After a long day of playing cowboys and Indians or “Oregon Trail”, my family, particularly the Mom of that family loves an easy to make casserole, something that dates back past those hard-livin’ days when everything was made in one pot and stuffed under the coals of a fire. It’s so simple; throw a few ingredients together, put it in the oven for a half hour or so while you set the table and get hands and faces washed and toys put away (yeah, right) sprinkle some cheese or some sour cream over the top, and tada! Dinner’s ready, usually in less than an hour. This casserole combines a staple of most kitchens and favorites of toddlers and big kids every where, hotdogs, with tasty chili and corn bread for a meal that’s sure to make any cowboy or cowgirl, to quote my son’s hero, Mater, “happier than a tornado in a trailer park.”

Chili Dog Casserole

1 package sweet or country style cornbread mix, (as well as the necessary ingredients for it)
1 can chili (with or without beans)
6 hot dogs
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup minced onion (optional)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Hotdogs Sliced Lengthwise

Prep the cornbread batter according to the directions written on the package. Spray an 8X8 casserole dish with enough Pam to leave it pretty well coated, and pour just half of the cornbread batter. Slice your hotdogs into halves, lengthwise, and lay them on top of the mix. Top the hotdogs with the chili and sprinkle the minced onion over the chili, then sprinkle with half of the cheese. Put the casserole dish in the oven for onehour, at 350*F. About five minutes before it is done, or right after you’ve served it, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

To make this a slightly spicier treat, try adding minced jalapenos or fresh and hot salsa to the chili mix. You can also swap the shredded cheddar for Velveeta, for a creamier chili dog casserole.

Happy Cooking!

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