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How to Make Homemade Coney Sauce in a Crockpot

Updated on May 28, 2014
4 stars from 2 ratings of Coney Sauce

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours 15 min
Yields: about 16 hotdogs

Why Make Your Own Coney Sauce

Nothing says summer like a warm hotdog fresh off the grill top with coney sauce (or "spanish sauce" if you are from the midwest). Of course, you could just go buy a coney dog from your local hot dog stand or purchase the canned version from your local grocery store, but since eating out regularly is not the most frugal option, and buying canned "hot dog chili sauce" with it's mystery meat is simply out of the question, why not learn to make it yourself?

Oh, how I love a grilled hotdog topped with Spanish sauce, cheese and onions! (Yes I wrote Spanish--I am in the Midwest and just cant get used to coney). I make this recipe every time we have a cookout and it is always a big hit.

This Recipe

I adapted this recipe from the recipe we used at the hotdog stand I worked at as a kid. To this day my favorite thing to do when I go back to visit my hometown is to visit B&K West hotdog and root beer stand for a delicious "Spanish Cheese Dogs." Unfortunately, I don't get back as often as I'd like, so I do the next best thing--make my own version at home!

This recipe makes perfect homemade coney sauce every time and makes it super easy to make a big batch to freeze so you always have sauce on hand. Using a slow cooker takes a little more cooking time than the tradition stovetop method, but the prep time is basically the same and the meat comes out perfectly crumbled--just like at my favorite hot dog cart!

Ingredient List

  • 1 pound ground hamburger or turkey
  • 1/2 med onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash cumin
  • 1 tsp salt


Place thawed ground beef, onion, bay leaf and 1/2 cup water in crockpot and cook on low about 5 hours. In the first hour, stir often to crumble meat into tiny bits. Meat can then be left alone until it is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf, drain the meat and return it to crock. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cook another 20 minutes to combine flavors. Enjoy!

Use turkey instead of ground beef for a healthier option. Afraid the men in your life will balk at ground turkey? Use half turkey and half beef. They will never know the difference!

Use or freeze sauce within 3-4 days.

Stovetop Method

Don't have 5 hours to cook the sauce? Cook the meat and onions on the stovetop over medium low heat, stirring often to chop meat into tiny pieces. Once browned, drain meat and return to pan. Continue recipe as stated, adding in the remaining ingredients and simmering for about 20 minutes to combine flavors.

Freezing Spanish Sauce

If you belong to a family of Spanish sauce lovers, a quart freezer bag may be the simplest freezing option for you. Just pour the cooled sauce into a freezer bag and freeze flat. To thaw, simply heat the bag in a pot of hot water until hot and pour into a bowl.

If however, you are the lone Spanish sauce lover in the family, hurray, more for you! You will want to freeze much smaller portions. Freeze your extra sauce in an ice cube tray, and transfer cubes into a freezer bag once they completely frozen. To use, microwave one sauce cube for each hotdog.

Amazon Products You may be Interested in!

The Pampered Chef Mix N Chop #2583
The Pampered Chef Mix N Chop #2583

Pampered Chief ground meat masher--the easiest way I have found to get the ctrumbled texture on the stovetop!


Vegetarian Coney Sauce

Want all of the satisfaction of that first summer Coney dog but none of the meat? Why not make vegetarian coney sauce for "Spanish buns." Just replace the ground beef with one pound of canned or cooked chili beans. Lightly mash with a fork, so that beans halved but not completely mashed. Meanwhile, sauté onions in a pan until softened and add to beans. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for about 20 minutes to combine flavors. Spoon mixture into hotdog buns and top with fresh onion, and mustard.

Ideas on How to Use Your Coney Sauce

Hot Dog Topping Combinations

  • mustard, coney sauce, cheddar cheese and onions
  • ketchup, mustard, relish, coney sauce, cheddar cheese and onions
  • sauerkraut, swiss cheese and coney sauce
  • Who said you need hotdogs in the bun? Try any of the above combinations in a bun for a hotdog free sandwich. Just double the amount of coney sauce you use!

Other Uses

  • Top fries with coney sauce, cheese and onions
  • Add to nachos
  • Mix 1/2 cup coney sauce into mac'n'cheese


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    • modern housewife profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from Indiana

      You know, I just removed it before serving. If you think about it, go ahead and remove it, but I don't think it hurt anything to leave it until it is done.

    • Mark Moulliet profile image

      Mark Moulliet 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      Do I remove the bay leaf after an hour of cooking?