Chili Dogs

Taking hot dogs to the next level, these Chili Dogs are messy, fun and the perfect backyard barbecue food. Making these at home is so EASY!

If you love summer barbecues, try our Grilled Hawaiian Chicken, Texas corn dogs and Homemade Barbecue Sauce!

The Best Chili Dogs

Chili Dogs are usually what you get at amusement parks or college cafeterias. And who hasn’t eaten one too many with messy hands and extra tissue to wipe off your face. I love them because they really take hot dogs to the next level. And these are incredibly easy to make at home. If you are soaking up all the sun and spending all your time outdoors grilling with your family, these chili dogs should be on your must make list.

These Chili Dogs are such an American classic and with our favorite fast and easy chili recipe, I bet your whole family will love them! Don’t forget the extra napkins!

Easy Homemade Chili:

Start with an easy chili recipe. You can use your house favorite, try out our Chipotle Chili recipe or use my extra easy recipe below. Make the chili a day ahead which really allows the flavors to become better. On the day, just heat it up on the grill if you like (let it simmer while you grill all the other stuff), or heat it on the stove. And you are ready to start layering your chili dogs.

Making Hot Dogs:

Choose to boil, pan fry or grill your hot dogs. Grilled hot dogs are a personal favourite plus those char marks look so good when you assemble your chili dogs.

We prefer our buns toasted most of the time, but there are people in the family who like theirs untoasted too. Toasted buns hold up better under the chili and hot dogs. And you can butter them and throw them on the grill for a minute or two for a quick toast.

chili cooked in a pot for chili dogs

Chili Dog Toppings:

I know toppings are a personal affair. Everyone likes what they like.

Choose from:

  • Red Onions
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Relish and Pickles
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Coleslaw

Grilled hot dog buns for chili dog

More Great Barbecue Recipes:

  • Grilled Honey Barbecue Chicken Foil Packets
  • Grilled BBQ Chicken
  • Key Lime Chicken 
  • Portobello Burgers
  • Citrus Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Super closeup of chili dogs on a plate



Closeup of chili dogs on a plate


Chili Dogs

Taking hot dogs to the next level, these Chili Dogs are messy, fun and the perfect backyard barbecue food! Making these at home is so EASY!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy chili dog, chili dog, hot dog, hot dog recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 Hot Dogs
Calories 456kcal
Author Richa Gupta


For the chili

  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Onion finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 15 ounce can Pasta Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Other Ingredients

  • 8 Hot Dog Buns
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 8 Beef Hot Dogs


Making Chili:

  • To make the chili, heat olive oil and butter in a skillet and add the ground beef, onions and garlic. Break it up with the back of a spoon and cook till the beef started browning. Add the remaining ingredients for the chili and cook for 15 minutes on a slow simmer.

Grilling Hot Dogs:

  • To grill the hot dogs, heat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill grates with oil and place the hot dogs on the grill. Grill until char marks form and the hot dogs are heated through. Turn off the heat, butter the buns and if you like, grill them too.

Make a Chili Dog:

  • To assemble, place a hot dog on the buns and top with chili and your favourite toppings. Enjoy!


Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1033mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 162IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg

Doner Kebab Meat – beef or lamb

This is a homemade recipe for the mystery Doner kebab meat you see rotating on vertical rotisseries in kebab shops. It’s a miniature version but what it lacks in size is made up in flavour – and authenticity!! Oven roasted or try a home rotisserie. Carve it, fry it, then stuff into beef or lamb Doner Kebabs OR Gyros.

Excellent large format food for gatherings – make ahead and economical! Also see Chicken Doner Kebabs.

How many times have you walked past a Doner kebab shop and glanced at those giant punching bag-sized kebab meats rotating round and round, and wondered how long has that meat been out for?? I wonder if it’s really meat, or 90% fillers??

Well wonder no more!! Shops might use fillers, but WE don’t need to!

Doner Kebab Meat recipe – beef or lamb

This homemade version of rotisserie Doner Kebab Meat can be made with either lamb or beef. While beef is a firm favourite here in Australia, in Turkey (the home of Doner Kebabs) they are made with both lamb and beef. Both are delicious, I couldn’t choose a favourite!

Though this is a miniature version of the giant ones you see in the shops and we’ve adapted the cooking method for home kitchens, the end result is so similar to the real deal it is going to amaze you!

