~ Looking for the very best sides for hot dogs? Whether you need ideas for your next cookout party, or simply want a great addition to spiff up family hot dog night … we’ve got lots of terrific suggestions! ~
Americans sure do love a great hot dog! And I’m not just talking about baseball games or a 4th of July backyard bbq. Nope, hot dogs hit the grills alllllll summer long. And they’re a fast family dinner so many parents count on to get the kiddos fed in a hurry.
Bottom line: hot dogs are an easy meal that’s always a hit.
And, luckily, they’ve come a long way in terms of more nutritious options, too – with lots of nitrate-free, lower fat, turkey, and even vegan hot dog options showing up in grocery store deli cases. (I’m personally hooked on Lightlife Smart Dogs.)
Hot dogs have come a long way in how they’re served up these days, too.
Trendy food trucks have latched onto this American classic and taken them to all sorts of fusion-y, piled-high, who-knew-you-could-put-that-on-a-hot-dog places!
Suddenly, hot dogs are fun … and full of possibilities!
They certainly deserve a side dish or two that are worthy of being nestled alongside ’em! So, before you reach for a ho-hum bag of potato chips, try one of the easy sides below, instead.
All the traditional summer cookout classic sides are here … macaroni salad, coleslaw, fruit salad … you know the drill. Plus, there are fun, updated twists (hello, Avocado Fries and Cilantro Lime Slaw). Even a couple of special ones hand-picked for the kiddos, too!
Whichever you try first, they’re sure to make your hot dogs a little more exciting – the ideal sides to make an easy meal feel special!
Best Sides for Hot Dogs
Easy Hot Dog Chili
Mmmmm ... love chili dogs? Yeah, me too! Made without beans of any kind, this recipe is almost more at home on top of your hot dog than strictly as a side dish. Pile it on and layer it up!
Healthy No Mayo Coleslaw
Coleslaw is always a good side dish with hot dogs. (It's actually one of my favorite things to top my dogs with, too!) This super-popular version is the perfect middle ground between deli-style, creamy coleslaw and tangy vinegar slaws. It features a lightened-up salad dressing that needs just a few simple ingredients.
Hot Dog Onions
These beautifully soft, smoky and savory onions are easy to make but really memorable! Smoked paprika or chili powder, a squirt of dijon mustard, and a little brown sugar pack in the salty / savory / sweet flavor, and a slow cook time develops such a wonderfully soft and saucy texture!
Easy Italian Pasta Salad
This fabulous pasta salad has all the bold flavors you love. But the best part is that it's got a few sneaky, simple tweaks that make it a bit lighter and healthier, too. (But don't worry – nobody will notice!) For even more pasta salad recipes (including lots of really unusual, gotta-try-it ideas), check out our entire plant-based Pasta Salad Recipe Collection.
Quick-Pickled Red Onions
So irresistibly tangy! These speedy pickled onions are so great with hot dogs ... but you'll be glad to have extras in the fridge for topping tacos, hamburgers, or even hummus, too!
The BEST Crispy Oven Fries
No need to stand over a pot of hot oil, frying potatoes to get delicious, crispy-crunchy fries. Amy promises these fries are seriously THE BEST! And so easy, since your oven does all the work. Want an air fryer version? Try these Air Fryer French Fries, too!
Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Gotta have dill pickle spears with your hot dogs! And they're easier to make at home than you might think. Simply slice some cucumbers, pour a flavorful brine over them, and let the vinegar do its magic.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
If you're grilling your main course, why not grill up your sides, too, and keep the kitchen nice and cool on a hot summer day? Grilling is such an easy option for cooking corn, and gives it a scrumptious roasty-toasty vibe. We've got helpful tips on our favorite method (HINT: no husks)!
Fresh Pineapple Relish
Go Hawaiian-style with this unique relish! It's a great balance of sweet and tangy flavors, with a kick from jalapeños and an underlying teriyaki flavor profile. Pile it on top of your dog for tropical flair, but be sure to serve extra on the side with tortilla chips, too!
Healthy Onion Rings
These onion rings are baked in the oven, with absolutely no oil required. That means no greasy onion rings ... and also no guilt! But you still get all that crave-able, crispy texture that's so perfect with hot dogs!
Lightened-Up Classic Potato Salad
This clever recipe has all the traditional flavors of a classic potato salad ... a zippy, creamy dressing, crunchy celery, and chopped hard-boiled eggs ... all tossed together with perfectly tender potatoes. But with some clever tweaks, it also has 150 fewer calories per serving!
Baked Carrot Chips
These healthy, low-carb carrot chips are baked or air-fried with just a tiny bit of olive oil until they're crisp and lightly caramelized. That sweet, carrot flavor is so much more interesting than a store-bought bag of potato chips! With alternate directions to make carrot fries, as well.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
So many layers of flavor! This trendy twist on traditional Mexican elote is a great side dish to update hot dog night. Caramelized sweet corn is drizzled in a lightened-up mayo and sour cream sauce, all studded with the flavors of chipotle, cilantro, and lime juice, and sprinkled with savory cotija cheese. Easy but wonderful! (Psssst ... if you're a sweet corn fan, don't miss our whole collection of yummy Corn Salads.)
