The Best Hot Dog Chili Recipe

There's always a time and a place for an elaborate dinner, whether it's a gourmet chicken dish, a perfect steak, or even seafood. But at the same time, there's always the occasion for a quick and easy recipe that can be pulled off in just minutes. Whether you're planning an easy weeknight meal, or hosting a backyard barbecue or picnic, classic chili dogs have a place on the menu.

While hot dogs and buns are easy enough to prep, sometimes it seems best to also reach for a canned chili option to dress up your dogs. But recipe developer and food photographer Petar Marshall is here to show you just how easy it is to make a version from scratch at home.

With ground beef, crushed tomatoes, and fragrant spices, this hot dog chili recipe comes together with just a few ingredients, and it's ready in minutes. Prep it ahead of time, or alongside your hot dogs, for the ultimate dish. Pile it on with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions for the perfect bite.

Gather the ingredients for hot dog chili

Ready to start cooking? For this hot dog chili recipe, you'll only need a few ingredients. Gather together 1 pound ground beef, 3 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup beef broth, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper.

"I chose to use 97-percent lean ground beef for this recipe because of the way it cooks up," says Marshall. "However, feel free to grab whatever fat percentage you prefer." 

Prep and cook the garlic and onion

First up, mince your cloves of garlic and chop up the onion. Place a large saucepan on the stove, and add in the garlic and onion. Cook the garlic and onion until they're light golden brown and fragrant.

"This serves as the base of flavor for the chili, and it makes for a great tasting dish," says Marshall. 

Brown the ground beef

Next up, add in the ground beef. Break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon as it's cooking, and continue to cook the beef until there's no more pink. Marshall says the beef will have plenty of additional cooking time while simmering, so it doesn't need to cook longer than a few minutes at this step. 

Mix in the crushed tomatoes and spices

With the garlic, onion, and ground beef ready, it's time to add in the remaining ingredients. Dump in the entire can of crushed tomatoes, add in the beef broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and cumin. Season the mixture with garlic salt and pepper, to taste. Stir the mixture together to fully combine. 

Simmer the chili and serve

With all of the chili ingredients added, all that's left is to let the chili simmer. Turn the heat on the stovetop to medium-low and allow the chili to simmer and reduce for 15 minutes.

Once the chili is done, serve it on prepared hot dogs, and garnish the dogs with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped red onion, if desired. 

The Best Hot Dog Chili Recipe
5 from 1325 ratings
Jazz up your hot dog game and skip the canned chili. This recipe for hot dog chili is simple, easy to make, and is perfect for your next barbecue.
Prep Time
Cook Time
hot dogs with chili
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • pepper, to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped red onions
  1. In a large saucepan, brown the garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant and light brown.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until there's no more pink in the meat.
  3. Once the meat is just cooked, add in the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Let the chili simmer on medium-low and reduce for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve the chili on top of hot dogs and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped red onions.
Calories per Serving 235
Total Fat 15.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.8 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 53.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 5.2 g
Sodium 258.3 mg
Protein 15.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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