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Cook Talk

Nacho Bar
Brenda
04/07/13
I am planning my son's graduation and I'm planning to have a Nacho Bar for approximately 150 people. How much ground beef do I need to have enough meat and how many packages of taco seasoning would I need. Any other suggestions your could give me would be helpful. Thanks
ellen
04/07/13
Use the taco bar page, 1 1/2 times the amount for 100. There is a recipe for home made taco seasoning on this site- will save you beaucoup bucks.
Barb
04/09/13
Nachos
Our school is having a Family Fun Night and we will be serving Nachos for 300 people. How many cans of Nacho Cheese (107oz) will I need? The nacho's will be in the plastic trays.
ellen
04/09/13
If this is the small tray of nachos 12-20 chips, about 1/4 cup of sauce, 2 1/2 #10 cans per 100-
Jessica
09/10/13
I am planning on a nacho bar fundraiser for our youth football team. It will be during a high school football game and hoping for a large turn out. What would be the best recipe and amounts?
ellen
09/10/13
The best recipe depends on your price point, which is how much you are going to charge. Thinks about the other concessions at the game to give yourself an idea.

Realistically, are you looking at planning a hundred baskets, or a thousand? I don't know how many people will attend.

You can go as simple as chips, sauce and jalapenos, or maybe you want to add beans or chili as an option at an extra charge? Are you depending on crock pots, or do you have a real booth available? I need more info. Write back.

Jessica
09/12/13
We are hoping to serve 200. We were thinking of having chips, nacho cheese, shredded cheese, chili, taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, that sounds like a good plate of nachos. Would you recommend anything else for them or not have something?
ellen
09/12/13
Actually that sounds like a nacho platter, or nachos grande as we call it around here, which is often ordered as dinner. At a game, people are usually looking for a snack, not a meal. Also, the more choices, the harder on the servers and the slower the customers will be on deciding, which matters in a game situation. So, I would cut back a little, since you don't want to have to charge $7-$10 a serving!

You could do it by offering-

Basic- chips, cheese, jalapenos, and one topping
the works- choice of all or any (price as if they will all order everything).

chips, 1 pound per 6 servings=
nacho cheese, 5-6 #10 cans for 200
shredded cheese, skip. Slows things down a lot and you need a microwave or oven/broiler for them to be good
chili, taco meat, do only the hot dog chili here:
Classic Drive-in Hot Dog Chili for 100
Mild, slightly sweet, freezes well, cook a little longer if you want it thicker. Chill overnight if you want to skim fat. All chili is better the second day.

16 pounds ground beef (if you use ground turkey, add 1/4 cup oil)
5-1/2 cups beef broth
8 (10 ounce) cans tomato sauce (use part tomato paste for thicker chili)
8 cups ketchup
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons onion powder
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
OPTIONS:
add up to 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons mustard, 1-2 tablespoons cumin, garlic powder or crushed garlic to taste, 1-2 tablespoons cayenne

Place ground beef in a large saucepan with broth and mash the beef with a potato masher to break apart. Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, chili powder, salt, black pepper, sugar, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cook over medium heat until the chili has thickened slightly and the beef is fully cooked, at least 30 minutes.

One is probably enough, it is OK to run out

refried beans, good, but you need to heat serving size 1/3 cup, do 2-2 1/2 gallons. Could also do unsmashed beans, which are easier to spread around the serving

lettuce, tomatoes, onion, SKIP offer a chunky salsa or piquante sauce instead. serving size 3 tablespoons. 1 1/2 gallon

jalapenos- 2 gallons for 200- serving size is 3 tablespoons level
sour cream- 12-14 pounds, serving 2-3 tablespoons

Several bottles of shake on hot sauce for the burnt-mouth enthusiasts.

You must have measured scoops for the meat, salsa sour cream and cheese sauce, or your generous helpers will run out! A trial run and practice session as a lunch for the volunteers would be a very good idea.

