Chicago Style Hot Dog Recipe

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This Chicago style hot dog recipe is a Windy City classic. An all beef hot dog is nestled in a steamed poppy seed bun with 7 special toppings. No need to schedule a trip to Chicago, you can easily make this recipe at home.

Plate of hot dogs topped with pickles and mustard.


A Chicago style dog is an iconic dish that has been around for years. You can make them at home with this simple recipe.

Ingredients needed

A true Chicago style hot dog has 7 ingredients that go on top of an all-beef hot dog and remember, NO KETCHUP.

  • Hot Dogs – Make sure to use all beef hot dogs with a natural casing like Vienna beef franks.
  • Hot Dog Buns – Steamed poppy seed buns are a must.
  • Pickles – A dill pickle spear is used to top the hot dogs.
  • Sport PeppersSport peppers can be found in jars typically by the pickled banana peppers and jalapeños. They are small, hot peppers that have been pickled in vinegar.
  • Onion – Finely diced white onion.
  • Tomatoes – Tomato wedges or tomato slices add color and fresh flavor.
  • Relish – Use your favorite relish or Chicago sweet pickle relish which has a fun bright green color.
  • Celery Salt – Adds an extra, delicious layer of flavor.
  • Mustard – Yellow mustard is the classic choice for these hot dogs. You could substitute with Dijon or brown mustard.
Hot dog buns, hot dogs, bowls of onions, relish, and pickles.

How to make Chicago dogs

Step one: Boil hot dogs in a large pot until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Pot with water and hot dogs.

Step two: Steaming the buns is an optional step but really sets the hot dogs apart. You can steam them in a steamer basket on the stove or in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Place the cooked hot dogs in the steamed poppy seed buns.

Hot dogs in buns on a wooden plate.

Step three: Time for the toppings. Add on diced onion, a pickle spear, sweet relish, tomatoes, sport peppers, and mustard. Finally, add a dash of celery salt to the top.

Hot dogs topped with pickles, tomatoes, peppers, and mustard.

How to store leftovers

Store: Keep any leftover hot dogs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to store the hot dog separately from the buns and other toppings.

Recipe tips

  • If you can’t find poppy seed hot dog buns, you can take regular hot dog buns, brush with melted butter and then sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  • Boiling the hot dogs is the classic way to heat them but feel free to grill them for more of a smoky flavor.

What to serve with Chicago style hot dogs

Some favorite side dishes for hot dogs include:

  • Potato chips – Salty, crunchy chips is a classic pairing.
  • French fries – You can’t go wrong with a side of hand-cut fries.
  • Onion rings – Crispy onion rings are a perfect side.

Chicago Style Dogs FAQ’s

What is the rule for Chicago hot dogs?

There are a few things that make a “dragged through the garden” Chicago dog stand apart from others. The hot dog has to be all beef and boiled, not grilled. The bun is steamed, not toasted. Make sure to use yellow mustard, neon-green relish, and of course, NO KETCHUP.

What is a sport pepper?

It can be hard to find sport peppers outside of the Chicago area. They are a small sized pepper with medium heat. They have a tangy flavor because they are pickled in vinegar.

Will you be making this hot dog recipe? Let me know in the comments.

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Plate of hot dogs topped with pickles and mustard.
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Chicago Style Hot Dog

By Heather
Delicious Chicago style hot dogs are simple to make but packed with flavor. A classic Chicago hot dog recipe made with all beef hot dog, poppy seed bun, and 7 toppings.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 all beef hot dogs
  • 4 poppy seed buns
  • 4 dill pickle spears
  • 8 tomato wedges
  • 3 tablespoons diced white onion
  • 8 pickled sport peppers
  • sweet pickle relish for topping
  • mustard for topping
  • celery salt for topping


  • Boil the hot dogs in a large pot until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Optional – Steam your buns in a steamer basket on the stover or in the microwave by wrapping a lightly damped paper towel and microwaving for 10 seconds.
  • Place the hot dogs in hot dog buns. Top with pickle spear, diced onion, sport peppers, tomatoes, mustard, and a sprinkle of celery salt.
  • Serve and enjoy.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1043mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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