Classic Chili Cheese Dogs

Featuring a splash of bourbon (yes, bourbon!), these Chili Cheese Dogs are
a classic comfort food…perfect for snacking on during sporting events!

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Featuring a splash of bourbon (yes, bourbon!), these Chili Cheese Dogs are a classic comfort food...perfect for snacking on during sporting events! I love the winter!  I’m not so much referring to the snow and ice outside here.  (I’m choosing to pretend that all of that white stuff on the ground isn’t really there…)  Nope, I’m referring to all of the awesome sports on tv during the winter.  The Super Bowl is right around the corner.  After that, there’s plenty of college basketball to keep me going through February.  And March?  C’mon…March Madness is one of my favorite times of the sport year!  Even if you’re not the biggest sports fan, you have to at least appreciate all of the delicious food that shows up around sporting events.  (I’m looking at you, Mr. Soft Pretzel.  And you, too, Homemade Cracker Jack.)  But today’s post is about another classic stadium food…the Chili Cheese Dog!

Featuring a splash of bourbon (yes, bourbon!), these Chili Cheese Dogs are a classic comfort food...perfect for snacking on during sporting events! Classic Chili Cheese Dogs

The chili for these Classic Chili Cheese Dogs is incredibly simple to make…and this recipe makes enough for leftovers, too.  Ground beef, onions and a ton of spices combine to create what I consider the perfect chili for on top of a grilled hotdog.  Of course, you could also go with chili cheeseburgers, chili nachos, chili baked potatoes, etc.  This list could go on forever!  This is seriously one of those recipes that you will want to bookmark and re-visit often.  When I make a batch of this chili, I typically freeze about half of it right away.  That way, I’ve got easy dinners ready to go in a couple of weeks or whenever I’m in the mood for chili again.

Featuring a splash of bourbon (yes, bourbon!), these Chili Cheese Dogs are a classic comfort food...perfect for snacking on during sporting events! The key to this recipe is making sure to chop the ground beef very finely.  I make this chili in a medium-sized Dutch oven, and I shred the beef into small pieces as it goes into the pot.  Once the beef and chicken stock are added, I then grab a whisk and stir the pot vigorously to help break apart any remaining pieces of ground beef.

There are a lot of spices in this recipe, and each one adds a very important layer of flavor.  Don’t be tempted to cut corners and skip any of the spices!  Also, I like to include a bit of a secret ingredient at the end.  Bourbon.  Yup, bourbon.  Once the chili has simmered for a bit, I add in a splash of bourbon along with a splash of hot sauce.  The bourbon adds a fun depth of flavor…but don’t worry, it doesn’t overtake the recipe or anything.  Trust me on this one!  So here’s to football games, basketball tournaments and Classic Chili Cheese Dogs!

Did you make these Classic Chili Cheese Dogs at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Featuring a splash of bourbon (yes, bourbon!), these Chili Cheese Dogs are a classic comfort food...perfect for snacking on during sporting events!

Chili Cheese Dogs

Featuring a splash of bourbon (yes, bourbon!), these Chili Cheese Dogs are a classic comfort food...perfect for snacking on during sporting events!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 423kcal


For the Hot Dog Chili

For the Hot Dogs


For the Hot Dog Chili

  • Using a medium-sized Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the diced onion and garlic. Saute until onions are soft and slightly translucent (~6-7 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, coriander, paprika, oregano, tomato paste, soy sauce and sugar. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add chicken stock and ground beef. Use a whisk to break up ground beef into pea-sized (or smaller) pieces. (Tip: Make sure beef is broken up into uniformly-sized pieces.) Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low and cover pot; cook for 75 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add hot sauce and bourbon; simmer (lid removed) over medium heat until chili has thickened.

For the Hot Dogs

  • Grill hotdogs on medium-high heat until cooked.
  • Place the slices of Texas toast on the grill for 1-2 minutes (optional).
  • Assemble hotdogs with chili, cheese and diced onions.


This recipe will yield more than enough chili to make 8 hot dogs.  Use the extra chili as leftovers...or invite more friends over to dinner!

Looking for more tasty gameday recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

If you're looking to feed a crowd with very little effort, then this Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Beef is the answer!  It's delicious, and it only takes 5 minutes to prepare!Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Beef

Mix up pizza night with a batch of Alabama White BBQ Sauce!  This Alabama Style BBQ Chicken Pizza is a delicious combination of flavors!Alabama Style BBQ Chicken Pizza

This Slow Cooker Chili Mac will remind you of childhood comfort food in the best way possible!  Plus, it's an easy recipe for busy days!Slow Cooker Chili Mac

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  1. I definitely do appreciate the food AND the commercials that make their debut round all this football/basketball fever going around! In fact – when this “fever” reaches it’s crescendo, the food is sometimes ignored – and that’s when I really “help out” 😉

    “Coriander, cumin, chili, paprika” … Dude – you are speaking my language!!! And – Bourbon?! Hotdiggitydog I am intrigued! I’ve used beer in my chili before – but never bourbon – I have a friend and her hubs coming over for dinner this weekend and I am thinking that I might have to test this bourbon-chili out on them!