This famous, must-try condiment is so easy to make at home! Keep it stashed in the fridge for topping hot dogs, sausages or brats, as well as Italian beef sandwiches ... even pizza. With tips to tone down the nice little kick to a milder flavor if you prefer.
Easy Macaroni Salad
A cookout and picnic classic that always goes perfectly with grilled hot dogs! This recipe is also a handy make-ahead or meal prep recipe that actually tastes better after sitting for a little while, and keeps well for 3-4 days.
Seasoned Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries with Cherry Lime Ketchup
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – just like you'd get in a restaurant! The optional Cherry Lime Ketchup is super simple to make, and adds a slightly unique flavor twist to the sweet potatoes. This recipe is intended for an air fryer, but if you'd prefer to use your oven, try these Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad
This addictively delicious side dish is an updated riff on the beloved Bean Salad recipe served at the iconic Nick Anthe’s restaurant for more than 30 years. It holds a very special place in my family's heart. Plus, with no cooking and just a bit of quick chopping, it’s also ultra-fast. (Like, 7 minutes FAST!)
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
With so many different ways to offer up the "Buffalo Chicken" flavors everybody loves, why not incorporate them into an irresistible pasta salad? It's got all the crowd-pleasin' flavors of Buffalo Chicken Dip, with pillowy tortellini, cubes of cheddar cheese, and crunchy pops of carrots, celery, and red onion. Your taste buds vote YES!
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Totally crave-worthy, these zucchini fries are crusted with toasty parmesan cheese. Crisp and golden on the outside, yet moist and tender on the inside. Swap in panko for even more crunch, vary the seasonings in all sorts of interesting ways, and serve 'em up next to your favorite dips and hot dog condiments!
Cucumber Yogurt Salad
This refreshing, creamy cucumber salad is a lovely counterpoint to savory, salty hot dogs. It features classic tzatziki flavors, with crunchy cucumbers, creamy Greek yogurt, fresh dill, garlic, and lemon. A quick and easy side dish that is SO GOOD!
Mexican Pinto Beans
Super tasty, versatile, made with wholesome ingredients, and so very easy to make. You may never go back to canned beans again! The recipe includes directions for both stovetop and Instant Pot cooking.
Grape Salad with Cream Cheese-Vanilla Dressing
Fresh fruit salads are one of the best side dishes to round out your menu, since they offer a sweet, refreshing counterpoint to savory hot dogs. This Grape Salad is an updated version of the classic. It features a lighter, healthier vanilla-cream cheese dressing (yay – no guilt here!). But it’s still every bit as refreshingly sweet and delicious!
Air Fryer Potato Slices
Not quite a potato chip ... these are golden brown on the outside with crispy edges, but they're still delightfully soft and fluffy in the middle! The recipe is written with a delicious seasoning combination of basil, oregano, and garlic powder, but also has lots of great suggestions for changing it up, too. A delightfully healthier option than opening a store-bought bag of chips!
Broccoli Slaw Salad with Homemade Dressing
This dish is a hybrid of broccoli slaw and broccoli salad, and is truly the best of both worlds. It's packed with a double dose of broccoli matchsticks and florets, plus crisp apple, chewy cranberries, and toasted almonds. It’s crunchy and flavorful, tossed in a creamy homemade coleslaw dressing.
Spicy, salty, crispy potatoes that are ultra-creamy inside. All from just a few simple ingredients! This recipe uses an oven method: for an air fryer variation on these Cajun flavors, try Crispy Cajun Air Fryer Potato Wedges.
Tomato and Onion Salad with Peppers
This super EASY recipe gets an extra boost of flavor from vibrant, crunchy peppers. It’s a signature summer recipe from one of the very best cooks I’ve ever known – my Oma. And, it only takes 5 minutes to make! For more side salad recipes, check out our full line-up of Summer Salad recipes.
Crispy Baked Parmesan Asparagus Fries
Didn't think of serving asparagus with your hot dogs? Think again! Turning this favorite vegetable into crunchy fries makes it a perfect, flavorful finger food to accompany your hot dogs. And looky there ... you even cleverly worked a green veggie into dinner!
LOADED Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Such a fun side dish that deliciously, ingeniously adds loads of scrumptious veggies to the meal, while keeping the casual hot-doggy vibe going strong! This is piled sky-high with extra flavors, and takes just 5 minutes of prep work (with no messy batter)!
If you love piling sauerkraut on hot dogs and brats (me, me, me!) then real, homemade kraut (not the canned stuff!) will be a total treat. For an unusual variation, also be sure to check out this Easy Spicy Golden Sauerkraut flavored with turmeric, red chili flakes, and black peppercorns.
Sweet Potato Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing
This recipe is so easy to pull together, and it packs a TON of flavor. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled (great versatility if you're serving this at a cookout), and it can be assembled a day in advance.
