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Hot Dog Sauce

I was having company one day and looking for just the right sauce for hot dogs. I called Grandma, who shared this wonderful recipe.—Melissa Norris, Churubusco, Indiana
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 cups


  • 4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot dogs, heated
  • Hot dog buns, split


  • In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Carefully crumble beef into water. Add onion. Boil until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve over hot dogs in buns.

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Average Rating:
  • lindatbird
    May 3, 2020

    It was ok. As another person commented, try less brown sugar . Also more chili powder. It was a tad too sweet but will try making again with variations.

  • husbandhatescasseroles
    Jul 1, 2018

    This is excellent coney sauce. I used a little bit less sugar the second time I made it and suggest you add about half, then taste before adding it all. Top the dogs with this, cheese, diced onion and Dijon for an awesome treat!

  • Rosef
    Oct 1, 2017

    I just finished this recipe for my husband who likes chili sauce on hot dogs. As a rule, I do not. However, this stuff is delicious! I will confess that I added a bit more chili powder, some cumin, and a pinch of baking soda to counter the acid of the tomatoes. My hot dog was the best ever. The idea of boiling the meat is wonderful. I think I will try that technique when I make spaghetti sauce next time.

  • kaejae2007
    Jul 5, 2017

    This reminds me of the sauce from a restaurant where I grow up. It's the closest replica that I've ever found. I'm making it again right now. Love it love it love it love it love it love it love it love it

  • jwagner2401
    Sep 1, 2014

    Very easy and delicious. My daughter,who was helping me cook, accidentally added Mesquite flavored beans to it and it came out great.

  • ejshellabarger
    Jul 20, 2014

    Easy and very delicious!

  • Gina41804
    Jul 6, 2013

    This tasted great, I added some green pepper because I had some fresh from my garden. I placed a heaping amount of brown sugar and added 30 ounces of sauce, that was two whole cans of Red Gold tomato sauce. I let mine simmer longer so it would be hot for our cookout. Big hit!