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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

Taco Bar and TexMex Buffets
Amy
amymslife@hotmail.com
09/25/05
How much hamburger and black beans do I need to serve 50 people tacos? (When this is being served with all the taco fixings and spanish rice, as well)
ellen

09/25/05
I have sent a page that may help by email.
joanne
lilprtyone@aol.com
10/06/05
how much meat will i need to feed 30 people a taco bar. rice and beans and appetizers also
ellen

10/06/05
Only about 6 pounds of meat-
Miguel
miguel.loya@tstc.net
10/12/05
We will be making a combination plate for 100 people the middle of next month. The plate will include beef fajita,chicken leg or thigh, sausage, mexican rice, beans, and 2 slices of bread with 1 jalapeno. How much of each will we need.
This is for our Computer Drafting Club.

Thank You
Club President

ellen

10/12/05
Hey, Miguel,
allow 3 ounces ready to eat beef (5 people per pound, 2 ounces of sausage, 1/2 cup each rice and beans, 10 pounds of chicken quarters is about 18 pieces (6-7 ounces with bone), and the usual pack for a case of chicken is 40 pounds. Suggest tortillas instead of beans- alow 3 to 4 each.
Miguel
miguel.loya@tstc.net
10/14/05
Hi again Hellen,

Thank you for responding to my e-mail.
I forgot to ask about how much raw rice and beans for 100 people. Or how many servings per pound of raw beans and rice.

Thank You

ellen

10/14/05
Miguel, look in the recipes from Big Pots for rice and bean recipes. There are lots of different recipes for you.
Kaye
kdill@integrity.com
10/25/05
Ellen,
I am in need of figuring out how much taco meat, lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and shredded lettuce for 400 tacos.
I would appreciate your help with this.
Thanks so much!
Kaye
ellen

10/26/05
Well, I put the page up but the link can only be found on the "New Pages" page, go there and the link will take you to the recipes for your exact info.
Sue
sue@floristintheforest.com
11/10/05
Would you suggest a spanish rice recipe that I could bake for 40 people? Maybe with some green chiles and cheese. I'm open to any suggestions that you might have. Thank You!
ellen

11/10/05
Go to the new pages page and use the link, it will give the amounts for the pink kind with vegetables. For green chiles and cheese rice, here is a family-size recipe. What might be handy about this is that the rice is cooked ahead, mixed and reheated, as opposed to the Spanish rice recipe which is made from scratch at the time of use.

GREEN CHILI RICE CASSEROLE-4 servings
10 times this recipe would fill about 4 9x13 casseroles.

3/4 c. cooked rice
1/2 pt. sour cream
1/2 can cream of celery soup
Salt as desired
1/2 lb. (2 cups)grated mild Cheddar cheese or Jack cheese
1 sm. can green chilies
1 tbsp. butter

Combine first 4 ingredients. In small greased casserole, make layers of rice mix, cheese and green chilies. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Dot casserole with butter. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

linda
iamlkbd@yahoo.com
01/17/06
How much sour cream, shredded lettuce,
diced tomatoes, guacamole, ground beef,
diced chicken for 250 soft 6" taco's
Renee
02/06/06
Taco Bar
Hello I'm serving taco's for my sons 1st birthday party for about 25 people. How much hamburger, tortillas, shells, etc. will I need?

Thank you!

ellen
02/06/06
Renee, all these items are alreadt covered in the TexMex pages- several different kinds of tacos.
laurie
04/28/06
We're doing a fundraiser, how much of taco meat, dorito's, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions and sour cream do I need. Each dorito bag is 1.25 oz and the taco meat comes in 5 lb bags. How many bags per 5 lb bag of meat?

Thank you,

Laurie

ellen
04/28/06
Laurie, are you making taco salads? Frito/Dorito pies? Nachos? What is your serving size and how many people are you serving? Please send more info.

Most of these dishes have some beans included when used as fundraisers.

Laurie
04/30/06
We are making Walking Taco's.... 100 people
each would include, 1 dorito (snack size)bag of chips, precooked Taco meat, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese and salsa.

I need to puchase at least 30 pounds of Taco Meat. It comes in qty 6 - 5 pound bags frozen.

Shredded cheese and lettuce comes in 5 pound bags.

ellen
04/30/06
1 1/2 ounces meat, 1 0unce (3-4 tablespoons) dheese, 2 rablespoons salsa, 1/2 ounce salsa per bag would be plenty
ellen
04/30/06
1/2 ounce lettuce I meam
Wanda Russell
05/16/06
We are making walking tacos at work, how much doritos, hamberger, lettuce, salsa, cheese, etc do I need? About 150 people

Thank you so much, Wanda

katrina hightower
06/06/06
I am planning to make fajitas (buffet style) for about 40 people. I calculated about 8-10 lbs. fajita beef and chicken based on the previous posts (does it matter if the posts were about taco beef (ground) vs. fajita beef (would I need more for fajita meat?)

Also, how much cheese and pico de gallo?

ellen
06/06/06
Since you have 2 choices, people will eat a little more, so go with the 10 pounds- maybe even 12 unless you are serving rice and beans as part of the side dishes. For the toppings, this will make you laugh, but use the servings for the Baked Potato Bar toppings. Be sure to allow at least 3 tortillas per person- people usually make 2 fajitas, but eat a 3rd with butter or guacamole or other toppings.
Robin Richter
06/21/06
WOW! You are a lifesaver!!!
Robin
Zoe
06/23/06
Hosting a party for approximately 60 people, 1/2 are kids. want to do 'walking tacos', but i don't know how much ground beef taco filling i need, and the assorted condiments(salsa, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, etc.). We will have plenty of other side dishes and dessert.

Please help me, i don't want my first block party to be a disaster.

Thanks,
Zoe

ellen
06/23/06
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex100.html s the page for general taco info. You will be surprised to learn that the topping amounts on the baked potato bar work pretty well for tacos and walking salads. One potato=1 walking salad or 2 to 3 tacos, depending on size of tortillas- smaller tortillas or crisp shells, hold a bit less.
Gina Robinson
06/28/06
I am making faitas for 50 ppl for my son's rehearsal dinner.
We will have chicken and beef with all the fixings.
Rice, beans and chips.
Okay you have answered this so many times but will 8 lbs of each meat cover us,150 torillas,
how many avacodos for guacamole?
Pico de gallo? chips and salsa?
Thanks a million.
G
Gina Robinson
06/28/06
Oh any easy good ideas for a dessert?
Ellen
06/28/06
Gina, as long as you have some grilled bell pepper strips with the meat, that shoul be fine. 3 tortillas each is OK, but they are cheap, so you could have some extra.
Pico de gallo, sour cream, etc, check the Baked Potato Bar page and use 1/2 the amount for 100.

Chips and salsa on the appetizer planning list. Avocados depends on the recipe. I would by a case at a big produce market (wholesaler) a week ahead. Tell the produce man when you plan to use them and he will sell you a case that will ripen perfectly, no bruises, and you will have plenty fresh, ripe avocados for your dinner.

If they get ripe a day ahead just refrigerate. If they are too slow, bury in flour for 24 hours the day before.

Desserts? Fresh cold watermelon, or a fruit salad with mango and papaya, and a good poundcake to ladle it over. A pourable custard sauce on the side if you like.

Kelly
06/28/06
I am having a grad party. 100 people. We are doing Taco Salad. (variety of chips instead of taco shells) I nee to know how many pds of hamburger, cheese, tomotoes, how much lettuce sour cream I will need. HELP!!!!
ellen
06/29/06
If you are mixing it in large bowls, use the trash bag taco salad recipe for 25 and make 4 times the amount. If people are putting them together themselves, use the figures from the baked potato bar toppings- plus 8-9 pounds of chips. If it is teens or there will be alcohol, add another 10% for a fudge factor- more gets eaten.
Julie
07/12/06
Boy Scout BBQ for 30 people
how much hamburger meat will I need to feed 30 people 15 Adults 15 Kids and Hot Dogs
ellen
07/12/06
Hi Julie, I allow 1 full burger (3 per pound)plus 1 hot dog or preferably Polish sausage or kielbasa per person. The grownup sausages taste better, even to the kids, and are more satisfying and if bought at a warehouse store are not much more expensive.
mardi
07/25/06
chicken salad croissants
How many chickens should I purchase for 300 small croissant sandwiches of chicken salad?
ellen
07/28/06
see the chicken salad section on the sandwich events page. 1 pound chicken is 2 cups, and a whole chicken makes just about 1/2 its original weight in meat.
Hailey
08/10/06
Hi I need to know about how much meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa I would need for about 50 people. I'm in charge of a church dinner and this is what we're planning but I don't know how much to buy-
ellen
08/10/06
It takes about the same amount per person as the baked potato bar- so you can use this for estimates. You want 2 shells and 2 soft tortillas for each person, and you will save money if you also serve rice and beans- see the tex mex page.
Julie Ross
08/17/06
Can't find the recipe amounts for taco salad to feed 100. Would appreciate the help as it is to be served 8/18/06 :)Thanks!
ellen
08/17/06
This is it:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html.

It makes lunch for 25, make it 4 times for 100

Bobby
09/05/06
Hello,
Im cooking beef taco for about 50-60 people can you tell me how many pounds of hamburger meat to buy?

Thank you

ellen
09/06/06
2 tacos apiece, 3 ounces of cooked ready to eat taco meat. That is about 2 pounds of raw regular hamburger for 9 people.
JoAnna Wilson
09/13/06
How many lbs. of beef & chicken fajita meat are needed for 11 adults & 7 children?
ellen
09/14/06
Fajitas are a meat heavy meal, but fajita tacos are not so much. It is usual to allow 5 ounces cooked beef, PLUS 3 ounces cooked chicken meat per adultperson- so 2 pounds raw beef for 5, 1 pound boneless skinless chicken for 4. Kids 6th grade or under, about 1/2- teens same as adults or a bit more-
LuAnne
09/15/06
Walking Taco Amounts
could someone please help me determine how much ground beef, lettuce tomatoes, cheese, etc. that I would need to feed 50 people walking tacos? Thanks for your help.
ellen
09/16/06
Answered in this thread 4/30/06
Kathryn
09/17/06
I'm serving nachos/taco salad to a group of about 50 mostly kids. I'd like to have chips and cheese plus ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes etc. so they can either make a taco salad or just have nachos. About how much food should I buy?
ellen
09/17/06
Count the adults as 1 and the kids under 12 as 1/2, and get the amounts for that number of persons. You can use the trash bag taco salad recipe anbd just not mix it up-

You want 1 ounce of chips per sperson, even the kids- everyone eats lots of chips. I getthe Fritos scoops or the tortilla style chips.

monica
12/12/06
hi i need to see how much spanish rice i need to feed 400 people
ellen
12/13/06
Start with about 30 ppunds dry rice. See the various recipes for 100 on the website.
Anna
01/23/07
We are planning our wedding, and I was wondering how much ground meat would I need to buy for about 300 people. I would also like to know how much lettecue and tomato, and cheese how many pound would I need.
ellen
01/23/07
Please see the texmex pages for taco gudance, but also, the toppings are almost exactly the same as is needed for a baked potato bar. There is a very comprehensive page on baked potato bars, take a look at that.
Sandy
02/01/07
How much shredded cheese will I need for fajitas for approx. 50 people.
ellen
02/01/07
about 3 pounds at a minimum.
Mary Jo
03/22/07
kielbasi for 100
How much kielbasi or if I chose to serve BBQ ham sandwiches would I need to serve 100 people?
ellen
03/23/07
About 2 pounds for each 5 people for the sausage, or 2 pounds for each 6-7 people for the ham.
Linda Christmas
04/12/07
I am making a taco bar for 100 people for a graduation open house could you please tell me how ground beef ,diced tomatoes.cheese lettuce and all the goodies i would need. thank so much LInda Christmas
ellen
04/12/07
Hi, Linda, use the baked potato bar page to estimte the toppings- it is almost exactly the same for a taco bar as for a baked potato bar.
Mike
04/23/07
How much spanish rice will we need to feed 50-60 people?

Thanks in advance

ellen
04/24/07
I have several different recipes for Spanish rice for 100, use 1/2 for 50 or 2/3 for 60+. You can use the search feature to find the recipes.
Dolores
05/15/07
Lbs of beef for tacos 100 persons?
How much beef filling do I need for 100 person taco bar?

Thank U

ellen
05/16/07
Allowing 2 tacoes per person, 18-22 pounds, assuming you will have beens and rice and shredded cheese. The amounts of topping for the baked potato bar are almost exact for taco bars, also.
Karrie
05/31/07
Meat
How much meat would I need to feed 50 people? Last year I had 9 lbs brats, 8 lbs sloppy joes, 8 chicken breasts, 1 pkg of hot dogs, 8 pks of hamburger buns and 3 pkgs of hot dog buns and everything went!!! So this year I might do a 6 ft sub (feeds 20-25 people) and then sloppy joes or pulled bbq pork. Do you think the sub will be enough and then just make how much of regular meat for the rest to feed? Also how many buns? I also had 5 salads and 2 batches of cheesy potatoes and that all went too. Any suggestions on how many salads or potatoes to feed 50? Thanks for all your help in advance!
ellen
05/31/07
Karrie, I have a recipe for the giant sandwich on my site.
This sounds like it was a very big eating crowd, teens or men predominating?
Anyway, if you want to do the subs, you might just do 3 and forget the other. Or use your experience from last year for a meat menu and increase everything by 1/3 with 24 chicken breasts.

As to the sides- The cheesy potatoes , you want an electric (nesco) roaster full, 12- 15 quarts. I would also add 2 gallons of baked beans (2 #10 cans plus fixings). You want at least 4-5 gallons of salads.

Karrie
05/31/07
Thanks Ellen! Yes its mostly my cousins (teenagers) and mostly men. I just couldn't believe how much food they ate!!! I felt bad when I ran out of hot dog buns too! Thanks for your advice :)
Ann
06/19/07
Will 15 pounds of hamburger be enough to mix with the taco mix to prepare for approximately 60 people.
Ann
06/19/07
I did not say what I was making with the hamburger, Ellen, but I am trying to make walking tacos.
ellen
06/19/07
I have a walking taco salad recipe on the site and that should be fine if you are assembling them. If it is self serve, add a couple of pounds.
Rhonda
06/23/07
sloppy joes
do you have a good sloppy joe recipe for 100 please
ellen
06/23/07
Hi, Rhonda,

Sloppy Joes have a lot of family/regional variations, so here is a basic recipe with several variations you can use depending on your crowd (for example, teens usually like chili powder, kindergarteners don't). You can reduce costs and fats by using up to 1/2 regular ground turkey as part of the meat. You can make a vegetarian variation using lentils or black caviar beans or TVP.

This is very easy to make in an electric roaster (Nesco, etc). 1 recipe fills 1 roaster and serves 100 regular eaters (about 9-10 dozen buns).

Sloppy Joes for 100

12 quarts, serves 100 regular eaters. Increase about 1/3 if serving teens only. This recipe fills one electric roaster.

non-stick cooking spray
22 pounds ground beef (may use 1/2 ground turkey)
4 large onions, chopped
4 large green peppers, chopped OR additional onions
4 cups chopped celery
OPTIONAL 1/4 to1/2 cup chili powder
OPTIONAL 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons black pepper
OPTIONAL1 1/2 cup cocoa powder PLUS 2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 cups ketchup OR barbecue sauce*
2 cans (12 oz each) tomato paste*
4 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce*
6 to 8 cups water*
1 cup vinegar
1/4 to 2/3 cup worcestershire sauce
check salt before serving
To serve:
112 hamburger buns
CONDIMENTS pickles, mustard, ketchup, relish, barbecue sauce, tomato slices, onion slices, or other condiments and toppers

Cheeseburger variation:
Omit cocoa. 1 hour before serving, stir in:
6 pounds velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
8-12 cloves garlic, crushed

*You can substitute 1 #10 can ketchup for all these products.

