Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

Chili Cheese Dog...With Tater Tots

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

What Is Chili Cheese Dog Casserole?

A chili cheese dog casserole blends tater tots and homemade chili, combining classic chili dog taste with crispy tater tot joy.
This dish stands out by using the depth and authenticity of homemade chili, replacing the soft texture of traditional hot dog buns with the golden crunch of tater tots.

Ingredients For Chili Cheese Dog Casserole



4 Cloves of Garlic

1 Sweet Onion


16 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese


1 Can Red Kidney beans

1 Can Tomato Paste

32 Tater Tots

2 Cups Beef Broth

28 oz Crushed Tomato’s


1 Pound Ground Beef

8 Hot Dogs


2 tsp Oregano

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Cayenne

How To Make Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

Step 1

Make Chili



Making chili from the start is a bit like putting together a flavor puzzle. Each piece, or ingredient, has its own role. You begin with 1 pound of ground beef. Using a large pot, maybe a Dutch oven, you cook the beef until it turns a rich brown color.


For those who have a favorite chili recipe or a slow cooker chili that has been handed down generations, feel free to use it as the base. In fact, similar recipes just use 2 cans of Hormel’s Chili.





Once it’s fully cooked, it’s set aside, allowing the aromatic agents to take center stage.




In the remaining beef juices, finely chopped onions are given the spotlight. Their goal: to turn translucent, unveiling their natural sweetness.




After that, we toss in 4 cloves of minced garlic to the Dutch oven. This brings out a strong and familiar smell that’s a key part of many delicious chili recipes.




Next, we add some basic liquids that give the chili its texture. We start with thick tomato paste, mixing it in with the other flavors.


Tomato paste is a key player in chili recipes. It gives a strong tomato flavor and helps make the chili thick and hearty. The dark red color of the paste makes the chili look really appetizing. It also has a slight tanginess, which is great because it balances the deep flavors of the chili. Additionally, the natural sugars in the tomato paste help to soften any extra spicy bites, ensuring the chili has a well-rounded taste.




This is followed by 25 oz of crushed tomatoes, introducing a splash of tangy freshness.


Crushed tomatoes are a big deal when making chili. They give the chili a deep tomato flavor and make sure it has a good, thick feel but not overly so. These tomatoes add a nice chunkiness and a fresh touch to the dish. Their hint of tartness balances out the heavy feel from the meat and beans, making each bite just right. While they don’t pack as strong a punch as tomato paste, using crushed tomatoes gives the chili a full and well-rounded taste.





To make the chili have a deeper flavor and a meaty feel, we add in 2 cups of beef broth. This broth becomes the main flavor background of the chili, making everything blend together really well.


Beef broth takes chili up a notch, giving it a strong, tasty base. Its hearty meaty taste goes well with the main meat in the dish, making the chili even richer. Because beef broth is liquidy, it helps the chili stay moist and gives it a smooth texture all the way through.


Apart from making things taste and feel good, beef broth adds that special deep flavor called umami, which boosts the rich tastes and works great with spices. It also brings in natural saltiness, so you don’t need to add too much extra stuff. Since beef broth is easy to find and not too pricey, it’s a favorite in many old-school chili recipes. Basically, using beef broth means your chili will have a well-balanced and full taste.





Putting the beef back into the big pot is super important if you want a rich, full-flavored chili. When you add that nicely browned beef into the bubbling mix, it makes the chili taste even better with that deep meaty flavor. Plus, it makes every spoonful hearty and satisfying. The special thing about the Dutch oven is that it cooks everything evenly. So, the beef gets perfectly tender and soaks up all the tasty flavors around it. Think of the beef as the main star of the show, making everything in the pot come alive with flavor.





Red kidney beans are an integral component in many chili recipes, offering both substance and a delightful contrast of flavors. Their earthy taste complements the meatiness of the chili, while their soft, creamy texture balances the dish’s richness. Rich in fiber and protein, kidney beans make the meal more substantial and nutritious, providing a satisfying fullness with each spoonful. Their deep red hue also contributes to the chili’s visual allure, making the dish as vibrant as it is flavorful.


The beans also act as a sponge, absorbing the spices and seasonings, ensuring that every bite bursts with the chili’s distinctive taste. As a staple in both modern and traditional recipes, red kidney beans validate their place in chili by enhancing its taste, texture, and nutritional value.





Seasoning is the heart and soul of a chili, each contributing its unique character to the dish. Oregano introduces a touch of aromatic sweetness, acting as a gentle counterpoint to the more pungent spices.


Chili powder is what gives our chili that traditional warm and smoky feel. It’s the main flavor we think of when we crave chili. Cumin steps in with its own rich, earthy flavor and even brings a hint of citrus to the mix. Then there’s black pepper, throwing in its own bold kick that really makes the dish pop. And don’t forget about cayenne; it’s there for those who love a good spicy punch. You can decide how much you want, depending on your heat preference. When all these spices come together, they create a rich and deep flavor profile, making sure every bite of the chili is bursting with taste and feels like a warm, flavorful hug.