    1. Haha! If you were at our Suber Bowl party, I’d totally have to keep an eye on you, Shashi! Everyone would be glued to the game while you’re hiding in the corner snacking on all of the delicious food. (Hey, I’m not blaming you…the food is one of the best parts of the big game!)

      Oh, this is a darn good chili, Shashi! The flavor is absolutely incredible. It’s not really “chili” like the kind you serve in a bowl in the middle of the winter…although I definitely dug into it with a spoon on more than one occasion. I prefer this as a topping on hot dogs, baked potatoes, nachos…that type of thing.

    1. You can’t have sports without chili cheese dogs, right?? I mean, part of the fun is trying to figure out how to watch the game without dumping your chili cheese dog into your lap! Haha!

    1. Thanks so much, Dara! I’m pretty sure a big bowl of this chili will help me forget about all of the snow outside…at least for a couple of minutes. 🙂

  2. David, haha, I’m starting to realize that that is how people here in the Midwest get through the winters. . SPORTS! Well, and meat. And beer. and wine. And more wine. 🙂 dude, love these chili-cheese-dogs!!! This is the only kind of food my husband wants around him on Super Bowl Sunday! love it!

    1. Hmmm…I’ve never lived in the Midwest, Alice, but I’m kinda thinking that it sounds like fun. Sports, meat, beer and wine? Sign me up!! I’m kinda wishing today was Super Bowl Sunday because I could really go for some yummy sports food today. Hope your weekend is going well!

  3. Not going to lie…My heart did a little leap inside when I saw this on my reader- It reminded me of A+W in Malaysia (of all places. It was my favourite growing up).

    Now I have no excuse not to recreate it! Chilli is so versatile..especially eaten cold 😉

    1. I gotta admit that I’m a little intrigued, Arman. Do you mean A+W like the root beer? I know they do have some A+W restaurants here in the States, but they’re not terribly common. Maybe they have them in Malaysia, too? Either way, it’s time to recreate some chili dogs! Let’s dig in…although I prefer mine hot. Haha!

  4. I love a good hotdog and these look really good! I always make a simple chili and skimp on all of these great spices. You are tempting me to venture out past hot sauce and actually do a grown up version of chili like this one. LOL!

    1. Oh you totally need to venture into some of these spices, Tamara! Hot sauce is great, but the seasonings really take this to a whole new level. I break this chili up so it’s really finely ground…then it’s perfect on the top of hotdogs. Bring on Super Bowl Sunday, right??

    1. Oh, chili dogs definitely need to be on your radar, Jess! They’re a classic sporting event snack…and they’re really really tasty! Heck, the chili alone is amazing. Throw it on top of a hotdog and it just becomes magical!

    1. You know what’s funny, Lindsey? I don’t often go towards chili dogs when I’m at sporting events or just out and about. I never know if I’ll like the chili, and I know I can always count on something like nacho cheese instead. But make the chili at home…and add bourbon of course!…then I can’t stay away from the stuff! Bring on Super Bowl Sunday!

    1. I have to agree with you there, Dannii…the food in the UK leaves much to be desired. But I am still jealous b/c the UK (and most of western Europe) is pretty much amazing! You just need to start your own restaurant over there…and these chili cheese dogs totally need to be on the menu! 🙂

  5. Hi David! I love a good chili dog! I was raised in Kalamazoo, MI and there was a hole in the wall joint where all you could get was chili dogs, chips and coke (from the old style water filled chest cooler), called “Coney Island”. The steamed buns got a slather of yellow mustard (using a wooden dowel), a steamed dog, chili and white onion – no deviations! My dad was a friend of the original owner and I have their chili recipe – it’s one of my son’s favorite things to make for his friends!

    1. Wow, now that sounds like a legit place to get a good chili dog! I mean, cokes from a chest cooler and mustard slathered on by a wooden dowel! I love it. A good chili recipe is such an important skill to keep in your back pocket. And now you have me craving a chili dog for dinner tonight…thanks a lot, Dorothy! 🙂

      1. Hi David! You are welcome my friend! 🙂 On the chili subject, I submitted four chili recipes in my daughter’s name a number of years back to the nationwide Marlboro chili cook off and won a first place and a runner up – okay, I’m bragging, but I can! 🙂

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