Stand it upright, carve it up thinly and fry it up gently to get golden edges. Your house is going to smell like a kebab shop!

Homemade rotisserie Doner Kebab Meat

Beef Doner Kebab ready to be eaten

Plate of carved homemade Doner Kebab Meat

What is Doner Kebab meat made of?

Ahh, you’ve always wondered, haven’t you?? Here’s what you need. Bacon is the surprise secret ingredient – more on this below!

Doner Kebab Meat ingredients

  • Beef or lamb – get 15% fat for best results. If you inspect those kebab shop meats closely, you will see they are DRIPPING with fat!! Ours is not as fatty, but when we tried it with lean meat, it just wasn’t the same. Also remember, the flavour of meat is all in the fat. Mix lamb fat into lean beef, and you’d swear you’re eating lamb!
  • Streaky Bacon – the secret ingredient, as discovered by Kenji at Serious Eats whose Gyros recipe we used as a base for ours. It doesn’t make the meat taste bacony, but it adds salt into the meat and most importantly, it adds fat. It is key, do not skip it! (Or if you do, do not complain if disappointed with the recipe outcome );
  • Spices – a mix we figured out ourselves by sampling the meat from our favourite kebab shops; and
  • Onion and garlic – essential flavour base!

How to make Doner Kebab meat

And the best part – how to make it! It is easy. Once you get your head around manhandling a giant block of meat!

How to make Doner Kebab Meat (beef or lamb)

In a nutshell, the meat is pureed in a food processor which transforms it into a “paste” which gives it the unique carvable meat texture (as opposed to, for example, Meatloaf where ground/mince beef is just shaped by hand and has a more “crumbly” texture).

Then roll it into a log shape using foil – this holds the shape while suspended over a pan using skewers (without it, the meat sags when raw) – then cook it in the oven. Whip off the foil at the end to brown it, stand it upright and carve!!

Carving homemade Doner Kebab Meat - oven or rotisserie

Carving and pan frying

The texture of the cooked meat is such that it can be carved thinly – just like in kebab shops!

Shave it quite thinly and once you’ve cut off as much as you want/need, pan fry it gently to get a blush of gold on it. This is a magic touch that really transforms the meat because once you carve off the outer browned layer, the meat inside is just pink. It’s the same special finishing touch we do with Mexican Carnitas!

How to carve Doner Kebab Meat

Close up of Homemade Doner Kebab Meat

And here’s a close up of the Doner Kebab Meat being pan fried. Just lightly pan fried, not to crisp it, just to get a hint of gold on it like they do in Kebab Shops to freshen up the meat.

It only takes a minute or so because it’s so thin.

Golden pan fried Doner Kebab Meat

Doner Kebabs

And here is a big fat juicy Doner Kebab! Wildly popular here in Australia, particularly after a late night out at the pub with mates!

Made with Lebanese bread or other thin flatbreads, smeared with hummus, topped with Doner Kebab Meat, lettuce, tomato, onion and sauces such as yogurt, garlic and chilli sauce. Optional extras include cheese (which I think is a blasphemy!) and tabbouleh.

Beef Doner Kebabs ready to be eaten

Imagine it over CHARCOAL!!

I’ve had to make do with a boring old oven to cook this. I would LOVE to to make this over charcoal one day! Imagine it on a spit, rotating slowly over hot coals….that smokey flavour would be to die for!

One day, one day…

Hand picking up Beef Doner Kebabs

Doner Kebab vs Gyros vs Shawarma

Gyro, shawarma and doner kebab all have the same meaning. Those words all translate to “turning” or “rotating meat” and they refer to the rotisserie cooking technique.

Which word is used depends which part of the Mediterranean or Middle East you’re in. Gyros is Greek. Shawarma is Israel and Arab countries (spicing is much stronger). Doner Kebab is what they call it in Turkey.

While there are of course some differences in the finished dish (type of flatbread, sauces used) and the seasonings used for the meat, they are similar in spirit!

As for what animal meat it is, it varies. Chicken, beef, lamb and pork are all used to varying degrees, depending on the country. Also whether it’s layered (like in Chicken Doner Kebab) or smooth meat style (which is what I’m sharing today) also varies depending where you are.

One thing’s for sure. I’m yet to meet a Doner Kebab/Gyros or Shawarma that I haven’t loved!

