This Chicago style hot dog recipe is incredibly easy and the dogs turn out amazing. And why wouldn't they? A Chicago dog has 7 unique toppings that are packed with flavor. And to think, in only 15 minutes, you could be enjoying one of these bad boys!
On more than one occasion I have made Sonic runs for their chili dog. I love those things so much that it inspired me to create my own Ultimate Chili Cheese Dog recipe. I haven't been to Sonic since!
Well, wouldn't you know it? I visited some friends in Chicago recently and got hooked on Chicago-style hot dogs at Wrigley Field.
I love how all the toppings and seasonings work so well together. It's nothing like a traditional hot dog.
But living 150 miles from Chicago has forced me to make these at home...and my family couldn't be happier.
I figured I'd share this with you, since it's the end of Summer and the regular baseball season is wrapping up. This just feels right. So go ahead, give these a try with your family. Then leave a comment and let me know what you think!
What's on a Chicago style hot dog?
There are 7 toppings and of course the bun and dog itself. Let's go over each.
First, let's talk about the bun
An authentic Chicago style hot dog uses a poppy seed bun.
If you can't find these or would rather just use a regular hot dog bun, go ahead...I won't tell.
Choose an all beef hot dog
Now is not the time to buy cheap hot dogs. Spend a bit more and get an all beef hot dog.
We like Nathan's brand - Jumbo size, but any good quality brand will do.
I recommend you get jumbo size or something slightly bigger than the standard size. The larger size means that more beef flavor comes through. After all, it's competing with all those flavorful toppings.
Let's get into all the toppings
There are 7 "authentic" toppings that go on a Chicago-style hot dog.
1. Yellow mustard
This doesn't have to be fancy. We use whatever is cheapest.
2. Sweet pickle relish
Official Chicago dogs uses a bright neon green sweet pickle relish that looks like it came straight from Homer Simpson's nuclear power plant. This "radioactive" green is brought to you by added food coloring. D'OH!
Personally, I use a basic sweet pickle relish. I just can't get my head around the idea of keeping an extra relish in my fridge just for Chicago dogs. Because let's face it: if I mix this in with my Egg Salad with Relish, I'd be half-way to Green Eggs & Ham. Ew.
Besides, I can't taste the difference between the two.
3. Tomato wedges
Use whatever tomatoes are in season or what you think will provide the best flavor. I usually choose tomatoes on the vine if I can.
Slice them into thin wedges. One tomato should yield 12 wedges.
4. Dill pickle spear
If you don't have spears, dill chips will work. After all, it's the flavor we're looking for.
I find the spears a bit thick so I cut them in half, lengthwise.
5. Diced white onion
Yellow, red, or sweet onions would work too.
6. Sport peppers
Sport peppers aren't too spicy, but add a little zip.
If you don't want to use these, pepperoncinis would be a good substitute.
7. Celery Salt
Don't skip this ingredient. I find that the celery salt adds a great overall flavor to these dogs.
How to make a Chicago style hot dog
First, prep and assemble all your ingredients
Dice the onions, cut your tomatoes into wedges, and have the remaining toppings handy and ready for assembly. Here's the lineup:
Next, steam the dogs
I prefer to steam the dogs because I can steam the buns too. But feel free to boil, grill, pan fry or even microwave your franks if you prefer.
Lid and place the pot on your largest burner over high heat.
Once the water starts boiling, add your dogs to the steamer basket and lid the pot.
Allow them to steam for 4 minutes.
After 4 minutes, add the buns
BUT KEEP THE DOGS IN THE BASKET. Add the buns, right on top of your dogs and lid the pot.
Let the dogs and buns steam for one more additional minute.
This short one minute steam gives the buns that perfect soft chewiness you want in your hot dog.
After that minute, remove the steamed buns to a plate and place a dog inside of each.
Now it's time for the toppings.
How to add the toppings
While there is no official right or wrong way to do this, I add the toppings in the following order:
- Mustard, zig zagged across the top of the dog
- Relish, down one side of the dog
- Dill pickle spear, along the side opposite the relish
- Two tomato wedges, pressed into the relish side
- Top with diced onions
- 2-3 sport peppers on top of everything
- Finish with a sprinkling of celery salt over the whole hot dog.
Need a good side dish?
Below are some of my most popular side dish recipes that would be great with these Chicago Dogs:
- Smoked Baked Beans
- Creamy Pasta Salad
- Chimichurri Pasta Salad
- Tangy 3-Bean Salad
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad
- Don't forget dessert...Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies
That's it! I hope your family loves these Chicago Dogs as much as we do.
Stay safe, my friends! Stay well.
- Add one inch of water to a large pot with a steamer basket placed inside. Lid and set over high heat.
- When the water starts boiling (steaming), add 4 hot dogs and steam for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, add the buns on top of the dogs in the steamer and steam an additional minute.
- Remove steamed buns to a plate and place the steamed dogs inside of each.
- Top each dog with mustard, relish, dill pickle spear, 2 tomato wedges, diced onions, 2-3 sport peppers and sprinkle celery salt over entire dog.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 1284mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 7gSugar: 19gProtein: 12g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!