14 Ways To Give Pigs In Blankets A New Twist

From festive meals to party snacks and buffet bites, pigs in a blanket, or pigs in blankets as they are often referred to, are mouthwatering. And just as importantly if you're prepping a whole feast or table of goodies, they are super simple to make. You only need two ingredients, and both of them can come from a can. Take a hot dog and lay it down on a triangle of canned crescent roll dough at the wide end. Start to roll to the pointy end. That's it. 

As appetizing as they might be, there are always ideas to try that boost the flavor, change up the technique, or create a whole new recipe. Adding ingredients under the blankets, swapping out the hot dogs, and rolling out different 'blankets' all boost the flavor. Then you've got dips and glazes and plenty of other ways to give pigs in blankets a new twist.

1. Wrap in bacon UK style

British Christmas dinners traditionally include pigs in blankets, too. However, they are quite different from the classic U.S. version. For starters, the meaty middle has to be chipolatas. These are thin pork sausages that look a little like links. They can be short or long and can be flavored with a little spice and herbs or plain-tasting. What is called streaky bacon by the Brits and is American bacon in the U.S., is wrapped around the chipolatas. Neither the sausage nor the bacon are cooked at this point. A good tip is to score the bacon slice down the length to stretch it further when spiraling it around the sausage. They are then roasted in a tray, possibly alongside the turkey, until cooked through. The bacon should be lovely and crispy. 

To give British-style pigs in blankets an even more festive twist, create a tray bake dish. Make your bacon and chipolata pigs in blankets, and roast on a baking tray along with onions, parsnips, and butternut squash. Around two-thirds of the way through cooking, add sage leaves, maple syrup, and wholegrain mustard over the top, and pop back in the oven. You can also add a sage leaf to a chipolata before wrapping it in bacon if you love the Christmassy taste it promises. 

2. Use parsnips in two ways

There is something about parsnips that fans of them simply adore. They may look a little like gnarled yellowish carrots, but they are not as sweet. The bold flavor tastes a little licoricey and almost spiced, with a distinctive root veggie essence. They are exceptional when roasted as long as you don't cut them too thick. You don't want them mushy or overcooked and chewy, but you do want them soft enough to pair with roast turkey and other sides, such as crunchy British-style pigs in blankets, for example. What if you were to combine the two?

Peel parsnips and create thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Sauté these and then wrap them around chipolatas instead of bacon. Use a cocktail stick to keep in place and fry in a pan. If you're swapping out bacon for a meat-free meal, then use plant-based sausages, too. For American-style pigs in blankets with parsnips, substitute the hot dog for roasted pieces of parsnip. Boost the taste by using puff pastry and adding a little Dijon mustard in the middle. Scatter poppy seeds on top of the dough before baking and serve with an herby dip. 

3. Kick out hotdogs for Polish kielbasa

One of the simplest ways to give pigs in blankets a new twist is to swap out the meaty middle. While hot dogs are used often, so are cocktail sausages, Vienna sausages, and links, as well as British chipolatas across the pond, of course. A new idea is to use Polish kielbasa which is a smoked sausage that often tastes garlicky, herby, and peppery. Wrap them in dough, as you usually would, or cut the sausages up and wrap them in puff pastry triangles so that the sliced kielbasa is visible at both ends. Because they are so tasty, they make a great appetizer or party snack. Keep with the Polish culinary theme and serve with homemade cream horseradish sauce as well as ketchup and mustard. 

You can also add Dijon horseradish mustard with melted butter to dinner roll dough alongside the kielbasa. Use this hot buttery mixture on top of the dough as well to enhance the taste of the sausage in every part of each bite. You could also make a honey and mustard dip so that the sweet taste pairs with the sweetness of marjoram, which is often added to the meat along with cloves. It also elevates the smoky notes.

4. Make them cheesy

It's party time and you want to take pigs in blankets to another level of finger food deliciousness. One of the best ways is to give them a cheesy flavor, and you can do this in so many ways. You can create grilled cheese roll-ups with hot dogs in the middle, using bread rather than dough. These are great with a mustardy dip. Little smokies taste amazing with strips of cheese lining the dough so that it melts inside when baked. Before putting them in the oven, brush the top of the rolls with garlic butter and grate Parmesan cheese on top. In place of garlic, try mixing ranch seasoning with butter. or what about citrusy za'atar

If you don't mind the melted cheese being visible, then wrap hot dogs in cheese slices and then wrap these in croissant roll dough. If you like a little crunch to contrast with the gooeyness, then top the dough with a few seeds. To upgrade this snack, use a fancy Swiss cheese to elevate the taste with sweet, nutty depth. And don't forget the mustard to give smoked cocktail sausages a kick. Instead of messing around with a tried and tested pigs-in-blankets recipe, what about making a cheese dip? An easy beer cheese sauce is the perfect accompaniment.

