How Much Ground Beef Per Person (For Every Kind Of Meal)
Ground beef is a favorite ingredient in many kitchens, as it is tasty and versatile, and it can go quite far when cooking for small or large groups.
The tricky part comes with deciding how much ground beef you need, as you want everyone to have enough food, but you do not want to completely over-cater and have food go to waste.
The amount of ground beef you need will also depend on the meal you are making.
How much ground beef do you need per person?
How much ground beef you need per person will depend on the meal you are making, such as tacos, chili or burgers. If you are making a pasta-based dish, around 4 oz of ground beef per person is fine, however if you are making hamburgers, you will need nearly double this.
Keep reading to find out how much ground beef you need per person for every kind of meal, so none of your family or guests leave the table hungry!
How Much Ground Beef Is Considered A Single Serving?
If you are looking at just a single serving of ground beef, with no other ingredients included, then a single serving would be roughly 8 ounces per person.
However, this single serving per person will decrease if you are adding other ingredients to the ground beef, such as vegetables, sauce, pasta, or more.
These ingredients bulk up the ground beef so you can lessen the amount of meat you add to the meal.
It is also worth noting that ground beef loses around a quarter of its weight when cooked, so think about how much cooked ground beef you want per person, and add a quarter weight onto this.
How Much Ground Beef Per Person For Different Meals
You will not use the same amount of ground beef per person when cooking hamburgers as you would when making spaghetti.
To help you cater the right amount of food, whether for a family meal or an occasion at your home, read on to find out how much ground beef is needed for different meals.
Ground Beef Per Person For Hamburgers
Hamburgers call for quite a bit of ground beef per person, as the burger forms the bulky part of the meal, and you want to make sure you are serving hearty, thick burger patties.
When working out how much ground beef to use per person for hamburgers, you need to consider who you are catering too.
If you think that each person will have two burgers each, or if you want to play it safe and cater for two burgers per person, then 8 ounces of beef is a good portion per person.
This allows for two burgers at 4 ounces each, and will give you good size patties.
You can measure out each portion for each burger while making the patties, and shape them and keep them in the fridge until it is cooking time.
If you are catering for children, you might want to lessen the quantity a bit, but you do not want to be left without enough food for seconds.
Ground Beef Per Person For Tacos
Everybody loves tacos, so it is a great meal to serve for your family or guests, especially when they get to decide on the toppings they want.
It is difficult to determine exactly how many tacos each person will have but if you have a good amount of toppings to bulk up the tacos, then it is safe to work on two tacos per person (you can adjust the amounts if you want to cater more per person)
Each taco would need around 2.5 ounces of ground beef, so per person, you should work on 5 ounces of ground beef.
Multiply this by the number of people you are cooking for, and you will have how much ground beef you need to buy.
You can get away with slightly less ground beef per person if you are going to bulk up the ground beef with onion, beans and more. You can also provide more toppings to fill up the tacos too, so less ground beef is needed.
Ground Beef Per Person For Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes, like hamburgers, are a ground-beef-centered dish, but unlike hamburgers, Sloppy Joes are made with additional ingredients and sauce, so the ground beef is bulked up quite a bit.
For this reason, you cannot work on the same amount of ground beef per person for Sloppy Joes that you would for hamburgers.
On average, one Sloppy Joe sandwich will use around 3 ounces of ground beef.
To be safe, you should cater for two sandwiches per person, which would make it 6 ounces of ground beef per person.
You can then multiply this by the number of people you are preparing the Sloppy Joes for.
You can bulk up the ground beef with some other ingredients if wanted, add in more sauces and vegetables, and reduce the amount of ground beef you use, without anyone going hungry.
Remember that the longer you cook the Sloppy Joe, the more the sauce will reduce, so try not to cook it for so long that there is little sauce left.
Ground Beef Per Person For Spaghetti
Almost every family will have their own spaghetti sauce recipe, and the main ingredient used to make the special sauce is ground beef.
When making spaghetti, it is worth over-catering just slightly, so you have some leftovers to enjoy the next day!
There are quite a few additional ingredients that go into making spaghetti sauce, such as onions, tomatoes etc, so it does bulk up quite a bit.
Because of this, you don’t need as much ground beef per person, as the additional ingredients make up for it.
The right amount of ground beef per person for spaghetti is about 4 ounces, which isn’t all that much, but it is enough when mixed in with the other ingredients, and the pasta.
You might want to double up this ground beef amount per person and batch-cook spaghetti, to freeze the sauce for an easy midweek meal at a later stage!
Ground Beef Per Person For Chilli
Chilli, like spaghetti sauce, does not call for a large portion of ground beef per person, as the ground beef is cooked along with other ingredients to bulk it up, and while the ground beef is a main ingredient, it is not the only ingredient used.
However, you will need slightly more ground beef per person for chili than you would for spaghetti sauce.
