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Easy to whip up and versatile enough to be paired with just about every topping imaginable, it’s no wonder the hot dog is an all-American favorite. With summer around the corner and grilling season upon us, we’re looking for ingenious riffs on the classic that offer a refreshing change from the standard. Read on for the mouthwatering and unique hot dog recipes, which will have you leaving the basic ketchup and mustard version in the dust.

Photography by ETHAN CALABRESE

Grilled Cheese Dogs

Delish’s ingenious creation is truly the best of both worlds. Flattened-out buns sandwich a split hot dog topped with cheddar cheese and a powdered garlic-and-onion mix.

Photography by Gentl & Hyers for Bon Appetit

Elote Dogs

Summer calls for Mexican street corn and this queso fresco take from Bon Appetit promises to deliver on all flavor fronts.

Courtesy of The Modern Proper

Hot Dog Toppings

If you’re looking for a recipe fit for the eclectic taste preferences of a crowd, allow this handy guide from The Modern Proper to serve as a source of inspiration. From a sauerkraut and curry mustard version to a nacho dog, the possibilities are endless.

Courtesy of Yes to Yolks

Buffalo Cheese Dogs With Blue Cheese Slaw

These spicy buffalo dogs by Yes to Yolks give loaded an entirely new meaning. Topped with crumbled blue cheese and a homemade Greek yogurt slaw, they’re equal parts hearty and refreshing.

Courtesy of Cooking and Beer

Bacon Cheeseburger Hot Dogs

Yet another combination of two classics we can’t wait to get our hands on. From Cooking and Beer comes a hearty blend of bacon and beef finished off with a white cheddar-cheese sauce. This one’s not for the faint of heart.

Courtesy of Genius Kitchen

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Everyone knows that Chicago is home to the ultimate hot dog. Consider this easy-to-make recipe from Genius Kitchen your ticket to the Windy City.

Courtesy of What’s Gaby Cooking

Caesar Salad Hot Dogs

Technically, this one could be construed as healthy, right? It is a salad, after all. What’s Gaby Cooking tops a plain, grilled hot dog with Parmesan crisps, Caesar dressing, and shredded lettuce, to create the ultimate crowd-pleaser.

Photography by BRAD HOLLAND

Hot Dog Cubans

The best part about this hot dog-meets-Cuban sandwich from Delish is that you don’t even need a panini maker for it. Well, that and the addition of the black forest ham and dill pickles.

Photography by Oh, Sweet Basil

Sonoran Hot Dog

Talk about a loaded hot dog: Layered with Mexican flavors like pico de gallo and a homemade cilantro cream sauce, this recipe by Oh, Sweet Basil did all the creative thinking for you. All you need now is a grocery run and fired-up grill.

Photography by Port And Fin

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Hot Dogs

Let’s be honest: Bacon-wrapped anything is great, but when paired with fresh guacamole and jalapeno? Now, that’s worthy of a dinner entree all on its own. This slightly spicy meal by Port And Fin can be made in the oven, and it’s topped off with caramelized onions and melted cheese. As the creator of this recipe says, “Sorry vegetarians, you’ll have to sit this one out.”

Photography by Molly Yeh

Banh Mi Hot Dogs

For a healthier take on the classic dog, try these veggie-filled ones by Molly Yeh. They have just the right balance of meat and greens, and the hoisin-sriracha sauce combo will have you wondering why you never went Vietnamese-style with hot dogs in the first place.

Photography by Neighborfood Blog

Greek Hot Dogs

Hummus and tzatziki on a frank? Genius. The Mediterranean flavors used in this recipe by Neighborfood Blog work unbelievably well with the good ole American dog. Top it off with diced peppers and onions for an added crunch, and you’ll never see hot dogs the same way again.

This story was originally published April 2017. It has been updated with new information. 

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