Primal Chili Cheese Dogs

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You’ll never want a chili cheese dog in a bun ever again after you’ve had a sweet potoato “bun” . The combo of sweet, salty and spicy is my absolute fav-o-rite. We had enough leftover to heat-and-eat for lunch and let me tell ya, it was even better than the night before. If you’re in a hurry, forgo the sweet potato “bun” and you’ve got yourself a quick frank & beans style dinner. BUT!!!! The sweet potatoes do double duty in this recipe. I scoop out the insides, like you would a twice baked potato, and use them for a sweet potato protein shake. Recipe to come! The chili part of the recipe is designed to be quick and dirty, packing a ton of flavor without a long simmer time or big chunks of tomatoes…I hate that. And by the way, before you even try, let me warn you, these are knife-n-fork kind of dogs, wouldn’t recommend using your hands–unless you wrap yourself in paper towels.


  • 3 sweet potatoes, sliced in 1/2 length wise
  • fat, you choose
  • 6 hot dogs (We used Sugar Free Dogs from US Wellness Meats, you could also use sausage)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, liquid drained, chopped finely
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 t cocoa powder (optional)
  • S&P
  • 3 oz. raw sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Get your oven to 450°F. Coat your sweet potato halves in a couple tablespoons of your fat choice. Stick on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the skins have slightly charred and the insides are soft, about 30 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, start the chili.

Add a few tablespoons of fat to a saute pan. Let it get nice and hot, and then add the onions and garlic, saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped chipotle peppers, tomatoes, chili powder, cocoa powder and S&P. Using your hands, crumble the beef into the pan, making sure to break up any big crumbles with a spatula or whatever. Let the beef cook through and simmer the chili until everything else is done.

Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the baking sheet and place the hot dogs on the same baking sheet. Throw them into the oven and let them blister and get hot, about 7 minutes.

While that’s happening, grate your cheese and scoop out the insides of your sweet potatoes. Save the inside mush for an awesome post workout protein shake.

To assemble, place the sweet potato skin on a plate. Place a hot dog on top, spoon on a bit of chili and top with some grated cheese.

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  • Reply
    April 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

    brilliant and yummy idea!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    April 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I liked these dogs, good recipe. This was a man’s meal if I’ve seen one, meat on top of meat! The sweet potato compliments the dogs and chili very good.

  • Reply
    Mike B.
    April 21, 2010 at 8:43 am

    These things are great. One of my favorite foods in the world is a good chili dog. You are my hero.

    And the only thing that would make it more manly is to wrap the hot dog in bacon.

  • Reply
    Mike B.
    June 9, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Okay…I wrapped them in bacon last night and it was wonderful!! Make sure you have something under them to catch the drippings. Had to do play with the times a little bit to make sure the bacon was crispy, but it was totally worth the effort.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      June 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      that is just obscene! hahaha, i love ittttt!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    This was absolutely delicious. Even my husband, who is not a sweet potato fan, thought they were good and went back for seconds. And I have lots of leftover mashed sweet potato for waffles or anything else. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      October 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      that’s awesome! now you can use that mash for the pancakes…thanks stacy!

  • Reply
    Angie Ross
    November 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Awesome idea! We loved it!!

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      November 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      thank you so much angie! lovvvvve the picture on facebook. seriously awesome!!!

  • Reply
    Matt H.
    February 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm


    Just as a heads up we bought the Embasa chipotle peppers and discovered upon coming home that it had flour in the ingredients! Do you know if the other brands, not found in our area, have the same?

    Just another example of the wide range of wheat!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    We bought the Embasa brand as well and found it to have wheat, vegetable oil and caramel color. What else could we use that is more natural?

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      February 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      whoa! nice lookin’ out…whodathunkit? we always buy San Marcos or La Costena brands. we buy them at our normal grocery they’re not a fancy/hard to find brand or anything.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Wow! These are some spicy dogs! Those chipotle peppers kicked it up about 10 notches. But it was excellent! Very fun and tasty. Something totally different when it comes to paleo. I found some all natural turkey dogs at Kroger. So I used those. They were 130 calories, and 120 of that was from fat. I don’t really know what that means, but the hubby said it was bad. Whatever, these were yummy!

  • Reply
    Brandon Keatley
    February 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    No low fat diet here Kelly!!!

    Our diet is probably in the 50-60% fat range (20-30% protein, 10-20% carbs).

    But as with everything, all fats aren’t created equal. We believe saturated fat actually is the most healthful and important for fuel (contrary to what you’ll usually hear).

    But, just like with everything else…all fats aren’t created equal. The main one you should be concerned with is polyunsaurated fat (and more specifically omega 6 linoleic acid). Since poultry does contain more omega 6 than ruminant animals (cows/sheep/bison) and pork…you might actually be able to be more optimal with a different type of dog. But that’s not to say we never eat turkey (or other poultry fat).

