Life to Leftovers: Hot Dog Buns

Last week, I wrote about having excess hamburger buns. Well, I now have a surplus of their sibling: hot dog buns. And since we all had so much fun in the maiden voyage of Life to Leftovers, I thought we’d give it another shot. [By the way, I haven't heard from any of you with dilemmas of your own--maybe you're all use-it-up experts.]

Anyway, I have four leftover potato hot dog rolls and we need a break from hot dogs, sausages and the like. Since I’m not confident that I can get a decent lobster in North Carolina, lobster rolls are out.

pb and banana roll by lantzilla via creative commonsSo, in short, HELP! Without your ideas, I’ll be having peanut butter & banana rolls all week. OK, maybe not. I can think of a few other moves, mostly involving butter and garlic, but I’d like to throw the question out to you resourceful readers. What do you do with extra hot dog buns?

And while we’re on the topic, here’s an amazing homemade contraption that allows one to toast buns without the dreaded break-in-half.

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  1. Geralyn Miller
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Cheap-o buns , hamburger or hot dog make perfectly good bread pudding if you lightly toast them first, then cube them and cover with the custard of your preference and bake, you can put chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit in your bread pudding. Make sure you put vanilla in your custard, real, not the fake stuff, otherwise it will taste flat, you also cannot skip the pinch of salt if you want tasty bread pudding.
    If you have kids, especially little ones, lightly roll the buns out, just flatten a tiny bit, put some sauce of your choice, cheese, pepperoni, or any meat in small enough pieces and leftover veggies; heat in the oven enough to melt the cheese. Voila! Pizza bread!
    I am the oldest of seven and grew up in a house where waste not, want not was the way it was. Everything was used, my Mother kept containers in the freezer for soup, one for meat, one for veggies, one for gravy/sauces and one for starches; every scrap or leftover teaspoon of anything went into one of the containers, when all four were full, we had leftover soup. You vary the size of containers by the size of your family. My Mother even rinsed the dressing off leftover coldslaw and put it in the veggie container! There were no actual leftovers in our house, my Mother called them “planned overs”.

  2. Naomi
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    toast, rub with garlic and serve with tomato salsa.
    almost slice through from top to bottom , spread cut sections with garlic butter, bake till crispy
    cut into cubes, bake in oven on low heat, wahoo croutons for soup or salads
    slice thickly, float on top of bowl of french onion soup, sprinkle with cheese of choice and grill till melted

  3. Posted June 1, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I was thinking that their must be some way to extend the shelf life of fresh bread. Current bread bags are constructed of 100% virgin low density polyethylene. Bags can be closed with ties, staples, tape or can be heat sealed. Cost is

  4. Posted June 1, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure why burger and hot dog buns can’t simply be used for any type of sandwich… There’s no law (that I’m aware of) :)

  5. martha heimerdinger
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Use them in a side dish of stewed tomatoes!

  6. Roberta Close
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree with “fairydust”….I’ve used the hotdog buns to make small homemade “hoagie” sandwiches, BBQ’d sandwiches, tuna salad/chicken salad/egg salad sandwiches – anything goes! I look forward to trying the other suggestions :)

  7. twinkey
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    meatball subs!!!!

  8. janes'_kid
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    English muffin croutons were all the rage a couple of months ago. Some daytime TV show invited someone in to demonstrate how to make them and they were quite a fad for a few days.

    Can you invent burger and hot dog bun croutons, get yourself invited to a daytime TV show, make history as well as save food.

  9. jen
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    My husband packs his lunch everyday. When we are out of deli meat, and just happen to have a couple of hotdog buns laying around (happens a lot in the summer), I make a quick tuna salad, stuff it in the bun, and call it a “tunadog.” “Tunadog” is a funny thing for us because it means there’s no food in the house. When he hears me say “Honey, tunadog for your lunch tomorrow!” we know we really need to get to the grocery.

  10. Meg
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    1. Stuffing
    2. Bread Pudding
    3. Toast+Crumble= Bread Crumbs -> Meat/Veggie Coating

  11. dee dee
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Let them get stale. Then whir them around in a food processor until they are finely ground up. voila. bread crumbs. store them for ages in an airtight container. I use all my stale bread for crumbs…my friends even save stale loaves for me.

