Hot dog buns, I want to use them
June 21, 2022 7:22 AM   Subscribe

What non sausage foods do YOU put on hot dog buns?

Whenever I buy a bag of Trader Joe’s brioche hot dog buns for our two person family. We eat sausages in them twice and then put the rest of the bag into the freezer to be forgotten until the buns are unrecognizable due to freezer burn. I don’t really care for thawed buns.

We generally eat sausages with relish and no bun, but sometimes I want the bun, grab a bag and swear I will find things to do with them.

But what else can I put in the buns?

(Yesterday I made shrimp in butter and garlic and loaded up a bun with that and it was good. I could probably be convinced to make sloppy joes with a mix of ground beef and venison, though my husband ate a lot of venison sloppy joes as a kid so they might not be a hit at our table. I realize the answer might be transform them into croutons or bread pudding. That sounds a lot like work, but if I don’t come up with something today I’ll make bread pudding tomorrow.)
posted by bilabial to Food & Drink (50 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I used to make this snack as a kid, I think it was called Money Meat. It’s literally just a twist on a peanut butter banana sandwich. A toasted bun with a whole banana and drizzled with peanut butter, and cinnamon if you’d like.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 7:27 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]

While camping, we will make sort of a submarine sandwich out of hot dog and hamburger buns for lunches.
posted by soelo at 7:27 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Italian beef sandwiches are traditionally served on something like a baguette, but a hot dog bun would do.

Lobster rolls or shrimp rolls are classic.

You can finish cutting them longways and make garlic bread, cheese bread, or open-faced sandwiches out of them. Or that childhood classic of bread, tomato sauce, and cheese baked until the cheese is melted and the bread toasty.
posted by jedicus at 7:27 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]

Tuna salad or egg salad
Separate the halves and use for garlic bread or croutons
I have a small family so we are always using up hot dog buns!
posted by chocotaco at 7:27 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]

Any kind of "salad" sandwich is nice on a bun - tuna salad, shrimp/lobster/crab salad.
posted by mskyle at 7:27 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]

How about going sweet instead of savoury?

You could try icing them, or filling them with lemon curd and raspberries, or with Nutella and a banana.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:28 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

I was going to say shrimp salad but sounds like you're already on top of it in a way - that said, one of my favorite variations to eat on a lightly toasted and buttered brioche hot dog bun is roughly chopped shrimp tossed with a little bit of mayo, a lot of lemon juice, and some fresh dill.
posted by windbox at 7:28 AM on June 21

"Fish fingers"? "Chicken fingers"?
posted by kschang at 7:33 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Pink's Hollywood Menu This restaurant specializes in variations on hotdogs. You might find an interesting variation among them.
posted by effluvia at 7:37 AM on June 21

I really like these carrot "hot dogs"
posted by the primroses were over at 7:39 AM on June 21

posted by Melismata at 7:40 AM on June 21 [17 favorites]

I cut them in half and turn them into garlic toast. I only eat hot dogs occasionally and like months apart from each time, so have them as garlic toast way more often than as actual hot dogs.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:44 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]

Cajun-spiced catfish fillets with creamy coleslaw in the bun with them.

(also we just eat anything in them including peanut butter, leftover salad, hummus and roasted red peppers. etc.)
posted by warriorqueen at 7:45 AM on June 21

I swear there was an episode of Guy Fieri or Anthony Bourdain where they went to someplace in the Mid-West that made hamburgers in a hot dog bun. I've done it once or twice, usually when I know I only have hot dog buns on hand.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:49 AM on June 21

Imitation crab salad.
posted by eotvos at 7:53 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Meatball sub!
posted by deezil at 8:00 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]

Thickly sliced brioche is my favourite bread for French toast. They'll soak up the egg mixture better if you put them in the pan, drizzle some milk on them and let that sit for 10 minutes before adding the beaten egg/milk.
posted by brachiopod at 8:06 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]

We ran out of bread this week but my daughter invented hog-dog-slag.
posted by gauche at 8:09 AM on June 21

You could make bread pudding out of them! I think the extra "crust" parts could be really nice! Also toast some in the oven and food process into bread crumbs.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 8:18 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]

No need to sandwich anything in that soft, tasty brioche. You can make garlic bread, or open-faced cheese sandwiches and run 'em under the broiler.
posted by mumkin at 8:24 AM on June 21

The past 5 generations of my Cape-Cod-based family is all screaming "CLAM ROLLS!" at you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]

I will usually use 1 or 2 out of the pack for garlic bread (I butter or oil each cut side, then sprinkle garlic powder and usually a cheese powder, then stick it in my toaster oven for about 5-10 minutes until browned.)

