Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce Recipe

It’s never a complete trip to Coney Island without a Coney dog! We have cracked the code to making the classic Coney Island hot dog sauce for you. This chili sauce is loaded with ground beef, tomato sauce, onions, paprika, and chili powder. It’s incredibly beefy and saucy which makes the yummiest meaty blanket for hot dogs. Try this homemade hot dog chili recipe and serve the Coney dogs with some soda and french fries for a fun snack time.

Tips on Making Hot Dog Sauce

The beef sauce is slightly sweetened with some brown sugar, that’s why kids and adults will love this version of the Coney Island hot dogs. But before you head into the kitchen, read these helpful tips for making this hot dog chili recipe:

  • Use 85% lean ground beef. It’s the best ground beef for chili as it has just the right amount of fat to keep the sauce moist and tasty without making it too greasy.
  • For more flavor, add in some crumbled sausage. But if you’re in for a healthier alternative, you can use ground turkey or chicken. It won’t be the same Coney sauce, but it would still be delicious.
  • Make the homemade hot dog sauce spicy by adding cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or chopped red chilies.
  • Have a chili hot dog bar with different toppings that your guests can load onto their chili dogs by themselves. Toppings include relish, shredded cheese, fried bacon, coleslaw, and mustard.
  • Cook the hot dogs the way you like them. You can boil hot dogs, cook them in the crockpot, or grill them, whichever you prefer. 

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce Recipe

How To Make Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

An incredibly hearty hot dog sauce with buttery ground beef and softened onion cooked down to perfection. It’s perfect for making Coney hot dogs, but it can easily spruce up any grilled meat!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 lb ground beef, 85% lean
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, large, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

To Serve:

  • hot dogs
  • hot dog buns

Optional Toppings:

  • Heinz relish
  • shredded cheddar cheese, or Jack cheese
  • chopped white onions


  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook ground beef in butter until brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped onion and cook until beef juices run clear, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder.
  5. Add water and tomato sauce.
  6. Simmer until water is absorbed, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes.
  7. Spoon on top of hot dogs and add your choice of toppings. Serve and enjoy!


  • Sugar: 4g
  • :
  • Calcium: 43mg
  • Calories: 386kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 101mg
  • Fat: 30g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Potassium: 527mg
  • Protein: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Sodium: 459mg
  • Trans Fat: 2g
  • Vitamin A: 952IU
  • Vitamin C: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between hot dog sauce and chili?

Chili in a bowl usually contains beans and sometimes spinach, while hot dog chili does not. Chili is thick but a bit liquidy, while hot dog sauce is more on the dry side.

What sauces go with hot dogs?

This Coney Island sauce is definitely a must-try! Aside from it, ketchup, mayo, mustard, and barbecue sauce also go well with hot dogs.

Dip & Sauces Recipes


This hot dog sauce is so easy to make, but it doesn’t fall short on flavor. Enjoy the taste of Coney Island hot dogs at home with this recipe!
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