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Build Your Own Hot Dog Bar

Build your own hot dog bar this summer with four awesome combinations – Chicago-Style, Hawaiian, Green Chile Queso, and BBQ Sundaes!

I first shared these recipes in the summer of 2020 and these combinations remain our favorite hot dog toppings.

Build Your Own Hot Dog Bar

Are you as excited for summer as we are right now? Spring felt like it lasted 6 months this year. We may have had to cancel our summer-long road trip, but I’ve been brainstorming ways to make staying local more fun.

One of the things we’ve done this year is to fully embrace the awesomeness that is summer in Ohio. We’ve spent so much time outdoors already and let me tell you, compared to life in Phoenix in June-July-August? It feels like an entirely different world.

All five of us are big fans of the hot dog. Most of the time, I’m pretty happy with a classic dog topped with just ketchup, mustard, and relish. But other times? It can be a whole lot of fun to mix things up.

Hot Dog Bar Ideas

Step One: Grill the hot dogs and toast the buns.

Step Two: Set the toppings out while the hot dogs are on the grill.

Step Three: Let each person assemble their hot dogs with as much or as little of each topping as they like best.

I hope that you love these hot dog toppings as much as we do!

However you are assembling your hot dogs, you’ll want to check out these summer side dishes to finish off a terrific meal or barbecue with friends.

If you’re grilling and enjoying the weather outside, these salads without mayonnaise are always a hit. From Creamy Pasta Salad to Cucumber Tomato Salad, Tangy Italian Pasta Salad to this Balsamic and Basil Berry Salad, the odds are good that you’re going to find at least one of these salads in my fridge for the next few months.

Spicy Hot Dogs

As much as my family loves green chile, this hot dog topping was a guaranteed win. There are a couple of different ways you can make this one.

Stir together a batch of Queso Dip while the hot dogs are on the grill. Top the hot dogs in the buns with a generous drizzle of warm Queso. Then add as much or as little green chile as you like.

In the case of my oldest son, I can pretty much guarantee that the cheesy hot dog will be fully hidden by as much green chile as possible.

Don’t feel like making queso? Just top the hot dogs with a slice of your favorite cheese (we like Pepper Jack) as they finish grilling.

Wake up your grilling this year with a hot dog bar!

Chicago Style Hot Dog Toppings

My sister Jenny and her husband Jason introduced us to Chicago dogs (made their way) about ten years ago on one of our annual family camping trips.

A classic Chicago dog typically includes fresh tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, sweet pickle relish, onion, maybe pepperoncini, and a squeeze of yellow mustard. You just pile everything over the hot dog in the bun and dive in.

Jenny and Jason like to swap out the dill pickle spear with fresh cucumber slices, chopped small. I LOVE the fresh vegetable taste of the cucumber with the tomato. But, I also love a classic Chicago dog with a dill pickle.

I recommend trying both versions and seeing which one you like best. They’re both delicious.

For a real Chicago dog experience, you’ll want to brush the outside of the buns with warm melted butter and sprinkle them with poppy seeds.

Chicago-style Hot Dogs and Hawaiian Dogs are a couple of family favorites!

Hawaiian Hot Dog

I dearly love fresh pineapple, so a sweet and spicy hot dog combination needed to happen when I was dreaming up ideas for a hot dog bar.

Yes, you can make Hawaiian hot dogs with canned or frozen (and thawed) pineapple, but the flavors won’t be as strong. There’s just something fantastic about fresh pineapple and nothing else really compares.

To make the topping for these hot dogs, you’ll want to chop the fresh pineapple small and then add a scoop on top of the hotdogs. (If you have an extra minute or two, this Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa is amazing on these too!)

Add red onions, cilantro, and a drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Want to make it extra special? Try a homemade bbq sauce. You just might never buy it from the store again.

DIY Hot Dog Bar - with four different delicious combinations

BBQ Hot Dogs

I’m willing to bet that you aren’t surprised to see this combination here. It’s a fairly well-established fact that I love a great BBQ Sundae, right?

To make these, you’ll want to throw together a batch of everyone’s favorite coleslaw. Then, either start some baked beans in the crock-pot or pick up some baked beans at the deli counter. Store-bought will work just fine here for both the coleslaw and the beans if you want to simplify things.

Top each hot dog with a drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce, a scoop of baked beans, and a generous portion of coleslaw.

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  • Grill the hot dogs and toast the buns. Set the toppings out while the hot dogs are on the grill.

  • Let each person assemble their hot dogs with as much or as little of each topping as they like best.

{originally published 7/8/20 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/17/24}

How To Make A Hot Dog Bar

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