How Much Roast Beef Should I Make for 15 Adults? A Complete Guide

So you’re hosting a dinner party for 15 adults and want to make roast beef as the main course. But how much should you make? It’s a great question, and the answer depends on a few factors. In this complete guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to buy and cook the perfect amount of roast beef for 15 adults.

Determine How Much Roast Beef Is Needed Per Person

The first step is determining how much roast beef each person will eat. Here are some guidelines:

  • Plan for around 1/2 pound of raw roast beef per adult This allows for generous 5-6 ounce cooked servings

  • For hearty eaters, bump it up to 3/4 pound per person

  • If you’ll be serving roast beef sandwiches the next day, increase to 1 full pound per adult.

  • Offer at least two sides plus rolls or bread to accompany the beef. This prevents people from piling on too much meat.

So for 15 adults, plan for either 7.5 pounds (at 1/2 pound each) or 11.25 pounds (at 3/4 pound each) of raw roast beef. I always like to err on the side of too much food rather than not enough.

Choose the Right Cut of Roast Beef

Picking the optimal cut of beef is key for tenderness and flavor. Here are the best options for roast beef:

  • Rib roast: This prime rib is tender and juicy with beautiful marbling. It’s a splurge but perfect for a celebration. Allow 1/2 rib roast per 3-4 people.

  • Top round: Much more affordable than prime rib, top round is a leaner cut that benefits from slow roasting. It has great beefy flavor.

  • Eye of round: Another budget-friendly choice. Be sure to trim excess fat and roast low and slow.

  • Chuck roast: A versatile, inexpensive cut that shines when braised. It needs extended cooking time to become tender.

Season and Prepare the Roast Beef

Seasoning is what takes roast beef to the next level. For 15 people, here are some simple seasoning ideas:

  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder: Can’t go wrong with just a basic savory seasoning blend. Use about 1 tbsp each on the roast.

  • Italian herb blend: Rosemary, thyme and oregano add wonderful depth. Rub 2-3 tbsp all over the beef.

  • Steak seasoning: Upping the umami flavor with steak seasoning is never a bad idea. Sprinkle on liberally.

Don’t forget to let the roast come to room temperature before cooking for even heating.

Determine Cook Times

Cook times vary based on the cut, size and whether you want it rare, medium or well done. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Rib roast: Cook 15-18 minutes per pound at 325°F for medium rare. Use a meat thermometer for 125°F.

  • Top round: Roast 20 minutes per pound at 325°F until 135°F for medium.

  • Eye of round: Roast for 25 minutes per pound at 275°F, until 130°F for medium rare.

  • Chuck roast: Braise on the stovetop or roast at 325°F until very tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes per pound.

For a crowd, lean towards the medium to medium well range to satisfy all preferences. Don’t worry, a flavorful crust from searing will still provide plenty of texture.

Make Sure You Have the Right Roasting Pan

You need a roasting pan big enough to comfortably fit the size roast you are cooking. For 15 people, I recommend a large, sturdy stainless steel roasting pan with rack, 16″ x 13″ or larger. It will spread the heat evenly around the entire roast.

Rest and Slice the Roast Beef

Never skip letting the roast rest before slicing – at least 10 minutes up to 30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute so they don’t run out when you cut into it. Use a sharp carving or slicing knife to cut thin slices against the grain.

Aim for around 4-5 ounces of roast beef per person. Slice on a cutting board close to the table for dramatic presentation. Pour the rested pan juices over the top or serve on the side for dipping.

Going Above and Beyond

If you really want to impress your 15 guests, consider these special touches:

  • Make beef broth from the bone, scraps and drippings for a luscious gravy.

  • Offer horseradish sauce, chimichurri or zip sauce as condiments.

  • Infuse herbs like rosemary or thyme under the roast beef skin for extra flair.

  • Make Yorkshire puddings or roast garlic mashed potatoes as unique sides.

  • Set up a carving station to slice the roast beef right in front of your guests.

The Perfect Roast Beef – Medium Rare


How much beef do I need for 15 adults?

Boneless Meat
Number of People
Bone in meat
6lb / 2.73kg
12 – 13
8lb / 3.64kg
7lb / 3.18kg
14 – 15
10lb / 4.54kg
8lb / 3.64kg
16 – 17
12lb / 5.44kg
9lb / 4.08kg
18 – 19
14lb / 6.35kg

How much beef do I need for 16 people?

When cooking something like steak, turkey or pork, where meat is the main dish of the meal and paired with a few side dishes, we recommend about 1/2 pound (eight ounces) per person, or up to 3/4 (12 ounces) pound for bigger appetites and those who love leftovers.

How many people does 10 lbs of roast beef feed?

Bone-in roasts: Figure about one-pound per person. A 10-pound roast will feed 8-10 people. Boneless: Allow about a half-pound per person, which should yield about a 6-ounce piece. A 3-pound tenderloin would feed 6 people.

How much roast beef for sandwiches for 15 people?

According to the search results, the general guideline is to estimate 4 to 6 ounces of roast beef per person for sandwiches at a party [1].

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