How Much Ground Beef Do You Need for Sloppy Joes for 100 People?

Planning to make sloppy joes for a big group of 100 people? Figuring out how much ground beef you’ll need for that many sloppy joe sandwiches can seem daunting. Having the right amount of meat is crucial so you don’t run out of this tasty, saucy filling.

In this article, we’ll look at how to calculate the quantity of ground beef needed to make sloppy joes for 100, along with some tips and guidelines for scaling up this classic recipe for a crowd.

Figuring Out Serving Size

The first step is determining how much sloppy joe filling you want to allow per person. A typical sloppy joe sandwich uses around 1/3 to 1/2 cup of meat mixture. For 100 people, here are some serving size options to consider:

  • 1/3 cup per person – More modest portion size, good for lighter appetites.
  • 1/2 cup per person – Average portion size, will satisfy most adults.
  • 2/3 cup per person – More generous portion for big eaters.

To have plenty of extra, you might choose the higher 2/3 cup per person amount With 100 people, that equals about 67 cups of sloppy joe mixture total

Now let’s look at how much raw ground beef is required per cup of cooked sloppy joe filling.

Calculating Raw Meat Needed

Sloppy joe filling cooks down quite a bit as the ground beef browns and the sauce reduces. To determine the pre-cooked amount:

  • 1 cup cooked sloppy joe filling = around 1/4 to 1/3 pound raw ground beef

With 2/3 cup portions, that means you’ll need about 1/6 to 1/4 pound ground beef per serving

For 100 people at 2/3 cup each, that equates to about 16 to 25 pounds of raw ground beef. To have a safe buffer, aim for 20 pounds of ground beef total.

Buying in bulk 5 pound packages, you’ll need around 4 packages of ground beef for 100 servings. Check your grocery store circulars for family pack specials to potentially save on costs for large events.

Tips for Making a Large Batch

When tackling a big sloppy joe recipe, keep these tips in mind:

  • Cook in batches – Brown the beef in smaller batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and stewing. Cook 4-5 pounds per batch.

  • Use big equipment – Use the largest stockpot or Dutch oven you have to fit the full amount of beef and sauce.

  • Simmer longer – For food safety, keep the joe mixture simmering for 3-4 hours total to ensure it reaches proper internal temperature.

  • Make ahead – Cook the sloppy joe filling 1-2 days in advance. Let cool completely before refrigerating.

  • Transport safely – Reheat sauce to 165°F before transporting. Use slow cookers or chafing dishes to maintain temperature.

  • Have extra buns – Provide at least 125 buns to allow for second servings. Soft burger buns or sandwich rolls work great.

  • Offer condiments – Provide pickles, onions, cheese and other toppings so guests can customize their sloppy joes.

With the right amount of ground beef and some advance preparation, you’ll be ready to serve up hot, saucy sloppy joes to satisfy a hungry crowd!

Sloppy Joe Sauce Ingredients for 100

To match the 20 pounds of ground beef needed, you’ll want larger quantities of the other sloppy joe ingredients:

  • Diced Onions: 4 extra large or 6-8 medium onions, finely chopped
  • Bell Peppers: 3-4 large red, yellow or green peppers, chopped
  • Celery: 4 cups diced celery
  • Ketchup: 4 cups
  • Tomato Sauce: 4 (15 oz) cans
  • Tomato Paste: 2 (12 oz) cans
  • Brown Sugar: 1 cup, packed
  • Mustard: 1 cup yellow or spicy brown
  • Worcestershire Sauce: 2/3 cup
  • Vinegar: 1 cup
  • Water: 6-8 cups
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika

Adjust any ingredients to your preferences, but keep the ratio of meat to vegetables and sauce roughly the same. This will yield around 25 quarts of sloppy joe filling, allowing for generous 2/3 cup portions per sandwich.

Serving Tips

To easily serve up the sloppy joe mixture:

  • Chafing dishes – Use 2-3 large chafing dishes with Sternos to keep the meat sauce piping hot.

  • Individual portions – Use ladles to portion meat into cups or trays for each person to avoid cross-contamination.

  • Assembly line – Set up a build-your-own sandwich bar with the meat, buns, and toppings spaced apart.

  • Condiments – Offer ketchup, mustard, pickles, and other condiments for customizing.

  • Easy access – Make sure the sauce is accessible from both sides of a buffet table to prevent crowding.

  • Allergy warnings – Post signs indicating common allergens like beef and wheat. Have veggie burgers on hand for non-meat eaters.

With some planning and preparation, serving up sloppy joes for 100 is totally doable. Just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand for this famously messy sandwich!

Buying Ground Beef in Bulk

When purchasing the large amount of ground beef needed for sloppy joes for 100, here are some tips:

  • Check restaurant supply stores for 25-40 pound tubes or bulk packs of ground beef.

