Resident Recipe Spotlight: Block Party Beans by Thomas L.

Posted on: August 28, 2023

From Thanksgiving dinners to birthday cake to an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a summer day, food is woven into the fabric of our memory.

At Otterbein’s SeniorLife Neighborhoods, we understand that – and it’s why we encourage our elders to share their favorite family recipes with one another. In this blog post, you’ll get the recipe for elder Thomas L.’ famous “Block Party Beans” and learn what makes them so irresistible.

My Favorite Recipe:

The Block Party Beans recipe is a longtime favorite for Thomas L., an elder at an Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhood.

Thomas said he “loves beans,” so he was very excited when he first found this recipe. He shared it with his wife, LaDonna, and she tweaked it to make the perfect dish for her husband.

The first time LaDonna made it, Thomas said, “We had beans for months because it is enough to feed a block party.”

His family now takes the dish to parties, holidays, and family reunions. After Thomas shared this recipe with Otterbein and enjoyed it together with all the elders, they agreed it is a favorite and will be shared for generations to come.

Related: See what makes an Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhood so special >>

Block Party Beans Recipe

Follow the directions below to make your own batch of Block Party Beans – enough to feed a crowd! If you have fewer hungry mouths to feed, the recipe can be reduced.


2 pounds ground beef

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) cream of tomato soup, undiluted

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

1/2 cup of ketchup

1 can (16 ounces) green beans, drained

1 can (17 ounces) lima beans, drained

1 can (15-1/2 ounces) wax beans, drained

1 can (15-16 ounces) chili beans, undrained

1 can (16 ounces) pork and beans, undrained

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons prepared mustard


  1. In a large Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

  2. Add onions and celery; cook uncovered until tender.

  3. Stir in the soup, tomato paste, and ketchup; simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Spoon into a large roaster. Stir in the beans, brown sugar, and mustard. Bake uncovered at 350° for 1 hour.

Life at Otterbein Small House Neighborhoods

At Otterbein’s SeniorLife Neighborhoods, you’ll experience our high nursing-to-elder ratio as you see the care team spending time with the elders, partaking in every part of the day with them, and serving them in compassion and love.

Families are welcome to visit at any time and are encouraged to stay for meals and participate in activities with their loved ones. Our elders – like Thomas above – share their family recipes, which are brought to life for everyone to enjoy around the family-style dining table.

Finally, families can decorate each private bedroom and bathroom to make their loved one feel right at home. Each home has a beautiful patio area with a screened-in porch that looks out to a peaceful yard. Outside, grandkids come to play and make special memories with their loved ones. It’s just like home because it is home.

Interested in skilled nursing at Otterbein SeniorLife? Download our Small House…Big Difference guide to see more differences between our neighborhood model and a traditional nursing home.

Small House, Big Difference Guide