This article was updated on 3/8/2023 for clarity and to include seasonal updates.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your hot dogs, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for hot dogs.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes to serve with hot dogs are bourbon baked beans, red cabbage and dill slaw, pineapple mango salsa, chili, and quick pickles. You can also serve Greek potato salad, zucchini chips, cilantro lime corn salad, double crunch sweet potato fries, or mac and cheese.
Great flavor pairings for hot dogs
Hot dogs are a popular processed food made from ground meat and seasonings. They have a meaty, salty flavor profile and are often boiled or grilled before being stuffed into buns.
- Sweet flavors: Condiments like sweet relish and ketchup, or fixings like caramelized onions have a natural sweetness that works well with the salty nature of hot dogs.
- Tart/tangy flavors: Slaws and pickles have a sharp tart taste that helps cut through the fattiness of hot dogs, providing a refreshing contrast. Mustard is also a great condiment with a prominent tangy kick, but it comes with a spicy twist, so be careful.
- Creamy flavors: Hot dogs’ meatiness can easily stand up to rich, creamy ingredients. Try topping them with a mayo-based sauce or classic coleslaw to bring a satisfying richness. Thick, creamy nacho cheese is also superb over hot dogs.
Hot dogs are a popular food to grill during cookouts, so it’s no surprise we have a handful of barbecue party classics on the list. They’re not all traditional recipes though, to make your cookouts more exciting!
Apple butter bourbon baked beans
No barbecue cookout is complete without baked beans.
They’ll add a smoky but addictively sweet flavor to your hot dog meal. And you can enjoy them two ways – on the side, or spooned on top of the hot dogs.
Psst… save the last bit of your hot dog bun to mop up any leftover sauce.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a one-skillet dish bursting with delicious flavors.
Jalapeno popper mac and cheese
What do you get when you mix jalapeno poppers with mac and cheese? An extra cheesy side dish with a touch of spice from the jalapeños and lots of crunch from the breadcrumb topping.
This upgraded mac and cheese is indulgent… but worth it. Throw in a freshly-grilled hotdog on the side and you have the ultimate summer weekend meal.
An important tip with this dish: undercook the pasta by a minute or two. It’ll continue cooking in the oven and we don’t want mushy pasta, right?
Why we love this recipe: it’s a fun and delicious upgrade to your childhood classic.
Cilantro lime corn salad
This corn salad is an excellent nutritious side dish, thanks to the addition of bell peppers and jalapeños. Plus, it’s super easy to make and packed with bold Southwest flavors that’ll have you hooked.
The Chunky Chef uses frozen corn for this side dish, but I recommend using fresh corn if you can. You’ll need extra time to shuck the cobs, but the extra effort is well worth it.
Psst… if you want less heat, swap the jalapeños for poblano peppers.
Why we love this recipe: it only takes 15 minutes to cook, so it’s ideal for those busy weeknights.
Watermelon arugula and feta salad
This watermelon salad features a delectable combination of sweet, peppery, and salty flavors, all tied together by a tart balsamic vinaigrette. It’s fresh, flavorful, and juicy – excellent for offsetting your hotdog’s savory flavor.
Not a fan of arugula? Substitute it for romaine, butter lettuce, or watercress.
Why we love this recipe: it’s low-carb and super healthy.
Greek potato salad
Who knew a hearty potato salad could be this refreshing?
This version features a creamy tzatziki dressing, made up of Greek yogurt studded with chopped cucumbers, parsley, and dill. It’s the real game-changer because it has a cooling, herby flavor which will contrast with your hot, meaty hot dogs.
Cooking Classy still adds a bit of mayo in her dressing, but I use 100% Greek yogurt for an even lighter potato salad.
Why we love this recipe: it’s exactly what you need to beat the summer heat.
I don’t know about you, but toppings are a must-have on my hot dogs. Not only do they look pretty, but they’re great for adding a contrasting flavor or texture to jazz up your hot dogs.
Pineapple mango salsa
Spruce up your hot dogs by topping them with this fruity salsa.
The cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño peppers offset the sweetness from the fruits, giving the salsa a well-balanced bite with a mild spicy kick. For best results, try letting the salsa rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to give the flavors more time to meld and develop.
Psst… make sure to use freshly-squeezed lime juice and not the bottled stuff.
Why we love this recipe: it will transport you to a tropical island.
Red cabbage and dill slaw
Another classic barbecue side is slaw, but this isn’t your ordinary recipe.
This version is extra tangy because the mayo dressing has buttermilk, dill, and dill pickle juice. I also like adding prepared horseradish to give it a lightly spicy kick.
