Sabrett Onions in Sauce

Walking the streets of Manhattan you see the Sabrett’s pushcarts everywhere. While these may not be in your town, you can make their special onions in sauce topping for hot dogs with this copycat recipe.

a bowl of homemade Sabrett Onions in Sauce

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Sabrett’s Onion Sauce Hot Dog Topping

Walking the streets of Manhattan, you see the Sabrett’s pushcarts everywhere. While these may not be in your town, you can make Sabrett’s special onions in sauce topping for hot dogs with this copycat Sabrett onion sauce recipe.

Sabrett’s hot dog onions in sauce have a delightful tang, rich tomato flavor, a little sweetness, and a slight kick of heat. It’s a delicious hot dog topping, everyone loves those New York hot dog onions. You can buy this onion sauce in a jar, but it will never taste as good! Pre-made is never as good as homemade, don’t you agree?

Sabrett’s hot dogs are known as New York City’s number one hot dogs. Whenever you order one from a vendor cart under the distinctive blue and yellow umbrella, you will enjoy a wonderfully tasting all-beef hot dog contained in an all-natural casing. NYC just wouldn’t be the same without Sabrett! Plus, if you so desire, you can even have your own colorful Sabrett umbrella!

Discover the unique taste of this onion sauce for hot dogs that New Yorkers enjoy so much.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need to make this hot dog topping:

  • Olive Oil
  • Onions
  • Water
  • Tomato Paste
  • Corn Syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Vinegar – White distilled, apple cider, or white wine vinegar
Sabrett Onion Sauce Ingredients

How to Make Sabrett’s Hot Dog Onions

Here are the simple steps for making this New York style onion sauce:

  1. Chop and saute onions in a large skillet over medium high heat with a pinch of salt.
  2. Add water, tomato paste, corn syrup, cornstarch, and salt to the pan. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar and simmer for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the liquid is reduced and thickened.
homemade Sabrett onion sauce in a pan

Enjoy this delicious hot dog topping without having to get it on a pushcart in New York.

Best Hot Dog Toppings

Hot dogs are a perfect food. They don’t cost much and are nearly impossible to mess up. Everyone has their own idea about what they want on their hot dog. In fact, there are probably more foods that go well with hot dogs than foods that you would never put on hot dogs. Here are some of the most popular toppings and hot dog condiments:

  • Mustard – Mustard is a classic topping. Go with good ol’ yellow ballpark mustard, spicy brown mustard, or Dijon mustard.
  • Ketchup – With its rich tomato taste, this is among the most popular hot dog toppings, especially when combined with mustard.
  • Cheese – Cheese is a no-brainer. For something different, dress your dog up Seattle-style with cream cheese, but, honestly, any kind of cheese is going to taste good on a hot dog.
  • Onions – Onions are another popular addition to hot dogs. They can be diced and served raw, but also sliced, fried, and caramelized. And, of course, there are Sabrett onions.
  • Coleslaw – Coleslaw has become an American side dish staple. Coleslaw often accompanies hamburgers, sandwiches, and, of course, hot dogs.
  • Sauerkraut – This fermented cabbage dish is popular on hot dogs because of its characteristically tangy and zesty flavor.
  • Relish – Add a little sweetness with relish, a condiment made from pickled diced vegetables or fruit. Cucumbers and vinegar are the most common ingredients found in relish.
  • Chili – Chili is a hot dog topping that must be cooked instead of simply cut or pickled. It can be made from beans, meat, or a combination. Chili dogs turn a regular dog into something special.
homemade Sabrett onion sauce in a bowl and on top of two hot dogs

Other Uses For This Onion Sauce

There are more ways you can use this tasty sauce. Try it over grilled chicken or pulled pork. Use it on burgers or sandwiches. It’s also a great baked potato topping.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Sabrett Hot Dog Sauce

Want to enjoy this hot dog onions recipe later? Be sure to store any leftover portions in an airtight container and store them in your refrigerator for up to five days. You can freeze these in an airtight container and store them in your freezer for up to three months.

