But there was no sign of a lack of cutting edge as Hughton's team pulled West Brom apart with their biggest win of the season.
Guaranteed a top-half finish, the Baggies, who have now suffered three straight defeats, simply had no match for the intensity of a home side that never looked inhibited by the significance of the occasion.
Hughton proud to keep Norwich up
The visitors were cut open when Anthony Pilkington drifted in from the right flank and his firm effort was palmed down by Foster before Jonas Olsson hacked clear - but the breakthrough did come after 25 minutes.
Holt's cross from the right was headed down by Norwich centre-back Ryan Bennett.
Foster was quickly off his line to deny Hoolahan but Snodgrass squeezed a shot in to the top corner past Olsson for his seventh goal of the season.
West Brom goalkeeper Foster was tested again just before the interval when he pushed a fierce Hoolahan drive over the bar.
Baggies manager Steve Clarke signalled his frustration by putting on Billy Jones and Chris Brunt for Markus Rosenberg and Steven Reid at the break.
But Norwich continued to sweep forward and Holt added a second just after the hour thanks to an error from Foster.
Clarke rues 'worst' defeat of season
The West Brom goalkeeper raced out to clear a Hoolahan through-ball but failed to make contact and Holt was able to stroll towards the empty net before tapping in.
Less than three minutes later, Hoolahan whipped in a free-kick from the right and the ball glanced off McAuley and into the corner of his own net.
It was a measure of West Brom's disappointing performance that Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy, returning from more than five months out with a thigh problem, was not really tested until he held a Jones effort in the 72nd minute.
And in the final minute, Howson swapped passes with Luciano Becchio before bending a shot into the top corner.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton:
"It's a feeling of massive pride and we made life quite difficult in the second half of the season but that's an indication of how tough this league is. We have to fight for every win and were in a downward spiral we found it difficult to get out of.
"There was nerves and anxiety. We were desperate to stay in the Premier League and knew a win would make sure we retained our Premier League status and the way we went about it from the first minute was excellent.
"Being in the Premier League means everything and we're looking forward to next season."
West Brom manager Steve Clarke:
"We were very disappointing. From the off Norwich were on top of us, we couldn't get a foothold and were second best for most of the game.
"It was definitely the worst performance of the season by a considerable distance. It's now the kind of performance you associate West Brom with and we want better next week.
"They were sharper, brighter and had more energy from the first minute."
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