  • Ask your local butcher if they offer special pricing on large quantity ground beef orders.

  • Look for supermarket family pack specials or ground chuck on sale.

  • Costco, Sam’s Club, or Smart & Final type stores carry affordable bulk ground beef options.

  • Lean ground round or sirloin is ideal, but 80/20 ground chuck also works well.

  • Calculate total pounds needed and allow for some extra.

  • See if your location has foodservice providers that sell in bulk to the public.

Buying ingredients in larger quantities can help reduce costs for big groups. And nothing beats the hearty flavors of sloppy joes when cooking for a crowd!

Making Vegetarian “Sloppy Joes” for 100

For non-meat eaters in the group, you can also make veggie sloppy joes for 100:

  • Use 3-4 pounds of crumbled tempeh or veggie ground “beef”

  • Sauté chopped mushrooms, lentils or TVP chunks for texture

  • Add lots of umami flavor with tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika

  • Use thick pureed beans like kidney or pinto as the base

  • Stir in beet juice or tomato paste for a “bleeding” meaty color

  • Sizzle with browned onions, peppers and savory seasonings

With the right components, you can create a protein-packed vegetarian sloppy joe filling that’s deliciously satisfying. Offer both meat and veggie versions so all your guests can enjoy this fun sandwich.

Make It a Sloppy Joe Bar

An interactive sloppy joe bar can be a big hit for large groups:

  • Offer a choice of ground beef or vegetarian sloppy joe mixture

  • Provide brioche buns, pretzel buns, Hawaiian rolls and sandwich breads

  • Toppings bar with shredded cheese, crispy onions, jalapeños, guacamole, salsa

  • Corn chips, potato chips, coleslaw, potato salad as side options

  • Condiment station with ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, BBQ sauce

  • Beverage bar with sodas, lemonade, iced tea, water and ice

With a DIY sloppy joe bar set-up, your guests can build their perfect sandwich masterpiece. It’s an enjoyable, memorable way to serve sloppy joes to a crowd!

Sloppy Joe Tips

To make sensational sloppy joes for 100 people, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use flavorful ground chuck or sirloin for the best texture

  • Sauté onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic as the aromatic base

  • Simmer the sauce for 2-3 hours to allow flavors to meld

  • Add umami boosters like ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and brown sugar

  • Toast the buns briefly for a touch of crunch and warmth

  • Chill leftover sauce and reheat gently to serve again later in the week

  • Have plenty of napkins available for the inevitable drips and spills

  • Embrace the messiness! Sloppy joes are meant to be eaten with gusto

When you focus on flavor, the rest of the details will come together for a successful event. Your crowd of 100 will be delighted with these saucy, beefy, soul-satisfying sloppy joes!

How to Make Sloppy Joes | Get Cookin’ | Allrecipes


How much ground beef to feed 100 people?

6-1/2–9-1/2 pounds
26–30 pounds
Ham or roast beef
10 pounds
40 pounds
Hot dogs
4 pounds
13 pounds

How many lbs of sloppy joes for 50 people?

How many pounds of hamburger do I need for 50 Sloppy Joes? Our recipe calls for 1 ½ pound of ground beef, which makes enough for six servings. To make 50 sandwiches, you would need to purchase 12 ½ pounds of meat.

How many pounds of ground beef for 50 people?

I would suggest a quarter-pound ground beef/pork per person. That works out to about 12–1/2 – 13 pounds.

How much does 1 lb of sloppy joes feed?

In general, we call for 1 pound of ground beef to make 6 sandwiches in our sloppy joes recipes. That works out to 3 ounces of ground beef per sandwich. Depending on the size of your bun and how meaty you like your sandwich, you can increase or decrease that amount an ounce or two either way.

How much ground beef does it take to make a sloppy joe?

To make Sloppy Joes for 100 people, you’ll need to purchase approximately 25 pounds of ground beef. This may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that the other ingredients will help bulk up the meat and create a delicious and filling sandwich.

How to make sloppy joes?

“Very nice recipe for Sloppy Joes in a very large amount. (I only use 1/2 cup of the sugar and find that good)” In a Large dutch oven, brown the beef, onion, peppers and celery in batches until meat is browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large roaster. Add the next eight ingredients. Cover and simmer 3-4 hours. Serve on buns.

How to make sloppy joes for 100 people?

For Sloppy Joes for 100 people, using 25 pounds of ground beef means using 5 large onions, 5 large green bell peppers, and 5 cups of chopped celery. These vegetables can be chopped finely and added to the meat mixture as it cooks.

How much sloppy joe meat filling per sandwich?

Plan on ½ cup of sloppy joe meat filling per sandwich when served on a regular-sized hamburger bun. This is about 2½ ounces of meat per sandwich. Estimate 1½ sandwiches per person to ensure there is enough food. You can reduce this amount by about 25% if several side dishes are also served.

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