Hot Dog Sauce (Coney Dogs)

This hot dog sauce is made with ground meat, tomato paste, onions, garlic and spices to make the famous Coney Island sauce for hot dogs that everybody loves. 
Tonight were having Coney Island Hot Dogs for dinner. I just love this recipe and my family does to so that's always good. I found this recipe a couple months back on a food blog. I have been trying to find a good recipe so I gave it a try. I made them while my mother in law was visiting and she couldn't stop talking about this sauce.

If you don't know what a Coney Island Dog is you don't know what you're missing. A “Coney Island Hot Dog” is a hot dog topped with a Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce then you add diced onions and mustard on top of that. I like to throw on a little shredded Cheddar cheese as well.

This beefy sauce is not a chili sauce like some may think and it doesn't pack any heat at all. It is just a flavorful hamburger sauce for hot dogs. Some of the recipes I have seen including this one call for ground up hot dogs in the sauce. My family thought that was just strange so I left them out.

Feel free to add them if you want the true sauce experience. I thought the sauce tasted fine without them.This meal is easy to please everyone in my house. Since Carson doesn't like the coney sauce he can just have a plain hot dog with ketchup. My daughter likes ketchup and cheese and everyone else loves the coney sauce. So you see no extra meals to be made. This recipe has become a favorite at our dinner table.

Yield: 8
Author: Tina Butler | Mommy's Kitchen
Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

This hot dog sauce is made with ground meat, tomato paste, onions, garlic and spices to make the famous Coney Island sauce for hot dogs that everybody loves.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 30 M


  • 1 - tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 - lbs ground beef
  • 1 - small onion, minced
  • 1 - clove garlic, minced
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 - tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 - cups water
  • 2 1/2 - tablespoons brown sugar
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 - hot dogs
  • 8 - hot dog buns


  1. Brown the hamburger meat first in 1 1/2 cups of water in a pan or pot. This also helps to remove the fat from the hamburger. Make sure to break up the meat as fine as possible (a potato masher works great).
  2. Mince up the onion and add it along with the hamburger as it cooks. When the meat is cooked, drain and return to the pot.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the hot dogs and add the mixture to your crock pot.
  4. Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 2 hours. I always start my crock pot on high and then once it gets going I turn to low.
  5. I tweaked the sauce up a bit and added brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Serve the Coney sauce on top of cooked hot dogs with diced onions and mustard.


Stove Top Method:

To cook the sauce on the stove, prepare the mixture the same way and just simmer on low for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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Sherri Murphy said…
I love this- we call them Coney Dogs and there used to be a little cafe downtown that sold them when I was younger. I miss them. Thanks.
Emily said…
I always wondered why Sonic called them coney dogs! Hello!!

Receipe looks fantastic! I'll definitely give it a try!
Leslie said…
Do you serve Tums with those dogs??
Tina Butler said…
Leslie no need for tums. The coney sauce isnt a spicy sauce or a chili sauce. It is a flavorful beefy hamburger sauce for hot dogs. it is really good.
Yummmm! The only problem is I know my kids would never try it (not with the option of a plain hot dog on a bun - thats for sure!)

This looks very freezer friendly - You could totally put all the work into this once and double or triple it and freeze in ice cube trays or in a muffin tin and have a cooney dog whenever!
Heidi said…
My husband loves coney dogs. Guess I'll be making this for him soon :)
Queen B. said…
oooooo my gosh, i love a good hot dog !!!!!
Jennifer said…
Yum, I have never made Coney Sauce, I had no idea how. Thanks for sharing.
Bunny said…
I'm bookmarking this!!! Oh how I LOVE my hot dogs!! I've never had a coney island but it sounds so good!!! I'm drooling here thinking about this on top of my Ball Park Hot dogs!
Anonymous said…
Just added to my favorites, to bad tonight's dinner was already planned.

Thanks for the great recipe.
My goodness, my boys would love these. I just came across your website and it's so great (I love that header pic). I look forward to many more visits back.
Ashley said…
I made these a couple of days ago and they were a big hit! Thanks for the recipe!
Unknown said…
My family loved this sauce. I highly recommend the recipe!
okcmomto3 said…
This looks delicious!!
Bless you! This is on our Friday Night Menu and I forgot to buy my sauce. I figured making it would be too hard but obviously not!!! Thanks so much!!
Jen said…
I wish I was having this! Baked chicken for me :(
Brian Mc said…
I am from the Detroit area living in Alabama. No such thing as a coney here. I have been looking for a recipe for a while. Thank you I am trying it this weekend, will stop back to let you know how it turned out.
Unknown said…
I am originally from Michigan and grew up loving Coney sauce! Thank you for the breakdown, although, the true recipe calls for kogels ground bolonga. Im not a bolonga fan so I make mine with ground turkey:)
Mmmmmm guess who is hungry for hot dogs!
Unknown said…
I am originally from Michigan and grew up on Coney dogs. They were originally made with Kogels Ground bolonga. But since I am more partial to ground turkey that is what I use. I love how easy this recipe is and it can be easily changed up to please even the pickiest of eaters. Thank you so much for posting, I am off to cook some hot dogs:)
Unknown said…
My husband and I had my little brother over today while my parents were at work, since he had a snow day. I made this sauce for our hot dogs (and let my little brother help), but I wasn't sure he would even try it. He tried it...and LOVED it! I had to cut him off after he devoured three hot dogs! Thanks for this recipe! It was a hit!
Christopher51 said…
I love a good hot dog. I grew up in NYC, going to Coney Island with my grandfather. We’d play pinball, Skee Ball, tabletop bowling, amongst other things. We’d top it all off with a stop at Nathan’s Famous. There we’d get two of Nathan’s finest tube steaks (hot dogs), slathered with spicy Kosher deli mustard, topped with a little Bavarian sauerkraut and top it all off with that day-glow green relish: Add a basket of chips (French fries), and wash it all down with an ice cold Nedicks orange drink. Now that was a great play-day for me and grandpa.
Anonymous said…
The reason they call for ground hot dogs is most resturaunts that made "hot sauce" used the mistake orders as a base for the sauce. Ground burgers, hots roll and all were ground and used in the sauce.
Unknown said…
Awesome Recipe. Just made this for the family with some yummy homemade mac & cheese. I did substitute ground turkey for the ground beef and omitted the water when cooking the meat. It was delicious. Thank you for sharing.
Anonymous said…
When do you add the butter? Or did I miss it in the directions?
Tina Butler said…
After you cook the meat, drain and then add the garlic the recipe states to add the remaining ingredients except the hot dogs and add the mixture to your crock pot.
Anonymous said…
I grew up and still live in VT. Our local A&W used to have a Michigan hot dog on the menu when I was a kid. I am hoping this is similar to what I remember. The pic with the chopped onion and mustard is exactly how they were served.
Moxie19 said…
I can't tell you how much my family LOVES this recipe. I have been testing different coney dog sauce recipes for a couple of months. My 'guinea pigs' have been willing subjects for the test. When they got to this one, they all said at the same time "Bingo"!! It appears my search is over. lol Thank you for this recipe. I also came back to make another copy of the recipe. :)