To reheat, I recommend placing the hot dog sauce in a small pot and heating it on low until the sauce has been heated through.

homemade Sabrett onion sauce in a bowl and on two hot dogs

Love hot dogs? Try these recipes!

More Onion Recipes

Be sure to check out the best copycat recipes and restaurant sauces.

Thanks to CarolynTLyons for sharing this recipe.

a bowl of homemade Sabrett Onions in Sauce

Sabrett Onions in Sauce

Make this New York City classic hotdog topping at home and enjoy delicious New York street food whenever you want. Warm your bun, put in your dog, squirt on some mustard, and add these onions. Yummy!
4.50 from 34 votes
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Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sabretts Onions in Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 23kcal


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Olive oil
  • 2 cups Onions, sliced thin and chopped
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 teaspoons Corn Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the sliced onions in oil for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft but not brown.
  • Add 3 cups of water, corn syrup, corn starch, tomato paste, salt, and pepper flakes and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add vinegar. Continue to simmer for an additional 30 to 45 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced and the onion sauce is thick.



Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jake S.

    4 stars
    What’s the idea behind adding the vinegar after 45 minutes? Can it all be done at once to reduce time?

  2. Lisa DeLeo

    1 star
    These were way too spicy, Sabrett onions have a little zip, but that is way too much red pepper flakes to be like the original.

  3. J. Green

    4 stars
    I made it with the 2 cups of water and additional tomato paste and was pleasantly surprised at how close to authentic it tasted. Think I will lesson the amount of red pepper flakes though

  4. Steve

    5 stars
    Even though I am a former New Yorker, all my life practically, I live in Georgia now, I found the Sabarettes hot dog sauce in Publix Supermarket, with the jar pickles and things. Now if they could get me hard Kaiser rolls!

    • Richard L Radzik

      Our Publix bakery in Douglasville carries the Kaiser rolls with the hard crust. The only problem is that they sell out fast. You also have to ask them to put them in their perforated bags so that the outside crust doesn’t soften up.

  5. Wanda

    4 stars
    It was good tasting,but,1/4 cup of vinegar was just too much and I used 2 cups of water instead of the 3,next time I may add a little extra paste and less vinegar and see if that works,but all in all,I would make this again.

    • Wanda

      5 stars
      I left out the cornstarch and added 2 extra tbs. of tomato paste and used half of the vinegar and 2 cups of water instead of the 3 and it worked out very well.

  6. Evelyn Gaetani

    This recipe is the closes to the Sabretts onions you can purchase in a jar for $3.50. Very good. Try it You wont be disappointed.

  7. RVAmom

    My mother’s secret recipe is actually ketchup sliced onions and pepper flakes. The ketchup has a lot of what all the other ingredients listed do.

  8. Baltisraul

    5 stars
    Over the years Sabretts have been the official hot dog of the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox. There are only 3 hot dog brands we buy other than Sabretts. Sahlen’s and Hofman. Luckily Publix carries all three brands. Wait for the BOGO sales and stock up as all three are a little pricey. We have never tried the sauce but we are about to give it a try.

  9. reannonluv

    Hi…I have made this before and it is yummy I worked at a hot dog stand here in L.A, CA…it is 1/4 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, add them with the paste…cider vinegar is best…4 cups of water is better…also it is better to add the onions after the initial 45 minutes of cooking…you run the risk of the onions disintegrating…saute for the 5 minutes then add in the second part of cooking…hope this helps–Please don’t buy this sauce in a can it will never taste as good! My question is–where can you buy the Sabrett’s here in Los Angeles? My boss would not tell me where he got them–they are the best ones to eat!

  10. trish L

    I’m a ex-Nyer and the one thing I do miss is the onion sauce and dogs from the carts! This sauce was Excellent! Thanks so much!!!!!

  11. Sherman

    Beware the 1/4 CUP!!!!!!! of crushed red pepper flakes. The recipe this looks like it was copied from calls for 1/4 TEASPOON!

    In that recipe,

    you add the pepper flakes with the water, tomato paste, etc.

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