  12. Posted June 1, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Geralyn–I like that term ‘planned overs.’

    fairydust–very true. I made a sandwich in a hot dog bun just this weekend. It was a funny mix of high-end and everyday foods. I had some local, raw-milk cheese and leftover sauteed broccoli rabe and squash from the farmer’s market. Then there were the infamous buns. Blending the two, I melted the cheese in the bun added the veggies and olive oil and went to town. We’ll call it the High-Low sandwich.

    janes’ kid–I’d never steal your idea on hot dog and burger bun croutons! Sounds like you should go for it.

    jen–i can’t stand tuna salad, but I’m thinking egg salad might be in these buns’ future. That’s if I don’t get around to any of these more extensive suggestions.

    dee dee–it’s be hard to willingly let bread get stale! But knowing it’s for a good cause, i.e. another use, I suppose I could manage.

  13. Posted June 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Good thing I’ve vowed to take a break from dogs for a while. I just found this idea for buns: the Carolina Q Dog. Oy.

  14. Posted June 2, 2009 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I always throw stale bread in the freezer for bread crumbs, which works out just fine.

    Also, I use leftover hamburger buns for small sandwiches for kid school lunches. They’re the perfect size and there’s no crust that gets wasted.

    Also, both hamburger and hotdog buns are rather yummy when buttered and cooked on a hot cast iron skillet until they’re nice and crispy. Not the healthiest option, but food waste avoidance comes before a healthy diet, right?

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

  15. Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I always just freeze them.

  16. Marie
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    If you like lobster rolls and hate to spend the money, you can alway try the imitation crab meat, aka Alaska Pollack. I shred it, add diced celery, dice a little bit of cucumber and add mayonnaise with a sprinkle Mrs. Dash. It does taste pretty close to a lobster roll.

  17. Posted June 3, 2009 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Katy–looking at rolls another way–it has even more crust than sliced bread. That could be a good way to teach kids that “crust is cool.” Hey, that sounds like a food waste public-service campaign in the making.

    Anyway, I like the way you think re: butter and skillets. Although I’ll have to tone that down when I’m speaking at the American Dietetic Association conference (in October).

    Allie–that’s a solid idea. Not only do you not waste them, but you avoid this somewhat-annoying excess bun conundrum the next time you eat dogs/burgers.

    Marie–I was going to say ‘You had me at Mrs. Dash, but then I realized it was the last thing in your comment. Besides, I’d be afraid the food gods would strike me down for calling anything pollacky a lobster roll. But a clever idea.

  18. Posted June 4, 2009 at 2:46 am | Permalink


    I have no idea where my kids got the idea to not eat their crusts. I’ve never cut it off for them, nor have I wasted my money on frozen “Uncrustables,” (THE laziest convenience food ever invented. Who the hell doesn’t have time to throw together a PB&J?)

    Alas, they’re too old and savvy to be taken in by the “Crust is Cool” PR campaign.

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

  19. Tara
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Leftover buns of any kind are the best ofr French Toast!!! They make for a really soft gushy texture. Love it!

  20. Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Toast and season them for croutons or toast them and grind them in a blender for bread crumbs. Personally I love peanut butter on a hot dog roll, especially a potato roll.

  21. Posted April 5, 2010 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Coney Island hot dogs from Detroit are the best! Woot!

  22. FoulMouthMama5
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Make hambadogs, went on a picnic once and we forgot hamburger buns. So we shaped the hamburger like a hot dog. Yummy. Also you can lightly toast them and put scrambled eggs in them, a quick on the go breakfast for the kids.

One Trackback

  1. By friday forum « compact by design on June 5, 2009 at 3:15 am

    [...] For those of you who need a little inspiration in using up items before they become food waste, check out Life to Leftovers at Wasted Food.  Jonathan Bloom has started a new feature to help out the helpless.  Or at least those with food they don’t know what to do with.  (Yes, I was one of those people once.)  Jonathan may not have the answers, but his readers are great at coming up with ideas for your food. [...]

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