Win Memorial Day with 12 Amazing Hot Dog Toppings

Grilling season officially kicks off next weekend, and we’re here to make sure your Memorial Day cookout is better than ever. Start with one of the simplest things you could possibly throw on the grill: hot dogs. There are probably a million possible hot dog combinations.

First you’ve got your bun options: honey wheat, potato, bolillo, baguette. Then you’ve got your options for sauce, cheese, veggies and other toppings. Finally, you’ve got your choices for the dog itself: veggie, chicken, Ball Park Frank, organic grass-fed beef … and sausages, oh, the sausages! Actually, all hot dogs are sausages, but we tend to put the spicier variety in its own category.

Summer party spreads like picnics and potlucks are an excellent opportunity to put your creative snacking skills to use and experiment with inventing new and exciting hot dog combinations, or host a summer soiree with a preloaded DIY hot dog bar to get your guests’ juices flowing.

Pimento Cheese Hot Dog with Red Peppers on a Pretzel Bun

Pimento Cheese Hot Dog with Red Peppers on a Pretzel Bun

All beef jumbo hot dogs on pretzel bun topped with pimento cheese spread and fresh red pepper slices. Ideas and photos by Jackie Alpers for Food Network.com

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2015

Jackie Alpers, 2015

All beef jumbo hot dogs on pretzel bun topped with pimento cheese spread and fresh red pepper slices. Ideas and photos by Jackie Alpers for Food Network.com

Go Southern: Pimento Cheese Hot Dog

Top a classic beef hot dog with a generous portion of pimento cheese spread and fresh red-pepper slices (for crunch), and serve on pretzel rolls.

JackieAlpers_Thai-Peanut-hot-dog

JackieAlpers_Thai-Peanut-hot-dog

The Thai Hot Dog by Jackie Alpers for FoodNetwork.com. Spicy Chicken Sauage, Peanut sauce, Thai slaw, peanuts and Cilantro.

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2015

Jackie Alpers, 2015

The Thai Hot Dog by Jackie Alpers for FoodNetwork.com. Spicy Chicken Sauage, Peanut sauce, Thai slaw, peanuts and Cilantro.

Spice Things Up: Thai Chicken Hot Dog

Spread buns with a thick layer of Thai peanut sauce, then top with spicy chicken sausages. Spoon on Asian slaw, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

Caprese Hot Dog by Jackie Alpers

Caprese Hot Dog by Jackie Alpers

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network. Caprese hot dog with balsamic ketchup, heirloom tomatoes, basil, mossarella, salt and pepper on a baguette.

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2015

Jackie Alpers, 2015

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network. Caprese hot dog with balsamic ketchup, heirloom tomatoes, basil, mossarella, salt and pepper on a baguette.

Summer on a Bun: Caprese Hot Dog

Cut a demi-baguette in half and slice it down the side. Tuck in sweet Italian chicken sausage and fresh basil leaves, then top with balsamic ketchup, fresh mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Banana Dessert Dog Sundae for Kids By Jackie Alpers

Banana Dessert Dog Sundae for Kids By Jackie Alpers

Surprise kids of all ages with this banana "hot dog" served in a bun by Jackie Alpers for FoodNetwork.com

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2015

Jackie Alpers, 2015

Surprise kids of all ages with this banana "hot dog" served in a bun by Jackie Alpers for FoodNetwork.com

Sweet Finish: Banana Dessert Dog

This one’s perfect for kids, and for kids at heart. Spread a traditional white bun with peanut butter on both sides, substitute a banana for the hot dog, drizzle with chocolate sauce, and top with plenty of whipped cream, sprinkles and (of course) a cherry on top.

Browse the full gallery for more hot dog inspiration, plus check out all of Food Network’s best Memorial Day recipe ideas.

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Throw a Memorial Day Picnic

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