19 Bun Alternatives To Try For Your Next Hot Dog

Hot dogs are the food of the summer — and for good reason. There's nothing quite like a perfectly grilled dog smothered in a generous coating of mustard or your favorite condiment. But if there's an issue one can take with hot dogs, it isn't the contents inside this sandwich-esque summer staple: it's the bun.

If we're being honest, traditional hot dog buns often distract from the eating experience. While buns can be improved by brushing them with butter and grilling them, they're often just an obstacle to overcome to get to the literal (and figurative) meat of the sandwich. Don't even get us started on the fact that a standard-sized pack has eight buns while many regular-sized hot dog packages coming with 10 total.

Whether you're looking for a solution for those two lone sausages left in a package or simply don't like filling up on bread, fear not. With a little help from Joanne Gallagher — a recipe developer and blogger behind Inspired Taste – we've created a list of the best non-bun options for enjoying this barbecue staple. Here are 19 bun alternatives to try for your next hot dog.


If asking for pickles on your hot dog isn't enough, you can always use one as the bread portion and enjoy your condiments and bun in one bite. Pickle hot dog buns allow you to capitalize on the snappy, crunchy texture and sublime, tart flavor of the pickle. So reach for the jar in the back of your fridge rather than opting for a bready bun with your next hot dog. 

To try this hack at home, you simply need to slice a pickle lengthwise before placing your freshly grilled hot dog in the center. Considering the likely size of the sausage, you'll want to use a rather large, whole pickle for this bun alternative — meaning leave those cornichons for something else.


Cornbread isn't commonly associated with hot dogs; you're more likely to see it as an accompaniment to chili or various other Southern staples. But cornbread and hot dogs are actually a duo worth trying — especially if you love a piping hot corndog from the fair.

Now, you'll need to put some effort in when swapping cornbread for a hot dog bun. If you were to add the sausage to a hunk of cornbread sliced straight down the middle, for instance, all of the toppings (along with the hot dog) would likely fall out. Given this, you'll want to utilize a bun-shaped mold to bake your batter in. Once the baked cornbread bun has adequately cooled, just slice the top and shovel in your hot dog and condiments.

Baked potato

Potatoes often serve as the side to hot dogs at barbecues in the form of potato salad. But you can put your spuds to good use by instead baking them (with salt and oil) and using them as a tasty vector for your hot dog. The starchiness of the potato allots a lot of room for creativity as a bun alternative. Cheese and chili are compatible with both the hot dog and potato, of course, but you could also layer on sauerkraut and sour cream for a brighter, tangier flavor.

Recipe developer Joanne Gallagher recommends trying a sweet potato variation of this recipe. "I've even seen people bake a sweet potato, slice it in half, and insert the hot dog, which sounds delicious," she shared with Tasting Table.

As with many of our other suggestions, you'll want to use a larger potato. Russets are usually great options because they bake well and offer enough room for the frank and condiments alike. Smaller, waxier potatoes won't get nearly the same bite and increase the risk of your hot dog falling off mid-bite.


There's no feeling quite like primitively ripping off a chunk of baguette to dip into a soup or a sauce. Since the biggest difference between this type of bread and a hot dog bun is that a baguette has a thicker (and more satisfying) crust, it's an ideal replacement for a standard roll.

Joanne Gallagher suggests looking for a slightly softer baguette for this bun alternative so that it's easier to bite and chew. Of course, while baguettes make great substitutes for hot dog buns in a pinch, you really have to get creative with your toppings in order to use this carb to its fullest potential. One way to do this is to transform your sandwich with inspiration from a bành mì. This includes using fresh toppings like carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro to contrast the crisp, toasted baguette and grilled hot dog.


America is a country that likes its bacon (to say the least). So it makes sense that every time we think of a creative way to improve a dish, adding bacon appears on the top of the list, and replacing hot dog buns is no different.

Besides bacon's salty flavor characteristic, you'll also get layers of umami and a profound meatiness that a hot dog can't provide by its lonesome. You'll want to wrap each hot dog in a strip of partially-cooked bacon before grilling them, and secure the strips with skewers or toothpicks to prevent them from unfurling. Avoid wrapping the strips too tightly around the sausage; otherwise, you'll risk them breaking apart and meeting a fiery demise on the grill.


Naan is the best part about ordering from your favorite Indian spot. The bread is deliciously soft, doughy, and comes perfectly blistered every time. While you can certainly try cooking your own naan at home, you'll likely need to have a tandoor oven handy to do so. Luckily, you can always pick up a pack at the grocery store or use the leftovers from your latest takeout for this hot dog bun alternative.