stephanie
03/27/14
Our school is having a drumline competition and we will be serving Nachos and frito pies for 550 people. How many cans of Nacho Cheese (107oz) will I need? And how many cans of chile? The nacho's will be in trays.
ellen
03/31/14
Allow 3 #10 cans per 100 for the nacho cheese. Allow 1/2 cup chili per person (measure!), 24 servings per #10 can.
KBM
04/29/14
Nachos
We are serving nachos for party - need to know how many cans of cheese nacho sauce to buy and also how many chips - they come in 6 pound boxes at Sam's club… serving 230
ellen
04/29/14
For serious plates of nachos, you want 3 #10 cans per 100 plus 1 pound chips per about 8 (depends on other food), and you want a few quarts of sliced jalapenos.
Rachel
05/07/14
I am doing cheese/chili nachos for a fundraiser and plan on using crockpots. What setting should it be on and for how long? Not sure about the logistics of keeping it all hot!
Should I always have a back up on warm for when i run out? I don't want it to burn!
ellen
05/07/14
Crockpots on low are great to hold for hours, but you need to heat on stovetop. Per hundred, you need between 2 and 3 #10 cans, and they are pretty slow to heat without scorching, (30 minutes), so plan to put out 2 per 100 hot and have at least 1 more heating.
Roxy
05/12/14
Having a party with a nacho bar for 60-70 people? How many cans of nacho cheese will I need? How many tomatoes, lettuce will I need?
ellen
05/12/14
2 #10 cans
For everything else, go to the taco/potato bar page and use the guide for chips and toppings. Button at the top of the main cook talk page.

A fruit tray with plenty of melons and pineapple makes a great side for this.

brenda
08/10/14
Having band preview day doing nacho supreme for 100 how much meat needed and how.much nacho cheese sauce chips salsa sour cream needed
ellen
08/10/14
3 #10 cans nacho cheese sauce. Rest is per the taco bar tables on this site. Gallon of sliced jalapenos.
mo
10/13/14
Making a nacho buffet to feed 30 teens. How much ground beef, nacho cheese sauce, chips, sour cream, jalapeño peppers, salsa, shredded lettuce would I need to feed 30 teens?
ellen
10/14/14
Is this a meal, or a snack? What else is being served? Please write back.

For ballpark, look at the taco bar page.

Jessica
01/14/15
Fiesta Meal
I am hosting the Boy Scout banquet for 150 people with a fiesta theme. At least a third of the guests will be aged 10 and under. We are thinking about doing a nacho bar and then either walking tacos, taco bar and or cheese and/or chicken enchiladas. What are your recommendations for amounts to buy?
ellen
01/15/15
For nacho info, see 9/12/13 above.

If you were to do nachos and tacos or walking tacos, I would strongly recommend combining all in one as discussed in this thread and on the taco bar for 100 page (you would do 1 1/2 times the amounts for 100.

With nachos, whole beans rather than refried are the best choice.

If you do nachos, your fiesta meal could enchiladas, rice, beans, salad and colorful fruit trays.

enchiladas, 12 per each 5 people, 2/3 meat, 1/3 cheese
1 pint sour cream per each 15 people
rice, 18 pounds dry, which is about 130 cups, several mexican and spanish rice recipes on this site.
beans, 5 gallons (6 #10 cans or 12 pounds dry)
salad, use the plan for 100 page
I suggest 3-4 gallons of corn or mango salsa
colorful fruit trays, use the fruit tray page, the deluxe fruit tray for 100 would be about right. A fruit tray with plenty of melons and pineapple makes a great side for this.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per quest, to support this site. Thank you.

Jannia
03/11/15
I need to feed 30 teens how much chips, nachos cheese and jalapenos do i need???
ellen
03/12/15
Is this a snack or a super nacho meal and in relation to what event? It affects amounts. Write back.
Jannia
03/12/15
just a snack the event is for a party??
ellen
03/12/15
You want about 4 pounds of chips for the base for a single round, 1 #10 can nacho cheese sauce or 1 gallon queso, 1-2 quarts jalapenos, 1 quart salsa. For crumbled meat, up to 4 pounds. For other items, use the topping table on the taco bar page, do 1/3 the amount for 100.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per quest, to support this site. Thank you.

Kathy C.
06/03/15
Graduation party for 75-100 people, I have a recipe that can be used for Nachos, Hot dog sauce and Tacos which is what I'm making for party. How many pounds of meat do I use. One recipe calls for 2# with 24oz of ketchup, 1-2 cups of water plus chili powder. The Tacos I'm making are actually in a 1oz frito bag. thank you for helping!
ellen
06/05/15
I use the hot dog chili recipe for 100 on this site and i calls for about 16 pounds of meat per 100. That might do for you.

