8 Hot Dog Ideas You Never Would've Thought Of — Because You Can Put A Lot More Than Ketchup On A Hot Dog

When I was younger, I pretty much survived on a diet that consisted of hot dogs alone. While I always used just ketchup as my condiment of choice, I've felt an urge as I've gotten older to make the traditional hot dog a bit more refined and be a little more innovative with hot dog toppings. So, I looked for a few crazy hot dog ideas for some tasty inspiration.

I think that we can all agree that the hot dog is one of those foods that's considered a "summer staple" of sorts. It's ideal for grilling and enjoying on those lazy summer evenings and long days on the beach. However, you likely think of it as a "kid's food," as opposed to a solid foundation for all sorts of delicious culinary inventions.

When I think of hot dog toppings, I typically think of the standard fixings. Ketchup, mustard, some pickles, or — if you're feeling extra wild — maybe some chili. But, there are some creative and — dare I say — beautiful hot dog recipes out there that will challenge everything you ever thought about the classic hot dog.

Kiss what you think you know about this American favorite goodbye. These crazy hot dog ideas will inspire you to forget the ketchup and start having some fun with your food again.

1. Sriracha Guacamole Hot Dogs

Say the words "sriracha" and "guacamole," and I'm all yours. This grilled hot dog aims to please, and is topped with a creamy, spicy, and sweet sriracha guacamole. It's basically the hot dog of your dreams. Plus — just when you thought life couldn't get better — you can eat all of the leftover guac with some tortilla chips. It's like a bonus snack!

2. Nacho Hot Dog

With crumbled tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and lots of cheese, this nacho hot dog puts all of your favorite things about nachos right on a bun. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for the classic "What do you call a hot dog that isn't yours?" jokes. Tasty food and puns? It's a win-win.

3. Hawaiian Hot Dog with Mango Salsa

This Hawaiian hot dog is your own little taste of paradise. With fresh avocados, tasty mango salsa, and homemade pineapple mustard, it will take you away to a warm beach and make you forget that you're actually just in your kitchen.

4. Loaded Cheddar and Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dogs

Cheddar, blue cheese, and buffalo sauce is a winning combination in my book. This loaded Buffalo chicken dog is pretty much a party on a bun. Plus, the Spicy Avocado Ranch dressing is the perfect addition!

5. Banh Mi Hot Dog

Inspired by the Vietnamese snack, this Banh Mi hot dog has piles of crunchy veggies that will put a fresh, snappy twist on your boring ol' hot dog.

6. Mac and Cheese Dogs

Macaroni and cheese on a hot dog just sounds too good to be true. But, this mac and cheese dog makes all of your dreams a reality. Of course, you've probably cut up a hot dog and mixed it into your bowl of mac and cheese. But, this recipe takes things to the next level and puts all of that fun on a bun.

7. Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Hot Dog

With grilled pineapples, roasted jalapenos, and homemade teriyaki sauce, this teriyaki hot dog will make you wonder why you ever liked ketchup or mustard in the first place.

8. "Southern Comfort" Bacon Hot Dog with Southern Slaw

Piled with classic Southern flavors, this Southern comfort dog has everything from crispy bacon and pickled okra to cool southern slaw and sweet and spicy baked beans.

Images: Chung-Ah Ree/Damn Delicious (2); Sommer Collier/A Spicy Perspective (3); Tieghan/Half Haked Harvest; Molly Yeh/My Name is Yeh; Deborah Harroun/Taste and Tell; Whitney Bond/Little Leopard Book