Make this fun and festive mini hot dog appetizer recipe modeled after the classic (and famous) Chicago hot dog! The perfect game day recipe or party finger food.
Chicago is known for their deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, and of course their hot dogs. When I think of mini hot dog appetizers however, I often thing of the classic pigs in a blanket appetizer or the delicious lil smokies tossed in grape jelly and BBQ sauce.
While those are delicious ways to enjoy a mini hot dog, I love the idea of taking the classic Chicago dog recipe and making it miniature.
Why This Recipe Works:
- This is a super easy appetizer to prepare or prep ahead of time in as little as 15 minutes.
- Easy finger foods for serving a large group when entertaining. These make great game day or tailgate appetizers.
- All the ingredients in a Chicago dog come together to make a delicious and satisfying hot dog that has been a staple of Chicago culture for over a century.
- Baking Sheet
- Pot with Steamer Basket and Lid
- Bread Knife
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Small Bowl
- Pastry Brush
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and start.
- 1 Pack of Hawaiian Roll Slider Buns
- 2 tbsp. Melted Butter
- 2 tbsp. Poppy Seeds
- 12 Lil Smokies or 4 Standard Hot Dogs (cut into thirds)
- 1 Small Tomato
- 12 Small Pickle Spears
- 12 Sport Peppers
- 1-2 Small Tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- Diced Yellow Onion
- Sweet Relish
- Yellow Mustard
- Celery Salt
Prepping The Mini Hot Dog Buns:
A classic Chicago dog is made on an S.Rosen’s poppy seed bun. To make a miniature version, I like to use Hawaiian rolls instead. You could also make your own mini hot dog buns using frozen dinner rolls (if you have more time). But this recipe is meant to be simple (in time and access to ingredients).
How to make the mini hot dog buns-
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the Hawaiian rolls from the packaging and separate them gently.
- Use a serrated bread knife to lightly slice into the center, but don’t cut all the way through.
- Place each roll onto a baking sheet and brush the outside and the sliced portion of the but lightly with butter. Coat the top with a small sprinkle of poppy seeds.
- Bake the buns until slightly golden brown and heat for about 7-10 minutes.
Make A Mini Chicago Hot Dog:
Making a Chicago hot dog is also called, “dragged through the garden”. This is in reference to the series of toppings that go on this dog. Here is how to achieve this!
- Add water to a pot and bring to a simmer. Place the lil smokies or sliced hot dogs into a steamer basket over the pot and steam them while the buns are baking, about 5 minutes or so. They should be heated through and plump a bit when cooked.
- Prep all the toppings by dicing the sport peppers into small pieces, dicing the dill pickle, the tomato, and the onion too. Then add in the pickle relish and mix everything until combined. Traditionally these are not added to the hot dog in this way, but making them into one diced mixture makes it much easier to add to the minature version of this recipe.
- Assemble your mini hot dog sliders by placing a lil smokie into the mini hot dog bun. To each one, add a dollopw of mustard and a scoop of the diced topping mixture. Finish it all off with a little sprinkle of celery salt to tie it all together.
- Place on a platter with extra toppings and mustard if desired, and serve!
More Slider Recipes:
Mini Chicago Hot Dogs Sliders
- 1 package Hawaiian Rolls
- 1/2 tbsp. Melted Butter
- 1/2 tbsp. Poppy Seeds
- 12 Lil Smokies or 4 large hot dogs sliced into thirds
- 6 Sport Peppers diced small
- 1/4 cup Tomato seeds removed and diced
- 1/4 cup Dill Pickles diced small
- 1/4 cup Yellow Onion Diced Small
- 1/4 cup Pickle Relish
- 2 tbsp. Mustard
- 1/2 Celery Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Remove the Hawaiian rolls from the packaging and separate each roll. Use a serrated bread knife and slice into the center, not cutting all the way through.
- Place the slider buns onto a baking sheet and brush the tops with butter and poppyseeds.
- Bake until lightly golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.
- In a pot, head water to a simmer and add a steamer basket. Add the hot dogs and steam until heated through and they appear to plump up.
- In a bowl mix together the diced sport peppers, diced tomato, diced onion, diced pickle and the pickle relish. Toss to combine (this will make it much easier to add to each mini hot dog.
- Add the lil smokies to each slider roll hot dog bun.
- Pipe on a small dollop of mustard onto the top of each mini hot dog. Add about a tablespoon of the diced toppings over the mustard and garnish with a light sprinkle of celery salt.
- Serve the mini Chicago hot dog sliders and enjoy!