My other easy dinner idea is to buy some frozen breaded fish (adult fish sticks?). Cook those and then season with some malt vinegar (or seasoned rice vinegar) and some lemon-pepper. Put those in a toasted bun that's been smeared with mayo. Top with some pickles, shredded lettuce, tomato, etc. Delicious fish sandwich. You could do the same with another protein like a chicken breast.
posted by hydra77 at 9:04 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

If you've had your fill of sandwiches or subs you could always use them to replace bread as binder in any recipe that calls for a slice or two of bread. Or any that don't - bread will give body to a range of soups or to lighten the texture/stretch meat in meatloaves, burgers, meatballs. Just slice your brioche thinly and use that instead of the bread the recipe calls for.

If you want an easy way to use up what's left after all the other things - you could make breadcrumbs. Slice or tear into one inch chunks, blitz in a food processor. For long-term storage the crumbs should be very dry before you put them away. If you use fresh bread or stale bread, you could just bake the crumbs on low heat for 10-15 mins to eliminate any residual moisture.

Or you let the bread chunks air dry fully before you blitz them. What you don't want to do is take your fresh or stale bread crumbs and put them into an air tight container because they are still too moist and will grow mold. They need to be really really dry before you store them.
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:13 AM on June 21

My kid likes Bird Dog Sandwiches. The recipe calls for frozen chicken, but I usually buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders.
posted by SamanthaK at 9:19 AM on June 21

Chiming in for French toast and bread pudding. So, so good!
posted by Dolley at 9:36 AM on June 21

I just use leftover buns for toast.
posted by NotLost at 9:38 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

So many good ideas here.
I like a salad made of steamed cod and potatoes in a strong coarse mustard-mayo, garnished with chopped chives and horse-radish. Maybe it is best on a toasted bun, it's hard to choose. You could add sliced little cherry tomatoes for color and a bit of acidity. Or the same but with smoked mackerel instead of cod, which is then a completely different beast, but also incredibly tasty.
I guess basically you need animal protein to balance out the sweetness of the brioche. Though I'm sure there are marmite or miso concepts that would work well too. Just riffing now: marmite, honey and strong cheese? I could see it work.
posted by mumimor at 9:57 AM on June 21

If you like breadsticks/garlic bread type food with your other meals, you can cut them apart, butter them on the split sides, season, and toast/broil. I also like making mini cold cut style subs on them.
posted by Night_owl at 10:09 AM on June 21

yakisoba pan!

you can keep packaged yakisoba in the freezer as an easy option to use up the hot dog buns when you have them. can be made more interesting by mixing cabbage or other veg in the yakisoba, and the imho essential yakisoba condiment benishoga (pickled ginger). alternately, Japanese curry powder in the yakisoba and garnish with fukujinzuke, a sweeter pickle that is great with curry flavors
posted by okonomichiyaki at 10:17 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Grilled cheese and pizza rolls (cheese sauce and pepperoni) were our go-to when I was a wee lad. Pretty much anything you can do with bread...
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:27 AM on June 21

Pickle spear sandwich. Revolutionary when I realized I don't need a protein to consume bread, mustard and pickles.
posted by paradeofblimps at 10:37 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]

When I visited Amsterdam some years ago, I found that they serve raw herring in hot dog buns, dressed with pickles and onion. I liked it but, of course, YMMV. Something like smoked herring fillets may be more accessible.
posted by mhum at 10:46 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

butter the bun and grill/warm/brown it on the stove, stuff with regular sandwich fixin's (roast beef, mayo, lettuce)... grilled cheese.. chicken salad. Butter toasted buns are the best.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:48 AM on June 21