5. Give them a Spanish twist

If you're serving different plates for a buffet, then you might want to follow a culinary theme. Spanish garlic shrimp are so good, and are a fantastic choice if you're going for a tapas-style table. Pigs in blankets don't fit with that theme particularly. But one of the ways to give them a new twist is to use chorizo in place of the sausage you usually use. The cured, coarse pork sausage from Spain is wonderfully spicy and is delicious if you wrap salty bacon around. If you really want to embrace the Spanish culinary influence, then add tangy sheep milk manchego cheese and fruity membrillo, which is a quince jelly. Or highlight the spiciness of the chorizo in puff pastry by adding chili powder to the beaten egg to brush on top of the dough. 

For a more luxurious bite, stuff chipolatas with a mixture of chorizo, sundried tomatoes, and oregano. Instead of wrapping dough or bacon around the outside, use pancetta and broil. Another option, in place of bacon, could be to use Serrano ham which is a dry-cured ham that's a popular everyday meat in Spain. The possibilities don't end here. If you buy thinly sliced chorizo, then you can use this to wrap around sausages, too. There's nothing wrong with simply wrapping mini chorizos in buttermilk biscuit dough, and baking to keep it simple. 

6. Create devils on horseback versions

A popular cocktail-stick party snack that's often served as a canape, is devils on horseback. Whereas British-style pigs in blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon, devils on horseback are dates wrapped in streaky bacon. The saltiness of the meat gives way to the almost treacly taste of the fruit, giving the bites an umami quality. In other words, they are downright delicious. A plateful of both of these snacks is a fabulous combination. However, you could combine them to create one of the best ways to give pigs in blankets a new twist.

Use pitted dates and cut them open to flatten them out. Wrap this fruity layer around a chipolata, or whatever type of sausage or hot dog you are using. The bacon is spiraled around these ingredients, too. Before you do so, elevate the depth of flavor with a rosemary sprig under the bacon. Instead of dates, wrap bacon around sausages with pitted prunes or apricots. For a special flavor, soak the fruit in white wine for a few hours beforehand and add some fiery English mustard to the bacon on the inside of each slice. Or what about adding figs for a gourmet-style pigs in blankets version? 

7. Add an Asian twist

Chances are that you don't associate pigs in blankets with Asian cuisine. In reality, cocktail sausages wrapped in wonton wrappers and deep-fried are an everyday snack sold on the streets of Thailand. They are often eaten with a sweet chili sauce dip. At home, for party bites, brush the wrappers with sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Make a Chinese-style hot mustard sauce. You could combine store-bought hot mustard with sweet chili dip, too. There are other dips you could serve with these crunchy delights, such as hoisin or teriyaki. In terms of wrapping the sausages up. you can cover the length of the meat and leave the ends visible, as per regular pigs in blankets. If you chop hot dogs into smaller pieces, you can fully enclose them in the wonton wrappers. Once you've sealed the joints, use a fork to make indentations to secure these edges. 

If you love a doughy blanket, then swap out hot dogs for lap cheong which is a noticeably sweet-tasting dried pork sausage from China. Start by soaking the Chinese sausage in hot water so that you can easily remove the casing. Cut each sausage into bitesize sections and cut lengthways before wrapping in crescent roll dough and baking. 

8. Fire up the heat

One of the tastiest ways to give pigs in blankets a new twist is to fire up the heat. Add a smear of your favorite hot sauce to rolled-out crescent rolls before making the sausage snack. Mix some more sauce with egg to brush over the dough, and give the pastry a hot taste on both sides. Or simply serve them with a chili dip. You could make a homemade creamy nacho cheese sauce and add extra ingredients to make it hot such as habanero, spicy mustard, and cayenne pepper. Or what about serving the sausages with a spicy feta cheese dip? Before wrapping them, give hot dogs some flavor by frying them in brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and cayenne pepper. 

Combine sweet and spicy flavors by adding a honey Dijon mustard to the pastry and sausages. Serve with another type of mustard for a fuller range of hotness. Wrap sausages with bacon with chili jam spread onto the slices and on top. What about making your own sweet and spicy pepper jelly? A great way to use this is to place dough-wrapped slices of sausage in a greased muffin tin. The meat should be face-up. Add the jelly on top along with mustard and bake in the oven. A queso dip could work well with pigs in blankets, or if you want a more substantial serving then what about a chili with a melted cheese top surrounded by the crunchy sausage bites? 

9. Swap dough blankets for pancakes

Make pigs in blankets for breakfast for a fun twist and serve them with fresh berries and maple syrup. Instead of wrapping hot dogs in crescent roll dough, cover breakfast links with fluffy pancakes. Serve one sausage with one pancake and use a cocktail stick to keep the pancake from unfolding. All you need is a buttermilk pancake recipe. A twist on this twist is to dip sausages in pancake batter and deep fry. An easy way to do this is by adding a wooden stick to cooked sausages to make batter-dipping easier. Hold the sticks after deep-frying and letting them cool down, and dip them into syrup, eating them like a corndog. 

