How Much Ground Beef For Tacos? (Per Taco, Per Person)

Make way — I’ve got taco fever!

No really, it’s getting hot in here trying to prepare all these tacos for my guests.

Luckily I’ve done this before and have planned ahead of time, knowing exactly how much ground beef I needed, and exactly how much to put in each taco.

Believe me, you only make the mistake of not preparing enough meat ONCE!

So, if you’re preparing tacos for any sized crowd you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s how much ground beef you should put in one taco, how many tacos you should serve per person, and how much ground beef you’ll need per person when making tacos!

Let’s work backwards.

You don’t want to be skimping on the meat in any taco, but you don’t want it to be overflowing either!

By first knowing how much ground beef you’ll need per taco, you’ll be able to more easily estimate how much ground beef you’re going to need overall.

What you’ll find is that about 2 ounces or 0.125 pounds of cooked ground beef is the perfect amount per taco. This goes for any standard-sized soft-shell or hard-shell tacos.

Of course, you can increase or decrease this amount depending on the size of your tacos, and how much other fillings you plan to be putting in them!

How Many Tacos To Serve Per Person

The next piece of the puzzle is knowing how many tacos to serve per person.

While some argue that two tacos each is plenty, in my experience I’ve found this leaves guests wanting more and often looking for extras!

To ensure every guest is left absolutely satisfied you should plan to serve three tacos per person.

Now, there are those individuals who will happily polish off four or five tacos. But three is more than enough to fill up the average adult and keep them content without making them feel stuffed!

How Much Ground Beef For Tacos Do You Need Per Person?

Now that we know how much ground beef to put into each taco and how many tacos you should serve per person, it’s time to put everything together.

But first, one thing to be aware of is that ground beef will lose about 25% of it’s weight over the cooking process.

If you’re preparing to serve tacos for a crowd, you need to factor this into your calculations.

To make things easy, we’ve done this for you!

So, if you’re planning to serve ground beef tacos, you’ll need 0.5 pounds/ 8 ounces of raw ground beef to make 0.375 pounds/ 6 ounces of cooked ground beef per person.

This will be enough to make 3 tacos per person, with each taco containing roughly 0.125 pounds or 2 ounces of cooked ground beef per taco.

How Much Ground Beef Do You Need For 10 People For Tacos?

Cooking for 10 people is much more enjoyable and much less stressful!

But still, you don’t want to be caught off guard.

To ensure you’ve got enough ground beef for 10 people for making tacos prepare:

  • Five pounds of raw ground beef. 
  • This will yield about 3.75 pounds of cooked ground beef, enough to make 30 tacos in total. Each taco should hold roughly 2 ounces of beef, allowing three tacos per person.

How Much Ground Beef Do You Need For 20 People For Tacos?

Now this is where things start to get a little crazy. Yup, you’ve got to make 60 tacos for 20 people.

Be sure to prepare:

  • 10 pounds of raw ground beef, yielding 7.5 pounds of cooked ground beef in total. This will be enough to stuff each taco with 2 ounces of ground beef each, serving three tacos to each person.

How Much Ground Beef Do You Need For 50 People For Tacos?

Time to roll up your sleeves and get taco-ing.

But really, cooking for 50 people is no walk in the park.

Be sure to prepare at least 25 pounds of raw ground beef. This will yield about 18.75 pounds of cooked ground beef.

This will be enough for a total of 150 tacos, 3 per person, filled will roughly 2 ounces of cooked ground beef each taco.

How Much Ground Beef Do You Need For 100 People For Tacos?

If you can pull off feeding 100 people tacos, I will hereby proclaim you the king or queen of tacos.

But, you’re going to need some expert level preparations:

  • Start with 50 pounds of raw ground beef, which will yield 37.5 pounds of cooked ground beef.
  • Make sure you get at least 300 taco shells, feeding 3 per person.
  • Stuff each taco with approximately 2 ounces or 0.125 pounds of cooked ground beef.

How Many Tacos Will One Pound Of Meat Make?

So you’ve got yourself one pound of meat have you? Or maybe you’re just curious how many tacos you can make from one pound of meat – a fair enough question.

