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SONIC - Chili Dog with Onion Rings

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Complexity: ★★★★☆

Today we're making some fast food - literally! Its about time for some food with attitude inspired by the fastest thing alive, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Chili Dogs have been known to be Sonic's favourite food since the strategy guide for Sonic Advance 3. They also appeared as a purchasable item in the 2008 game Sonic Unleashed. A toasted bun, a grilled jumbo frankfurter, and a scoop of hearty beef chili – what’s not to love? These dogs are also topped with the most iconic item from the Sonic series: Gold Rings! Onion rings, that is - beer-battered and fried to a golden crisp.

This dish brings some heat, too - a piquant blend of spices in the chili and a zesty jalapeño cheese sauce on top means this dish is almost as fiery as this super-powered hedgehog's attitude. The chili also has a secret ingredient: coffee! That may sound strange, but it brings a unique dark and earthy complexity to the chili - and may put a little extra pep in your step! (though I can't guarantee it will give you quite the same amount of energy as the "blue blur" himself!)



  • 6 hot dog buns, plus butter for toasting

  • 6 jumbo beef or pork hot dogs

Beef Chili:

  • 2 lbs ground beef

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • ½ lb chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 red pepper, chopped

  • 1 ½ tbsp ancho chili powder

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee power

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp celery salt

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar or molasses

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can black beans, soaked and drained (optional)

  • 3 tbsp lime juice

Onion Rings:

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup beer

  • 2 large yellow onions

  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Sea salt

Jalapeño Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1 tbsp flour

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ cup cream cheese

  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 3 tbsp red hot sauce, such as Frank's

  • 1 chopped jalapeño pepper, seeds removed

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • Salt and pepper


For beef chili:

  1. Mix ground beef, baking soda, 3 tbsp water, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl, allow to sit for 10 minutes.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pot. Cook chorizo over medium heat until just browned.

  3. Add beef mixture and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until well browned. Remove meat from pot and set aside.

  4. Heat another tbsp vegetable oil in the pot and cook onion, garlic, and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add chili powder, cumin, celery salt, paprika, coriander, oregano, coffee, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

  6. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, stirring and scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pot.

  7. Add beef and chorizo back to the pot. Pour in beef broth, crushed tomatoes, and lime juice. If you like beans in your chili, add them at this stage.

  8. Bring to a boil, then cover and allow to simmer until reduced, at least 2 hours.

Rings are a staple item in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

For onion rings:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add beaten egg and beer, whisking until smooth.

  2. Slice the onions into rings, toss in corn starch. Dip in the batter, ensuring that each ring is fully coated.

  3. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, a couple minutes each side. Remove from oil, place on a wire rack placed above a tray, and sprinkle with sea salt.

For jalapeño cheese sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour to create a roux. Add heavy cream and stir until smooth and creamy.

  2. Add cream cheese, cheddar, and Monterey Jack to the cream mixture. Gently heat until melted and bubbly.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, lime juice, hot sauce, and jalapeño pepper. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Butterfly hot dogs by slicing lengthwise without fully separating. Cook on a hot grill until cooked through and lightly charred. Butter and toast buns on the grill.

  2. Place hot dogs into the buns, top with a scoop of beef chili, a few onion rings, and a drizzle of cheese sauce.


  • This recipe makes a whole pot of chili, so you can have leftovers to eat the next day (its great over rice or with some tortilla chips!) But if you only want to make enough to top your chili dogs, you can half the entire recipe.

  • The chili is moderately spicy - if spicy food isn't your thing, stir some sour cream into your scoop of chili to cut the heat.

  • If you want to step it up a notch, use whole dried ancho chilis instead of chili powder! Remove the seeds, roughly chop, and cook in a pan until fragrant. Add to a food processor with the remaining herbs and spices and blitz until powdered. Add in 1/2 cup of the beef broth to create a spice paste which can be added to the onions, garlic, and peppers in the pot.

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