# How many meatballs do I need for 50 guests?

## Key Factors to Consider

When planning for a large party or event with 50 guests, determining how many meatballs to make can be tricky. Here are the key factors to take into account:

### Meatball Size

Meatballs come in a range of sizes, from cocktail size (about 1 inch) to larger meatballs around 2 inches in diameter. For appetizers, smaller 1-inch meatballs are typical. Larger meatballs work well for entrées or heartier appetites.

### Meatballs Per Serving

As a general rule of thumb, plan for 4-6 meatballs per guest if serving meatballs as an appetizer. For a meal, plan for 8-12 meatballs per person.

### Other Foods Being Served

If meatballs are the only appetizer, plan for more per person. If you are also serving things like vegetables, cheese, crackers, dips, etc., you may be able to get away with fewer meatballs.

### Appetizer vs. Meal

For an appetizer course, attendees will likely eat fewer meatballs than if meatballs are the main course. Plan quantities accordingly.

### Guest Appetites

Consider your guests and the event. Hearty appetites may call for more meatballs per person. For example, teenagers may eat more than adults. At a cocktail party where drinks and mingling are the main focus, guests may eat less.

## How Many Meatballs for 50 Guests?

Taking these factors into account, here are some recommendations for 50 guests:

### Meatballs as an Appetizer

– 1-inch cocktail meatballs: 200-300 meatballs
– 2-inch appetizer meatballs: 100-150 meatballs

### Meatballs as a Main Course

– 2-inch meatballs: 400-600 meatballs

So for 50 guests, plan for:

Meatball Size Meatballs for Appetizer (Qty) Meatballs for Main Course (Qty)
1-inch cocktail 200-300 N/A
2-inch appetizer 100-150 400-600

These quantities allow for some extra meatballs to account for high appetites and possible food waste/cooking issues. It’s always better to have extra than not enough food.

## Shopping List for Meatballs

To determine the quantity of ground meat and other ingredients you’ll need, take into account:

– Meatball recipe yields – How many meatballs does the recipe make?
– Purchasing extra meat – Get 10-20% more than calculated needs as a buffer.

For example, if your recipe yields 24 2-inch meatballs per pound of ground beef, and you need 400 meatballs, you’ll need about 17 pounds of ground beef (400 / 24 = 16.7 pounds). Purchase 18-20 pounds to be safe.

Do the same math for other key ingredients like breadcrumbs, eggs, seasoning, etc. Having a detailed shopping list will make prepping for a large event much easier.

## Serving Meatballs for a Crowd

Here are some tips for easy serving:

– Use sterno warming trays to keep hot meatballs at a safe temperature if serving for buffet lines or appetizer stations.

– Bake meatballs on rimmed baking sheets so they can be transferred easily to serving platters.

– Set up multiple serving stations for quicker access rather than one big platter.

– Provide small plates and appetizer forks/toothpicks so guests can easily take meatballs from serving trays.

– For passed appetizers, have servers circulate with trays of meatballs to make offering easy.