The History of Hoover Stew and How to Make It

The History of Hoover Stew and How to Make It

I may have been compensated for this post. Please keep in mind that it affects you in no way financially. If an item is being reviewed, I am not obligated to give a positive review and always use my own words. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you would like a review done contact Dannelle at

How much do you know about Hoover Stew? This budget-friendly dish has a long and storied history, dating back to the Great Depression. Named after President Herbert Hoover, who was in office at the time, this hearty stew was designed to be filling and nutritious while being easy on the wallet.

The History of Hoover Stew and How to Make It

Today, it remains a popular option for those looking for an economical meal that is also tasty and satisfying. Here’s everything you need to know about the origins of Hoover Stew and how to make it at home.

The origins of Hoover Stew and how it got its name

The Great Depression was a difficult time for many Americans. Jobs were scarce and food was often in short supply. imaginative people had to get creative in order to make ends meet. That’s where Hoover Stew comes in.

Hoover Stew got its start during the Great Depression. At this time, many people were struggling to make ends meet. In order to stretch their food supply, they began to make stews with whatever ingredients they had on hand.

meal plan month one

The story goes that a group of women from Seattle decided to make a big pot of stew and share it with their neighbors. They included whatever ingredients they had on hand, hence the name “Hoover Stew.”

While these stews were nicknamed “Hoover Stews” after President Herbert Hoover, who was in office when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.

Hoover was widely blamed for the country’s economic woes and people started calling this newfangled stew “Hoover Stew” as a way to poke fun at him. Despite its humble beginnings, Hoover Stew quickly became a popular dish during the Depression years.

They also had other names for it

Hoover Stew was nicknamed “Depression Soup” because it was so commonly made during the Great Depression. The soup was also known as “Poor Man’s Soup” or “Farmer’s Soup.” It was called these names because it was a very simple and inexpensive dish to make.

The recipe for Hoover Stew varied depending on what ingredients were available, but it typically included noodles, meat, vegetables, and occasionally beans or lentils. The stew would be cooked slowly over a period of hours so that all of the flavors would meld together. This made for a tasty and filling meal that could easily be stretched to feed a large family.

check our facebook group

Hoover Stew is named after President Herbert Hoover, who was in office at the time of the Great Depression. The story goes that a group of women from Seattle decided to make a big pot of stew and share it with their neighbors. They included whatever ingredients they had on hand, hence the name “Hoover Stew.”

While there is no one correct recipe for Hoover Stew, it typically contains some combination of noodles, stewed tomatoes, and hot dogs.

Link to purchase 100 Things WI book

What caused the Great Depression?

The Great Depression was a severe and long-lasting economic downturn in the United States. It began with the stock market crash of 1929 and lasted for about a decade, ending around 1939. The primary causes of the Great Depression were overproduction, unequal distribution of wealth, lack of credit, speculation on stocks, deflationary policies by the Federal Reserve Bank, and falling demand for goods.

The ingredients you’ll need to make your own batch of Hoover Stew

hoover stew ingredients

If you’re looking to whip up your own batch of Hoover Stew, you will be amazed that it only takes four ingredients:

  • Macaroni noodles – these are going to be your inexpensive ingredient filer
  • Hot dogs – this is the protein source and it was a very inexpensive cut of meat
  • Stewed tomatoes or Diced tomatoes – these were easy to grow and can, usually a garden staple
  • Corn – again, these were easy to grow and a garden staple

Seasonings? No. This is a depression-era meal that went a long way to fill a budget when there were empty pockets. Seasonings like salt and black pepper were almost a luxury item. There was a huge absence of seasoning for a lot of the meals from back then and this simple dish fits the bill for those hard economic times. The salt from the hot dogs does help flavor the dish a bit.

So grab your ingredients, put on your chef’s hat and let’s keep that infamous tough times tradition alive.

Step-by-step instructions for cooking the perfect pot of Hoover Stew

If you’re looking to impress your friends and family with a delicious pot of Hoover Stew, then look no further. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions and you’ll be the master chef your relatives tell stories about.

boiling pasta and hotdogs for hoover stew

Slice your hotdogs into thin coins. Add the hot dog slices to that pound of dried pasta in a large pot full of water. Simply follow the package instructions and then drain the cooked pasta and hot dogs, returning them to the pot.

hoover stew

Open cans of tomatoes and corn, then dump the contents of the cans into the pot with the noodles and hot dogs and stir it all well to combine the four ingredients.

hoover stew on a spoon

Simmer this on low until heated through then serve and enjoy.

Tips and tricks for making your Hoover Stew even tastier

Not sure where to begin with your Hoover Stew? No fear! With just a few helpful tips and tricks, you can create a flavor explosion with every bite and really dress up this poor man’s meal.

  • Start by thinking of what we have now, in abundance, that we can add. Diced onion or green pepper will certainly add a little flavor and color to this.
  • For an added kick, throw in some fire-roasted green chilis or lively spices like chili powder, cumin, or smoked paprika.
  • Cheese is always a great addition to any stew or casserole – you could go with grated Parmesan cheese or a nice sharp cheddar.
See our latest email and just click the blue button on the top to add yourself

How to serve Hoover Stew and what to pair it with

This 100-year-old recipe couldn’t be much simpler to make and serve as they did in the shanty towns. But people looking at budget-friendly meals today want a little more than this as the modern-day touches allow.

hoover stew ready to eat

To complement the stew’s flavors, serve it with crusty sourdough bread or crackers and add a tossed green salad or some oven-roasted veggies.

For dessert, if you want to stay fairly true to the theme, try our Ozark Pie.

Now that you know how to make your own Hoover Stew, what are you waiting for? Get cooking! And if you want to really impress your guests, serve it with a nice bottle of red wine. Trust us, they’ll be impressed with the history lesson and the seemingly unlimited supply of Hoover Stew that this simple ingredients list makes.

Print off Our Hoover Stew Recipe Here:

Yield: 4

Hoover Stew

hoover stew ready to eat

This depression era classic is easy to make and a budget friendly meal


  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • 1 package hot dogs, sliced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can whole kernel corn with juice


    Cook the macaroni with the sliced hot dogs in boiling water until the pasta is tender

    Drain and place back in the pot 

    Stir in the tomatoes and corn 

    Simmer on low until heated through 

    Serve and enjoy!

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 646Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1144mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 5gSugar: 20gProtein: 22g

    Other recipes you may find interesting:

    Other Pasta Recipes You May Like

    Skip to Recipe