Super easy Baked Chili Dogs are a great way to serve a crowd or just feed a hungry family! Juicy hot dogs, spicy ground beef chili, and melted cheddar cheese are packed into toasted hot dog buns in this simple chili hot dog recipe that family members of all ages will adore!
The Best Chili Hot Dog Recipe
Some recipes just scream summer, and this easy chili hot dog recipe is definitely one of them. Spicy, meaty hot dog chili is layered on top of a crisp, juicy hot dog, and covered with shredded cheddar cheese and crunchy red onion.
These chili cheese dogs are perfect for barbecues, potlucks, and warm weather get-togethers because they are SO easy. They require just half an hour of work total, which means you can spend most of your time with family and friends instead of spending it in the kitchen, putting dinner together! (Plus, if you make extra hot dog chili, you’ve got another dinner you can preserve and serve later in the week!)
Anyway, serving baked hot dogs for dinner may seem like a pretty casual dinner option, but they are so filling and flavor-packed. Kids absolutely love them and adults tend to be big fans, too!
Why These Baked Hot Dogs Are So Good
Not yet convinced that chili dogs are for you? Here’s our reasoning on why we think these are the best hot dogs ever:
- Flavor: Hot dog chili made with homemade Chili Seasoning has the perfect level of spice. It’s got a little kick to it, but it’s not going to set your mouth on fire. Add in some sharp cheddar cheese and tangy red onion into the mix, and prepare to be blown away.
- Efficient: These chili cheese dogs are baked together on a tray all at once, which means everyone can eat and customize their chili dogs with their favorite toppings at the same time. This is hands down the quickest, easiest way to make a bunch of chili dogs!
- Make Ahead: As we mentioned above, making extra hot dog chili ahead of time means that these hot dogs come together in a flash, and you might even have enough left over for a quick dinner or lunch later on in the week!
What Is Hot Dog Chili?
Hot dog chili is very similar to regular chili, but there are a few differences. The first is that beans are omitted so that you’re left with more of a chili-seasoned meat sauce to serve over your hot dogs. The second is that the ground beef is cooked in very small crumbles so that the consistency of the chili is not too chunky, and is easily spread across the top of a hot dog. Some people also prefer to make their hot dog chili a little sweeter by adding brown sugar, but this is optional.
Alright, let’s talk ingredients! There aren’t too many things to round up today, just your hot dog basics plus some prepared chili. (If you’re looking for the exact amount for each ingredient, check out the recipe card below.)
- Hot Dogs: Feel free to cook the hot dogs any way you like. (This Air Fryer Hot Dogs recipe is my favorite way to cook them. But you can also use Boiled Hot Dogs.)
- Hot Dog Buns: Make sure you buy buns that are sturdy enough to hold both the hot dog and the chili.
- Hot Dog Chili: The canned stuff works just fine, but if you have time to whip together some homemade Hot Dog Chili, we highly recommend doing so!
- Cheese: We like to top these chili dogs with shredded cheddar cheese, but you could also use our favorite Homemade Cheese Sauce.
- Onion: Chopped red onion adds a little extra raw spice and crunch to the meal.
- Optional Toppings: Serve these baked hot dogs with mustard, relish, sauerkraut, ketchup, and/or pickled onions!
How to Make Baked Chili Dogs
Let’s get into how this cheesy chili hot dog recipe comes together. You won’t believe how simple the steps are:
- Preheat the Oven to 350°F: Line a baking tray with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Then, place the hot dog buns cut side up on the tray.
- Fill the Hot Dog Buns: Add a cooked hot dog to each bun. Cover each hot dog with chili, shredded cheese, and chopped onion.
- Bake the Hot Dogs: Bake them uncovered for 20 minutes, until the chili and cheese are nice and hot. Serve immediately with your desired toppings!
Tips for Success
See what we mean? These baked chili dogs require practically zero prep work – just fill ’em up, wait for them to bake, and then enjoy!
We do, however, have a couple of tips that might be helpful to keep in mind as you begin:
- Pre-Cook The Hot Dog: We highly recommend cooking your hot dog before adding it to the bun to bake. When we tested these, we much preferred a hot dog that had been cooked and had a crispy skin. Since the chili dogs only bake for a few minutes, it also helped to ensure all of the hot dogs were warmed through.
- Add Condiments First: If you know that you like a condiment on your hot dog, add it to the bun before placing the hot dog inside of it. (Example: Squirt mustard, mayo, or ketchup into the bun, then add the chili, cheese, and onions.)
- You Can Toast the Buns Before Filling Them: If you like your bun to be toasted on the inside, then toast it under the broiler for a minute before adding the dogs and chili.
- Cook More Chili to Serve on the Side! It’s always great to have a little extra chili to add to your dogs or to cover your fries with. You could also serve the chili dogs with Fritos and have chili dogs and Frito pies.
What Goes With A Chili Hot Dog?
There are so many great side dishes that you can serve next to your chili hot dogs. Here’s a small list of our favorites:
- Fries: Salty french fries pair perfectly with these cheesy chili dogs!
- Corn: Speaking of summer, why not grill up some buttery corn cobs to go with your chili dogs? You could also try this Mexican Corn Salad if you want!
- Beans: We may have taken the beans out of the chili itself, but you could still serve Crockpot Baked Beans on the side of your hot dogs.
- Veggies: Any kind of roasted vegetables recipe will do, or you could whip up some of these Southern Green Beans With Bacon.
- Salad: Cucumber Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, and Broccoli Salad are all great options.
How to Store Chili Cheese Dogs
These chili dogs are best served fresh – we would not keep leftovers. They do not store well because the buns will become soggy and mushy. That said, if you want to save any leftover hot dog chili or the hot dogs themselves, these will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
More Easy Chili Recipes to Try
Looking for more classic chili recipes that you can have on the table in no time? We’ve got you covered:
- Crockpot Chili
- Easy Beef Chili
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Chili Mac and Cheese
- Crockpot Turkey Chili
Baked Chili Dogs
For the Chili Dogs:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place the hot dog buns cut side up on the tray.
- Add 1 cooked hot dog to each bun. Cover each hot dog with chili, cheese and onions.
- Bake uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the chili and cheese are nice and hot. Serve immediately with desired toppings.