Best Sides for Hot Dogs – What to Eat with Brats

You may have the burgers, brats, hot dogs and steaks all planned out from beginning to end,  but what about those side items? You need some delicious sides to go with those hot dogs that you’re grilling tomorrow (or whenever).

If you’re like me, you never have a problem figuring out a recipe to cook on your grill. If it’s a special day, I go for steaks. If it’s a casual cookout, I go for cheeseburgers, brats, and hot dogs.

So normally, that main course isn’t an issue. However, often times, we forget all about those sides, then when we eventually remember sides right before the cookout takes place – that is when we find ourselves running around literally “sideless.” Should we keep it simple and run to the store and get a bag of chips? Should we whip up some Mac and Cheese? Perhaps a  pasta salad? Maybe toss some corn on the grill?

Oh what should we choose …

The side dishes are literally endless

Yes, it’s nice knowing there are so many side dishes out there to have with those hot dogs, but really, this doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes, when we’re facing hundreds of choices, our mind gets all jumbled (our mind is already jumbled since discovering we forgot the sides). Have no fear, because I’m here to help you discover the best sides for hot dogs!

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Grilled Zucchini Salad

This just so happens to be one of my favorites, and it goes good with hot dogs and brats. It’s a grilled zucchini salad that is tossed with lemon-herb vinaigrette and topped with Romano and pine nuts.


  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini (slice them lengthwise)
  • Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Honey
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Wedge Pecorino Romano
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


Step 1:  Bring the grill to high heat. While you’re waiting for the grill to heat up, take the zucchini and brush it with canola oil, then season it with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Place the zucchini on the grill and cook for around 1 minute per side – when it’s ready, it’ll appear slightly wilted. Remove it from the grill.

Step 3: Whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, parsley and salt and pepper.  Gently add in the olive oil.

Step 4: Lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over the zucchini and let it sit there for about 15 minutes. Top with pine nuts, shaved cheese, mint leaves, and parsley.


Grilled Sweet Potato and Scallion Salad

This is another really delicious dish that goes good with hot dogs.


  • 8 scallions
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • ¼ cup of chopped parsley


Step 1: Set the oven on preheat of 375 degrees F. Bake the potatoes until you can poke a fork through them (it will take around 45 minutes).

Step 2: Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut them into large chunks.

Step 3:  Start preheating a grill to high. As you’re waiting for the grill to preheat, brush the potatoes and the scallions with 1/3 cup olive oil and place them on the grill. It should take about 5 minutes per side. Grill the scallions until they are soft – this should take about 1 minute per side. Remove the potatoes and scallions from the grill, and cut the scallions into tiny pieces.

Step 4:  In a bowl, whisk the rest of the olive oil, honey, vinegars, and mustard, then season it with salt and pepper. Add the scallions, potatoes, and parsley, then coat it on the potatoes.

A Side of Chili

You know, some of your guests may not want just a plain old hot dog. Instead, they may want to reach for a chili dog, so why not toss in a side of chili for those chili-dog loving guests? This is actually an easy side to make – you don’t have to make chili if you don’t want to! Just go to your local grocery store and grab a can of chili (they make chili specifically for hot dogs).

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I also love this stuff!

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Cole Slaw

Another good side to have with  grilled hot dogs would be coleslaw! You can easily look online and find a good cole slaw recipe. Here’s one that I liked

The first two sides I gave you, I highly recommend you giving a try – they are a great side for hot dogs and brats. Of course, some other good sides would be Macaroni and Cheese, a good pasta salad, some baked beans, French fries, a simple hamburger or whatever else you can think of!

On an ending note, remember, before you fire up that grill, you need to spray the grates down with a non-stick grill spray (I use a grill spray like PAM Grilling). This way, your hot dogs won’t stick to the surface, and that means they’ll be easy for you to turn.

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Steve Page
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