At Savor, we believe prioritizing a healthy diet shouldn’t have to mean limiting a festive and full life. That’s why in honor of National Hot Dog day, we’ve gathered some of our favorite alternatives to the traditional hot dog for you to try. Fire up the grill and invite over your loved ones – these tricks and tips will keep you eating hot dogs all summer long!

Start with the Bun

The bun is the base for your hot dog, so building a healthy meal starts there. Try swapping white bread hot dog buns with a whole wheat version for more nutrients and fewer refined carbs. You can even opt for a gluten-free version if your digestive system is sensitive to gluten. Feel free to think outside of the box and forgo bread altogether if you’re trying to limit your carb intake. A lettuce-wrapped hot dog may seem strange, but sometimes there’s nothing more delicious! Romaine and butter lettuce work exceptionally well for hot dog wraps, and are strong enough to hold plenty of tasty toppings.

Make the Middle Count

What you fill your hot dog with is just as important as the bun, and you don’t have to settle for low-quality meats. Choose a delicious chicken or turkey sausage at the butcher counter for a lightened-up middle. There are also likely tasty hot dogs alternatives in the vegan section of your local grocery store. Don’t be scared to explore! Try replacing your hot dog with a grilled carrot, baked beans and coleslaw. You can also go for a seafood roll, filling the bun with fresh shrimp or lobster. Once you give yourself permission to experiment, the possibilities are truly endless! If you can grill it, it’s fair game.

Toppings, Toppings, Toppings

When choosing hot dog toppings, a good rule of thumb is to go for healthier versions of the foods that would traditionally complement your bun filling. Try to avoid sugary sauces and ketchups – they lack nutrition and don’t add much flavor anyway! Mustards are a great alternative. We also recommend whipping up a fresh pineapple or mango salsa; these pair well with charred sausages and seafood rolls, giving them a refreshing summer twist. A drizzle of lemon, lime, greek yogurt or vinaigrette can also pack a punch without weighing down a dish.

Enjoy National Hot Dog Day, and remember – your dietary needs should never keep you from participating in the activities you love! Don’t forget to tag us in your creations on Instagram at @savor_culinary, and let us know if you have any questions. If you want a chef’s take on a gourmet hot dog, we offer personalized meals that take into account all dietary needs and preferences. Happy grilling!