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New York Hot Dogs with Onion Sauce & Red Pepper Relish

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New York Style Hot Dogs with Onion Sauce and Red Pepper Relish will put a gourmet touch on otherwise ordinary hot dogs at this year’s Summer picnics.

Grilled all-beef hot dogs dressed with stone-ground mustard are smothered in a tangy tomato onion sauce and topped with a roasted red pepper relish that’s also amazing on grilled chicken or salmon!

Inspired by hot dogs sold from New York street carts, these hot dog toppings can be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Just allow time to let the toppings come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor. 

NY Street Dogs with Sweet Onion Sauce and Red Pepper Relish

New York Style Hot Dogs with Onion Sauce and Red Pepper Relish

Last year, John’s nieces gave him Bobby Flay’s GRILL IT! cookbook for Christmas, and believe it or not, one of our favorite recipes from the book is for HOT DOGS!

We don’t have hot dog vendors on the street corners in Knoxville, so the idea of this onion sauce seasoned with chili powder and cinnamon seemed a little odd to me at first, but guess what? It’s really tasty!

The original recipe calls for all-beef hot dogs, but I sometimes like to grill sausages or even turkey cheddar dogs as a healthier option.

My favorite thing about this recipe, however, is the roasted red pepper relish. To save time, you could always use canned roasted red peppers, but roasting them at home isn’t that hard and they are so delicious! Check out my video for the easy step-by-step instructions.

How to roast red bell peppers

  1. Preheat the grill to high heat.
  2. Oil the peppers. Brush the red bell peppers all over with canola oil.
  3. Grill with the lid down. Cook the peppers over the direct heat. (Note: You can also roast peppers directly over a gas stove burner, however be VERY careful with the open flame.)
  4. Cook until charred. Turn the peppers often to make sure you get a nice char on all sides. This should take about 10 – 12 minutes.
  5. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers rest for 10 minutes or so.
  6. Remove the skins with a small paring knife or the back of a spoon.
  7. Scrape out the seeds. Slice the peppers in half and use a spoon to gently scrape out the seeds.
three bowls of relish for hot dogs

How to make New York style hot dog onions

  1. Dice two large sweet onions.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Cook the onions in the oil until soft.  This should take 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add one teaspoon of chili powder and a half teaspoon of cinnamon and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in a quarter cup of tomato ketchup, a cup of water, and a quarter teaspoon of hot sauce. Season with salt and black pepper and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is thickened.
roasted red pepper relish in a red bowl

New York street dogs vs Chicago hot dogs

Besides Bobby Flay’s version of the New York street dog, other Big Apple street carts offer hot dogs simply dressed with brown mustard and sauerkraut.

In Chicago, however, hot dogs are served on a poppy seed bun with yellow mustard and are “drug through the garden” — topped with onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato, pickled peppers, and a dash of celery salt.

As American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie — really?

No one really knows where the game of baseball originated, but many like to claim that it was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York. Hot dogs derived from frankfurters, which were introduced to America by German immigrants. Now, along with apple pie, baseball and hot dogs are closely associated with American culture.

It’s a sure bet that hot dogs can be found at any major league baseball park and most often on the grill for backyard cookouts. If you’re planning to fire up the grill for Memorial Day weekend, please try New York Style Hot Dogs with Onion Sauce and Red Pepper Relish and let me know what you think!

NY Street Dogs in a basket with relish

I think you’ll like these picnic side dish recipes!

The recipe

Who says hotdogs can’t be gourmet? Serve these NY Street Dogs with Sweet Onion Sauce and Roasted Red Pepper Relish and you’ll convince any skeptics!

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Yield: 8 servings

New York Style Hot Dog with Onion Sauce and Red Pepper Relish

NY Street Dogs in a basket with relish

New York Style Hot Dogs dressed with onion sauce seasoned with chili powder and cinnamon along with roasted red pepper relish are a perfect combo.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


Red Pepper Relish

  • 3 red bell peppers, (or use canned roasted red peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Onion Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Hot Dogs

  • 8 all-beef kosher hot dogs
  • canola oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • hot dog buns
  • mustard


Red Pepper Relish

  1. Preheat grill to high heat. Brush red bell peppers with canola oil. Cook peppers on the grill with the lid closed for 10-12 minutes, turning often, until charred on all sides.
  2. Place peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. After 10 minutes, uncover and gently remove the skins and seeds with a small paring knife.
  3. Dice the peppers and combine with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Onion Sauce

  1. Heat two tablespoons of canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder and cinnamon and cook for another minute. Stir in the ketchup, water, and hot sauce. Season with salt and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is thickened.

Grill the Hot Dogs

  1. Brush the dogs with oil and season with pepper. Grill over medium high heat until slightly charred on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  2. Spread mustard on the bottom of the hot dog buns. Add the hot dogs and top with onion sauce and red pepper relish.


Original recipe by Bobby Flay.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 401mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g

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Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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