How Many Sloppy Joes Can You Make Per Pound of Ground Beef?

Sloppy joes are a classic American sandwich made with a saucy, seasoned ground beef mixture served on a bun Their simplicity makes them a budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing meal But when making sloppy joes for a group, it can be tricky to figure out how much ground beef you need. So how many sloppy joe sandwiches can you expect to yield per pound of ground beef? Let’s break it down.

Determining Sloppy Joe Portion Size

The first factor is determining what size sloppy joe you want to make A typical sloppy joe contains around 1/3 to 1/2 cup of ground beef mixture, which is about 2-3 ounces of uncooked meat

Some guidelines on sloppy joe sizes:

  • Small slider-sized sloppy joe: 1/4 cup filling (about 1.5 oz uncooked beef)
  • Regular sloppy joe: 1/3 cup filling (around 2 oz uncooked beef)
  • Large sloppy joe: 1/2 cup filling (about 3 oz uncooked beef)

Portion sizes can be adjusted up or down depending on the appetite of your crowd. Kids and older adults may want smaller portions, while teenagers and hungry adults may want more filling.

Pounds of Ground Beef Per Sloppy Joe

Here’s how many regular-sized sloppy joes you can expect from 1 pound of ground beef:

  • 1 pound ground beef = about 16 ounces uncooked
  • If each sloppy joe uses 2 ounces uncooked beef, you can make approximately 8 sloppy joes

So for regular-sized sandwiches, plan on around 8 sloppy joes per pound of ground beef.

Here are the estimates based on sloppy joe size:

  • Small (1.5 oz filling): 10-12 sloppy joes per lb
  • Regular (2 oz filling): 8 sloppy joes per lb
  • Large (3 oz filling): 5-6 sloppy joes per lb

Account for Shrinkage and Waste

It’s important to note that ground beef loses some volume and weight when cooked. You can expect up to 15-20% shrinkage when the meat is browned and drained.

It’s also smart to account for some waste from juice losses and any meat bits that get left behind in the pan.

To compensate for this shrinkage and waste, you may want to purchase an extra 1/4 to 1/2 pound of ground beef per pound of uncooked meat called for in the recipe.

Determine Number Needed Per Person

In addition to the sloppy joe size, you need to determine how many sandwiches each person will want to eat. Here are some guidelines:

  • Children under 12: 1 sloppy joe each
  • Teenagers: 2 sloppy joes each
  • Adults with sides: 1-2 sloppy joes each
  • Adults without sides: 2-3 sloppy joes each
  • Big eaters: 3+ sloppy joes each

On average, plan on about 2 sloppy joes per adult when serving alongside at least 1-2 hearty side dishes like coleslaw, beans or fries. For kids ages 12 and under, allow 1 sloppy joe per child.

Without plenty of sides to help fill up, plan on 3 sloppy joes per adult.

Putting It All Together

Let’s put this all together with a sample scenario:

You’re hosting a family barbecue for 8 adults and 6 kids ages 8-12. You want to make regular-sized sloppy joes.

  • Adults: 8 x 2 sloppy joes each = 16 sandwiches
  • Kids: 6 x 1 sloppy joe each = 6 sandwiches
  • Total People: 8 + 6 = 14
  • Total Sloppy Joes Needed: 16 + 6 = 22 sandwiches

Since you need about 8 sloppy joes per pound of ground beef, to make 22 sandwiches you will need approximately 3 pounds of ground beef (22 divided by 8).

And remember to buy an extra 1/4 to 1/2 pound to account for shrinkage and waste. So in total, buy 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 pounds ground beef to have enough for 22 sloppy joes.

Leftover Ground Beef

Any leftover cooked ground beef can be frozen and used later on in chili, pasta sauce, casseroles or tacos. Refrigerate within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days for the best quality and food safety. Portion the meat into freezer bags or containers and freeze for 2-3 months.

And leftover uncooked ground beef keeps 1-2 days in the fridge, so you can get multiple meals out of one grocery store package. Just be sure to handle the meat safely by keeping it chilled below 40°F.

Extra Tips for Maximizing Yield

Here are some extra tips for getting the most sloppy joes out of each pound of ground beef:

  • Use lean ground beef for less fat shrinkage. Look for 90% lean or higher.
  • Handle ground beef gently when shaping patties to limit meat compaction.
  • Use sloppy joe sauce to moisten any dried out browned beef before mixing together.
  • Serve condiments like pickles and onions on the side to add flavor without bulking up the bun.
  • Offer smaller slider rolls or buns to trim portion sizes.
  • Stretch the meat further by adding grated carrots, mushrooms or extra onions.
  • Add dry fillers like breadcrumbs, dry oatmeal or textured veggie protein.

Sample Sloppy Joe Recipes

Once you know how much meat you need, get creative with fun sloppy joe recipes and toppings!

  • Classic Sloppy Joes – The traditional sweet and tangy tomato-based sauce.

  • Chili Sloppy Joes – With chili powder, cumin and hot sauce mixed into the meat.

  • Southwest Sloppy Joes – Top with guacamole, pico de gallo and pepper jack cheese.

  • Greek Sloppy Joes – With feta, tzatziki, tomatoes, spinach and olives.

  • Bacon Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes – Bacon crumbles, pickle, onion, mustard and cheese.

  • Pizza Sloppy Joes – Pepperoni, marinara sauce and melted mozzarella.

With the right ratio of 1 pound beef to 8 buns, you can easily whip up enough delicious sloppy joes for any crowd. Then get creative with globally inspired sloppy joe recipes and condiments!

How to Make Sloppy Joes | Get Cookin’ | Allrecipes

How many sloppy joes in a pound?

Because they’re served on a bun, they also stretch a pretty long way! The rule of thumb for sloppy joes is that you need about 3 ounces of raw ground meat per person. That means each pound will make 5-6 sloppy joes! Just multiply the number of people by 3 ounces. Then divide it by 16 to get pounds (because there’s 16 ounces in a pound).

How much meat do you need to make sloppy joes?

To make **sloppy joes**, you’ll need approximately **1 pound of ground meat** to serve **6 people**. However, if you’re feeding a larger crowd, you can stretch the meat by adding more non-meat ingredients

How many sloppy joes sandwiches per person?

Supply enough filling and buns for 1½ sloppy joes sandwiches per person. Some people will have two, most will have one, and a few won’t eat one at all. (Like the vegetarians in the crowd.) If you plan on 1½ sandwiches per person, you should have enough food for everyone. Especially if you have sloppy joes toppings and generous side dishes.

How many sloppy joes per bun?

Important Note: if using 1/2 cup serving of sloppy joe mix per bun, this will make 50 Sloppy Joes. 1/2 cup makes an ample serving per bun with a little spillage off the sides of the bun. Like we all expect a sloppy joe to look. Using 1/3 cup serving per bun will yield 60 Sloppy Joes with a smaller about of meat per bun.

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