Since bacon and sausages are breakfast foods, why not serve these with pancakes in the style of pigs in blankets? Wrap cocktail sausages in bacon slices and fry these in a pan on the stovetop. Make a stack of homemade pancakes, in a clean pan and serve these with the bacon-wrapped sausages. Finish with maple syrup and berries. 

10. Make Texan pigs in blankets

In Texas, pigs in blankets are known as kolaches. The name, and style of making these American classics come from the Czech communities who have long heritage and history in the state. Kolaches are pastries that can be savory and sweet. The yeasty bread with sausage inside is made with sugar and is therefore quite sweet. It is often made with cheese and jalapeño slices inside. The pepper can also be baked on the outside. When the kolache dough is wrapped around something savory, then it's known as a klobasnek. You can make these sausage klobasniky with sausage and sauerkraut, too. Since the origins are close to Poland, perhaps you'll want to use a kielbasa in the middle. 

What you'll love about these European-style pigs in blankets, is that the bread roll that surrounds the sausage is deliciously soft. It's also buttery and is pretty close to a hot dog in a bun, except way better.

11. Glaze bacon wrapped ones

A good glaze is a game-changer for so many snacks, and pigs in blankets are no exception. If you are making British-style bacon-wrapped sausages, then a simple glaze is to just brush maple syrup on top. It's a good idea to turn the chipolatas over so that the bacon can crisp up on all sides. Add more of the syrup at this point, too, and when serving for a sticky sweet, and salty savory bite. Or what about brushing the bacon and sausages with honey and impaling them with a sprig of rosemary? 

Honey, soy sauce, and wholegrain mustard together create an umami-loving mix to baste pigs in blankets. Brush the bites with this glaze a few times so that it builds up a lovely layer of flavor. You might want to glaze the sausages before wrapping them in bacon. Once they've started to cook in the oven, you can add more glaze on the outside to cover the bacon, too. For a special treat, make a honey and bourbon glaze, add rosemary sprigs to the pan, and tuck a sage leaf in between the meaty ingredients.

12. Give them a pretzel blanket

Pretzel dough is delicious when it's wrapped around sausages. They make a popular Austrian snack, but wherever you are you can rustle up mini pretzel dogs. Wrap ropes of homemade dough around halved hot dogs to create a banded pattern. To ensure a chewy, pretzel-esque texture, dip the pre-baked pigs in blankets in a warm water bath with baking soda. If you're going for a soft dough, then brush melted butter on top to give the bites a golden crust, and add a few flakes of sea salt. White and black sesame seeds also look attractive on the ribbons of dough, just like you'd see on a regular pretzel. 

Make these pretzel pigs in blankets with smoked sausage and add cheese so it creates a melted middle. These are so good with honey and mustard dip. If you don't want to make homemade dough and wait around for it to rise, then use pizza dough. Wrap it around in the same way as pretzel dough. Or what about adding crunchy crushed pretzels to the outside of pigs in blankets made using crescent roll dough? 

13. Tuck caramelized onions under the blankets

Caramelized onions transform country fair hot dogs into moreish fast food. So, it makes sense to tuck them under the doughy covers of pigs in blankets, too. Make overnight caramelized onions and add some to a rolled-out triangle of crescent dough. A delicious extra that elevates this combo is cream cheese. Spread this on the dough before adding the onions, followed by the sausages. To highlight the sweet and savory taste of the onions, brush honey, egg, and Dijon mustard on the outside of the rolls. 

Another idea is to add Dijon mustard to puff pastry triangles before adding sausages. On top of the meat, add slices of roasted red peppers, which you can buy in a jar, and finally, caramelized onions. Not only do they taste incredible, but the little pop of color looks appetizing. What about filling hot dogs with the sweet onions? Cut along them lengthways, but don't halve, and add the caramelized onions in the middle. You can also fill it with cheese, too. Roll a rectangle of puff pastry around and bake. Caramelize onions with tomato paste for added flavor. Or use caramelized-onion-flavored sausages. 

14. Sweeten them up

Adding fruit is one way to give pigs in blankets a sweet and savory taste. You can also do this by glazing the dough so that it caramelizes on top. If you bake at all, then you're probably used to only brushing melted butter or an egg wash on top of the pastry so that it turns golden brown and crispy. Completely cover a tray of these scrumptious bites with melted butter and brown sugar rather than simply brush the dough on top. Add to the glazing ingredients, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and onion powder for a tangy, savory hit that's sweet, too. 

Glazing that goes under pigs in blankets is also amazing. Melt butter and add brown sugar and sliced almonds. Pour this into an ovenproof dish. Place the doughy sausage rolls on top before baking. You might need some sticks to speak them out of the caramelized gooeyness once they are ready to eat. A simple way to sweeten pigs in blankets is by serving them with a fruity sauce. One to remember over the festive holidays is a sweet and tart cranberry sauce