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/43504.html

f this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation,maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Patty Petrosini
06/10/15
Nacho/Taco Bar
Having end of school year party for 350 at my daughter's high school. We are not only having Nacho/Taco Bar but also subs, chips, watermelon, desserts and an ice cream truck. This is for lunch.
How much of the following do you think I should prepare:
Ground beef
Black beans
Sour Cream
Nacho Cheese
Shredded Cheese
Salsa
Jalapenos
Chips
Flour tortillas

Thank you for the advice!

ellen
06/13/15
You don't say how much of the other foods, that absoutely determines the amount for tacos/nachos. Use the taco/potato bar page, button at the top of the main cooktalk page. You would probably do for at least 200.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Andrea
08/22/15
My daughter is getting married and we are having a nacho bar and also a few finger foods for the ones who do not like nachos but my main focus is the nacho bar. It started out for 300 but looks like it is gonna be for 350 I want to have these things:
Hamburger meat. Chips. Lettuce. Tomatoes. Black olives jalapeño Black beans. Refried beans. Nacho cheese. Onions is there something else I am missing for it?
Also my finger foods are bbq cocktail smokies and sausage balls fruits/veggies dips cheeseballs crackers etc.
ellen
08/22/15
Andrea, this menu for 350 people requires at least 4 people in the kitchen and 18-20 out front to set up, serve and clean up this size party. They will not be at the wedding; they will be setting up. It requires a commercial kitchen. This party needs at least 3 double sided serving lines or 6 single lines to serve all in less than an hour, since this is a slow moving line as people assemble their nachos.

You have a good plan for types of appetizer foods.

Also there is a menu challenge. If this is at a meal time, Andrea, it is not enough food. A typical Tex Mex wedding dinner would add at least rice and enchiladas, and most would have fajita style meat (sliced grilled beef/chicken), not just hamburger.

If it is a 2 hour afternoon reception, the nacho bar as you discussed is workable.

Please write back and tell me more about the plan.

Aimee Hough
09/30/15
We (work committee) are planning a work event and need to sever about 300 people. We would like to do a Nacho Bar. Since I do not know about catering to large groups of people I need some help /advice.
How much Ground beef do we need?
How much chips do we need?
How much Nacho cheese do we need?
How much salsa do we need?
ect ect - sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion ect......

Also we as a committee are planning on cooking / preparing it all ourselves. How much does something like this cost?

thanks for your help in advance

ellen
09/30/15
Aimee, please read the article labeled taco/potato bar, the button is at the tp of the main cooktalk page, make some firm decisions about exactly what you plan to serve and tell me the age/gender mix of the group, and then write back.'

Also, look at the "out of the trash bag walking taco salad" recipe for some additional hints. If it is primarily a lady group, you need somewhat different amounts than men or mixed adults or teens.

You will need at least 4 serving line for this many people, 6 would be better; 15-20 volunteers to set up, serve and clean up, and 4-5 people in the kitchen day of.

You will have to figure your costs locally, there is way too much regional variation. Also, choices matter; for example, boneless chicken thigh meat can be bought for $1 a pound on sale and at restaurant supplies and makes much better and cheaper shredded meat than ground beef. Some kind of whole beans or refried cuts down on the meat and gives any vegetarians a filler for their nachos.

Write back.

David
10/04/15
Are #2 size paper trays a good size for a nacho fund raiser? I am planning on selling them for $2.50 ea. Thanks
ellen
10/04/15
Yes. Check out these eco-friendly ones:
www.webstaurantstore.com/bagcraft-papercon-300697-2-lb-ecocraft-grease-proof-natural-kraft-food-tray-1000-case/150300697NAT.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping&gclid=CNTvkpeuqsgCFQGoaQodILsF7g
JD
12/28/15
Is there a way to keep chips hot at a nacho bar set-up? i am using chaffing dishes for the meets and queso but didn't know if they would also work with chips
ellen
12/28/15
The best is the restaurant style heat lamp, which can be rented. Not closed in, so no sog.
Ashlei
03/04/16
Hi,

How much do i need each for 900 people?

Chips-
Sour cream-
Nacho Cheese-
Salsa-
Refried Beans-
Jalapenos-

Thank you!

ellen
03/04/16
Is this a snack, a meal, one of several appetizers? Is each person going to have one, and is it self serve? Are they paying for it? All these things affect amounts/ Write back.
Brenda A
08/15/16
skinless boneless chicken legs
I am a the president of the BHS Band Boosters and we are having our preview day and will need to feed 200 people (adults and students) how many pounds of boneless skinless chicken do I need?
How much macaroni do I need to make macaroni salad?

THank you

Brenda A
08/15/16
skinless boneless chicken legs
I am a the president of the BHS Band Boosters and we are having our preview day and will need to feed 200 people (adults and students) how many pounds of boneless skinless chicken do I need?
How much macaroni do I need to make macaroni salad?

THank you

ellen
08/15/16
About 65 pounds chicken.

16 pounds dry pasta to start, plus add-ins.

