Chili dog casserole is the ultimate comfort food! Savor the joy of a classic hot dog treat reimagined.
This casserole combines juicy hot dogs, a hearty chili base, fluffy cornbread topping, and a gooey cheese pull in every bite. It’s perfect for game day, potlucks, or a weeknight family dinner.
Chili Dog Casserole
If you love chili dogs, this casserole recipe is for you! It’s a playful spin on an American classic.
At the heart of this dish lies a crumbly cornbread base. Up next is a layer of hearty chili cheese dog mixture. It’s a delightful medley of chili, beans, hot dogs, and cheese.
Finally, the crowning glory is a generous layer of bubbly, melty cheese.
It’s also easy to make and extremely versatile. Make it your own with your choice of hot dogs, cheese, chili, and toppings! It’ll taste amazing no matter what.
And it’s perfect for any occasion, too!
Bring it to game day, a picnic, or a potluck, and it’ll be the star of the show.
Here’s what you need to make this tasty casserole:
- Cornbread or Muffin Mix – It forms the bottom crust of the casserole. You don’t have to bake the mix. Just prepare the batter.
- Olive Oil – For sauteeing the vegetables. You can also use cooking oil, but olive oil is healthier and has a nice flavor.
- Green Pepper, Onion, and Celery – Basic chili veggie must-haves. It’s fine to skip the celery if you’re not a fan.
- Hot Dogs – Basic hot dogs, brats, chorizo, beef dogs, any kind works.
- Chili with Beans – You can use home-cooked chili if you have some available. But canned chili is perfectly fine, too. Pick your favorite kind.
- Brown Sugar – For a little bit of sweetness. While I haven’t tried using white sugar for this recipe, I imagine it’ll also work.
- Garlic Powder and Chili Powder – For depth of flavor. Feel free to adjust it to your liking.
- Shredded Cheese – Cheddar, sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, as long as it’s melty, it’ll work.
How to Make Chili Dog Casserole
Making this casserole couldn’t be any easier:
1. Prep. Preheat the oven and grease your baking dish. Be generous when greasing to keep the cornbread from sticking to the dish.
2. Make the cornbread batter. Follow what it says on the back of the box.
3. Prepare the cheese dog filling. Cook the green pepper, onion, and celery until crisp-tender. Add the bite-sized hot dogs and cook until they’re lightly browned.
Stir in the chili, sugar, and seasonings and bring it to a boil. Mix in the shredded cheddar.
4. Assemble the casserole. Spoon half of the mixture into the bottom of the dish and spread it evenly. Top this layer with the cheese dog filling. Top it with the remaining cornbread batter and sprinkle it with cheese.
5. Bake the casserole. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 28 to 32 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Let it cool, serve, and enjoy. Let the baked casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Casserole
Follow these simple tips to make your casserole even better:
- Switch up the chili beans. Different beans offer different textures.
- Experiment with spices. I use garlic powder and chili powder, but you don’t have to stop there! Try herbs and spices like oregano, parsley, or paprika for added kick.
- Grease up your dish. Spray it well with non-stick spray to keep the cornbread from sticking to the pan.
So many things go well with hot dogs, cornbread, and melty cheese. Feel free to customize your casserole to your liking! Here are some suggestions:
- Throw in some tater tots. They’re perfect for breakfast! Mix them in with the hot dog filling for a hearty addition.
- Vary the hot dogs. Use cheese dogs, brats, chorizo, anything goes. I like to use spicy hot dogs.
- Wrap them up. Skip the cornbread batter and use wrapped hot dogs instead. It’s a great idea if you have leftover pigs in blankets.
- To slice or not to slice. It’s up to you whether you want to cut up your hot dogs or bake them whole.
- Beans or no beans. I prefer my chili with beans, but if you like yours without, go ahead.
- Bring on the heat. If you like a spicy casserole, season the filling with cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. You can add some jalapenos to the cornbread batter, too.
- Try toppings galore. Make it your own with your favorite toppings. Try chopped onions, avocado slices, salsa, corn chips, more cheese, you name it.
Can You Make This Casserole Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! Just bake the casserole as instructed and allow it to cool completely. Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the casserole with more cheese. Cover the dish with foil and rewarm it at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes.
How to Store Leftovers
To Store: Allow the chili cheese dog casserole to cool completely. Cover it tightly and refrigerate it for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Allow the chili cheese dog casserole to cool completely. Place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 3 months.
To Thaw: Allow the frozen casserole to thaw in the fridge overnight.
To Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave until they’re warmed through. If you’re reheating the whole casserole, do so in the oven at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes.
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