Chili Cheese Dogs

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What’s more all-American than a classic chili cheese dog?

Ballgame or BBQ ready, now you can make tasty hot dogs tucked into toasty buns, smothered in chili, and topped with melty cheese right at home!

top view of finished Chili Cheese Dogs

A Fair Favorite at Home

We love the ultimate for chili cheese dogs!

  • I’ve included a quick chili below but use leftovers or canned to make it quick
  • Hot dogs can be simmered, grilled or even air fried.


HOT DOGS Hot dogs come in a variety of types and sizes. Pork or beef will work just fine in this recipe.

BUNS Try slicing or opening buns, brushing with butter, and toasting on the oven rack before piling high with hot dogs and all the fixings!

CHEESE Shredded cheddar is the best, but feel free to use any preferred cheese, or even a canned or homemade cheese sauce.

ingredients to make Chili Cheese Dogs

Meat or Bean Chili?

While we love beans in our regular chili recipe, I prefer to make a beanless chili for topping these dogs.

Of course I’ve included a quick chili below but this is great with leftover chili or even grab a few cans of ready-made and add your own seasonings!

process of adding ingredients to pan to make Chili Cheese Dogs

How to Make Chili Cheese Dogs

  1. Brown beef and onions. Add remaining chili ingredients (per recipe below) and simmer.
  2. While the chili is simmering, toast the buns in the oven and cook the hot dogs.
  3. Fill each bun with a hot dog and top with chili. Pile it high with cheese and bake.

Amazing Add-Ons

Chili cheese dogs are naked without lots of fun and tasty toppings! Make a DIY Chili cheese dog bar!

VEGGIES Diced onions or pickled red onions, sliced jalapenos or quick pickled jalapenos, diced green chilis, deep-fried onions, banana peppers, or roasted corn.

CREAMY Sour cream, nacho cheese sauce, or cilantro lime dressing.

CONDIMENTS Relish, guacamole, hot sauce, or salsa.

Chili Cheese Dogs on a dish

Game Day Favorites

Did you love these Chili Cheese Dogs? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

six Chili Cheese Dogs cooked in a casserole dish
5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

Chili Cheese Dogs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 hot dogs
Author Holly Nilsson
These chili cheese dogs are a must-have for game day, a potluck, or a midnight snack!


  • 2 cups homemade chili below or canned chili or leftover chili
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns large bakery, unsliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • onions, pickles, and jalapenos for topping
Homemade Chili

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    • Preheat oven to 375°F.
    • Combine chili, hot water and hotdogs in a skillet over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let cook 5-7 minutes or until chili has thickened. (see note for homemade chili below).
    • While chili is thickening, cut the hotdogs buns from the top and brush with butter. Bake 5 minutes.
    • Fill each bun with a hot dog and spoon chili on top. Top with shredded cheese and bake 15 minutes or until buns are toasted and cheese is melted.

    Recipe Notes

    Homemade Chili
    1/2 pound lean ground beef 80/20
    1/2 onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic
    1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup beef stock or broth
    Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain fat.
    Add remaining chili ingredients stir to combine. Add hotdogs to the chili and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened.
    About 1/4 cup of chili for each hot dog.

    Nutrition Information

    Calories: 427, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 1043mg, Potassium: 381mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 543IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 319mg, Iron: 5mg

    (Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

    Keyword Best Chili Cheese Dogs, Chili Cheese Dogs, Chili Cheese Dogs recipe, how to make Chili Cheese Dogs
    Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Party Food, Snack
    Cuisine American
    cooked Chili Cheese Dogs in a dish with a title
    close up of Chili Cheese Dogs with writing
    close up of Chili Cheese Dogs with a title
    Chili Cheese Dogs with a title
    About the author


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    Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

    More Posts by Holly

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Thank you for this reminder that I always loved these hot dogs. Always a little messy. I always liked the diced onions, raw, on top. I’ll be making them for my husband and I soon.5 stars