Just in time for your Labor Day cookouts, here’s a easy and oh-so-tasty hot dog chili recipe that you can also freeze.
I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on doing a lot of relaxing this upcoming Labor Day.
If the weather cooperates, we’ll be firing up the grill and kicking back on our beautiful patio with friends and family.
I first shared this hot dog chili recipe earlier this summer on Today’s Creative Life. In case you missed it there, here are all the details.
Once you try this scratch hot dog chili recipe, you’ll never buy canned again.
My husband loves his hot dogs served Carolina style — with chili, slaw and onions.
I love to slather this chili on brats with pickle relish and spicy mustard. It’s also great on hamburgers. Messy, but tasty.
So, whenever I make it, I cook a big batch and freeze the leftovers in individual dinner-sized portions. We freeze the leftover homemade hot dog chili flat in quart-size bags for easy storage and thawing. (If you do a lot of freezer meals, these clever bag holders are a great buy. They make easy work of filling freezer bags without making a mess.)
In some parts of America, people refer to chili as hot dog sauce. That’s due to the texture, which is much finer than meat-and-beans style chili, which is great from a bowl on a cold day. This chili is a condiment, like ketchup or mustard, that you spread on top of your hot dogs. So, you don’t want the beef chunky.
The best way to accomplish this is by adding water to the ground beef before you cook it.
It sounds weird, I know, and it’s not the most appetizing image either. But it makes for some mighty fine chili.
Just add enough water to cover the ground beef. Then break up with a wooden spoon. Or, if you’re really gung ho, dig your hands in and break up the meat by letting it squish through your (clean) fingers.
I let the ground beef soak while I’m sweating the onions and garlic. Then, I add the beef and water to the pan and let the meat brown slightly before adding the rest of the ingredients, simmering and reducing.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium Vidalia onion or sweet onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Place lean ground beef in a bowl and cover with water. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to break up the beef. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, saute diced onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saute pan or Dutch oven.
- Once the onion and garlic are soft, add the ground beef and water to the pan. Cook about 5 minutes, until the beef is no longer pink on the outside.
- Add ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened and reduced and the beef is cooked through.
I’ve found that everybody has a preferred way of topping a hot dog. Some people even have rules about whether the ketchup should go under the dog or on top.
To make sure that everybody gets to have their hot dog their way, it’s always fun to set up a hot dog toppings bar with everybody’s favorite condiments.
I always add a few unexpected choices, like salsa or crumbled bacon, too.
If you enjoyed this recipe for homemade hot dog chili, be sure to check out these other cookout favorites: