Organic Chicago Hot Dogs

Eggless Fourth of July Game Day Snacks High Altitude Lunch & Dinner Summer | Published June 3, 2021 by Mimi Council

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I'm taking the traditional Chicago dog and adding a healthy twist in this recipe for Organic Chicago Hot Dogs. I top these organic grassfed beef hot dogs with chopped iceberg, cucumbers, pickles, tomato slices, and celery salt! And yes, I'm a native, so I can switch it up a bit! But this version is completely organic and just as tasty!

Check out some of my other summer grilling recipes like my Grilled Turkey Burgers, Grilled BBQ Chicken, or my Classic Cheeseburger.

organic chicago dogs

What is a Chicago Hot Dog?

A Chicago Hot Dog (Chicago Dog, or Chicago Style Hot Dog) is a style of hot dogs coined and served in the Chicago area. Traditionally, they are beef hot dogs that are boiled and serve don a poppy seed bun with toppings so high, you can barely see the dog itself. The traditional toppings include: yellow mustard, white onions, sweet relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, Sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. The celery salt is one of the key ingredients (in my opinion) and it made its way onto the famous hot dog as a result of many north side celery farms. There is no ketchup on traditional Chicago Dogs and natives will argue both sides of this, and it can get heated!

History of This Recipe

I grew up on the South side of Chicago in a small neighborhood called Beverly. I absolutely loved growing up there, and I will always have a special place in my heart for the city of Chicago and all it has to offer. My mom did a really great job of making us aware of the where we lived, the culture of the city, and the special things Chicago is known for. One of them being hot dogs.

Janson's was just a few blocks from our house, and on awesome days we were able to stop by the drive in and get a hot dog and a slushy. I remember turning into the parking lot and seeing their blue and pink neon sign reading Janson's Drive In Hamburgers, when I don't think we ever got a hamburger…ever! They were known for their Chicago Dogs and that's what I'll remember them for!

I like to think of Chicago Dogs as a salad on top of a hot dog, really the best of everything! But, I have always put ketchup on my hot dogs! So, I'm on the other side of that ketchup argument and I'm a native Chicagoan and I will argue it every time, it's better with ketchup. So, I've created my own Organic Chicago Hot Dogs.

This recipe is a little different than the traditional Chicago Hot Dog because I am making it completely organic! And, I cannot for the life of me, find organic sport peppers anywhere! So, if you know, please share the love. In this recipe for Organic Chicago Hot Dogs I use organic grassfed beef hot dogs with chopped iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, pickles, tomatoes, onions, relish, and celery salt. The celery salt makes this recipe! You have to get it! It has a very unique flavor that is crucial for Chicago Hot Dogs!

organic chicago dogs

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Healthy-ish: If you're going to eat a hot dog, this is the way to do it! This is a healthy-ish version of one of my favorite comfort foods because I'm using organic grassfed beef hot dogs and tons of veggies.

Twist on a Classic: This is a twist on an iconic food that if you haven't ever been to Chicago before, you can easily make at home!

Simple and Flavorful: While this recipe is just as easy to prepare as traditional hot dogs, it's way more flavorful with the addition of the toppings.

Family Friendly: This is a recipe that both kids and adults will both love. You can leave off toppings for kids and it makes hot dogs much more interesting for the adults!

Ingredients & Health Benefits

Hot Dogs: I use Organic Prairie Grassfed Beef Hot Dogs. Beef hot dogs are key for Chicago Dogs, but I make these healthier by using organic grassfed beef hot dogs!

Buns: I use these Organic White Buns

Yellow Mustard: Organic yellow mustard is key. You want the traditional yellow, not spicy or Dijon.

Ketchup (optional): I say ketchup (optional) because ketchup is not on true Chicago Dogs, but I have always put it on mine! I am true Midwest the core, ketchup on everything haha.

Iceberg Lettuce: I use organic iceberg lettuce because it has the best texture and crunch for these dogs. Iceberg has fiber, vitamin A, C, K, and more.

Sweet Relish: Organic sweet relish gives these dogs a sweet and tangy flavor.

White Onions: I use organic white onions, you can use yellow if you only have that as it's similar. Onions are loaded with anitoxidants.

Pickles: Organic pickles are key! While traditional Chicago Dogs will have whole pickle slices on the dogs, it's just so hard to eat, so I chop mine up.

Cucumber: I add organic cucumbers for extra nutrients and flavor.

Tomato: Organic tomatoes are traditional on Chicago Dogs. I also do large slices as it's better for keeping the tomato in tact. Tomatoes have anti-cancer properties.

Celery Salt: Organic Celery Salt is the key ingredient to Chicago Dogs! This gives it the true flavor that is nostalgic.

Tools Needed

Small Pot

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Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Boil the hot dogs per the instructions on the packaging.

Step 2

While the dogs are boiling, lightly toast the buns.

Step 3

To assemble: Add the hot dogs into the buns, top with relish, mustard, and ketchup. Then add tomato slices, lettuce, cucumber, onion, and pickles. Top with a sprinkle of celery salt.

organic chicago dogs


  • Make sure you're using organic beef hot dogs. I like to use Organic Prairie Grassfed Beef Hot Dogs, they are the best!
  • Use a good bun. I like to use organic white buns for my dogs, but some Chicago dogs are also served on a poppy seed bun (like Janson's). It's just really hard to find good organic buns, the ones I linked are the best I've found. Or you can make my Homemade Sourdough Hot Dog Buns and add poppy seeds, but a white bun is more traditional.
  • Most Chicago Hot Dogs will be served with all the toppings in more of a whole form, such as whole pickle slices, whole sport peppers, whole slices of tomato. But, I prefer to dice most of my toppings (as opposed to just the onions) so I get all of them in each bite.
  • Chop all your toppings first before cooking or warming your buns. This way everything is ready so you can enjoy a hot dog!
  • You can chop extra toppings so you have easy leftovers. I do this frequently because it's just Delaney and me. So, when we buy a pack of hot dogs, we usually have them for a few days. So, I'll chop extra toppings the first time and then store in a Tupperware in the fridge so it's really easy to create a meal the next day.
  • Do not forget the celery salt! Find an organic celery salt here.
  • If your hot dog is so giant it's difficult to take a bite — you're doing it right!


Can I use turkey hot dogs?

Yes and no. I mean, yes you can. But no, it's not traditional of Chicago Dogs and I don't think it will be as tasty.

Can I add ketchup?

Yes and yes! Haha!

organic chicago dogs

Craving More?

organic chicago dogs

Organic Chicago Hot Dogs

Mimi Council
Learn how to make Organic Chicago Hot Dogs with healthier ingredients and that iconic Chicago Dog taste!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Makes 2 hot dogs
Calories 514 kcal



  • 4 grassfed beef hot dogs
  • 4 white hot dog buns
  • sweet relish
  • yellow mustard
  • ketchup (optional)
  • 6 slices tomato (sliced in half)
  • ½ cup chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 6 slices cucumber (diced)
  • 2 slice white onion (diced)
  • 6 pickles (diced)
  • celery salt


  • Boil the hot dogs per the instructions on the packaging.
  • While the dogs are boiling, lightly toast the buns.
  • To assemble: Add the hot dogs into the buns, top with relish, mustard, and ketchup. Then add tomato slices, lettuce, cucumber, onion, and pickles. Top with a sprinkle of celery salt.
  • Serve immediately.


High Altitude — Follow the recipe as noted.


Calories: 514kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 20gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 2622mgPotassium: 778mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1345IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 274mgIron: 6mg
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