What to Serve with Hot Dogs: Classic Sides and More
There’s nothing more American than hot dogs, especially on a summer’s day.
Whether you cook them up in your kitchen for a quick lunch or dinner, or you take them out on the grill for a big backyard poolside cookout, they’re a winner.
Wondering what to serve with hot dogs?
While hot dogs are pretty spectacular, they definitely need some side dishes to round out this Americana meal.
Dogs are good but even if everyone in your crew ate just two hot dogs alone, they’d still be hungry (unless you’re just snacking at a baseball game).
You’ve got to have a good spread of side dishes to go with them even if it’s just your little family around the dinner table. A BBQ or potluck…well then you gotta have you some popular outdoor cookin’ partners.
While we give you some good combos below, if you’re feeding a hungry lot you can always up your game a little and offer some baked or grilled brats to go with your hot dogs.
What Goes Good with Hot Dogs: Our Grand Slam List
If you’re looking for what to eat with hot dogs, you’re in the right place because we’ve got 13 sublime suggestions you can mix and match together with your hot dogs for a well-rounded, totally delicious meal perfect for summer days or nights!
Crisp and completely refreshing, there’s nothing like a chilled side of coleslaw to accompany your hot dog. We love the bright colors that come from the red cabbage, carrots, and of course, regular cabbage.
Sure, you can cheat and buy these veggies mixed up in a bag, which is definitely a good solution if you’re in a huge hurry.
But the best way to enjoy coleslaw is to cut the vegetables fresh before you make it.
It’s a real game-changer. You also don’t want to slather it in too much dressing. When you get the right ratio of crisp veggies to dressing, it’s unbeatable.
We love Joanne’s recipe for coleslaw over at Fifteen Spatulas because she focuses on the freshness of the vegetables and shows you how to keep from overwhelming them with dressing.
2. Garden Veggie Pasta Salad
You know what else goes with hot dogs? A good pasta salad!
The best kinds are the ones that use those tri-colored pasta spirals.
In fact, if you check your supermarket shelves, you’ll find brands that actually use vegetables in the making of them which means picky kids get an extra dose of veggies and don’t even know it.
To make a killer pasta salad, it should have lots of fresh vegetables tossed in with it, plus a dressing that zings it all together.
Done right, it looks beautiful as a rainbow of fresh vegetables all mixed together with the pasta.
To see what we mean, check out Jaclyn’s recipe over at Cooking Classy where she takes you step by step through the pasta salad process.
3. Creamy Homemade Baked Mac n’ Cheese
Recently, we wrote about making mac n’ cheese the main event.
But mac and cheese is so beloved, it can easily be a side. Especially when you’ve got a crowd of kiddos to please.
Young or old, even the pickiest eaters make a b-line for this classic pasta and cheese mix when it’s served as a hot dog side dish.
The rich cheesiness adds to the deliciousness of the hot dogs.
You can even cut up your hot dog and eat it with the mac n’ cheese, though we prefer to keep ours separated so we can enjoy and appreciate each of them in their own perfect forms.
Mac n’ cheese is definitely best when you make it from scratch. If you’ve only made the box kind, then you should follow this recipe we adore from Amanda at The Chunky Chef to see how it’s done.
4. The Best Potato Salad
Another picnic and backyard barbecue staple is potato salad.
You can also serve it with hot dogs at your kitchen table for a fast family meal, but if you’re grabbing it from the deli section at the supermarket, you’ve got to break that habit.
Potato salad is very easy to make and while there are so many variations, nothing tastes better than when you make it yourself.
Then again, if you’ve never made it on your own before, you’ll want to follow a recipe that everyone raves about.
You can tweak it to your own tastes and experiment from there. Generally, potato salad has potatoes (obviously), onions, celery, and hard-boiled eggs.
Ali at Gimme Some Oven has an amazingly delicious potato salad recipe that’s super-easy to follow so give it a try!
5. Crispy French Fries
Hot dogs and French fries are the ultimate dream team.
This combination is always a win. How easy it would be to buy a bag of frozen French fries and bake or fry them to perfection!
On a crazy night when you’ve got to get dinner on the table ASAP, if you have them in your freezer, we don’t see the harm.
But one of these days, you really should take a moment and make your own French fries to serve with hot dogs.
To see how it’s done, take a look at this video by Flavours of Food to get them perfectly crispy just like at your favorite restaurant.
6. The Best Baked Beans
On a list with the best potato salad, it only makes sense to suggest the best baked beans to go along with it.
When you’re looking for what to serve with hot dogs, baked beans are always the right answer!
There are so many ways to make them though most include bacon.
Not to fear though…if you want a vegetarian option for guests that will be eating veggie dogs instead of hot dogs or you just don’t want to overload everyone with meat, meat, and more meat in every side dish, then you can make them without.
Carrian and Cade over at Oh Sweet Basil really go into great detail about how to make baked beans and share their stellar recipe for this iconic hot dog side dish!
