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Gourmet Hot Dog Recipe: Crab Mac 'n Cheese Dog

Tom Lohr has eaten a hot dog at all 30 MLB ballparks and is the author of "Gone to the Dogs: In Search of the Best Ballpark Hot Dog."

Elevate Your Hot Dog

Sometimes it's hard to choose between a tasty hot dog, your favorite comfort food, or a delicious morsel from the sea. Who not have all three on the crab mac 'n cheese dog? It combines three dynamite favorites into one; plus, you can hold it in your hand.

The crab mac 'n cheese dog

The crab mac 'n cheese dog

You can use your favorite brand of hot dog. We use and recommend Hebrew National for an all-beef frank that consistently ranks as one of the best-tasting brands of dogs. Using a fresh bun is also crucial to ensure the crowd-pleasing nature of this dog. No matter how great the toppings are, nothing can save a stale bun. And the bun is the foundation of any great hot dog.

The brand of mac 'n cheese is also irrelevant, but easiest if you buy small, frozen, pre-made portions that can be microwaved as you grill the dogs. Imitation crab meat is also what we use, any brand will do.

You can use an actual grill, but cooking a few dogs at a time in a skillet on your stovetop keeps the cooking simple and indoors. Just be sure to save enough room in the skillet to lightly grill the buns while the franks are cooking.


  • hot dogs, as many as your crew can eat
  • frozen mac 'n cheese, 1 small box per every 8 hot dogs
  • 1 package imitation crab meat
  • old bay seasoning
  • hot dog buns, one per hot dog
  • 1 can cooking spay
The two key ingredients

The two key ingredients


  1. Microwave frozen mac 'n cheese per instructions.
  2. Dice imitation crab into small pieces.
  3. Heat skillet to medium heat.
  4. After mac 'n cheese is ready, place into appropriate sized bowl and mix in diced crab meat.
  5. Depending on skillet size, place up to three franks into skillet. Occasionally roll with spatula to ensure even cooking.
  6. Slightly spray buns with cooking spray, place onto side in the skillet. Let them sit in skillet for about 20 seconds. Flip to other side let sit for another 20 seconds. Slightly open bun and let it sit like a pup tent in a pyramid on the skillet for another 20 seconds. Between changing bun positions, roll hot dogs.
  7. Remove bun, place a frank in each. Top with crab mac 'n cheese mixture (about 3 tablespoons per dog), sprinkle Old Bay spice over dog.
The spice that brings it all together

The spice that brings it all together