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Low-Calorie Chicago Hot Dog Recipe

And don't worry, they're still loaded up with plenty of fixin's.
Low-Calorie Chicago Hot Dog RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicagoans take hot dogs pretty seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the actual order in which you apply the ingredients is of paramount importance (at least as they tell it). We'll cut them some slack because, after all, they make the best dogs in the country (sorry, New York, you've got the best bagels though!), and the fact that they come so loaded with produce ("run through the garden," as they say) means that what could be a snack for some quickly turns into a surprisingly reasonable meal.

Nutrition: 250 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,020 mg sodium

Serves 4

You'll Need

4 reduced-fat all-beef dogs (we like anything from Applegate Farms)
4 poppy seed hot dog buns
Yellow mustard relish
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into wedges
4 pickle spears
8 sport peppers (These little light green chiles have an awesome spicy pop but are tough to come by. Pepperoncini, if need be, can fill in.)
Celery salt

How to Make It

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
  2. Turn the heat to low, add the hot dogs, and cook for 5 minutes, until heated all the way through.
  3. Alternatively, you can grill the dogs until lightly charred all over (which, while untraditional, is probably more delicious).
  4. Dump out all but a few inches of the water and place a steamer basket in the pot. Steam the buns until warm and very soft.
  5. Place a dog in each bun, then arrange the toppings in the following order: mustard, relish, onion, a few tomato wedges, pickle spear, two sport peppers, and a pinch of celery salt.

Eat This Tip

Chicagoans are particular about their ingredients: The buns must be poppy seed, the relish must be neon green (often called piccalilli), and the peppers must be sport peppers. Finding all of that in your local market is next to impossible. If you want a 100 percent authentic Chicago dog, you can pick up all the authentic fixings at Vienna Beef, or you can do what we do and wing it. (Just don't tell the Chicagoans.)

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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