Shawarma vs Doner Kebab vs Gyros

Recipes I’ve shared

Here in Australia, Doner Kebabs is common though you will find Gyros in ethnic areas. In America, it’s the other way round – Gyros is the common version. Harder to find Doner Kebabs!

Nowadays, you’ll find both all around the world. Last year, I had some amazing Doner Kebabs in the heart of Paris of all places!

Here are Gyros/Shawarma/Doner Kebab recipes I’ve previously shared:

Excellent large format food to make ahead

Two more big things this homemade Doner Kebab Meat has going for it:

  1. Excellent for making ahead – it stays 100% fresh because the meat is so juicy (ahem! Fatty…… ). Cook the log through, cool, fridge or freeze, then reheat in the oven; and
  2. Excellent for feeding a crowd – this makes lots! 1 kg / 2lb probably serves 8 people – shaved meat goes further. Maybe 6 if you stuff very generously. Fry the slices on a BBQ so you can cook lots at the same time, though you can also just pan fry it a bit in advance then reheat in the microwave (I did this, and it worked perfectly).

And if that’s not enough to convince you to make this, then just do it to get a kick out of how it is a dead set replica of the kebab shop meat. Or your favourite gyros cart. Depending on where you live! – Nagi x

PS I honestly cannot stress enough how your house is going to smell just like your local neighbourhood kebab shop!!

Watch how to make it

Carving Doner Kebab Meat


Homemade Rotisserie Doner Kebab Meat – beef or lamb!

Recipe video above. This is a homemade version of the giant punching bag size Doner kebab meats rotating on vertical rotisseries in kebab shops! It might be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in authenticity and flavour. Be prepared to be amazed – it tastes JUST like the real deal (and your house will smell like a kebab shop!)

Excellent food for gatherings – make ahead, wow factor, DIY wraps and economical.

Course BBQ, Mains
Cuisine Turkish
Keyword Doner kebab meat, Doner Kebab Recipe, rotisserie doner kebab
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Marinate 2 hours
Servings 8
Calories 413kcal
Author Nagi


  • 1 kg / 2 lb lamb or beef mince (ground meat) , preferably 15% fat (Note 1)
  • 200g / 7oz streaky bacon , roughly diced (Note 2)
  • 1 onion , diced (brown, yellow, white)
  • 2 clove garlic , roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil (for frying)

Seasoning Spices:

  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp salt , kosher/cooking salt (Note 3)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Doner Kebabs:

  • 8 flatbreads (Lebanese bread authentic!)
  • 1 iceberg lettuce , finely shredded
  • 6 tomatoes , halved and sliced
  • 2 red onions , finely sliced
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt sauce , optional (recipe Note 8)
  • More Sauce options: chilli sauce/Sriracha (I use this), BBQ, sweet chilli, tomato sauce/ketchup
  • Extra options: tabbouleh, shredded cheese


Marinate Meat:

  • Mix beef or lamb with all the Spices – mix well using your hands.
  • Cover and refrigerate 2 hours minimum, or up to 24 hours.


  • Preheat oven to 170°C/ 325°F (150°C fan).
  • Line baking pan with foil.
  • Check to ensure skewers are long enough to prop on the sides of the pan. (Note 5)

Puree Meat:

  • Place onion, bacon and garlic in a 8 cup/2L+ food processor. Blitz until it becomes a paste (video at 29 sec),~30 sec on high, scraping down sides as you go.
  • Add meat and blitz on low until it becomes a paste (video at 42 sec), scraping down sides (~1 min for powerful food processors, 2 min for less powerful). (Note 4)

Shape Doner Kebab Meat:

  • Turn meat out onto work surface. Wet hands with water, then shape into an even block 20cm/8″ long.
  • Place 2 x 60cm / 2 feet long pieces of foil overlapping each other by 1/3. (Note 6)
  • Place meat on the end of the foil, then roll it up, tightly wrapping it in the foil.
  • Twist the ends firmly to form a log 25cm/10″ long, then snip off excess foil. Roll into even log.
  • Thread skewers through the log.
  • Place log elevated in pan by propping skewers on the edge of the pan. (Note 7)


  • Cook for 1 1/2 hours, turning once after 1 hour, until the log reaches 70°C/160°F (up to 80°C/175°F is fine). The log is cooked at this point. (Note 9)
  • Remove foil from log but leave skewers in place.
  • Increase oven heat to 250°C/480°F, or as high as your oven can go if it can’t reach this.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating once, until browned all over.

