Chili Dogs – A Good Cheap Eat

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When you first hear the words chili dogs, nutritious and delicious are probably not the accompanying images, are they? But, last night I healthified them a bit and I think we’re good to go.

I filled Homemade Hot Dog Buns, made with whole wheat flour, with kosher hot dogs and homemade chili. The chili was, in fact, an easy throw together affair since the beans and the ground beef were already cooked and seasoned as part of my freezer meal components from earlier in the month. Accompanied by fresh veggies and homemade ranch dip, I think it scored pretty high on the good factor.

As for the frugal element, the hot dogs were completely free. I used a free product coupon when hot dogs were already “buy one, get one free”. That meant that both packages were free. The hot dog buns cost about $.75, the chili ingredients ran up to $1.26, cheese was $.25, and the veggies and dip put us back about $1. Grand total to feed 8 people? $3.26 I realize that free hot dogs are not the norm. But, on sale, I might have bought them for $5, which would still make our dinner about $8.26 to feed 8 people. That’s one good cheap eat.


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chili dog on plate with pickles
Chili Dogs
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Top juicy hot dogs with this flavorful chili for homemade chili dogs that can't be beat.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili dogs
Servings: 8
Calories: 321 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 15- ounce can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 8 homemade hot dog buns
  • 8 hot dogs cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  1. In a medium saucepan, brown the ground beef.
  2. Add the beans,  tomato sauce, water, chili powder, garlic, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
  3. Serve the hot dogs in the buns. Divide the chili among the hot dogs and top with the cheese. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Promptly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 chili dog.

Nutrition Facts
Chili Dogs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 321 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 814mg35%
Potassium 391mg11%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 423IU8%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 153mg15%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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