    We have a bunch of links about not fearing saturated fat here:

    And here is a great primer on the difference between fats and what that means for you:

    • Reply
      anonymous biochem student
      June 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Actually I took a biochem course and grass Fed beef is really good for you. It will have more omega 3s then even tuna! And the difference in good and bad fats have to do with whether or not they are cis or trans fats. This is because of the way the fats will be able to stack on top of each other or not stack which makes them either bad or good. Also the difference difference in fats that can make them good or bad has to do with the types of bonds present within the type of fat ie double or single bonds. I guess that’s the simplest I can explain it.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, thanks! I just read all the articles linked in your previous comment to me. It is so scary how horribly we eat, and how misinformed we are regardind diet and nutrition. Unfortunately it is so convient, easier, and cheaper to eat bad food. But, if I apply these principles, and used the commercial meats instead of pasture raised, grass-fed, then do you think I would still be healthy for the most part?

    • Reply
      Anne in MN
      April 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Kelly, Your comments capture why I took so long to get on board with Paleo. It seemed cheaper / easier to buy the junk or stop at a fast food place. But the cost has been VERY high for me to eat a typical American diet – high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, knee and back problems… and I’m only 51. Now my dollars support organic, free-range farmers instead of drug companies! And I hope to be around for my kids much longer than if I hadn’t made this change in my life. Good luck!

  • Reply
    brandon keatley
    March 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    it’s true…99% of convenience foods are absolute junk. you have to dedicate time and be prepared to have anything nourishing to eat. and that’s why this website exists…to help you do just that.

    watch out for some of the sneaky ingredients (additives/preservatives in the meat if it’s sausages and things)…but while pastured animal products are probably optimal…i’d think most people recommending eating this way would rather see you eat conventional meat than many of those other processed non-food foods. dairy is better raw and organic/grass fed as well, if you do dairy this could potentially be more important to good tolerance of it than grass fed or pastured meat. what kind of meat is a lesser concern really when compared to 1. refined sugar 2. omega 6 (industrial seed oils: soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower)3. gluten containing grains (wheat).

    avoid the 3 things i just mentioned as much as possible and that is 80% of it right there. pasture raised, grass fed…all that stuff…is the last 20% of the equation.

    i hope that helps. when you make this a lifestyle you have to begin evaluating what your priorties are, what your values are, and how much weight each carries. you have to do the best you can and feel good about it.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I love the idea of the sweet potato “bun” so much that I now use it for basically anything I cook that would traditionally be served with a mound of bread. Most recently, I was craving some breakfast burritos and used the baked sweet potato instead of a tortilla. Add eggs, chorizo, homemade tomatillo salsa, and an avocado for an awesome breakfast :)

    Thanks for all the recipes and links!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I had some leftover chili and did not have the energy or time to bake another sweet potato and hot dog so I scrambled some eggs and threw the little bit of chili in it. OMG sooo good. Just throwing that out there!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Just made these for dinner tonight. They were outstanding! Thanks for more great grub!!!

  • Reply
    Anne in MN
    April 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Made this for lunch today, everyone loved it! I love baked potato skins, but had never eaten sweet potato skins. I was a bit leery about it at first, but suspected that the sweet/salty/spicy flavors would complement one another so we gave it a try – AMAZING! So, so filling. I doubled the chili recipe and added a large can of crushed tomatoes as well – I like my chili in an obvious tomato sauce base. Was concerned the spice might be too much for my midwest palate, but it was really perfect. I like the idea of the chili on scrambled eggs for breakfast later this week. Yum! And chili freezes really well, so I will put some away for another Chili Cheese Dog supper. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      April 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

      i think i’ll be stealing the chili/egg breakfast idea. sounds freaking yummy. glad you enjoyed anne!

  • Reply
    Summer Davis
    December 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I served this to my extremely picky children this past weekend. My 3 year old had seconds. My 11 year old who hates sweet potatoes also had seconds. TOTAL WIN!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013 at 12:38 am

    I made these tonight, and they were scrumptious! You are my hero. I love chili cheese dogs, but I hadn’t imagined I’d get to enjoy them with my new Paleo diet.

    I was following someone else’s version of this recipe, so the chili didn’t have the chipotle peppers or the red onions (I used some leeks, though). I also skipped the cheese. Still! This is an amazing flavor combination. The salty hot dogs go amazingly well with the roasted sweet potatoes. This will definitely become a go-to meal.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I think every time I have eaten one of your recipes I have wanted to immediately leave a comment telling you how delicious it is! The only thing that comes to mind to say is ‘I love you’ with every new recipe! Haha. These are so sweet and salty and soooo good. Thank you thank you!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kellie Dunn
    March 29, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Awesome!!!!! My boyfriend had two and wants the leftovers for tomorrow night!!!!

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