When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Hot Dago Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on November 22, 2023

Hot Dago is a classic Italian-American dish that originated in the early 1900s. It’s a hearty, flavorful dish made with ground pork or hamburger and covered in melted mozzarella cheese and a savory tomato sauce.

This delicious meal is perfect for any time of day, from breakfast to dinner. Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or a delicious comfort food dish, Hot Dago will surely hit the spot.

In this article, I’ve shared the hot dago recipe, tips for making a delicious hot dago, and some variations to the traditional dish.

Read on to learn more about this classic Italian-American favorite and find out how to make it at home.

Hot Dago Recipe

What is Hot Dago?

Hot Dago is a classic Italian sandwich that originated in St. Paul, Minnesota. It consists of an Italian sausage patty between two slices of bread, usually topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese.

The sandwich is known for its unique flavor combination, which comes from the combination of the savory sausage and the sweet marinara sauce. Hot Dagos are popular among locals and have become a staple dish in many restaurants across the country.

What does it taste like?

Hot Dago is a savory, cheesy dish that has a comforting flavor. The tomato sauce is slightly sweet and the mozzarella cheese adds creaminess and richness to the dish. The ground pork or hamburger provides a meaty texture, while the herbs and spices add depth of flavor.

How did I first get introduced to the Hot Dago?

I first tried Hot dago at an Italian deli near my hometown. The owner was kind enough to share his recipe with me, and I have been making it ever since.

You can also checkout the following dessert Recipe :

How to make Hot Dago?

Making hot dago is a simple and straightforward process. Follow these steps to make a delicious, flavorful meal in no time.

Hot Dago Recipe pin

Ingredients

Meat mixture:

1 lb of ground mild Italian sausage

1 Tbsp chopped garlic

1 lb of ground hot Italian sausage

1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

1/2 Tbsp Fennel seeds

1 cup bread crumbs

Sauce:

29 oz of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of mushrooms sliced

1 cup onions chopped

1 cup pitted olives

1 cup of water

1 clove or 1 Tbsp of garlic minced

2 Tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tsp oregano

6 oz tomato paste

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 tsp basil

1/2 chopped fresh parsley

3 oz or a 1 chopped sliced pepperoni

The other ingredients

1 media onion chopped

1 Tbsp of melted butter mixed with 1/2 Tbsp of garlic powder

2 bell peppers chopped

1/2 cup of Mozzarella Cheese for each Hot Dago

French bread

Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step 2

In a large bowl, mix together the ground mild Italian sausage, ground hot Italian sausage, chopped garlic, fennel seeds, McCormick Italian seasoning, and bread crumbs until well blended. Form into 15 reduced-fat patties and place in a baking pan.

Step 3

In a medium bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, olives, garlic minced, water, olive oil, tomato paste, oregano, Dijon mustard (recommended), basil and black pepper. Mix them well. Then, pour this mixture over the patties in the baking pan. Top with chopped pepperoni and fresh parsley.

Step 4

Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned on top.

Step 5

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients: Chop the onion and bell peppers and sauté them in melted butter mixed with garlic powder until softened (about 10 minutes). Cut French bread into individual servings/slices for each Hot Dago sandwich you will be making (one slice per person). Shred mozzarella cheese for each Hot Dago sandwich you will be making (1/2 cup per person).

Step 6 – Sandwich assemble

When the Hot Dagos are done cooking, assemble your sandwiches: Place one patty on each slice of French bread then top with sautéed onion & bell pepper mixture followed by 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese per patty and another slice of French bread for a top bun. Serve immediately while hot!

Tips

• For a spicier version, add some red pepper flakes to the mix for a little kick.

• If you want a chewy texture in your Hot Dago, use ground beef instead of ground pork.

• To keep the dish from drying out, sprinkle some water over the top before baking.

Hot Dago Recipe

Hot Dago Recipe

Hot Dago is a classic Italian-American dish that originated in the early 1900s. It’s a hearty, flavorful dish made with ground pork or hamburger and covered in melted mozzarella cheese and a savory tomato sauce. This delicious meal is perfect for any time of day, from breakfast to dinner. Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or a delicious comfort food dish, Hot Dago will surely hit the spot.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 589kcal

Equipment

  • Large Bowl
  • Medium Bowl

Ingredients

Meat Mixture:

  • 1/2 lb of ground hot Italian sausage a spicier variation of Italian sausage that brings a bold and fiery kick to your Hot Dago, creating a tantalizing and zesty taste experience.
  • 1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic providing a pungent and aromatic note to the meat mixture, adding depth and intensity to the overall flavor profile of your Hot Dago.
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs serving as a binding agent and adding texture to your meat mixture, ensuring a moist and tender filling that holds its shape when cooked.
  • 1/2 lb of ground mild Italian sausage a flavorful and savory meat that adds a gentle and aromatic touch to your Hot Dago filling, infusing it with a delightful combination of herbs and spices.
  • 1/4 Tbsp Italian Seasoning a blend of dried herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme, adding a medley of aromatic flavors that harmonize perfectly with the Italian sausage, elevating the overall taste of your meat mixture.
  • 1/4 Tbsp Fennel seeds imparting a distinct and slightly sweet licorice-like flavor to your meat mixture, enhancing the authentic Italian taste and providing a unique and aromatic twist.

