Hot dogs nestled in soft buns and topped with an easy-to-make chili, melted pepper jack cheese, and fresh green onions. These oven chili dogs are always a crowd favorite just like these BBQ Meatball Subs!
Oven Chili Dogs
On my list of crave-worthy foods, oven chili dogs have a permanent spot in the top ten. There’s something about an all-beef hot dog snug in a bun and smothered with meaty chili that brings out the kid in me and I find this time of year, when spring is hovering around the corner, my cravings for chili dog takes a sharp upturn. Maybe it’s because they remind me of state fairs, or summers spent drinking cherry cokes at Sonic, or backyard get-togethers, but one thing’s for sure: it’s hard not to be happy when chili dogs are within reach.
And while ladling any kind of chili over a hot dog will do, I’ve learned that an all-meat chili cooked in a specific way produces a result that is perfect for oven chili dogs. The recipe I’m sharing today is not too chunky, easy to make using simple ingredients, and full of flavor.
Some Tips for Oven Chili Dogs
- I use 85% lean ground beef for my oven chili dogs, which makes the chili less greasy. No one wants greasy drips staining their spring frocks. So not good.
- There’s barely any chopping required (just some fresh cilantro!) for this recipe thanks to a round-up of common pantry spices you probably already have on hand. Onion, garlic, and chili powder plus some paprika, cumin (check the rest) make for a flavorful spice mix that brings just a touch of heat.
- Instead of browning the meat, I like to place the beef in a cold pan with tomato sauce and water. I turn on the heat and break up the beef and it almost melts into the liquid. Simmer it for 20ish minutes until the liquid reduces and you get a uniform chili perfect for spooning over the hot dogs.
- Baking the chili dogs in the oven does a few great things. First, it’s an easy way to warm the hot dogs all at once. While they bake, the tops of the buns (I like to use top-sliced buns) lightly toast, and the cheese — because what is a chili dog without cheese? — gets all melty.
- My oven chili dog recipe has a southwestern flair with pepper jack cheese and some fresh cilantro. I also garnished the dogs with some fresh green onion before serving.
There are affiliate links in this post. That means if you buy something from that link, I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you anything additional.
- 1 (8) ounce can tomato sauce
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces ground beef (15% lean)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 8 hot dogs (I like all-beef)
- 8 top-sliced hot dog buns
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2-3 green onions, sliced
Helpful Kitchen Tools
And while my oven chili dog cravings strike when winter starts fading away, they really are a year-round treat that knows no season. I hope you give them a try! Try this Homemade Chili Seasoning with your chili dogs, and store some for the next time you want a delicious batch of chili! You may also like these Beef and Bean Oven Tacos for an easy weeknight dinner recipe.