New Jersey Italian Hot Dog

A New Jersey classic hot dog, with fried potatoes, peppers and onions, served with deli mustard on a hoagie roll.

Ideally you would find the special pizza bread roll, which is round, like a muffuletta roll. These can be hard to find, though, so use a good sandwich loaf. Try to avoid using a hot dog bun; those are too small for the Jersey dog.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 medium green peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or a mixture of oregano, basil and rosemary
  • 8 beef hot dogs, preferably with natural casings
  • 4 sandwich buns
  • Mustard

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet or griddle until it shimmers. Put the potatoes in the pan in one layer and fry on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes without touching them. Use a metal spatula to scrape the potatoes off the bottom of the skillet, flipping them. Sprinkle salt over the potatoes, and cook for another 2-3 minutes without touching them.

2 Remove the potatoes, which should be partially browned, to a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat to high and add the peppers and onions. Arrange evenly in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes without touching them. Sprinkle salt over them, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes untouched. There should be some browned and even blackened bits here and there. Add the Italian seasoning and the potatoes to the pan, stir to combine and cook over medium-high heat until they are soft and nicely browned, about 8-10 minutes.

3 Heat a grill or a frying pan to cook your hot dogs; don't boil your dogs for this recipe. Grill or fry until they are done to your liking and set aside.

4 Liberally smear mustard on both sides of the sandwich roll. Add two hot dogs per roll and top with as much of the potatoes, peppers and onions as will fit. Serve at once.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.

Comments

  1. Lisa

    This looks amazing! And hey, just for the record, I’m a Southern gal and I would NEVER put ketchup on a ‘dog!

  2. Patricia Burke

    There was a place on North Broad in Elizabeth, NJ, that made the absolute best, followed by a joint on Elmora Avenue, same town. We’ve been in California for 10 years and we still make our dogs Italian style. Thanks, Hank.

  3. Georgia Pellegrini

    Looks deeeelicious Hank and Elise! I love hot dogs with absolutely everything on them, hold nothing back.

  4. Tina

    As good as the Italian Dog sounds (I certainly wouldn’t pass it by!), my favorite New Jersey delicacy will always be a dog from Hot Grill in Clifton, “all the way”. There’s just something about their chilli sauce that lures me in every time I go back for a visit.

    Oh yeah! I know that dog, too. I used to eat chili dogs there, and my favorites were the chili dogs at the Stewart’s Root Beer places down the Shore. ~Hank

  5. brenda martino

    go to zinicollas bakery for the round pizza bread located in belleville nj just off union ave…when i go to the shore to be with family i bring the bread & make the sandwiches!!!! dickie dees in newaark & jimmy buffs are good but nothin like a big pot of italian sausage …manja

  6. Hillbilly Willy

    Strange but sounds good.
    10-4 Willy

  7. Jim Smith

    Jimmy Buff’s Italian Hot Dogs. They also made sausage sandwiches the same way. And egg sandwiches for breakfast: Potatoes, onions and peppers cooked in scrambled eggs. The key to all of them was the big round roll, with a texture kind of like a portuguese roll. Cut in half, sliced open to make a pocket and stuffed with goodness.

    Totally. That bread is impossible to find in California, sadly. ~Hank

  8. Rachel

    I am a Jersey Girl born and bred, and I have never heard I would be, or have been whacked for putting ketchup on my hotdog.

    What part of Jersey? ;-) ~Hank

    • M

      Also from Jersey born and raised and never use ketchup on a hotdog. North Jersey here.

  9. Dawn Gilliland

    Jersey Girl… right now living in Philly. People look at me sideways when I tell them that the food of NJ is the Hot Dog. Libby’s Lunch in Paramus for one. How about Rutt’s Hutt and that lovely sauce? … My personal favorite, though, Hot Dog Johnny’s on Rt. 46. I love putting a pickle spear on my dog, and a side of Birch Beer! Thanks for this recipe!

  10. VE

    I was born in NY, so I never heard of the Italian hot dog until I moved to NJ as an adult.

    They’re great! It’s like having sausage and peppers with a dog instead of sausage. The local deli near me chops up the hot dogs into small pieces and tosses them with the potatoes, peppers and onions, then dumps the whole thing on a sub roll (or even a round roll). They’re just good however they’re served.

