Summer hasn't arrived until you toss a package of hot dogs on the grill. Whether you go for all-beef, pork, or veggie dogs, like them practically burnt or just lightly golden, and whether you slather yours up with all the fixins or won't even speak to someone who uses ketchup on their weenie, they have become a hot-weather classic.
Because hot dogs only does not a well-rounded meal make, whip up one or two of these side dishes to accompany them. And don't forget to crack open the cold beverage of your choice to wash it all down.
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BLT Pasta Salad
Turn the diner favorite into a green salad side with this BLT pasta salad recipe. Use rotini, penne, or whatever small shaped pasta you have on hand. Cook the bacon until crispy for the best texture. Be sure to keep the salad crisp and cold until ready to serve, since it does contain mayonnaise.
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Lobster Macaroni Salad
For a fun hi-low dinner, serve this lobster macaroni salad alongside your weenie roast. It doesn't use many ingredients, so the mild lobster meat can really shine. To that end, avoid strong-flavored elements like red onion or bell pepper, which can overpower the delicate taste.
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Red Cabbage Coleslaw
Cool, crunchy, tangy coleslaw makes a great side for hot dogs that you can also pile on top if you're feeling adventurous. This one looks pretty too, with bright red cabbage. It calls for golden raisins and pecans for sweetness and crunch, but you can swap out regular raisins and use walnuts or sunflower seeds, too.
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Potato Salad with Dill
Both fresh dill and dill pickle give this potato salad an herbal note, with Dijon mustard and tarragon to round out the tangy sour cream and mayonnaise dressing. It has more flavor than the traditional potato salad, with the same creamy texture that defines the dish.Continue to 5 of 19 below.
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If you still just steam your broccoli, try this fun broccoli salad for a different twist. Mix it up with the addition of bacon, raisins, and red onions, tossed together with a sweet and sour balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise dressing. Keep it chilled if serving as part of a picnic meal.
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Grilled Corn Salad
While you already have the grill going, toss on a few ears of corn to make this sweet and simple grilled corn salad. It also makes the most of the season's best grape or cherry tomatoes, parsley, and bell pepper, to really highlight the whole garden.
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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Hot dogs go great with sides that have some heft, for a delightful textural contrast. This Mediterranean chickpea salad has crunchy veggies, creamy feta cheese, sweet summer tomatoes, and a flavor-packed lemon juice, garlic, and mustard dressing for a dish with enough personality to carry the whole meal.
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Grilled Caesar Salad
Giving romaine hearts a few minutes on the grill lends the traditional Caesar salad a lovely smoky, slightly charred flavor that makes it extra special with very little extra work. This recipe also features no raw egg or anchovies, for anyone who gets squeamish about those elements.Continue to 9 of 19 below.
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Not a fan of creamy dressings when the Mercury rises? This vinegar-based sweet and sour coleslaw brings the tang to the table, with no mayonnaise in sight. Typically served alongside barbecue dishes, it will give your hot dog dinner a Southern accent, too.
10 of 19
Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing
Let's get real: We all droop a little in the summer heat. Lean into it with this wilted spinach salad with hardboiled eggs, crunchy red onion, spicy radishes, and a warm bacon dressing to tie it all together. That dressing uses drippings from frying bacon to give it extra flavor, a trick you may want to use in other dressings and sauces too.
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Slow-Cooker Baked Beans
You will never crack open a can again once you taste these simple and delicious slow cooker baked beans. This set-it-and-forget-it dish only calls for five ingredients you may even have in your pantry already. It really doesn't get much easier.
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Old-School Vinegar Potato Salad
If you love the creamy texture of potato salad but don't want to leave mayonnaise-based dishes out in the heat, try this old-fashioned vinegar version. Its light, simple flavor pairs perfectly alongside the more assertive toppings that make up your dog.Continue to 13 of 19 below.
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Tomato, Cucumber, and Corn Salad
For those of us with entirely too many cucumbers and tomatoes in the summer, try whipping up this easy veggie salad. Because it travels well, requires no cooking, and uses garden standards, it makes a perfect side for grilling out.
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Stick some eggplant slices on the other side of the grill while roasting up those hot dogs for a smoky, charred vegetable side dish. The really adventurous can even slide a slice into the bun alongside the meat, for a fun Mediterranean twist. Grilled eggplant tastes great on its own or as part of a larger vegetable platter.
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Beer Batter Hush Puppies
Instead of chips or French fries, stick these crunchy, spicy fried hush puppies alongside your hot dogs. Use light or dark beer for the batter; the darker the beer, the more assertive the yeasty flavor. For even spicier hush puppies, dash a little Tabasco or cayenne pepper into the mix.
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Watermelon Fruit Basket
A real party-worthy centerpiece, this watermelon fruit basket tastes as great as it looks. It doesn't take as much work to put together as the final product would suggest. Fill it with the cut-up watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, grapes, blueberries, and whatever other summery fruits you like best.Continue to 17 of 19 below.
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Black Bean and Mango Salad
Sweet tropical mango, black beans, spicy jalapeno, and a zippy lime juice dressing makes this complex summer side a welcome addition to any table. Plus, it has no gluten or animal products, to suit any dietary restrictions you may have.
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Cold Soba Noodle Salad
While you may not think of serving noodles with hot dogs, this cold soba noodle salad will change your mind. With just a little spicy kick, a hint of sweetness, and lots of garden-fresh veggies, it makes a unique chilled side for any picnic meal.
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Blue Cheese Coleslaw
For a coleslaw that borrows its flavors from a hearty Cobb Salad, try this blue cheese version. It starts with a bag of coleslaw for a simple preparation, then adds all of the elements of a classic bleu cheese dressing. Add bacon crumbles and you have a side that would also taste great atop your hot dog.