Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr

Not tomato based and so close to what our local famous Hot Dog joints offer (here in Toledo it's Nettie's and Rudy's)! Passed along from my Uncle Bob who knew the owner of a local Hot Dog joint in the early 50's. Let me know what YOU think because I think it's GREAT! Freezes well and since a little goes a long way, I suggest freezing in smaller containers so you have it on hand when needed. Also makes a great gift for the chili dog lovers you know! Update 6/2013. Though I've stayed true to this recipe, I tried adding ground cloves and found it added another level of flavor that we enjoy even more than the local "Dog Joints" make. Simple change so if you make this regularly, give it a try!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the all ingredients in a saucepan and add all spices. Before heating, stir into a paste.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for one hour or until liquid is reduced to your liking.
  3. If you use very lean meat to avoid cholesterol, add a tablespoon or two vegetable oil (I don't suggest olive oil). It’s the oil that brings the flavor to the tongue!
Most Helpful

People, wake up! I can't believe that there are only 4 comments about this recipe. This sauce is incredible! Rudy's Hot Dog has been a feature in Toledo since 1920, so they definitely are doing something right. This tastes so much like Rudy's sauce that I'll have to have a Rudy's hot dog in one hand and a homemade dog with this sauce on it in the other hand to be able to tell the difference. (I will have to do that comparison soon; I have a Rudy's about 10 minutes away.) It scales down well, too. I used 1/2 lb. of ground beef to make a test batch and just got done eating two hot dogs sauced with this recipe. I am in hot dog heaven! I've tried dozens of hot dog sauces over the years and this one is the ONE! By the ONE I mean that I can now stop looking for recipe versions because I've found the holy grail. I have a few other recipes that qualify but not too many. Do yourself a favor and give this a try. Thank you so much Rich Mann (if I were a bartender, I'd call myself Pour Man) for sharing this amazing hot dog sauce.

Redox July 28, 2015

This by far is the closest recipe that i have tasted to the real thing that i remember when i was a kid.Wow this sure is a keeper,thanks Rich Mann for sharing.

bodnarc April 10, 2008

Ttthank you redox. I am 76 years old, moved away from toledo 55 years ago and every time I come home .can't wait to get a Rudy,s hot. I just made a sauce for a poker game for my son tonight. But I cook for st. Mary's hot lunch program, and will try this recipe next mounts for the kids. I can't wate. I pray this takes me back to the best years of my childhood. My rudy's was in the west end, on sylvania ave. whent to st. Agnes school. Could you email me and tell me where your Rudy,s is? My address is thanks again. Judy

judy h. September 26, 2015