Delicious A&W Chili Dog Recipe: Easy and Quick

In the United States, nothing screams “summertime” more than a classic chili dog. Whether you enjoy it at a baseball game, a county fair, or a backyard BBQ, there’s something about that juicy hot dog topped with chili that brings joy to our taste buds. And when it comes to chili dogs, A&W is one of the most iconic restaurants in the States.

But why wait in long lines or travel miles to satisfy your craving? With this copycat A&W Chili Dog recipe, you can enjoy the deliciousness of an A&W whistle dog right from your own kitchen. In this article, I will guide you through every step of the recipe, including a few variations and helpful tips. So grab a root beer and let’s get started on creating the perfect chili dog recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

A&w Chili Dog Copycat
A&w Chili Dog Copycat

Let me tell you why you’ll love this recipe for A&W Chili Dog Copycat. First and foremost, it’s a classic that originated in the United States of America and has remained a popular favorite among hot dog enthusiasts. It combines the juiciness of a hot dog topped with savory chili sauce, creating a delightful and satisfying meal.

This recipe uses simple ingredients that are easy to find and affordable. You won’t need to break the bank or go on a hunt to find exotic ingredients, which is always a plus. The recipe calls for lean ground beef, tomato paste, chili powder, yellow mustard, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce among others. These ingredients blend together perfectly to create the signature taste that you’d expect from an A&W chili dog.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can adjust the spices according to your taste preference or add toppings like onions or cheddar cheese to enhance the flavor profile. This chili dog can be enjoyed on its own or paired with fries and a root beer to live up to your A&W dining experience.

In addition to being delicious, this recipe is also super easy to make. With clear instructions and handy tips, even novice cooks can confidently cook up some heavenly chili dogs at home.

Ultimately, this A&W Chili Dog Copycat recipe will give you a chance to enjoy classic American cuisine in the comfort of your own home. You get all the good things that come with an A&W whistle dog without having to step outside your door. What difference does this make? Well, for starters, you save time and money! So grab your root beer and get cooking – it’s time for some juicy beef chili dogs!

Ingredient List

 Who says you have to go out for a delicious chili dog? Bring the iconic A&W flavor right to your own kitchen!
Who says you have to go out for a delicious chili dog? Bring the iconic A&W flavor right to your own kitchen!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to recreate the iconic A&W Chili Dog at home:
– 1 pound lean ground beef
– 6 oz tomato paste
– 1 cup water
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
– 2 teaspoons chili powder
– 2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 2 teaspoons celery seed
– 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– hot dog buns (7.5 inches long)
– frankfurters (7 or 8 depending on the size of your bun)
– Cheddar cheese (shredded)
– White onion (chopped, about 2 tablespoons)

Most of these ingredients are probably in your pantry already, but be sure to grab some ground cumin, celery seed, and Worcestershire sauce if they are missing. They add depth and complexity to the sauce that will make your chili dogs truly stand out. If you’re a vegetarian or looking for a meatless option, feel free to substitute ground beef with beyond meat or other vegetarian options.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have all the ingredients prepared, let’s start cooking this A&W Chili Dog Copycat Recipe.

Step 1: Cooking the Ground Beef

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 lb of lean ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Make sure to break up any big chunks of beef. This process usually takes around 6-7 minutes.

Step 2: Adding the Seasonings

We will now add some flavor to our chili sauce. Add 6 oz of tomato paste, 2 tsp of chili powder, 2 tbsp of yellow mustard, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of ground cumin, ½ tsp of celery seed, and a pinch of salt and black pepper to the skillet with the cooked ground beef. Pour in one cup of water and stir everything together until smooth.

Step 3: Simmering the Chili Sauce

Once you have combined all the ingredients and achieved a homogenous mix, reduce heat and let it simmer for around 20 minutes or until it thickens. While simmering, stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet.

Step 4: Assembling the Chili Dogs

During this time prepare the hot dog buns by splitting them apart without breaking through. Take each frankfurter (around 7-5 inches long) and place it inside each bun. Then, top each hot dog with our homemade chili sauce. You may sprinkle some cheddar cheese and chopped white onion on top for extra flavor.

And there you have it! Your very own A&W Chili Dog Copycat Recipe, an iconic dish from A&W restaurants in Canada and the United States. Serve them while they’re hot!

