New York Hot Dog Cart Onion Sauce

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins

Born in the Bronx, raised in Queens. My father worked for Pan Am in the day (data Control), drove a New York Cab at night, and on the weekends he owned a New York Hot Dog Cart. Before he passed away in February of 2004, he did give me the recipe to the Onion Sauce. When everybody else is saying to use pasta sauce, and this and that, the truth is there are only six ingredients. Bobby Flay is about the only one who got it close. In New York a true New York Hot Dog ordered from a cart is, Nathan Hot Dogs, Mustard, Onion Sauce, and topped with Sauerkraut. I wanted to write this recipe for a long time but after seeing so many Onion Sauce recipes, and hearing how so many people are from New York, it is time to post the original recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a small sauce pan place vegetable oil, and onions.
  2. Cook over medium heat; saute until onion is soft; don't burn it.
  3. Quickly add ketchup, water, stir.
  4. Stir for at least 20 minutes or until the water is reduced about 1/2.
  5. Note: I had to mention a measurement in order for this recipe to go through. The truth is to use a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  6. This is the true recipe for Onion Sauce for New York Hot dogs.
  7. When I use the sauerkraut I boil it with added water to make it softer.


Most Helpful

This tastes great! Having never been to New York, can't compare, but had to try this after years of listening to friends from Brooklyn complain about the hot dogs in the Northwest... Not too sweet, but not overpowering on the onion intensity either. Would give 5 stars, but the directions need a little work. Never says where to add the spices, so I put them in after the water reduced... and it says to stir for 20 minutes... Should that be simmer? Anyway, great balance of flavor and I'll make it again. Thanks for sharing.

Queen Roachie April 28, 2009

Perfect, a true classic you can't miss with. Thanks!

Paintpuddles June 05, 2010

Never had a New York style hot dog before yesterday, but after making the recipe I will only be eating NY hotdogs! So yummy! Thanks for sharing!

JoleneC January 04, 2010

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