On top of the stove, start the onions in about 2 cups of water, cook until tender but not colored. Add and brown the beef, optional garlic, optional chili powder, peppers and celery in batches until all meat is browned.
Roaster: Set your roaster to 250 degrees, spray the liner with nonstick spray. Remove meat to the roaster withwith a slotted spoon to a roaster, leaving behind much of the grease. Add the sauce ingredients. Cover and simmer 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn down to 180 degrees to hold for serving.
Oven: Set oven to 300 degrees, cover pan tightly with lid or foil. Cook 2-3 hours, turn down to 180 degrees to hold for serving.
Serve on buns with condiments on the side (see the sandwich event page for amounts of condiments).

ellen
06/23/07
By the way, this can be made ahead and frozen in freezer baggies, then thawed overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
ELIZABETH
06/25/07
Feeding 100 people
hello ellen,

i am having a birthday/anniversary party and will be having a bar-b-que style party. i am not sure how much food to buy to serve 100 people; here is the following menu, i hope you can help me out:

hamburgers
hot dogs
potato salad
bread/rolls
beans
salad
corn -n-cob
macaroni & cheese
cole slaw

thanx
elizabeth

ellen
06/25/07
I allow 1 burger (4 to the pound) PlUS 1 hot dog per person, and always have enough. ALL the other items are covered in the plan for 100 page, the brisket and BBQ page and condiments are on the sandwich events page, and those pages are linked to the buttons at the top of the cook talk page. When you prepare your estimate from the tables, I will be glad to check it if you post it. It takes two people working a very large grill (and doing nothing else) to handle the grilling for this size party.
Janae
06/26/07
I am planning a luncheon for work. There will be about 125 people. I will be cooking all the taco meat. I will be assigning out the following items to various groups who will be attending. Could you help me figure out how much of everything will be needed, so I can communicate it correctly?

Taco Meat
Various Taco Shells
Tortilla Chips
Salsa
Nacho Sauce
Beans (refried and/or black)
sour cream
guacamole
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
olives
Spanish Rice
Drinks
Dessert

Thanks for your help.

ellen
06/27/07
Interestingly, the toppings and quantities for a taco bar are just the same as for a baked potato bar, and there is a whole section for that- includes nacho cheese- button at the top of the main cook talk page. If you have 1 1/3 times the amount for 100, you will have plenty for 125.
Beans 8 pounds raw or 20 pounds cooked per 100.
Taco shells and tortillas, about 2 crisp and 1 soft per person. I recommend corn.
For the rice, you want about 9-10 pounds of raw rice- see the various oven rice recipes for 100-
8 pounds corn chips per 100 people allows for snacking and taco salad makers.
Beverages are covered on the beverage planning page.
Desserts are covered on the dessert planning page, but basically you need 1 9x13 pan of whatever for each 10-12 people.
Janae
06/28/07
Thank you for your help.
Linda
07/18/07
BBQ Benefit
how many onions, pickels to I need for hamburgers for 800 people
ellen
07/19/07
There is a condiment table for 100 on the sandwich event page- you will find what you need.
tamera
08/09/07
I am cooking tacos for 60 people how much ground beef do I need?
ellen
08/09/07
About 1 pound of regular 70/30 hamburger for each 4-5 people- less with beans, more with no beans.
Tamera
08/13/07
Thank you so much for your help.
Amy
08/26/07
I am having a nacho dinner night for about 60 people. I just want to serve chips, cheese, hamburger, and salsa. How much of each do I need? Thanks!
ellen
08/27/07
Hi Amy,

You will save money if you add beans, salsa and jalapeno rings to the meal- assuming these are pretty good eaters, this is about what I would use:

This is about what I would use for 100 people:

10 pounds chips

#10 can jalapeno rings (we like them around here)

Tomatoes, fresh,diced/finely chopped
6 lb 6 oz
3 1 / 4 quarts

Cheese, shredded
Cheddar or American, Swiss, Mozzarella or Monterey Jack
7 pounds
7 quarts
If you use nacho cheese sauce, you need 3-4 #10 cans (the great big ones)

beans
1 gallon refried

Meat 1/4 cup per person
13 pounds

Sour cream
6 1 / 4 cups

salsa or pico de gallo
3 1/4 quarts

Melissa
09/11/07
Ellen, I've been trying to decode information from both the TexMex and Potato Bar sections to gather my shopping list for a Taco Bar party for 50 adults and 20 children. I am counting for 2 soft shell tacos pp and would also like to provide chips in case people want to just make a salad. Can you help me verify the following amounts?
8 lbs beef, 6 lbs chicken
7 lbs shredded cheese
42 ounces shredded lettuce
21 tomatoes
5 onions
36 ounces black olives
? black beans?
30 ounces jalapenos
14 cups sour cream
7 cups taco sauce
4 bottles of french dressing for salad
?? chips for dip and/and or salads
?? salsa for dip
?? Rice for a side
?? Refried beans
ellen
09/11/07
8 lbs beef, 6 lbs chicken
~ok. you could go 10 on the beef
7 lbs shredded cheese
~ok
42 ounces shredded lettuce
~ok
21 tomatoes
~ok
5 onions
~ok
36 ounces black olives
~ok
? black beans?
~1/4 cup per person, 1 gallon cooked
30 ounces jalapenos
~ok
14 cups sour cream
~ok
7 cups taco sauce
~ok, add a quart green sauce also
4 bottles of french dressing for salad
~ok
?? chips for dip and/and or salads
~5-6 pounds
?? salsa for dip
~1 gallon
?? Rice for a side
~4-41/2 pounds dry
?? Refried beans
1 gallon

You will have some beans left

Melissa
09/12/07
Thanks so much for verifying those amounts for me. You are a special find on the internet to be so responsive! I'll be sure to visit more often for good recipes :)
Sally
09/14/07
I agreed to do a taco bar for my daughters 8th birthday on Sunday. I have 31 adults/teenagers confirmed and 10 elementary school aged children. I planned to do ground turkey for the meat and then the vegetables, beans and flour tortillas and chips for those that would prefer salad. I was going to cook 10 lbs of meat, does that sound right? The party is at noon and we will have cake & ice cream also. Thank you so much.
ellen
09/14/07
Ground turkey is an excellent choice and 10 pounds should be plenty, unless there are a huge amount of teens- the 8 year olds eat very little, actually.
Carrie
09/15/07
Hi Ellen-I just discovered your site: wow! We're having a fundraising lunch with 100 guests, serving 1 fajita (chicken for 87 guests; 13 veggie only), one cheese tamal(pre-made), black bean salad, and Spanish rice. I'm planning about 21 lbs of chicken, 50 each peppers & onions; 130 tortillas (to allow for breakage); 1gal of salsa, 20 lbs of beans & of rice. Do you think I'm in the right ballpark? Also, how much sour cream? And I usually think of fajitas as NOT having cheese--do you think people will expect it? Thank you for such great information!
ellen
09/16/07
Not nearly enough tortillas- I like corn better, have a choice- allow 3 minimum per person- people eat them plain as the bread for this meal. Tamales OK, salsa 1 3/4 gallons (you want 1/4 cup each, minimum)beans and rice OK if this is cooked weight (8 pounds each dry). You need a shredded lettuce salad, popele who don't eat much rice and beans will especially want this, see the salad section at plan for 100.

Sour cream, 2-3 tablespoons per person, 1 to 1 1/2 gallons.

You can do no cheese, it would be nice for the veggie fajitas, if it was refried beans you would want just enough to garnish the serving.

Ann
10/23/07
General thanks and notes on spag dinner
No question actually, just wanted to say thank you. We did the big spaghetti dinner for 100, served in "to go" containers, Perfect lunch for right after church! The night before I panicked slightly about boiling that much spaghetti on site, but it worked out super. Somewhere I would add that for 100 people, you need 10 gallons of water just to boil the spaghetti. We have to buy our water here, and I would at my moms in Alabama too, so might be helpful to others to know that too. We live and work in Haiti, so our kitchen is very very limited but all your suggestions were a great help. Youth made money, everyone was thrilled and wants another dinner... So in two weeks we are doing super Nacho's with baked rice and giant cookie... After research today, I'm going to make my own sauce with a 5lb block of American cheese and save money in the end. Hope this one will be a little easier the night before! I'm going to start my rice the night before in my roaster, so I can unplug and go. Your site is amazing and now my new bookmarked "place to go"
OH another note on the spagh dinner is that I cooked my sauce with 5 pounds bulk Italian sausage and 5 pounds ground beef with bread filler made into tiny tiny meatballs, I didn't hear any complaints on the lack of meat in the sauce. I ended up with about 4.5 gallons sauce. I put in all in my giant roaster and it cooked gently (the meat was precooked) for about 18 hours, I kept checking the temp to make sure it was 160 or higher, I had some "cooler" spots occur, but over all it was fine if I just stirred it once an hour. To take it to the church we transferred it to a sanitized 5 gallon bucket for safety of transport.
I had the boxes numbered so as people came through the line, I knew where I stood on salad and bread sticks, Only placing enough for 20 servings at a time in the bowls the kids were serving from. That was a real peace of mind to do quick mental counts of zip lock bags used/versus what I still had left in coolers. We tossed the tongs with in 5 minutes and since the kids had gloved hands anyway, went to serving everything but sauce/noodles by "hand"
One thing we did that was very well received was had helpers to carry meals for moms of lots of small kids/ elderly to their table. We used 6 volunteers for the serving line, plus me and 2 runners. I made garlic butter, but ended up serving very little of it. Next time I will skip it with bread sticks altogether. I had 3 salad dressing choices, next time I will do only the overwhelming top 2.. creamy Italian and Caesar both homemade. We had 104 served in less than 30 minutes.
Thanks again.. Annie K
ellen
10/23/07
Ann, thanks SO MUCH for your note! It is cooks who take time to do feedback that keep me encouraged. Sounds like the event was perfect.
Jose Levario
10/25/07
hello everyone,
i'm trying to figure out how much salsa to make for a wedding serving 170 ppl. i live in an area where people are salsa eaters so keep that in mind. Thanks and i look forward to your response!!
ellen
10/25/07
Ola, Jose. Is the salsa for a dip, tacos, fajitas, or a plate garnish?
Tonia L
11/11/07
Hi Ellen!

I am catering a Mexican Fiesta for approx. 100 ppl next Saturday and am pretty secure on the beans, rice and taco bar "fixins", but am a little unsure about how much meat exactly. I am serving 2 tacos/pp with 1.5 to 2oz of meat each. I'm doing seasoned gr. beef and shredded (boneless, skinless) chix (half thighs, half breast?) I'm guestimating 9# chix and 13# gr. beef (both uncooked), this is taking into account a 30% loss. Does this sound right to you? Thank you in advance for your response. You have a GREAT website!

ellen
11/11/07
First, it is pretty much a waste of good chicken breast to shred for tacos. Dark meat is juicer, "chickeny-er" and hold better.
It looks to me like you will be short of meat. Regular hamburger had a 40% cooking loss.
Now as to quantity, if you are plating and everyone gets one of each, that is one thing, but if people are serving themselves, they will tend toward the 2+ side of two ounces and take beef above chicken about 5 to 3, so you would plan for 125 beef and 75 chicken, except that if self serve you need to add 10% to allow for crowd variation in choice and another 10% for the self service extra, which works out to about 150 beef and 90 chicken. That is 300 ounces ready to eat beef=19 pounds, allowing cooking loss, you need to start with about 26 pounds. Chicken, that's 180 ounces ready to eat, which is 15 pounds ready to eat, allowing for 30% cooking loss that is about 20-22 pounds. So that is the highest amounts you would need, if you plate it yourself, 1 of each you would use about 1/3 less beef, but in either case, you need more than you planned.
Tonia L
11/11/07
Geez, were is my mind!? I was dividing my meat by 2 instead of a total 4oz pp. I'm glad I asked you because it triggered in my mind that I had done something WAY wrong. My guests would not have been happy with one taco each. By the way, to control costs, I am pre-portioning the meat in the shells and setting up a bar with the toppings. Again, thanks for such a great website.
ellen
11/12/07
If you are using crispy shells, they wil probably split from the meat juice... You could get those little paper cups (not the smallest ones) and use those- or have someone stand there with tongs and serve- tongs not a spoon slows people down when they self serve, too.
Ruth
11/24/07
Mashed potatoes
How many pounds potatoes to feed 400 people mashed potatoes
ellen
11/24/07
About 140 pounds. See the paln for 100 tables for all the usual foods.
Elizabeth
11/27/07
Frito Pie for 270-300 people ( young adults)
Ellen.. We are planning frito pie for college
kids. will be at least 270. we are planning on
buy at least 20 (5 lbs) can of chili but how
may large packages of Fritos should we buy..
and pounds of grated cheese..

Thanks....

ellen
11/27/07
For 300 college teens/ young adults, you want at least 24 pounds of fritos and 20 pounds minimum cheddar cheese- that is just a couple spoonfuls on top- you could do more.
Elizabeth
11/27/07
Thanks so much for your fast response..
Joi Gonzalez
12/11/07
How many pounds of lettuce to feed 400 people on an Italian Buffet, containing pastas, veggies, bread, etc.
ellen
12/11/07
See the salad for 100 at the top of the plan for 100 page, buy 4 times the amount.
Elsa
12/30/07
Hi Ellen: My grandson recently was married in the lower part of the state and is residing in the U.P. His Mom is planning a luncheon reception for him here. There will be approx. 200 and all of the family and a few other people have offered to make the salads which will include potatoe salad and pasta salads. We're telling them all to make "big bowls" but we really don't know how many should make what. So far there will be 5 big bowls of potatoe salad and pasta. In other words, how big is big? Maybe we should tell each one to cook so many "pounds" instead or tell them what size bowl to use. We figured we need at least 7 Big Bowls of each kind of salad. It's a little harder to allocate the dishes with so many involved but then again I would'nt want to do it alone. :-)
Thanks for your reply.
ellen
12/31/07
You need about 12 pounds dry of pasta and about 70 pounds raw of potatoes to make the right amount for 200 people. So you can tell your 7 potato salad folks to use 10 pounds of poatoes and your 6-7 pasta salad folks to use 2 pounds of pasta and all will be well fed.
ellen
12/31/07
PS 10 pounds of potatoes makes just about 1 gallon of salad.
Nanci
01/17/08
Ellen,
I am in charge of planning a Mexican Fiesta Carbo Feed for 30 HUNGRY girl basketball players. Is it smart to make "walking tacos" vs. soft and tostada shell tacos? Can you help me plan how much I would need of the following things? Shredded chicken, ground beef, shredded lettuce,diced tomatoes,shredded cheese,black olives,and spanish rice.
I'd appreciate any help you can give me!
ellen
01/17/08
The walking taco salads are basically taco with fritos. For this group, assuming a few grown ups, I would make double the out-of-the-trash-bag taco salad on this site (1 recipe normally serves 25). For the rice, make for 50. I have several recipes on the site for Spanish rice for 25-100; any would do.

If you are seriously carbo loading add a 6 quart crock pot full of borracho beans, refried beans, or pintos.

If there is time, the make it yourself taco bar is more fun, but the taco salad bar is quicker to serve. DO have the meat separate; some of the girls will be eating vegetarian.

Use the baked potato bar page for the toppings- they are the same as taco bars- allow for 50 people. I always add some plain corn and flour tortillas and butter as a bread side dish.