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't believe how easy this copycat chili dog recipe is to make, and the taste is truly unbeatable.
You won’t believe how easy this copycat chili dog recipe is to make, and the taste is truly unbeatable.

Listen up, my culinary comrades! If you want to spice up this recipe (not that it needs any more heat), I’ve got some suggestions for you. First, you can experiment with different types of hot dogs. Don’t be afraid to grab some frankfurters that are longer than the usual 7.5 inches, or go bold with the spicy sausages. You can also substitute lean ground turkey for the ground beef and make a healthier version of this all-American classic.

If you want to take it up a notch, try swapping out the yellow mustard for Dijon or whole grain mustard. You can also add a little kick by using a hot chili paste instead of chili powder. And, if you’re feeling really adventurous, try topping your chili dog with some chopped jalapeños, onions, or even bacon bits!

For those who are looking for vegan alternatives, you can use plant-based hot dogs and ground beef substitutes. You can also ditch the cheddar cheese and opt for a plant-based cheese alternative that will still give you the taste without the dairy.

And last but not least, my Canadian friends can enjoy their own version of this dish with A&W’s famous Coney sauce recipe instead of the chili dog sauce. This sauce is similar to chili sauce but has a slightly sweeter taste as it contains root beer in its ingredients. Pair it with their whistle dogs or corn dogs and you’ll have yourself a true taste of A&W Canada.

Remember, experimenting and being creative in cooking is half the fun! So grab those ingredients and let your taste buds lead the way!

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving and pairing the A&W chili dog copycat recipe, there are endless possibilities to customize it according to your taste. Whether you want to keep it classic or create a unique twist on this iconic hot dog, here are some ideas to start with.

Firstly, the key to an authentic A&W chili dog experience is to keep it simple with fresh and quality ingredients. You can use any hot dog buns for this recipe, but I recommend choosing soft and warm buns that fit the size of your hot dogs. Toasted buns are also a great option if you prefer a crispy texture.

Next up, it’s time to dress up your chili dog with toppings. The traditional hot dog toppings for an A&W-style chili dog are chopped white onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and hot dog chili sauce. You can sprinkle these toppings on top of the hot dog in any order you prefer.

If you want to add more flavor and texture to your chili dog, consider adding other toppings such as diced tomatoes, jalapenos, pickles, or even coleslaw. These toppings will give your chili dog a refreshing crunch and a zesty kick.

Now that you have your perfect A&W-style chili dog ready, let’s pair it with some sides and drinks. French fries or onion rings are classic sides that complement the savory and spicy taste of the chili dogs. For a healthier option, you can serve a side salad with fresh greens and vinaigrette dressing.

You can also enjoy this copycat A&W recipe with a cold beverage such as root beer or iced tea. These drinks will balance out the spiciness of the chili sauce and cleanse your palate between bites.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different serving styles and presentations for your hot dogs. You can serve them on platters for a group gathering or in individual baskets for a quick lunch on the go. Whatever way you choose to serve them up, this A&W chili dog copycat recipe is sure to impress your taste buds and satisfy your cravings for a classic American treat.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

When it comes to make-ahead, storing and reheating this A&W chili dog copycat recipe, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that the hot dog is not soggy or the sauce is not dried out. If you’re looking to make it ahead of time, feel free to prepare the chili sauce in advance and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two days. That way, you can assemble the hot dogs right before serving.

If you have some leftover chili sauce, don’t worry – it can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Just make sure to transfer it into a freezer-safe container and let it thaw completely before reheating it on the stovetop. You may need to add a splash of water to thin out the consistency of the sauce.

As for storing the hot dogs, wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out in your refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating them on the grill, oven or stovetop, make sure they’re heated all the way through to avoid any food-borne illness.

One pro-tip that I love is popping a few pieces of cheddar cheese on top of the chili dog after reheating it – there’s no such thing as too much cheese, right? And if you really want to go all out with a classic A&W experience, grab a root beer from your fridge and enjoy your homemade whistle dog while reminiscing about your past visits to this iconic chain restaurant.

Tips for Perfect Results

The key to a great A&W chili dog copycat recipe is in the details. Here are some tips that will help you achieve the perfect results.

First, make sure to use lean ground beef. Ground chuck with 85% lean meat will give your chili dog sauce the right texture and consistency.

When cooking, take your time to build up the flavors of the chili dog sauce. Don’t rush it, let it simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow all the ingredients to blend well together.

