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Carolina-Style Slaw Dogs

Carolina-Style Slaw Dogs are topped with mustard, homemade chili, and a cool and creamy coleslaw. This is probably the most popular way to top hot dogs in the Carolinas and it happens to be my favorite.

Three Carolina-Style Slaw Dogs on a plate.

I love the sweetness and crunch of the coleslaw in contrast to the slight spiciness of the chili and mustard

These Southern Slaw Dogs are totally suitable for summer cookouts and they are always popular for the 4th of July. The chili can be made ahead of time, as can the coleslaw. Just a few minutes on the grill for the hot dogs and you have a filling meal that can feed a crowd!

Carolina-Style Slaw Dogs with mustard and homemade chili.

Tips For Making The Chili

The ground beef for chili slaw dogs is usually very finely ground. I can never get it that way by breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks or by taking a potato masher to it. One day it dawned on me to just put the chili in a food processor and pulse it a few times. Works like a charm.

Only then you have to clean the food processor.  🙁

Three Chili Slaw Dogs on a plate.

Tips For Making Coleslaw

You can use shredded coleslaw mix, but my store has a chopped coleslaw mix that I like to use. The cabbage is finely chopped and it works really well on a hot dog. Of course you could also use fresh cabbage instead of packaged.

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Carolina-Style Slaw Dog on wood cutting board.

 Great Sides For Hot Dogs

Chili Slaw Dogs

Carolina-Style Slaw Dogs are topped with mustard, homemade chili, and a cool and creamy coleslaw. This is probably the most popular way to top hot dogs in the Carolinas and it happens to be my favorite.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes


  • 1 (16-ounce) package coleslaw mix
  • 2/3 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Hot Dogs

  • 1 package hot dogs
  • 1 package hot dog buns
  • mustard


  • In a medium bowl, combine coleslaw mix, mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Refrigerate until needed.
  • In a large nonstick pan cook the ground beef and onion until ground beef is no longer pink. Crumble the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Spoon off any excess fat/liquid.
  • Add remaining chili ingredients and cook for about 20 minutes. If chili gets too thick, you can add more water. Let cool slightly and place in a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times to finely ground the beef. (Note: This is optional.)
  • Heat grill and grill hot dogs until grill marks form on all sides.
  • To serve, place hot dogs in buns. Top with mustard, chili, and slaw.


Calories: 515kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: 4th of July

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39 thoughts on “Carolina-Style Slaw Dogs”

  1. Andy Harrell

    Great chili and slaw recipes. I double the recipe, use an immersion blender at the end to make the texture finer, and freeze it in 4 oz. containers(each container is good for about four hot dogs). I’ve taken to adding a scant half teaspoon of cinnamon the last few times I’ve made the chili. It adds an underlying warmth without really being identifiable.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Don`t brown the meat first. Add meat and water first, and get in there and mix it up, That`s how to get a fine dog sauce, Then add the rest of the stuff and cook it down I would add 2 cups water and let it cook down. I`ve done the processor before, But not anymore.

  3. Tami Kessell

    West Virginia hot dogs have to be the best EVER.
    CHILLI SLAW ONIONS MUSTARD AND KETCHUP. Also put some homemade relish if you like! YUM YUM

    1. The relish might be what seperates carolina slaw dogs from Virginia or west Virginia slaw dogs. I will say I stopped at a place once in north Carolina and ordered a chili dog and got a chili bun instead. Still can’t figure out how they call a chili bun a chili dog if they don’t put the dog on it.

  4. This low-key makes me angry 😂. that’s a West Virginia slaw dog just add onion. It’s as much a part of our identity as mothman and pepperoni rolls. I have to say your pics do look good. Thanks for putting the mustard in the right place.

  5. Shawna Smyth

    I just made these and wow what a new summer time favorite! I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. My husband and I are from Georgia and this is pretty much the same way we make our hot dogs. The only difference is we open the steamed bun, chop up two hot dogs and place over the bun, top with mustard, chili, chopped onions, small oyster crackers, coleslaw (in that order) and eat it with a fork … we call it a “Scramble Dog!” I especially love your coleslaw recipe, it’s simple and tastes so good. We just cut down a bit on the sugar! Love all of your recipes, thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Growing up in Georgia scrambled dogs were the best. We did put all the ingredients in and then pour chili over it. What a great idea to put the chile in the blender “Genius “.

      1. Use a stainless steel wire masher (buy a good heavy duty one) & mash your ground chuck while browning. I’ve been doing this for years…you won’t need to mess with a blender or food processor & won’t have to clean another item.

  7. If I want a really fine grind on ground beef I put it raw in a bowl with water and just mash with my fingers. It’s perfect.

    For coleslaw I use a box grater on the larger side. Perfect consistency.

    I share this as part of my trial and error and being 100% satisfied with the results. I hope you can try it!

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