'Hoover Stew' of the Great Depression
'Hoover Stew' of the Great Depression

‘Hoover Stew’ of the Great Depression

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‘Hoover Stew’ of the Great Depression
'Hoover Stew' of the Great Depression - How to Feed 8 People for $3.74 - The Struggle was Real

‘Hoover Stew’ of the Great Depression

During the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1933, shantytowns popped up across the nation as unemployed people lost their homes to foreclosures. Located mainly outside major cities, Hoovervilles were made of wooden huts and shacks made from scrap metal, or sometimes even cardboard.


  • 1 (16 ounces) box of elbow macaroni or any mix of pasta that will cook at approximately the same time like shells, rotini, etc.)

  • 2 (16 ounces) cans of stewed tomatoes OR whole tomatoes

  • 1 (16 ounces) package of hot dogs

  • 1 (16 ounces) can of corn (a can of beans may also be added for protein)


  • Cook macaroni according to the instructions on the box.
  • While it cooks, slice the hot dogs into very thin “coins.”
  • Open cans of tomatoes, beans (if using), and corn, but do not drain corn or tomatoes. Beans may be rinsed.
  • Combine the contents of the cans and the hot dog slices in a large pot and bring them to a simmer.
  • Break up the tomatoes into small chunks as the mixture heats.
  • Drain the macaroni when it is almost done. Reserve the cooking water to add to the pot, if needed.
  • Add the macaroni to the tomato mixture in the pot, and continue simmering until all of the ingredients are thoroughly heated. Season as desired with salt and pepper. Add any reserved cooking water from the macaroni to keep it from becoming dry. Serve.

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