Camping Food, Camping Recipes, Lunches

Hot Dog Grilled Cheese

You may need to hang with me on this one. Trust me it can be a delicious meal if made correctly. Before I get into that though what are we really looking at here. Are we talking a hot dog with some cheese on top? That has been done. A hot dog with cheese inside of it. Sure, you can buy those in the store. No, this is a mash-up that your children are going to love. Maybe even live for. The hot dog grilled cheese takes the best parts of hot dogs and the best parts of grilled cheese and blends them together. This will make any child or child at heart ready to take on the trail. I can’t say it will end complaining. However, at least you won’t have to worry about the children not eating their lunch! So let’s dive into the hot dog grilled cheese and get those kids fed!

Want to try a different type of grilled sandwich? Try out these sandwich pie iron recipes!

Classic but oh so Different

hot dog grilled cheese
Prep involves slicing the hot dogs in half.

In the summertime hot dogs and camping go hand in hand. They are quick to make and you can roast them right over the campfire. Kids love them because they can become their own chefs. All you need is a couple of hot dog skewers and you are on your way. Don’t want to splurge on the roasting skewer? Thank goodness nature can provide one with some pretty rudimentary whittling skills. Hot dogs are quick, easy, and delicious as a campfire meal.

Do you know what else is easy? Grilled cheese! Of course, unless you have a sandwich iron you will be making these on your camp stove. This can take a little bit more effort but is certainly a go-to in my family even on camping trips. The kids love to eat them, and I love that it doesn’t take much effort.

So, I figured why can’t we have the best of both worlds. A couple of classics mashed up into one delicious meal. The melty cheese could only make the hot dogs taste that much better. Not to mention the crispness of the toasted buns! Both classics together in one place actually make this a whole different animal.

Mayo or Butter?

Here is an argument that has started coming up when making grilled cheese sandwiches. Should they be made with butter on the outside of the bread or mayonnaise? I grew up with butter or margarine slathered on the outside of the bread in order to make grilled cheese. My partner swears that there is nothing else that can be used. However, more and more people are starting to use mayo for their grilled cheese. Before you cringe you should give it a try. Not only does the mayo spread easier on the bread, it also makes the bread a more consistent golden brown color. I like it because it adds some additional flavor to the mix as well. I certainly wouldn’t have found it without the help of the internet though! Because to be honest I cringed the first couple of times I heard about it. That is till I tried my own grilled cheese that way.

I do love butter. The only person who uses more butter than me is Ina Garten. However, I find that making grilled cheese with mayo is just much simpler. The fact that I do not tear through the bread as I am spreading it is the main appeal for me. It likely will be for you also.

Hot Dog Grilled Cheese Substitutions

hot dog grilled cheese
Crispy and filled with a cheesy dog.

There are not too many substitutions that you can make for this recipe. That is the only real drawback here. Especially if you know me. I love substitutions and being able to make a single recipe in multiple ways. Substitutions allow picky eaters to customize their meals so that we all get exactly what we want. For hot dog grilled cheese you really only have three things that can be substituted. You can switch out the type of bun that you use. Or, you could change the hot dog type and the cheese. Now obviously there are numerous combinations that could be made with those three. However, with such a simple recipe you likely won’t make too many changes.

For the bun, a hoagie roll may actually be better. However, make sure you don’t overpower your meal with too much bread. When it comes to the hot dog I prefer bun-length standard dogs. You could use polish sausage, all-beef hot dogs, spicy dogs, etc. Choose your favorite dog and add it into the mix. Finally, for the cheese, I prefer to use cheddar for this recipe. However, a classic grilled cheese uses American cheese because of the way that it melts. Again there are literally thousands of types of cheese and I imagine that any one or combination of cheese would be great here.

The Tools

Hot Dog Grilled Cheese
Smash that dog as it grills up nicely.

This recipe only uses a few main tools. You will need a camp stove with a skillet or griddle. I prefer to use a griddle in this case as it can be difficult to flip the hot dog grilled cheese over. When using a griddle I use the lid of my Dutch oven to grill the top side of the bun. This also adds quite a bit of weight to the mix which helps to push the bread and cheese together. That is really it for tools. So not only is the ingredient list small but the tools list is also small.

I love recipes that are simple and uncomplicated. Don’t get me wrong. I love to challenge myself too. However, it is nice to sometimes have a simple set of ingredients and an even easier set of tools. When it gets down to it the hardest part may be pre-heating your griddle and Dutch oven lid!

Want to try more difficult camping recipes? Check out all of our recipes!

How did your hot dog grilled cheese turn out? Did you use mayo or butter on yours? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, or on Reddit! Better yet we would love to see a picture!

Hot Dog Grilled Cheese

Hot Dog Grilled Cheese

This is an interesting take on combining two childhood favorites. The hot dog and the grilled cheese. They pack a lot of flavor into a bite and should delight your children with exactly what they desire. Not to mention having some simple comfort food that is quick for lunch will make your mid day rest that much more comfortable!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • Griddle
  • Dutch Oven Lid
  • Spatula
  • Butter Knife


  • 1 pkg Hot Dogs
  • 1 pkg Hot Dog Buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • 8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese


  • Preheat your griddle over the camp stove or the campfire. You will also need to pre-heat the lid of your Dutch oven at this time.
  • While things are getting warm slice the hot dogs in half.
    1 pkg Hot Dogs
  • Once hot dogs are sliced, split the hot dog buns in half long ways. Place mayonnaise on what was the inside face of the buns.
    1 pkg Hot Dog Buns, Mayonnaise
  • When everything is preheated, place half of the hot dog bun halves mayo side down on the griddle. Arrange hot dog halves on top of the buns. Spread cheddar cheese over the hot dogs evenly. Top with the remaining hot dog buns mayo side up.
    8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Place pre-heated Dutch oven lid right on top of the hot dog buns and press down.
  • Allow to cook for approximately 8-10 minutes without lifting the lid.
  • Remove Dutch oven lid and move to a plate to cool a bit before eating.


Camp Hero Notes
  1. Try using a hoagie roll for something a little more substantial.
  2. The type of hot dog does not matter but you will want something that is easily cut and can lay flat. I prefer something that is bun length as well.
Keyword Cheese, Griddle, Grilled Cheese, Hot Dogs