16 Delicious Hot Dog Bun Alternatives You Need To Consider

Whether it's the Fourth of July, a family cookout, or a random Tuesday during a busy week, hot dogs can make a quick and delicious lunch or dinner. They pair wonderfully with a wide variety of side dishes, such as french fries, baked beans, chips, or even a salad. At the end of the day, this staple is sought after for its ease, taste, and simplicity. Most people think of hot dogs as a bun, sausage, and condiments, but this food can be made in plenty of different ways. You may just need to get a bit creative and experimental.

Whether you are out of regular hot dog buns or are craving something new, we have some great alternatives for you to discover. Most of these will take some getting used to but don't limit yourself to how you can make each appeal to your palette. Feel free to swap out ingredients, the type of sausage you use, the seasonings you incorporate, and how you prepare some of these bun alternatives. Keep an open mind, as some of these ideas may seem a little odd, but you won't know unless you try them.

1. Crescent roll

One of the most exciting ways you can change up a traditional hot dog is by replacing the bun with a crescent roll. This bun swap will also eliminate the step of cooking the hot dog separately. All you have to do is open a pack of crescent rolls and unroll the dough. Before rolling it up and following the regular directions in the packaging, place the hot dog in the middle of the triangle dough. Then, roll it up around the hot dog and bake until the crescent roll is golden brown. 

You'll love the combination of the juicy hot dog bun with the crisp and delicious crescent roll. You'll want to serve the hot dogs right away so that they're hot and the crescent rolls are still warm and flaky. If you want to make this recipe a bit fancier and more delicious, consider adding a slice of cheese to the crescent roll before rolling it up around the hot dog. 

2. Pretzel roll

Pretzel rolls are soft, salty, and incredibly delectable. They make it possible to combine the delicious flavor of a pretzel with your favorite meats and cheeses. When paired with a hot dog, the combination is truly out of this world. A pretzel roll is shaped similarly to a bun and can hold a hot dog in much the same way. However, while it may feel familiar in your hands, your taste buds will surely pick up on the different flavors right away.

The salty pretzel bun and its unique taste really help accentuate the flavor of the hot dog itself. While you can serve a pretzel bun hot dog with the traditional ketchup, relish, and mustard, you might want to consider a different topping: beer cheese. The beer cheese can add a bit of a kick and will pull all the flavors together. You might even feel like you're enjoying a few different meals when in reality, it's one quick and easy dish.

3. English muffin

If you just discovered that you don't have any hot dog buns left, but you're really in the mood for a nice and juicy hot dog, look in your bread box. You might have a pack of English muffins lying around. And for those of you who don't, you just have to trust us on this. Many people often assume English muffins are only for breakfast, but this isn't the case. While they may be most commonly used to make breakfast sandwiches or served with some butter and jelly, their taste and texture also make them an excellent choice to pair with meat or cheeses during other times of the day. 

When using an English muffin in place of a hot dog bun, you'll want to slice it in half and toast it first. Consider cutting your hot dog in half so you get a taste of English muffins with each bite. Or, if preferred, simply place the hot dog in the middle of the two slices of English muffin and add your desired toppings before enjoying.

4. Soft tortilla

Ready for another idea you'll want to try the next time you're in the mood for a hot dog? Instead of a traditional bun, use a soft corn or flour tortilla instead. With a tortilla, you can wrap up your hot dog and enjoy it like a burrito — or something vaguely resembling one. One of the benefits of using a tortilla instead of a hot dog bun is that it leaves you with more room to pile on some of your favorite toppings.

You can stay traditional by adding ketchup, mustard, or relish over your hot dog before rolling up the tortilla. Or, you can use the soft tortilla as the inspiration for a Mexican-themed meal. Add some pinto beans, jalapeño peppers, guacamole, or salsa over your hot dog to create something new and exciting. For the best taste, you should always warm up the tortilla before adding the hot dog. Just roll it up in some foil and put it in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

5. Hard taco shell

With a soft tortilla, you might be able to make a hot dog burrito. But a hard taco shell opens up even more possibilities. Pairing your hot dog with a hard taco shell will let you enjoy some crunch with each bite. You'll find that most taco shells are about the same length as a hot dog bun, meaning that they'll be the perfect size to use for your delicious juicy hot dog.

