12 Clever Things You Can Do to Use Up Leftover Hot Dog Buns

Go ahead and buy the big bag of hot dog buns! You can transform leftover hot dog buns into another meal.

Updated October 16, 2023

Remember the scene in Father of the Bride when Steve Martin loses it over the "superfluous buns" in the grocery store? Well, we don't want you to have the same issue when you have more buns than hot dogs after your next dinner. That's why we figured out what to do with leftover hot dog buns so you can stay cool, calm, and collected in the bread aisle. 

Make Easy Homemade Pizza Boats


If you only have a couple of spare buns, this easy recipe should help you use them thoughtfully. Pizza boats are a fun dinner for two, an easy lunch for your kiddos, and an easy way to combine all sorts of leftovers hanging out in your refrigerator. 


  • Leftover hot dog buns 
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar of pizza sauce 
  • 1 to 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Toppings of your choice, such as pepperoni, sausage, onions, or mushrooms 


  1. Turn the broiler on in your oven. 
  2. Open the hot dog buns and separate the sides. Place on a cookie or baking sheet. 
  3. Spread the pizza sauce over the open bun halves. 
  4. Add toppings of your choice. 
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top of the buns. 
  6. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. This may take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven and the amount of cheese on each half. Stay close to the oven to make sure you don't burn the boats.

Crumble Them Into a French Toast Bake


French toast bakes are a tasty way to use up any spare bread, but hot dog buns are one variation you may not often think of. Whether you have two buns or 12, this recipe makes a delightful breakfast.


  • Leftover hot dog buns
  • Milk or heavy cream (about ¼ cup milk and 1 egg per bun)
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract (about ¼ teaspoon per bun)
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh berries


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice your buns into bite-sized pieces and place them in a baking dish or in ramekins for single servings if you're working with just a couple of buns.
  3. Whisk together your milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  4. Pour the mixture over the bread crumbles, making sure every piece is coated.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the bun pieces turn golden brown.
  6. Top with fresh berries and maple syrup to serve.
Need to Know

Anytime you're making a recipe with leftovers, keep in mind that you may need to adjust the other ingredient amounts to suit the serving you're able to make.

Create Your Own Croutons


Croutons are a delicious topper for salads that you can easily make out of hot dog buns instead of French bread. Depending on the size of croutons you cut, you can probably get at least a dozen out of one leftover bun. You'll want to have at least three to six leftover buns; the fewer buns used, the stronger the crouton flavor.


  • Leftover hotdog buns, cut into ½" squares 
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon parsley 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper 
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Put cut buns into a large bowl that comes with a lid. 
  3. Whisk onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper until well combined. 
  4. Pour seasoning mix over the buns, add the lid, and give it a few good shakes. 
  5. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Start with one tablespoon; cover the bowl with the lid and shake. Open to assess whether another tablespoon is needed to coat the croutons. Continue until all the croutons are coated. 
  6. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake approximately 10 minutes, or until the croutons are dried and toasted.

Use Them for Your Next Fondue Night


Planning a fondue night with friends soon? Toss in some hot dog buns! Slice your buns into equal-sized cubes and consider toasting them in the oven with butter, oil, or herbs before adding them to your fondue dipper lineup. Don't worry, you don't have to tell them you're using hot dog buns when they compliment your tasty fondue dippers.

Serve Stuffed Breakfast Buns


Here's a fun twist on a traditional breakfast sandwich: serve your scramble in leftover hot dog buns. They may look like sideways sammies, but you can call them stuffed breakfast buns instead.

  1. Whip up your sandwich elements — everything from scrambled eggs and bacon to sauteed vegetables and your favorite cheeses — and layer them in the bun.
  2. Turn the bun on its side and brush with butter and any herbs you like.
  3. Toast in the oven until the bun is golden, and your cheese is melted.

Transform Them Into Banana PB&J Boats


You may have seen this hot dog bun hack making the rounds on social media. Even if you haven't, the construction of a banana peanut butter and jelly sandwich is pretty straightforward. Swapping regular sandwich bread for a hot dog bun and adding a banana between the layers of your peanut butter and jelly turns an ordinary sandwich into a sweet treat. 

Hack Your Way to Cream Horns


We're not saying it will be the most delicious dessert you've ever had. We're just saying, if you're going to use up a leftover hot dog bun, you may as well make it sweet.

You can never truly replace the flaky, sweet pastry of a traditional cream horn. But you can skip the pastry-making process by using a hot dog bun coated in butter and cinnamon sugar instead. All you really need to do is make the pastry cream (our whipped cream recipes are quick and easy). 

Try This Sweet & Creamy Crostini


If you have a handful of leftover hot dog buns, use them as an appetizer for your next dinner party. Ricotta blackberry crostini is a creamy, tart, and sweet way to start any meal. Michelle Williams at Coffee & Champagne created this dreamy crostini recipe

Toast Them Into Garlic Bread Buns


Garlic bread is pretty straightforward: garlic, butter, and bread toasted to crunchy perfection. But you can use any bread you want to make the savory side. So, butter up those hot dog buns, sprinkle on some garlic, and enjoy a homemade garlic bread perfectly sized for dipping into marinara sauce.

Whip Up a Quick Stuffing Recipe


Whether it's a last minute Thanksgiving side dish or the perfect sidekick for your weeknight dinner, a homemade stuffing always hits the spot. The best part? You can make it with any bread you like, including those leftover hot dog buns starting to go stale on your counter. This stuffing recipe from Mantitlement shows you just how easy it is to transform those forgotten buns into a side with main dish vibes. 

Press Them Into Panini Sandwiches


If you have a panini press, you have endless opportunities to create tasty meals with any sort of bread, hot dog buns included. Use your leftover buns to press a few delicious panini for your next quick lunch or easy dinner. 

You could even use other leftover ingredients in your kitchen to make your panini a no-waste meal. Here are a few leftovers that make great panini sandwiches:

  • Leftover roast beef
  • Leftover pulled pork
  • Leftover chicken
  • Roast vegetables
  • Chicken or tuna salad
  • Leftover meatloaf
  • Hummus 
  • Leftover bacon or sausage
  • Grilled fruit
  • Leftover salad greens

Try These Grilled Shrimp Rolls


Seafood hot dog? No, thanks. Delicious grilled shrimp coated in a mouthwatering dressing and tucked into a warm toasted bun? Yes, please. You can make these delectable shrimp rolls from The Original Dish yourself and use up those extra hot dog buns in the process. 

Say Goodbye to Wasting Food


Now that you know what to do with all those leftover buns, you can plan to add hot dogs back to your meal plan lineup. No more throwing away two spare buns or watching them slowly rot in your pantry. You have plenty of ideas for using them up and making them taste even better than they did on hot dog night.

12 Clever Things You Can Do to Use Up Leftover Hot Dog Buns