When making chili, cater around 5 ounces of ground beef per person. The other ingredients will fill up the meal and create a delicious dish.
This will give you enough chili per person, and you might even have some left over to freeze or enjoy the next day.
You can adjust how much ground beef you use per person if you are going to include more ingredients in the meal, or less, but working with 5 ounces each is a good starting point.
Ground Beef Per Person For Meatloaf
A family classic, meatloaf is a staple mid-week dinner in many homes, and it is that hearty meal that has you going back for seconds.
When making meatloaf, you want to make sure that everyone leaves the dinner table full, and the best way to do this is to cater enough ground beef per person.
A typical slice of meatloaf will contain around 4 ounces of ground beef, and generally, each person will have two slices of meatloaf for dinner. From this, you can work on around 8 ounces of ground beef per person.
You can add in more vegetables to bulk out the meatloaf more, but 8 ounces per person should be more than enough.
You might want to add in an extra portion of ground beef, just to make sure there is enough, and to have a portion leftover for lunch the next day.
Ground Beef Per Person For Meatballs
Meatballs are dense, and while served similar to spaghetti sauce, they do require slightly more ground beef per person.
Whether you are making meatball pasta, or serving meatballs on mashed potatoes, you would want everyone to have enough meatballs to fill them up.
A good portion size to work on is to provide 5 ounces of ground beef per person when making meatballs.
This will make four large meatballs, or around six smaller meatballs, per person. You can add onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs and other ingredients to bulk the meatballs up more.
Served with sauce and spaghetti or mashed potatoes, this should be a filling meal for your family or guests!
Ground Beef Per Person For Taco Salad
For a healthier meal, you might want to make some taco salads. When making taco salads, ground beef is not the bulk of the meal, as the salad items and cheese would play a big role as well.
For this reason, you can get away with catering less ground beef per person than you would with tacos.
To cater enough ground beef for each person, work on around 4 ounces of ground beef per person, although you could probably get away with around 3 ounces if you are bulking up the salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beans and more.
Ground Beef Per Person For Burritos
If you are making ground beef burritos, then you would want the burritos to be nice and full, and not limp and sad!
You can bulk up the burrito with other ingredients, such as rice, cheese, beans and more, but you will need around 5 ounces of ground beef per person. This will likely give you leftovers, but it is better than not having enough.
Ground Beef Per Person Chart
Here is a chart showing the amount of ground beef per person for different meals:
|Meal||Ground Beef Per Person|
|Sloppy Joes||6 ounces|
|Taco Salad||4 ounces|
|Beef Burritos||5 ounces|
What About Ground Pork Or Ground Turkey?
If you prefer using ground pork or ground turkey in place of ground beef, then you might be concerned about the right ratios to use.
When using ground pork or ground turkey, you can work on a similar portion size per person to ground beef, but also keep in mind the other ingredients you will be adding to the ground meat, and what you will be serving it with.
Make sure that when substituting pork or turkey, it has a similar fat content to the ground beef you were going to use, especially if you are using a specific recipe.
How Much Beef Is Needed Per Person?
When deciding how much meat to cater for per person, you need to consider what type of meat you are purchasing.
We have covered the portion size per person for ground beef above, but here are some portion sizes for different types of meat:
Purchasing bone-in meat is a little tough, as you need to factor in the bone weight, and make sure there is enough meat to fill everyone up.
Generally, you should work on around 1 lb of bone-in meat per adult, and around ½ lb of bone-in meat per child.
However, this is adjustable if the adult or child eats more, or if you are wanting to have some leftovers to enjoy.
Boneless meat is easier to work out portion size as you do not have to factor in the bone weight, and the weight of the meat is what you are able to cook and eat.
For boneless meat, work on around ½ lb per adult, and ¼ lb per child.
This will obviously depend on what you are making, and whether you are adding in any other ingredients to bulk up the boneless meat.
When catering for children, think of their age as well. A teenager will definitely eat more than a 5-year-old would, so adjust the quantities accordingly.
How Much Ground Beef Per Person
The key to cooking for your family or guests is to know how much food to cater, so that everyone has had enough by the end of the meal, and nobody is left hungry. It also helps prevent you from over-buying and having too much food left over.
To help you out, we have created this guide on how much ground beef you need per person for a variety of different ground beef meals, so you can be sure that you are using the right amount of ground beef per person, and hopefully land up with some leftovers to enjoy the next day!
Is one pound of ground beef enough for a family of four?
One pound of ground beef might not seem like too much for a family, but cooked right, a pound of ground beef can go a long way, and can provide enough food for a family of four.
A good meal to make with a pound of ground beef is spaghetti sauce or chili, as you can bulk it up with other ingredients to make it go further.
What is an easy way to measure out ground beef?
If you do not have a scale to use, then you can simply use the palm of your hand to measure out your servings. One palm size of ground beef is approximately 3 ounces, so you can use this to measure out your meals.