Easy and Delicious Hot Dog Chili Sauce Recipe

This Easy Hot Dog Chili Sauce Recipe is, of course, a delicious way to top a chili dog, however, it can also be used as a chili sauce for toppings for baked potatoes or chili cheese nachos! I suggest making a big batch and keeping it in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal after a busy day.

This is also Low-Carb Hotdog Chili sauce recipe and keto friendly, with only 2g carbs per serving! Feel free to top chili cheese dogs, just leave off the bun!

WV Style Hot Dog with Bar S Fresh Pack Beef Franks

Have you noticed a trend here?? This is post 2 of a 4 part series where I’m talking all about hotdogs and specifically leading up to how to make a West Virginia Style Hot Dog.

This delicious chili sauce recipe is also perfect for making a Coney Island or coney dog at home too!

Ingredients for Hot dog Sauce Recipe

Although this list may look lengthy, most of the ingredients that you will need to make this homemade chili sauce are spices and seasonings:

And at a minimum you’ll also need hot dog buns and hot dogs, duh.

Easy and Delicious Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe

Notice the ingredients that you DON’T see listed, no ketchup, mustard or Worcestershire sauce. Those aren’t typically used in making classic traditional chili and are unnecessary additions. However, I always encourage you to feel comfortable using my recipe as a starting point and customizing it to suit your desired flavors.

I’ve made this recipe with both tomato paste and tomato sauce, but feel that the tomato paste is a better choice. If you are in a pinch and sauce is all you have to make this hot dog chili recipe, by all means use it only cook it longer to make sure it’s thick enough.

How to make the BEST Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Making a delicious hot dog chili sauce is as easy as cooking lean ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Adding onions and cooking them through as well…. if your ground meat is especially fatty be sure to drain it.

Easy and Delicious Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe

While I’m developing a recipe, I also try to research tons of information about a food and how it can be best used, in this case not only for topping a hotdog but for all the other delicious ways you might want to use this easy chili sauce recipe like topping a baked potato or on chili-cheese nachos, etc.

The KEY to making the BEST hotdog chili sauce is mastering the perfect TEXTURE – if you’ve ready my Coleslaw for Hotdogs Recipe, then you’re already familiar with the importance of texture when it comes to topping a hotdog, chili sauce is no different.

So right in the middle of this “how to” section we’re going to get side tracked for a minute to learn the secret to making the best dog chili sauce at home…

Tips for making the Best Chili Sauce at Home

There are 3 ways that we are going to control the texture and consistency of homemade hot dog chili sauce:

  1. No beans, wether or not beans belong in chili at all is up for debate, but when it comes to hot-dog chili sauce, including beans is it’s a hard no.
  2. Reducing the chili to a thick and scoopable texture, more like a thick stew and less like a soup is also key. When in doubt boil it to remove extra liquid.
  3. Finally, finely chopping the ground beef (and onion) after cooking is essential for the perfect texture. You don’t want a ‘paste’ you want distinct meaty bits only really really small. This cannot be achieved with a potato masher, you MUST use a food processor to finely chop the cooked meat!!!
Easy and Delicious Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe

I suggest processing the cooked meat and onions, BEFORE simmering the sauce .. however I have processed the final sauce as well and it worked fine too, just can be messier.

Once your meat/onions are finely chopped, add the remaining ingredients and return the skillet.

Easy and Delicious Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe

As expected, it’s very watery and runny. Which as we talked about previously isn’t ideal for topping a hot dog.

It’s important to simmer the sauce over medium-high heat to cook the flavors together, break down any onion pieces AND stir well, to reduce the liquids in the sauce until it holds up on a wooden spoon.

Easy and Delicious Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe

Just remove the bay leaf and your hotdog chili sauce is ready to serve!

How to serve Hotdog Chili Sauce

The main reason I created this chili sauce recipe is as a part of making a West Virginia Hotdog, that my husband, Ray loves.

WV Style Hot Dog with Bar S Fresh Pack Beef Franks

But there are lots of other topping combinations that pair well with chili sauce or even just have a chili dog on it’s own! We also like this simple chili sauce paired with sweet pickle relish and cheddar cheese with a side of French fries – YUM!!!

Hot Dog Chili Sauce FAQs

What meat is best for making Hotdog Chili Sauce?

Traditionally, you’ll lean on ground beef to make hotdog chili sauce BUT I want to encourage you to also consider making it with wild game meat! Specifically, ground venison works amazing in this recipe and nobody will know that you’ve swapped the beef for deer meat!
Of course if you are looking to cut back on fat, stay away from red meat, feel free to use ground turkey, chicken or even lean ground pork. I wouldn’t suggest using sausage because the flavors may not blend together well with the cumin spiced sauce.

How Long does the Hot dog Chili Sauce Recipe Keep?

Homemade hotdog chili sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage that you can safely achieve in the fridge, I suggest freezing it.

How to Freeze Hotdog Chili Sauce?

Hotdog Chili Sauce leftovers can be frozen in any airtight container or bag for up to 6 months. Reheat to enjoy.

If you like this Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe, you might like these other homemade sauce recipes:

WV Style Hot Dog with Bar S Fresh Pack Beef Franks

Easy Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe

This Easy Hotdog Chili Sauce Recipe is, of course, a delicious way to top a hotdog, however, it can also be used as a chili sauce for toppings for baked potatoes! I suggest making a big batch and keeping it in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal after a busy day. 
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16



  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink.
  • Add chopped onion, saute until cooked and soft, roughly 2-3 minutes
  • Transfer cooked beef and onion mixture to your food processor and pulse until it's finely chopped BUT not made into a paste.
    If your beef is very fatty you can remove the grease, if desired, I do not.
  • Return the chopped meat mixture to the pan, add seasonings, tomato paste, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Allow to simmer until desired thickness, roughly 30 minutes.


Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

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