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Simple Meals With Hotdogs

by Elizabeth Arnold

There aren't many kids who don't like hot dogs. Incorporate the smoked meat into a variety of recipes to create fast and simple meals. Hot dog dishes make ideal lunch or dinner meals any day of the week. As a healthy twist, complete the meal with kid-friendly vegetables such as carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes.

Hot Dogs on Buns

Hot dogs on buns are quintessential summer food. Whether you grill, pan-fry or boil the hot dogs, you'll have a tasty meal in minutes. Serve the hot dogs along with all of the traditional fixings, such as mustard, ketchup, relish and chopped white onions. Creative toppings include diced tomatoes, crispy bacon crumbles, corn relish and caramelized onions. Set out some no-beans chili and grated cheese for classic chili-cheese dogs --- but don't spare the napkins. Complete the simple meal with a side of baked beans, carrot and celery sticks, or potato salad. Cool ranch dressing adds zip to potato salad, and you can let the kids use dressing as a veggie dip.

Hot Dog Casserole

As an easy, one-dish meal, make a cheesy hot dog casserole. Whip up your favorite boxed macaroni and cheese, or make the creamy dish from scratch. Mix cooked, sliced hot dogs into the macaroni and cheese, transfer to a casserole dish, and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake the casserole until the cheese is melted and serve it with a fresh garden salad and creamy dressing.

Hot Dogs on a Sticks

Kids will love eating homemade hot dogs on sticks, which you can serve as part of a simple birthday party meal. To make the fun finger food, insert wooden skewers into hot dogs. Wrap the hot dogs with strips of refrigerated breadstick dough and bake them until golden brown. To turn the hot dog sticks into a meal, serve them alongside baked beans, macaroni and cheese, or a chilled vegetable pasta salad made with creamy ranch dressing.

Chili Dog Casserole

Chili dog casserole is a dish that even adults will look forward to eating. For convenience, use leftover or canned chili when creating the dish. To make the casserole, simply roll hot dogs in corn or flour tortillas and place them into a baking dish. Pour the chili over the rolled franks and top with shredded cheddar cheese. The dish will bake up hot and bubbly. Serve with a platter of sliced raw veggies and spicy dressing for dipping.

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images