Diner-Style Hot Dog Chili

chiliI love hot dogs with Chili…but specifically…those hot dogs from a gas station or an awesome restaurant from where I grew up called Pal’s. I’ve looked and looked for a recipe like that…and I finally found one! I couldn’t wait to share!


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder


  1. Crumble ground beef into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in water, and mash ground beef thoroughly with a potato masher.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low; simmer, 60 to 90 minutes, until the sauce reaches a medium consistency that is not too soupy.


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2 Responses to Diner-Style Hot Dog Chili

  1. Danny Lightfoot says:

    The Diner Style Hot Dog Chili is about as close to PALs as it gets. Love this recipe, especially for a slaw-dog. I used to have a hot dog cart in Bristol and had a simple slaw for hot dogs people loved. A bag of slaw, then in a large bowl, about a cup or so of mayonnaise, 2 tbsp of sugar and about 1-2 teaspoons of horseradish. Combine all but slaw in large bowl, whisk up, add slaw and refrigerate for an hour. Stir up before applying.

    I and a friend in Greeneville helped bring Nathans to the area back in 2004.

    Don’t know where you are Joie, but PALs is still a place I eat at twice a week. This chili is also good for their “Chili Bun” and “Chili Burger” (make sure to add the yellow mustard and chopped onion.

    Thanks for the recipe. This is as close as it gets to PALs.



  2. Sarah W says:

    As a pregnant woman who used to live in Tennessee, I’ve been looking for a Pals chili recipe! This tastes just like it, and I specifically recommend using Mexenes chili powder since that is what they use. Thank you for the recipe! You’ve made a pregnant woman’s chili bun dreams come true.


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