This Is My Favorite Family Recipe To Take To Potlucks

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

The next time you are asked to bring something to a potluck dinner, do yourself a favor and make this dish! Believe it or not, I’ve been making this hearty “hotdish” for about 30 years now. The recipe was originally given to me by my mother-in-law Dorothy shortly after I married into the Nystul family. (But what exactly is a hotdish, you ask? It’s a type of casserole dish that originated in the Upper Midwest, but many people use the term to describe any kind of casserole dish!)

Oddly enough, around the same time I received this recipe from my mother-in-law, my dad’s long-time secretary Rose shared a very similar recipe with me. Both recipes were products of the Norwegian Lutheran immigrant population that settled in North Dakota and Minnesota in the late 1800’s. After making both recipes, I couldn’t decide which one I liked better, so I decided to combine the two! But they were really so similar that I didn’t have to change all that much.

Related: The One Salad That Will Steal The Spotlight At Your Next Potluck

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

The best way I can think of to describe this hotdish is that it’s somewhere in the middle between baked beans and chili. It’s savory with a hint of sweetness, and most importantly, it’s always a hit no matter when or where I serve it! And here’s how you can make it at home.

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

Dorothy’s Five-Bean Hotdish

Ingredients:

1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb ground beef
1 medium white onion, diced
1 (15-ounce) can green beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can lima beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can yellow wax beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can pork and beans
2 cups ketchup
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp salt

Directions:

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

Add the ground beef, bacon, and onion to a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain the meat mixture and transfer it to a large roasting pan.

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

Add the green beans, lima beans, kidney beans, wax beans, pork and beans, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt to the roasting pan.

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

Stir everything together, then cover the roasting pan with the lid. Place the covered pan in your oven and cook for 60 minutes at 350°F.

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

This may seem like the perfect dish to bring to a summer picnic, and it is! But trust me, you can whip up this hotdish at any time of the year, and you will still have happy eaters! I’ve served this recipe at barbecues, picnics, church potlucks, and even holiday dinners to rave reviews. And feel free to substitute with whatever beans strike your fancy! You can’t really mess this recipe up.

What’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck or picnic?

Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

Dorothy’s Five-Bean Hotdish

Jill Nystul
The next time you are asked to bring something to a potluck dinner, do yourself a favor and make this five bean hotdish! The best way I can think of to describe this hotdish is that it’s somewhere in the middle between baked beans and chili, and it's 100% delicious.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 292 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 1 15-ounce can green beans drained
  • 1 15-ounce can lima beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can yellow wax beans drained
  • 1 15-ounce can pork and beans
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Add the ground beef, bacon, and onion to a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain the meat mixture and transfer it to a large roasting pan.
    Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish
  • Add the green beans, lima beans, kidney beans, wax beans, pork and beans, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt to the roasting pan.
    Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish
  • Stir everything together, then cover the roasting pan with the lid. Place the covered pan in your oven and cook for 60 minutes at 350°F.
    Grandma's 5-Bean HotDish

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 8gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 619mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 160IUVitamin C: 2.1mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1.3mg

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • We call these “Calico Beans” but I do not use waxed beans or green beans. I throw mine into a crock pot. Yes everywhere I take this it is a huge hit. Since it makes so much and there is only two in my family, I would take some to a gentleman at church because he liked it so much.

    Another recipe that people request of mine is “Broccoli Salad”. Here’s the recipe. Feel free to try.

    BROCCOLI SALAD

    1 bunch broccoli
    1 purple onion
    1 C Sharp cheddar cheese (coarse or fine)
    * I take the broccoli stalks and shred them in a salad shooter this makes all the difference in the salad.
    Mix together

    DRESSING

    1 C Hellmanns mayonnaise (do not use Miracle Whip does not taste right)
    2 Tbsp Vinegar
    1/3 C Sugar (original recipe calls for 1/2 but I find that too sweet)
    Whisk well together until sugar dissolves

    Put dressing on salad. Enjoy!

    When I go to parties I throw into a large baggie then put into bowl when I arrive. Saves on mess.

  • Thank you so much for the printing of recipes function! It is especially nice to have the Nutrition Facts with the recipe like that.
    ~ginny

  • You can also put follow the recipe, but put it all in a slow cooker in the morning and in a few hours it’s ready. Hate using the oven on these hot summer days!

    • You can use a sugar free ketchup if you want, and you can always leave out the brown sugar or only use a little bit. It is a sweet dish, but it’s balanced by the meaty flavors and the tangy vinegar. :-)

    • Hi Patty! I actually forgot to add the printable recipe card, but I just added it now! It is very easy to print out now – just press the print button on the recipe card at the bottom of the post :-) Sorry for the hassle!!

  • I would if I made this just leave out the Lima beans. My mom has a bean salad that’ good. It has kidney, green beans, garbanzo, wax beans, onion and green pepper. I think it has vinegar. You let all the ingredients marinate in the fridge..Sorry I don’t have the recipe in front of me. We are on vacation.

  • I take a new spin on baked beans. I mix red kidney and pinto beans, drained, add onion and peppers, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, a little yellow mustard and cilantro. I do not like my beans real sweet so I very little of the sweeter. Bake at 350 till hot and bubbly.

  • In Nebraska and Iowa, it’s called Pioneer Beans or Calico Beans. Very similar recipe, but with just a few different types of beans in it. And it is yummy!

  • Thanks!!! Looks wonderful!!! A nice surprise for our Labor Day family get together. We’ll let you know the
    ooooohs and ahhhhhs. I do a cold dish that I call my 29 Bean Salad — way less than that actually, but just an expanded 3-bean salad. Whatever rinsed canned beans you like — red pinto, black-eyed, black, limas, garbonzos, what-have-you, with cauliflower nubs, corn off the cob, crunchy fresh uncooked green beans, red bell pepper in nickel-size bits, sunflower seeds, even rough chopped sweet pickles, feta or other cheese you pick, chopped chives, slivers of fresh green onion (or not), water chestnuts, drained canned or fresh mushroom slices, a few crispy bean sprouts, minced parsley . . . anything you fancy that you can eat cold — the works!!! Your own homemade or even a bottled oil/vinagrette dressing with a dash of Balsamic and a squirt of Tabasco green works wonders. Warning: it GROWS as you combine your faves . . . you’ll end up with enough to happy a whole neighborhood. Happy Summer, Jillee!!!

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