At-home family dinners won’t be complete without a meaty delight for everyone to enjoy, and what better choice is there than a cooked ham at the center of the dining table?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or even just for simple get-togethers with relatives or friends—cooked ham is always a good idea.
You can serve it by itself, with some wine and side dishes or you can use it to make other excellent recipes such as frittatas, galettes, dumplings, pasta, pizzas, and more!
Cooked ham is the best dish to serve to a lot of people since there are many innovative ways you could prepare it, and it’s also a crowd favorite for parties and dinners.
If you’re responsible for preparing a cooked ham for a special occasion, it’s recommended that you buy one-third to half a pound of ham per person for boneless ham and three quarters to one whole pound of bone-in ham per person.
What Is The Ideal Ham Serving Size Per Person
During the planning stage of the party, consider whether there are vegetarians among your guests. Count how many of the other guests eat meat and if so, how many of them are willing to eat cooked ham and how many don’t?
It’s best for you to prepare some vegan-friendly alternatives and plenty of side dishes and appetizers for the non-meat eaters and non-ham enthusiasts to choose from. You can incorporate some leftover ham into other recipes such as nachos, pot pies, casseroles, or ham sandwiches (see here how much ham for sandwiches).
The rule of thumb is to give about one-third (half pound if want to be sure that you have enough) of a pound of ham per person for boneless ham and three-quarters of a pound of ham per person for bone-in ham. Other types of ham also have their own serving counts, which will be discussed in the next sections.
Ham Quantity Calculator For a Crowd
You can also add other sides or other protein dishes you are serving – just enter how many side dishes into our calculator below and it will calculate how much ham to serve per person.
How Do You Calculate Ham Serving Per Person
If you want a near accurate calculation per portion and make sure you have enough ham to go around (with some leftovers too), you must consider what type of ham you’re going to buy, how you would prepare it, and for how many people are you serving it to.
For more of the detailed calculations, refer to the following:
Just like what the name implies, the bone is removed from the ham before it’s processed through curing and/or smoking and then packaged tightly. Boneless ham can be slightly dry but it’s nothing a decadent glaze won’t fix. It’s simple and easy to cook and serve.
Boneless Ham Exact Amounts
- 1 person: one-third to one-half pounds
- 4 people: about 1.5 to 2 pounds
- 6 people: 2 to 3 pounds
- 10 people: 3 to 4 pounds
- 15 people: 5 to 7.5 pounds
- 20 people: about 6.75 to 10 pounds
Bone-in Ham (Spiral Ham)
You’d be surprised that bone-in ham is actually everyone’s favorite type of ham. The bone just makes everything taste better since it keeps the flavor and moisture levels in check. However, they’re harder to work with since the bone could get in the way of slicing the ham.
Bone-in Spiral Ham Exact Amounts
- 1 person: three-quarters to 1 pound
- 4 people: 3 to 4 pounds
- 6 people: 4.5 to 6 pounds
- 10 people: 7.5 to 10 pounds
- 15 people: 11.25 to 15 pounds
- 20 people: 15 to 20 pounds
- 100 people 80 – 100 pounds
Salt-cured and seasoned to perfection, country ham is artisan-made in Southern America but it’s also widely available in supermarkets and grocery stores. It’s preserved in a dry environment for months to lose moisture. The result is a rosy ham with a concentrated buttery and salty taste.
Country Ham Exact Amounts Table
- 1 person: one-quarter to one-third pounds
- 4 people: 1 to 1.5 pounds
- 6 people: 1.5 to 2 pounds
- 10 people: 2.5 to 3.5 pounds
- 15 people: 3.75 to 5 pounds
- 20 people: 5 to 6.75 pounds
Will People Need Seconds
It depends on the type of ham and the number of ham-eaters among your guests. The recommended ham serving per person is already enough. Usually, people wouldn’t want to go for second serving of country ham since it’s salty enough already.
Your guests will also definitely look forward to the other dishes in your menu plus some appetizers. If there would be any second servings, particularly for boneless and bone-in ham, they won’t have that much, so it’s not something you should worry about.
How Much Ham For Different Events And Occasions
Deciding how much ham to serve for various special events will come down to how grand or how intimate these events are and how many people would go for some cooked ham—which is why it’s important you conduct a quick survey beforehand.
During Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s dinners, you would most likely invite only family members, some friends, and other close relatives. That would amount to about 10 to 15 people or 3 to 15 pounds of ham depending on the type of ham you plan to cook.
For celebrations with a long guest list containing about 20 or more people, don’t hesitate to go beyond the 20-pound maximum requirement since you have to cater to a rather large crowd.
What Ingredients Can You Cook With Ham
For baking ham, you can add any type of glaze or dressing you prefer. The most recommended glaze is the brown sugar glaze with honey and maple syrup. You can even add some dijon mustard and seasonings. You can also use a cherry bourbon glaze made up of honey, bourbon, cayenne, and cloves.
When you prefer to roast ham, you can add carrots, onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, and leeks during cooking then coat the ham with a brown sugar mixture and drizzle with honey all over. You can even roast it until there are some chars in it.
Grilling ham only needs a brown sugar and mustard mixture to glaze over the ham before grilling it. You can also make a pineapple glaze made out of butter, pineapple juice, ginger, black pepper, muscovado sugar, and white wine vinegar.
Best Sauces To Serve With Cooked Ham
Don’t know what to serve as a companion to your cooked ham? For sauces, you can try a horseradish sour cream sauce (made of sour cream, dijon mustard, horseradish, and chopped chives) or a honey mustard sauce (made of olive oil, honey, sage, black pepper, cayenne, mustard, and vinegar).
Best Wines and Non- Alcoholic Drinks To Serve With Ham
If you want to pair cooked ham with an elegant wine, use fruity wines such as zinfandel, chenin blanc, riesling, moscato, and lambrusco. Keeping it simple, you can also go for beer or some non-alcoholic drinks such as sparkling cider, soda, or orange ginger ale.