Nanci
01/17/08
Thanks VERY much! You are quick to respond and that is wonderful! I think we're going to try "tacos in a bag" and soft shell tacos. That way they can make their own. Have spanish rice on the side, with DQ Dilly Bars for dessert! Best way to cool them down after eating mexican, right? I'm hungry just talking about it! Thanks again! So glad I stumbled across your website and "Cook Talk". I'll be back again I'm sure.
debi
01/31/08
lettuce salads
We are planning a spaghetti dinner for about 100 people, and will serve a simple lettuce salad on the side. How many heads of lettuce should we purchase?
ellen
02/01/08
Check the top section of plan for 100 (button at the top of the main cooktalk page) for 6 different salads and quantities, including dressings.
lenicep@triwest.net
02/11/08
Scalloped Potatoes
How many people will a 18 quart electric roaster of scallpoed feed?
ellen
02/13/08
About 60 if filled to the 4-5 inch level, which is when it cooks this dish the best.
Derrie
03/07/08
I am plannning on a graduation party for 150 people want to do a taco bar. Have the ideas down for amount to purchase but need ideas to go with taco's
ellen
03/07/08
You want Spanish rice, borracho or refried beans, shredded lettuce salad with guacamole.
Dawn
03/17/08
Ellen~
Hi, I'm planning on having a taco bar for my sons graduation party. Along with the taco bar I will be serving,chips & salsa,7 layer dip,Mexican pinwheels, nacho dip, mexican meatballs and relish trays. How do I know how much hamburger, cheese, tomatoes, chips, etc... to purchase?
I would really appreciate any help :)
Thanks!
Dawn
ellen
03/17/08
Dawn, nice menu. The amounts for toppings for a taco bar are about the same as for the baked potato bar- odd, I know, but true. 1/4 cup cooked ground meat is 2 ounces cooked, 1 pound raw will make about 5 servings this size.
ashley
03/17/08
I'm doing a Make Your Own Taco dinner for a bunch of friends (about 30 girls). I was wondering how many pounds of chicken and beef you recommend if most girls prefer chicken and will probably eat 2 to 3 tacos. Also how much of the sides (lettuce, diced tomatoes) do you recommend as well?
ellen
03/17/08
Hi Ashley, you want about 10 pounds raw boneless chicken and about 5 pounds raw ground beef. For all the other toppings, use the amounts on the baked potato bar and use 1/3 of the amount for 100.
J.DENNIS
03/28/08
need a good spaghetti recipe for 90. people
ellen
03/28/08
Look on the lotsa pasta page.
Ana
04/06/08
I am planning a shower for 150, wanting to serve chicken fajitas. I am debating on buying boneless, skinless breasts, marinating and grilling and slicing myself then freezing in air tight bags ahead or using a food service already prepared fajita meat. Either way I need to know how much meat per person. I've read you recommend 3 tacos per person. What about fajitas? I plan on peppers and onion and other taco type fixings, Spanish rice, refried beans and possible a few salads and cake for dessert.
ellen
04/07/08
For taco/fajita service, you can do 1 pound raw for each 3 persons as long as there are rice and beans on the side and plenty of grilled peppers and onions in the mix.
Amy
04/15/08
I am having a small get together for 20. I am having beef and chicken tacos. How much meat (beef and chicken) do you recommend?
ellen
04/15/08
Assuming 1/2 and half: for fajita style beef, you would get 5 pounds, for ground beef, 4 would be enough. For the chicken, 5 pounds boneless skinless ready to cook.
Teresa
04/16/08
potato sald
We are having a dinner at church on saturday. I want to BUY potato salad (no time or anyone to make) how many pounds of potato salad will I need?
ellen
04/16/08
1 gallon weighs between 8-10 pounds. You need a bit less than 1 gallon for each 25 people.
ellen
04/16/08
You might also consider pasta salad, much faster (no peeling). Good recipes for 100 on this site.
Jenna
04/16/08
I am having an Anniversary party for my granparents and we will be serving fajitas with all of the sides for about 100 people. How much of the following will we need do you think:

chicken
beef
shredded cheese
refried beans
rice
chips
salsa
tortillas
sour cream
pico de gallo
quacamole

I would really appreciate your help.

Thanks.

ellen
04/16/08
Jenna, since I posted all my tables in 2004, I ask folks to make an initial estimate and let me check it- I rarely do the initail estimates any more. For example, the question just 3 slots up on this thread, I gave estimates for beef and chicken fajitas for 20, so 5 times that would do for 100. For the toppings, cheese, guac, pico, sour cream, etc, they are almost exactly the same as the baked potato bar. Tortillas, 4 per person, some corn.

Chips and dip/salsa, covered in appetizers. Rice and beans, recipes for 100 on this site; you might consider borracho beans instead of refried; easier to reheat and more traditional with fajitas.

ellen
04/16/08
Jenna, if you will post your estimates, I will be glad to check them for you.
Jenna
04/16/08
Okay - from looking at your site this is what I came up with:

chicken - 35 lbs.
beef - 35 lbs.
shredded cheese - 6 lbs.
refried beans - 7-8 lbs.
rice - 7-8 lbs. (raw)
chips - do not know.
salsa - 7 lbs.
tortillas - three per person
sour cream - 5 lbs.
pico de gallo - 6 lbs.
quacamole - 5 lbs.

Jenna
04/16/08
I actually meant 20 lbs. each of the meats.
Shelley
04/16/08
Im in charge of a High School teachers appreciation taco salad bar. I need amounts including salsa, guac and sourcream for 100 people. Can you help me?
Thanks!
Laura
04/17/08
For a teachers luncheon we are planning a semi-fiesta buffet. Chili (20lbs meat), Rice & Beans (4lbs dry rice/2 lbs beans), and for the timid we will also offer a penne/vodka pasta (12 lbs), tossed salad (10 lbs) and a grilled chicken (15 lbs). I'm thinking the grilled chicken can be served over the penne or over the salad for the carb conscious. We have bread, fresh fruit, and a dessert table as well.
We will be feeding about 120 - 140 people over the course of the school day. Should I stick to the 100 serving sizes listed for each or should I make less/more of each because there are choices? We also will be serving at this buffet to cut down on waste (and expense). Any suggestions appreciated. I used your ice cream bar suggestions for another event and it was right on target. The kids loved it, the parents loved it, and we had little waste. Love this site.
ellen
04/17/08
Shelley, there is a recipe for walking taco salad for 25 on site, not from a trash bag taco salad. Use it times four for your basic quantities and allow at least 1 cup sour cream for each 5 people (I use 1 per 4).

Laura, it looks to me like your rice, beans and salad are short- see the quantities on the plan for 100 page- if that is 12 pounds of prepared penne, that is is only about 30 people's worth, so you will need 100 each on the rice and beans. 15 pounds of chicken pieces is only about 20-25 people- 20 if it is quarters- at a school function I would suspect you will have more chicken eaters than that?

Your chili meat is about right, but you need shredded cheese and chopped onions and crackers for the chili, see the chili page fopr help.

Thanks for the feedback on the ice cream sundae page, I put a lot of effort into it.

ellen
04/17/08
Jenna, thanks for posting- I will get back t you by the weekend.
Elizabeth
04/17/08
Hey Ellen, I am making tacos (soft shell) with ground beef and shredded chicken for about 40 people. How many pounds of each should I get? Further, how much cheese, lettuce and sour cream would you suggest?
ellen
04/18/08
For the toppings, use the baked potato bar page and get 2/5 to 1/2 the amount for 100. You need about 7-8 pounds lean ground beef and about 7 pounds boneless skinless chicken; a bit more if you are not offering rice and beans.
Laura
04/19/08
Thanks for your reply Ellen. We're going to use the suggestions/amounts you have for your Church Chili (with the recommended toppings) and serve rice and beans on the side - if we up the rice to 6lbs dry and the beans (and there's already beans in the chili) to 3lbs dry would that be better? We'll up the penne vodka is 14 lbs dry pasta and we'll still do a tossed green salad at about 8 - 10 lbs because I forgot to mention that a favorite with our teachers is a bok choy salad. I'll be using about 10 -12 heads of boy choy for that.
The chicken has me confused. I'm planning on buying the raw frozen bagged chicken breast strips (tenders) at BJ's and using them. They come in 6 lbs bags, and it is one of the more expensive items that we'll be buying. And I'm not sure how much to buy considering the other food we'll be serving. We'll also have fresh fruit and a dessert table. There will be nacho/salsa on the tables each lunch table. The food will be served buffet style with our members acting as servers. Even though this is a lunch we serve it over the course of the teachers lunch periods during the school day. We have 5 35min lunch periods starting about 10:30am and continuing thru to 12:50. So even though we may have 120 people or so they really don't get to linger very long. Am I going in the right direction?
Thanks for all your help.
ellen
04/19/08
OK, if that is dry, precooked pasta, you have servings for about 60 people with 12 pounds dry!

I use 20 pounds of cabbage to make slaw for 1200 people.

Rice and beans- much better. Take a look at the borracho bean recipe, consider using black beans- a bit different from the chili, and really delicious.

6 pounds of tenders will feed 20 people, if yu use a recipe like my wedding chicken in orange dijon sauce, which can be made ahead and frozen. I really don't have a suggestion on the amount of chicken- but if you do chili for 100, you want at least 40 servings of chicken, just to make sure of enough entrees.

I really hate school lunch schedules, always have, even back when I was in school myself. Inhumane.

Laura
04/20/08
Thanks again for the help and thanks for all the wonderful info on this site. Happy Cooking!
Rene
04/29/08
TexMex Cookout
I am planning a graduation for 75 people. Can you please tell me how much beef fajitas, rice and beans do I need for this group?
ellen
04/30/08
Rene, there are multiple recipes for rice and beans for 100; use 3/4 of these. For the fajitas, there are many answers. Basically, for taco/fajita service, you can do 1 pound raw meat for each 3 persons as long as there are rice and beans on the side and plenty of grilled peppers and onions in the mix.
Lisa
05/21/08
I am having a taco bar for my boys' graduation party and I am trying to figure out how to keep soft tortilla shells hot for 150 people?
ellen
05/22/08
This question was just asked. I use large crockpots, stack the tortillas after initial oven warming.
Sheri
06/05/08
I am planning a mexican taco bar for my son's graduation. I am expecting about 90 people. Can you please tell me how much taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese to get?

Thank you!

ellen
06/05/08
The amounts are basically the same as for toppings for a baked potato, plus beans and rice and 2 crispy shells and two soft tortillas per person.
Jan
06/07/08
I'm having a taco bar for my sons birthday. I'm serving both hard shell and soft corn shell. How do I keep the corn shells warm? Also, should I warm the hard shells?
Thanks!
ellen
06/07/08
Soft: Warm in the oven, wrapped in a clean damp dish towel, keep warn in a 6 quart crock pot. Crispy, bought pre-shaped, are not usually reheated.
Colleen
06/10/08
Great website!! I'm having a grad party on June 20th. We're expecting 100-150 guests and are having a Taco Bar. I've already started to cook the meat - ground beef and chicken thighs and freezing it. I've found that it's easy to cook the thighs in my crockpot and shred it when it's cooled.

Two questions:
1st - I'd like to have rice, but all recipes seem to call for uncooked rice. I thought I'd like to cook it ahead of time in my rice cooker then prepare it the day before with onions, peppers etc. Any ideas or recipes for cooked rice?

2nd - I can't seem to find your homemade taco seasoning recipe. Help!

Thanks!

ellen
06/10/08
For a Spanish rice recipe with cooked rice, see

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex100.html
Several recipes there moght be of interest.

For the taco seasoning recipe, see,

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

Testtyq
06/16/08
Subject3
Hi


G'night
Kelley
06/18/08
I've searched through all these posts regarding a fajita bar for about 100 people, but I am still having trouble figuring out a couple of things. First off, how many lbs. of peppers & onions should I get to saute for fajita toppings? Also, we are making our own salsa for 100 & wondering how many lbs. of roma tomatoes we should plan on? Thank you so much for your help!
Lil
07/06/08
I am having a 70th B-Day and mostley adults and seniors making a Walking Taco with Hmaburger and also will have sheedred chicken about ho many pouns of each and will be serving Spanish Rice as well. Can you give me any other ideas as to serve with this. Also will have a fresh fruit dish. about 80 people
ellen
07/06/08
When serving two meats with one beef, you assume abouy half will want chicken and about 2/3 will want beef. Yes, it adds up to more than 100%; when there are several choices self serve, people eat more, and some of each.

So calculate for 40 chicken and 55 beef, allowing 1 pound cooked ready to eat meat for each 4 people for adult/senior tacos.

Mkae the rice with 5-6 pounds raw rice, use the lesser amount if you add beans to the side dishes.

Borracho or ranch beans and chips with salsa are the obvious additions. Consider using an aqua fresca, maybe watermelon, as your punch.

Clueless
08/12/08
Planning a TexMex dinner for 75 guests. We are wanting to have Beff / Chicken fajitas, beef tacos, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, etc.. How much meat of each kind do I need to get, lettuce, etc..?
ellen
08/12/08
Hi, clueless,

This question is answered ovwer and over, and there is a table for taco bars for 100, and recipes for 100 for rice and borracho beans. You would use 3/4 for 75. Prepare an initial estimate, post it, and I will be happy to check and comment.

Jennifer
10/14/08
I am planning a Taco Bar for 170 people. I have read the threads to this post and would greatly appreciate you looking over my calculations. The plan is to have two choices of meats, ground beef and shredded chicken. Nacho chips and soft shells available on buffet, guests self serve.
Tea 17 gallons ?? How much Sweet vs. Unsweet ??
17 lb. nacho chips
400 soft shells 8 in.
2 gallons beans
Rice 16 lb. uncooked rice
43 lb. raw hamburger meat
25.5 shredded chicken
6 lb. shredded lettuce
17 bunches green onions
11 lb. diced tomatoes
10 lb. 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
5 (6.62 lb.) Nacho cheese cans
10 ½ lb. sour cream
10 ½ lb. salsa
1 lg. foodservice can jalapenos
Cupcakes for dessert
Thank you for your feedback.
ellen
10/15/08
This is going to take a while. Please check back.
judy
10/19/08
How much Penne pasta would I need for a football party about 35-40 people aS THE MAIN DISH
ellen
10/19/08
About 6 pounds if there are side dishes.
ellen
10/20/08
Jennifer, here are my notes on your Taco Bar for 170 people.

The plan is to have two choices of meats, ground beef and shredded chicken. Nacho chips and soft shells available on buffet, guests self serve.
Tea 17 gallons ?? How much Sweet vs. Unsweet ??~ see the beverage planning page
17 lb. nacho chips~ OK
400 soft shells 8 in.~ OK
2 gallons beans~ only 32 cups, I like to allow 1/3 cup minimum per person- at least 3 1/2 gallons
Rice 16 lb. uncooked rice~ OK- consider using one of the Spanish rice recipes.
43 lb. raw hamburger meat~ OK
25.5 shredded chicken~ OK
6 lb. shredded lettuce~ I would go with 12 pounds
17 bunches green onions~ OK
11 lb. diced tomatoes~ OK
10 lb. 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese~ fine
5 (6.62 lb.) Nacho cheese cans~ OK
10 ½ lb. sour cream~ OK
10 ½ lb. salsa~ I would do 12 pounds
1 lg. foodservice can jalapenos~ 12 1/2 cups, just about 1 tablespoon per person
Cupcakes for dessert allow 1.2 cupcakes each.

Gail
01/07/09
For my daughter's wedding rehearsal we are having Fajita beef and chicken. Most of the questions I've seen above are for tacos. This dinner will NOT be tacos or a taco bar, but simply the meats, plus pinto beans, and "fixin's". I'm in charge of the meats and beans. For 45-50 people, how much uncooked meat per person and in what proportion should I buy?
beef fajita:
chicken fajita:

Also how many lbs of dry pintos will I need for 45-50. I always cook too much when I make beans for my family.

If I also do potato salad, how much should I plan per person.

ellen
01/07/09
I would not do potato salad but either Spanish rice or a rice salad, a very good addition that will reduce the amount of meat you need and fits better with the meal.

When beef and chicken are served, I allow 4-5 ounces cooked ready to eat beef PLUS 3 ounces cooked ready to eat chicken per person. That is about 1 pound boneless lean raw beef for each 3 people PLUS 1 pound boneless skinless raw chicken for each 4 people.

For beans, 4 pounds dry minimum, up to 6 pounds if you use my borracho bean recipe (they are very popular).

Consider a great tropical fruit platter with pineapple, melons, jicama and cucumber, with limes and chili on the side, as another possible side dish. Very authentic and delicious with this menu.

cris
02/02/09
Hi Ellen ~ I am planning a taco salad bar for 100 people. I am trying to figure out how much lettuce,cheese & refried beans will be needed. I would also like to have chips on hand for the salads can you advise on that as well. Thank you very much for your help... it is very appreciated!
ellen
02/02/09
Use the table for baked potato and taco bars to figure the amounts of toppings you need for 100. 8 pounds of corn chips provides a handful for 100 people (about the equivalent of one of those lunch box bags- that should be plenty.
Cris
02/03/09
Thank you ~ can you advice on how much lettuce I would need for 100.... I didn't see that.
ellen
02/03/09
You want about 10 pounds shreds per 100.
Carrie
02/20/09
Taco Salad
Hi Ellen,

We want to serve Taco Salad for 125 people. Is this calculation correct?

25 lbs ground beef
4 1/2 lbs shredded lettuce
8 lbs chopped tomatoes
6 lbs chopped onions
2 gal. ranch beans
7 1/2 lbs cheese
7 1/2 lbs salsa
7 1/2 lbs sour cream
13 lbs corn chips
Catalina Dressing?(No sure how much)

Thanks for your help,
Carrie

ellen
02/20/09
Here is the address for the recipe I use for taco salad for 25, it is different from yours. I would use 5 times my recipe. For axample, I use about 3 pounds of shredded lettuce for 25= 15 pounds for your group, more beans, less meat, less cheese, etc. Take a look.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

ellen
02/21/09
About your taco bar for 125:

1 head of lettuce weighs about a pound, so you decide how much lettuce- but lettuce is cheap and filling, so don't skimp.

