I don’t know about you all, but MAN. I just can’t do canned chili or chili seasoning packets. I just can’t. I’ve been making my own chili for many, many years, and have won quite an honorable amount of awards for my chili. So sharing with you today my simpler version, that’s much thicker and perfect for chili dogs!
So if you’re stuck in a rut of buying chili for chili dogs, you can stop now. You don’t have to suffer through that icky stuff anymore. This is a wonderful , quick homemade chili that’s rich with no compromises on flavor, and super easy to make. Those cans and packets are awfully pricey for what you don’t even get, so I think you’ll really enjoy and appreciate this one! It’s nicely spiced but not hot, so it’s super family friendly to boot.
Once you make it homemade and see how easy it is, more economical, and sooo much more flavorful, trust me, you’ll never go back to purchased.
I even made my “semi-homemade” twisty buns for these, as one loaf of frozen bread dough makes the same amount of buns as the package of hotdogs. Silly easy, and I sprinkled them with garlic powder, Cajun Seasoning, and poppy seeds before baking for an extra kick! I didn’t let them rise quite as long as I usually do, and they worked out beautifully! Soft but with a slight chew to them, lots of flavor, and can handle anything you pile on! See how to make these easy buns from a recipe that I’ve already posted here and simply make 8 instead and add whatever seasonings you like.
They sure beat the pillows of air that you get at the store that instantly turn into a soggy MESS when you add the slightest thing. And mine make the same amount to match how many hotdogs you get in the package!
So I highly recommend that you go the extra mile and make these dogs really bark!
For this “chili dog chili”, I simply used quality lean ground beef, tomato paste, and little water to simmer the spices and herbs in to melt and meld, and no addition of flour to thicken is needed. You just simply simmer until all of the water cooks out. I like to take mine all the way down to super thick, but if you like yours a bit saucy, you can simply cook this for less time. Just cook the chili, stirring fairly often, until it’s the right consistency for you.
Also. I’m a messy eater sometimes, so I like mine super thick so I don’t end up with half of it in my lap!
You can stop there, or you can do these up full monty like we did, starting with a healthy smothering of shredded Mexican Blend Cheese! (Who doesn’t love ooey gooey cheese? )
And the rest of the motherload of toppings you can add are completely up to you! Go whole hog wild and pile them on, or top them with just a few of your favorites! I enjoyed mine this time with pickled jalapeño rings, a little hot sauce, and just a touch of sour cream! Sooooo good!!!!!
Feeding a crowd to watch some football games? You’ll want to double this recipe! Then place the cooked hotdogs in the buns, load them up with heated chili, pile with handfuls of cheese, and place them all on a baking sheet. Then you can run them all under a low to medium broiler, just to melt the cheese, and serve them hot all at once! Lay out an array of toppings and your guests can top them any which way they want after that. Easier, quicker and much less messy than completely crock pot buffet-style! (*Just use your crock pots to keep any extras heated for seconds! )
So please do yourself a favor, and don’t buy those cans and packets anymore. This is just too easy and so very good. I think you and your guests will really have fun with these delicious “Chili Dog Chili” Cheese Dogs!
Have a wonderful day all! See you soon! ~Kelly
- For Chili Dog Chili:
- 1 lb. quality lean ground beef, cooked and finely chopped, drained if needed
- ½ cup V8 Spicy Hot Tomato/Vegetable Juice
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste, I prefer Hunt's
- 1¼ cups water
- ½ tsp. Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
- 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbl. quality chili powder
- 1 Tbl. cumin
- ½ tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp. spicy brown mustard
- ¼ tsp. fine garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. dark brown sugar
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- ¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. smoked salt, (I order mine online from Spice Barn), can sub regular salt
- ¼ tsp. regular table salt
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
- ¼ tsp. creole seasoning, I prefer Cajun's Choice
- Rest of Ingredients:
- 1 (16 oz.) bag Sargento Mexican Blend Cheese
- 8 quality all-beef bun-length hotdogs
- 8 buns, homemade or store-bought
- Optional Toppings:
- pickled jalapeno rings
- hot sauce or sriracha
- finely chopped onion
- snipped green onions
- sour cream
- guacamole or sliced avocado
- sliced or diced tomatoes
- In large frying pan, brown ground beef chopping up well as you go along. Drain grease if necessary.
- Add rest of Chili Dog Chili ingredients and stir in well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to Low, and simmer, stirring as needed, until very thick according to preference. (I took mine ALL the way down cooking out all of the water and it took about 25 minutes.) Remove from heat and set aside.
- Steam or boil hotdogs according to pkg. directions. Split open buns and place hotdogs inside.
- Top with chili. Top with handfuls of shredded cheese. Broil or microwave until cheese has melted.
- Top with extra optional ingredients of choice if desired.
- Serve hot.