Quick Hot Dog Chili

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Hot Dog Chili is the perfect way to make top dogs! A zesty beanless chili in about 15 minutes, this recipe has ground beef, tomato sauce, and seasonings for the perfect topper!

It is a one-size-fits-all condiment for hot dogs, brats, and even hamburgers. You could even try it on omelets and grilled cheese sandwiches!

Hot dogs topped with chili sauce

What is Hot Dog Chili Sauce?

This Southern sauce is a staple at diners, drive-in’s and homes from Louisiana to Texas and once you try it, you’ll want to keep a stash of it in your fridge for everything!

It’s the all-purpose condiment that replaces ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions! A total one-step and you’re done condiment that is fresh, tangy, and totally versatile!

Unlike a traditional ground beef chili recipe, this one skips the beans. Fresh beef, tomato sauce, and some seasonings, and you’ve got a tasty sauce that you can customize. Make it spicy or sweet as you please!

Preparing Hot Dog Chili Sauce in pans

To Make Hot Dog Chili

This Hot Dog Chili Sauce is so delicious and so easy to make. With just two steps you can have this simmering away in no time!

  1. Cook ground beef and onions (per recipe below).
  2. Mix all ingredients together and simmer until it reaches your preferred thickness.

Spoon over hot dogs and serve with a side of french fries for a ‘ballpark’ meal everyone will love!

Overhead shot of Hot Dog Chili Sauce in a pot

Other Delicious Chili Dog Toppings

Hot dogs are the perfect grab-and-go vehicle for whatever you want! Here is a list of my favorites!

  • Veggies: diced or fried onions, sundried tomatoes, jalapenos, or pepperoncini.
  • Cheese: shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or spicy habanero!
  • Sauces: pickle relish, sour cream, salsa, or hot sauce.
  • Other: black olives, black beans, or bacon bits.

Overhead shot of hot dogs topped with chili sauce

How Long Will It Last?

Hot dog chili sauce won’t last long when you see all the great things it can be used for! Till then, store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or Tupperware in the fridge.

It will keep about 3-4 days but if you have extras you can and freeze it for a few months!

More Chili Favorites

Hot dogs topped with chili sauce
4.93 from 118 votes
Review Recipe

Hot Dog Chili

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Adjust the seasonings to reach your desired spice level.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef 80/20
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup beef stock or broth

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  • In a 12" skillet brown ground beef and onions over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes or until the stock has cooked down and the chili sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • Spoon over cooked hot dogs and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 229, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 765mg, Potassium: 768mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 985IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 3mg

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

Keyword Hot Dog Chili Sauce
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Hot dogs topped with chili sauce with a title
Hot dogs topped with chili sauce with wording
Hot Dog Chili Sauce 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. This is so easy and so good. First time I’ve made chili dog sauce. I followed recipe exactly except I used 85% ground meat because that’s what I had in my freezer.My husband requested for watching play off games(nfl) We tailgate at home due to pandemic.4 stars

  2. Too sweet. Not really enough taste of anything. Very bland. Definitely needed salt, pepper and more chili powder.2 stars

    1. Sorry that you didn’t enjoy it as much as we do Keith. This chili is easy to add extra seasonings to adapt to your tastes.

    2. A long time ago, I remember hearing one of the cooks on The Food Network say that her rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of salt per pound of ground beef. I noticed this recipe has no salt at all, so just add a teaspoon of salt and it should be a lot better, though you may have to add just a little more because of the other ingredients.

      I always add salt to food, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it because I know what the result will be if I don’t: bland and tasteless.

  3. Awesome southern hot dog chili! It was a hit with my family. I did add a little tomato paste to it! It’s a southern thang!5 stars

  4. I had high hopes, but was not at all impressed. Super bland tasting. It’s a good base for someone to start with. I had to add ketchup, salt, and 2 more tbsp of chili powder.2 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this as much as we do Ashley. Thank you for trying the recipe.

  5. I don’t like to leave a bad review but this just wasn’t good. Maybe its a regional thing. This tasted watery even after letting it cook down. Its like a oniony bad sloppy joe. Sorry. I really had high hopes for this

  6. Incredibly delicious and addicting chili sauce. I just kept taking bite after bite while cooking and when I was putting it away in containers to freeze…can’t wait to try with fries and hotdogs! I tweeked it a little by adding real crushed garlic, some minced celery (2 stalks) and a Tablespoon and a half of chili powder instead of just a half tablespoon. I also simmered it for about an hour and a half (adding water when I stirred every 15 minutes if needed so it wouldn’t dry out) All of which I think made it much more intense and richer tasting. YUMMMMM!!!5 stars

  7. I didn’t realize until after making this that it essentially a watered down sloppy joe recipe. Not the kind of hotdog chili I would prefer, but still tastes great.

  8. I add a little Ketchup at the end of simmering for a little sweet spin. Worked great! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  9. Unfortunately the brown sugar, which I cut in half ruined this hot dog chili for me. I don’t know how to fix back to savory.3 stars

  10. Made this on Super Bowl Sunday and my two picky boys loved it over hot dogs! Way better than canned Michigan Sauce, which we can’t find easily on the East Coast. Thanks for the recipie!5 stars

  11. Here in Montreal, we call that a Michigan sauce. It’s very versatile and flexible. If you don’t want sugar in it, you can leave it out. Don’t want it to be spicy? Leave out the pepper flakes. Want it to have a bit more kick? Add some of your favourite hot sauce to the pot or just on top when you prep the hot dog. Want it saucier, add some extra tomato sauce. It’s easy to make small modifications to suit your needs or personal taste buds.
    I love making burgers with some shredded mozzarella directly on the patty then pile on as much sauce as you want to melt the cheese. On hot dogs, I love it topped with chopped Spanish onions to give it that finishing bite.
    It freezes really well and I usually make up a big batch and freeze it in quantities for 2 servings. Just defrost however many servings I need when I need it.5 stars

    1. I had no idea it was also called Michigan sauce! Thanks for sharing all of your tips Robert, I especially love the idea of freezing in small batches.