Yesterday, after I picked my 12-year-old up from his week-long mission trip (where he helped build a wheel chair ramp for someone in need and served in a soup kitchen), I had five hours to help him do all his laundry, re-pack, and get him to sleepover summer camp. Somehwere in those five hours, I also needed to bring the whole family together for dinner so we could have a little face-to-face time and my son could tell us all about his first mission trip.

Dinner, obviously, could not be complicated. Hot dogs on the grill did the trick, but I made too many. I now have extra cooked hot dogs in my fridge. They could get reheated and simply stuck in buns, but I always like to see how leftovers can be turned into something new. Adding them to mac and cheese is a classic way to use them (my mother-in-law always added a can of stewed tomatoes to the hot dog/mac-and cheese pot). I wanted some other ideas so I asked some friends on Facebook how they use leftover hot dogs. They gave me some ideas and then I hunted down a few other recipes online.

  1. Sloppy Dawgs – This recipe starts with uncooked hot dogs, but will work with leftovers just as well. Chop the leftover hot dogs but don’t cook them in the first step – just go straight to sautéing the onion and bell pepper. You’ll end up with a sloppy joe sandwich filling made with hot dogs instead of ground beef.
  2. Grilled Hot Dogs and Peppers in Sweet Chili Sauce – This recipe uses leftover hot dogs or sausages added to peppers (and zucchini if you want) quickly stir friend in chili sauce. It’s one of the healthier ways I’ve seen to use up the hot dogs.
  3. Chicago Dog Salad - Another healthy-ish way to use the dogs up. There's no bun, but plenty of Chicago-style dog flavor in this salad that has cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles with a mustard vinegar dressing.
  4. Mashed Potatoes and Dogs – Add chopped up hot dogs to mashed potatoes. Top with grated cheddar, colby or Jack. Or, instead of mashed potatoes, top a baked potato with the dogs and cheese.
  5. Scrambled Egg Mix-in – Mix leftover chopped hot dogs into scrambled eggs. I supposed it’s not so different from putting ham in your eggs.
  6. Corndog Muffins -  Instead of fried and on a stick, these corndogs are baked in cornbread mix.
  7. Hot Dog Hash – I’ve used chicken and ham before to make hash, so why not hot dogs? Potatoes and onions get sauteed, leftover hot dogs are added, and it’s all topped with a fried egg. You can watch Michael Symon make the dish in five minutes or less, but I can’t imagine the potatoes would be cooked enough in five minutes. Feel free to cook them longer.

Do you have a favorite way to use up leftover hot dogs? And, I'm also curious to know, do you have a favorite organic hot dog? I'm always looking for different brands to try.

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