Hot dogs are a traditional American food that is great alone but sublime when you add the right toppings. There’s little as good as a cheese sauce to top your dog and add a creamy burst of flavor. There is no best hot dog cheese sauce because everyone has their preferences. It’s the perfect addition to any barbecue, weekend dinner, or party.
How do you make a delicious hot dog cheese sauce?
It’s best to master a basic cheese sauce, then build your repertoire by adding a few twists until you find the perfect version. A little knowledge, practice, and experimentation can result in a signature sauce that is yours alone. Let’s start with a basic cheese sauce that elevates a plain hot dog to a notch above regular on the flavor scale.
Cheddar cheese sauce recipe
Just a Pinch recommends a basic yet creamy, flavorful cheddar cheese sauce. You can integrate any cheddar cheese into the recipe, but theirs calls for sharp cheddar because it provides a slightly tangy taste sensation (and because a good, sharp cheddar is good in any recipe calling for cheddar cheese). It’s an easy recipe to follow with simple ingredients and step-by-step instructions.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Pour the milk into a large pan and warm over medium heat. Heat the milk until bubbles begin to appear on the top.
While the milk is heating, melt the butter in a separate pan. Add the flour to the butter and stir together to make a roux. It’s a flour and butter paste that gives the cheese its creamy texture. Heat the roux over medium heat until the butter and flour mix thoroughly but not browned.
Add the warm milk to the rough and stir briskly with a whisk. Start pouring the milk in slowly and continue to whisk until the milk combines with the roux and no lumps remain in the mixture. Continue cooking at medium heat, and whisk until the mixture thickens. It takes about 5 minutes.
Add the grated cheddar cheese to the mixture. Continue to whisk the mixture until the cheese fully incorporates with the sauce. You can add a pinch of black pepper, sea salt, and ground cayenne to season to your preferences. If your sauce has lumps, you can strain it through a sieve for a perfect, smooth cheddar cheese sauce.
You may serve cheddar cheese sauce immediately over hot dogs, nachos, and many other foods. You can also store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for later use. Homemade cheddar cheese sauce will last 2 to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in the microwave or a stove pan, but be careful not to burn it in the bottom of the pan.
Some Like It Spicy!
Do you crave a spicier cheddar sauce? If so, we have an alternate recipe for the basic cheese sauce. Once you’ve mastered the roux method, there’s no limit to the variations you can create to make a signature hot dog cheese sauce to thrill your family and friends. Transform the inexpensive and popular hot dog into a masterpiece suitable for a gourmet meal. The sky is the limit, and you can experiment until you find the perfect combination of ingredients. If you’re new to this type of cooking, here are a few more recipes and ideas to get you started.
Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce (for hot dogs and nachos)
Our Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce is a variation of the suggestions offered by Recipezazz with a few tweaks of our own. It uses different ingredients than the basic version, with an extra dash of spice to warm things up a bit.
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce
Combine the cornstarch and cheese in a large bowl. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, then move to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the hot sauce and evaporated milk.
Heat the mixture with all four ingredients over low heat on the stove, stirring with a whisk until all ingredients melt together and become a sauce. Continue to stir with the whisk until the cheese melts and the mixture bubbles and thickens to the desired consistency. The cooking process takes approximately five minutes. It might look grainy when you first start but continue cooking until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, you can add small splashes of evaporated milk until it reaches the desired consistency. It would be best if you whisked it constantly to prevent the sauce from scorching in the bottom of the pan.
Serve over hot dogs, nachos, or other foods. You can make this sauce ahead of time to include in a Sunday lunch or store for a weeknight quick and easy meal. Store it in the refrigerator, allow the sauce to cool, and transfer it into an airtight plastic container. Reheat in a pan over low heat or in the microwave before serving.
Variations of cheese sauce for hot dogs
We’ve just learned how to make two cheese sauces for hot dogs. The basic sauce gives you a delicious topping for hot dogs, and the nacho sauce is a slightly spicier version. You can make either of the sauces in the single-batch or multiple-batch versions by doubling or tripling the recipes to serve larger crowds or use them for multiple meals. While both are exceptional cheese sauces, there is much more that you can do with them. If you love experimenting with recipes, here are a few suggestions to help start making your signature cheese sauce for hot dogs.
Additives to spice up your cheese sauce
You can easily and safely change the flavor of your basic or nacho cheese sauce by mixing other cheese options with the sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese. Try substituting half or all of the shredded cheese portions with a different kind of cheese to create interesting flavors. Here are a few suggestions for your consideration.
