How To Make Ultimate Hot Dog Bar

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Ketchup and mustard are great, but we think it's time for hot dogs to get a makeover...

When we saw this recipe from How Sweet Eats for a Hot Dog Bar, we knew we had to share it with you all because the idea is just too fun. Hot dogs are one of the classic summer foods, and also something we only tend to eat once or maybe twice a year. So we are in full agreement with How Sweet Eats when she says, if you’re going to do it, do it RIGHT.

Here is what How Sweet Eats has to say about a hot dog bar:

Hot dogs have always had such a bad rap but I can’t pass one up at a cookout. And in the last ten years, we’ve been lucky to get a few “better for you” hot dogs, like turkey dogs or even vegetarian dogs or grass fed beef dogs and organic hot dogs and all that jazz. It’s made me feel slightly better about making a big old hot dog bar in the summer at our house!

Now here’s the thing. There are so many amazing ways you can make hot dogs be all fancy and wild and high maintenance. But if you’re going to set up a hot dog BAR, then you have to make sure the toppings are low maintenance on their own. Meaning, they can sit in a bowl and not get gross (I’m looking at you beer cheese sauce) and they don’t need hands on attention.

So get grilling, grab your favorite toppings, and set up the ultimate hot dog bar at your next cookout.

How To Make Ultimate Hot Dog Bar


  • Grilled hot dogs
  • Grilled brioche buns
  • White cheddar cheese
  • Caramelized onions
  • Grilled corn or Mexican corn salad
  • Pickled green beans
  • Diced shallot
  • Grilled pineapple
  • Baked beans
  • Crumbled gorgonzola
  • Scallions
  • Chives
  • Pickle spears
  • Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Jalapeno apple slaw
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow mustard
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Ranch dressing
  • Buffalo wing sauce
  • BBQ sauce


  • To make the hot dog bar an easy process, make a list of all the toppings you'd like to have out. You can chop, cut and grate all of them the night before, place them in separate bowls or jars, then cover and store them in the fridge until it's go-time!
    For cookouts, I like to estimate about 1.5 hot dogs per person. For toppings, they will differ depending on what's popular in your family. I'd say as long as you have 1 cup of most toppings (for instance, you don't need an entire cup of bacon! But you do need a cup of cheese and tomatoes), you're good. Use your judgement!
    Don't be afraid to get crazy - baked beans and mac and cheese actually taste amazing on hot dogs. Make it a carb party.
  • To make the grilled corn salad I mention above: stir together about 1 ½ cups corn kernels with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt and pepper, a 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, juice from ½ lime and 2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese. This can be made the night before, but is probably best 2 to 3 hours before.
  • To make the jalapeno apple slaw I mention above: toss together 2 cups shredded green cabbage with 1 grated apple, 1 thinly sliced jalapeno pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and juice from ½ lime. This can be made the night before. Gets even more flavor in the fridge!
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All photos and recipe by How Sweet Eats

by Camila Alves McConaughey