Italian Hot Dog Recipe

Make this special New Jersey hot dog for your next gathering

Italian hot dogs

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 6 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
587 Calories
31g Fat
61g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 587
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 1013mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 59mg 296%
Calcium 148mg 11%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 944mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Italian hot dogs are a New Jersey specialty made famous by Jimmy "Buff" Racioppi and his wife Mary. In the early 1930s, Mary Racioppi made the first Italian hot dogs and served them to Jimmy and his friends. The special hot dogs were so popular with their friends, that they opened a restaurant, "Jimmy Buffs," featuring the hot dogs.

The topping ingredients make these Jersey dogs unique. Depending on the restaurant, a New Jersey Italian hot dog may be served in Italian rolls or "pizza bread," which is essentially a round loaf, similar to muffuletta bread, made with pizza dough. The rolls—or quartered round loaves—are filled with hot dogs, fried potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Grilled hot dogs are featured in this version, but feel free to steam, sauté, air-fry, or deep-fry them.

The fried potatoes and peppers make these hot dogs a dish you could serve for any meal—breakfast, lunch, or dinner!  The hot dogs are perfect for a party or tailgating event or add them to your Memorial Day or July 4th menu. For side dishes, consider serving them with a tossed salad or coleslaw. Even though they contain potatoes, you might like some chips or sweet potato fries on the side.

"A fun recipe to make, this is a great twist for hot dog night. The potatoes fried up easily as promised, and the extra veggies were a nice side. With the Italian seasoning and mustard bringing all the elements together, it’s easy to see why Italian hot dogs are a favorite." —Colleen Graham

Italian Hot Dogs/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Vegetable oil, for frying and for the grill

  • 6 all-beef hot dogs

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, quartered and sliced crosswise

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 medium onion, sliced

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 4 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, more as needed

  • 6 large hot dog buns, torpedo rolls, or pizza bread, toasted if desired

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Italian hot dogs

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal outdoor grill fire, or indoor grill pan. Lightly oil the grill. Grill the hot dogs, turning frequently until charred on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the hot dogs to a platter and keep warm.

    Grilled hot dogs on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Add about 1/2 inch of oil to a large deep, heavy-duty skillet. Heat to 350 F over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in batches, if necessary, and fry, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and continue to cook until golden brown and tender, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

    A skillet of fried potatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle lightly with salt.

    Fried potatoes draining on a paper towel, topped with salt

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the frying oil from the skillet. Add the onions, peppers, and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Onions, peppers, and Italian seasonings cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Return the potatoes to the pan. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

    A skillet of fried potatoes and cooked peppers and onions

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Spread some of the mustard on the bread, then place a hot dog on each. Top with the potatoes, onions, and peppers. Finish with extra mustard, if desired. Serve immediately.

    A platter of hot dogs topped with mustard, peppers, onions, and fried potatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • If using a round loaf of pizza bread or muffuletta bread, cut it into quarters, slice each quarter to make a pocket, and fill with the hot dog and toppings.
  • To make a "double" Italian hot dog, add 2 hot dogs to a large roll or half of a round pizza loaf.

Alternate Hot Dog Cooking Methods

  • Deep-Fried: Heat about 1 inch of neutral-flavor oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or a deep saucepan over medium-high heat; deep-fry the hot dogs for about 2 minutes, until browned.
  • Baked: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the hot dogs on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned.
  • Steamed: Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and place a steaming basket in it. Bring the water to a boil and place the hot dogs in the basket. Cover the pan and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Broiled: Preheat the broiler and arrange the hot dogs on a rack in a rimmed baking pan. Broil the hot dogs for about 3 minutes; turn them over and broil for about 3 to 4 minutes longer.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the beef hot dogs with smoked sausages, chicken sausages, or cooked Italian sausages.
  • For a vegetarian version, make the recipe with your favorite meat-free hot dogs or sausages.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover hot dogs in a covered container or zip-close bag for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze leftover hot dogs, wrap them in foil and place them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Label the container with the name and date and freeze them for up to 3 months.