Blistered Shishito Peppers
Shishitos are a popular option on restaurant menus these days, but they’re actually very, very easy to make at home. You basically need 1 ingredient and about 10 minutes – that’s it! Always a splashy, attention-grabbing dish, and a fun finger food to accompany your dogs. If you're looking for an upscale, trendy addition to your list of side dishes, this one's a must-try!
No-Cook Fresh Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
Ultra simple and incredibly fast … with absolutely no cooking needed! Delicious summer corn combines with sweet-tart cherry tomatoes and creamy avocado. So easy but absolutely crave-worthy, too! (Psssst ... alternately, try this quick salad that can also do double-duty as an appetizer Corn Salsa.)
This crunchy-creamy-addictive recipe is inspired by Torchy's Tacos, the famed fried avocado star in Texas. Use either your oven or an air fryer – lots of great tips here, either way!
Berry Watermelon Salad with Lime and Mint
If you're serving hot dogs at a cookout, this will be great alongside. It's fresh summer flavor ... all in one bowl! Juicy watermelon, blueberries, blackberries, and mint are tossed in a honey-lime dressing for a refreshing side dish to accompany those hot-off-the-grill, savory dogs!
Spicy Cilantro Lime Summer Slaw
This pretty slaw is cool and refreshing, with a slightly spicy kick. Versatile, too – it can do double-duty as both a side dish and a hot dog topping!
Air Fryer Turnip Fries
With a smoky, garlicky seasoning, you won’t be able to stop eating these unique alternatives to classic French fries! They’re coated in a simple seasoning and air fried until golden brown. Serve 'em with your hot dog ketchup, or with a chipotle dip to highlight the smoky vibes.
Crunchy Greek Cucumber Tomato Salad
Cool and crisp, with an intriguing medley of both flavors and textures that are a nice counterpoint to meaty hot dogs. We're talkin' crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, roasted red peppers, spicy red onions, pillowy mozzarella balls, and crunchy toasted walnuts ... all tossed together with a double-vinegar dressing.
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli Stalk Chips
These cute little mini chips have just a couple of ingredients and are really quick and easy. Totally munch-able ... they disappear in a flash every time I make them! Bonus: you get some really fun, random shapes, too – a lot of cute kid-allure to get your kiddos eating some veggies along with their hot dogs!
Crispy Baked Polenta Fries
Transform plain polenta into uniquely delicious fries! They're made from scratch and baked to perfection with a crisp-golden surface and a rich, velvety center. Switch up the spices to flavor them any way you please ... and get dippin'!
Easy Grilled Veggie Skewers
If you're firing up the grill for perfectly charred dogs, then this is an ideal grilled side dish! Skewered fresh vegetables are drizzled with tangy balsamic vinegar and brushed with a fresh garlic herb sauce. Mmmmmmm ... no wonder this recipe has nearly 5 stars on close to 400 reviews! And if you know what a stickler I am about cook times for shish kabobs, you know I approve of the smart move here: the types of veggies on these skewers cook evenly, thanks to their similar cooking time. Well played!
Corn Riblets with Smoky Dipping Sauce
Never heard of "Corn Riblets"? This cute recipe idea is basically just cobs of corn that've been quartered into smaller strips. They cook a little quicker than the traditional corn on the cob, and they're even easier to saturate with flavor. This recipe relies on smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic powder for bold flavors that pair perfectly with a super-fast, 3-ingredient, smoky dipping sauce!
Easy 5-Ingredient Gochujang Butternut Squash
Gochujang is totally on-trend right now, making this unique side dish a perfect way to elevate humble hot dogs to an absolutely on-point meal. The thick, red gochujang chilli paste has a complex taste that's spicy, sweet and savory, all at the same time. It's the cornerstone of Korean dishes such as bibimbap and tteokbokki, and has become a darling of fusion recipes. Intrigued? Give this one a try!
Spinach Sweet Potato Tater Tots
Making those hot dogs specifically for young kiddos? Try this nutrient-dense recipe that's a great way to get some extra veggies into your little ones. Packed with iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and carbohydrates, with 2 serving of veggies!
Looking for Even More Hot Dog Sides?
• Check out our collection of summer-y Cookout Side Dishes. Lots of ideas that match well with hot dogs, as well as with burgers, steaks and chicken.
• If you’re serving up your hot dogs at a star-spangled American holiday – maybe a July 4th potluck or a Memorial Day cookout – then you’ll want to check out all the great side dish ideas in our Memorial Day Food Recipes collection (lots of red, white, and blue ideas)!
• Or take a peek at ALL our side dish recipe ideas!
Your hot dogs will thank you!
2 thoughts on “43 Best Sides for Hot Dogs”
Thanks so much for including my zucchini fries in this delicious selection of recipes!
You’re so very welcome, Bintu! You always have marvelous recipes to share, and I just couldn’t resist these fries- they HAD to make the list! 😀 ~Shelley