Frankly speaking, quickly reheated leftover hot dogs can be a bore the day after a cookout, especially once the rolls go stale. Rather than wasting those dogs, however, reinvent the franks by serving them at a different meal, or in a different form. To keep the leftover meal as safe as it is flavorful, be sure to refrigerate the first night’s leftover wieners within an hour or two of cooking them.
Leftover dogs are perfect as a last-minute addition to almost-completed dishes such as stovetop mac-and-cheese, vegetable soups and stir-fries. To get the most out of the franks, however, go beyond simply slicing the leftover wieners into rounds or chunks. The pieces gain new flavor after a quick saute with olive oil or butter, as well as the dried or fresh seasonings of your choice. Avoid salt, however, since most dogs are already salty. Consider adding a dollop of Dijon mustard to the pan to complement cheesy macaroni, ginger and soy sauce to an Asian stir-fry, or Italian herbs, diced tomatoes and garlic for pastas or hearty stews.
Go Whole Dog
You needn’t go the chopped-up route just to do something different with your leftover franks. Saute whole or halved-lengthwise dogs with olive oil, garlic, onions and sweet peppers for extra flavor, then spoon the caramelized vegetables over the hot dogs and serve as your meat entree. Alternatively, heat the dogs in the microwave or a pan, pop each one into a bun, and top them with homemade or store-bought chili. To make a “pigs in a blanket” style snack, cut slits into the refrigerated dogs, stuff them with sliced cheese, and wrap them with crescent roll dough before popping them in the oven.
For longer-cooking dishes, use franks as you might cubed ham or sliced sausage. Add chunks of leftover hot dogs to au gratin potatoes or quiche, for example, substituting the amount of chopped, cooked wieners for the same amount of the meat called for in the recipe. To make the iconic franks ‘n’ beans, start by sauteing the sliced leftover dogs with onions, garlic, canned beans, as well as classic baked bean flavorings like mustard and brown sugar. Let them bake in a medium oven for about 40 minutes. You’ll need about four sliced franks for every 16-ounce can of beans you’re using.
Looking to breakfast foods which often contain sausage or ham can give you inspiration about how to use leftover dogs in the morning. Cubed cooked franks can get tossed into an omelet or scrambled eggs, for example. Saute them first so they have a chance to heat through, before you add them to these quick-cooking meals. For a portable treat, slice heated dogs lengthwise and use them in a breakfast sandwich with a halved, toasted English muffin, along with cheese or a fried egg — or both. When you have a little time to spare, turn cornbread into a hearty casserole by adding a few cupfuls of sliced wiener and a few spoonfuls of salsa to a double-batch of cornbread mix. Baking this corny casserole in a square pan instead of a loaf pan, and cut it into squares once it’s cooked.
References and ResourcesBon Appetit: What to Do With Cookout Leftovers
Foodsafety.gov: Tips for Tailgating: Hot Dog Safety Basics
Kraft: Hot Dog Recipes
Kitchen Daily: Leftovers
Serious Eats: Leftover Chili Dogs
Hebrew National: Franks and Beans