Grass-fed Chili Cheese Dogs

cheese dog

Chili cheese dogs are a great all-American meal. They are nutritious, easy on the wallet and they make a great meal for the winter months. And children love them.

Unfortunately, nitrites that are added to processed meats can cause disease. These days, it's easy to find “all-natural” grass-fed hot dogs with no nitrates added. Look for them at your local health food store.

When I make chili cheese dogs, I use the leftovers from when I make my Texas Chili with Beef Heart. Beef heart is so good for you as it is one of the highest sources of Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the cells and DNA from free radicals.

Recipe Notes
You can add to the healthfulness of this meal by using homemade sourdough buns or storebought bought sprouted/sourdough buns. Adding sauerkraut and shredding grass-fed cheese produced with raw milk will also add probiotics and increase the enzyme content. (Learn other ways to increase the enzyme content of your diet by reading my 50 Ways to Increase Enzymes In Your Diet.) Along with the probiotics and enzymes, the use of the bone broth in the chili will aid in digestion.

Sauerkraut is so good for you, especially when it is produced traditionally by lacto-fermentation with an added probiotic or sea salt.

Make sure to avoid the vinegar-laden stuff you find in most supermarkets and use real lacto-fermented sauerkraut. If you don't have time to make your own sauerkraut, you can order it online — see my marketplace

Kids will love this and your family will never know how healthy they are eating. I won't tell if you don't.

Chili Cheese Dogs


Sauerkraut:click here for recipe
Cabbage, red or green (1 medium head)
Sea salt (2 tablespoons)
Optional: caraway seeds (1 tablespoon) where to buy caraway seeds
OR 1 jar store-bought raw, naturally fermented sauerkrautwhere to buy fermented sauerkraut

Chili Dogs:
Hot dogs, nitrate-free, grass-fed (1 package) (available at the health food store or online)
Leftover chili (from I Heart Texas Chili)
Cheddar cheese (preferably made with raw milk and grass-fed)
Sprouted hot dog buns, sprouted bread, or sourdough bread (If you choose to make your own, you can order sprouted flour.) — where to buy sprouted flour
Optional: Yellow or white onion, chopped


[easyazon-link asin=”B001S41SH6″ locale=”us”]Chef's knife[/easyazon-link]
[easyazon-link asin=”B00004OCJJ” locale=”us”]Meat tenderizer[/easyazon-link], rubber mallet or large wooden muddler
[easyazon-link asin=”B000X1O8BI” locale=”us”]Quart-sized mason jar[/easyazon-link]
Optional: [easyazon-link asin=”B003I4F7AS” locale=”us”]Dehydrator[/easyazon-link]


1. Using a chef's knife, core and shred the cabbage head.
2. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add salt and optional caraway seeds.
4. Using a meat tenderizer, rubber mallet or large wooden muddler (that's what I use — the kind you use to make mojitos), pound the cabbage for 10 minutes to release the juices.
5. Transfer to quart-sized mason jar. Pack the sauerkraut into the jar, leaving at least an inch of space between the sauerkraut and the opening.
6. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 days. If your house is cold, it may take longer (you can use a dehydrator set on low or use my trick — a “reptile mat,” available in pet stores).
7. When the sauerkraut tastes ready, transfer it to the fridge or a cold garage, pantry or root cellar.

Chili Dogs:
1. Warm up the chili in a saucepan.
2. Grate the cheeseusing a grater or in your food processor.
3. Fill a medium or large saucepan halfway with water. Set on medium heat and add the hot dogs. Cook until hot.
4. Optional step: Toast the buns or bread slices.
5. Place bread slices or buns on plates, add hot dogs, cover with warm chili and top with grated cheeseand sauerkraut. If you like it, add chopped raw onion.

Photo credit: Chili Cheese Dogs by

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

13 thoughts on “Grass-fed Chili Cheese Dogs

  1. I’ve never found healthy hotdogs that are “easy on the wallet.” (In fact, most regular hot dogs aren’t either.) I’d love to hear where people find good deals on better hot dogs.

  2. I am so ready to make this, but first I will have to make your Texas chili recipe. You are right about the price of good hot dogs, Tina. I only buy them once in a while.

  3. Those look so good. I want to jump through my computer and eat them! =)

    @Tina – I know Trader Joe’s sells nitrate free hot dogs for a good price, but they aren’t grass fed =(. Applegate Farms also makes them, though again-not sure if they are also gf. I buy mine from our butcher. They’re a wee bit expensive, but worth it in my opinion.

  4. I guess chilli is one of those foods I could be adding beef heart to in small amounts. That would cover up the taste until I developed a liking for it. Never thought of what to add it to before.

  5. Applegate’s are the best and they are not cheap but you are getting good meat and they ARE a processed (hence more expensive) food. They ARE grass-fed organic beef so while they are not an everyday food I consider them totally worth the price to include as a special food in our diets. We use them for chili dogs in the winter and roast them on sticks over a campfire in the summer… not that we do much camping but we do have a firepit in our yard and my kids love a campfire. I really want to teach them to cook in a Dutch oven over a campfire… then I can send them outside to rustle us up some grub!

  6. Oh I forgot my money saving method: our grocery marks them down to half price whenever they have a glut that are getting close to their “use by” date. That’s when I buy them and just tuck them in the freezer. If I don’t have any in the freezer I occasionally just pay full price because what I want is instant gratification. I want the chili cheese dog and I want it now. 😉

  7. I have not had a hot dog in years, I can’at find any good hot dogs around here. this sounds so good, I am going to hunt harder for them………might have to go the the “big city”

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