I usually allow 2 crispy shells PLUS 2 two soft per person.

With chicken for 60, you want beef for 75, or at least 150 tacos- people usually take more, and some of each, when there are two choices, and beef is usually preferred. 1 pound medium lean raw boneless ground beef makes 2 cups cooked, or about 10 tacos.

ellen
02/21/09
More about the taco bar for 125.

> 5# bags of shredded cheese- how many?
2
> 3# container of sour cream- how many?
3
> 96 0unces of Salsa- How many?
2
> 1-bag of chips 3#- How many would I need?
Depends on what they are for if just dipping/side/snack, 4 bags

Assumes these are not hungry teens and that you will have rice and some kind of beans on the buffet.

Susan
04/03/09
My son is having a taco bar for his wedding reception. We will have shredded beef and chicken as options. There will be bean dip and chips, corn bread muffins, strawberries and grapes, plus of course wedding cake and cupcakes. How much beef and chicken should we make.
ellen
04/04/09
Susan, you don't say how many people. Look at the potato and taco bar table- since you do not have another salad, you should double up the lettuce and tomato. For a meal-size serving, you want to end up with about 4 ounces edible beef PLUS 3 ounces of chicken per person, which means you need 1 pound raw lean beef for each 3 people PLUS 1 pound raw boneless skinless chicken for each 4 people.

If this is a meal, I would consider adding a Spanish or TexMex rice to the menu.

Staci
04/19/09
I am planning a taco bar (ground beef style) for 40 people with rice and beans on the side. I plan to use a recipe for mexican rice I found, but need to know how much to multiply the recipe by as it does not mention how much it serves. Please let me know if you have time. Thanks! Here is the recipe:

1 TBS Knorr chicken flavored bioullien
1 TBS Comino
1 large garlic clove
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1 large pinch of cilantro
1 Cup rice(cheap white rice from the store works)
2 1/4 Cups water

ellen
04/19/09
1 cup of rice is about a half pound. I use 3 1/2 to 4 pounds for 50 people. I use long grain (especially converted/ Uncle Ben's) when I want the rice to hold without stickiness. So, about 3 pounds, or 6-7 cups dry...
Susan O
04/27/09
I'm expecting about

75 adults
50 kids

for a taco bar. We plan to do ground beef, beans, all the fixings. Could you please break down for me what I would need? We plan to do a mixture of soft and hard shells as kids seem to like the hard shells better.

ellen
04/27/09
See the taco bar and potato bar page, the topping amounts are exactly the same for both. Count kids 11 and under as half, older as adults. Beans, 8 pounds dry to make refried or charro, rice, 8 pounds dry.
Alison Manning
04/27/09
Hi! I LOVE this website - it is saving me for a party I am throwing for about 40 people and serving chicken and beef fajitas. I think I have the meat figured out - using your rule of 1 lb raw beef for each 3 people PLUS 1 lb raw chicken for 4 people I am planning to buy about 14 lbs raw Beef and 10 lbs raw chicken. Does that sound right? How many onions and peppers do you think we need for grilling for 40 people (3 tortillas each)?
ellen
04/28/09
You will have plenty! I would allow 4 tortillas, and get about 1/3 corn- people will stuff some and eat some plain with lettuce and guac. You need about 20 pounds total combined onions and pepper slices.
Annette Bowditch
04/28/09
Hi.....

I'm doing a burrito/taco bar for my daughter's grad party. I'm guessing about 100 people. I want ground beef, soft shells, nacho chips (instead of hard shells to avoid breaking, and they'rs so messy), pinto beans, cheese, salsa, and possibly rice. I also need to know: How do you keep the tortillas SOFT. Do I wrap them in foil and put them in a pan over another pan of water?? Thanks for your help. What a great service! Annette

Pam
05/21/09
Hot Dogs
I'm having Father's Day picnic @ my house this year, there will be 40-50 people there. I'm fixing the Hot Dogs - but I'm not sure how many to get, we're not having any other meat, just side dishes. Do you have any clue of what the average would be?
ellen
05/21/09
First, consider upgrading to kielbasa or polish sausage- MUCH tastier and not much more expensive, especially in the warehouse pack. You want 2 of these per person plus condiments, which are discussed in the condiment table on the sandwich event page. Consider adding some fancy toppings like chili, sauerkraut, sport peppers etc.
Ginger
05/22/09
I am having a mexican buffet for a graduation party, and am expecting approximately 100 guests.

I am serving the following, and please correct my quantities if you think I'm getting carried away:

Beef Fajitas = 15# meat/ 60 servings (4 oz.per person)
Chicken Fajitas = 15# meat / 60 servings (4 oz.per person)
Tacos= 15# ground beef/ 60 servings (kids will love this so I am making more of it- can be used for nachos as well)
Enchiladas= 10# ground beef, I am making 50-100 (1 and 1/2 chafing pans)- approx.1 per person (as it will not be as popular as the rest)
Refried Beans = 2- 1/2 pans (1 chafing pan total)
Spanish Rice = 2 1/2 pans (1 chafing pan total)
Chips, Salsa, & Assorted condiments based on baked potato bar quantities

On a side note: I have visited your site before and can say it has been a HUGE help in my quantity cooking, so Thank You for your help!

ellen
05/22/09
Looks pretty good! You need 3 gallons of beans and at least 6 pounds dry of rice, not sure how big your pans or chafers are... You need an equal weight of grilled peppers and onions (2/3 peppers, 1/3 onions) for the fajitas.
Tina K.
06/01/09
Mexican Buffet Graduation Party
Hello, I am planning a graduation party and have had 70 rsvp. We are serving chicken fajitas, enchiladas, rice, beans, salad, chips and salsa. I don't know how much of the chicken fajitas,and enchiladas to serve. Thank you. Tina.
ellen
06/01/09
You want to plan on at least 1 enchilada per person, plus 10%. 2 would be too much with the fajitas unless it is all football players or frat boys.
For fajita service, you can do 1 pound raw for each 3 persons as long as there are rice and beans on the side and plenty of grilled peppers and onions in the mix. You want an equal weight of veggies, 1/3 onion and 2/3 bell peppers.
Tammy
06/08/09
Ellen - thanks so much for all of your tips. I am planning an open house for my parent's 50th anniversary and I think I have it all figured out based on all of the above posts. Well, almost all - We will have folks coming in and out throughout the day, so some will likely not even eat at all, if they happen to come right after they've had their lunch or dinner - we are starting at noon through 8pm. I was wondering if you think I should change the quantities any for an open-house style party (based on the 1 pound of raw beef fajita per 3 ppl and 1 pound of rach chicken per 4 ppl). I'll adjust the rice/beans as necessary based on your reply. Thanks so much!!
ellen
06/09/09
For an open house type situation, I might just figure 1 pound raw mixed meats per each 3 people and not get the amounts for beef plus chicken. But then I would have some backup meats prepped in the fridge - freeze without reheating if not needed, put out if needed.
Tasha
06/12/09
I'm throwing a birthday for my mother who is turning 50. Since the theme I'm going with is 50 Fiesta. I'm serving walking tacos. How much hamburger should I get that will feed roughly 75 - 100 people, along with all the fixings.
ellen
06/12/09
See the taco salad for 25, use 3 1/2-4 times the amounts, depending on what else you are serving. Other toppings are the same as for the baked potato bar, which will help you with the plan.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

Renee
08/04/09
I'm having a taco bar for a party with around 40 adult guests. I am serving both ground beef and shredded chicken, along with sauteed onions and peppers for the vegetarians. Side items will include black bean & corn salad, spanish rice and also pinto beans. We will have all the usual taco toppings and will have both crunchy and soft taco shells. I have looked on the potato bar site, but I am unsure about the amount of raw meat I will need to buy and the amount of peppers and onions. Could you please give me a hand with that? The party is in a few days. Thanks!
ellen
08/04/09
I would cook up about 10 pounds ground beef and an equal amount of boneless, skinless chicken or twice as much chicken if starting with whole chickens). About 10-12 pounds of peppers (red and yellow are beautiful) and 6-8 pounds onions.
Brandi
08/09/09
How many pounds of fajitas do I need to feed a family of 8?
ellen
08/09/09
Here in San Antonio, where people like their fajitas a lot, 1 pound is served for 2 people.
Thomas
08/10/09
Hi Ellen--

I am planning a hosewarming party in September for around 30 or so people. My family grew up entertaining, so I have an intense phobia about running out of food. I was going to do a taco bar featuring both chicken and ground beef tacos. I was thinking 6 lbs of ground beef and 6 lbs of chicken each. How does this sound? How many taco shell and tortillas would you project we need? Thanks for your assistance.

ellen
08/10/09
Sounds like plenty of meat, I assume you will also have rice and beans. See the potato/taco bar for 100 and use 1/3 the amounts for your other items, including shells and tortillas.
Katie
08/11/09
Ellen, what a great website! Very helpful.

I'm serving tacos with skirt steak, chicken, and shredded pork tenderloin. About 40 people. Menu also includes plenty of fajita veggies, rice, black beans, chips, salsa and cheese dip.

How much of each meat do I need? Also, how much of the rice and black beans?

Thank you!

ellen
08/11/09
Usually, beef fajita is the most popular, and you want about 1 pound raw for each 3-4 people, PLUS 1 pound boneless skinless chicken for each 5-6 (I recommend thighs, they stay moister and chicken-y-er) PLUS 1 pound boneless pork for each 6 (I recommend shoulder or fresh ham for pulled pork, loin can get pretty dry). That works out to about 3 1/2 pounds raw for 6 people, it shrinks about 1/4 to 1/3, you end up with about 6-7 ounces cooked meats per person, which is just about right for party size portions.

3-3 1/2 pounds dry rice and 3-4 pounds dry beans makes plenty for this size crowd.

Katie
08/11/09
Wonderful! Thank you for the proportions AND for the suggestions for the cuts of meat - I hadn't considered anything other than chicken breasts and pork tenderloin. Thanks for the quick response, it'll be a big help!
LB
08/13/09
Hi I'm planning to cater a wedding reception for 150 plus people and the bride wants a great taco bar. How much food would need, meat, sauces, cheese, chips, lettece etc. It's next year. Thanks.
Vicki
08/14/09
how much butter?
How much butter do I need for about 25 people? We are havubg dinner rolls, corn on the cob and lobster.
ellen
08/14/09
Hi, as I have explained several different places, this site is primarily for home/ volunteer cooks; I can't be responsible for advising professional caterers. If you want a pro site, try chef2chef.com or cheftalk.com.

That said, the things I would do are, check the potato/taco bar article for amounts and specialty ideas. Also, for this type party, lots of guacamole (up to 1/3-1/2 cup per person), fajita style meat instead of ground, possibly with a carne guisada or pork in green chile sauce as an additional option; tamales as a choice; borracho or charro beans as well as refried. A beautiful tropical fruit tray including mango and papaya. Maybe a seviche or Mexican style shrimp cocktail as a starter.

ellen
08/14/09
Vicki, I would get a pound for each 12 people; you might have some left, but butter freezes.
Jenna
08/20/09
I am making beef and chicken fajitas to celebrate my Brother-In-Law's Birthday and I am having problems with serving sizes. We will have 20-25 people and my guess they will eat more beef than chicken. What is the rule of thumb on pounds per person?
ellen
08/20/09
5 ounces ready to eat beef (2 pounds raw boneless for 5) PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat chicken (2 pounds raw boneless for 7). Plan for 25.
Noris Rivera
09/19/09
Imperial Rice recipe
I need to know how many pounds of rice should I use to cook for 50-60 people?
ellen
09/19/09
For 100, I use 8 pounds as a side dish, 12 as an under for a main dish such as curry or stew, 16 for a rice-based main dish such as biryani or paella.
Anna
10/13/09
Hi! I am making Walking Taco in Dorito Bags and wondering how much ground meat, sour cream, salsa, lettece, and shredded cheese will be needed. This will be serving 500 people and want to average 2 per person(1000 tacos). The serving size for the meat will be about a large ice cream scoup for the meat, and rationed smaller portions of the other ingreds. You help will be much appreciated! Thanks!
ellen
10/13/09
The ingredients in the out of the trash bag walking taco salad serve 25 buffet style and will serve 30 with you portioning. See the recipe. Use 15 times the amounts.
Kim
10/14/09
Hi! I'm hosting a fajita party in which the menu will include 3 kinds of meats... pulled pork, beef, and chicken fajitas. How much meat should I have for each person. There will be 35 guests.
ellen
10/15/09
You need to allow about 4 ounces beef PLUS 2-3 ounces each pork and chicken, ready to eat weights per person. Shrinkage from raw is 25-35 per cent.
Jeanette
10/21/09
serving 60 adults and children combined. Tacos, refried beans, spanish rice, salad and chips and salsa. How much of everything will I need to serve 2 tacos per child and 3 tacos per adult with a serving (like ice cream scoop) of rice and beans.
Jeanette
10/21/09
ellen, I am adding to my question above. I am buying my beans and rice from a mexican market, not making myself. About how much should I then purchase? Serving 2 tacos per child 3 per adult with (ice cream scoop) serving of beans and rice as well as salad and chips and salsa.
ellen
10/21/09
You use 2/3 the amount for 100 and you will have plenty. For the rice and beans, the scoop holds 1/2 cup. You need to allow 1/2 cup each per child (1/2 that if it is preschool), but 3/4 cup each per adult. 16 cups is a gallon.
See the potato bar/ taco bar article for discussion on amounts for the tacos.
Maureen
10/22/09
I am serving a taco bar style dinner to 175 teenagers; it will include tacos, burritos, loaded nacho's & nacho's & cheese; I'm having trouble figuring out portions, especially for the meat. I will also have rice and all the "traditional" fixings for the food. Thank you!
ellen
10/23/09
I would count this as 200 people and then use the potato bar/ taco bar page to help me figure the quantities. Adding the burritos makes the calculation less exacr; allow 200. but leave some in the freezer until you see how they are being eaten.
Kathy
10/27/09
Dear Ellen,
We are having a benefit for a young man that was just diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. We expect around 400 hundred people. We would like to serve open face soft shell tacos. Could you please help me with the fiquring out of how much meat, cheese, lettuce, onions, sour cream, and salsa that you think we might need. So far I have 142 pounds of donated hamburger. Thank you so much for you help, and your site is fantastic.
ellen
10/28/09
You need this article:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

1 pound of raw burger makes about 2 cups of meat.

You might also want my home made taco seasoning recipe:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

Plenty of beans and rice fill out the plate and are inexpensive. 8 pounds each dry per 100.

Hope in Ohio
11/04/09
I am having a chili party for 40 people how many pounds of chili should i plan on making? i also plan on having the fixings also (cheese, sourcream....could you help with
ellen
11/04/09
See the first recipe on the chili page for quantity help for your estimates. If you need more, check out the taco bar/ baked potato bar page, it will help with topping amounts. For 40 use 4/10 of the amount for 100.
jill vargas
12/01/09
event for 45 guests
Hello Ellen! i am having an event for about 45 people and I'm going to be cooking lemon chicken and baby back ribs...I was wondering how many whole chickens and baby back ribs I would need for 45 people? and of course extra in case some of my guests want seconds. Also How many LBS? thank you so much!!
ellen
12/01/09
You need 1/2 pound minimum per person on the ribs, and unless you are deeply attached to baby back, consider regular spare ribs. Regular are meatier and more flavorful, and cost about half as much. Then allow 1/4 chicken per person, but cut into two pieces, or if you are doing skinless boneless, about 6 ounces (1 pound for each 3 people.
james
01/01/10
sloppy joes
how many pounds of ground beef do i need to make sloppy joes for 25 guests?
ellen
01/01/10
About 6-8 pounds
Heather
02/03/10
I'm making chicken fajitas for about 25 people I want to premake these, can I keep them warm in a electric roaster?
ellen
02/03/10
Made how far ahead? Fajitas are traditionally a make and serve dish, like stir fries.
Heather
02/04/10
about 1 hr. and then they would have to be kept warm for about 1 hr. I'm thinking that if I either wrapped them in foil or layer them between parchment put them in foil pans then in the roaster they would stay fairly soft?
What do you think?
ellen
02/05/10
I would foil wrap the meats, hold at 200, but let people assemble them at the point of service. If you put stuff in the tortillas, they will fall apart.
Keeley
02/22/10
I am organizing a fundraiser and we are having a taco bar. I think I got most of my portions down except the meat. Beef only and about 170 people. Is 45 pounds enough? There will be refried beans, black beans, rice and corn for fillers and all the other usual toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc. All adults. Thanks.
ellen
02/24/10
45 pounds regular burger raw makes about 80 cups cooked. Should be OK. Put it after all the beans and rice, etc.
Christina
03/08/10
we are having a b-day party and having a nacho bar, chips, hamburger, salsa, sour cream, cheese, peppers. We are having 30-40 people need to know how much to have?
Kim
03/08/10
I am making taco for our youth Sunday night I need to know how much meat, taco shells, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese for 80 people this is the first time I am feeding this many people, So PLEASE HELP
ellen
03/08/10
You need 20 pounds lean hamburger, or 24 pounds regular. Then look at the potato/ taco bar page and use 2/3 the amounts for 100 for all your toppings. You will save money if you add a dish of Spanish rice and a dish of whole or refried beans.
cindy
03/21/10
Our church is having a baked potato dinner with lots of toppings including taco meat. We're also serving salad for those who don't want baked potatoes. We're preparing for 70 people; some will eat taco meat on potatoes and some on their salads. How much meat do I need to buy?

