Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes

Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes from The More With Less Mom

I am a big supporter of eating “real” food. If your great-grandmother would have recognized the foods you put in your grocery cart, you are eating “real” traditional food. One of the things I have researched for my meal planning is Great Depression era and WWI recipes. Too many recipes today are based on canned cream-of-blech soup. At this point these foods were just starting to creep into recipes. You can make your own substitutions for these convenience foods, but I find it interesting to look at heirloom recipes.

Here are some Great Depression Era and WWI recipes (all from the sources below):
Barley Chocolate Cake (PDF)
Chocolate Potato Cake
Cornmeal Ragged Robins
Crumb Spice Pudding
Fruit Paste
Goldfish Loaf
Mock Duck
Oatmeal Rocks
Split Pea Pancakes

Here are some good sources of Great Depression Era and World War I recipes: Frugal Living Depression Era recipes
Best War Time Recipes 1918 from’s Military Records on RootsWeb
Depression Era Recipes collection from Tish on
The Doughboy Cookbook from
Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them on Project Gutenburg
Food Will Win The War Pamphlets from Project Muse, War Economy in Food may be from this series)
Great Depression Cooking with Clara This is a series of videos of a woman cooking some of her recipes, and she has released a book called Clara’s Kitchen (Amazon link)
Heavy Table’s review of Food Will Win the War (Amazon link)
Mary’s Depression Era Recipes
Taste of Home Forum Great Depression Recipes thread
Win The War Cookery Book from Great Food Magazine (four blog posts listed from last to first)
World War 1 Recipes from Feast of the Centuries
WWI: No One Need Be Hungry from YesterYear Once More

Great Depression Era Cookbooks:

Depression Era Recipes This is a good book of basic recipes, including recipes for basics like condiments (Amazon link)

Dining During the Depression: Strong Family Ties, Hard Work, and Good Old-Fashioned Cooking Sustained Folks Through the 1930s (Reminisce Books) (Amazon link)

Hard Times Cookbook with Back to Basics Great Depression Cooking (Amazon link)

Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930’s and More From Your Kitchen Today, Vol. This book is definitely an interesting read. This has very simple recipes but some are a little confusing, they make sense if you know what you’re doing. The stories are entertaining. (Amazon link)

Great Depression Recipe Pinterest Boards
Depression and WWII recipes
Great Depression/ recipes
Great Depression Recipes from The More With Less Mom
Recipes from the Great Depression

Follow Melissa French: More With Less Mom & HousePunkery’s board Great Depression Recipes on Pinterest.
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Want to learn how to stretch food like your great grandma? Try one of my More With Less Meal Plans.

What recipe has your family handed down from the Depression?

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Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes — 24 Comments

  1. The titles of these recipes make me realize how desperate those times made people. And that is just the title! Gold fish loaf??? I ashamed of myself for opening my refrigerator door and thinking I have nothing to eat!

  2. There were no food stamps either we ate beans and cornbread and all kinds of potatoes biscuits and gravy bread pudding rice pudding peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we were not hungry . And our pets ate the same thing.

  3. I’ve always told my kids if you have the basics in the cup you’ll never go hungry. May not be what you want but keeps tummies fed

  4. And here is something I noticed, with all the diseases we have now like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and so on. Where were they back then? After all all the fat we used was lard !!!

  5. I love this. I noticed on the candy one that they listed Fruit Rolls, and reading the recipe, it’s very similar to the protein balls that we make today, with dried fruit and nuts. Very cool.

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