Home » Videos » Hot Dog Chili

Hot Dog Chili

This Southern Style Hot Dog Chili is made with ground beef, garlic, beef broth, tomato sauce and seasonings (no beans!) So much flavor!


For me, the key is to a great homemade Hot Dog Chili recipe is that it won’t overtake the taste of the hot dog (cause I wanna taste that too). Plus, there are so many topping options for everybody to choose from when assembling their own Chili Dog, it makes it super easy to customize exactly how you like it. Serving Hot Dog Chili is a great idea at potlucks, parties, get togethers, backyard BBQ’s or just because. Just keep it on the warm setting in the slow cooker and let everyone serve themselves!

A few Chili Dogs with Hot Dog Chili.


What’s the difference between hot dog chili and regular chili?

Hot dog chili is much thicker than soup chili. It also usually doesn’t contain beans. The meat in hot dog chili is also very finely ground whereas in soup chili, it is chunkier. Also, hot dog chili is usually made with tomato paste rather than tomatoes. Now obviously, this can vary by region and people’s personal preferences.

What is Hot Dog Chili made of?

It’s made of beef, onion, garlic, and a bunch of herbs and spices. Again, this can vary by region but this is how we do it.

What else can I make with hot dog chili?

This chili wonderful served on tater tots and french fries. Throw some melted cheddar cheese on top and it’s over-the-top delicious. I also really love this chili on baked potatoes! Note: if you want the full Appalachian chili dog experience, you must add some Cole Slaw and a little Chow Chow on top of the chili!

Can I make this in the Slow Cooker?

I don’t recommend it. It only takes a few minutes to make on the stovetop, so what’s the point in dragging out the slow cooker. Besides, either way you make it, you’ll have to brown the beef first, so adding the slow cooker step just means more dishes. However, you can certainly add it to the slow cooker to keep warm if serving for guests.

Can I make this chili spicy?

Yup. If you like spicy Hot Dog Chili, feel free to add some diced jalapenos or diced green chiles to the mix.

Can I make this a little more saucy?

Sure, if you think this Hot Dog Chili is a little too thick for you, you can add a bit more water, chicken broth, or beef broth to thin it out. Just add a little at a time until you get it to your desired thinness.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Sure. Make your chili for the hot dogs and keep it warm in a slow cooker. When ready to serve, you can do so from there. Or make it, then pop it in a covered container in the refrigerator and re-heat when ready.

Why add cornmeal to hot dog chili?

This acts a thickener. You can leave it out if you want a thinner chili.

How do you store leftover hot dog chili?

Put it in a covered container in the refrigerator and it will keep up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftover chili. Put it in a freezer-safe ziploc bag. Remove as much air as possible. Chili will keep in the freezer up to 3 months.

Two hot dogs with Hot Dog Chili on them.


Onion, garlic, ground beef, chili powder, sugar, cumin, vegetable oil, corn meal, kosher salt, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and tomato paste.


Put a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in medium sauce pan. On medium-high heat, saute onion until translucent, then add garlic.

A saucepan with oil and onions and a sauce pan with oil, onions, and garlic.

Stir for about a minute, then add ground beef. As beef begins to brown, use a potato masher to grind up the beef into small bits. Once brown, add in the rest of the ingredients (if your beef produced a lot of grease, you may want to strain some of that out first before adding the rest of the ingredients.)

Ground beef and spices added to a pot with onions, garlic, and oil and a pot with fresh made Hot Dog Chili.

Give it all a good stir to combine then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Do a taste test at this point to see if it has enough salt. If you want, you can transfer the chili over to a Crock Pot and put it on the keep warm setting.

Looking down on two hot dogs with homemade Hot Dog Chili.


Originally published: March 2011
Updated photos and Republished: March 2024

Closely looking at some hot dogs with Hot Dog Chili on them.

