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Hot Dog Toppings

6 hot dogs with a variety of toppings

Take the stress out of summertime entertaining with a host's best friend, the ultimate hot dog toppings bar.

In the past I’ve been hesitant to entertain in our home because I felt a constant need to reinvent the wheel. I want our guests to feel honored and blessed by the effort I put into having them over and because of this I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. It’s no wonder then, that my initial plans of having company over often ended before they even began. I just couldn’t have the house spotless, keep the kids content and conceive of and execute a new and exciting meal. Thankfully, with age also comes wisdom, and over the years, I’ve let my standards drop (in more areas than one. Ha!), which it turns out, has been a good thing.

6 hot dogs with a variety of toppings
Hot Dog Toppings

The older I get, the more I value relationships and time over perfection. I’ve learned slowly, but surely, that what I value needs to be reflected in my priorities. All that to say that if it’s the people I love and the time with them that matters most, that needs to take precedence over everything being picture perfect and gram-worthy, because I simply cannot do it all (at least not all the time). Which brings me to hot dogs. You heard that right. What’s easier than hot dogs on a hot summer night? Nothing, that’s what. They feed a crowd quickly and easily, and are loved by young and old. You can keep them on hand for spontaneous drop ins, or last minute BBQs with neighbors and friends. Talk about the perfect entertaining food! As great as hot dogs are I feel like I’d be phoning it in having guests over for grilled hot dogs and just handing them bottles of ketchup and mustard, which is why the hot dog bar is one of my absolute favorite go-to’s for summertime entertaining.

6 hot dogs with a variety of toppings

If you aren’t familiar with the genius of the hot dog bar, allow me to explain: Take some great hot dogs (don’t skimp and buy subpar hot dogs if they are the star of the show. It won’t work.), grill them up beautifully, and have a full table of toppings just waiting for your guests to go crazy with. You can do one kind of dog or several, making it as simple or elaborate as your energies allow.

6 hot dogs with a variety of toppings
Hawaiian hot dog with grilled pineapple teriyaki sauce Mexican Street Corn hot dog cotija cheese, cilantro, and mayo Bahn Mi
hot dog ideas Hawaiian, Italian, Mexican Street Corn, Chicago Dog, Curry Deli Dog, Bahn Mi

Some of my favorites are the Hawaiian (grilled pineapple, red onions, and teriyaki sauce), the Italian (grilled onions and bell peppers, ketchup, and pepperoncinis), the Mexican (grilled corn, cotija cheese, cilantro, and mayo), the Chicago (pickled peppers, tomatoes, mustard, tomatoes, and onions), the deli (sauerkraut, curry mustard, and everything bagel seasoning), and finally, my personal favorite, the bahn mi (sriracha mayo, jalapeno, pickled carrots, and cilantro). Sounds amazing right? They are! Serve any or all of these topping options to your guests at your next BBQ and I can promise you they will feel every bit as welcome and celebrated as if you had slaved over the stove for hours. Don’t be put off by the long list of toppings. The beauty of a hot dog bar is that you can use anything in your fridge, chop it up and instantly come up with a new flavor profile for what was once a boring hot dog. Avocados? Perfect. Sun dried tomatoes and basil? Amazing. Cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon and green onion? Umm...yeah…all day long! Seriously you cannot lose here folks.

hot dog topping bar with a variety of toppings
hot dog topping ideas

So there you have it. Stock up on some delicious, high quality hot dogs, call up some friends, knock on some neighbor’s doors, invite your folks and cousins and second cousins over, and feast on this fun take on entertaining. Grill some corn while you’re at it (as seen here) for even more customization options. And please, don’t be like my younger self and ever let intimidation stop you from hosting again. JUST DO IT.

The Mexican Street Corn grilled corn, cotija cheese, cilantro, and mayo

The Lineup

The Hawaiian

Ggrilled pineapple, red onions, and teriyaki sauce

The Italian

Grilled onions and bell peppers, ketchup, and pepperoncinis

The Mexican Street Corn

Grilled corn, cotija cheese, cilantro, and mayo

The Chicago Dog

Pickled peppers, tomatoes, mustard, and onions

The Curry Deli Dog

Sauerkraut, curry mustard, and everything bagel seasoning

The Bahn Mi

Sriracha mayo, jalapeno, pickled carrots, and cilantro

Additional Topping Ideas

  • BBQ sauce
  • Chili Dog
  • Nacho Dog
  • Coleslaw
  • Cheese
  • BLT Dog
  • Bacon
  • Buffalo/Blue Cheese

The list goes on...