- Pepper jack cheese
- Smoked cheddar or shredded gouda cheese
- Deli onion cheddar cheese
- Jalapeno cheddar cheese
These are just a few examples of the different cheeses you can incorporate into your cheddar cheese sauce recipe. New cheese blends offer a wealth of options to consider to give your hot dog cheese sauce a lift. You can even throw bacon bits, onions, or minced garlic into the mix.
Delicious alternative cheese sauces for hot dogs
Yummly chefs explore yet more variations on the traditional cheese sauce that you might like to try with hot dogs. Are you a fan of Gorgonzola or white cheddar? Here are a few more recipes to give your hot dogs an extra kick.
Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
This Jalapeno cheese sauce makes 4 servings. You can double or triple the recipe if you’re feeding a larger group. It’s a different take on the traditional sauce that imparts a creamy sour cream base with notes of veggies and spicy hot jalapenos.
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 8 ounces of cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 small can of sliced jalapenos
Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan. Add the flour and create a roux, frequently stirring until thoroughly combined.
Add a cup of vegetable broth and sour cream. Whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and heated to bubbling on top.
Sprinkle in the cheddar cheese and continue whisking to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Add the jalapenos and continue to whisk until the mixture bubbles. Whisk until it thickens to the desired consistency. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
*Note: This versatile recipe is perfect for accommodating variations. To make a Supreme Jalapeno Cheese Sauce, add your choice of chopped green onion tops, minced onion, minced garlic, chopped tomatoes, or chopped bacon bits for a rich and filling sauce that goes perfectly with nachos or as a topping for hot dogs.
Gorgonzola and Red Onion Cheese Sauce
Planning to barbecue hot dogs in the backyard, but you’re tired of the same old toppings? Replace the mustard and ketchup with a burst of flavor with red onion and Gorgonzola cheese sauce to bring your menu up a notch. Gorgonzola is an ideal complement to any meat, including hot dogs. Here’s how to make this simple recipe that will thrill family and friends.
- 2/3 cup vegetable broth
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- The yolk of 1 egg
- 1 tbsp port wine
- 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, shredded
- Salt to taste
Pour vegetable broth into a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Chop onion finely, then add to the broth. Let it heat for 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat to cool slightly. Set aside.
When the broth and onions are cooled, pour them into a blender. Use the puree setting and mix until it’s smooth.
Combine the egg yolk and cheese, mixing until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and port wine, and continue mixing until smooth.
Return the onion and broth to the saucepan. Add the cheese mixture and heat on the medium setting on the burner. Bring to a bubbling boil, stirring with a whisk until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Cool slightly and serve over hot dogs and other meat recipes.
Horseshoe Cheese Sauce
The Horseshoe Cheese Sauce is another wonderful complement to hot dogs because it contains one of the most popular beverages to drink with dogs. The beer-based recipe originated in the 1920s as a topping for open-faced sandwiches. Try the Horseshoe Cheese sauce if you’re looking for a unique cheese sauce to make your hot dogs stand out. The recipe makes ten servings.
- 2 sticks of butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 16 ounces of beer (your choice)
- 5 cups of milk
- 3 pounds of shredded Old-English cheese
Melt 1/2 pound of butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat on the stove.
Stir the milk into the butter.
Gradually add the flour, whisking it into the milk mixture until it is smooth with no lumps.
Add the salt, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and shredded Old English cheese. Continue whisking the mixture over medium heat until it becomes creamy and smooth. It takes approximately 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken. It would be best if you continued to whisk the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and scorching. Remove the mixture from the heat when it has become extremely thick. Allow it to cool slightly, then add the beer, whisking to combine with the thickened cheese sauce until it blends thoroughly and smoothly into the mixture. Serve immediately over hot dogs and other foods.
*NOTE: This sauce can be frozen, then reheated later, but if you plan to freeze it, do not add the beer ingredient until you are ready to reheat and serve. It makes 3 quarts of Horseshoe Cheese Sauce.
Making homemade cheese sauce for hot dogs isn’t difficult, but there is a small learning curve. It may take a few practice runs to create the perfect roux without lumps, but it’s well worth the effort. Once you’ve mastered this skill, there is no limit to the flavor combinations you can create to make your signature cheese sauce. Friends and family flock to your home when they learn you’re serving hot dogs. If you’re less into experimentation, the cheese sauce recipes above are scrumptious without alteration. You’ll be the neighborhood star when you serve hot dogs for backyard barbecues or as a treat at dinnertime for your family.