Shaving / pan frying (kebab shop style!):

  • Remove skewers then stand the meat upright.
  • Shave meat thinly – carve as much as you intend to use.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook shaved meat lightly coloured but still “floppy” (not crisped). Use immediately for Doner Kebabs!

Doner Kebabs:

  • Smear hummus on warmed flatbread. Top with lettuce, tomato, and onion.
  • Pile on Doner Kebab Meat. Drizzle with sauce(s) of choice.
  • Roll up tightly, wrap in foil if desired (to hold together). Grab and devour!


1. Meat – fattier is better for flavour and to keep the meat juicy. Shop kebab meat is VERY fatty – fattier than this recipe!

Supermarket meat typically discloses fat % nowadays (look at the nutrition table), and butchers should know the fat % of their meat.

Beef is most common in Australia, both are popular in Turkey 

2. Bacon – ie. belly-only part of a bacon – no loin eye

3. Salt – I know it sounds like a lot, but remember the meat is shaved thinly so you don’t get much salt in each bite.
If you only have table salt, decrease to 2 teaspoons.

4. Pureed meat consistency – See video for how it should look – you should be able to do a smooth “smear” on the surface.

5. Skewers optional – skewers enable the meat to be cooked in a cylinder shape by keeping it elevated off the pan. But if you don’t have them, that’s fine – just shape into a log and cook on the pan or on a tray (in foil).

6. Foil – purpose is twofold: to hold the shape of the log as it cooks (otherwise raw log slides down through skewers) and hold in juices as it cooks.

7. Propping issues – if your log is too long to fit in the pan / skewers not long enough to reach edges, use things like ramekins or scrunched up balls of foil in the pan to keep the log elevated. OR prop it on the diagonal.

8. Lemon Yogurt Sauce – mix and set aside 20 minutes:
2 cups (500g) Greek yoghurt
2 garlic cloves, minced using garlic mincer or finely grated
1 tsp cumin (optional)
2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

9. Uncooked meat – if you don’t have an meat thermometer and you carve away and find the inside is a bit undercooked, don’t worry, the thin slices cook in a flash on the stove!

10. Storage – keeps exceptionally well due to the high fat content! Options:

  • Cook log but don’t brown. Cool in foil, then unwrap and cling wrap (don’t leave in foil). Refrigerate up to 5 days OR freeze. On day of, thaw, wrap in foil and reheat in oven (temp per recipe) until heated through (insert knife to check), about 20 minutes. Then unwrap and brown then use per recipe.
  • Use some now, save some for later – either store uncarved log or carved meat (not pan fried). Then pan fry fresh just before using.
  • Freezing – cooked log or carved meat can be frozen for 3 months. Thaw then pan fry before serving.

11. Recipe credit goes entirely to Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats for discovering this amazing technique! We used his method, added our seasonings and tweaked it to make it an authentic looking log (added foil, skewers etc etc).

12. Nutrition per serving – meat only, assumes 8 servings.


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1386mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 3mg

Life of Dozer

Same expression whether he’s gagging over a giant hunk of Doner Kebab meat or panting from exertion at the park….


The post Doner Kebab Meat – beef or lamb appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs

Indulge in these Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs for dinner. Each skewer is filled with large shrimp, smoked sausage, onions, peppers, and an insanely good homemade Cajun seasoning. Serve even on the busiest of nights. Once you learn how to quickly and easily make homemade kabobs, you are going to be in food heaven. I haveContinue Reading

Summer Salads

It is officially summertime!  It’s gorgeous outside with bright blue sunny skies.  This year of course, is a little different.  I am really missing my weekly trips to the Farmer’s Market.  I miss people-watching with the bustling crowds, sampling tasty treats, and all the colorful fruits, vegetables, and flowers!

During the summer, a lot of us feel like eating simple, light and refreshing food. Salads are perfect and make for great lunches! Why not try a bowl of salad to satisfy those fresh and healthy cravings? Salads are super simple to assemble. You can use whatever you have on hand paired with your favorite dressing. I prefer a salad with a light homemade dressing. Try some of my favorite salads listed here and let me know what you think: 

Cucumber salad

Arugula and Melon salad

Spinach Couscous Salad

Mango Salsa

Quinoa Salad

Carrot and Moong Dal Salad

The post Summer Salads appeared first on Manjula’s Kitchen.

