To Ina Garten, Hot Dogs Are A Breakfast Food

Since Ina Garten is known for cooking up classic comfort foods like beautifully roasted chicken and rich, hearty beef bourguignon, it may be surprising to learn that the Barefoot Contessa has an affinity for hot dogs — or, at least one specific hot dog from Frenchie To Go in Paris. Garten is such a fan that she has claimed she would choose their giant hot dog, served on a bun with sauerkraut, relish, and Savora sauce, for her last meal.

Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that Garten has her own hot dog recipes, including a version baked in puff pastry, sprinkled with sea salt, and served with Dijon mustard (or Russian dressing). This fancied-up version of the humble hot dog was a hit when she posted it on Instagram. However, her other hot dog recipe, titled "Breakfast Hot Dogs," raised some eyebrows.

While hot dogs may not be traditional breakfast fare, if Ina Garten endorses hot dogs for breakfast, we're all in. However, the name of the recipe is somewhat misleading. Instead of traditional hot dogs, it calls for chicken sausages. The recipe also includes a simple savory sauce made with mayonnaise, sour cream, two types of mustard, and traditional hot dog rolls. While the grilled sausages might sound delicious, Garten's breakfast hot dogs are neither typical hot dogs nor particularly breakfast-like.

How to make hot dogs feel more breakfast-y

The Barefoot Contessa seems to at least tacitly condone hot dogs for breakfast, so you could certainly substitute the sausages with hot dogs. However, on their own, these sausages still seem more suited for an afternoon cookout. Yet, with a little brainstorming, you can certainly make them more breakfast-like.

First, think about what you'd add to your favorite breakfast sandwiches (and yes, the debate continues about whether a hot dog is a sandwich). Consider scrambling some eggs and adding them to the bun before placing your hot dog or sausage on top. For a somewhat messy yet satisfying option, place over-easy eggs on top. Add sizzling bacon to the bun (or wrap the sausage in bacon before grilling) or line the bottom of the bun with ham or Canadian bacon.

Topping it with various sauces is another option. Drizzle a bit of lemony hollandaise sauce on top, double up on the pork with sausage gravy, or give it a drizzle of maple syrup. And, of course, there are few breakfast sandwiches that aren't made better with the addition of cheese.

Finally, for the meat, you can stick with Ina Garten's chicken sausage suggestion or warm up some hot dogs. Alternatively, you could replace it with thick breakfast sausage links.

Ina Garten has more unique food opinions

As beloved as the Barefoot Contessa is, she hasn't completely avoided criticism. While her breakfast hot dogs are hardly a controversy, she has received a few more culinary nitpicks on the internet.

Regarding food, some have objected to her adding sugar to cornbread (and suggesting it be served with jam), while others have criticized her untraditional additions — such as yellow bell peppers — to pozole. Additionally, there has been critical commentary about the nutritional makeup of her recipes due to the amount of meat and dairy used. When asked about this in an interview with Chris Wallace on CNN, Ina Garten responded with her typical grace, highlighting that she makes "real food" and advocates for personal choice.

In 2020, Garten posted an image of the inside of her dishwasher on Instagram, playfully asking for help unloading it. Some commenters decided to diss her placement of spatulas and knives in the appliance. Garten pleasantly countered by sharing that everything goes in her dishwasher, even a bird cage at times. It's this kind of honesty and relatability that endears Garten to viewers and followers, even if her breakfast hot dogs aren't exactly what they seem.