The debate continues about which hot dog is better, Chicago’s or New York’s. But East Texas style hot dogs taste as good as either of them if not better. Furthermore, a hot dog meal is easy and perfect to prepare as a meal for kids. I’m a grandma (though I’m usually called Grummy by my grands), and I love simple easy-to-fix meals for my hubby and me – and of course, the grandkids when I’m keeping them.

Hot dogs
East Texas Style Hot Dogs
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Purple Hull Peas

When’s the last time you ate an East Texas hot dog? Haven’t tried one? Oh, my, you have to make this recipe. It’s made with peas. Not the green peas. Purple hull peas.

My mama raised me on purple hulls. That meant participating in the pea shelling and eating them with Chow Chow. That’s the best way to serve and eat purple hull peas – which gave me an idea for hot dogs one day.

I knew there were hot dog topping limitations at the time, but I checked to see what I had on hand (a typical recipe habit of mine in the KSH kitchen). Looking in the refrigerator and freezer, I surprised even myself. Who would have thought that good old-fashioned purple hull peas could be used as a topping for hot dogs?

I had never heard of anyone adding peas for a topping on hot dogs. However, East Texas (we take pride in our own section of the big state) is known for growing and loving purple hull peas – with Chow Chow. Chow Chow is a type of relish made with cabbage in variations. One of my grandmothers made hers with ripe tomatoes. My other grandmother used green tomatoes. Both kinds tasted good any time served with peas.


I wanted more than just mayonnaise and mustard with my hot dog. Pickled relish would be nice I thought. But there was none. There was, on the other hand, bread and butter pickles. Even better, the Smokey Pokey bread and butter pickles. My husband is a trucker, and he picks up this particular brand of pickles every time he stops by a certain truck stop in Oklahoma. Oh my goodness, they are amazing! Yes, these would go great with the peas as a relish.

Add Some Spice

In East Texas, we like spicy foods, you know. So it is with some of our Chow Chow. I grabbed a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes, (I love that brand and have a personal story about it. One of the people who made that brand popular became a close friend of my dad’s in World War II. There’s a book about them, Phantom Seven. Okay, enough about that for now.)

Top it Off with Onions

What would a hot dog be without onions? I added red onions, but a lot of times I use sweet onions.

The thing I like about hot dog meals is that it doesn’t take long to make them. That is unless you’re grilling or boiling the dogs in a pot on the stove. Then it will take a bit longer than the microwave. In my case, I opted for the speedy microwave to cook the hot dogs after I boiled the peas on low for 30 minutes. It’s what worked for me because I was busy with social media work. The peas were done before I knew half an hour had already passed.

Well, there you have it – East Texas Style Hot Dogs. Make them, and see how you like them. Here’s the recipe:

East Texas Style Hot Dogs

East Texas has its own style of hot dog - with purple hull peas and relish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 servings Frozen Purple Hull Peas or use fresh peas
  • 2 Great Value Bun Length Uncured Beef Franks
  • 6 Bread and Butter Pickles I used The Smokey Pokey brand
  • 1 can Ro*Tel Diced Original Tomatoes & Green Chiles
  • 1/4 medium Red Onion I have made this with and without onions.
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot Dog Buns


  1. Cook the purple hull peas according to the directions on the package (takes about 30 minutes to cook on low).

  2. When the peas are done, stir in the can of tomatoes.

  3. Cook the hot dogs in the microwave for about a minute (according to your microwave's wattage).

  4. Cut the pickles and onions into chunks.

  5. Put the mayonnaise and mustard on the hot dog buns, add the peas and tomatoes.

  6. Top with pickles and onions, and enjoy your East Texas Style Hot Dog!

Recipe Notes

I served my hot dogs with the open-faced style, but serve them however you prefer.

Tomorrow my three little grandchildren are coming to visit my hubby and me. We’re so excited and are planning fun things to do with them. And I’m going to try out my new East Texas Style Hot Dogs on them. We will see if they like the new recipe. If not, I can assure you, they will let me know. Usually, they’ll try whatever I cook for them. If they don’t like it, then they’ll only eat a couple of bites. But no problem. If they don’t like the peas, they can eat plain hot dogs. It’s a win no matter which way you look at it. I’ll let you know next week about the outcome.

In the meantime, go make the East Texas Hot Dog recipe and share it with your family. Come back and comment on how it turned out.

Happy Hot Dog Eating!


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