And like with baked beans, you can serve this slaw as a side, but I like to top my hotdog with it. The combination of the crisp red cabbage and the dressing pairs perfectly with the smokiness of grilled hot dogs, making each bite extra tasty.
Why we love this recipe: it will bring a bright pop of color to your plate.
Quick pickled carrots and daikon
Pickle relish is one of the go-to condiments for hot dogs, but why not try some Asian fusion with these pickled carrots and daikon?
There’s no canning involved with these pickles – simply soak your veggies in the pickling solution and wait for them to develop that sharp bite.
The pickles will be ready after only an hour of soaking, but for best results, let them soak for at least 12 hours.
Why we love this recipe: there’s no active cooking required for this side dish.
Marinated roasted bell peppers
Organizing a hot dog bar for your cookout? These roasted bell peppers are a must-have in your roster of toppings.
They’re tender and full of smoky, sweet, garlicky flavors that’ll add some sophistication to your hot dogs.
Pro-tip… feel free to add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
Why we love this recipe: your kitchen will smell divine after making these peppers.
Caramelized onions and mushrooms
Caramelized onions and mushrooms are a classic combination that will never go out of style. The sweet, golden onions and earthy, umami-loaded mushrooms just work so well together.
Jazz up your grilled hot dogs with these caramelized onions and mushrooms for an Insta-worthy dish that’s deceptively easy to make.
Pro-tip: ensure to cook off the moisture from your mushrooms before adding the onions to prevent the dish from getting too soupy.
Why we love this recipe: it turns budget-friendly ingredients into something super tasty.
You’re missing out if you’ve never had hot dogs with guacamole. I know it’s not the most traditional combo, but it makes sense. The creamy guac adds a bright flavor to your grilled hot dogs, making each bite delicious.
Pre-made guacamole is an option if you’re in a rush, although I always use homemade because it’s easy to make and has a fresher flavor.
Why we love this recipe: it’s an authentic, no-frills recipe.
These snacks are tasty on their own, but pair them with a freshly grilled hotdog and you’ve got one hearty meal. My favorite is a platter of crispy fries.
Double crunch sweet potato fries
Craving something crispy? These sweet potato fries are the way to go.
They’re breaded using the two-dip method with egg and toasted panko breadcrumbs, so they have deliciously golden and crunchy crusts.
Serve these sweet potato fries with your favorite dip – mine’s a mixture of Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard. And as a bonus, this dip also works as a fabulous sauce for your hot dogs.
Why we love this recipe: these treats are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Southern soul chili
I’ve tried lots of chili recipes, but I still come back to this Southern-style version.
The ingredient list is long, including things like beer, two types of BBQ sauce, poblano peppers, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. But trust me, this recipe is worth it. Everything melds together to create a warm, comforting meal.
You can enjoy this chili alongside your hot dogs, as a dip, or even as a topping — the choice is yours.
Why we love this recipe: it’s award-winning.
These zucchini chips are an excellent alternative to your usual bagged potato chips.
They’re roasted twice to get them extra crunchy, and you can use whatever seasonings you like. Lana keeps things simple with paprika and onion powder, but you can go wild with combinations like lime and parmesan for a zesty kick.
Pro-tip: use a mandoline to get paper-thin slices that’ll crisp up nicely.
Why we love this recipe: these chips only have 80 calories per serving.
Cheesy sheet pan nachos
These sheet pan nachos are a must-have at your party.
They can easily feed a crowd and making them is a breeze — the key lies in proper layering, so every chip has a little bit of everything on it. And the best part? You can customize these nachos to your heart’s desire.
Isabel Eats keeps it meaty, but you can swap the beef for ground tofu or refried beans for a veggie alternative.
Why we love this recipe: it requires minimal hands-on cooking.
What To Serve With Hot Dogs [45 Ideas]
- 1 portion red cabbage and dill slaw
- 1 portion southern-style chili
- 1 portion jalapeno popper mac and cheese
- 1 portion pineapple mango salsa
- 1 portion apple bourbon baked beans
- 1 portion sheet pan nachos
- … and more
- Prepare your hot dogs according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: apple butter bourbon baked beans, double crunch sweet potato fries, greek potato salad, red cabbage and dill slaw, sheet pan nachos, southern soul chili, pineapple mango salsa, quick pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeno popper mac and cheese, marinated roasted bell peppers, cilantro lime corn salad, caramelized onions and mushrooms, watermelon arugula and feta salad, zucchini chips, and guacamole.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!