Naan is incredibly easy to wrap around a hot dog largely because of its pliability. If you warm the bread up beforehand, you can maneuver it without issue around the sausage. Additionally, a quick brush of ghee or garlic butter can do wonders for this upgraded sandwich.

Egg roll wrappers

Egg roll wrappers aren't something we'd recommend people try making at home from scratch (especially considering how easy it is to pick up a package from the refrigerated section of your grocery store). Regardless, once you have these wrappers at the ready, you can use them for almost everything, from fried apple pie wraps to hot dog bun replacements.

The key to making egg roll wrappers work as a bun alternative is to ensure the hot dog is proportional. You may need to slice off the ends of the hot dog, then, and make it shorter to decrease the risk of it unfurling when it hits the hot oil. Moreover, wrapping the sausage tightly inside will result in a crisp, neat fry with a golden-brown coating. You can also bake or air fry egg roll-wrapped dogs, but sputtering hot oil maximizes the texture and makes them all the more enjoyable.


Although croissants are often seen as an upscale pastry, they can be used for almost anything. For example, if you want to switch up your breakfast sandwich game, use a croissant instead of a plain bagel or English muffin. Along those lines, if your hot dog buns are looking like they've seen better days, croissants can lend a hand.

When replacing a hot dog bun with a croissant, grab the fluffy pastry and slice it lengthwise before sandwiching in the dog. A warm croissant and grilled hot dog are a great duo sans toppings, but adding a thin schmear of Dijon mustard to the inside of the pastry will take the entire meal up a notch.

Pretzel rolls

Pretzel-wrapped hot dogs are representative of mall cuisine at its peak. After all, once you finished your shopping at Hollister and Forever 21, it was only right to make a pit stop at Auntie Anne's to grab a pretzel dog. Although the heyday of this eating experience is long gone, you can still devour a pretzel dog at home by swapping a pretzel roll for a bun.

Start by making homemade soft pretzel dough and rolling it out into strips. Then, wrap the dough around the hot dog and briefly plunge them into a bath of baking soda water. This is a critical, pre-bake step that helps separate regular pretzels — and by proxy, pretzel dogs — from a simple hot dog wrapped in bread dough. You'll be rewarded with a perfectly crisp crust on the outside that's perfect for dipping into mustard.

Cuban rolls

If you pass through Miami, you absolutely have to get your hands on a Cuban sandwich. You could even argue that when it comes to this sandwich, the bread matters just as much as the roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Because pan Cubano is made with lard, it's fluffy and light, and worth seeking out if you crave a carb with a soft bite to it — particularly as a hot dog bun alternative.

You can turn your hot dog into a Cuban sandwich by swapping out the classic bun for Cuban rolls, then layering on the pickles, ham, Swiss, and mustard. Your hot dogs will act as a substitute for the roast pork, though keep in mind it won't be quite as meaty as the classic sandwich.


It's not uncommon to be left with one or two slices of pizza after a night out with friends. While you can always dive into a cold slice the next morning, you can also use your leftover pizza for something a bit more creative – like folding it around a hot dog.

If you're using a leftover slice, you'll want to reheat the pizza just enough so that it wraps around your frank with ease. You can also use this as a Costco food court pizza hack to get the flavor of a hot dog and pizza all in one bite. This works with both cheese and pepperoni pizza, although it's easy to see how a veggie pizza could add a delectable crunch to this unlikely combo, as well.


A hot dog may not scream "breakfast food" to most people, but that doesn't mean you can't try. We're not just talking about piling eggs on top of a hot dog or stuffing your French toast with hot dog slices, either. In fact, the simple way to give your hot dog a breakfast twist? Use a waffle as the bun.

Now, you can always make a waffle separately and add the sausage. But you can also try a novel twist on a corn dog by dipping your hot dog into waffle batter and sticking it directly on the iron. For an easier solution that doesn't require painstakingly watching your iron, though, turn to frozen waffles instead. All you need to do is heat them up so they're pliable enough to plop on your frank.

If you do make your own batter from scratch, you may want to tweak the recipe to suit a more savory profile with additional spices and seasonings. Conversely, "you can even drizzle with maple syrup" for something sweeter, as suggested by Joanne Gallagher.


Tortillas are a great alternative to a typical hot dog bun, and their light consistency and thinness make them a perfect pairing for the hot dog itself. Tortillas will also protect your fingers from getting dirty and covered in sauce — without diverting your focus or attention from the sausage at hand.

One option involves whipping up a batch of hot dog taquitos by wrapping the dog inside, adding cheese, then baking it in the oven until the cheese is gooey and the top of the tortilla is crispy. You can also toss a tortilla-rolled hot dog in the air fryer or a hot pan, but the oven is the ideal cooking method if you're making this dish for a crowd.