By the way, do you know how long it would take to bake 70 large potatoes in two ovens and what temp?

Thanks!

ellen
03/22/10
Get a couple of big bags of corn chips- I like the Fritos "scoops" for this- for the taco salad makers. Make 1 pound of regular raw hamburger for each 4 people. You can use half ground regular turkey, healthier and with the taco seasoning, unnoticeable. There is a recipe for home made taco seasoning on the walking "escape from the trash bag" taco salad page.

As to the potatoes, see the potato bar page for prep. For large potatoes, I allow a full hour in a preheated 350 degree oven, but you can take the temp up or down up to accommodate other items in the oven, and it only takes about 15 minutes longer to do many than a few. You might bake a few of that size at home at the temp you want to use and check the timing.

Kathy
04/22/10
Hi! I am serving 100 people a taco, burrito, nacho bar buffet for a graduation party and I was hoping you could look over the amounts I have calculated below and let me know if I need to make any adjustments. I am on a tight budget however I do want to make sure I have enough for everyone to walk away full. Thank you so much for your help!

8 lbs ground beef
10 lbs chicken
18 lbs steak
7 lbs shredded cheese
??? queso
12 lbs salsa
7 lbs sour cream
??? guacamole
3 gal black beans
8 lbs rice
12 lbs tortilla chips
200 tortillas
200 taco shells
10 lbs lettuce
8 lbs tomatoes
3 lbs onions
120 cupcakes

ellen
04/22/10
Kathy, what is the time of day and length of the party? This menu looks pretty good but you can double your food needs, depending on the timing.

The guacamole is expensive. Unless you have your heart set on it, you could do big luscious fruit trays at a lower cost.

The queso/ nacho cheese sauce is usually 3 #10 cans per 100, but don't open the third one till you see how things are going.

If you are not baking the cupcakes yourself, compare the prices for sheet cakes and cup cakes. You would want about 1 full sheet for a small piece for each person, and bakery cupcakes are sometimes actually more expensive.

You can also order un-iced sheet or cup cakes and ice yourself.

Kathy
04/22/10
Thank you so much for your help! Yes, I am making the cupcakes myself (I have a small bakery business). I am planning on serving food from 1:00-7:00, it is mostly for family who will be milling around for most of the day but also for friends who will be stopping by throughout the day. Will my amounts be appropriate for this type of party? I am horrified of not having enough but I can't afford to have many leftovers. I deeply appreciate all of your help!
Matt
05/18/10
Ellen,
I am doing a taco bar for a 4 year old b-day party. There will be 52 adults and 24 kids (2-13). I figured about 8-10lbs of beef but not sure on the shredded lettuce and shredded cheese. I also figured about 1 tomato=1/2 cup diced. How many cups would you recommend. Also, what side(s) would you recommend with the kids?? Thanks for your help.
ellen
05/18/10
Use the potato bar/taco bar table. You need to plan for 2/3 of 100.

salsa and taco sauce, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream. Add olives, chopped cilantro, and green onions for the grown ups.

betty
05/21/10
graduation party
we are hosting a graduation party and wouldlike to serve walking tacos. There will be about 150 people attending. What would you serve with it? Salads? and what would be a fitting dessert? We did not think we wanted cake.
ellen
05/21/10
If you are going to serve it on a plate, you could do borracho beans and Spanish rice- walking tacos already have lettuce and tomatoes.

A fruit tray or Mexican style fruit cup with big fat cookies would be nice with this.

Sandy
05/22/10
Ellen, I too am having a taco bar for a grad party. based on 100 people, i have been informed to plan on 30# of prepared taco meat. Is that acurate? I am planning on 200 hard shells, 80 soft shells, 100 1 oz Doritoz bags for walking tacos , plenty of taco chips for dips and those who want to make it a taco salad on their plates-sound good? I have all other condiments figured out by your suggestions.
I will also have fruit salad & a pasta salad & an oreo salad/cake, bars, etc for sweets.
Question: i can get diced tomato & shredded lettuce & shredded cheese from a food supplier- how much of each will I need on each of these?
Also, what other sides would you suggest besides spanish rice? a vegie platter or????
Debbie
05/22/10
We are planning a grad party for our son that includes a taco bar. We had 150-160 people at the last one our family had for his twin brothers. It will be on Friday evening from 6-10 PM. We are serving Tacos with beef or chicken, cheese, tomatoes, onions, salsa, green peppers, sour cream, black olives, guacamole, cilantro. Also I am doing a fruit/pasta salad and 3-bean salad. There will be nachos and cheese, too. Dessert will be cake. Beverages will be pop, lemonade and water. M & M's in bowls on the table. Am I missing anything? Can you help me with quantities?

Thanks so much,
Debbie

ellen
05/23/10
Sandy, borr5acho or cowboy or chili beans, and yes to the pre-shreds- use the baked poato bar table to figure your amounts.

Debbie, the menu looks fine, but I have a little family emergency here that is pulling me off for a few days. Take a look at the baked potato bar/ taco bar page, make a stab at an estimate and post it and I will check as soon as I can.

Debbie
05/27/10
Here's what I am planning for 175 - 200 people.
30 lb. cooked beef taco meat
18 lb. cooked diced chicken (is this enough?)
25 lb. shredded cheese
216 soft tortilla shells (do I need more?)
12 lb. tortilla chips
3.75 lb. corn tostadas (5-12 oz. pkgs.)
3-6 lb. cans nacho sauce
1-3lb. 7 oz. can sliced black olives
18 lb. tomato salsa
6 lb. corn/black bean salsa
6 lb. chopped onions
3 lb. chopped green peppers
8 lb. sour cream
8 lb. chopped tomatoes
??? shredded lettuce (not sure how much)
chopped cilantro
6 16 oz. pkg. guacamole (I know it's expensive, but I want some. When it's gone, it's gone!)
4 lb. Fiesta party dip (Tastefully Simple recipe made w/ sour cream & mayo)

Frog-eyed salad...making 10 recipes of 8 servings each. (I'm figuring that will actually make double the number of servings on the package since there are so many other foods.)

15 lb. Four-Bean salad

Cake---3 full sheet cakes

Snacks on table:
11 lb. peanut butter filled pretzel pieces
21 lb. M & M's, plain & peanut (probably too many???)

Beverages:
56-2 liters of pop
144 cans of pop
17 gallons of lemonade
Ice water

Any comments on my quantities would be appreciated. Do I need Frito corn chips as well? More tortillas? Anything else you see that I could add or whatever?

Thanks so much,
Debbie

Debbie
05/27/10
Oh, and how do you warm the soft tortillas and keep them warm?
ellen
05/27/10
This looks pretty good!

See the thread 8/4/08 "warming and holding flour tortillas". I would allow 2 soft tortillas per person, at least half corn. Maybe another pack of tostada rounds?

Might add 1 more can nacho sauce, don't open till you see how it goes.
I would at least double the corn salsa, it is the most interesting thing on the table, and people will take it as a salad/veggie.
Wouldn't hurt to have a second big sour cream, for when the guac runs out.
Lettuce, about 2 ounces shreds per person. Cilantro, at least 1 bunch per 6.
Add 2-4 quarts sliced jalapenos, sometimes the gallon is cheaper than the 2 quarts.
Frog eye salad, each pound of pasta makes 30 modest servings when everything is added. Almost everyone will trey it. If you think the name is off-putting, it is also called Hawaiian Pearl Salad.
Yes, you only need about 6 pounds m&m's per 100- maybe you are thinking of having some left for the cook?

ellen
05/27/10
I just posted the tortilla reheating notes at the bottom of the potato taco bar page.
Melinda
06/02/10
I just want to thank you for all of your wonderful help. I am doing a dinner for my son's wedding in a couple of weeks. Every question I had concerning how much I should purchase, prepare and even storage and serving have been answered by reading this sight. Thank you!
Diane
06/09/10
I am having a graduation open house for my daughter. She wants a fiesta bar. How do I keep the hard shells and chips warm and dry? How do I keep the the flour tortillas warm and soft? This will be over a 4 hour period.
Shawna
06/09/10
Borracho Beans
I am making your bean recipe for an upcoming graduation party and I was just reading over the recipe and it doesn't say at what point to add the cilantro.
Thanks.
ellen
06/09/10
Diane, keep the chips and shells in a dry roaster. See the taco bar page for info on reheating the soft ones.

Shawna, about 1/2 hour before they are done.

Paula
06/14/10
I am planning a reception for 75 people and am serving a mexican fiesta...I plan to serve ground beef taco, shredded chicken tacos, refriend beans, spanish rice, chicken enchilada pasta, black bean hummas and all the fixins.

I got most of the info needed from your taco bar for 100 but with serving both ground beef and shredded chicken, how many pounds of both do you believe I need.

And, if I understood your chart, for the sides I should plan a half cup per person?

ground meat for tacos
shredded chicken for tacos
spanish rice
refriend beans

Thanks.

ellen
06/14/10
For 75 people I would do 6 pounds each dried beans and rice.

When serving both meats for tacos, I usually plan on 1 pound raw burger per 4 PLUS 1 pound boneless skinless chicken for 4-5 (I use thighs, juicier and more chicken flavor than breast). With the enchilada casserole, you could go a little lighter. Also, consider stack enchiladas instead of pasta, no boiling, which is a big deal with this much food. See the enchilada casserole under Budget entrees on the big pots page for a how to.

Deedie
06/14/10
Hi! I'm am picking up 13x9 deep-dish pans of rice, beans, beef and chicken from a Mexican Restaurant for my wedding. PLEASE help! How many containers should I get of each in order to feed about 90 people in a buffet line?
ellen
06/14/10
A 9x13 regular serves about 8 as an entree, 10-12 as a side. Don't know how deep their "deep dish" is...

You want 1 pound ready to eat beef for each 4 people PLUS 1 pound ready to eat chicken for each 5.

Belynda
07/20/10
Ellen, I'm doing beef, chicken & pork fajita's for 100 - using peppers, onions all trimmings, and red beans, chips & salsa for a wedding reception, so there will be cakes also. I just didn't know how to figure the amount of meat needed of each when using 3 meats. Thank you, I refer to your site everytime I have a different meal to cater.
ellen
07/20/10
I would allow 4 ounces beef plus 2 1/2 ounces each chicken and pork per person, plus an equal weight of the grilled onions and peppers.
Laura
08/11/10
how much graded cheese will i need for 300 tacos
ellen
08/13/10
300 tacos is 150 servings. See the taco bar table and use 1 1/2 times the amount for 100
shirley
08/24/10
planning a fund raiser at church need to know how many bags of shreeded lettuce to buy for 150 people how mny onions, shreeded carrots cucumbers cherry tomatoes. green peppers,cheese, croutons bacon bits how many crackers dressing we are serving baked potatoes also we bought 150 potatoes,
can you help me with this? thanks
ellen
08/24/10
See the quantity tables on the baked potato bar for 100, use 1 1/2 times the amounts. Cook at least 164 potatoes unless they are very large.

Salad- use the guide on the plan for 100 page, make 1 1/2 times the amount. If you want to [ost your estimates, I will check them.

Laura
08/31/10
what else do you serve along with a potato bar besides the toppings? any kind of meat?
ellen
08/31/10
If you check the potato bar page you will see that it tells how much BBQ, chili, stroganoff, etc you use as a meat topping for the potato.
Denise
09/21/10
Ellen,
We are planning a taco bar for 65 high school football players. How many tacos should we plan for each kid? I need to purchase the cheese, salsa, and lettuce -- can you help me out on the quantity?
Denise
09/21/10
Here are my initial calculations for 65 teens (football players):

11 pounds shreeded cheese
66 ounces shredded lettuce
165 ounces salsa

Is that correct? Do I really need salsa and hot sauce?

Many thanks for your kind helpa

ellen
09/22/10
Denise, football players eat like horses. I would probably do the taco bar for 100 for this crowd- with the accompanying adults and there appetites, this wi be about right.

I would reduce the cheese to about 8 pounds, and yes, both salsa and hot sauce. You need to add the rice and beans to fill up all this hollow legs.

Kathleen
09/28/10
Nachos for 300
Hello Ellen

We are planning on a Nacho Event at my office. We will be feeding 300 people. Will you please look at these amounts and give us your opinion.

Hamburger meet cooked 90lbs
Chips 30 lbs
Lettuce chopped 18-20 lbs
Tomatoes chopped 18-20 lbs
Onion chopped 10 lbs
Cheese sauce 10 #10 Cans
Sour Cream 10 Gallons
Salsa 10 Gallons

Found your website today It is going to help a lot. Wish I would have found it sooner. THANK YOU

ellen
09/28/10
Kathleen, is this an appetizer/snack portion or a substitute for lunch, and what else (beverages, desserts) is being served? Write back.
Kathleen
09/28/10
Nachos for 300
Ellen, The nachos are for lunch. We are having lemonade and tea for beverages. For dessert we are having cupcakes.
ellen
09/29/10
300 people, Nacho lunch

Hamburger meet cooked 90lbs-OK
Chips 30 lbs- I would do at least 36. especially if self serve
Lettuce chopped 18-20 lbs- OK
Tomatoes chopped 18-20 lbs- OK
Onion chopped 10 lbs-OK
Cheese sauce 10 #10 Cans- OK, but you might get 12. you should only open 6-7 to start
Sour Cream 10 Gallons- 5 gallons probably enough
Salsa 10 Gallons- 6 gallons probably enough
You need 2 gallons sliced jalapenos

Sandra Anderson
10/11/10
We are having a Taco Bar potluck at our work. I would to find out how much of each ingredient we need to feed 20 people and then divide the ingredients down by price so that people can pick an item to bring to the potluck.
ellen
10/11/10
Look at the taco/potato bar for 100 and use 1/4 the amounts.
Kathy
10/21/10
I am making enchillas for the high school band. There are 120 members. I am also putting refried beans to cut down on the amount of meat needed.

How many pounds of ground beef are needed and what other sides do you suggest that won't break the bank (I'm doing this by myself).

Thank you

Kathy
10/21/10
Sorry, I meant to say in the second sentence that I am putting refried beans in the meat mixutre to cut down on the amount of meat needed.
ellen
10/21/10
Hi, Kathy,

I would make rice with 12 pounds dry rice. Tossed salad or veggie tray, 1 1/3 times the amount for 100. Charro beans- about 12 pounds. I would do both beef and cheese enchiladas, rather than adding beans to the enchiladas.

You need extra tortillas. Salsa, chips.

You need to allow 1 pound meat per 5 people. Whole boneless thighs might be cheaper than ground beef- make good enchiladas- check on it.

Patty
10/25/10
I am making the taco meat for a "faith fiesta" for our middle & high school teens at church. We don't have a count as families are welcome to come (there is no rsvp), so we could have anywhere between 100 & 200 people. The coordinator suggested I buy 10lbs of ground meat, but reading the above posts I am thinking it should be more like 20 to 25 lbs (Am I way off base?). We are having something like the walking tacos only buying the big bags of chips & using plates. The only other food we will have are mexican wedding cakes for dessert. They will be playing games so I don't think there will be time for 2nds. Thanks for any help you can give me. Also can you suggest something else I could make in a crock pot or 2 as a side so I won't need so much meat & to bring my cost down (out of my own pocket) thanks again.
ellen
10/25/10
This is a real headache with this wide a range.