You can safely assume that one pound of cooked meat will make about 8 tacos, given that you can stuff about 0.125 pounds (or 2 ounces) of meat in every taco.

But, if you’ve got one pound of raw meat then it’s really only going to yield about 0.75 pounds of cooked meat, as it’s normal to lose about 25% of its raw weight over the cooking period.

So one pound of raw meat will yield only enough meat for 6 tacos after it’s been cooked.

What Type Of Ground Beef Is Best For Tacos?

Now that you know exactly how much ground beef you’ll need to prepare for your event, it’s time to look at what type of ground beef is best for tacos.

Firstly, ground beef is usually made from a few different cuts of beef, referred to as source grinds, as in where was the ground meat sourced from.

You can find ground sirloin, ground round, and ground chuck.

Then, there’s the fat content. You can find any variation of fat-to-protein ratio’s between about 5-30% fat. The most common is 10% lean, 20% lean, or 30% lean, meaning 10%, 20%, and 30% fat respectively.

When it comes to the source grind, it’s really up to you and your style.

But, when it comes to the fat content, the tastiest and most tender option tends to be 20% lean ground beef.

More often than not if you overcook leaner ground beef it can become tough and chewy

Alternatively, you can mix your ground beef with ground pork for extra flavor too!

Best Fillings For Ground Beef Tacos

Tacos are like a blank canvas. The paint, which makes things so special, is all the fillings you stuff inside them!

When making ground beef as your meat filling for your tacos, there are a few classic fillings you can top them off with, sure to leave a smile on everyone’s dial. 

These are:

  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Refried Beans Or Black Beans
  • Pickled Onions
  • Rice
  • Avocado
  • Chili Peppers
  • Capsicum
  • Coriander

My advice: don’t go overboard. Selecting 3-4 sides is usually enough to give variety without people being too spoiled for choice!

Other Considerations When Serving Tacos To A Crowd

The hardest part is over. Now that you’ve made the preparations for all your meat and fillings, it’s time to sort out the last remaining steps.

But, serving your tacos, choosing your sides, and keeping things warm are all important considerations too!

Serving Your Tacos

Depending on the size of the crowd your feeding, you may wish to adjust your strategy for serving tacos.

For instance, it’s easy to serve all your ingredients on a board or setting and have everyone serve themselves if you’re feeding from 5-20 people.

But, anything more than 20 people and you’ll probably want to set up a taco bar or taco stand. This way your guests can line up, serve themselves their tacos, and move on.

Alternatively, you can do the hard yards in the kitchen making each taco, and bring them out in platters for guests to simply pick up and start chomping away on!

Side Dishes For Ground Beef Tacos

Let’s be honest here. In most cases, the humble taco don’t need no side dishes.

But, depending on the event you may wish to serve some appetizers, or snacks along with your tacos.

Most people will eat their tacos with their hands, so it’s important to stick with this theme for any side dishes, otherwise, it can get awkward.

Finger foods like tortilla chips or carrot or celery sticks and dipping sauce work well.

How To Keep Meat Filling Warm While Serving

If you’re planning to let your guests create their own tacos, then it’s important you implement a way for the ground beef to stay warm!

Nobody wants a cold meat taco. At least not as much as a fresh hot taco that’s for sure.

Usually, I transfer all my cooked ground beef to an electric hot pot and set it to warm. This keeps things at a warm, but safe food temperature, and doesn’t dry out your ground beef.

This works well for heaps of other meat fillings too, like when serving pulled pork to a crowd.

Final Thoughts

Ahh! Can you smell that? That’s the smell of taco success.

All because you prepared the correct amount of ground beef per person, enough tacos, and the perfect fillings.

Remember, you’ll want to serve three tacos per person, each filled with roughly 2 ounces of cooked ground beef.

That means you need to prepare 0.5 pounds or 8 ounces of raw ground beef, to make 0.375 pounds or 6 ounces of cooked ground beef per person!

Follow this and you’ll have enough for everybody, plus a bit extra for those that like a little more, or leftovers for yourself the following day!

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