According to the US Dry Bean Council, dried beans provide an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium and zinc; are high in fiber known to reduce cholesterol levels, and provide a good source of antioxidants. Winning all around, right?! Plus, they're pretty easy to make. Beans are relatively inexpensive, provide a nourishing and filling meal and require minimal supervision while cooking. We love making them for large gatherings like BBQ and potluck dinners - super easy!
- Dried beans
When trying to assess how much to make, determine the amount of cooked beans expected to be consumed by each person attending. One half cup is considered a serving, but guests may eat more or less depending on whether beans are the main attraction or served as a side dish. As a rule, allow between 1/2 and 1 cup per person to be safe.
We like to cook 10 to 15 pounds of dried beans to feed 100 people. According to the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, a one-pound bag of dried beans provides 10 servings of 1/2 cup.
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Prepare 10 pounds of dried beans if several other foods will be offered at the same meal. If beans are the main course, you may need 15 pounds to provide 3/4 cup per person, since people will be eating more.
US Dry Bean Council: Nutrition and HealthCalifornia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: Dry Beans
CD Kitchen: Baked Beans for 50 RecipeCD Kitchen: Cooking for a Crowd
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.