You need to make rice and from=scratch beans. I would do 12=15 pounds of beans (leftovers freeze very well) and 10 pounds of rice. This will cut way down on the amount of tacos eaten- if there are no side dishes, teens tend to eat 4 or more! I would do these in roasters, not crock pots, due to the quantity.

One pound of regular hamburger serves 6 at most with this meal. You need at least 2 ounces of chips per person, could be more if it is a 4 hour party, as they will grab handfuls just to snack on. Consider adding some soft corn tortillas- cheaper than chips.

Patty
10/25/10
Thanks so much for your super quick responce!!! You are awesome!
Patty
10/25/10
Sorry one more question:

What rice recipe & what bean recipe would you suggest.

Thanks again!

Patty

ellen
10/25/10
I suggest my charro bean recipe and any of the Spanish rice recipes on the site, there are several.
Mary Ann
11/04/10
Thank you so much for this website
Dianne
11/28/10
fajitas for a crowd
How much meat do I need for feeding fajitas to 45 people?
Thank you!
ellen
11/29/10
See the fajita notes on the plan for 100 meat section use a scant half.
Lisa
12/27/10
Hi Ellen,
I have read thru this entire thread and I can't seem to answer my own questions.
We are planning a self-serve taco/nacho bar for a funeral. I know this sounds very unconventional but we will be serving food during the 2 hour (4-6pm) visitation preceding the actual service. At this point we are anticipating about 400 people at the service.

Ground Beef Tacos
Shredded Chicken Tacos
Nachos
Hard Taco Shells, Flour Shells, Tortilla Chips
Mexican Rice
Cake for dessert
Condiments to include: Shredded Cheese, Nacho Cheese, Sour Cream, Black Olives, Tomatos, Onions, Lettuce, Green Onions, Guacamole, Jalepeno Rings, Salsa.

I can figure out the condiments from the other sections of the website.

My question is how should I determine how much Groud Beef versus Chicken I should have for this number of servings? 50/50? 75/25? 70/30? 60/40?

In this type of a situation, should I still be planning on 2 shells per person and 1 ounce of chips?

I've reviewed your recipe for South of the Border Rice for 100 and see that it makes 6 pans. Again, for this type of a situation should I plan for making that recipe 4 times?

I'm concerned that because this isn't a "party" but instead a funeral that we may have way too much food. But then with it being right during the dinner hour, not having enough.

Thanks so much for your help,
Lisa

ellen
12/27/10
The amounts on the tables are plenty for dinner time, and at 4-6PM you could cut back at least 10% and still have enough- not every one will eat a full meal in this time slot.

For example, I would make 3 times the rice recipe, not 4.
Yes on the shells.
You want about 5/8 beef and 3/8 chicken.

It is a sad time, hope this helps.

carroll
01/01/11
I am having a wedding and want to cook beef and chicken fajitas, beans, rice and vegetables. How many pounds of meat will I need and how much beans and rice? I have 200 people invited to the wedding.

Thank You for your help,
Carroll

ellen
01/01/11
Please see these threads, make a calculation and if you need ,e to check it, write back.

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/14150.html

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/24577.html

Debbie F
01/14/11
I'm planning a taco bar for 30 adults and 5 children at a 40th birthday party (alcohol being served). I've referenced your TexMex page and am multiplying quantities by 3 since that serves 10. I'm also adding side options of Spanish rice and chips with salsa, guacamole and queso dip. I would like to offer a combination of beef and chicken for the tacos. How much of each would you recommend? And, how many pounds of shredded meat does one whole chicken usually produce? Thank you!
Debbie F
01/14/11
I forgot to ask. How much guacamole?
ellen
01/15/11
1 pound whole chicken is 1 cup meat.
You want 1 pound beef per 4 plus 1 cup chicken for 4.
1/4 cup guacamole per person.
Sarah L
01/29/11
Hi Ellen,

I'm at a loss for how many servings to prepare. We're having a birthday party at the local legion and we're offering shredded turkey sandwiches and a taco bar. I'm responsible for the taco fixings. We think 80-100 people may trickle in throughout the night-live band, keg, etc. Should I plan on taco fixings for 100 or less than that since we have the turkey sandwiches too? The other sides we thought we'd offer are some bars/brownies and a vegie tray. Any suggestions are most welcome!

ellen
01/29/11
I would do 2/3 the amount of tacos for 100, with some extra lettuce and tomato, as the turkey guys may make a bit of salad. About 60 people worth of turkey, and I would put the meat out in a crock pot, with the rolls, so people can make their own.
Sarah L
01/29/11
Thank you!!
Kammie
01/31/11
Hello. I read the entire thread and want to make sure I did the math correctly, as well as ask a few questions. I am planning a taco bar dinner for around 150 people. The following quantities are all in "raw/uncooked" form
30 lbs ground beef
18 lbs chicken thighs
10 lbs spanish rice
12lb beans (these will be made into refried beans so do I need more? Would it be easier just to make black beans?)
100 flour tortillas
350 corn tortillas
9 lbs lettuce
5 lbs onion
9 lbs tomatoes
5 bunches cilantro
25 limes
1 gal sliced jalapenos
2 gal sour cream
3 gal salsa
10 lbs shredded cheese
---I also wanted to know how much potato I would need if I were to cook potato chunks in the meat to stretch it.
Thank you
ellen
01/31/11
For 150 people if this is dinner, I might nudge some amounts up a little- 25 pounds chicken, 15 pounds each beans and rice. I love black beans and would definitely consider cooking/serving them whole instead of refried.

No more than 10 pounds of potatoes. You could also stretch the chicken by doing it fajita style with onions and peppers.

Jean Miller
02/17/11
Hello. I am trying to plan a taco, taco salad and fajita bar for 50 guests. With the combo bar, I am uncertain about my estimates. Would you please confirm my estimates and suggest amounts for the ones with question marks? Thank you!!!
beef for fajitas: 16 lbs. raw
chicken for tacos or fajitas: 12-13 lbs. raw
taco meat: ????
onions: 8 lbs raw
peppers 16 lbs. raw
shredded cheese: 6 lbs.
shredded lettuce: 36 oz.
tomatoes: 18 What is a good tomato for spring?
I can get the rest off your potato bar.
ellen
02/19/11
1 pound raw burger per 4-5 people, it will be the least used.

You will have cheese left- 5 would be enough.

Romas are good for this due to the meaty flavor.

Nicki Moser
03/08/11
I am having a salsa bar along with fruit kabobs and shrimp cocktail as appetizers for 100 people. There are going to be 5 different salsas. How much of each salsa should I make? Worried people may like one more than others and really don't want to run out.
ellen
03/08/11
Can you tell me what the salsas are? You need about 1/3 cup to no more than per person, but amounts of each depend on type.
ira
03/11/11
I'm doing a nahco bar for 12-15 people with ground beef, chicken fajita strips and beef fajitas how much will i need of each one?
ellen
03/11/11
If this is a meal, I would do 4 pounds raw beef, 3 pounds raw boneless chicken and 1 1/2 pounds ground beef. If not at mealtime, cut amounts about 1/5.
debbie
03/12/11
Wow great information!!! I am planning an office lunch for 25 - 30 people and want to provide chicken fajitas. Can you check my numbers?? A couple people in the group are heavy eaters..:)

15 lbs raw Chicken breasts
3 lbs shredded cheese
4 lbs sour cream
6 green bell peppers
6 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
3 orange bell peppers
10 lbs sweet onions
3.5 lbs(56 ounces)of guacamole
10 ounces uncooked saffron yellow rice
6 15.5 cans of black beans
4 7.75 ounces of canned sliced jalepenos
90 corn tortias
60 flour tortias

ellen
03/14/11
15 lbs raw Chicken breasts
3 lbs shredded cheese
4 lbs sour cream
6 green bell peppers
6 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
3 orange bell peppers
10 lbs sweet onions-6-7 OK
3.5 lbs(56 ounces)of guacamole- the more, the better
10 ounces uncooked saffron yellow rice-1 1/2 pounds
6 15.5 cans of black beans-OK
4 7.75 ounces of canned sliced jalepenos- Probably have some left
90 corn tortillas- you will have some left
60 flour tortillas-

How about adding 3-4 heads of shredded lettuce and 3 pounds of corn or tortilla chips- this will fill any little nooks and crannies in their tummies.

Debbie
03/14/11
Thanks Ellen!!! How much should I up on the guacamole? I typoed the rice I actually have 50 ounces (3.1ish)lbs, is that too much? I also forgot to mention that 3 people are vegetarian and asked for extra peppers and onions. I will add mushrooms for only the vegetarians as well. Thanks for the reminder of the lettuce and chips, I will add that to the menu too!! Thanks again! This page has been a lifesaver! Our normal lunch group was 10 people and all the sudden we have 27 sign up and I will be the first person to cook for this many people. I will be forwarding your site to all the other participants when it is their turn for luch. :)
ellen
03/14/11
I only do 8 pounds rice as a side dish for 100, so about 2 pounds should be fine. 2 ounces each is not too much on the guac, go for what you can afford.
If you get 12-16 ounces extra firm tofu, drain, sliver into long slivers, marinate in soy sauce and grill/fry your vegetarians will be delighted and well fed. Better than mushrooms...
Joe
03/29/11
How much ground beef will I need for tacos to serve a party of 30 people?
ellen
03/29/11
1/3 the amount for 100- see the taco bar page.
colleen
04/26/11
I am looking make soft tacos for my daughter's grad open house. I am planning to use chicken and beef fajita meat for these....also serving shredded lettuce, shredded cheese....possibly sour cream, salsa as well. Invitation list is about 200 people.

How much of each is needed? (desserts will be served as well....plus this is on a day and time when other graduates will be having their open houses...thus this will not be the only stop for most)
Thank you so much for any help you can offer.

ellen
04/26/11
You might get 85% turnout. Plan on 1 pound raw beef per 5 PLUS 1 pound raw boneless chicken per 5, 2 fajitas per person. More on the taco bar page.
Whitney
05/10/11
I work for a law firm. We are having a party of 25 to 30 people. How many pounds of meat would we need of ground beef & chicken?

Thanks :)

ellen
05/10/11
Hi, Whitney, same as right above, only multiply times 30 instead of 200. For other toppings, use 1/4 to 1/3 the amount for 100 on the taco bar page.
Nikki
05/18/11
We are trying to make a taco salad bar for our wedding - Can you give me a list of things we should have? Lettus, cheese, ect... just having some menu ideas would help alot!
We are planning to serve about 120 people
ellen
05/18/11
Nikki, go to the taco bar/baked potato bar page for quantities- you want to add a Mexican or Spanish rice and some beans.For appetizers, fruit tryas, chips and salsa and dips, maybe queso or 7 layer dip.
Heather
06/06/11
Im doing a Nacho bar for a grad party anticipating about 100 guests. what would be the amounts of beef, chips, and rice and bean, along with cnidments i should anticipate getting? thank you
ellen
06/06/11
Heather, just like a taco bar, only do 12-15 pounds chips instead of the tortillas, and about 3 gallons (4 #10 cans) nacho cheese per 100. See the taco bar page.
8 pounds each dried rice and dried beans.
Mary
06/08/11
I'm making a Mexican Pile-on for 100. How much:
taco meat, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, salsa, coconut, almonds, sour cream, bacon bits, tea, punch, coffee; do I need? Please respond asap.
ellen
06/08/11
Not familiar with this recipe- use the taco bar table, do coconut and almonds same volume as bacon bits.

Beverages see the beverage planning page, do dinner coffee, 4 gallons punch unless it is really delicious, 4 gallons tea. About 80-100 pounds of ice.

darlene
06/10/11
Ditto on the valuable info.

I have been asked to do a wedding reception comprised of a nacho and taco bar with condiments and side plus appetizers for approximately 80 people. The nacho bar will be open during the appetizers and meal. Appetizers are: beef empanadas with a black bean dipping sauce, shrimp “cerviche-like” cocktail dip w/chips, chorizo cheese palmiers, and green chili cream cheese dip w/chips.

Could you please check my quantites for accuracy please.

NACHO BAR:
7 lbs of chips
3 #10 can of nacho sauce
6 lbs of tomatoes
8 bunches of green onions
10 bunches of cilantro
2 1/2 lbs of sour cream
1 #10 can of jalapenos
7 lbs of lettuce
7 lbs of guacamole
3 gal ea of red & green salsa & pico de gallo
20 limes

TACO BAR:
150 corn torts
100 flour torts
15 lbs of carne asada
12 lbs of pollo asada

How much rice and beans should I figure and the taco condiments do I need as much as I do for the nacho bar??

Thanks for your assistance.

ellen
06/11/11
Darlene, I am not clear on the setup. Is this a taco and nacho bar, set up for the main course, or is the nacho bar a side dish/ appetizer, with the taco bar as a main dish? Write back.
darlene
06/11/11
Ellen,
The nacho bar will be set up as an appetizer and also the main course. The taco bars will be set up as the main course only. Sorry for the confusion.
ellen
06/11/11
Thanks. I would modify the nacho bar, or there is too much similarity between the taco bar and the nacho bar. You want them to look different. People will cross over if they need something. Also, some amounts need changing, there are too much of a few items.

Also, thinking of the nachos as appetizer, you want to make them not too drippy- these are not a big plateful- basically just chips with something good on them

USE crock pots (with liners-you'll thank me) for the meats, queso, rice and beans

NACHO BAR:
7 lbs of chips: A variety of tortilla chips (white corn, yellow corn, blue corn, or multigrain) would be delightful
3 #10 can of nacho sauce- only open 2- you may not need the third. You can also make your own with Velveeta style cheese, we have a white storebrand "melting cheese", which is even better. 2 regular to one Mexican.
6 pounds of tomatoes, chopped and drained- I would put this on the taco bar
8 bunches of green onions- I would put this on the taco bar
10 bunches of cilantro- I would put this on the taco bar
2 1/2 lbs of sour cream- need 3 quarts- you will need more on the taco bar
1 #10 can of jalapenos- 3 quarts would be enough
7 lbs of lettuce
7 lbs of guacamole
3 gal ea of red & green salsa & pico de gallo- 0ne gallon total is enough!
20 limes- ??? only with the chicken on the tacos?

TACO BAR:
150 corn torts-160?
100 flour torts- do 160
15 lbs of carne asada
12 lbs of pollo asada- meats OK

Taco bar

shredded cheese; also, if you can get mancheco, a crumbly white Mexican cheese, it is a great cheese choice and a bit fancier

Vegetables:
Corn kernels
Diced avocado
Diced red onion
Chopped green chilies
Chopped scallions
Chopped tomatoes

Sauces:
Salsa, bought or homemade: Mild, medium, hot
Flavored salsas (Mango, Verde, Habanera, Garlic/Lime, etc.)
Sour cream
Guacamole
Taco sauce
Ranch dressing

Garnishes:
Cilantro
Fresh lime
Sliced black olives
Sliced jalapenos, pickled or not
Shredded lettuce
olives

How much rice and beans should I figure and the taco condiments do I need as much as I do for the nacho bar?? 7 pounds dry. each, rice and beans

darlene
06/11/11
Thanks a bundle Ellen, your a magican!! The event isn't until the end of August but I will let you know how it went. Muchas Gracias!!
darlene
06/11/11
Just when I thought it was all taken care my client made some menu modifications. Instead of doing carne asada and pollo asada tacos for 80 she just wants to go with the carne asada taco and a chicken salsa verde enchilada casserole as the main course. How will that affect the quantities, especially the condiments in the taco bar items.

I'm figuring 2 tacos pp and eliminating the flour torts as they will be in the casserole.

NACHO BAR:
7 lbs of chips: A variety of tortilla chips (white corn, yellow corn, blue corn, or multigrain) would be delightful
3 #10 can of nacho sauce- only open 2- you may not need the third. You can also make your own with Velveeta style cheese, we have a white storebrand "melting cheese", which is even better. 2 regular to one Mexican.
3 quarts of sour cream
3 quarts of jalapenos
7 lbs of lettuce
7 lbs of guacamole (should this quanity be up to accomodate the taco bar?)
0ne gallon total red & green salsa & pico de gallo

TACO BAR:
175 corn torts
15 lbs of carne asada

?? lbs shredded cheese
?? lbs of mancheco

6 pounds of tomatoes, chopped and drained
8 bunches of green onions, chopped
10 bunches of cilantro
?? Corn kernels
?? avocados, diced
?? red onion, diced
?? green chilies, Chopped
?? Sliced black olives
?? Sliced jalapenos, pickled or not
?? lbs Shredded lettuce
?? limes, sliced

Sauces:
Salsa, bought or homemade: Mild, medium, hot
Flavored salsas (Mango, Verde, Habanera, Garlic/Lime, etc.)
?? quarts Sour cream
Taco sauce
Ranch dressing

Thanks again Houdini! My head is already spinning-how do you do it???