    New Jersey is just a great place for hot dogs in general- especially north jersey where there are dozens of hot dog spots- including Rutt’s Hut where they do awesome deep fried dogs…

  11. Katrina

    What a yummy lunch idea! I could feel like a kid again with this! Using a veggie dog of course :)

  12. turtle66

    Hahaha…I just had a variation of this TODAY for lunch @ a place called “The Wienery” and i rarely eat Hot Dogs…Was very Good!

  13. razzle

    Uh oh. I should go hang my head down in shame. I like ketchup. I just suck on the little ketchup packets when I’m bored. And…I drown my hot dog in ketchup. Nothing else but ketchup. I guess I should wear a helmet for safety if I ever go visit New Jersey. LOL.

    What kind of bun can I sub for the sandwich roll in Southern California? Is Nathans a good brand to use or National Hebrew? Going to fire up the grill and try to adapt this for the bbq this weekend.

    Definitely wear a helmet. ;-) As for a bun, since the real pizza rolls are pretty tough to find outside Jersey, use a good sandwich roll – something that will hold at leats 2 hot dogs. The dogs, ideally, should be butcher-made with a natural casing. Sabretts are good. But Hebrew Nationals and Nathan’s are OK. ~Hank

  14. kedrex

    Wow! I’m originally from Mumbai, India and didn’t know till now that this was a Jersey specialty. I once traveled from Atlanta to Boston just for a Roger Waters concert and when the music stopped around midnight, I decided to try this Italian hot dog with peppers n onions (dont remem potatoes being there). Wow!! was I amazed. I liked hot dogs till then but never craved them. And till today, I used to refer to them as the “Italian hot dogs I had in Boston”…lol. Thanks for the recipe, I can now have them in my home. Too bad, the street food scene is almost non existent in ATL.

  15. Patrish Jeleniewski

    When we were teenagers my husband and I were Jimmy Buff fans. We used to drive up to Belville from Harrison and get a half sausage sandwich each and eat it in the car. We never waited to drive home. Just sat there and ate it with the juice running down our elbows. Later, after we were married I made these sandwiches at home for our kids who loved them too. Our hot dogs were Nathans, which we still eat here in Florida. We’ve lived in FL for almost 33 years but still miss NJ food! Thanks for the memories.

    • Elizabeth

      Don’t know where you live on FL, but if you are ever in the Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach area, go to Pagano’s in South Daytona or Pagano’s in Ormond Beach. They are two brothers from NJ and they have the NJ Italian Hot Dog on their menu. Delish!

  16. Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook

    I live in NJ and this post does the Italian Hot Dog justice. I saw other posters familiar with our fine cuisine contribute; Rutts Hutt, Hot Dog Johnny’s, Jimmy Buffs. All exceptional hot dog-eries. Yum!

  17. mike

    Oh yeah! Love the Italian dog. There was a place in Trenton that would put crushed red peppers in there too. And it’s true, you deserve to get smacked if you put ketchup on it.

  18. Val from PA

    It’s amazing how many ways you can dress up a simple hot dog!!! This actually looks similar to a recipe I had pulled out to try tonight – Philly Dogs (onions, peppers and Cheese Whiz)… Will have to add this version to the pile of dog recipes I want to try this summer!

  19. Mary in Philly

    Beer gardens with communal picnic tables and a food truck serving various versons of hot dogs are starting to get popular in Philly (think the idea started in Brooklyn). One I frequent serves the EWR which is VERY similar to this recipe except they deep fry the dog and add shredded sharp provolone, YUMMM. Here’s their link if you want some more ideas and yes the forbidden ketchup does make an appearance on some …

  20. Caroline

    New Jersey Italian girl here! I have never heard of putting peppers, onions, and potatoes on a hot dog but it sounds good. I grew up near Philly so I’m guessing it’s a North Jersey thing. To be honest I’ve always thought of Pennsylvania as more of a hot dog state.

    It is totally a North Jersey thing… ~Hank

    • M

      I’m an Italian Jersey girl but…from northern NJ. Italian hot dogs are part of life growing up!!! PA is the cheesesteak state. I know because I live right outside of Philly myself! ;)

  21. Jean

    These are Board Walk Dogs. Seaside Heights. Also to be found in the Newark Irvington area at “Jimmy Buffs”. This was 40 years ago but the smell is still in memory and yeah, I would never have let someone see me put ketchup on a dog. A whackable offense for sure. Just like ordering milk with Pasta for an adult. I actually hit my roomate for doing that once. Jersey Girl in Boise ID

  22. Anthony Theobald

    I don’t see any reference to what I always thought of as a Jersey Hot Dog. Several places in the area around the ITT plant in Nutley made them in a split Pita bread. Hot dogs, et al came out of a deep fryer. They were in my memory Thumans “rippers”.Absolutely sinfully good.

