Home Side Dishes What to Serve with Hot Dogs: 14 Picnic Classics

What to Serve with Hot Dogs: 14 Picnic Classics

Hot Dogs
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There’s probably nothing more American than a good-old hot dog. These tender, juicy, and savory sausages are fantastic, whether you serve them for a quick dinner with the family or at a fun backyard cookout with friends. 

But no matter how addictive they are, you can’t eat them all by themselves. When you’re serving hot dogs at a party, you’ll want to give your guests a nice spread of sides for a more well-rounded meal.

If you’re wondering about the best side dishes for your next cookout, we’ve got you covered. Turn your cookout into a full on feast with these classic side dishes. These scrumptious pairings will have your friends talking about your party for weeks!  


1. Chili

Whether you serve it on the side or pour it over your hot dog, chili is the perfect companion.

It doesn’t get much better than a chili dog on a hot, summer day. Makes me feel like I’m out at the ballpark.

For some extra fun, serve your chili dogs on a pretzel bun. Also sure to impress your guests.

Baked Beans

2. Baked Beans

No cookout is complete without baked beans. Load them up with brown sugar, bacon, and a little ground beef for the ultimate comfort meal. Perfect for summer BBQ’s, picnics, and tailgating.

You can also add some BBQ sauce for a true backyard classic. Or cut up slices of your hot dogs and throw them in for an extra tasty treat. So many different ways to mix and match these classic summer sides.


3. Coleslaw With A Hawaiian Twist

You’ll most likely host a cookout during the summer, so it’ll be hot and dry. As such, you’ll want to serve your guests something cool and refreshing. In this case, a classic coleslaw never disappoints.

Plus, its vibrant green and orange colors also add variety to your plate! And most importantly, itpairs perfectly with a hot dog! 

If you want to make things more interesting, why not give your classic coleslaw a Hawaiian flair? Just add pineapple tidbits into the mix.

Here’s a couple tips: don’t buy pre-shredded veggies, instead slice them up yourself. Bagged veggies are great when you’re in a hurry, but it’s always better to serve fresh vegetables for ultimate flavor and nutrition.

Also, don’t overdo it with the dressing, you don’t want your veggies swimming in too much mayo! It will overpower the refreshing flavors of the carrots and cabbage. Let your veggies shine with this creamy combo.

Italian Pasta Salad

4. Pasta Salad

If you want something more filling, a pasta salad is a perfect choice. The pasta noodles make it hearty, while the veggies make it a more nutritious choice. 

Make the salad more appetizing by picking tri-colored pasta spirals! Not only do they look good, but they’re a second source of veggies. Yup, some brands use vegetables in their pasta! So if you want to give your kids an extra dose of nutrition without them realizing it, look for those at the grocery store.

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When making a pasta salad, you’ll want to go all out on the veggies. Whatever you add, be sure they’re fresh, and then coat them in a tangy dressing to bring all the flavors together.

Macaroni Salad

5. Macaroni Salad

If you want something creamy and satisfying, how about some macaroni salad? Ditch the veggies and just go all-in on the pasta! This dish is incredibly creamy and served chilled, which is perfect with a sizzling hot dog on a hot summer day.

The best part is that it’s super easy to make! All you need to do is mix together elbow macaroni, sliced hard-boiled eggs, shredded chicken, mayo, and mustard. Add in some carrots to give it a nice crunch, too!

French Fries

6. French Fries

Hot dogs are such a classic, it only makes sense to serve them with another one. When it comes to sides, you can never go wrong with French fries.

If you’re in a hurry, a bag of frozen fries will do, but if you have time, try to make them from scratch. Flavor them with your favorite spices (mine are chili powder and cayenne pepper) and pop them in the oven! It’s not too difficult, plus you’ll impress your guests.

Sweet Potato Fries

7. Sweet Potato Fries

If you want something sweeter, go for sweet potato fries! You don’t need to deep fry these guys to make them crisp and flavorful. These are fantastic straight out of the oven. Bake at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until crispy.

Garnish them with garlic powder and paprika for ultimate flavor! Super easy, yet incredibly yummy.

Potato Salad

8. Potato Salad

Potato salad is another hearty and creamy side that is sure to satiate your hunger. Its richness pairs wonderfully with savory hot dogs. Plus, the combination of a hot entree and a cold side is always delightful! 

When making potato salad, use either red, Russet, or white potatoes. Peel and cook them for 20 minutes, and slice into bite-sized chunks. Add onions and celery and coat with mayonnaise. Garnish with salt and pepper, and they’re done!

Fried Dill Pickles

9. Fried Dill Pickles

Dill pickles are already crunchy, but if you want to make them even more crispy and irresistible, coat them in batter and deep fry them! The combination of tangy, dill pickle and savory hot dog is fantastic.

But if you’re feeling a little guilty about deep-frying pickles, you can bake them instead. You’ll still get that wonderful crisp crust, without the added calories.

Mac & Cheese

10. Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is another one of those sides that go well with anything. It’s rich, cheesy, and hearty. Served with hot dogs, it’s comfort food at its finest.

Mac and cheese is a hit for both kids and grown-ups alike, plus, it’s incredibly easy to make. Whether you’re making it from the box or from scratch, it only takes a few minutes.

You can even slice up the hot dogs and add them to the mac and cheese. Yum!


11. Cornbread

Cornbread is a sweet and savory dish that will fill up your guests’ tummies quickly. This southern classic has a distinct texture that complements the tenderness of a hot dog, making them a perfect pair.

While traditional cornbread is already impeccable, you can also add a little bit of spice by infusing the mix with some chopped jalapenos.

Corn on the Cob

12. Corn On The Cob

You’re already firing up the grill to cook those hot dogs, so you might as well maximize it. There’s nothing quite like steaming grilled corn with lots of butter to go with your freshly cooked hot dogs.

It’s sweet, crunchy, juicy, and fun to eat, especially at a cookout! 

If you’re in the mood for some Mexican, you can transform the simple corn into a fantastic elote. This Mexican street food is bursting with different flavors, but it’s really easy to make.

Just slather grilled corn with sour cream, mayonnaise, and chili powder. Then coat it with cheese – queso fresco, feta, or cojita all make fabulous choices. 

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

13. Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Here’s another refreshing dish that’s perfect for any summer cookout. It may be an uncommon pairing, but it works perfectly just the same.

It’s cool, sweet, crunchy, and juicy – an excellent combination that works well with a simple and savory hot dog. This simple salad will add a nice Greek twist to your classic American party, and your friends will surely fall in love with it!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

14. Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

I’m ending this list with an unpopular, misunderstood, but 100% amazing dish. Sure, Brussels sprouts can sometimes taste bitter, but that’s only if you don’t cook them right.

When Brussels sprouts are flavored with the best ingredients and baked at the right temperature and duration, they taste amazing! They’re nutty, earthy, sweet, and buttery – a great flavor profile to go with a hot dog.

Flavor your Brussels sprouts with maple syrup and pop them in the oven. This will result in sweet and addictive caramelized sprouts. Take it to another level by topping them with crisp and smoky bacon bits!

They’re so good you won’t even realize you’re eating Brussels sprouts.

What to Serve with Hot Dogs: 14 Picnic Classics


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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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