You'll have several options when preparing your hot dog taco. Experiment a bit and add some ingredients that you don't typically associate with hot dogs, such as avocados, shredded lettuce, or salsa. Alternatively, you could stick with your tried and true hot dog toppings or mustard or ketchup. This bun swap is also begging for the addition of some shredded cheese. Can you even eat out of a taco shell if cheese isn't spilling out of the sides? We don't think so.

6. Bell pepper

If you're looking for a carb-friendly alternative, consider using a bell pepper instead of a hot dog bun. This take on stuffed peppers might leave you pleasantly surprised. When you think about the shape of a bell pepper, it is easy to visualize how it could work to hold your hot dog so you can enjoy it. Plus, using a bell pepper will offer a distinct and original taste, and at the same time, it helps make that hot dog meal a little bit more nutritious. Green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers will each impart a slightly different flavor, so choose your favorite to try first.

You can either try to find one that is a bit longer to fit an entire sausage, or you can slice your sausage to make it fit any pepper you like. Then, simply fire up your grill or stovetop grill pan. Add some oil and a few seasonings of your choice to the bell pepper, and consider grilling it separately from the hot dog. You want the bell pepper to soften up some so that you'll be able to wrap it around the hot dog. Or, you can simply stuff the pepper with your preferred ingredients and bake it all together.

7. Mini cornbread loaf

If you like corndogs, then you'll want to try this next idea. Use a mini cornbread loaf as your hot dog bun. If you warm up the cornbread and grill up the hot dog before pairing them together, they should deliver a similar flavor to what you enjoy with corndogs. However, one advantage of choosing this option instead of just making corndogs is that it can be an easy option to prepare — especially if you're short on time. If you prepare your favorite cornbread recipe ahead of time, it will be easier to prepare this meal than it would take to make a batch of corndogs from scratch.

Pairing a hot dog with fresh cornbread will also give you more of the moist and delicious flavor with each bite than you'd enjoy from a store-bought corndog. If you're a big cornbread fan, then this is definitely a hot dog bun swap you should try. If you're feeling even more adventurous, try adding some sweet BBQ sauce on top.

8. Naan

When you think about naan, you probably think of flavorful Indian food. While naan is traditionally paired with curry and other Indian dishes, it is good for so much more. One of the many other ways you can use naan is to eat it with a hot dog. While you could always grab a piece of naan right from a package and immediately use it as a bun, taking a few extra steps could make this recipe even more delicious.

Rather than wrap your hot dog in a piece of cold naan, toss it on the grill for a few minutes as the hot dogs finish cooking. Once the naan is nice and warm and has some grill marks, add your favorite toppings. Consider trying a smear of hummus and some sliced red onion with the naan dog — you can also add any of your other favorite toppings. Finally, consider selecting a spicy sausage option with extra spices to really elevate this dish.

9. Waffles

Waffles are not just for breakfast. We've all heard of chicken and waffles, but what about hot dogs and waffles? While the combination may seem a little less than traditional, it can be quite tasty just the same. After all, waffles have a bread-like consistency, much like that of a hot dog bun. The crispy pockets in the waffle will add just the right amount of texture and flavor to your meal.

When preparing hot dogs and waffles, consider making your favorite waffle recipe for a more homemade, fresh take. Or, if you just want to grab a quick bite, you can always use a frozen waffle and toast it instead. This might be better to enjoy with a knife and fork, but you could always roll the waffle up to hold it like a bun. It really just comes down to your preferences and what sounds like the best idea. Consider ketchup, mustard, or even maple syrup as a topping for this creation.

10. Flatbread

Flatbread can also serve as a hot dog bun substitute in a pinch. Flatbread is traditionally a type of unleavened bread, meaning no yeast is used when making it. Its history can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt. However, different variations of flatbread can be found in a range of cultures and cuisines.

While you don't typically see flatbread paired with hot dogs, it can actually make a pretty good stand-in for a hot dog bun. Flatbread is soft and flexible, making it easy to fully wrap around your hot dog. This can be a big benefit if you want to enjoy the dog with some extra toppings that might fall out of a standard bun too easily. Plus, flatbread has a relatively mild flavor. This will allow you to pair it with a wide range of toppings to customize your hot dog just how you'd like it.

11. Hawaiian roll

If you want to feel like you're enjoying your hot dog on a tropical island, try swapping the bun out for some King's Hawaiian dinner rolls. This brand is arguably the best in the game, but no matter what, Hawaiian rolls tend to have a delectably sweeter flavor than regular dinner rolls. They are also incredibly soft and just plain delicious. You can find Hawaiian rolls in a variety of different sizes. Bun-style rolls are also available, which should be the perfect size for holding a hot dog. Alternatively, you could consider making little hot dog appetizers by cutting up your hot dogs into bite-sized pieces.

