19 Hot Dog Toppings You Haven’t Tried Yet

The best hot dog toppings aren't necessarily mustard or (cringe) ketchup. Upgrade your barbecue game with these innovative ideas.

Regional style hot dogsTaste of Home

Forget about the red and yellow zigzags on yesterday’s franks. Gourmet hot dogs are in! Weird, wild and wonderful, these simple hot dog toppings kick the cookout staple into high gear. Have some fun with these creative topping ideas.

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Mexican Street Corn Bake

This recipe is for anyone who loves Mexican street corn. It takes the iconic corn on the cob dish and transforms it into a casserole that can be spooned onto hot dogs. Finish it off with a drizzle of Sriracha (if you like it spicy), and your guests will be wowed at the combination.

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Southern Vinegar Slaw

Many of the options on this list will make your hot dog richer and heavier. Look to tangy slaw if you’re ready to lighten things up a bit. It’s a perfect combination of sweet, salty and acidic flavors all wrapped up in a crunchy package.
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Bandito Chili Dogs

Instead of using chili and cheese as toppings for hot dogs, this recipe cooks everything together in a slow cooker. The flavors melt together, creating a next-level creation that absolutely wows the taste buds. We love making this one for a Memorial Day cookout because they’re made ahead of time, so you can spend more time with your guests than cooking in the kitchen.
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Cowboy Queso Ft22 206562 St 11 04 2
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Cowboy Queso

We love a good cowboy recipe! If you’re not already topping your hot dogs with a ton of cheese, you’re missing out. Instead of spending time melting the cheese over each individual bun, whip up a batch of cowboy queso instead. Feel free to switch up the ingredients depending on your mood, swapping in bacon for the sausage or using pinto beans instead of black beans.

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Tomatillo Relish

This relish isn’t your everyday sweetened pickle relish. The tomatillos bring a tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with spicy peppers, bright herbs and salty olives. Finish it off with a little lemon juice, and this relish is absolutely perfect for hot dogs. Bonus: This relish doubles as a burger topping.
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Frito Pie

If you’ve ever spent any time in the Southwest, you know all about Frito pie. It’s not actually pie at all—it’s a bag of crunchy Fritos that have been topped with a bowl of chili and shredded cheese. Add an extra layer of goodness by using it as a hot dog topping, adding a little sour cream as needed to tame the heat from a spicy chili recipe.
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Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

A bacon-wrapped hot dog is a thing of beauty in itself, but it tastes even better when you go one step further and add the fermented flavor of sauerkraut to the mix. This combination is especially good if you use cheese-filled hot dogs, really making it a fully-loaded frank.
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Hawaiian Beef Sliders

If you can make Hawaiian beef sliders, there’s no reason you can’t use the same treatment for hot dogs! The combination of sweet pineapple, homemade teriyaki sauce and savory hot dogs makes this a perfect summer treat.
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Mini Mac & Cheese Dogs

Ready to create a mashup of two comfort food classics? Whip up your favorite batch of mac and cheese and ladle it into your hot dog bun. To really take this dish to the next level, sprinkle some panko bread crumbs on top to create a crispy topping that mimics an oven-baked dish.
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Caramelized Onion Dip

This is our little play on a Seattle dog, or a hot dog topped with cream cheese and caramelized onions. This dip brings all those sweet-and-tangy vibes to your hot dog, and any leftovers can be served on the side with chips. To make it a true Seattle dog, garnish each bun with thinly sliced jalapeno peppers.
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Philly Cheesesteak Hot Dog

You don’t have to go to Philadelphia to get this iconic sandwich when it’s so easy to create those flavors as a hot dog topping. Instead of layering the beef, onion mixture, ketchup and cheese sauce onto waffle fries, serve all that goodness on a freshly grilled hot dog.
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South Liberty Hall Relish

This relish couldn’t be any easier to make, but it tastes so much better than store-bought options. It’s a simple mix of pickles, onions, sugar and yellow mustard pureed together in a food processor. The flavors are increcible at elevating the humble hot dog.
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Mexican Hot Dogs

If you’ve never added avocado to your hot dog, you might want to start. It’s simultaneously rich and cooling, and it’s absolutely perfect for giving a South-of-the-Border twist to a regular old hot dog.
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Old-Fashioned Coney Hot Dog Sauce

Although Coney hot dogs invoke images of New York’s Coney Island, the dish referred to here is a Midwestern invention. These hot dogs are smothered in a tomato-based chili sauce made with ground meat, beef stock and plenty of spices. Drizzle this one with mustard, serve it with some chopped onions, and you have yourself a real winner.
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There’s just something about the richness and herbaceous profile of pesto that makes it work on almost anything. When you need to use up a jar of pesto, mix the green sauce with a little mayonnaise or aioli and add it to a hot dog garnished with Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped tomatoes.
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Zucchini Pico de Gallo Salsa

This recipe is ideal for those middle-of-the-summer barbecues, especially when they’re fittingly timed with the overflow of zucchinis in your garden. This salsa brings lively flavors to the hot dog while the chopped summer squash adds a soft, chewy texture. If you’re not a fan of heat, leave out the diced jalapeno.
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Easy Pimiento Cheese

Celebrate your inner Southerner and whip up a batch of pimiento cheese for your next cookout. The grated cheese will start to melt as soon as it hits the warm hot dog bun, making the dip extra creamy. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some pickled jalapenos to this combination to take things up a notch.
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Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is one of our favorite potluck recipes, and it works surprisingly well as a hot dog topping. It’s gooey, cheesy and rich, and the spicy buffalo sauce cuts right through the high-fat frank. Of course, you can always double down and make this extra decadent by sprinkling on some blue cheese crumbles just before serving.
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Crispy Fried Onion Rings

This addition not only adds a ton of flavor to your hot dog, but it also infuses every bite with a delightful crunchy texture. The onion rings are a great addition on their own, or they can be drizzled with mustard to add some tang. We think the onion ring hot dog gets even better if you top it all with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay has been writing for digital publications for seven years and has 10 years of experience working as a professional chef. She became a full-time food writer at Taste of Home in 2023, although she’s been a regular contributor since 2017. Throughout her career, Lindsay has been a freelance writer and recipe developer for multiple publications, including Wide Open Media, Tasting Table, Mashed and SkinnyMs. Lindsay is an accomplished product tester and spent six years as a freelance product tester at Reviewed (part of the USA Today network). She has tested everything from cooking gadgets to knives, cookware sets, meat thermometers, pizza ovens and more than 60 grills (including charcoal, gas, kamado, smoker and pellet grills). Lindsay still cooks professionally for pop-up events, especially if it provides an opportunity to highlight local, seasonal ingredients. As a writer, Lindsay loves sharing her skills and experience with home cooks. She aspires to motivate others to gain confidence in the kitchen. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking with fresh produce from the farmers market or planning a trip to discover the best new restaurants.