Campfire Hot Dog Stew

This Campfire Hot Dog Stew is a fun meal for camping or having a cookout. It’s also a good dish to make when feeding a crowd or when you’re trying to save some money. This stew is based on a Great Depression-era meal known as Hoover Stew. I use the same basic components including hot dogs, pasta, and tomatoes, and then add in some flavorful extras like seasonings, beef broth, and shredded cheese. Don’t let the simplicity here fool you, though, because this hot dog stew is delicious. Serve this stew around your next campfire or just for a fun family dinner. {And if you like one-pot campfire recipes, be sure to check out my recipe for Pumpkin Turkey Chili.}

Campfire Hot Dog Stew

This Hot Dog Stew uses all basic and readily available ingredients. There’s nothin’ fancy here. And you can swap out ingredients and seasonings to suit your taste. Plus, the ingredients are easy to pack and take with you should you decide to make this recipe for a camping trip. Just load up your cooler with the ingredients (I recommend pre-cutting the veggies) and you’ll be ready to put a pot on the campfire or camp stove. 

The ingredient list for Campfire Hot Dog Stew is simple.

Hot Dogs – Hot dogs are the protein in this recipe. I prefer all-beef hot dogs but use any type of hot dog you prefer. Beef, pork, or turkey hot dogs will all work. For a vegetarian option, use extra beans and/or vegetarian hot dogs.   You can even swap out the hot dogs for smoked sausage like kielbasa. 

Onion – I like to use sweet onion, but any onion will work in this recipe.

Garlic – I like to use freshly minced garlic, but garlic powder or granulated garlic will work in a pinch.

Carrots – Carrots give the stew a bit of sweetness. Fresh carrots work best, but you can also use canned or frozen. 

Potatoes – Potatoes are an inexpensive ingredient that helps to bulk up the stew and make it hearty and filling. Use any type of potato that you prefer. Russets, red, or yellow potatoes all work well in this stew. 

Pasta – Just like potatoes, pasta adds starch and acts as a filler. I like to use short pasta like elbow macaroni or rotini rather than long strands of spaghetti.

Canned Diced Tomatoes – You can use any canned diced tomatoes you like. For extra flavor, try using diced tomatoes with added herbs and spices, like chili-ready tomatoes, or fire-roasted tomatoes.

Corn Kernels – Don’t skip the corn because it gives some texture and sweet flavor to the stew. Fresh, frozen, or canned corn will all work. Or, if you prefer, you can use beans in place of corn. You can also use a mix of beans and corn.

Beef Broth – I like to use beef broth in the stew, but you could use vegetable or even chicken broth. And because hot dogs tend to be salty, I like to use reduced sodium broth for the best results. (You can always add salt to the finished stew if needed).

Shredded Cheese -This is an optional ingredient, but let’s be honest, a little cheese makes everything better. Use whatever cheese you like, but I prefer sharp shredded cheddar cheese.

Seasonings – I typically use a combination of seasonings. I like to use an all-purpose blend like Morton Nature’s Seasons or Lawry’s, along with chili powder, and a bay leaf. 

Tips for making Campfire Hot Dog Stew:

  • This recipe is a basic roadmap to making an inexpensive stew for camping or to feed your family. Feel free to adjust the ingredients and seasonings according to what you like and what you have on hand. Add vegetables or beans, or leave out ingredients you don’t like. 
  • If you are experienced at cooking in a Dutch oven over a campfire or hot coals, this is a great recipe for that. Otherwise, you can go ahead and prepare it in a pot over a camp stove, or, if cooking at home, make it on the cooktop. 
  • For the best and tastiest results, fry the vegetables and hot dogs for a few minutes in butter before adding the rest of the stew ingredients. 
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

Campfire Hot Dog Stew

If you try this recipe for Campfire Hot Dog Stew (aka Hoover Stew), I hope you love it. And follow me on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram so you don’t miss a post. 

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Campfire Hot Dog Stew (aka Hoover Stew)

  • Author: Melissa Lynn


A tasty, fun recipe that’s perfect for camping or feeding a crowd on a budget.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I like avocado oil)
  • 1 package of hot dogs, sliced (about 12 ounces; a little more or less is fine)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon if using pre-minced garlic)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 extra large or 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup short pasta like elbow macaroni, rotini, or penne
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 8 ounces of shredded cheese for topping


  1. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the butter and oil to the pot. Add the sliced hot dogs, and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the hot dogs are lightly browned. Remove the hot dogs to a plate.
  2. To the same pot, add the onions, carrots, and potatoes. Cook the vegetables in the remaining oil and butter mixture for 7-8 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add a little bit of extra oil if necessary.
  3. Return the hot dogs and the remaining ingredients (except for the cheese) to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil. Place the lid on the pot slightly ajar. Allow the stew to cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Before serving, taste the stew and adjust the seasonings (it’s hot so be careful!).
  5. If serving with cheese, you can stir the cheese into the stew at this point for a creamy stew, or you can serve it in bowls and allow everyone to top their individual bowls with cheese.

1 Comment

  • Sam
    May 18, 2024 at 7:22 am

    This was surprisingly good. We made it on the camp stove over our camping weekend and there wasn’t a bit of leftovers. Will make again.


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