Spicy Hot Dog Chili

Red pepper flakes

Thought I would share a little way I make my store bought canned chili into spicy hot dog chili! Sometimes we are on a bit of a budget and trying to think up a cheap meal. Sometimes we just want to do something easy for dinner. And sometimes chili dogs just sound darn good! So here is an easy way to improve canned chili.

Whatever your reasons are, why not take a $1.25 can of chili and your favorite hot dog (or gourmet wiener) and spruce it up into something spicy and exciting?!

My Style

When I was growing up we ate cheap. My Grandma and Grandpa lived with us, so we did things a little old fashioned. My Grandma always made dinner, and whatever she made is what we ate, period. When she did chili dogs we took a hot dog sliced in half down the middle, put it on a slice of bread and smothered it chili. To this day, that is still a chili dog to me.

There are a couple of major reasons why I choose a slice of bread over a hot dog bun…First of all, it’s way less messy. Which brings me to the Second of all, you can’t put as much chili on a hot dog in a bun. You can try to pile as much chili as you can, but its just going to fall off- as I’m sure you all know.  Granted, if you are out at state fair or picnic, a bun is the way to go. But if you’re at home why not just pile it on and use a fork?! Of course if you prefer a hot dog bun, go for it.

Here is a picture of my chili dog from last Thursday.spicy hot dog chili


It might not be pretty, but it tastes good!

Spicing it up for All

There is a couple of ways I have done this over the years. One thing you can do is open up the can, put it a small pot and add ingredients while you heat it up. You can add some chili powder, like cayenne, chipotle, or even habanero dust or red pepper flakes. You can also chop up some jalapeno, fresh or pickled, and mix that in. This works well if you are in household where everyone likes it spicy (or if you a just feeding yourself).  For the past several years this has not been an option for me as I am the only “chilihead” in the house.

Spicing it up for Myself

Instead of cooking in the heat, I just apply it directly to my meal. Even though I am still constantly trying new hot sauces on my chili dogs I usually end up coming back to the old faithful Tabasco.  I’m a really always searching for that perfect sauce to replace Tabasco on certain staples, but I tell you, there is a reason it has been around for so long…it just pairs so well with certain foods!

Most recently I tried a few hot sauces from my stash again, and Tabasco reigns on as the best with chili. I did try Cholula on my chili dog for the first time. It is a little tangier than Tabasco, but it wasn’t too bad actually. Someone bought me a two pack of the giant 12 oz bottles of Cholula for Christmas last year. I had never been a fan of it before, but since I have a ton of it I have been trying it on everything. It’s actually starting to grow on me, but it’s no Tabasco.

The other, pretty standard way I like to spruce up my chili dog is by throwing some jalapenos on top. I really hope you have tried jalapeno on a chili dog (or hot dog). Its not in the picture above, but I almost always add some pickled jalapenos. It complements the flavors so well. You can use fresh jalapeno if you like instead also (remember the heat is in the seeds), it adds a nice little crunch, onion also accomplishes this if you use pickled and still want the crunch.



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