17 hot dog toppings and hacks to try this Fourth of July weekend

·5 min read
17 hot dog toppings and hacks to try this Fourth of July weekend
bacon wrapped cheese hot dogs
The only thing better than a classic hot dog is one stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon.kivoart/Getty Images
  • Hot dogs are one of the easiest and most delicious cookout foods perfect for the Fourth of July.

  • However, you don't have to stick with the standard mustard, ketchup, and relish for toppings.

  • Chopped pickles, bacon bits, and guacamole are just a few easy additions.

One simple trick can turn your hot dogs into spirals, which people say makes them extra crispy.

spiralized hot dogs on a plate
Spiralized hot dogs.AHPhotoswpg/Getty Images

To spiralize your hot dogs, simply skewer them and cut them diagonally while turning the hot dog away from you.

Stuff your hot dogs with cheese and wrap them in bacon for a decadent twist on this cookout favorite.

bacon wrapped cheese hot dogs
Hot dogs with cheese and bacon.kivoart/Getty Images

An easy way to elevate your hot dogs with pantry basics is to cut your hot dogs halfway down lengthwise, stuff the cut with string cheese, and wrap them in bacon before grilling.

Give your hot dogs a Vietnamese twist with banh mi toppings and served in a sliced baguette.

hot dog in a baguette sandwich
Banh mi hot dog.Minh Hoang Ly/EyeEm/Getty Images

Banh mi hot dogs bring an Asian-inspired twist to this cookout favorite. To make, simply top your hot dogs with toppings like cucumbers, cilantro, onion, and pickled carrots and serve in a nicely toasted baguette.

The crunch and hint of spice from the toppings will add a ton of dynamic flavor to this traditional cookout food.

Or, go for a German-style hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut.

hot dog mustard sauerkraut on wooden board
Hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut.carpe89/Shutterstock

While in Germany this dish would traditionally be served with a bratwurst or sausage, standard American hot dogs also work and are more commonly found in your kitchen.

A quick pineapple or mango salsa can take your hot dogs to the next level.

pineapple hot dog with chips and ketchup
Hot dog with pineapple and chips.Juanmonino/Getty Images

A quick pineapple or mango salsa with red onion and cilantro is easy to make and packs a lot of flavor.

Quick pickled onions add a slightly tangy taste to hot dogs, and they're surprisingly easy to make.

pickled red onion in a bowl
Pickled red onion.DPRM/Shutterstock

Pickled onions are easier to make than many home cooks might think, but they add some serious flavor to any hot dog.

Bon Appetit's recipe for quick pickled onions involves leaving thinly sliced red onion in a jar with apple cider vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt for at least one hour. Then, simply drain the onions and add them to your hot dog for a tangy flavor.

While relish is a common addition to hot dogs, you can also chop up your own pickles.

chopped pickles in a bowl
Chopped pickles.Yurchikys/Shutterstock

Chopping up your own pickles gives your hot dog more of a crunchy texture than relish. Plus, you can customize it to your own tastes by using dill pickles, sweet pickles, or bread and butter pickles.

Sliced jalapeños turn up the heat on a classic hot dog.

hot dog with chili, cheese, and sliced jalapeno
Hot dog with chili, cheese, and sliced jalapeño.StudioGShock/Getty Images

Whether you want to pair sliced jalapeño with other toppings or simply add them to a plain hot dog, this pepper is a great way to add spice and flavor to your Fourth of July meal.

You can also add an easy homemade pico de gallo to your hot dogs.

hot dog with pico de gallo salsa on white plate background
Hot dog with pico de gallo, ketchup, and mustard.Erin McDowell/Insider

While tomato ketchup and onions are toppings commonly added to hot dogs, you might have never considered adding pico de gallo. This fresh ingredient adds a ton of flavor and a slight kick to any classic dog.

Sautéed mushrooms add a rich, earthy flavor to hot dogs.

hot dog with mushrooms and lettuce
Hot dogs with mushrooms and lettuce.ArtiArun/Getty Images

Mushrooms are a kitchen staple for many home cooks, and sautéeing them with a little butter makes a perfect addition to hot dogs.

Adding some baked beans as a topping makes hot dogs a lot more flavorful.

baked beans in a pot with wooden spoon
Baked beans.grandriver/Getty Images

Baked beans are often found on the table at summer cookouts. To add more flavor to your hot dogs without the hassle of making chili, baked beans will certainly do the trick.

Chili and shredded cheese make for a classic hot dog combination.

chili cheese hot dogs on a plate
Chili cheese hot dogs.ALLEKO/Getty Images

If your summer cookout does happen to already have chili on the menu, slathering it on top of your hot dog along with cheese and a little onion makes for a filling, protein-filled, and delicious meal.

You can also add melted cheese for a delicious cheese dog.

cheese sauce on two hot dogs
Hot dogs with cheese sauce.Africa Studio/Shutterstock

You can make a simple cheese sauce by making a roux with butter and flour and then adding milk and cheddar cheese into your pot on the stove.

Bacon bits add a salty taste and crispy texture to hot dogs.

hot dog with bacon onions in paper carton
Hot dog with bacon bits and onions.May Tse/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

Most would agree that bacon makes anything better, and hot dogs are no exception. Chopped-up bits of crispy fried or grilled bacon bring a whole new level of flavor to a regular hot dog.

You can also give hot dogs a spicy twist by topping them with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce and blue cheese.

buffalo sauce and spoon
Buffalo sauce.bhofack2/Getty Images

For a Buffalo-style twist on a hot dog, drizzle your dog with Buffalo or hot sauce, and proceed to sprinkle some blue cheese on top. Red onion also works well with this spicy combination.

Greek food-inspired toppings put a Mediterranean twist on a traditional hot dog.

hot dog with feta cheese sundried tomato toppings
Greek-style hot dog.Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images

Additions like feta cheese, cucumber, sautéed peppers, oven-dried tomatoes, and a spicy aioli will certainly impress every guest at your summer cookout.

A quick homemade guacamole also adds fresh flavor to store-bought dogs.

guacamole hot dog onions
Hot dog with guacamole.Gabyseguame/Getty Images

Whether you happen to have a store-bought guac on hand or want to make your own, this creamy, flavorful addition brings hot dogs to a whole other level.

A simple recipe for homemade guacamole includes two or three perfectly ripe avocados, diced red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and a generous amount of salt.

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