Egg white wraps

Egg white wraps are a great alternative to conventional flour or corn-based wraps and tortillas –- especially if you're adhering to a low-carb or high-protein diet. It's worth getting creative in order to maximize their versatility, so try using egg white wraps as a bun replacement for your next hot dog.

Simply pick up these wraps from your grocery store's produce section and get to work. You won't have to toast the wraps in order for them to be edible — they're not made with traditional bread or wrap ingredients, after all — which can shave off some extra time. Ketchup, mustard, and pickles are all fine toppings for a hot dog on an egg white wrap, because the wrap itself doesn't go hard on the flavor front.

Hawaiian rolls

Hawaiian rolls are ideally suited for pulled pork, but that doesn't mean that's the only filling that can adorn these fluffy and ethereally soft rolls. They're often sold by the iconic (and former local favorite) King's Hawaiian brand and get their sweet flavor from ingredients like sugar and butter.

King's Hawaiian actually makes hot dog buns using its classic sweet bread recipe, but they won't necessarily be available at your local grocery store. With this in mind, you can always cube up your hot dog into smaller pieces and add it to the brand's more widely-available round rolls. While condiments like mustard and relish work great, one unexpected topping that works really well with this sandwich is pineapple. The fruity flavor plays off the savory notes in the hot dog and the sweetness of the bun.

Crescent rolls

No, we're not making pigs in a blanket ... per se. Rather, we're suggesting that you use canned crescent rolls to wrap full-sized hot dogs. Not only does this hack nix the need to purchase a pack of buns, but it also allows you to enjoy the buttery, toasty flavor of crescent dough without hurting your wallet.

While crescent dough triangles are well-suited to wrapping around a single miniature weenie, they often aren't large enough to cover a whole hot dog. Consequently, you'll want to use a full sheet of crescent dough and slice out individual ribbons to wrap around each hot dog. Adding a sprinkle of herbs or sea salt gives this dish a more sophisticated flare and better flavor, too, but we won't blame you for sticking to the classic ketchup for dipping.


Pita bread is one of the more underutilized breads out there. Of course, pita bread is quite sturdy — which helps it support fillings like fried falafel, shawarma, and chopped veggies — and has a convenient pocket to secure your sandwich components. There's nothing more that you could want from this simple, yet utilitarian, bread, even when you're swapping it for a hot dog bun.

Once advantage of pita bread is the additional room for toppings, as noted by Joanne Gallagher. "Since you'll have the space inside the pita, think about adding sauteed onions and a spoonful of sauerkraut for some crunch." On that note, while the pita itself lacks any prominent Mediterranean flavors, you can always spruce up this bun alternative with Greek-inspired condiments such as tzatziki, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.

Additionally, you can choose to simply grill a hot dog and shove it inside a regular pita pocket. But Joseph's (a popular pita bread brand) actually sells pita pockets designed specifically for hot dogs. Unfortunately, these are far from widely available and may cost you a pretty penny.

Hash browns

"Hash browns" are such a wide and varied term that we feel obligated to add an asterisk (or quotations) before revealing which type we're talking about. But for now, forget the cubed spuds served as a side to an omelet or the coin-sized rounds sold at fast food spots like Dunkin' Donuts. Rather, we're talking about the massive patties that you might find at McDonald's. Since these are often about the size of a person's hand, they're quite conducive to wrapping around your hot dog.

Now, there are some caveats to consider. The hash brown really needs to be warmed up before you can wrap it around your hot dog, otherwise you risk it splitting and breaking apart. If you don't have access to these style of hash browns, you could also cook up a patty using hash brown shreds. These will get perfectly crispy after a short stint in an oiled pan and become suitable for the sausage.


Lettuce wraps aren't just for transforming your leftover Chinese takeout or providing another way to eat your cold lunch salad. In fact, you can use lettuce in place of a standard bun for a fresh take on the classic hot dog.

Joanne Gallagher believes this low-carb option works particularly well with romaine or iceberg lettuce. Not only are these leaves large enough to support a hefty frank (plus any toppings), but they're also rather durable — so your hot dog won't fall off and into your lap. You can also make sturdy and hearty lettuce wraps by using other leafy greens such as kale. The lettuce's flavor is rather neutral, so you can top it with sour condiments like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles, or classic condiments like mustard and ketchup.

When it comes to the hot dog portion, Gallagher noted her preference is "splitting them lengthwise and then searing them for a slightly crispy texture." No matter how you prepare it, it's important to cook your hot dog perfectly to achieve a delicious consistency with every bite when wrapped inside lettuce.