The standard keto diet requires that you eat less than 30 grams of net carbs a day. Hot dogs have 3 grams of net carbs each; therefore, you can safely include them in your keto meal plan.
There are many reasons to include franks in your keto meal plan, including:
- High protein and fat content—both nutrients are essential for keto.
- Affordability—some go for as little as $2 per pack.
- Versatility—there are plenty of keto hot dog recipes you can try at home.
Hot dogs are surprisingly nutritious—especially those made from 100% grass-fed beef and mixed with natural spices. One frank (57g) has:
- 3 grams of carbs
- 12.3 grams of protein
- 16.8 grams of fat
When buying hot dogs, you’ve got to read labels and watch out for ingredients that may not be good for your diet. You also need to know how to fit them into your keto meal plan, so here goes.
Hot Dogs Are ‘‘Dirty Keto’’
Dirty is the last word you’d want to use to describe your meals. But for some people on a diet, dirty keto is a good thing.
The keto diet works simply—it restricts carb intake, puts your body into ketosis where fat is burned instead of carbs and results in weight loss and reduced inflammation.
On clean keto, most of your daily calories come from dietary fat, a fair amount from protein, and the least from carbs. Prioritize whole foods to reach your daily macros intake.
Dirty keto follows the same principle regarding macronutrient quantities. There’s one difference—it doesn’t matter where these macros come from.
The dirty version of this diet emphasizes that keto is all about carb restriction, whether you feed on grass-fed beef franks or cheaper varieties.
Producers use processed meats to make most hot dogs that may contain ingredients you should avoid while eating clean. They may contain artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol that can start an insulin response and disrupt ketosis.
But, it’s all different when you’re on dirty keto—you can eat whatever you want, regardless of ingredient quality, provided you track your keto macros.
Dirty keto’s only guideline is that you stay within the required quantities of dietary fats, proteins, and carbs. All food is fair game, even if it’s not 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised, or organic.
So when the craving for a hot dog strikes, remember that a hot dog is low carb, and depending on how many you eat, you can stay in ketosis and reach your weight loss goals.
Faux Buns Are a Keto Thing
Regular hot dog buns are a definite no-no while on keto. They’re made of wheat, sugar, and sometimes honey—ingredients that will certainly kick you out of ketosis. With 23 grams of net carbs, they have no place in your diet.
Keto-friendly hot dog buns exist, and they’re an excellent substitute for when you want your frank sandwiched.
The faux bun made from almond flour is a popular choice. It tastes almost like a regular bun but has only 4 grams of net carbs and we’ve got the perfect recipe for you to try. Vegetable buns are also an option.
Most Hot Dog Toppings Aren’t Keto Friendly
Even when you’ve sandwiched your frank into a keto-friendly bun, you’re still at risk of falling off the wagon if you choose the wrong topping. Mustard and mayo are standard keto dressings that are good for you—they contain dietary fat that’s essential for your diet.
Steer clear of these toppings as they could be too high in carbs:
- Barbeque sauce
You can come up with keto-friendly toppings, like pickle relish and homemade ketchup, that won’t disrupt ketosis.
Here are some keto recipes for hot dogs, buns, and toppings.
Keto Hot Dog Buns
Although you can always enjoy a hot dog bunless, sometimes you have to have it sandwiched in something soft, buttery, and keto-friendly.
A white hot dog bun has 23 grams net carbs—20 grams more than the bun you’ll make with this keto recipe.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine all the ingredients except the eggs and white vinegar. Microwave for 45 seconds, mix, and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
- Whisk the eggs in a small dish. Set aside 1 tbsp of the egg. Pour the remaining into the flour mixture.
- Fold the eggs gently into the mixture. Add the vinegar and fold in gently.
- Divide the dough into four. Gently roll each section into a hot dog-sized log and place it on the baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash.
- Bake until the tops turn golden.
- Cool, slice, and fill with the hot dogs.
They make most ketchup from a lot of sugar—a definite no-no for keto. This low-carb version is flavorful and the perfect topping for a ketchup lover who’s gone keto.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 oz finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 14 oz canned whole tomatoes
- Fry onions, garlic, and tomato paste in oil until the onion becomes soft and glossy.
- Add vinegar, bay leaves, spices, and canned tomatoes. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick you want the ketchup to be. Remove the bay leaves.
- Puree the mix in a blender until smooth.
- Cool and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Keto Crescent Dogs
These keto hot dogs get wrapped in thin fathead dough, brushed with egg yolk to get a golden color, and topped with sesame seeds. They might be as close as you’ll get to the traditional hot dog while on keto.
- 8 hot dogs
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 oz cream cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 ¾ cups almond flour
- I large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp water
- Sesame seeds
- Combine the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Heat in the microwave until the cheese melts, then stir to combine.
- Let the cheese mixture cool. Add in salt, baking powder, and 1 ½ cups of almond flour. Knead.
- Add garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Mix to combine.
- Sprinkle almond flour on a working surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle; ⅛ inch thick.
- Cut 8 small rectangles.
- Wrap one hot dog into each rectangle. Place on a baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Brush the pretzel dogs with egg wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
- Bake until golden.
Keto Chili Dog Casserole
Craving some comfort food? A hot dog chili dish topped with cheese and onions is a great low-carb option.
For the keto chili:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar substitute of your choice
- ½ tsp celery salt
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
For the casserole:
- 8 beef hotdogs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Diced onions for garnish
- Sautee the ground beef in a pan with the chopped onions, peppers, and garlic. Once browned, drain fat.
- Add spices, sauces, and sugar substitute. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Cut hot dogs in half and slice longways down the middle. Lay on the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with chili.
- Spread cheese and onions on top
- Bake at 400 F until hot and bubbly.
Eat Hot Dogs Many Ways, Including Keto
Believe the hype—keto hot dogs are healthy and delicious.
You can make keto-friendly buns, make a variety of low-carb toppings, and enjoy this American tradition without getting out of ketosis.