It’s that time of year again! Time for barbecues and roasted marshmallows! Time for chasing fireflies and getting dirty feet! Time for mommy to get a clue on how to get grass stain out of the seat of britches.

grill

Sometimes cookouts can be last minute thoughts. In my family, we might decide at lunch to have a cookout for dinner. While that drives the planner in me INSANE, I am glad my family can be spontaneous – even if I am not. But, I have this little trick up my sleeve. I actually AM prepared to be spontaneous…and they don’t even know it! *Insert evil laughter here*

I like to keep hot dog chili in my freezer all the time. I make large batches of it and then freeze in smaller quantities so that I can thaw as needed. Some people refer to this as “batch cooking.” I refer to it as spontaneity. Go with it.

Having this on hand, already made, means I can contribute something to a family cookout even if I already had plans for the day. I won’t have to turn down an invite to dinner because I have “nothing to bring.” I can shrug my shoulders, grin, and say, “that’s cool – I like to be spontaneous.” I am such a liar.

And, perfectly in line with my frugal nature, this recipe is so cheap to make! You can use whatever ground meat you have. I normally use venison which is a healthy and cheap option for us. I sometimes use ground beef because my Daddy is a cattle farmer, so I get a good price on it – labor. 😉

If you can’t or won’t eat beef or venison, this also works with ground turkey or chicken. I’m always looking for a deal – so I don’t go out and buy ground veal to make hot dog chili…somehow that just seems all sorts of wrong. A cheap hot dog with gourmet meat.

Also, this recipe is both “whole foods” and “I-visit-the-drive-through-each-day” friendly. If you are a whole-foodie you can use grass fed beef and sausage, homemade ketchup, and locally grown onions. If you aren’t even sure what “whole-foodie” means, you can pick up all these things at the grocery store. Anything goes. I aim to please…which is about the only target I can hit.

So, here I am sharing my family-pleasing hot-dog chili. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. From our family to yours.

Print Recipe

Easy Hot Dog Chili

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ground beef (or other meat)
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, brown beef and sausage with the onion. Drain if necessary.
  2. Place meat in large pot.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Stir.
  4. Cover and cook over medium-low for 2-3 hours or until flavors blend well.

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