Hot dog chili is a classic dish that never disappoints. It’s the perfect seasoned chili recipe to cover plump hot dogs.
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This chili has all the flavor, making it perfect for topping hot dogs, burgers, and even fries! And with a few simple steps, you can whip up a batch of this delicious chili in no time.
This version of chili is also known as chili sauce, as it doesn’t contain any beans and is a loose sauce that is spread over hot dogs and burgers. In our family, it’s a must at any BBQ where we serve hot dogs and hamburgers. In the Carolinas, it’s practically a must to top hot dogs with chili and slaw.
This soul food chili recipe inspires this recipe for hot dog chili as it contains one ingredient I love, hot sauce. I add a little to bring spice and brightness to the chili.
Check out our vegan chili recipe too.
- Ground beef – I use lean ground beef for this recipe as it doesn’t have a lot of fat. This allows me to make the chili and not drain any excess grease.
- Liquids – water, tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (the hot sauce is optional)
- Seasoning – chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.
How to make hot dog chili sauce
Place ground beef in a heavy-bottomed large pot and cover with water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the clumps.
Before making this chili, you’ll notice I don’t brown ground the beef in the pot first. The meat will brown in the water. This method results in finer pieces of meat in the cooked chili.
Once the beef has turned the color brown, add the remaining ingredients.
Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hourr, partially covered, stirring occasionally.
Remove and serve over hot dogs.
Fridge: To store in the refrigerator, let it cool completely, and transfer it to an airtight container. It will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezer: To freeze, portion it into individual servings or family-sized portions and place them in airtight containers or freezer bags. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat: When reheating, heat it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F, either on the stove or in the microwave.
- Use high-quality chili powder, or make your own chili powder blend using a variety of spices for a more complex flavor.
- Let the chili simmer for about an hour to allow the flavors to meld together. Don’t rush the process.
Simmer the chili uncovered for a longer period of time to allow some of the liquid to evaporate and the chili to thicken naturally.
Absolutely! This chili sauce can be used on hamburgers, fries, rice, and mashed potatoes. You can even eat it on its own.
Hot dog chili and regular chili differ in their meat content, spices, texture, and serving style. Hot dog chili typically contains ground beef or a beef-pork blend, is a little sweeter, and has a smoother texture. Regular chili often has larger chunks of meat, sometimes contains beans, and is served as a main course with various toppings.
If you have tried this recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
Homemade Hot Dog Chili
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cups water
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place ground beef in a heavy-bottomed large pot and cover with water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the clumps.
- Once the beef has turned the color brown, add the remaining ingredients.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, partially covered, stirring occasionally.