Homemade Hot Dog Chili

This southern style Hot Dog Chili is made with ground beef, garlic, beef broth, tomato sauce and seasonings (no beans!) So much flavor!
4.92 from 46 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth (or water)
  • 3 Tablespoons corn meal
  • ½ Tablespoon kosher salt (or to taste)


  • Put 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil in medium sauce pan.
  • On medium-high heat, saute 1/2 onion, finely chopped, then add 1-2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • Stir for about a minute, then add 1 pound lean ground beef.
    Ground beef and onions in a pot.
  • As beef begins to brown, use a potato masher to grind up the beef into small bits. If your beef produces a lot of grease, be sure to strain it before proceeding to the next step.
  • Once brown, add in 2 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 3 Tablespoons tomato paste, 1 cup beef broth, 3 Tablespoons corn meal, and 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt.
    A bunch of herbs and spices on top of ground beef and onions in a pot.
  • Give it all a good stir to combine then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
    Hot Dog Chili in a pot with a blue serving spoon.
  • Do a taste test at this point to see if it has enough salt.


YouTube video


  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 681mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is spot on. Add some cayenne if you like a little heat. Smoked paprika if you like a more rustic flavor.

  2. 4 stars
    This was very good after some adjustments. The 1/2 tablespoon of salt called for was way too much for us. I adjusted by adding another 6 oz of hot water, about 2 tablespoons of honey and another teaspoon of sugar to tone down the salt. I let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so to boil off the liquid. I did not use the corn meal because I did not have any. (Maybe that would have helped the salty?).

    I will use this recipe again, but only use 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of chili powder. It was a tad too spicy for us.

    Overall, it’s a great recipe. Since I’m feeding just two of us, I liked that I could use 1 pound of ground beef rather than 1-1/2 – 2 pounds like other recipes I found. We each had 2 fully loaded dogs and we still have leftovers to freeze for another meal. (I love leftovers to freeze!)

    Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Trying to cut beef out of diet, used ground chicken and the family loved it. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this and it is delicious I will never buy hot dog chili again!!! Awesome thank you

  5. 5 stars
    We really loved this chili. I liked that it was soupy or runny. It stays in place on the hot dog and it tastes great!

  6. 5 stars
    My hubby’s all time favorite hot dog chili is definitely ‘Custard Stand’ … but its expensive. I made your recipe & added a 12 oz container of Custard Stand hot dog chili to tweak the flavor he loves. I freeze in individual containers (enough for 3-4 hot dogs) which keeps fresh & it also offsets the cost! TY appreciatively for this recipe. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    For even more authentic taste, hit your ground meat with a stick blender before adding the other ingredients. It give the meat that fine ground texture.

  8. 5 stars
    This was amazing !! Thankyou .. the recipe i was using took 2 hours our more the flavor here is better and doesn’t take long

  9. 5 stars
    In the summer, my Dad took us to the A&W once a week for a root beer and hot dog with chili or a breaded temderloin on a bun. We had to share one order of french fries. I can still taste it all. The nights were warm. What a great reward for mowing the yard..

    Goshen, In

  10. I am excited to try this, but was wondering what the purpose of the cornmeal is and it is corn meal, similar to grits, not the finer corn flour or corn starch, correct? Want to make sure before I attempt it. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Never heard of cornmeal in chili ???
    This sounds good though.
    Love a good hotdog,like mine
    with chili , onions and coleslaw.

  12. 5 stars
    There’s an out-of-this-world hot dog place right in the cTheir dogs are so good you don’t even have to chew them Andthe chili is scrujmptuous the name ofr the place is — yeah, you guessed it — You-Yum’s. They serve up fantastic ice cream for your after-meal treat. If you’re everSpring Garden Street and just ride east until you come yo it. It will be the greatest treat of your life!

  13. 5 stars
    My 11-year old wasn’t sure about eating chili without beans 🙂 This is easily her favorite thing now. She eats it on hot dogs, tater tots or even by itself with Fritos. Needless to say she doesn’t dread hot dog days.

  14. I've been wanting a good chili recipe and tried several online that ended up not tasting the best. I was tired of throwing money away on ingredients trying to find a good recipe. I decided to give it another try with this recipe and I'm so glad I did! It's delicious! Thank you.