Do you need to know how many cans of baked beans to get for a large group? It can be tricky to calculate, but this guide will help make it simple.
Whether you’re serving a crowd at a barbecue or potluck or want some beans on hand for easy meals, we’ll show you how much you’ll need. Could you keep reading to learn all about it?
How Many Cans of Beans for a Large Group?
A half-cup of baked beans is the average portion size per person. Depending on how many sides are served with the beans and the guests in attendance, serving sizes may vary. It’s a good idea to ensure everyone has enough since it’s difficult to estimate how much people will consume when hosting a party.
It’s easy enough to figure out how many cans of baked beans you’ll need by using our group size guide below!
Group Size Servings Per Can be Baked 1 – 8 people 15 – 17 per can Baked 9 – 12 people 18 – 20 per can Vegetarian (32 servings) 13+ cans Pork & 15-17 per can Beans No-salt (22 servings) 2 cans.
How Many Cans of Beans for Small Groups?
If you’re feeding a small group, say three to four people, then the 13 servings per can in regular baked beans or pork and beans will be plenty. You’ll only need to get one can, so it’s easy to calculate how many you need.
How Much Baked Beans Do You Need?
If you are planning a large group event, whether a picnic or a whole-family reunion, baked beans are an easy choice. They are hearty and filling, not too difficult to make, and don’t require much work at all to prepare. Plus, they feed many people for not that much money!
However, before you decide to whip up a crockpot full of your favorite recipe, there are some things you should know about baking large quantities of beans at once. The difference between 1 cup of dried beans and 2 cups can be massive when cooking for more than ten people!
The chart below shows how many baked beans to prepare per person and how many cans you’ll need to buy per group.
Types of Baked Beans?
The first thing to consider when planning how much baked beans to get for your group is the type of baked beans. There are a few different types, and they vary in size and number of servings per can:
- Baked beans: These classic sweetened beans with pork or bacon contain 15 – 17 servings per can.
- Pork and beans: These sweetened beans come in various flavors, including barbecue, honey, and country-style. They contain about 13 servings per can.
- Vegetarian refried beans: You’ll need two cans to equal one cup; this type of vegetarian baked beans contains 32 servings per can.
- No-salt baked beans: These contain about 22 servings per can.
What Type of Beans Are Best?
There are many varieties of beans available on the market today. When preparing baked beans for multiple people, certain varieties are better than others for best results. The most traditional of baked bean recipes call for pinto beans. These are the standard, and they will always be good; however, there are also several other options to choose from, such as:
- Navy Beans
- Black Beans
- Great Northern Beans
- Cannelini Beans
All these kinds of beans work well in baked bean recipes and can help add some variety of interest to your baked bean offering. You should use more than one kind of beans if you’re making a big batch.
That way, you can mix it up and try new flavors while still offering some uniformity across all the dishes, so people don’t feel like you’ve just given them a random handful of whatever dried goods you had on hand at home.
Cooking for a Large Group
You can now calculate how many baked beans you’ll need by determining how to prepare them.
This includes considering whether you will be using canned beans, crockpot baked beans, instant baked beans, or some other option.
Once you have made this distinction, here’s how to figure out how many beans you’ll need for your large group of people.
If you are preparing canned baked beans, one can is equal to 1/2 cup on average. Hence, if you’re cooking them for 100 people, each person would get roughly 2 tablespoons of canned baked beans.
Crock Pot Baked Beans:
If you are putting them in a crockpot instead of cooking the baked beans over the stove, use 5-6 cups of dried beef per crockpot, equivalent to about 1.5 pounds of dried beans.
For 100 people, that means you’ll need at least 7 crockpots full of baked beans. Assuming each person gets about 2 tablespoons, then each person will get roughly 12 tablespoons of crockpot baked beans.
Instant Baked Beans:
If, instead, you’re using instant baked beans, use 5-6 cups per serving. For 100 servings, that’s around 3 gallons worth. So if you want each person to have around 4 tablespoons, then this would be enough for 75 servings for instant ones.
