Hot Dog Stew

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Sometimes, the pantry is the bare. Sometimes, the refrigerator and freezer are also in the same sad shape. Sometimes, you need to make dinner anyhow.

On those nights, a concoction gets thrown together from whatever can be scrounged up. And sometimes, you get lucky and said concoction ends up being delicious, even though you can’t believe it’s possible.

Thus I present…hot dog stew.

Hot Dog Stew

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: stew


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1  pkg. Lit’l smokies, cocktail weiners or hot dogs, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 can chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 can pearl barley


  • Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add Lit’l smokies or hot dogs and onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, just until meat starts to get a little browned.
  • Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Let simmer at least until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. (Can be simmered longer or even cooked all day in a crock pot.)
  • Just before serving, season again with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.


Honestly, this is shockingly good. And my husband couldn’t wait to dig into the leftovers the next day.
The flavors complement each other perfectly and the final product is actually very mellow, which is surprising for a dish with sauerkraut. (Although if you prefer that tartness, just skip the rinsing of the sauerkraut.)
Do you have any good empty pantry recipes or stories to share?