Labor Day is right around the corner. Your grill and all your guests are probably expecting the same ‘ol hot dogs to be making an appearance at the table.

No one can deny that hot dogs are a go-to summer meal and, for that reason, you’ve probably already had your fair share of them this season. Now can be the year that you mix things up—because a little change never hurt anybody (especially when it comes to food).

While there are plenty of alternatives that can replace the traditional hot dog, we highlight four of our favorites below.

Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onion


These braised bratwursts are a great substitute for hot dogs, especially if the grill is getting too crowded (they can be cooked on the stove or in the oven). The flavor combination of onions, beer, and various spices will not only be familiar, but also the talk of your party. Don’t forget to pair these babies with some sweet-hot mustard for some tamed heat. Get our Beer-Braised Bratwursts recipe.

Chipotle-Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers


Mexican chorizo combined with spicy jalapeño peppers is a match made in culinary heaven—you may never crave regular hot dogs again. In this recipe, the peppers act as the bun for the chorizo filling. But don’t worry, you probably won’t miss the bread at all. It’s a party in your mouth which means it’s appropriate for any celebration. Get our Chipotle-Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers recipe.

Italian Venison-Sausage Sandwiches with Peppers and Onions


Be adventurous this Labor Day by incorporating ground venison in your cooking (that’s deer meat, if you didn’t know). Combine the mild-tasting protein with oregano, fennel seeds, garlic, cayenne pepper, and paprika, and you’ll end up with a result that tastes exactly like classic Italian sausage. Of course, you can always just use classic Italian sausage instead. Be sure to layer sautéed peppers, onions, and gooey melted provolone on top for a mouthwatering sandwich. Get our Italian Venison-Sausage Sandwich recipe.

Mini Beer-and-Sausage Corn Dogs


Use bratwurst or kielbasa sausages to make this uber-American dish that’s the perfect addition to any Labor Day celebration. Lucky for you, the juicy sausages, covered in a beer-cornmeal batter, can be frozen for up to two weeks. Make these in advance to avoid the busy prepping on party day. And don’t forget the Dijon mustard dipping sauce that’s an absolute must alongside these corn dogs. Get our Mini Beer-and-Sausage Corn Dogs recipe.

Related Video: 5 Hot Dogs With Unusual Protein 

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