The Unofficial Guide to Labor Day Hot Dogs

August 26, 2013
Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide


Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

For those of us that love to cook outdoors for friends and family on lazy August afternoons, Labor Day heralds the end of the social summer season.  Kids are heading back to school, stores are stocking up on scarves and shovels and the ads on TV are starting to show the previews of the fall season. Oh, sure we can still barbeque until the first frost and swim for another couple of weeks but Labor Day is the truly last “free” day we have a day off until after the holidays.

I typically think of  hot dogs as the go to food of the day and while I’m all for serving them “naked” with just the usually cast of condiments, chopped onions and tomatoes, the following gourmet and slightly off-the-beaten-track recipes will help you send the season off in style. You can of course, use kosher turkey dogs, Polish sausage or kielbasas or even kosher brats if you so choose.

Just remember, as you’re polishing off your 5th or 6th dog of the day there are only  a few more days until the feasting and fasting of the high holidays will be upon us and we have to fit into our holiday best so even though the recipes are delicious, try to limit yourself to just one or two.

Reuben Hot Dogs (meat)

4 servings


  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 4 split hot dog buns, toasted
  • 1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 4 slices pareve white cheese
  • 4 kosher hot dogs


  1. In a skillet heat the oil and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Add the sauerkraut, caraway, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread insides of buns with half of the dressing, then place 1 piece of pareve cheese in each bun over the dressing.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Grill hot dogs on a barbeque or in a grill pan for about 4 or 5 minutes.
  7. Place the hot dogs in the buns and put them on a baking sheet. Spread the remaining dressing on top of the hot dogs and divide the sauerkraut between the of hot dogs.
  8. Cook for 3 minutes or until pareve cheese melts.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Gyros Dogs (meat)

4 servings


  • 4 kosher lamb sausages or kosher Polish sausage or kosher jumbo hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • ½ cup pareve sour cream
  • 1 seeded and chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 10 (¼-inch thick) cucumber slices, halved
  • 1 plum tomato, halved, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onions


  1. In a bowl combine the pareve sour cream and chopped cucumber. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set it aside.
  2. Heat grill over medium heat.
  3. Grill sausages until cooked thoroughly and browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Place sausages in buns and spread the pareve sour cream mixture over the top. Sprinkle on olives, cucumber, tomato, and onions.

Modified from

Mango Dogs with Pineapple Mustard (meat)

8 servings


  • 8 kosher polish sausage or kosher jumbo hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns, toasted
  • 2 avocados, sliced

For the Mango Salsa:

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Pineapple Mustard:

  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic


  1. In the food processor combine the pineapple, garlic and Dijon mustard. Process until smooth and then set it aside.
  2. In a bowl combine the mango, onion, bell pepper, parsley, chili pepper. Mix to combine.
  3. Add the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set the mixture aside.
  4. Grill the sausages or hot dogs for 6 to 8 minutes until cooked throughout.
  5. Spread the mustard on the buns. Place the sausages on the buns and top with mango salsa and sliced avocado.

Modified from

Hot Dog Cucumber Relish (pareve)

Makes 3 to 4 cups of relish, enough for 12 hot dogs


  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1 onions, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cups white vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon celery seed
  • ½ tablespoon dill seed


  1. In a large bowl combine the cucumbers, red bell peppers, onions, celery, and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl. Add salt the and cover everything with cold water.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, then drain very well.
  3. In a sauce pan combine the sugar vinegar, celery seeds, and dill seeds. Bring the  mixture to a boil, reduce immediately to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the drained cucumber mixture and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Cool for 30 to 45 minutes then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Serve over hot dogs. 

Submitted by Monti Reasser, Chicago IL

© Eileen Goltz hot dog 13a

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.