Here's how to make the hassle-free hot dog the star of your summer get-togethers.

By Betty Gold
Updated June 05, 2019
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As American as apple pie, hot dogs are a summer staple you'll be serving to kids and adults alike at every cookout, Fourth of July fête, or lake house lunch this season. It's an easily exhausted dish when made with the same old traditional toppings (amen, ketchup and mustard). Don't give up on the cookout classic just yet, though—we're here to give the hot dog some inventive upgrades that'll make it the dark horse darling of your grill grates this summer. From an irresistible everything bagel hot dog to a Carolina-style pulled pork and spicy slaw rendition, there's a dressed-up dog in here we know you'll relish.

Caribbean Jerk Hot Dogs

Grill pineapple and red onion slices until well-charred. Roughly chop and combine with finely chopped jalapeno, cilantro, lime zest and a splash of rum. Season with salt and a pinch of brown sugar. Rub hot dogs all over with oil and Jerk seasoning, then grill until cooked through. Place on buttery toasted buns and top with pineapple salsa.

Quick Corn Relish Dogs

Combine ½ cup each white wine vinegar, sugar and water in a medium pot along with a couple of sprigs fresh thyme. Bring to a boil then cool slightly. Pour over 1 cup each corn kernels, diced bell pepper, chopped tomatillos, 2 sliced scallions, ½ minced jalapeno and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes or overnight in an airtight container. Grill hot dogs and top with corn relish and mustard.

Poutine Dogs

Top grilled hot dogs with crispy French fries (using frozen here is just fine), roughly chopped cheese curds, and your favorite gravy. You can continue to load this up with other toppings like crispy bacon, chopped onions, and jalapenos if you like. Best served on a soft potato hot dog bun!

The New York City Classic

Cook 1 large sliced onion until softened and translucent over medium-high heat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbsp. each yellow mustard and ketchup and ¼ cup water. Season with 1 tsp. each sugar, chili powder and simmer until soft and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce. Top grilled (or boiled) hot dogs with onions and sauerkraut, and spicy brown mustard.

Bacon-Wrapped Everything Bagel Dog

Bring 8 ounces of cream cheese to room temperature. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot enough that a caper sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add ⅓ cup capers and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 1 to 3 minutes. Carefully transfer capers to a paper-towel-lined plate. Wrap each hot dog or sausage with 1 to 2 slices of bacon, using toothpicks to secure if necessary. Fry in a pan or in a covered grill over medium heat, rotating until bacon is crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread a layer of cream cheese on the inside of each bun. Fill with bacon wrapped hot dogs and top with fried capers, everything bagel seasoning, and chopped scallions. Drizzle with hot sauce for an extra kick.

Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork and Slaw Dog

To make Carolina style vinegar-based slaw, combine a half a head of thinly shredded cabbage, 1 shredded carrot, and 1 thinly sliced green bell pepper with ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp mustard powder, ½ tsp ground celery seeds, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and ⅓ cup vegetable oil in a mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss cooked pulled pork in your favorite store-bought Carolina style BBQ sauce. Grill hot dogs and serve in a bun topped with pulled pork and slaw.

Bibimbap Dog

Cook hot dogs on stove or grill. To fry eggs, heat 1 Tbsp. oil or butter in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, crack 1 to 2 at a time into the pan and cover. Cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt. Place 1 egg in each bun and top with a hot dog and kimchi. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Reuben Style Hot Dog

Heat sauerkraut in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Cook hot dogs on the stove or grill. Open buns and slightly toast the insides on grill or pan. Remove buns from heat and fill with hot dogs and Swiss cheese. Return filled buns to pan or grill over medium heat and cover until cheese is melted. Remove from grill and top with sauerkraut. Drizzle with Thousand Island dressing.

Recipes developed by HelloFresh's Principal Chef & Head of Recipe Development Claudia Sidoti and Recipe Developer Lindsay Eisenman.