Chili Cheese Dilly Dogs

chili cheese dilly dogs

Skip the standard hot dog toppings list and try this chili cheese dog recipe. Chili cheese dilly dogs use homemade hot dog meat sauce, lots of cheddar cheese and snappy dill pickles.  The right frankfurters and buns make all the difference too. Want the best chili dogs recipe?  Look no further.

chili for chili dogs

This post has been in the works for 18 years. That’s how long I’ve known my husband, Scott…and that’s how long he’s been talking about his favorite Chili Cheese Dilly Dogs. No ordinary chili cheese dog recipe would do. For him, the best chili cheese dog recipe included a spear of dill pickle  (the “dilly” in dilly dog).

Since we’ve got a whole summer spread out before us and the 4th of July coming up, I thought this would be a perfect time to share Scott’s chili cheese dilly dogs topped with my chili for chili dogs recipe.

toppings for the chili cheese dilly dogs

Truth be told, this is less of a recipe and more of a “best of” hot dogs toppings list. These ingredients just work together, but I do have a few hints to get it right.

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Boars head natural casing hot dogs on a platter.

First, let’s start with the hot dogs. You want something that’s got a satisfying snap when you bite into it.  Bon Appetit has conducted “scientific research” on the best supermarket hot dog brands you can buy and I listened. These are Boar’s Head natural casing franks. They come packaged as one continuous string of frankfurters.  You have to cut the casing between them.  These hot dogs have just the right flavor and juicy snap.  Other top contenders are Sabrett’s and Hebrew National.  They’re longer than the bun and the perfect size for piling on more condiments.

fast food basket and paper liners for picnics.

For a fun picnic 4th of july motif, I found these cute baskets and liners for easy, fuss-free celebrating (no dishes), some festive DIY patriotic centerpieces, and adorable DIY patriotic bunting banners.  Though I’ve never been a crafty person, I think both of these projects are do-able for even my limited skill set. What about you?

hot dogs on the grill.

While Scott grilled the frankfurters, I assembled the toppings. He was specific about his chili cheese dilly dogs.  They needed a classic hot dog meat sauce, finely shredded cheddar cheese, chopped sweet onion and crunchy dill pickles.

hot dogs, cheese, onions, chili, buns, pickles and drinks.
hot dogs in a bun with condiments all around.

I have to say, Scott was right.  This simple but compelling combination is eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head good.

dressed chili cheese dilly dogs

All of these ingredients are classic hot dog toppings but this combination has the meaty, spicy, sweet and sour combo that’s delicious and completely  satisfying.  Scott was in hog heaven.

a hand grabbing a chili cheese dilly dog

This  would make an ideal mid-day break before heading out to the fireworks display in your hometown.

4th of july fireworks.

If you’re celebrating the 4th near me here’s where to watch 4th of July fireworks in South Florida.  We saw these a few years ago in Key Largo.

glass of fruit infused sparkling water.

Fruit infused sparkling water is a refreshing sipper to go with your chili dogs, but Scott preferred an ice cold beer (no surprise there).

a guy-made chili cheese dilly dog.

Scott made the chili cheese dilly dog above — and it looks like a guy did it, right?  LOADED!  Yeah, typical guy…

fresh fruit platter with sparkling water.

More 4th of July recipes you’ll love:

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5 from 2 votes

Chili Cheese Dilly Dogs

Use my Chili for Chili Dogs to top these Chili Cheese Dilly Dogs.  Better than fair food!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili cheese dog, chili dog, hot dogs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 cups chili for chili dogs
  • 8 natural casing hot dogs (Boar’s head, Hebrew National or Sabrett’s)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 medium vidalia onion finely chopped
  • 8 spears dill pickle
  • 8 soft hot dog buns (Martin’s potato rolls or Pepperidge Farm)
  • yellow mustard optional


  • Cook the hot dogs.  Grilling is our preferred method, over a lower heat (about 350°-400°) to prevent the hot dogs from splitting. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, you can also boil the hot dogs for a few minutes until cooked through.

Build The Hot Dogs:

  • Place a hot dog in each bun. Place a pickle spear tucked into the bun beside the hot dog. Spoon 1/4 cup of chili for chili dogs over each hot dog. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of cheddar cheese and chopped onions.  Add additional yellow mustard, if desired.


Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 316mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 3.5mg

“Pin It” For Later!

This chili cheese dog recipe uses a homemade hot dog meat sauce & other classic hot dog toppings for the epitome of comfort food. A Chili Cheese Dilly Dog. #chili #chilidog #hotdogchili #chilicheesedog #hotdogs #grilledhotdogs #hotdogtoppings #4thofjuly #memorialday #laborday #picnic #barbecue #potluck #cheese #dillpickles #dillydog #cheesedog #onions #chiliforchilidogs #hotdogchili

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    1. More than a snack — one of these eats like a meal!

  1. Tara Bench says:

    Fun recipe to try out for the summer!

  2. 5 stars
    Looks sooooooooo delicious! I love chili dogs! Perfect for BBQ hosting too!

  3. 5 stars
    these look amazing! I’m a huge summer hot dog fan and this is a fun take on the traditional chili dog