Italian Hot Dog Recipe

Italian hot dogs are a New Jersey specialty made famous by Jimmy “Buff” Racioppi and his wife Mary. In the early 1930s, Mary Racioppi made the first Italian hot dogs and served them to Jimmy and his friends. The special hot dogs were so popular with their friends, that they opened a restaurant, “Jimmy Buffs,” featuring the hot dogs.


  • Vegetable oil, for frying and for the grill
  • 6 all-beef hot dogs
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, quartered and sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, more as needed
  • 6 large hot dog buns, torpedo rolls, or pizza bread, toasted if desired

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Italian hot dogs
  2. Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal outdoor grill fire, or indoor grill pan. Lightly oil the grill. Grill the hot dogs, turning frequently until charred on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the hot dogs to a platter and keep warm.

    Grilled hot dogs on a platter
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of oil to a large deep, heavy-duty skillet. Heat to 350 F over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in batches, if necessary, and fry, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and continue to cook until golden brown and tender, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

    A skillet of fried potatoes
  4. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle lightly with salt.

    Fried potatoes draining on a paper towel, topped with salt
  5. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the frying oil from the skillet. Add the onions, peppers, and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Onions, peppers, and Italian seasonings cooking in a skillet
  6. Return the potatoes to the pan. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

    A skillet of fried potatoes and cooked peppers and onions
  7. Spread some of the mustard on the bread, then place a hot dog on each. Top with the potatoes, onions, and peppers. Finish with extra mustard, if desired. Serve immediately.

    A platter of hot dogs topped with mustard, peppers, onions, and fried potatoes


  • If using a round loaf of pizza bread or muffuletta bread, cut it into quarters, slice each quarter to make a pocket, and fill with the hot dog and toppings.
  • To make a “double” Italian hot dog, add 2 hot dogs to a large roll or half of a round pizza loaf.
Italian Hot Dog Recipe

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