Kristina Becker
01/09/17
We are doing a nacho bar during the cocktail hour at my daughter's wedding reception. We will be serving a full meal about an hour later after the cocktail hour. We are expecting about 150 people. How many lbs of taco meat should we cook being it will just be an appetizer.
Thank you!
Marilyn Parker
01/09/17
I am doing a fundraiser, to bring awareness and prevention to rape culture on college campuses feeding 1,000 to 1,5000 college students can you PLEASE help me with how much I need of each

Nacho Cheese
Tortilla Chips
Ground Beef
Sour Cream
Jalapenos
Tomatoes
Onions
Salas
Re fried Bean
Spanish Rice

ellen
01/13/17
Maeilynn, is this a single dinner event or multiple, where and how being served. Please send more info.
Randa
01/31/17
Hi there- we are serving around 250 YOUTH nachos- we plan to serve nacho chips with nacho cheese and cookies- HELP me plan this.. I am not sure how much of anything to purchase- thank you
ellen
02/01/17
What time of day/evening and are these teens or under 12? Need more info, please write back.
Nico
02/06/17
How much cheese and chili would be needed for a nacho bar feeding at least 500 adults? This for a function from 4 pm to 9 pm, and there will be alcohol on the premises. It is a self serve, unlimited nacho bar so I'd rather have too much as opposed to not enough. Please help, thanks!!
ellen
02/06/17
Are you having any other food/dinner or will this be basically peoples' free dinner? Please write back, it makes a big difference.
Nico
02/08/17
No other food. This will be a free, self serve nacho bar for the entire evening.
Also, I will be using large crock pots to keep the cheese warm. Do you foresee that being problematic?
Thanks so much for the quick response.
ellen
02/08/17
OK, they will eat a huge amount. I suggest you add in some low cost additions; refried and/or black beans, sliced jalapenos, sliced olives, salsa and sour cream and the other items on the taco bar page are ideas. The amounts on the taco bar page are about right per 100 for a dinner time meal.

For safety sake, a pot of hot food can only be out 2 hours before discard, and you can't put new cheese or beans on top of old. Recruit a LOT of crock pots; for 600 people you are looking at at least 15-18 #10 cans of nacho cheese topping, 12- 15 #10 can beans or refried beans, and the largest crock pots only hold about 1 1/2 cans.

Chips, at least 1 pound per 8, per 6 is more likely for do it yourself plates. Consider adding shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes for the many guests who will be limiting carbs; it creates the option for "taco salad".

You can write back. If this helps, please consider a donation to support the site.

ellen
02/08/17
Use crock pots with liners for the meats (if you have them), queso and beans. That was the warm station.
Have all the chopped veg in chilled bowls with backup filled bowls in the fridge so you can swap as they were used up.
Have the salsa station with assorted salsas, creama or sour cream, guacamole.
Megan
02/19/17
We are having a nacho bar and I was going to make refried beans to go along with them. In your recipe on the Tex/Mex page, it calls for 11 pounds of ready to eat beans. Do you know how many pounds of dry beans that would be?
ellen
02/19/17
1 lb (about 2 cups) of dried beans is roughly 6 to 7 cups cooked beans. One 15oz can of cooked beans is roughly 1.6 cups drained, making it equivalent to 1/4 to 1/3 lbs ( or 1/2 to 3/4 cup) dried.

Most dried beans slightly more than double in both volume and weight once cooked. Exceptions are garbanzos, black beans and black-eyed peas. A pound of dried chickpeas or black beans more than triples in weight, and goes from a little under 3 cups dried to 7 cups once cooked. One pound dried black-eyed peas becomes 2 pounds 13 ounces once cooked and drained, but the volume only doubles.

So to end up with 11 pounds ready to eat, start with about 6 pounds dried. Look for fresh dried beans with good color, few broken beans and no dust; the older they get, the slower and less evenly they cook, and sometimes you have to overcook some to ensure the rest aren't still crunchy.

Fanny
03/08/17
XcsaGUtSFmOKpV
It's about time soomene wrote about this.
Jeanette
03/23/17
Nacho Bar and hot dogs
serving 300 - chips, nacho cheese, jalapeno's, hot dogs. How many bags of chips ( 4lb bags), cans of cheese sauce, hot dogs and buns would be needed. just for fun cans of chili beans if i add this.
ellen
03/27/17
Jeanette, is this a meal? Is it free? Is it teens ir adults? All matter. Please give more info.
Rachel
05/18/17
I am doing a nacho bar for my daughter's graduation party. This will be the main course can you please let me know how many pounds of ground beef and chips I need for this amount? How many pounds of beans and rice do I need? Thank you
ellen
05/19/17
Rachel, how many people? Write back.
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