For an extra kick of flavor, add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the mix. It adds a tangy and savory taste that you won’t get from anything else.

When it comes to seasoning, don’t be shy with the black pepper and ground cumin. These two spices give your chili dog sauce a unique depth of flavor.

If you want to change things up a bit, try adding shredded cheddar cheese to your hot dog or chili dog. The creamy texture of cheddar cheese complements the spiciness of the chili and gives your dog another layer of flavor.

To achieve that classic A&W whistle dog taste and experience, grab a root beer and enjoy it alongside your hot dog with classic chili sauce.

Lastly, make sure to enjoy yourself while cooking and experiment with variations until you find your favorite combination. Have fun and unleash your inner chef!


As we near the end of this article, it’s time to answer some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this A&W Chili Dog Copycat Recipe. These questions cover further variations and more specific preparation inquiries. So, before you start making your own hot dog topped with chili dog sauce, keep reading to clarify any doubts and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

What is chili dog sauce made of?

As a culinary explorer, the first step in making a delicious pot of chili involves combining ground beef and water in a large saucepan. To ensure that the beef is evenly cooked and free of lumps, I use a trusty potato masher to break it apart. Once the beef is adequately prepared, I stir in a luscious combination of tomato sauce, ketchup, chili powder, salt, black pepper, sugar, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce. After bringing the ingredients to a boil, I allow them to simmer over medium heat until the beef is cooked and the chili reaches the perfect level of thickness – this usually takes around 20 minutes.

What is the difference between chili dog and Coney Dog?

Let’s delve into the contrast amid two popular hotdog toppings- chili dog and Coney. To be accurate, a chili dog usually has chili con carne and perhaps some cheese crowning it, while a Coney has a leaner meat sauce derived from a Greek or Macedonian recipe, which drapes it.

What makes hot dog chili different?

If you’re wondering how hot dog chili sauce is different from traditional chili, the main distinguishing factor is the taste. Hot dog chili is sweeter because it contains ketchup, while traditional chili is spicier and has a chunkier texture.

Who makes the best chili dogs?

The list below features some of the most famous and highly-regarded hot dog establishments in various locations around the United States. These include Art’s Chili Dog, Gordon Ramsay BurGr, Tony Packo’s Cafe, Yesterdog, Martinsville Speedway, Portillo’s in Chicago, Larry’s Chili Dog in Burbank, and Eddie’s Grill in Geneva-On-The-Lake. Each of these places has their unique take on the classic American hot dog, and is a must-try for any culinary explorer.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this A&W chili dog copycat recipe will take your taste buds straight to the United States of America, where classic chili dogs and coney dogs are the stars of the show. With a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you will be able to recreate this iconic dish in the comfort of your own home.

This recipe offers a perfect balance of savory and spicy flavors, with just the right amount of sweetness to complement the beefy flavor of the hot dog. The A&W coney sauce recipe is what sets this dish apart from other chili dog recipes, giving it a unique and unforgettable taste that will leave you craving more.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to impress your friends and family with this delicious and authentic dish. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or just looking for a tasty treat, these A&W chili dogs are sure to satisfy your appetite and transport you back to simpler times.

So grab your ingredients, fire up the grill, and enjoy a classic American meal that has stood the test of time. And if you really want to complete the experience, crack open a cold root beer and enjoy it alongside your freshly made chili dog. Remember, nothing beats the iconic whistle of an A&W root beer float!

A&w Chili Dog Copycat

A&w Chili Dog Copycat Recipe

I haven't had an A&W chili dog for years, but from what I can remember, this tastes just like it. This is listed as one serving, but the sauce makes enough for about 10 servings unless you use more on your dog like I do. The sauce can be frozen for future use.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 1555.4 kcal


  • 1 frankfurter, 7 . 5-inches long
  • 1 hot dog bun
  • 1 tablespoon white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon cheddar cheese, shredded

Coney Island Sauce

  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water


  • Cook the ground chuck in a pan and break into small pieces.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened.
  • Boil some water in a pot, and add in however many frankfurters you want.
  • Boil for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Place the frankfurter in a hot dog bun and spread on 3 tablespoons of the.
  • sauce you just made.
  • Spread the cheddar cheese on top, and you're done!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1017gCalories: 1555.4kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 98.7gFat: 95.6gSaturated Fat: 37.4gCholesterol: 339.2mgSodium: 4996.7mgFiber: 11.3gSugar: 39.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found