Also, if it's not too much a great recipe for green chicken enchiladas if you have one would be wonderful!! :>D

ellen
06/11/11
It is common to do enchiladas with a taco bar, and actually a good choice.

Enchiladas verde are usually made with corn tortillas? As to the tacos, I would do crispy shells as well as soft tortillas.

I do 2 enchiladas per person for this. I would do 1/2 the amounts of tacos for 100 for this.

Try to estimate this yourself, post it, and I will check it for you.

darlene
06/11/11
Taco Bar, Nacho Bar, Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole for 80-

NACHO BAR:
7 lbs of chips-A variety of white,yellow, and blue corn
3 #10 can of nacho sauce
3 quarts of jalapenos
6 lbs of lettuce
4 lbs of guacamole
4 pounds of tomatoes, chopped and drained
5 bunches of green onions, chopped
1 3/4 lbs Sliced black olives

0ne gallon total red & green salsa & pico de gallo

TACO BAR:
175 corn torts
15 lbs of carne asada

4 lbs shredded cheese
1 lbs of mancheco

4 pounds of tomatoes, chopped and drained
5 bunches of cilantro
12 avocados, diced
1 3/4 lbs red onion, diced
1 3/4 lbs Sliced black olives
3 qts Sliced jalapenos
5 lbs Shredded lettuce
15 limes, sliced

Sauces:
Salsa, bought or homemade: Mild, medium, hot
Flavored salsas (Mango, Verde, Habanera, Garlic/Lime, etc.)
3 quarts Sour cream
Taco sauce
Ranch dressing

Thanks again!

ellen
06/12/11
Nacho bar looks ok, you probably could put 2 of the lettuce pounds on the taco bar.

On the taco bar, since you eliminated the chicken, you don't need the limes. I would probably double the avocados, budget permitting; remember to rinse in lemon or tomato juice so they don't brown. And I would have 2 gallons, not quarts, sour cream, people pile it on the enchiladas as well as the tacos. About 160 enchiladas.

darlene
06/12/11
Thanks again Ellen for all your assistance. You have a great knack, keep it up!!
lori shaver
06/13/11
sloppy joes for grad party
Having a grad party for my senior how many lbs of ground beef and how many buns for 170 people
how many bags of chips to go with taco dips
ellen
06/14/11
About 45 pounds of ground beef (2 buns per person), and at least 16 pounds of corn/tortilla chips, assuming mostly teens.
LaCheyva Smith
07/11/11
Hi
I'm wanting to do a taco bar for 50 people for my rehearsal dinner. Please help with quantity and guesttimate on expenses.
thanks so much
ellen
07/12/11
For the quantities, do 1/2 the taco bar for 100, see the taco/potato bar page. plus about 4 pounds each dried beans and dry rice. Expense, you will have to figure the amounts and then go by local prices, they vary too wildly for me to help there.
LaCheyva
07/21/11
Hi

Thanks for the info. And understand that you can't really guesstimate a price. How about this question? Could I feed 50 people SOMETHING, for $200.00 to $250.00? At the most? Any suggestions on any style would be appreciated. We could do anything except Italian, as that is what we are already having at the wedding reception. Thanks

Linda
08/04/11
Carne Guisada
How long does it take to cook 35 lbs. of Carne Guisada in a roaster?
ellen
08/04/11
LaCheyva, that menu should be fine in that price range- cost it out with a shopping list at your local store.

Linda, 35 pounds is too much for one electric roaster, you need to do it in two, and it takes about the same time as the oven.

amanda
08/09/11
ok so i want to have a toco bar at my wedding how much meat do i need for 200 and what are some good sides nit toping
thank u ps i dont know y but my comp will only let me to to this page
amanda
08/09/11
thats 200 people
ellen
08/10/11
Cut and paste this URL to take you to the taco bar page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

You also need an appetizer table. I suggest fruit trays, chips and salsa, and a 7 layer or guacamole dip.

Susanne
08/13/11
I am making taco salad along with 5 other side dishes for a 50th wedding anniversary. How many heads of lettuce would you suggest?
ellen
08/13/11
Hello, Susanne.
You don't say how many people. You also need to use the taco bar page for help, try an estimate and post it, then also tell what the side dishes are.
Susanne
08/13/11
So Sorry...100 people I'm serving BBQ pork & Beef then pasta salad, cheesy pot., roasted red skins, veggie tray & dinner rolls.
ellen
08/13/11
Good info. This is basically a side salad. 7-8 pounds of lettuce is plenty. Put the chips on the side, so they don't get soggy.
Deb
09/19/11
Hi Ellen
We are doing a Mexican dinner for approx. 50 people at the Ronald McDonald house. My menu consists of: Beef and Chicken Tacos (Hard and soft shells) Beef and Chicken Enchalada's, Cheese Quesadea's, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans and Black Beans, Fruit Salad for dessert and Mock Sangria's.
I have figured: 30 # of chicken, 15# of Ground meat, 5# raw rice, # 4 of each kinds of beans
10# cheese. Does this sound right? Thanks so much, so glad I found the website !!!!
ellen
09/19/11
Deb that is a lot of meat and beans for this size party, and I would probably skip the quesadillas, which are best made and served fresh. Chips and queso would be a better choice, if you don't omit entirely.

22-25 pounds bone in chicken or 12 pounds boneless
10 pounds beef
5 pound total both kinds of beans
6 pounds cheese.

Anne
10/04/11
Birthday party with 11 adults. I want to have beef and chicken fajitas. How much of each do I need and how much rice, charro beans, queso and hot sauce?
ellen
10/04/11
Anne, see the plan for 100 page, beef and chicken for fajitas, use 1/8 the amounts for 100 and you will have plenty. If y9u want to post your estimates, I will check them.
1 pound each dry rice and beans, 1/3 cup queso per person
Kevin
10/12/11
I will be serving tacos, beans, rice, and chips for 100 people this weekend. Each guest will be getting three tacos each on the standard 8" round. The toppings I will be offering are lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa. What should the portion of meat and toppings be per taco? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks you!
ellen
10/12/11
Kevin, if you will stick with the taco bar for 100, you will have good amounts for all your toppings.
Kevin
10/12/11
I looked at the topping portions and everything looks great for the tacos. However, I did not see a specific amount for the meat component. For a 8" round flour tortilla, I was thinking around 4oz of meat and 2oz for a 6" round corn tortilla. Does this seem about right? Thanks again Ellen!
ellen
10/12/11
If you look at the chili amounts and keep in mind that 1 pound of hamburger makes 2 cups of meat, you will be able to figure it. The 8" would not take more than 3 ounces. Have fun.
Trish
10/13/11
Hi, I read the entire thread and am at a loss:
Having Taco bar for a church fundraiser serving 250 people along with Spanish rice, beans and enchiladas:
Using soy instead of meat,
How much do I need for basic tacos? Do you have a page I could go to for this info????
I am a novice at this huge amount.
Help???
ellen
10/14/11
Trish, go to the taco/potato bar page for complete info. The soy is weight equivalent to hamburger- about 1 pound per 4 people.

Figure 2 enchiladas per person.

Rhonda
10/15/11
We are having a Taco Bar for about 100 guest and how do you keep the tacos and tortilla warm. Just keep them in the oven. Any suggestions so they don't dry out.
Rhonda
10/15/11
How do you keep the taco shells and flour tortillas warm for 100 people?
ellen
10/15/11
Discussion on keeping warm on the taco bar page- check that.
Dontreallywanttogive
10/18/11
Nachos
I am doing a health chart, and how many servings of grain are there in about a plate of whole grain nachos? Don't know if you can help me with this but just thought I should try :)
ellen
10/18/11
1 ounce of chips is one grain serving, and the amount of ounces can be as little as one, or as many as 4-6.
Melissa
10/27/11
Our son is getting married May 5, 2012. My husband and I are paying for and preparing the food for the wedding. Bride and Groom want tacos, rice and rosarita refried beans, served buffet style. They are planning to invite 150-200 people. Although I have worked in resturants and have cooked for large groups, I have not done taco dinner for this many. can you give me some idea, or point me in the right direction,of how much of the following.
Hamburger
#10 size cans of Rosarita refried beans
rice
lettuce
tomatoes
onions
cheese
sour cream
avocados
Thank you for any help you can pass along.
ellen
10/27/11
Melissa, you want to go to the taco bar page and do 1 1/2 times the amounts for 100.

Consider doing some fajita-style meats as part of the meats, and consider adding either enchiladas or tamales to fancy up the feast.

You definitely want to add an appetizer table with Mexican style fruit trays, chips and salsa and guacamole, maybe some Mexican cheeses.

Sylvia
12/02/11
I am making layered enchilada casseroles to serve 100. Basically, layers of corn tortillas, diced cooked onions, diced cooked chicken, cheese, olives, enchilada sauce. Refried beans from the slow cooker. Your baked south of the border rice recipe and a side of shredded lettuce. Does 25 lbs. of boneless meat sound like enough-or too much? I also figured about 10lbs. of cheese and 10 lbs. of onions. I hope to end up with 7 or 8 trays. Does this sound about right? 215 tortillas (each tray will hold 3 layers of 8 for a total of 24), 3 large food service sized cans of enchilada sauce. 8 lbs. of beans cooked and mashed. How much lettuce should I plan for each person to have a small amount on the side? Sorry if this is confusing. I just found you and am starting prep work tomorrow and serving on Sunday at a church dinner. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks=)
ellen
12/03/11
See the stacked enchilada casserole for 100 in basic budget entrees for help on quantities. 20 pounds of meat would be enough. For help on lettuce amounts and toppings, see the taco bar article.
Xiomara
12/08/11
Hey I really need help im having a birthday party this saturday for my daughter I really dont know the amount of fajita and chicken to buy im planning to do chicken fajita strips with bell peppers and onion... Have no clue the amount I should buy for 200 persons? How many lbs of rice should I get?
ellen
12/09/11
16 pounds rice.
50 pounds chicken meat.
Ashley
12/13/11
Hi Ellen. We are wanting to do a Nacho bar for 200 people. We would like to serve chips, nacho sauce, taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, jalepenos, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. I have put estimated quantities down below. Could you please review and let me know what you think? Thank you!

15 lbs of chips
6 #10 cans of nacho sauce
12 lbs of tomatoes
6 lbs of sour cream
2 #10 can of jalapenos
5 lbs of lettuce
5 lbs of guacamole
2 gal salsa

ellen
12/13/11
If this is an entree serving, I would do a little differently:

15 lbs of chips- 25 pounds
6 #10 cans of nacho sauce- OK don't open the last one till you see how it is going.
12 lbs of tomatoes- OK
6 lbs of sour cream-10 to 15, depends on the local taste
2 #10 can of jalapenos,- OK
5 lbs of lettuce- OK
5 lbs of guacamole- Very short, people will take about 1/4 cup each
2 gal salsa- OK
Taco meat- 6 gallons (about 45 pounds)

shan
01/17/12
When precooking the taco meat for a party, should I wait until I the day of to add the seasoning?
ellen
01/18/12
No, cook it into the meat and let it mingle.
debbie
02/20/12
nacho bar
I am having a party for 40/50 people.I need to know how much meat,cheese,salsa ,lettuce,olives,sour cream,chips?Thank you for your help
ellen
02/21/12
Use the taco bar toppings for 500 and allow 1 pound of chips per 5 and 1/2 cup nacho cheese sauce per person.
nancy
03/03/12
how do you keep soft taco shells warm on a buffet, will a buffet warmer work?
ellen
03/04/12
Don't warm in the microwave, it stales them. See the taco bar page at the bottom.
Danielle M
03/06/12
I'm really, and I mean REALLY bad at converting things.

I'm making a Taco Bar for a co-ed baby shower. 1/2 of the attendees are men with big appetites.
About 40 people have RSVP'd

I'd like to do it as simple as I can.

I'm also a VERY bad cook. I'm purchasing the meat today. I'd like to offer both ground chicken, ground beef, and a little ground turkey as shell fillers.

How much toppings do I need, especially how much meat?

ellen
03/06/12
OK, if they are that big of eaters, count the 40 as 50.

For 100 people, I plan on 25-30 pounds total of meat for tacos. Skip either the chicken or the turkey, and do 20 pounds ground beef and 10 pounds ground poultry.

All the rest of the toppings are covered on the taco/potato bar page, you would do 1/2 the amount for 100.

I would be sure to have rice (about 4 pounds raw) and beans (about 1 1/2 gallons) for these big eaters.

Danielle M
03/06/12
Thanks! I'm considering instead of just plain white rice, making some sort of mexican rice or a rice casserole to go with the tacos. Any suggestions? Something easy?
ellen
03/06/12
There are several recipes for spanish rice and mexican rice for 100 on this site.
Dani
03/22/12
Hello!

We're having a surprise party and inviting about 200 guests, guessing that only about 130 show up (most of that being family which we know for sure will show up), how much do I need of each of the ingredients for a taco bar? I have no idea how to even guesstimate how many tacos per person seeing as this will go on from about 5 p.m. to midnight. It's going to be at a huge hall similar to one you'd have a wedding at. Just trying to grasp how much of everything I'll need to get.

Thanks in advance,
Dani

ellen
03/22/12
Get yourself over to the taco bar page, you would do 1 1/2 times the amounts for 150. Do the rice and beans for sure.

Add fruit trays and some chips with salsa and guacamole for appetizers.

Have a dessert buffet (see the dessert planning page).

Leslie
04/20/12
Hi Ellen,
I am celebrating a big birthday this year and would like to do a taco bar/frajitas using skirt steak.The sides would be spanish rice and beans.I am expecting about 85 people and am wondering if 3 tacos or 1-2 frajitas each,how much skirt steak?
ellen
04/20/12
A half pound raw is not too much, and you could do 1/3 boneless chicken and 2/3 beef. Happy birthday!
christy
04/24/12
spanish rice for 100
how much rice do I need to make spanish rice for 100 and would you have a good recipe for the spanish rice? I was planning to cook the rice in chicken broth and then add sauted onions, canned diced tomatoes, and a little rotel for flavor. Can I make the rice in an electric roaster? How far ahead of time can I make the rice and how do I keep the rice from sticking together?
ellen
04/24/12
There are both Spanish and Mexican rice dishes for 100 on this site, use the new search function.

You can make rice for 50 in one roaster.

Use converted rice, such as Uncle Ben's to reduce sticking. Hold at 180 in the roaster. It can hold up to 2 hours.

Jennifer
05/01/12
Hi Ellen,
I am doing an event for 150 adults serving both fajitas and tacos with all the fixings. I think I have it all worked out but am nervous that I missed an obvious. Could you confirm that I will need :Beef for Tacos 15 lb
Beef for Fajita 40 lb
Chicken Thighs Fajita 15 lb
Chicken Thighs Taco 15 lb
This is raw weight. Thanks.
ellen
05/02/12
This is plenty, you may have a bit left.
J
05/09/12
How much meat should go int a flour taco. I'm selling 2 per order
ellen
05/15/12
1 pound raw per 10 is plenty, as little as an once is used in some commercial taco places.
Amanda W.
05/16/12
I am having 40 people and doing a "street taco" style bar. We are having shredded chicken, pulled pork, and brisket as meat options. How much meat would you recommend for each? Thanks!
ellen
05/16/12
Too many meats for 40, I think. You want about 14 pounds cooked weight for 1 or 2 choices, you have to add about 3 more pounds and have leftovers with 3. Two choices, 5/8 beed, 3/8 second. 3 choices, 1/2 beef, 1/4 each of the others.
Bette
06/04/12
I am having 200+/- people for a graduation party. I'm going to serve two mexican casseroles that should feed about 90 people total. I am also having a taco bar with shredded chicken, beef, the usual taco fixings and spanish rice. Also having fried chicken, caesar salad and potato salad for those who don't like mexican food. What quantities would you recommend for the shredded chicken, beef, taco shells and fried chicken?
ellen
06/05/12
Do the taco bar for 150, see my taco bar page, and 1 piece of chicken per person.
Sam
06/28/12
Hi,

I am doing a tostada bar (flour tortilla bowl shells) for a baby shower with 16 adults and 4 kids. The shower will be at noon. We will also have rice and beans. Does the following sound correct?
5 lbs uncooked carne asada
4 lbs uncooked chicken
4 lbs lettuce
1.3 lbs tomatoes
.7 lbs cheese
2 bunches green onions
.7 lbs olives
.7 lbs onions
.7 lbs sour cream
1.4 lbs salsa
4 lbs guacamole

Thanks for your help!

