Choosing what to serve with chili dogs can be a tricky task. After all, the hot dog is an American classic. You need to find side dishes that are just as iconic!
What Goes Good With Chili Dogs?
A good side dish will complement the flavor of the chili dog. Chili can be pretty hearty, so you will want to pick a side that is light. Vegetable dishes will compliment chili dogs well. Light, starchy sides will also be great. Nothing goes better together than French fries and chili dogs!
When choosing what to serve with your chili dogs, you should also think about how to eat them. Most people eat chili dogs with their hands. Hence, picking a side that you can also eat with your hands is ideal.
No utensils also mean less to clean up after the meal!
Sides for Hot Dogs and Chili Cheese Dogs
Chili can also be spicy. Many of the best chili recipes have a lot of spice added in. A side dish that balances out the spice of your meal may be a good idea.
Sweet sides or mildly flavored side dishes will go well with chili dogs. You do not want to pair a very spicy side with a very spicy chili dog. You do not want the side and the chili dog to compete on the plate. A good balance of flavors is important.
Think about the kind of chili that you are putting on top of your hot dogs. Is it more like a chili cheese dip or a vegetarian chili on vegan hot dogs? This matters!
Consider what goes with the chili itself, and that can help guide you toward the best sides for the chili cheese dogs. What goes with chili will probably go with hot dogs too!
Are you ready to find the perfect side dish to serve with your chili dogs? We have found 15 incredible sides for hot dogs, and you are sure to find one that you love.
Take a look at our list, then fire up the barbecue! A perfect meal is on the way.
1. Corn Salad
Our recipe for fresh corn salad will complement a chili cheese dog perfectly. The sweet flavor of the corn goes well with the spicy chili dog. Our recipe is made with fresh chopped jalapenos, which give the corn salad a little heat.
Serve this corn dish as a side, along with some tortilla chips. You can also scoop some on top of the chili cheese dog. Try using grilled corn to add an even more rich flavor to the corn salad.
Homemade sweet potato fries are perfect alongside hot dogs. The sweet flavor of the sweet potato fries is perfect next to hot chili. This recipe for baked sweet potato fries from Gimme Some Oven is tender on the inside but crunchy on the outside. Try sprinkling the fries with a little cayenne pepper to give them a little kick.
Dip the sweet potato fries and your hot dog into some ketchup. The combination of fries and hot dogs is classic. It is a true summer comfort food meal.
3. Potato Salad
Potato salad and chili dogs are the perfect food pairing. Both are classic picnic foods and have been served together for decades. We love this creamy potato salad recipe from Foodie Crush. Its made with smooth Miracle Whip mayonnaise, mustard, and celery seed. This recipe is unique because it also contains hard-boiled eggs.
The eggs go well with the soft potatoes and make the salad even heartier. Make a big bowl of potato salad for your next hot dog barbecue.
4. Potato Chips
Crunchy, salty potato chips are always a good side to go with hot dogs. Rather than buying a bag of chips, try making your own using this recipe from Diethood. Thin slices of russet potatoes are tossed in oil, salt, and pepper. A little smoked paprika is added to give the chips a wonderful spice. The potato slices are spread across the basket of an air fryer and then baked until crispy.
Making the potato chips in the air fryer is a healthier way to fry as you need less oil. These low-fat chips will be perfect on the plate next to your chili cheese dog.
If you are making chili cheese hot dogs, you probably plan on turning on your grill. Why not also cook some corn on the cob on the grill? This recipe from Recipe Tin Eats shows how easy it is to make grilled corn on the cob.
Peel off the corn husks and then place the corn directly on the grill grates. Once the kernels begin to shrink and shrivel, the corn is done. Smother the hot corn in butter, sprinkle some salt and pepper over the cob and enjoy. A hot dog and some perfectly browned corn sound like a delicious dinner.
6. Summer Salad
Hot dogs are an iconic summer food. That means they go perfectly with a delicious summer salad. This recipe from The Kitchn shows how to make a deluxe, veggie-packed summer salad. All of the ingredients used are in season in the summer and should be readily available.
Fresh cucumber slices, tomatoes, and peaches are all tossed together with crispy lettuce leaves. A homemade lime vinaigrette is drizzled over the salad. Crunchy pumpkin seeds and creamy feta offer amazing taste and texture. This light, sweet salad is sure to go wonderfully with a hearty, cheesy chili hot dog.
A hot chili hot dog and a zesty, crunchy pickle are a perfect match. This recipe from A Spicy Perspective for homemade refrigerator pickles is easy and incredibly tasty. Fresh dill, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, and a little sugar are boiled together to make a brine. Vinegar is the key ingredient to make the cucumbers pickled. Fresh cut cucumber is added to the dill pickling juice and placed in the refrigerator to marinate.
