Halloween Treat: Octodogs


Every parent knows that kids prefer to eat “fun” food than plain old normal food. Halloween gives us a great opportunity to cater to this impulse, making food that’s as much fun to look at as it is to eat.

Sometimes that goes so far that grown-ups won’t eat it. Like chocolate pudding served in a cloth diaper. (Yeah, seen it at a party. Hilarious.) Octodogs are well to the “tame” side, but still plenty of fun.


101024-185337_LgHot dogs

(That’s it, just hot dogs.)


Remember those commercials for hot dogs that “plump when you cook ’em”? All hot dogs do that to some degree. That’s what we’re counting on for this trick.

Cut each dog in half, starting about two inches from the end.


Turn a quarter-turn and repeat.


Then cut each of the quarters in half lengthwise.


You should end up with something that looks sort of like a fishing lure.


Repeat for all the wieners. (Heh heh … he said “wiener”.)


Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the dogs.

101024-190815_Lg 101024-191648_Lg

The casing won’t expand as the inside plumps up, so all of the “legs” will start to curl backwards.


Once they’re hot all the way through — it should only take about five minutes — pull them out to drain. Be careful not to break off the legs.


Serve on an ocean of fries.


And that’s it.

Unless you want to go really crazy and paint faces on them with mustard. I wouldn’t think you were being silly.




  • Hot dogs


Starting about two inches from one end, slice each hot dog into quarters lengthwise, then each "leg" in half again, so you've got eight legs coming off a short "head".

Cook in boiling water for about five minute, until the thickest part is warmed through and the legs have curled back.

Paint a face on with mustard if you want, and serve on an ocean of french fries.


  1. You can also poke spaghetti noodles through your dogs & boil them according to the spaghetti directions – fun!

  2. Ooh, yeah, turn them into jellyfish. They’d even look like they’re swimming while they cook.

  3. These are great! I would have loved them when I was a kid. Love hot dogs – we get great ones made from healthy meats via our CSA. Delicious!

  4. Totally cute! I made your mummy dogs last year & will make these this year. LOL! Well, maybe I’ll make the both… 😉

  5. You can also make evenly spaced cut down the dog–not all the way through–and pop ’em in the microwave for about 1 minute. The will turn into a wheel(circle). Fun with Mac & Cheese on the side.

  6. I used to do the wheel all the time as a kid, just because I thought it was cool. But for the life of me I can’t figure out a way to make it Halloween-y.

  7. If you like it really creepy you can deep frie them after cutting.
    They geht brown and crunchy and the “tentacles” curl together.
    That way they look even more like small tentacle monsters and less like sliced hotdogs.

  8. Or you could just serve actual octopus or squid, which is what the MiL used to do when her sons were little. She called it spaghetti with tentacles and they LOVED it. The thought grosses me out, especially after witnessing A.’s little cooking experiment with the whole squid.

    I may have to leave those sorts of gruesome little treats for Cubby to the MiL. Good thing she lives with us.

  9. My mom used to do this for my sister and I and serve the hot dogs with apple sauce. We dipped the tentacles in the apple sauce. I’m 23 now (and have moved on to more grown up tastes in most things), but when I eat hot dogs and apple sauce I HAVE to cut them this way. It’s just not the same otherwise.


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