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Cook Talk

20 adults birthday party
My family and I are cooking for a birthday party for 20 people. We are having chicken, steak tacos/fajitas, coconut shrimp tacos, and ground beef tacos. Along with all the toppings (I've consulted the baked potato page for quantities.) We will also have spanish rice, 7 layer dip, chips, salsa, guacamole and peppers/onions for the fajitas. I know it is a lot of options for a smaller group, but with 4 of us we figured it would be easier and it's what the birthday girl wants. :)
My question is regarding the meats - how much should I purchase? I gathered from the other posts that we should prepare for 4 shells per person, 80 shells. We are having soft & hard shells. Does that number sound correct?
Thank you for your help, this site is a lifesaver!
As you suspect, this many meats for this many people is a tough estimate, so I mention in advance that you may have leftovers. Here is what I would do;

coconut shrimp tacos, almost everyone will take some shrimp. Plan on three per person.

steak tacos/fajita
You want to end up with about 3 ounces cooked beef and 2 ounces cooked chicken strips, so allow 1 pound raw beef per 4 plus 1 pound raw boneless chicken per 6
Your weight of veggies should be about the same as all the strips. Do be sure to read all the tips on the fajita page.

ground beef tacos, assume this is the least popular- 1 pound raw 80% ground beef per 6.

spanish rice, 2 pounds dry rice
7 layer dip, nice recipe this site
chips, 1 pound per 12
salsa, 1 cup per 5-6for chips, and you might want more for the tacos
guacamole, people love this, 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person

Allow about 2 ounces lettuce per person in case some people want to do taco salad.
Have a bottle of regular and a bottle of lite Ranch.
Do have some chopped cilantro.
A fruit tray with watermelon would be great with this. See the fruit tray page for quantities. Fresh limes quarters and hot paprika for a Mexican touch on the fruit.

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Thank you for your quick response! Good idea about the ranch, I had read it before in one of the posts & it had missed my list. I must have learned something from this site because the only quantities I was off on was the sirloin - I estimated 8 lbs. raw. :) You are a good teacher!
and love the tip about the lime quarters & paprika too. Very festive. I will be making a donation because as I said - I learned a lot from you and I now have a go to place for all my parties. Thanks so much!
Happy to help and you're welcome.
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