  23. Kathleen

    I’m from Union County, NJ, born & raised, now living in Essex, NJ. I know a lot of people who put ketchup on their hot dogs… I’ve never heard anyone comment about it…??

    Jimmy Buff’s is the best. There is one on Rt. 10 in East Hanover, one on Rt. 22 in I think Watchung or Mountainside, and one in West Orange. The one in West Orange is by far the best!

    They put mustard on the inside of the 1/2 roll, then add 2 hotdogs, peppers & onions, and potatoes, then add ketchup to the top. SO GOOD!
    I think the no-ketchup-on-hot-dogs thing is not true, though.

    Oh, and everything is just cooking in a huge thing of oil. You definitely can’t have them every day (obvious health reasons), but as a treat they’re amazing.

    I too am from Union County (Westfield) and have been to the place in Watchung. The mustard thing is fascinating to me, because I NEVER heard of people putting mustard on a hot dog, and lots of my fellow commenters are backing me up here. But, you grew up only a couple towns over from me and had ketchup on your dogs. Go figure! ~Hank

  24. Wayne

    I just made this for lunch. Yumbo! Jersey rocks!!

  25. janine

    I’m an essex county girl. It was my job as a kid to walk to zinicollas (mentioned above) every night to get the bread for dinner. My grammy would give my 75 cents and send me on my way. I would return with the bread minus the end that I ate on the way home. I put ketchup on my italian hotdogs, always have, always will and no one has ever given me shit for it.

    Love it! Isn’t it amazing how weird these sub-cultures can be? I am hearing from all kinds of North Jersey people who put ketchup on a hot dog, yet in my world – also North Jersey – it would never happen… only, apparently, it did, and I never saw it. Classic. ~Hank

  26. sue

    I am from N.J. but my children were born in VT. They put ketchup on their hot dogs and I always say that I can’t believe that a child of mine would do that to a hot dog! Does anyone remember Fat Mikes on rte 17? Great hot dogs.

  27. Jim Smith

    Hank, Westfield huh? Did you ever have a hot dog from the Galloping Hill Inn at 5 Points? The rye rolls were great, still are. I had one last summer when I was visiting. Just as good as the first one I had in ’65. Mustard, kraut, hot and sweet relish. My mouth is watering.

    Damn! Missed that one. Will need to go there when I get back to Westfield someday soon. ~Hank

  28. mike

    Hank-
    Westfield class of ’79. Remember that sub place near the high school? Dukes, was it? No ketchup on the dogs…period!

    Duke’s!! Holy crap! I ate there 3 times a week in high school Small world, eh? ~Hank

  29. Deb

    I lived in NJ (Somerset County) for 9 years and never once saw an Italian hot dog! Weird. I also have to admit to only putting ketchup on a hot dog on the very rare occasions that I eat them. We did discover Italian sausage with onions and peppers living there though . . . .I love that combo.

  30. Anita

    Another hot dog city is Chicago, my home town, and the antipathy towards ketchup is just as strong there – to the point that one hot dog joint was (in)famous for not serving a person a hot dog at all if they asked for ketchup while ordering. And this was well before Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi. “PFffft to that!” I say. I like ketchup on my dog and unless I get something better on it (I dislike most mustards, especially the vivid yellow stuff), I’m having ketchup!

  31. Paula

    Sicilian Chicago Girl here and if there is one thing I know, it’s hot dogs! First is the Chicago Dog. If you can’t get that, then the Jersey Dog is good, but only if you are using Vienna Pure Beef Hot Dogs on a Milano Roll and the Potatoes are Extra Crispy! Make sure the onions and peppers are a little charred and douse the whole thing with Brooks Spicy Hot Catsup and a sprinkle of pepper flakes! Yum!!!
    (Just try to whack me Jersey Boy!)

    I’m comin’ for ya! ;-) ~Hank

  32. May - So Very Domestic

    Oh. My. Goodness. Have I been living under a rock?! I must have been to not know about this. I want one immediately. Yum!!

