Hot Dog Chili Sauce

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This famous Hot Dog Chili Sauce is meaty, slightly sweet and full of flavor. Great on hot dogs, fries and as a chili base! Simmer it in the slow cooker to deepen the chili flavor.

I’d have to say that I’m not much of a fan of hot dogs.  Every once in a great while I’ll have one at a cookout, because really, who can resist a hot dog cooked over the fire? But hot dogs are not generally something I crave.

However, all bets are off when there is our famous Hot Dog Chili Sauce in the fridge.

closeup of a chili dog on a baking sheet

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • It is packed full of beef, rich tomato sauce, onions and garlic.
  • Full of sweet, chili flavor.
  • Makes a large batch perfect for parties or for freezing in batches.

What makes this chili sauce so famous?

There is a little hot dog shop near my hometown in Northeast Ohio that serves an amazing chili dog.  Unfortunately, since we’re not in the area anymore, I don’t get to go there much. But thankfully, a friend gave me this copycat recipe for chili sauce years ago.

Although I’ve never compared the “real thing” to this copycat recipe in a side-by-side comparison, this hot dog chili sauce recipe tastes like what I remember the “real thing” to be.

When this is around, there’s no doubt. I crave a hot dog.

chili sauce in a bowl

Can you freeze chili sauce?

This makes a big recipe.  I like to let my sauce simmer all day in the slow cooker instead of the stove. It completely fills my 6-quart slow cooker  You can always half recipe, but I recommend making a full recipe.

This chili sauce freezes well. Just portion it out in smaller containers, freeze, and you’re ready for game day, Friday, or whenever that chili craving hits.

place of chili cheese fries

How to Serve Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Not only does this hot dog chili sauce make an average hot dog like a gourmet sandwich, but spoon it over some french fries or a baked potato and you’ve got chili fries that rival the best.

Another idea for this chili sauce?  Eat it on top of macaroni and cheese. This makes an amazingly wonderful combination!

If you like this recipe, you’ll love our chili recipe, which uses this sauce as a base.  Yep…we like this sauce that much in our family.

closeup of a chili dog on a baking sheet
closeup of a chili dog on a baking sheet

Hot Dog Chili Sauce

4.86 from 42 votes
This famous Hot Dog Chili Sauce is meaty, slightly sweet and full of flavor. Great on hot dogs, fries and as a chili base! Simmer it in the slow cooker to deepen the chili flavor.
Servings 30
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 4 small onions chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into the cup and leveled)
  • 38 ounces tomato sauce equals 2 15-oz cans and 1 8-oz can
  • 30 ounces water
  • 4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimentos
  • 3/4 cup sugar to taste


  • In a large stockpot (at least 6 quarts), brown hamburger, onions and garlic together, until the meat is totally cooked.
  • Drain off any fat.
  • Add flour to ground beef and mix well.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the stockpot. Mix well and simmer, uncovered, for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over hot dogs or fries!
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also store the sauce in the freezer.


This makes a large pot full of chili sauce, which can be frozen in smaller amounts. Add less flour if you like your chili sauce a bit more runny. Add more or less sugar, depending on how sweet you like it!


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 308mg | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 205
Keyword beef recipe, comfort food, picnic

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7 years ago

This sounds really good and I am going to make it. By the way, do you give out your recipe for Chili Powder?
I would love to have it too, if that is something you can do.

Thank you so much


5 years ago

5 stars
I have to say that I am nothing but pleased with this recipe! Today will be about the 10th time I’ve made it for family and friends this summer!

9 years ago

This looks delicious! My husband LOVES chili dogs, so this will be a recipe to try. One question, should your recipe read “8 oz. can tomato PASTE” instead of sauce? Just checking. Thanks

4 years ago

5 stars
A half recipe of this chili sauce is simmering away on my stove as I type this. It’s been about forty-five minutes and it’s already delicious. I can’t wait to put this over some fries and dogs this weekend. The pimentos threw me at first, because we cook chili with chiles here, but they add a mild chile flavor without being too intrusive. Highly recommended.

Kimberly S
7 years ago

This looks yummy can’t wait to try it. Reminds me of The HotDog Shoppe and/or JibJab HotDog Shoppe. Pinned!

Shared on Twitter

9 years ago

How many hot dogs will this quantity serve?

1 year ago

wonder if this could be canned if you leave out the flour

Mindy Crawford
1 year ago

5 stars
Did a prep run of this for tomorrow’s Big Game Day! It’s amazing. Better than, dare I say, Cincy based Skyline? So excited to have this in my recipe box. Since my family loves kick, I threw in a diced jalapeno. This fellow Cbus based Ohioan says Thank you, Go Bucks and Go Bengals! Love your recipes.

1 year ago

5 stars
This was the hot dog B. O. M. B.!!!!!

1 year ago

I don’t need nearly as much chilli. Can you post Ingredients for a smaller portion? Cooking for one person but I get left over and willing to freeze some.

Gail Birch
2 years ago

5 stars
Made this last night and it was absolutely delicious and exactly what I was looking for to duplicate what I ate as a child. We have a small family so I cut the recipe in half. Still had some to freeze.

2 years ago

I was looking for a recipe similar to a place I would go to in NE OH, years ago. When I read this, I was astounded. I will definitely give it a try. My parents just drove to Kinsman, Oh to get chili sauce like this. How funny if it was the same place.

2 years ago

5 stars
I made this today & it was delicious!

2 years ago

I make homemade chili too. We spray a muffin tin with no stick spray & then fill each muffin cup with chili & put in the freezer until frozen. Then we run warm water over the bottom of the muffin tin to loosen the chili pucks & pop out with a fork & put in a freezer bag & then freeze for later use. This way if you just need a little you don’t have to thaw the whole batch.

3 years ago

5 stars
I can’t wait to make this! I’m from the warren area and we get the hot dog shoppe often! It’s so cool to read about someone who’s from the same area!