Mini Chili Cheese Dogs Are So Easy to Make

by Alli

My family and I were caught up in March Madness the entire month of March.  The road to the championship is almost over. Yes, I’m a basketball fanatic! Along with our love for college basketball, we also like small bites to enjoy throughout the games. Say hello to my mini chili cheese dogs.

The entire family gathers at my house when our favorite teams are playing. We are a house divided when it comes to college basketball, but that’s okay. We love talking trash to each other and we’re never mean with it. It’s all in good fun. I think. And the food has to be on point.

Sports and hotdogs go hand in hand, but I wanted to make something a little different than just plain hot dogs so I went small.  The stars of my mini chili cheese dogs are little Smokies (cocktail franks).  They may be small, but they’re full of flavor!

How to Make Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

The crunch of the slightly sweet, toasted buns is the perfect vehicle to carry the bold taste of the little smokies, the melted cheese, and the flavorful chili.

Small bites always go over well at my parties.  They’re fun and easy to eat.  You don’t need utensils.  Let the games begin!

Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

Preheat oven to 350º.  Add chili to a saucepan and heat until warm.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add franks and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add Hawaiian rolls to a baking pan. Cut slits in the rolls. Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Slit holes in rolls - Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

Place one cocktail frank in each roll.

Add franks to the rolls to make mini chili cheese dogs.

Top each roll with chili.

Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

Add shredded cheese.

Add shredded cheese to make Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes, or until heated and cheese is melted.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted - Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

This recipe makes 24 mini chili cheese dogs. Feel free to double or triple the recipe. Sometimes, when it’s only a few of us watching the game (rarely) I’ll only make a dozen.

If you don’t like chili from a can, make it homemade. I have the perfect chili recipe.

Yield: 24

Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

How to Make Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

These mini chilli cheese dogs are always a hit when I host a casual party. The cocktail franks are served in toasty Hawaiian rolls and covered with chili, and shredded Jack/cheddar cheese.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 24 Lil' Smokies (cocktail franks - 12 oz.)
  • 1 can chili, no beans
  • 2 Packs Hawaiian rolls (12 each)
  • Shredded Pepper Jack/Cheddar mixture, 2 cups


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Pour chili into a saucepan and heat until warm.
  3. In another saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add franks and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain.
  4. Cut a slit into each Hawaiian roll. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  5. Place one frank in each roll and place in two 13x9 baking dishes.
  6. Top each with chili and cheese.
  7. Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes, or until heated and cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 101Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 13mgSodium 229mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 5g

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Are you a college basketball fan? If so, who’s your favorite team?

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