sausage or hot dog fried rice
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Think Outside the Bun: 21 Creative Hot Dog Recipes

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sausage or hot dog fried rice
Jian Fan/istockphoto

Put Down the Ketchup

Summer means plenty of us are grilling out, so it's no surprise that July is National Hot Dog Month. And while little can compare with grabbing a tasty, traditional hot dog with mustard or relish from our favorite hot dog stand, this humble protein is capable of so much more. We've rounded up several no-bun-required recipes to get your creative juices flowing. (Hot dogs can be key to a frugal cookout. Check out these 10 Money-Saving Tips for the Backyard Grill Master.)

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corn cheese dip
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hot dog pasta
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One Pot Hot Dog Pasta

We're big fans of one-pot anything, so sign us up for this family-friendly recipe. It combines onion, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, green onions, heavy cream, and plenty of garlic for a comforting, easy weeknight meal.

Recipe: Tasty

sausage or hot dog fried rice
Jian Fan/istockphoto

Hot Dog Fried Rice

Fried rice blends well with chicken, shrimp, eggs, and plenty of other proteins, so why not hot dogs? Even picky kids may be intrigued enough by this quick, filling dish to expand their mealtime horizons.

Recipe: Food.com

corn dog muffins
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Corn Dog Muffins

We love muffins as much as the next guy, but carbs won't fill you up at the beginning of a long day. In this recipe, it's hot dogs to the rescue with some much-needed protein. Brown sugar adds sweetness to this cornbread-based mix.

Recipe: Allrecipes

stroganoff
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hot dog and cheese pie
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Hot Dog and Cheese Pie

Banish thoughts of sweet dessert pies from your mind: This one is savory, cheesy, and easy as ... well, you know what. Made with eggs, pancake mix, and onions, it would be equally tasty for breakfast or dinner.

Recipe: Betty Crocker

Related: 19 Savory Pies From Around The World

hot dog tortilla
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pretzel hot dog
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Pretzel Dogs

There's a reason pretzel dogs are a staple theme-park indulgence: They're just that delicious. Choose from a hot dog surrounded by a simple sea-salt-sprinkled pretzel, or indulge in jalapeno cheddar, garlic butter, or pizza flavors.

Recipe: Tasty

hot dog sushi roll
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Hot Dog Maki Rolls

Know someone who wrinkles their nose at the mere thought of sushi? This might just be the recipe that gets them over the hump. A mix of soy sauce and brown sugar adds a tangy sweetness. Sesame seeds are also an easy substitute for Japanese rice seasoning.

Recipe: Kimchi Mom

Nachos
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Chili Dog Nachos

Make nachos into a main attraction instead of a mere appetizer by adding chopped hot dogs to the mix. Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and cumin bring the flavor, while onions, cheese, sour cream, and salsa add extra layers of indulgence.

Recipe: Food Network

breakfast casserole
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Hot Dog Hash

Stand aside, corned beef: Hot dogs are substantial enough to carry their own hash. This version calls for onions, peppers, garlic, and hot sauce, and the hearty result will hit the spot any time of day.

Recipe: Delish

hot dog macaroni and cheese
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Hot Dog Casserole

Whether you need a slam-dunk contribution for your next potluck or an easy dump-and-bake dinner, this super-simple hot dog casserole recipe will have you wondering why you didn't think of it sooner.

Recipe: Food.com

korean hot dog
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hot dog salad
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Chicago-Style Hot Dog Salad

Love a classic Chicago dog? Savor the same flavors with this bunless version, perfect for anyone who's watching their carbs. Diced pickles and peppers give it extra zing, while a honey mustard dressing provides a sweet finish.

Recipe: Tablespoon

grilled cheese hot dog sandwich
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Bacon Wrapped Smokies
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Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

This drool-worthy twist on the traditional cocktail weenie will have guests elbowing for a space by your slow cooker. There's no barbecue sauce to be found; instead, a sweet brown sugar glaze balances the salty bacon.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

hot dog pizza
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hot dog curry
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Hot Dog Curry

Hot dogs and a sweet, tangy sauce with just a hint of spice make this a gentle, kid-friendly introduction to the wide world of curry. Soak up the sauce with some freshly baked naan.

Recipe: Kitchen Simmer

grilled pineapple, pork, tomato skewer
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Fresh and Fruity Hot Dog Skewers

This three-ingredient wonder is a simple way to ditch the buns and add a little nutritional value to your favorite summer indulgence. It's also a cookout- or campfire-friendly way to feed kids and grownups alike.

Recipe: Food Network

quesadilla with mango salsa
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Grilled Hot Dog Quesadilla With Mango Pico de Gallo

A juicy hot dog is an easy substitute for chicken when you want to give quesadillas an unexpected twist. Sweet mango pico de gallo with a little bit of habanero takes it from pedestrian to menu-worthy.

Recipe: Kraft

shell pasta
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Seashell Hot Dog Bake

Fans of ziti, stuffed shells, and other indulgent baked pasta dishes will want to give this hot-dog version a whirl. It includes all the usual comfort-food suspects, including plenty of cheese, garlic, and tomato sauce.

Recipe: Food.com

Related: 20 Super Simple Twists on Boxed Mac and Cheese