Curly Franks – A Mid-Century Recipe Test

Posted on Mar 5 2014 - 3:41am by RetroRuth

Soooo…I am not exactly sure what happened to this dish. All I know is that it turned out pretty hilarious.

This is a pile of curled up hot dogs.



This is Curly Franks!

1.0 from 1 reviews
Curly Franks
  • 1 pound frankfurters
  • 1 can (10 ounce) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 T tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  1. Quarter frankfurters lengthwise in long strips. Combine remaining ingredients. Add sliced frankfurters and simmer for 10 minutes. Frankfurters will curl while cooking in the sauce.
  2. Serve over hamburger buns, small hero loaves or with thin spaghetti.



These are the moments of Mid-Century Menu that I cherish: A whole pound of hot dogs sliced into quarters.


As I looked at this mass of cut up hot dogs in tomato soup, I realized I should have saved this one for Halloween. I haven’t seen something look this much like a pile of worms since the canned green beans in Liver Pate En Masque. In fact, I am pretty sure that if you are having a Halloween party, you should break this bad boy out.


In the serving suggestions for this recipe, you could either serve these on a bun or thin spaghetti. I didn’t have any thin spaghetti or buns, but egg noodles worked just fine. They also highlighted the worminess of this dish very, very well.



“So, what do they taste like?”

“Cocktail weenies in sauce. Full-sized cocktail weenies.”

The Verdict: Looks Creepy, Tastes Bland

From The Tasting Notes –

Totally edible, even if it did look disgusting. We ate almost all of it for dinner. It ended up just tasting like tomato sauce, onion and hot dogs. Over all, pretty bland. I was glad that we ended up going with noodles instead of putting it on a bun, because it ended up having a lot of goopy sauce that wouldn’t have gone well on a bun. If you do decide to make these and eat them on a bun, use a slotted spoon to drain the worms…I mean…weenies, before you serve them.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Yinzerella March 5, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I think it’s pretty in its own bizarre, twisted way.
    Reminds me of the Saucy Franks I made at the very beginning of Wiener Wednesdays.

    • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Yes! Almost exactly like that!

  2. Lassie March 5, 2014 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Sounds like a primitive early attempt at making a barbeque type sauce. Using tomato soup, and tomato sauce. Eww. Maybe the hot dog ‘worms’ were meant to appeal to kids 🙂

    • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Probably. And I don’t know why they bothered with the “sauce”. Ketchup is actually spicier!

  3. Beth March 5, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

    When your daughter gets older, you’ve got to serve to this her and her friends. You’ll be the FUN mom!!

    • Erica Retrochef March 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Agreed, this is very much a meal for small children…

      • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

        Small children who like worms!

    • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Ha! Yeah. We’ve pretty much determined that Alex is going to be SO embarrassed by us. We are a bit more quirky than the average parent. 🙂

  4. Melissa March 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Probably going to have to try this someday when I’m either a) on a really tight budget or b) wanting to experience a depression era/wartime meal.

  5. Tipsykit March 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply
  6. Frank April 20, 2015 at 10:11 am - Reply

    This is my family’s recipe from when I was a little boy.
    We substituted the tomatoe soup for ketchup and added a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the recipe. Over egg noodles it’s absolutely delicious!!!

  7. Ryle April 30, 2015 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    This recipe seems familiar to Filipino style spaghetti or Naporitan spaghetti from Japan, they both have hot dogs and usually have a savoury-sweet taste.

  8. Holley Atkinson January 31, 2016 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    OMG… I commented on the later post too but this looks VERY much like a recipe that was passed down from my mother to me and my siblings in the 1960s… Check it out here:

  9. John Catenaci April 14, 2017 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    This is better when you add a cup and a half of sharp cheddar cheese (shredded), slice the onions longways to match the hotdogs,Use the Egg noodles as you did and don’t be shy with the worcestershire… mix it all together, transfer into a buttered casserole, top with breadcrumbs and butter, bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until browned and bubbling.
    I think you will find this much more appetizing than the first version…
    I have friends that actually beg me to make this for them…lol

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