Step 2

Cut Your Weiners



Next, cut your beef hot dog into smaller pieces. Choose whatever brand of hot dog you’d like, but for this chili cheese dog recipe I recommend Sabrett Hot Dogs, a New York favorite.


The bite-sized pieces ensure an even distribution, guaranteeing a piece of hot dog in almost every bite. Merging chili with hot dogs creates a delightful fusion, marrying the hearty depth of chili with the playful charm of a cheesy chili dog.




Mixing hot dogs with chili makes this classic dish fun and brings back nostalgic flavors. Hot dogs, with their smoky and slightly sweet taste, add a different flavor to the rich chili. Their soft yet slightly firm texture combines nicely with the beans and beef.


The saltiness and seasoning from the hot dogs can enhance the overall seasoning of the chili, making it even more flavorful. In essence, merging chili with hot dogs creates a delightful fusion, marrying the hearty depth of chili with the playful charm of a beloved American staple.

Step 3

Shred Your Cheese




Shredding fresh cheddar cheese for a chili corn dog casserole can profoundly elevate the dish’s quality and flavor. To start, one selects a block of high-quality cheddar, preferably aged for a richer taste. Using a standard box grater or a cheese shredder, the cheese is grated with smooth, firm strokes, resulting in delicate shreds that are perfectly uniform in size. These freshly shredded strands melt more uniformly and seamlessly than their pre-packaged counterparts, ensuring a creamy and even layer in the casserole.


Choosing to shred your own cheddar instead of buying pre-packaged shreds has many benefits. The biggest one is the real, pure taste. Store-bought shredded cheeses can have stuff like potato starch to keep them from sticking. These extras can make the cheese feel grainy or not melt right. But when you shred fresh cheddar yourself, none of that is there. It melts super smooth, making this dish taste even better with its creamy touch.


Freshly grated cheddar cheese often has a brighter, real cheese flavor compared to some store-bought shredded options. This is because it doesn’t have those extra preservatives you find in packaged cheese. This fresh cheese melts better and gives the casserole a creamy touch. When you take a bit of time to shred your own cheese, not only does the dish’s texture get better, but you also get the true, rich taste of the cheese. This step truly elevates the chili corn dog casserole to the next level.


What sets this chili cheese dog casserole apart from other variations of a chili dog casserole is the inclusion of this particular cheese. To truly capture the essence of this recipe, invest in some top-quality cheddar. You won’t regret it!

Step 4




To build the chili cheese dog casserole, grab a big baking dish and make sure to grease it well. Then, pour in your mix of chili and cut-up hot dogs into the casserole dish. This mix acts as the main base of your casserole. It’s super important to have a good mix of the chili and hot dogs because it sets the stage for the rest of the layers you’ll add next.




Next, spread tater tots evenly over the chili and hot dog mix. These tiny potato nuggets, being crispy outside and soft inside, absorb some yummy chili flavors. Their crunch adds a nice touch to the dish. Make sure they’re spread out so that every spoonful has a bit of that crunchy potato feel to it.


My personal favorite Tater Tot is the Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots because…well, they’re extra crispy.




Next, throw a good amount of shredded cheese on top of the tater tots. You can pick any cheese you like, but ones like cheddar or Monterey Jack melt well. When you bake the casserole, the cheese will melt and turn golden, making a cheesy top layer that covers everything below. It adds a nice creamy touch to the dish.



Remember to bake for 30 minutes at 375°F. This ensures all the ingredients meld perfectly, with a delightful golden-brown crust on top. Think of this as making a tater tot casserole, but with a delightful chili twist.


At the start of baking, it’s mostly about heating up the middle of the casserole so the chili and hot dog bits get really warm. After that, the baking starts to make the outside parts crispy. The tater tots, which are in the middle of the hot chili and the heat from the oven, start to get crunchy on the outside. The inside of the tater tots stays soft.

Step 5

Enjoy Your Chili Cheese Dog Casserole!


Chili Cheese Dog Casserole


When you serve the chili cheese dog casserole, you can make it taste even better by adding a spoonful of sour cream and some chopped scallions on top. The sour cream cools down the casserole and adds a little tangy flavor that goes well with the rich taste. And if you want to try something different, you can also have some flour tortillas on the side.


To complete this dish, just sprinkle some fresh scallions on top. They not only bring a pop of green to the plate but also add a mild oniony crunch that makes every bite interesting and flavorful. And who knows, if you like this, you might discover a new love for chili cheese dogs too!



Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil


“Chubby’s Chili Dog Depot? Buy 3 get 2 free no expiration date!”  – Dale


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