Add a little more sugar if you like a sweeter pickle, as this recipe is very tart and dill flavored. After 24 hours in the fridge, the cucumbers will be pickled enough to serve. Keep the homemade pickles in the fridge for weeks, and they will only get even more flavorful!
Coleslaw is another barbecue classic. A good coleslaw recipe is important to have on hand. We love this purple coleslaw from Inspired Taste. Cut your own purple cabbage into thin slices or buy pre-shredded cabbage to make the recipe even easier. Mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, and celery seed are mixed to make a creamy dressing for the slaw. Fresh parsley gives the slaw a nice, earthy flavor.
Make this recipe in advance, so the cabbage has time to sit and absorb the dressing. This will make the coleslaw more tender. A plate full of purple slaw and a hot cheesy dog is a summer dinner dream come true!
9. Pasta Salad
A bright, zesty pasta salad is a wonderful side to serve with chili cheese dogs. The contrast of the cheesy chili and tangy pasta salad dressing is a perfect match. We like this recipe from Pinch of Yum which is made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, salami slices, olives, onions, and parsley. Use small cherry tomato slices, which are sweeter than most large tomatoes. A white vinegar and garlic dressing gives the pasta salad a lot of bright, fun flavor. Make the salad a day in advance, so the flavors have time to marinate.
10. Macaroni Salad
Creamy macaroni salad is incredible when paired with cheesy hot dogs. The creaminess of the salad dressing is a great match for the meaty chili. Try this recipe from Cafe Delites.
We love the shredded carrots that are mixed with the cooked noodles. Chopped dill pickle pieces add a bright zing to the salad as well. A mix of mayonnaise and sour cream makes the dressing nice and creamy. Use any shape noodle you’d like.
We like the classic elbow noodle shape, which really holds the homemade sauce well. Make this macaroni salad in advance and store it in the fridge. It tastes best when enjoyed cold next to hot chili dogs right off the grill.
11. Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese and hot dogs are both classic comfort foods. Why not make a dinner featuring both? We love serving our flavorful white cheddar mac and cheese alongside meaty, chili hot dogs. Not only do the two foods taste incredible together, but the clean white color of the cheddar cheese sauce looks great next to the deep red chili. There are lots of mac and cheese recipes out there, but ours is simple, flavorful, and tastes great with grilled hot dogs!
Soft, tender cornbread is an amazing side to pair with hot dogs. This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction will show you how to make perfect, sweet cornbread. Once you cook the cornbread to perfection, you can smother it in butter and serve it warm next to your chili cheese hot dogs. Use the cornbread to sop up any extra chili sauce. Cut the cornbread into long slices and use the pieces as buns for the chili dogs. Freshly grilled chili cheese dogs on top of homemade cornbread will be an impressive and irresistible dinner.
13. Candied Bacon
We can’t get enough of this candied bacon from Simply Recipes. The bacon candy is totally irresistible! It is also very easy to cook. The bacon is baked in the oven with brown sugar and ground black pepper until crispy. It is then ready to enjoy alongside your grilled chili dogs. The bacon will compliment the flavor of the chili, especially if you made your chili using bacon, too! This bacon candy is perfect as a side and almost dessert-like. You won’t be able to just eat one piece of this fun food!
14. Caprese Salad
Bright, fresh Caprese salad is delicious when served next to beef chili cheese dogs. Juicy tomato slices and salty mozzarella are a summertime classic. The bright taste of the basil adds a wonderful touch. We like this easy-to-make Caprese salad from Natasha’s Kitchen. It is a great side to choose when you don’t want to cook. Just slice the ingredients and put them on a pretty plate! No cooking involved. Try using multi-colored tomato slices to make the salad even prettier.
15. Watermelon Salad
Juicy watermelon and salty feta cheese are an incredible combination of flavors. Scoop this summery salad onto a plate with beef chili cheese dogs and you will have a perfect dinner. Watermelon salad is a fun, festive summer dish that requires no cooking. Watermelon is in season in the summer when you are also likely to be grilling hot dogs. That makes it the perfect side for your chili cheese dogs. This watermelon salad from Cookie and Kate is easy and very summery. Peppery arugula adds a nice spice to the sweet salad.
Amazing Sides for Chili Cheese Dogs, From Corn on the Cob to Mac and Cheese
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to sides for chili cheese dogs. You can opt for a lighter dish full of veggies or cheesy comfort food. You can make grilled sides, fried sides, or whip up a dish that doesn’t require you to cook at all. The options are endless!
Let us know which side recipes you try and which are your favorites. If you have any other great recipes that go perfectly with cheesy hot dogs, let us know in the comments below. We are always looking for new and exciting recipes to pair with our favorite food.
Now fire up the grill, heat up the chili, and get out your buns. It is time to cook and eat! Enjoy a complete, tasty dinner.