7. Best Summer Fruit Salad
More of the best, but we wouldn’t feel right giving you anything less! One of the best hot dog side dishes has to be a refreshing fruit salad.
Hot dogs are so meaty and juicy, though a bit heavy and fatty, in a good way.
Fruits, on the other hand, have that juiciness but in a sweet a light way. It really just balances out beautifully.
You can cut up any fruits you like for your fruit salad…melons, berries, pineapples…anything goes! Just use what’s fresh from the produce stand and you can’t go wrong.
For inspiration, we recommend Rachel’s recipe over at The Stay At Home Chef.
8. The Best Cornbread
And yes, we’re bringing you even more of the best suggestions for what to serve with hot dogs.
One of our favorite things to make as a hot dogs side dish is cornbread.
A southern staple, this sweet and tasty bread has a fluffy texture that’s just out of this world.
It’s best when you do it in a cast iron skillet, but you can use other cookware if you don’t have one. This is a prime suggestion for how to make it if you’ve never done it before.
It only requires 8 ingredients that you might already have right now in your kitchen. Make enough for leftovers later!
9. Grilled Hasselback Potatoes with Chive Butter
Baked potatoes are another fantastic side dish for hot dogs.
But if you’d like something just a little different, you can slice them up Hasselback-style.
To do it, you should flank either side of your scrubbed spud with a wooden cooking utensil and slice so you don’t cut all the way through.
Doing this allows you to stuff the little openings with butter and herbs for an even tastier potato.
You can do this in your oven or if you’re outside with the grill fired up, toss them on there.
Annalise at Completely Delicious has all the details for making this superb side dish for hot dogs.
10. Crock Pot Bacon Ranch Potatoes
If you can’t take the heat anymore, take some of it off, at least directly, and turn to your slow cooker.
When you make bacon ranch potatoes in the slow cooker, it all makes getting ready for a big backyard feast later in the day so much easier.
One less thing to worry about. Truly, slow cookers have to be one of the best inventions around. Ok, those and there pressure cooking counterpart, the Instant Pot.
For inspiration on how to make spectacular spuds in your slow cooker with plenty of bacon, cheese, and ranch that will have you swoon, see this recipe by Chungah over at Damned Delicious.
11. Grilled Asparagus in Foil
Need a classier side for hot dogs? Choose asparagus!
Take the taste to the next level by grilling them. This works great because you can grill your dogs right along side this healthy option.
And trust us, asparagus on the BBQ changes the flavors in such an amazing way.
Putting it in foil ensures they won’t fall through the grate or you can use a grill mat that’s ever-popular these days.
Sara at Dinner At The Zoo has the scoop on how to make it.
12. Oven-Baked “Fried” Pickles
When you don’t know what to serve with hot dogs, putting out a plate of pickles for your guests might come to mind.
And who doesn’t love pickles?
But if you fry them…oh, what joy you will bring!
Fried pickles burst onto the carnival food scene a few years ago and ever since, it’s all anyone talks about.
Make them at home and use your oven to get that crispy texture without frying them so you can enjoy them with less guilt.
Sommer at A Spicy Perspective has a great recipe for it with a garlic dipping sauce that’s to die for!
13. Favorite Broccoli Salad
And lastly, we’d like to cap this all off with broccoli salad.
The key to summer is balance, and when you have something as meaty and heavenly as hot dogs, you need something fresh to bring that balance.
We talked about fruits being a juicy and sweet contrast to hot dogs, but a crisp broccoli salad really adds that perfect crunch and bite while looking classy.
Kate over at Cookie + Kate has a wonderful recipe and at the end, she even has notes for those that are vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free, making this a hot dog side that has the potential to please all!
What to Serve with Hot Dogs Extra Innings
The best part about hot dogs is you not only get to decide what to put with them but what to put on them. This is just as important, right?
How to Be the Top Dog with Topping Your Hot Dogs
No matter where you come from, you likely have a favorite hot dog topping.
Some insist mustard can only be used and no ketchup while others would rather die than go without it.
Some love grilled onions. Other love sauerkraut. And still others love relish.
And yes, there are some that will take all of the above and even chili and pour it on top.
There are endless ways to top a hot dog and to us, there’s no wrong way to do it as long as you’re happy.
If you’re hosting a backyard gathering and serving hot dogs, you may also want to set up a toppings station that has all the basic condiments like ketchup, mustard, and relish, along with some more interesting options.
Here are some suggestions to put on your condiment selection so you and your guests can experiment with the flavors:
- Onions (raw or grilled)
- Sour cream
- Mango salsa
- Pineapple (try it grilled!)
- Sliced tomatoes
- Fritos or potato chips
- Mushrooms sautéed in butter
- Wing sauce
- Steak sauce
- Thousand Island dressing
Part of the fun is getting creative and just going with it.
No matter how you top your dogs though, these ideas for what to serve with hot dogs are the way to make it a true celebration of tasty proportions!