Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce

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The making of Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce

If you are from or have ever been to So Cal, then you should know Der Wienerschnitzel. This iconic hot dog stand has been around forever – best known for their original chili cheese, mustard and kraut dogs. As with all fast food joints (except maybe In & Out Burger) their menu has expanded, and apparently, they have also shorted their name, no more Der, but their chili sauce remains the same.

I adapted this copycat recipe for Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce, originally put out by Top Secret Recipes.  Theirs was very close, but I tweaked it a bit to get it closer.  I had just enjoyed a Chili Dog there the weekend before, so the taste was still fresh in my mouth (o.k. fresh in my memory, I did brush my teeth).  So strike while the iron is hot I always say!

This chili sauce is easy to make and really tasty.  If you have a hankering for a chili cheese dog, make up a batch, (even if you have never enjoyed the original Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce),  grab some hot dogs and have yourself one!

Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 pound lean ground pork
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Wondra Flour (this is a finely milled flour that mixes instantly with cold water)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons white vinegar (it is important this be white vinegar, not white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chili powder (I used Gebharts, the recipe called for McCormick)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (the flakes are a key ingredient, don't substitute dried onion granules)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Step 1

In a medium non-stick saucepan, cook the meat over medium-low heat, taking care to get the meat well crumbled (almost like grain). You don't need to brown it, just grey it. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Remove the meat from the pan and drain off most of the fat (if you used lean meat, there shouldn't be too much fat).

Step 2

While the meat is steaming (simmering); put the cornstarch and Wondra into a large measuring cup or deep bowl, slowly add the water, whisking until well blended. Add the vinegar and tomato paste, blending well. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the chili powder, salt, onion flakes, sugar, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well. Set aside.

Step 3

Add the water mixture to the now empty pan and stir well, return the meat to the pan along with the spice mixture; bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use to top your hot dog, hamburger, or's all good.

Step 4

remember to taste and adjust seasonings. I start out with the smaller amount of each ingredient, about 20 minutes into cooking, I take my first taste and add more a little more of an ingredient if I think it needs it. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Then taste again at the end. Usually I find if I add more vinegar, I have to add the additional sugar, if it's not hot enough, add a bit more chili get the idea

der Wienerschnitzel chili sauce

A  dog all dressed out in “Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce”

LindySez: When I make a chili dog, I like to grill my dog a little, then I put it into the bun, wrap the whole thing in a paper towel and micro it for 30 seconds to get a nice soft bun. Top it with the chili and whatever toppings you like, cheese, onions a little mustard? Hey, it’s your dog, have it your way. ~ Cheers

This gravy is a little sweet, if you want one more like a Cincinnati chili gravy, try my original attempt at creating a Der Wienerschnitzel Chili Sauce with this recipe for Lindy’S Chili Gravy.  

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Jessica on September 2, 2013

    Can this be made in a slow cooker?

    • posted by LindySez on September 2, 2013

      Hi Jessica, my best guess is yes. I think that once you got the meat grey, you could put it all into the cooker and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or high for 3. It should thicken just fine as it cooks. Let me know if you try this and how it worked! Cheers ~ Lindy

      • posted by Jessica on September 2, 2013

        Thank you!! Just got all the ingredients so I’m going to try it now!! Thanks again 🙂

        • posted by Jessica on September 2, 2013

          Just had this for dinner in the crock pot. Amazing!! Tastes so much like the real recipe. I did add an extra teaspoon of salt and extra table spoon of vinegar. I cooked it on low for 6hrs. So delicious and looks and tastes great. My husband loved it, this recipe is definitely a keeper!

          • posted by LindySez on September 3, 2013

            So glad it worked out for you Jessica. Now I’m going to have to make it that way!

      • posted by Jim Schroeder on February 28, 2016

        You forgot the main indigence in the instructions…..Chili powder

        • posted by LindySez on February 28, 2016

          I was all like…yes it is, it’s there…but then I notice, I do not include it in the second step of the instruction, you are right. I omitted it…of course, in my head I included it. This, of course,is the beauty of a blog and the internet, I can go fix that right up right now. Thank you Jim for pointing this out. Cheers ~ Lindy

  2. posted by Claire on March 25, 2014

    I agree, a little more vinegar and salt! After that it tasted amazingly like the real thing. I had some with a hot dog and tater tots with cheese on top and was oh so satisfied! And now I have tons of leftovers! Thank you for this recipe!

    • posted by LindySez on March 26, 2014

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Claire. That’s what I love about cooking, you can always adjust to fit your own tastes. Add a little here, take a little from there…now YOU own it! Cheers ~ Lindy

  3. posted by Ken Lapham on January 15, 2015

    Can leftovers be frozen?

    • posted by LindySez on January 15, 2015

      Oh yes Ken, the leftovers freeze beautifully. And always nice to have a batch in the freezer for when you just have to have a chili dog! (or burger) Thanks for stopping by… Cheers ~ Lindy

  4. posted by dshep on December 21, 2016

    Some sites say use only 1 tbl tomato paste or it makes it too sweet.

    south Texas

    • posted by LindySez on December 21, 2016

      Well, there is always more then one way to make a recipe, personally I think that would totally lack any tomato flavor. I adjust with the sugar and vinegar and of course with the chili powder. I think the tomato portion of the program is perfect. Try it either way and see how you like it best. It’s all a matter of taste, but this is more authentic and a copy-cat recipe. Cheers

  5. posted by Karinna M on December 20, 2017

    I have to try this!!!
    I was curious, i really love the chilli cheese fries by them, do you know the exact cheese they put on top??

    • posted by LindySez on December 21, 2017

      Hi Karinna, Yes, chili cheese fries yum! I believe they use shredded mild cheddar cheese on their fries. Cheers ~ Lindy

  6. posted by Brigitte Graves on September 23, 2018

    I’m making this recipe right now. I needed to add more salt and white vinegar. I didn’t have tomato paste so substituted with catsup and cut back on the water and sugar. I didn’t have dried chopped onions so I finely minced fresh onion. I also didn’t have Wondra flour so I used unbleached flour. Threw all the dry ingredients with 2 cups of the water and blended in my bullet. The sauce is very smooth and simmering slowly at the moment. It tastes very good right now and we are anticipating chili cheese dogs like we used to get at der Weinerschnitzel. There isn’t one located where we live.

  7. posted by Bianca on December 13, 2018

    Would it be possible to use a ground beef and ground pork blend? If so how much would be best to use?

    • posted by LindySez on January 31, 2019

      I’m sorry I didn’t see your question sooner, I suppose it would be ok to mix ground beef and pork. It shouldn’t be that much different in texture, only slightly in flavors. If you do I wouldn’t go more than 1/2 and 1/2. Cheers, and let me know if you do! ~ Lindy

  8. posted by richorn on May 22, 2019

    OK, I just finished dinner…

    I have made a couple of “fast food style” chilis before. They were ok.

    I missed a couple of cues. I used the max of each ingredient. Then at 20 minutes, I had an “Oh Sh*&” moment… but the tasting was awesome!

    I did a couple of things “different”. I used a special chili blend from Penzy’s Spices mixed with Chipotle Chili powder (1/2 and 1/2 totaling a cup), and I deep fried the Hot Dogs after the fries were done. Penzy’s special Chili 3000 was an awesome “oops”!!

    The result was AMAZING! It really was Der Wein, but with a kick!

    Thank you for this! I am freezing a jar and sending it to my friend in Oregon. He is really missing our Der Wein outings and the arrival of a frozen jar of this Chili will make his year!


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