mini hot dogs

Mini Hot Dog Appetizers – New Spins and Classic Recipes

Last Updated on December 17, 2021

Mini hot dogs, also known as “little smokies” or “lil’ smokies,” have been an appetizer staple for as long as I can remember. You can’t help but eat several of them however they’re prepared and plated.

There are some tried and true recipes for mini hot dogs. But, you can also try some new ideas for using these salty, snappy nuggets in your next happy hour spread. Check out both below.

Pigs in a Blanket

mini hot dogs in a blanket


This is a classic appetizer that you can make easy by using store-bought crescent roll dough. You can put one mini hot dog in a whole crescent, or you can section off the dough triangles and place dough around the center of the hot dog. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to make homemade dough, I am a fan of this recipe from Half-Baked Harvest.

Corn Dog Muffins with Gouda and Chives

All you need to make these muffins (in addition to the mini hot dogs) is a cornbread or corn muffin mix of your choice, young gouda cheese, and chives.

Prepare the corn muffin mix according to the box’s instructions. Chop chives and add them to the mix. Shred the gouda cheese with a Microplane grater or on the smaller holes of a box grater, then set aside. Spoon your corn muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan. Now the next step is a little unconventional but important: Take a mini hot dog and encase it with some of the shredded gouda cheese. Then, place the cheese-wrapped mini hot dog into one of the muffin batter cups horizontally. This prevents the hot dog from sinking to the bottom of the muffin. Repeat until all muffins are filled.

Bake muffins according to the box’s instructions.

Regional Mini Hot Dog Spread

If you can find mini hot dog buns, try serving mini hot dogs in a regional style.

  • Little Chicago Style Dogs (poppy seeds on bun, pickle spear, celery salt, pickled peppers, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, relish, mustard)
  • Little Montreal Dogs (mustard, chopped onion, chopped cabbage)
  • Little New York Dogs (mustard, sauerkraut, chopped onion)
  • Little Seattle Dogs (cream cheese, jalapenos, chopped cabbage, sriracha)
  • Little Denver Dogs (chopped onion, green chili sauce, sour cream, jalapenos)

Chili Cheese Dog Tacos

If you have small flour or corn tortillas on hand, you can make chili cheese dog tacos.

To do this, all you have to do is shred some block cheddar, and either make chili the night before or defrost some leftover chili for this app.


Kristina DeMichele is the Digital Content Strategist at Harvard Magazine. She is also a freelance copyeditor who has worked for America's Test Kitchen as the Senior Content Editor of Cook's Illustrated Magazine.