  33. Liza (Jersey Cook)

    I grew up in Bergen County and I am ashamed to say that I have never even heard of an Italian hot dog! It sounds delicious. I definitely agree about the ketchup thing. Ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. Only mustard! Even better if it is spicy brown :)

  34. Bob

    I grew up on the Bayshore by Sandy Hook but my dad was from Newark and worked at a pizza place on Irvington Ave when he was younger that made Italian hotdogs. I grew up eating them every time we went up to visit family up north and on special occassions dad would make them at home. My dad still makes them out here in CO (and all our friends from out here love them) but we can’t get the pizza bread so we use Sam’s Club/Wal-Marts ‘hoagie’ rolls which are about the size and shape of a portugesse roll(but nowhere as tasty). We also have a hard time getting Best or Sabretts out here so Hebrew National. Not bad but still not as good as the ones from when I was a kid. But what ever is, right? My dad will get a kick out of this when I show it to him. His specialty has gone nationwide. And my cousins and I always used ketchup on hotdogs when we were kids. Once we hit the teen years we went to mustard.

  35. BillybobT

    Grew up in the Chicago area (and yes, my real name is William Robert), but spent a lot of time in the southeast USA in my 20 years in the Navy. I’ve seen a lot of good things put on hot dogs, but I still cringe when anyone uses ketchup. One thing I looked forward to most after I retired and moved back home was a Chicago dog. I must admit, this looks almost as good, mainly because it doesn’t use that nasty red stuff. Ever tried a dawg with sauerkraut? YUM!

  36. Buck

    New Jersey is the only place that the pizza bread/rolls are available. In Colorado the needed rolls for properly prepared cheese steaks, hoagies, meatball sandwiches and Italian hot dogs are not readily available. A Philly guy in Boulder with a restaurant flies in Amorosa rolls from Philly for hoagies and cheesesteaks but the needed Italian hot dog rolls are nowhere to be found.

  37. Jennifer

    Jersey Girl here too. Went to Mother Seton in Clark! I can’t tell you how many years I have been craving an Italian hot dog. My husband (not from Jersey) just looks at me like I’m crazy he’s never heard of such a thing. I’m only in Delaware now so you’d think it wouldn’t be so hard to find but I’ve yet to find a place in DE that serves them. I am SO happy to know I’m not alone in my craving!

  38. Delores Sheppard

    I grew up eating these. There was a Italian hot dog place in my neighborhood in Newark. Only sold Italian hot dogs and sausages. The secret was they never changed the oil. They had a counter and a few tables and a juke box. Growing up, I found other places like Dickie Dee’s, also a place in Union not far from Pathmark (can’t remember the name). I’ve spoken with people from other areas of Jersey. They never heard of the Italian Hot Dog. Definitely a Newark invention!

  39. Dee S

    Why am I just hearing about these? I have to make them!

  40. David

    From what I’ve read in the comments above either people put mustard or ketchup on their hot dogs but not both. I’m from Indiana and we put both on and it’s good. Now if it’s a beef hot dog I normally don’t put anything on it, but that’s interesting.

  41. hsmom

    What is that sauce drizzled on it?

    Grew up in and left Chicago when I was 14. Never heard of the “Chicago hot dog” until I came back as an adult. It is definitely a great way to enjoy a Vienna Beef hot dog.

    But I DO remember the no ketchup rule.

    And we always had our dogs on poppy seed buns.

    This looks great -will have to try it.

    The sauce is just mustard! ~Hank

  42. Big Tony

    sounds good but 2 many carbs 4 me

  43. jennyblue

    oh how i love a good italian hot dog. this looks pretty authentic to me :) i live near trenton and this is how we do it! actually each september we have an italian-american fest, and all i ever really want is a slice of tomato pie and an italian hot dog. ok, and maybe a rice ball! oh and on another note, my mom used to make “hot dog stew” which was the peppers, onions, and potatoes all fried up, with hot dog pieces mixed in. we would pile it all on a plate and dip the bites into mustard :)

  44. Lisa

    I’m a Georgia girl and had never heard ofthe Jersey dog until I went on vacation in Myrtle Bch, Sc and I had one at Joey Doggs. I loved it!!! They put it in an Italian pita bread, but I can’t seem to find that here in Ga.So I used the onion flavor pita bread, it was good.

  45. Daniel

    Classic New Jersey cuisine! When I used to get them they would literally be stuffed into half of a partly hollowed out loaf of bread. Two fried dogs would usually be included, as well as a ton of potatoes.