The next time you plan a summer cookout, consider going with a lūʻau theme. Your guests will be delighted by how beautifully the sweet roll pairs with the grilled hot dogs. And don't forget, you'll definitely want to offer sweet relish as a condiment option for this combo. It will really help kick up the sweeter flavor of Hawaiian bread. Some other foods to serve at your lūʻau include kalua pork sandwiches, baked beans, macaroni salad, and fresh fruit.

12. Lettuce leaf

Perhaps on the healthier side, with fewer carbs, this option uses lettuce instead of a standard hot dog bun. In addition to allowing you to enjoy a hot dog without adding too many extra calories or carbohydrates, a lettuce leaf will help give a nice leafy crunch to every bite.

If you think about it, using a lettuce leaf instead of a hot dog bun makes a lot of sense. We use lettuce all the time in place of bread by making lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches. From BBQ pork lettuce wraps, ham and cheese lettuce wraps, and Asian steak lettuce wraps, you can put practically anything on lettuce. And that includes a hot dog. Romaine is one of the best types of lettuce to use for this recipe. Each leaf holds its shape well and will function as a sturdy bun. However, you could also try green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, or any of your other favorite varieties.

13. Zucchini

If your summer garden produces more zucchini than you'll ever be able to eat, this bun-swap idea is for you. Try slicing a straighter zucchini in half and scooping out the center where the seeds are. This should leave you with a bun perfectly fitted to hold your hot dog.

You could try using the zucchini raw, but you're much more likely to enjoy the finished results if you cook it first. Raw zucchini can be too hard. So, softening it up a little bit will help improve the overall experience of eating your hot dog inside a zucchini. If you have your grill out or have a grill pan in the kitchen, grilling the zucchini is the best way to cook it. The sear marks will deliver the best flavor when paired with the hot dog. You don't need too many condiments for this recipe since zucchini has great flavors, but you can always stack on any number of your favorite options. Don't hold back here.

14. Sweet potato

Here's another delicious alternative for you to try – sweet potato buns. You will definitely need to cook the sweet potatoes first before using them as a hot dog bun. Raw sweet potatoes are very hard and not generally considered appetizing in that form. So, cook your sweet potatoes in the oven for around 45 minutes. While the sweet potatoes are finishing up in the oven, grill your hot dogs.

Then, after the sweet potatoes have finished cooking, remove them from the oven, and cut them in half, lengthwise. Place a hot dog in the middle of each sweet potato. Depending on how soft or firm the sweet potatoes turned out, you may be able to pick them up and hold them like you would a traditional hot dog bun. If they're a bit too soft and not able to keep their shape, grab your knife and fork and dig right in.

15. Egg roll wrapper

Egg roll hot dogs are another unique idea that you will certainly want to try. Wrapping the hot dogs in an egg roll wrapper and frying until they reach a nice golden brown color will result in a delectable appetizer or entrée. Depending on how big your hot dogs are, you may need to cut them down a bit to make them fit in the wrapper.

You can even make these egg roll hot dogs a bit fancier by adding other ingredients to the inside before rolling them up. Some of the top ingredients you might want to try include chili, nacho cheese, onion, pickles, jalapeño peppers, or cabbage. After the egg roll dogs are fried and ready to eat, serve them with a dipping sauce. Depending on the ingredients you filled them with, you could try melted cheese sauce, ketchup, spicy brown mustard, or buffalo sauce.

16. Croissant

Croissants are buttery, flaky, and incredibly scrumptious. While most often eat croissants during breakfast or with their coffee, they are also used to make incredible sandwiches. From a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich and a grilled cheese sandwich on a croissant to a chicken and avocado club or a turkey and cranberry sandwich, there are so many delicious ideas to choose from.

But don't feel like you are limited when choosing which foods to stuff inside a croissant, especially when you use a hot dog as your base. A hot dog will taste just as amazing between two warm and flaky halves as that bacon, egg, and cheese combo will. You can think of a hot dog in a croissant as a more elevated version of pigs in a blanket. Whatever you want to call this creation, it is certainly something you won't want to miss out on trying. Just be sure to warm up your croissant before adding the hot dog in. A cold croissant just doesn't offer the same buttery goodness as a warm one. Again, if you want to stuff a bunch of other sides and condiments in here, feel free to experiment in any way you see fit.