Sam
06/28/12
I forgot to mention that everything will be self serve
ellen
06/29/12
I would increase the cheese to 2 pounds and the sour cream to to 2 quarts, otherwise, fine. Some people like ranch dressing on this type salad.
Lilly
07/11/12
I am helping my family with a party for 50+ that includes Fajitas, enchiladas, and taco bar. They are big eaters and I can't run out of food. She wants to do Steak and chicken fajitas (which I am worried the steak will dry out), chicken enchiladas, beef tacos.
I need amounts. We will also be serving appitizers of chips and salsa, poppers, corn muffins and firehouse chili. Sides will be rice and refried beans.
I had planned on making 75 enchiladas, 2 fajitas and 2 tacos per person. So my question is...How much meat/person per dish, how many heads of lettuce, lbs of tomatoes, lbs of cheese, servings of rice, servings of beans, how many onions & peppers for fajitas?
I was thinking 12 lbs 85% ground beef for tacos, 7 lbs chicken & 7lbs steak for fajitas. I am just worried about running out of food. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.
ellen
07/11/12
Marinate the steak and chicken to reduce drying, see the fajita page.

Do the fajitas as part of the taco bar- see the taco bar page, also. Use the toppings guide for 50 servings (1/2 of 100), add some extra sour cream and guacamole. Discusses rice and beans.

Do 2 enchiladas per person.

appetizers of
chips and salsa, 1 pound chips per 10, 1 quart salsa per pound
poppers, 3-4 per person?
corn muffins and firehouse chili, hmm, how about a queso instead for ease of serving and because there is a LOT of meat on the menu?

After you read the articles, check back on your meat amounts. Start a new thread.

Viva fiesta!

Jill
07/25/12
Hi,

I am putting together an event, a Jack and Jill party for my friend. I am planning on doing a taco bar for 100 people. I am a little lost on how much I will need for ingredients. I am also up to any suggestions that you might have on what to serve or recipes.
Any help that you can give will be greatly appreciated.

I am planning on having hamburger meat, chicken and a vegetarian option.

ellen
07/26/12
Go straight to the taco/potato bar for 100 page and find all your questions answered.
vicky
09/27/12
I am planning a Taco Bar for 40 HUNGRY high school football players! I am guess they will eat 2-3 tacos each. I am planning on 12 lbs of ground beef, do you think that is enouch? I will also be serving Rice & Beans.

Could you please help me with the "toppings" amounts?? I took a look at the potato bar topping page, but I'm worried it's not enough for HS teenage boys!! LOL

Shredded Cheese
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Tomatoes
Sliced Black Olives
Sour Cream

Thank you for your time,
Vicky

ellen
09/27/12
Simply count them as 3/4 of 100 and you will have enough. I would try to do 18 pounds meat.
Trish
10/11/12
Lasagna for 150 people
Hi Ellen,
Baking lasagna for 150 people. How many servings can I get from one of those deep aluminum pans (the kind you serve turkeys in)?
Also, please guide me to the basic lasagna recipe.

Thanks for your time and help!
Trish

Trish
10/11/12
Lasagna for 150 people
I found your recipe for lasagna. Just need to know the servings in above question!
Thanks,
Trish
ellen
10/12/12
An 11x17 pan ho0lds about 10 quarts and 3 of those serves 50.
Debbie Barrick
10/17/12
Tacos for 50 to 60 people
I need to know how many onions, tomatoes and lettuce heads all chopped it will take to serve for tacos for 50-60 people....also need to know approx. how many cups of shredded cheese and sour cream I will need as well..Thanks so much!!
ellen
10/18/12
Discussed in detail on the taco/potato bar page. Use 1/2 for 50 or 2/3 for 65.
Sabrina
02/06/13
I'm haveing a wedding and there is going to be a little less than 150 people and we are serving tamales, enchiladas, rice, beans and haveing a taco and nacho bar could you please tell me about how much of everything we would need?
ellen
02/06/13
Sabrina, what about appetizer choices and what toppings are you considering for the bar? Write back.
Sabrina
02/06/13
Really the nacho bar is kinda the appetizer and that just going to be the cheese, diced can tomatoes and chips...and as for toppings on the taco bar just cheese,lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Unless you think I should maybe put something else as we'll on there. Thnaks!
ellen
02/07/13
OK. You are talking a TexMex appetizer bar, followed by a dinner.

You will need two serving areas for the appetizers for 150 people.

Chips- 1 pound per 10
Cheese sauce- 1/3 cup per person
Jalapenos-3 quarts per 100
I would add
salsa- 1/4 cup per person
guacamole- 1/4 cup per person
fruit trays- for 100, see fruit tray page

This is what I would do for the dinner;

tamales, 3 per person
chili sauce, 1/4 cup per person
enchiladas, 2 per person
taco bar- do amounts for 75 (3/4 of 100) using the taco bar page, but make the following additions;
sufficient lettuce for salad for all, if you do not plan a separate salad- 18 pounds shredded total
chopped tomatoes- 12-15 pounds
12-13 pounds sour cream

rice, 12 pounds dry
beans, 12 pounds dry

Sabrina
02/07/13
Thanks so much Ellen I absolutely LOVE the fruit idea.! Your a total life saver!!!
Denise
02/26/13
Hi Ellen,
Planning a reception with a taco bar for 150 ppl.
We are having pulled pork, shredded beef, and a chicken,bean,corn type cold filling. Were also having refried beans, rice, and possibly a salad.
How much raw pork bone-in butt and boneless chuck should I get. I can see that you recommend to have more of beef, but my sister is offering to make and pay for the beef so I am planning on making the most of the pork, the middle amount, beef, and the least amount, the chicken/bean/corn salad. Please help! Thank you!
Denise
02/26/13
I forgot to add that there will be mostly adults, with probably half of them being twentysomes.
ellen
02/27/13
I would do the toppings, especially the lettuce and cheese, on the taco bar and add fruit trays rather than another salad for the buffet.

The very nice addition would be guacamole, if the budget permits; 1/4 cup per person.

You want about 5 ounces of cooked meat per person, and with this assortment, I suggest 1 ounce cooked chicken, 2 ounces each ready to eat pork and beef. So, for 150 people, about 16 pounds raw chicken (thigh meat is moister and holds better); 60 total raw beef and pork, I would do half and half, but you can divide to your own choice.

It would be good to make some of the corn and bean salsa meatless for the vegetarians in the group.

Denise
02/28/13
Great idea for the meatless corn and beans for vegetarians. It will be easy to do. I need to find a good inexpensive source for avocados. I did read where they can be frozen. Have you ever done this?Was thinking of using your mucho gusto appetizer as a mixed salad. This seems like it would be less expensive than a fruit tray. I haven't priced the jicama yet. This event will be in April 20, is that a good time to buy jicama? Thank you for this wonderful site! I will be donating--so worth it!
ellen
02/28/13
I recently paid just $21 for a case of avocados at a restaurant supply store- do check your wholesalers. Yes, it does freeze, it needs the lemon juice stirred in.

Good idea about the mucho gusto- Jicama is celery root, keeps practically forever, as it is like a beet- it takes a long llong time to get passed edible, Red grape or cherry tomatoes would be beautiful. Or maybe add a side of melon bites.

ellen
02/28/13
Here is the site to help about freezing avocadoes:

www.avocadocentral.com/how-to/how-to-store-how-to-ripen-avocados

Denise
03/04/13
I like the grape tomatoes idea. I will watch for good deals on the tomatoes and avocados. Thanks for the avocado link. I will report back and let you know how it went. Thanks!
Denise
03/17/13
Hi Ellen,
I have another question. I am going to make cold chicken, bean, corn, and red pepper filling for a tortilla wrap. It will have a sour cream dressing on it. I want to use chicken breast instead of thighs as I like the look of it better with the sour cream dressing. I plan on using bone in breasts because I think they have more flavor. Can I bake them, cut into small pieces, and freeze them and still have them be tender and juicy. Also, do you have any tips for making the chicken breast tender when cooking? Thanks.
ellen
03/17/13
Best to poach or steam the breasts if you want juicy and tender. Tough or dry is overcooked. Yes you can freeze the cooked meat, but it will stay moister if you freeze whole and cut up after thawing.
Jana
03/26/13
We are serving 265 guests -1/2 American with chix breast, mashed potatoes and green beans, and other 1/2 with Enchilladas and taco bar (beans, rice and veggies fixens). Could you give advice on how to determine lbs of each- for burger, chicken, potatoes and beans?
Jana
03/26/13
Oh, and lbs for rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, jalapeños and sour cream as well. Thanks!
ellen
03/27/13
If it is buffet service, people will have some of each. Use the taco bar page, do 1 3/4 times the amount for 100. It has about meat, rice, beans, and all the toppings.

For the chicken, have 1 pound raw chicken per 4 plus about 70 pounds potatoes.

Denise
04/05/13
I am wanting to make your borracha beans. Which of the optional ingredients do you use? How will I heat them if I make them the night before and store in the refrigerator? Thanks.
ellen
04/06/13
I live where all the optionals are easily available and people like some flavor in their beans, so I use all of them.

Easiest no-scorch reheat is in the oven tightly covered in a roaster pan for a couple of hours at 325; or on crock pots on high for 3-4.. Top of the stove, you have to be vigilant about stirring and scorching.

Denise
04/06/13
Would an electric roaster work for reheating the way that an oven would work, or would there be a problem with the scorching?
ellen
04/06/13
The problem is, the issue of scorching on the bottom in the roaster, due to the heating element. You can reheat at 295- it just takes about 4 hours, and some stirring.
Rhiannon
04/08/13
Ellen-
First time hosting a walking-taco dinner. We are anticipating #200 people (graduate students). We are buying the small bags of doritos (so planning on #2 bags per person) with toppings of salsa, lettuce, cheese, black olives, and sour cream. How many pounds of taco meat should we make?
Rhiannon
04/08/13
I should add that we are envisioning "1 scoopful/ladel-ful" of taco meat per bag...but really don't have a clue HOW MUCH "1 scoopful" really is...
ellen
04/09/13
Take a look at this recipe on the site:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

essentially, about 3 pounds, 6 cups, per 25 people...

Annette
06/10/13
We are planning a dinner for 100-120 people and want to do a Bajio type salad....tortilla, beans, rice, shredded lettuce, chicken or pulled pork. Can you give me a ballpark idea of how much of each thing we need. How many heads of lettuce will it take for this? Thanks so much for your help.
ellen
06/10/13
This salad on a flour tortilla with lettuce, chopped cilantro, corn, cheese, possibly black beans, avocado and other taco fixings, topped with tortilla strips. Usually you heat the tortillas on a tortilla on a skillet or griddle; for this many, you would use the instructions for heating tortillas on the taco bar page.
Basically, per serving, you place the warmed tortilla in a bowl. Add chopped fresh lettuce (romaine is very popular), corn and cheese and then chicken. On top, tortilla strips, cilantro and dressing of your choice (usually cilantro ranch), with a couple of lime quarters.

The characteristic slightly sweet shredded chicken is easy to make in a crock pot (or simmered at just 200 degrees). The original Bajio recipe uses caramelized onion and a green chile chutney, this one is a bit less sweet. Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen. This is the proportion, count your breasts to figure the total.

You need 1 pound raw boneless per 4 if self serve, 5 if you serve.

4 large boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
1/2 cup Salsa (mild for mild, can use hot for spicier result)
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 tablespoon Cumin seed
1 (4 oz) can diced Green chilies
6 ounces of Sprite ( 1/2 a can)
Heat covered in the crock on low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and let simmer for another hour.

Even better if it then sits in its juices overnight and is reheated.

You need about 3 1/2 quarts of dressing for 120 people- have a pint of plain old Italian for the old-fashioned. For each pint of Cilantro Ranch dressing:

1 pint Ranch dressing (premade or homemade)
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno (remove seed) or 1/4 teaspoon crushed cayenne
1 tsp. lime juice
1-3 tomatillos (remove outer papery skin)
1 garlic clove

Run in the blender, again, great to make the day before.

Now about the rest:

lettuce, 1 pound per 8
chopped cilantro, 1 bunch chopped per 6
corn, 10 pounds per 100
cheese, 1 pound shredded per 10-12
tortilla strips, 1 ounce per person

All the other toppings, use the taco bar page

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site.

Keesha
09/02/13
Taco Bar
I am helping with my class reunion and we are having a taco bar and I need hamburger amounts for about 50 people
ellen
09/02/13
Use the taco bar page and do 1/2 the amounts for 100.
Ceci
09/03/13
We are having a big reunion and want to serve carne asada tacos. How many pounds of meat and torillas would we need for 300 people?
Ashley
09/05/13
I am looking to serve 140 people at my wedding give or take. I want to do a taco bar with beef and shredded chicken, soft and hard taco shells, and nacho chips plus all of the fixins. What would you recommend the quantites would be.
ellen
09/05/13
Ceci, use the numbers on the taco bar page for all the fillings and toppings. 3 times the amount for 100.

Ashley, use the taco bar, just under 1 1/2 the amount for 100. You need appetizers for the hour before the pictures are done, here is why:

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

To add nachos, provide 1 pound chips per 12, add a #10 of sliced jalapenos.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex adding chips, salsas or queso, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

Bob
10/09/13
taco bar for 30 female at baby shower
Serving:
asada,chicken,pork tacos
beans
rice
lettuce
onions
cheese
lemons
limes
cilantro
sour cream
grilled onions
chips
salsa

Please help

ellen
10/09/13
Go to the taco bar page, tacos for 100, use 1/3 the amount of everything, and you will come out perfectly.

Chips, I generally allow 1 pound per 10.

Bob
10/09/13
Thank You
Linda
02/11/14
I am having a b-day party for 200 people serving a taco bar. Will I have plenty of food using 500 taco shells 40 lbs of ground beef 5 lbs of lettuce, 13 lbs of tomatoes 14 lbs of cheese and 2 gallons of salsa. Just making sure. Thank you
ellen
02/11/14
Not exactly, please see the taco bar page for detailed guidance.
Melissa
04/01/14
What other things can i make to go along with my taco bar wedding? my soon to be SIL thinks the tacos won't be filling enough.. our wedding is at 4pm dinner at 5-530pm... shooting for 150ppl
ellen
04/01/14
See the menu for a TexMex wedding fiesta on the fajita page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmexfajitas.html

There is further info on the taco bar page.

Jenni
06/28/14
Thank you for helping me prepare a taco bar for my daughter's wedding! You are amazing!
ellen
06/29/14
Hope it went well and you had about the right amounts. You are welcome.
Wanda
07/28/14
Hi Ellen,

We are having an 80th birthday party for my mother and there will be approximately 65 people that will be there to eat lunch and dinner. We plan simple like sandwiches with chips and veggie/fruit trays for lunch and fajitas with all of the fixings for dinner. we will be cooking the meat and making the charro beans, Mexican rice, queso, grilled onions & pico de gallo ourselves and will purchase the sour cream,shredded cheese & chips from the store. We plan to purchase the refried beans and guacamole from a local restaurant. I am at a total loss as to how much of any of these foods I need to purchase for cooking/serving OR how much of the ones to purchase from the restaurant. Can you please help?

Wanda
07/28/14
Here is my email address if you want to send the info via email.

Thanks!

Cindy
08/07/14
How much cooked spanish rice and cooked pinto beans will I need for 100 people for a taco bar?
ellen
08/27/14
Wanda, I am so sorry your note came in during my move, when I had to be off line!

I hope you found the taco bar page, which deals with amounts of meats and toppings and side dishes for all those items.

ellen
08/27/14
Cindy, about 60 cups (8 pounds dry) of rice and the same of the beans
Nikole
08/28/14
Walking tacos
Going to be having a Walking Taco & baked potato bar at my local harvest home! How much of everything will I need?
ellen
08/29/14
Not even a clue for me how many people?

Seriously, use the taco/ potato bar page and just do enough for the number of people coming. Doesnt matter what they put it on...

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