Whenever I make hot dogs, I also make hamburgers, and whenever I make hamburgers, I shape them oblong to fit in hot dog buns. This solves the problem of buying separate hot dog and hamburger buns and having leftovers of one or both types of bun.
posted by hhc5 at 10:52 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]

Costco chicken salad sandwiches. Layered Canadian bacon and cucumber sandwiches, with sweet honey mustard.
posted by Oyéah at 11:16 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]

Roast beef sandwiches au jus (ie, dipped in thin French gravy). Usually you'd use baguette so just toast them a bit crisp to keep them from getting too mushy from the wet ingredients.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:42 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Also, Panzanella - tomato and bread salad - is easy and yummy. Tear the buns into chunks. Toss with seasoned oil (salt, garlic, etc). Put the bun chunks on a cookie sheet and toast them under the broiler for a few minutes, while you make a chopped tomato salad with vinaigrette. It can have all kinds of veggies or it can just be tomato, really. Add cheese chunks (fresh bocconcini, mozarella cubes, whatever). Throw in the toasted bread chunks. Toss. Eat before the bread gets too soggy. It keeps well as long as you keep the bread chunks separate and only add them to the wet salad just before eating.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:48 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]

I just squish em and use them for grilled cheese
posted by gaspode at 12:29 PM on June 21

In Maine, Italian sandwiches have ham, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, green pepper, onions, black olives, and are topped with oil, salt pepper. They are so, so good, and available at Mom-n-Pop shops all over Maine, and notably Amato's. Most Mainers have a favorite shop for Italians and lively discussion ensues.
You may use salami, pepperoni and/or other meat, and/or vary the cheese; I recommend capicola or provolone.
It works best if you wrap the sandwich in waxed paper so t gets some discipline; they are still messy to eat.
They are properly made in a larger, equally soft roll, but a hot dog bun is okay.

Some Philistines eat tuna Italians and other creative fillings, but, really, only if you've had an Italian 3x in a row. Yeah, picky people leave out some of the veg. I don't eat cheese, so the dog gets her share.
posted by theora55 at 12:57 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

No reason you can't put egg salad, BLT, PB&J, etc. in a hot dog roll. local groceries sell ham, tuna, or egg salad in similar rolls, they're really tasty.
posted by theora55 at 1:01 PM on June 21

Scrambled egg with cheese breakfast sandwiches, bacon optional
Toast buns for croutons or bread crumbs
Bread pudding, trifle, bostock
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:43 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

i'd tear these up, leave them in a bowl overnight until they get stale and make a strata with them. bonus points if you up your bun game to brioche buns.
posted by zsh2v1 at 1:55 PM on June 21

We make what we call "Tuna Coneys", which is tuna salad with hard boiled eggs and cubed cheddar or colby cheese stuffed into hot dog buns, wrapped in foil and baked until the cheese is melty.
posted by sarajane at 2:13 PM on June 21

While a slice of Italian bread is more authentic, you could use them to make a spiedie sandwich.
posted by cleverevans at 3:31 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Teriyaki chicken is my favorite, bonus if you have grilled pineapple with it.
posted by yueliang at 10:30 PM on June 21

posted by pompomtom at 11:22 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

We put Nutella on them and call them “fake donuts.”
posted by hungrytiger at 1:51 AM on June 22

Speaking as someone who has googled "what do I do with leftover hot dog buns" more times than I care to remember and never having gotten particularly useful results, this is a fantastic thread.

When I was kid, we used to use the last hot dog and hamburger buns for garlic bread, so definitely +1 to that idea.
posted by tubedogg at 9:11 PM on June 22

Because of this thread, I made a variation on ogura toast this morning on a defrosted, toasted hot dog bun. (Add butter and sweetened mashed adzuki beans)

It probably helps that my freezer contains both hot dog buns and anko, not sure what that Venn diagram looks like overall!
posted by chocotaco at 12:59 PM on June 23

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