These metrics are based on a serving size in mind for all three kinds of the canned, crockpot, and instant kinds mentioned above. That means that you’ll need about 12 tablespoons worth of canned baked beans, or around 25 cups, for 100 servings.
For 100 people using the crockpot method, each person will get about 4 tablespoons worth or 7-8 cups. For instant, this would be about 5 pounds worth.
Pro Tip: If you are cooking for a large group of people who eat fast (kids), then consider getting twice as many servings as normal to account for this. If, instead, they’re slow eaters (such as older adults), then only order enough so they can all have their fill.
Also, please think of how you are going to keep them warm.
When preparing baked beans, a slow cooker is an excellent choice. Fill it up with the amount you need and turn on low. You can leave for hours without worrying about your beans cooling down, which means fewer trips to the oven to reheat!
If you are not using a slow cooker, an oven is the next best option. However, it is more hands-on. You must constantly check your beans to make sure they do not overcook or burn. This method is most effective for large batches of baked beans when preparing ahead of time.
If you want to make baked beans in the microwave, be very careful. Microwave ovens can cook unevenly and burn food easily, including baked beans.
They also do not retain flavors and smells well. Consider this method only if time is of the essence! Of course, you can always go back to an oven or slow cooker after microwaving your beans for a quick warm-up.
How to Make the Beans Stretch?
When you’re in charge of bringing a dish to a football party, you want to make sure your food lasts as long as possible.
If you bring a small can of baked beans, it won’t get the job done. Even if you were to double that small can, it still probably wouldn’t be enough for everyone attending. So how many cans should you plan on getting?
First things first: this article will provide some quick and dirty tips on making your “one-pot” of food last.
It’s important to note that not every type of baked beans will have these same tips available – so please don’t go out and buy fifteen different kinds of canned baked beans, thinking they’ll all be the same!
Not only will they be different, but you’ll also end up spending more money than necessary on food.
Instead of doing that, why not just buy a large can or two of your favorite type and try out some of our tips?
Double Up On the Dishes
One easy way to make your baked beans stretch is by doubling up on the dishes you’re using. Instead of serving them in one large dish, break them up and use small ones like bowls and ramekins.
You could also serve them in bread bowls or hollowed-out loaves of bread if you have enough people attending the party!
The idea here is pretty simple: whatever you can do to make your one batch stretch over multiple servings instead of just one – do it.
Use a Variety of Beans With Baked Beans; you’ll want to choose a variety instead of just one kind because the different types will have different textures and flavors.
For example, baked beans that have molasses in them will be sweeter than those with brown sugar or other sweeteners. That way, everyone can choose what they like best!
We recommend using as many as possible, so there’s something for everyone. And if you’re throwing a party where people can try out multiple dishes from around the world, this idea goes double for you.
Spoon the Beans Carefully
You don’t want your guests having to fish around a giant bowl of baked beans – half the fun is eating them.
If you’re using a larger dish, try carefully spooning the beans out, so they are all in one flat layer.
This way, everyone will get an equal amount of beans without having to dig through them or miss some because they sunk to the bottom. If you’re using small individual dishes, place them around the large dish and let your guests help themselves.
Keep Drinks Separate
We know – it can be really hard to keep drinks separate when you’re talking about thirsty football fans!
The best thing you can do here is to make sure people aren’t eating and drinking too much at once (especially if they eat fast).
Try serving drinks in between servings of food instead of with it; this gives people time to digest what they’ve eaten before filling up again.
If you need more time in between servings, try using long-handled spoons to serve the beans instead of big serving spoons that will get people too excited.
Baked beans are a popular dish for large groups, and there are many different types to choose from. Whether serving them at a potluck or a barbecue, it’s important to know how much to get.
We’ve outlined the different types of baked beans and how much to get for different size groups. Now it’s up to you to decide which type of baked beans is best for your next big gathering!