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.

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

I’ll be keeping the menu simple — burgers and dogs slathered with homemade hot dog chili, baked beans and salted watermelon for dessert.

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.

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

My husband loves his hot dogs served Carolina style — with chili, slaw and onions.

Summer entertaining doesn't have to be fancy or time consuming. Throw some hot dogs on the grill, dish up some delicious hot dog toppings and you have the makings for the perfect summer party. #FinestGrillathon #ad

I love to slather this chili on brats with pickle relish and spicy mustard. It’s also great on hamburgers. Messy, but tasty.

Summer entertaining doesn't have to be fancy or time consuming. Throw some hot dogs on the grill, dish up some delicious hot dog toppings and you have the makings for the perfect summer party. #FinestGrillathon #ad This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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.)

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

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.

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

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.

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

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.

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Hot Dog Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This tangy hot dog chili is the perfect topping for hot dogs, brats and hamburgers. Once you try it, you'll never eat canned chili again
Author:
Recipe type: condiment, side dish
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • water
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Over medium heat, saute diced onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saute pan or Dutch oven.
  3. 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.
  4. Add ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce
  5. 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.

Summer entertaining doesn't have to be fancy or time consuming. Throw some hot dogs on the grill, dish up some delicious hot dog toppings and you have the makings for the perfect summer party. #FinestGrillathon #ad

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.

Summer entertaining doesn't have to be fancy or time consuming. Throw some hot dogs on the grill, dish up some delicious hot dog toppings and you have the makings for the perfect summer party. #FinestGrillathon #ad

I always add a few unexpected choices, like salsa or crumbled bacon, too.

Once you try this homemade hot dog chili recipe, you'll never buy canned again! It's also great on burgers!

If you enjoyed this recipe for homemade hot dog chili, be sure to check out these other cookout favorites:

What's the secret to fall off the bone ribs? You want to make sure you choose the right cut of pork, and you want to use a spice rub that adds flavor while it tenderizes. And when it comes to cooking them, slow and low is best! This recipe makes the most tender ribs I have ever tasted! #SmithfieldPork #ad

Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs

If love North Carolina barbecue, do yourself a favor and try this slow-cooker, make-at-home version. You'll find recipes for Eastern style and Lexington style sauce. Make your favorite, or try them both, and decided which you like best.

North Carolina Style Barbecue

JELL-O Mandarin Orange Salad is a light and refreshing dessert. perfect for potlucks and summer barbecues. It's easy to whip up a batch in a hurry.

Mandarin Orange Salad



Comments

  1. Nothing like a good chili & topped on a dog. Yum! Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party. See you again soon. Shared.

  2. Beth Sowell says:

    I made this chili recipe for a birthday cookout yesterday. I didn’t want to use two cups of ketchup because of the amount of sugar in ketchup so I used a small can of tomato paste instead and added a little water to “loosen it up”. I skipped the part about putting water on the beef, not sure why you did that. Everyone loved the chili, great recipe, thanks for sharing it.

    • Atta Girl Amy
      Twitter:
      says:

      Glad it worked out for you. I’ve also skipped the ketchup before when I was running low and used a mixture of tomato sauce and paste instead. The water is just used to break up the ground beef. I’ll admit that I don’t love looking at the beef soaking in the water, so I may try your method the next time.

  3. Sarah Hansen says:

    HI – we are going to use this recipe for an office potluck. I need to serve 50. How many does the above serve? Thanks!

    • Atta Girl Amy
      Twitter:
      says:

      Sarah, I hope you get this reply in time. This recipe makes enough to top 6-8 hot dogs.

      Hope the office potluck is a lot of fun. I still miss “goodie day,” the annual holiday feast at the newspaper where I used to work.

      — Amy

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