jalapeños, but the shredded carrots, cilantro, and cucumber in this Damn Delicious Banh Mi Hot Dog recipe make this more refreshing than most! Take this creative hot dog topping a a step farther and buy marinated carrots and cukes, or marinate your own veggies in seconds flat.
4. Queer Eye’s Honey Mustard Pickled-Carrot Hot Dog
5. …and Chipotle Mayo + Crushed Chips Hot Dog
The guys from Queer Eye know how to take everything to the next level, but still keep it simple, because they’re working with people who are often just learning how to cook. In season one, Antoni comes up with two great ways to make hot dogs for a fire station fundraiser, and Chelbe over at Peachy Jean Blog has both! Check out these two Queer Eye hot dog recipes, each one easy enough for busy firemen (or you) to make even in large quantities.
6. Pickled Everything Hot Dog
Sure, you can quick-pickle cucumbers, but what about carrots, onions, peppers, or jalapeños? I quick-pickle all kinds of vegetables using the same method I use for jalapeños or cucumbers, depending on how much quantity I need. Marinated or lightly pickled vegetables are milder than raw and add a little zip to any dish.
7. Kimchi Hot Dog A couple years ago, my kids took over Father’s Day dinner for their dad. They found a creative hot dog topping recipe for brats with kimchi — in Sports Illustrated, of all places — and did the whole thing themselves. Of course you can buy prepared kimchi to make it even faster and easier.
8. Reuben Hot Dog
There are a lot of theories as to who invented the Reuben sandwich and where, but we’re going with Reuben’s Delicatessen owner Arnold Reuben creating the “Reuben Special” around 1914, making it an instant NYC staple. If you like sauerkraut on your dog, try Real Simple’s recipe for a Reuben Hot Dog, complete with Thousand Island dressing and shredded Swiss cheese.
9. Hummus and Tzatziki Hot Dog
Is it a gyro or a hot dog? Don’t care. I’m in! Courtney at Neighbor Food adds store-bought Sabra hummus and tzatziki to her hot dogs, as shown above, along with chopped vegetables, for a delicious Greek take.
10. BLT Hot Dog
Would you like pork with your pork? Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are decadent and delicious. Delish makes it easy, adding lettuce and tomato to make this great BLT Hot Dog recipe. As a shortcut, you could also adding bacon bits alongside traditional toppings in your hot dog bar.
11. Pretzel Hot Dogs
Sometimes making a hot dog more fun and creative isn’t all about the toppings, but about the bun. In which case, look no further than your favorite bread aisle. You can try brioche, pita, focaccia or naan, but my family loves Trader Joe’s soft pretzel sticks for wrapping up our hot dogs and sausages. Also check out the recipe for Pretzel Woven Hot Dogs we shared a few years back for a variation using store-bought dough.
12. Indian Hot Dogs
If you like the naan idea for a bun alternative above, go full-on Indian by smothering your hot dog in tikka masala sauce. I mean, isn’t everything better with this tangy, creamy tomato sauce? Buy a good brand in your supermarket, or try this highly rated Tikka Masala Sauce recipe from All Recipes.
13. French Croissant Hot Dog
Speaking of bun alternatives, if you want to pop your dog into a croissant, add some dijon mustard, a few cornichons, and some Brie? Come sit by me.
Top Image: NadinLisa via Pixabay