Energy Bites

These easy Energy Bites make the perfect healthy snack, made with whole grain oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, and coconut. Make a big batch to have them on hand for any occasion!

We are ALL about healthy snacks that the whole family loves!  Don’t miss our other favorites including: homemade applesauce, skinny banana bread, carrot muffins, and no-bake granola bars.

What we LOVE about these Energy Balls:

  • No Bake.  This easy recipe takes about five minutes to throw together and you don’t even have to turn on the oven!
  • Store for weeks: They last in the fridge for 2 weeks, making them the perfect snack before a workout or for a busy morning when you don’t have time to make breakfast and forget to eat (story of my life)!
  • Adaptable: Have fun substituting your favorite ingredients! I’ll often include chopped almonds or substitute raisins or Craisins for the chocolate chips. I recently used butterscotch chips in place of chocolate and those were delicious too! The options are endless. You can also substitute a different type of nut butter in place of the peanut butter. If you have a child with nut allergies you could use sunflower butter.

Ingredients in Energy Bites:

  • Oats:  This energy ball recipe is made with both rolled oats and steel cut oats, which add a fun crunch and an extra dose of healthy grains full of fiber and protein.
  • Coconut. Any kind, sweetened or unsweetened.
  • Crispy Rice cereal.  Rice Krispies or an off brand work well.
  • Flax seeds: The flax seeds are a great source of omega-3, protein and fiber,
  • Peanut Butter: or your other favorite nutter butter!
  • Chocolate Chips.  Because everything tastes better with a handful of chocolate chips.
  • Honey. This is (along with peanut butter) is the major binding ingredient.  Add more honey if your energy balls seem dry or crumbly.
  • Vanilla

Separate bowls with the, labeled, ingredients needed to make Energy Balls.

How to Make Energy Bites:

1. Combine all ingredients.  In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients really well.

2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before forming into balls. (If the mixture isn’t holding together well enough you can add a little more nut butter or honey to help it bind).

3. Form energy balls.  I like to use a cookie scooper to make 1-2 inch uniform balls and gently roll them with my hands.  Spray your hands lightly with cooking spray for easier rolling.

2. Serve, refrigerate, or freeze. See more freezing directions below.

Two process photos of the ingredients for energy balls stirred together in a bowl, then rolled into balls.

Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead:  Energy bites are a great make ahead snack.  Make them weeks or months ahead of time and refrigerator or freeze. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks depending on freshness of your ingredients.

To freeze: Place energy balls into a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.


  • Add dried fruit: dates, raisins, anything you like.
  • Higher protein:  If you’re looking for extra high protein energy bites, add 1 scoop of protein powder (any flavor) and about 1 tbs. more honey to ensure they aren’t dry or crumbly.
  • Add nuts: Add chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
  • Without flaxseed:  Substitute the 1 cup of flaxseed with an extra 1/2 cup oats or cereal.

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Homemade energy balls stacked on top of each other in a bowl.

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Energy Bites

These easy Energy Bites make the perfect healthy snack, made with whole grain oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, and coconut.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 40
Calories 128kcal
Author Lauren Allen


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies or crushed rice chex)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. 
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before forming into 1-2 inch balls. (If the mixture isn’t holding together well enough you can add a little more nut butter or honey to help it bind). Keep refrigerated for an easy snack on the go.
  • Feel free to include other “add-ins” like chopped almonds, raisins, etc.
  • Don’t miss these HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS!


Make ahead Instructions: Make and roll the mixture into balls and store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, depending on freshness of your ingredients. 

Freezing Instructions: Make and instructed and store energy balls in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or at room temperature.


  • Add dried fruit: dates, raisins, anything you like.
  • Higher protein:  If you’re looking for extra high protein energy bites, add 1 scoop of protein powder (any flavor) and about 1 tbs. more honey to ensure they aren’t dry or crumbly.
  • Add nuts: Add chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
  • Without flaxseed:  Substitute the 1 cup of flaxseed with an extra 1/2 cup oats or cereal.


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe March 2017. Updated July 2020 with process photos and additional tips.

The post Energy Bites appeared first on Tastes Better From Scratch.