Michigan sauce is a unique combination of robust flavors and fresh ingredients that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. This easy yet flavorful sauce recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Not only does it require simple ingredients, but it can be used as a condiment, a dip, or an ingredient itself, making it the perfect go-to sauce for any meal! Here, you will learn how to make this delicious Michigan sauce recipe in just a few simple steps. You won’t believe how something so simple can be so flavorful and mouthwatering!
What is Michigan Sauce
Michigan sauce is a type of traditionally meat-based sauce that is commonly used as a topping for hot dogs, particularly in the upstate New York region. Despite its name, Michigan sauce is not actually from the state of Michigan. It’s a regional specialty with a distinct flavor and texture.
Michigan sauce is typically made from ground beef or ground meat, along with various seasonings and spices. The exact recipe can vary from one place to another, but it often includes ingredients such as onions, garlic, mustard, chili powder, paprika, and sometimes tomato-based products like ketchup. The resulting sauce is usually seasoned to be mildly spicy and savory, with a slightly sweet undertone.
It’s commonly served on top of hot dogs or hamburgers and is a popular topping for various fast food items.
How is Michigan sauce different from other chilis or hot dog toppings?
Michigan sauce, also known as “Coney Island sauce,” is a specific type of chili sauce that is closely associated with Coney Island hot dogs or a coney dog. It’s a regional specialty and differs from other chili sauces in terms of its flavor profile and ingredients.
Michigan sauce has a unique flavor that is distinctive savory, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy taste that differentiates it from standard chili. It is typically a thinner, meaty sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over hot dogs. It’s designed to be a flavorful and slightly messy topping.
While Michigan sauce is most commonly used as a hot dog topping, it can also be used in other dishes, like chili fries or burgers. Its versatility allows it to enhance various fast food or diner-style dishes.
In contrast, traditional chili for chili bowls or chili dogs is usually thicker, and spicier, and may include beans, tomatoes, and a wider variety of spices.
What ingredients go into Michigan sauce
This recipe is a delicious plant-based version of the classic Michigan sauce recipe. It’s easy to make and perfect for those who are looking for a meat-free option.
The key to this recipe is using plant-based ground beef, which gives it a meaty texture and flavor that’s similar to the original recipe. You’ll also need a combination of tomato sauce and tomato paste to create the base of the sauce, along with diced onions to add some texture and flavor.
To make the sauce even more flavorful, this recipe uses a combination of seasonings that include chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, white vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, and hot sauce. The result is a tangy and slightly spicy sauce that’s perfect for topping hot dogs or burgers.
Fresh chilis vs chili powder
As you see above, I use a single tsp chili powder to add some heat to this simple chili sauce.
Fresh chilies could be used as well, but you need to take a bit more care, as chilis come in a variety of heat levels, from mild to extremely hot. This means that you can choose the level of spiciness you desire when cooking. They can add a crunchy or tender texture to your dish, depending on how you prepare them. You can dice, slice, or mince fresh chilies to suit the texture of your dish. For example, adding diced fresh chilies to a stir-fry can add a satisfying crunch, while mincing fresh chilies into a salsa can create a smooth and creamy texture.
Chili powder, on the other hand, is a convenient option, especially if you don’t have fresh chilies on hand. It has a longer shelf life and can be readily available in your spice rack. It also provides a consistent level of heat and flavor, which can be important for recipes where you want a specific taste profile.
How to make Michigan Sauce
Start with dicing the white onion and heat up a large saucepan with oil. When hot, add the diced onions and cook them for 3 minutes.
Next, mix in the plant-based ground beef, and season it with pressed cloves garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to medium heat and let everything simmer for another 4 minutes.
Reduce to low heat and stir in the tomato sauce, tomato pasta, yellow mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, and hot sauce. Finally season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy.
When you make Michigan sauce, it’s always a good idea to prepare some extra for future use. Whether you want to enjoy it with your favorite dish later in the week or simply save it for a quick meal another time, storing it properly is key.
One of the best ways to store Michigan sauce is by putting it in either the fridge or freezer. Before doing so, make sure to let the sauce cool down completely. Once it’s cooled, transfer it to a suitable container.
For short-term storage, put the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. It will remain fresh for up to four days. If you want to keep it for longer, store it in the freezer. The sauce will keep well for a few months.
How to serve Michigan Sauce
As you can see in my step-by-step pictures, I did something a little unusual and served Michigan sauce over spaghetti. Super easy, satisfying, and delicious.
Michigan sauce is popularly used as a hot dog sauce (Michigan dog) or as an alternative to ketchup or other condiments as a topping for hamburgers. Grill or cook your hamburger patty, place it in a bun and add Michigan sauce for a unique flavor twist.
To create a variation of the classic chili dog, add Michigan sauce as the chili topping. Simply place hot dogs in regular hot dog buns and spoon the Michigan sauce over it. You can also add shredded cheese or diced onions for extra flavor.
Michigan sauce can be used as a flavorful topping for French fries. Pour the sauce over a pile of hot, crispy fries. It can serve as a flavorful alternative to traditional potato toppings like sour cream or butter. Consider using it as a topping for baked potatoes for an extra kick of flavor.
Other Chili Recipes you should try:
- 12 oz lean vegan ground beef
- 1 tbsp oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 12 oz tomato sauce
- 4 oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 1 dash hot sauce
- salt, pepper to taste
- Start with dicing the white onion and heat up a large saucepan with oil. When hot, add the diced onions and cook them for 3 minutes.
- Next, mix in the plant-based ground beef, and season it with pressed cloves garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to medium heat and let everything simmer for another 4 minutes.
- Reduce to low heat and stir in the tomato sauce, tomato pasta, yellow mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, and hot sauce. Finally season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy.
- One of the best ways to store Michigan sauce is by putting it in either the fridge or freezer. Before doing so, make sure to let the sauce cool down completely. Once it's cooled, transfer it to a suitable container.
- For short-term storage, put the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. It will remain fresh for up to four days. If you want to keep it for longer, store it in the freezer. The sauce will keep well for a few months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3/4 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 809mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 24g