  46. Barbara Gibbons

    Hi Hank. Can’t tell you how shocked I was to see anything about The Corner Store in print on my computer!!! I’ve lived in Fanwood my whole life. I’m 74 and certainly remember when the Corner Store was on the corner. Back then it was a small place. It had a soda fountain with a marble counter. The front of the store was a childs wonderland of penny candy, anything from multi colored sugar dots stuck to long strips of paper to wax lips filled with some kind of sugary liquid. I can still remember the smell of cigarette smoke, newspaper print and coke. My Dad also bought his newspaper there. My kids (now in their late 40s frequented the corner store for candy as did most every kid in Fanwood. I can’t remember exactly when it moved up the street and became The Corner Store in The Middle of the Block, but I don’t believe they started serving those sandwiches until then. I get my pizza bread from the Somerset Farms market on Rte 22. I agree, ketchup on an Italian hot dog is unthinkable. Hail to Fanwood! It’s still a magnificent place to raise a family!!

  47. Johanna Schubin Pavick

    OMG!!!! Been on web before looking for the Newark Italian hot dogs and no info. Today- BINGO!! I was born and raised in Newark and moved to Upstate NY in 1966, my senior yr. of high school. I have been droolin’ for one of these hot dogs for my whole adult life. I have tried to duplicate it at home, with NO PIZZA ROLLS! Just not the same, plus the oils and dogs in the frying process not the same either. I wonder if a bakery would ship the bread!? No good bagels either. Does anyone remember the hot fresh water boiled/fried bagles in a small shop in Newark? It had all types of toppings/seeds/onions/salt, etc. All they make is the doughy baked kind here. Sometimes in the past visited Brooklyn and got very good bagels though. I just finished dinner and could still chow down on my Fav dog if it were in front of me! Where’s the bread?? Help! (or recipe for the bread!?) ANYONE????

  48. Teddy B

    Jersey Girl – born & raised, and NOBODY beats Paul’s Italian Hot dogs in NEWARK. The original Paul is deceased now, but the quality & taste of the true Newark Italian Hot Dog lives-on through Chauncey, the current master of these dogs. The potatoes are like rectangular fried gods, and they KILL Jimmy Buff’s. Had them since the early ’70’s, & we drive up the interstate to get them now that we live outside NJ. I will ALWAYS credit Paul with these cause he made them right! And as for my toppings, I always order a double or single with mustard and ketchup – since the ’70’s, but my Dad liked the onions and peppers. PAUL’S should be a historic landmark!

  49. NJ Guy 430

    I was born and raised in Newark in the 50’s and ate these all the time. On Fridays when you couldn’t eat meat, they made potato sandwiches on the pizza bread. We make these at home (had it yesterday!), and since I’m into bread baking, decided to make my own pizza bread. I was looking on the internet for a recipe, but it’s not out there. It’s a shame that the Newark Italian Style Hot Dog recipe is out there, but not the pizza bread that is unique to Newark, NJ. When I bake it again, I will get a recipe and pics together and post all over the Internet!

  50. Dayna

    I moved to philly 2 years ago from newark nj…and i miss these sooo bad…I have gone to every pizza place i could find and nobody even KNOWS what it is…they all ask…whats an italian hotdog!..i now make them at home myself…!..but oh god they are good…way way better then philly cheese steak..which i can also say…New jersey does better…at least jersey uses real steak..these people use steak ums!

  51. Mike R

    You can’t say you have had an Italian hot dog unless you have had one deep fried and in pizza bread. By the way the double is half a pizza bread lined with mustard then the two hot dogs are inserted followed by the peppers and onions ,then topped with the deep fried potatoes. Ketchup is applied to the top of the potatoes so the idea of no ketchup on an Italian hot dog is just plain wrong! If you ever find yourself in Jersey I would suggest stopping in at Dikkie Dees,and Chicago? Forget about it!

  52. Ken Z

    I have been eating Italian Hotdogs for over 50 years and it is not made right unless you use a Sabrett hotdog, pizza bread, onions, peppers, mustard and potatoes on top. No other roll, no other hot dog and no ketchup.

  53. Rob

    Born and raised in Newark. NJ and Italian Style Hot Dogs and the bread it goes on, “pizza bread”, originate from Newark, NJ. Lydia should incorporate this into her Italian American Series.

  54. Ray Simms

    This is a north jersey food… (can you even call yourself a NJ Italian if you had a 609 area code?(from when there was only 3 area codes). I used to eat them at a place near Kenilworth on RT 22 westbound side in the early 80s. I do not rememer the name and the place is still there, but there a plenty of good places closer to home. My son justed asked if I can make it for dinner, I made it, and after serving it, wondered if there were any things about making it I did not think of. There were not.