These scrumptious Oven Chili Cheese Dogs are what family pleasing meals are made of. Big buttery toasted buns are stuffed with hot dogs, homemade chili sauce and a heaping helping of melted cheddar cheese then baked in the oven until toasted. It has all of the makings of an amazingly delicious meal that will thrill your hungry family after a busy day.
Hot dogs remind most people of ball park eats. For me, I associate them with a drive-in move theater that we used to visit many moons ago in Virginia. I know what you’re thinking, a drive-in move theater? Yes! Believe it or not there are still a few of those left scattered here and there throughout the South. They’re more like museums, now. The local drive-in was called “The Starlight” and it was THE place to be on a Friday and Saturday night. I’m not sure if it was the movies or the socializing that made it popular for so many people but, for me it was all about concessions and their famous chili dogs. They were melt-in-your mouth good! The soft steamed buns, stuffed with hot dogs, sweet onions and yellow mustard and then topped with chili still ranks among my favorite foodie memories. So good and affordable too, and not to be missed by weekend movie go’ers.
Since there’s no way to recreate those goodies, when hot dogs are requested by my family I make these oven chili cheese dogs. Hot dogs stuffed into buttered buns, topped with homemade chili and then smothered with shredded cheese are quickly gobbled up. I often make the chili topping in advance, then all that’s left to do is assemble the dogs and toss them into the oven. They taste just like a relaxing weekend after a hectic day.
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- Olive oil
- 1½ lb lean ground beef
- 1½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp dark chili powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (8 count) package hot dog buns
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 (15 oz) package bun length beef hot dogs
- 2 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
- 4 green onion, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. . Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the diced onion in a couple of drizzles of olive oil until translucent.
- Add the ground beef to the pan. Season with garlic salt and black pepper. Cook until no pink remains, then drain any excess fat from the pan.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from the heat. (This can be made in advance and chilled until assembly)
- Arrange the buns in the baking dish and brush on all sides with melted butter. Place one hot dog in each bun and top with a drizzle of mustard and ketchup.
- Divide the chili sauce among the hot dogs and top each with cheese.
- Cover with a piece of aluminum foil spritzed with cooking spray.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover in the last 5 minutes continuing to bake until the tops are lightly toasted.
- Garnish with sliced green onion and serve with sweet pickle relish and cole slaw on the side, if desired.