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of water contributing to the consistency and texture of your sauce, ensuring it has a smooth and velvety texture that coats your Hot Dago perfectly.
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil enriching your sauce with a smooth and fruity note, enhancing the overall richness and adding a touch of Mediterranean flair.
  • 1/2 cup onions chopped, providing a sweet and aromatic note to your sauce, contributing a pleasant background flavor and enhancing the overall balance of flavors.
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives offering a briny and salty taste to your sauce, adding a burst of tanginess and a unique texture that contrasts with the other ingredients.
  • 3 oz tomato paste providing a concentrated and intense tomato flavor to your sauce, adding depth and richness to the overall taste profile.
  • 1/2 clove or 1/2 Tbsp of garlic minced, infusing your sauce with a robust and aromatic note of garlic, intensifying the flavors and providing a delightful depth to the overall taste profile.
  • 1 tsp basil bringing a fresh and aromatic note to your sauce, infusing it with a delightful herbal flavor that complements the other ingredients and adds a touch of brightness.
  • 14.5 oz of crushed tomatoes creating a rich and flavorful base for your sauce, offering a vibrant and tangy taste that complements the robust flavors of the meat and other ingredients.
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms sliced, introducing an earthy and savory element to your sauce, adding depth and a delightful umami flavor that enhances the overall complexity of the dish.
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard introducing a tangy and slightly spicy note to your sauce, enhancing the overall complexity of flavors and adding a hint of zing.
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper adding a subtle and mild heat to your sauce, enhancing the overall spiciness and providing a touch of warmth to the dish.
  • 1/4 tsp oregano adding a fragrant and herbaceous taste to your sauce, imparting a subtle and delightful Mediterranean essence that complements the other ingredients.
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley offering a vibrant and fresh taste to your sauce, adding a pop of color and a hint of herbaceousness that elevates the overall presentation and taste.
  • 1.5 oz or 1/2 chopped sliced pepperoni providing a savory and slightly spicy component to your sauce, delivering a burst of flavor that pairs perfectly with the Italian sausage and other ingredients.

The Other Ingredients:

  • French bread serving as the vessel for your Hot Dago, providing a crusty and sturdy base that holds the flavorful meat mixture, sauce, and other ingredients together, offering a satisfying and hearty dining experience.
  • 1 bell pepper chopped, offering a crisp and vibrant addition to your Hot Dago, providing a fresh and slightly sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped, adding a sweet and aromatic note to your Hot Dago filling, contributing a pleasant background flavor and enhancing the overall balance of flavors.
  • 1/2 Tbsp of melted butter mixed with 1/4 Tbsp of garlic powder creating a rich and flavorful garlic butter mixture that adds a luscious and aromatic touch to your Hot Dago, imparting a delightful buttery and garlicky essence.
  • 1/4 cup of Mozzarella Cheese for each Hot Dago adding a creamy and melty texture to your sandwich, creating a gooey and indulgent filling that brings a delightful cheesy goodness to every bite.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground mild Italian sausage, ground hot Italian sausage, chopped garlic, fennel seeds, McCormick Italian seasoning, and bread crumbs until well blended. Form into 15 reduced-fat patties and place in a baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, olives, garlic minced, water, olive oil, tomato paste, oregano, Dijon mustard (recommended), basil and black pepper. Mix them well. Then, pour this mixture over the patties in the baking pan. Top with chopped pepperoni and fresh parsley.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned on top.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients: Chop the onion and bell peppers and sauté them in melted butter mixed with garlic powder until softened (about 10 minutes). Cut French bread into individual servings/slices for each Hot Dago sandwich you will be making (one slice per person). Shred mozzarella cheese for each Hot Dago sandwich you will be making (1/2 cup per person).
  • Sandwich Assemble
    When the Hot Dagos are done cooking, assemble your sandwiches: Place one patty on each slice of French bread then top with sautéed onion & bell pepper mixture followed by 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese per patty and another slice of French bread for a top bun. Serve immediately while hot!

Notes

• For a spicier version, add some red pepper flakes to the mix for a little kick.
• If you want a chewy texture in your Hot Dago, use ground beef instead of ground pork.
• To keep the dish from drying out, sprinkle some water over the top before baking.
Keyword: Easy Hot Dago Recipe

Nutrition Information

  • Serving size – 1/8 of a 9×13 inch dish
  • Calories – 595
  • Fat – 43g
  • Carbohydrates – 12g
  • Protein – 36g

What to serve with Hot Dago?

Hot Dago goes great with a salad, pasta, or potatoes. It also pairs well with a glass of red wine for a complete meal. Besides, you can also pair it with a side of garlic bread for extra flavor.

How to store leftover Hot Dago?

You can store leftover Hot Dago in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through.

Can pregnant women eat this?

Pregnant women can enjoy Hot Dago in moderation. However, they should avoid eating too much of it as the dish contains high amounts of fat. Also, they should make sure that the ingredients are cooked thoroughly to avoid any potential food-borne illnesses.

FAQs

What type of meat should be used for this dish?

You can use either ground mild Italian sausage or ground hot Italian sausage for the Hot Dago.

Is it possible to make this dish without tomato sauce?

Yes, you can make the Hot Dago without tomato sauce by simply leaving out the tomato paste and substituting the crushed tomatoes with diced tomatoes. This will give you a less saucy version of the dish.

Can I make this dish ahead of time and freeze it?

Yes, you can prepare the Hot Dago ahead of time and freeze it. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container or freezer bag and freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as instructed.

Can I use other types of cheese instead of mozzarella?

Yes, you can substitute the mozzarella cheese with other types such as cheddar or Monterey Jack. These cheeses will add a slightly different flavor but will still taste delicious.

Wrapping Up

Hot Dago is an easy and flavorful dish that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering.  With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious meal that’s sure to please everyone. It’s great as an appetizer or main dish and pairs nicely with many different sides. Give it a try today!

Moreover, this dish is a healthy yet tasty option and it’s important to note that pregnant women should be mindful of their portion size. With the right care, they can still enjoy this traditional Italian recipe.

Also, remember to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat them before eating. Please share this recipe with your family and friends. Thank you.

Sharing is caring!
You Might Also Like These Recipes!
Author Profile

My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating