Although it may seem counterintuitive, yes, you may absolutely have hot dogs on Whole30, but be very, very diligent with your label reading.
Whole30-compliant hot dogs may seem like an oxymoron…how can a food that is so notoriously filled with mysterious ingredients be allowed on Whole30?
The thing about hot dogs (sausages and bratwurst too!) is that they’re technically supposed to be comprised of simple ingredients like meat, herbs, spices, and maybe a few veggies.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of hot dogs, sausages, bratwurst, and other similar foods we see in stores today are packed full of off-limits preservatives, sugar, MSG, and other unpronounceable ingredients.
Finding a hot dog without any banned ingredients is very rare and exciting—it’s like the unicorn of processed meat products! Luckily these rare hot dogs do actually exist…and we have some of our favorites right here in this post.
Ingredients to Watch Out For in Hot Dogs
When you’re ready to begin your search for the elusive Whole30-approved hot dog, there are a handful of ingredients common in processed meats you should be aware of that are going to be immediate disqualifiers.
Keep an eye out for things like:
- Sugar (commonly listed under its many undercover pseudonyms)
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
As a common rule of thumb, the shorter the ingredient list, the more promising the product.
Whole30 Compliant Hot Dog Brands: Down That Dog!
Here are some of our go-to’s to get you started:
Applegate Naturals: A Whole30 favorite—they have a great range of different meat options, all with very short lists of non-creepy ingredients! Find them in your favorite grocery store or order them on Amazon through AmazonFresh.
Aidells: Many of their sausages, such as this scrumptious-sounding Artichoke & Garlic one, are Whole30 compliant and are often easy to find in most grocery stores. Watch out for sugar or cheese in some of their other flavors, however!
US Wellness Meats: If you prefer to order your groceries online, this company has great options that are sugar-free, MSG-free, nitrate and nitrite-free such as their
Pederson’s Natural Farms: This company has an entire line of Whole30 approved meats and meat products including Beef Hot Dogs, Chorizo, and Smoked Kielbasa! You can order these online and they get shipped right to you.
Whole30 Approved Hot Dog Buns
So you found a great, Whole30 compliant hot dog and you can’t wait to eat it. One slight issue you may have overlooked: what about the bun?
A hot dog without a bun, while still delicious, just seems a little lonely and incomplete. It might sound crazy, but satisfying bun-replacement options are really out there!
A few ideas include:
- Try halving a roasted sweet potato and cutting a slit down the middle!
- Grab a couple of romaine leaves and rest your hot dog inside!
- Grill some red bell peppers and once they soften, use them as a sausage-wrap!
While they won’t necessarily be a comparable replacement for the typical gluten-based bun, these alternatives make great vehicles for your hot dogs and all their tasty toppings.
What are your favorite Whole30 hot dog, sausage and bratwurst brands? What about your favorite ways to eat them? Let us know in the comments!