How Many Pounds Of Crawfish Per Person?

Making dinner with crawfish as the appetizer or main dish is an excellent idea. Crawfish is delicious and fun to eat in a group. But you don’t want your guests to go hungry. How much food do you need to buy? How many pounds of crawfish per person?

To serve crawfish as an appetizer, you need 1-2 pounds of crawfish per person. If crawfish are part of the main meal with other ingredients, buy 2-5 pounds per person. If crawfish is the whole of the main dish, get 5-10 pounds per person. One pound includes 12 to 25 crawfish, depending on size.

Working out how much crawfish to serve can be tricky.

On the one hand, you want your hungry guests to get plenty to eat. On the other hand, you don’t want heaps of leftovers.

Let this handy guide explain how much crawfish you need to buy per person.

How Many Pounds Of Crawfish Per Person?

How much crawfish you need to buy for lunch, dinner, or a party depends on:

  • Your number of guests
  • How hungry they are (adults will eat more than children)
  • How much they love crawfish
  • If the crawfish are a snack, starter, or the centerpiece
  • What else you are serving with the crawfish.

As a basic guideline, you will need the following number of pounds of crawfish per adult:

  • Crawfish appetizer or snack: 1-2 pounds per person
  • Crawfish as part of a meal: 2-3 pounds per person
  • Crawfish as the main dish: 4-7 pounds per person
  • If you’re in Louisiana: 7-10 pounds per person

The more side dishes and other food you have, the fewer crawfish you’ll buy.

In a typical Louisana boil, you would also have shrimp, sausages, potato, onions, and corn, so you won’t need seven pounds of crawfish per person.

If the number of pounds sounds like a lot, remember that crawfish are very popular, and most people will eat more crawfish than they think.

Instead, buy more than you think you need – nobody will be impressed if you run out of food.

Another reason you need so much crawfish is that this seafood is very light, low-fat, and low in calories. It takes a lot of crawfish to fill you up.

Also, remember that you don’t eat most of a crawfish, only the tail.

As little as 15% of a crawfish is edible.

If you do the maths, you need seven pounds of crawfish to get one pound of crawfish meat.

The rest of the crawfish is made up of head, shell, claws, and legs, which you and your guests are unlikely to eat.

Tip: Keep the heads and shells and make a delicious seafood bisque or soup. The leftover bits have a lot of flavors and hidden meat that will make a hearty soup.

How To Calculate How Many Pounds Of Crawfish Per Person You Need

To work out how many pounds of crawfish per person, follow these steps:

  • Write down how many guests you are going to have. It is helpful if you can get a final number. Ask your guests to RSVP.
  • Multiply the number of guests you’ve got by the number of pounds you need. For example, if you serve crawfish as an appetizer to 5 guests: 5 guests x 2 pounds of crawfish = 10 pounds in total.
  • If you want to be sure that you will have enough food, add a couple of extra pounds.

Use this table to help you determine how much crawfish to buy if you serve crawfish as the main dish, estimating that each person will eat between five and ten pounds of crawfish.

Number of peoplePounds of crawfish
15-10
210-20
315-30
420-40
525-50
1050-100
1575-150
20100-200

You will often find crawfish sold by the sack, with 25 to 40 pounds of crawfish in each bag. If you’re buying by the sack, use this table to help you:

Number of peopleSacks of crawfish
3-5 people1 sack 
6-10 people2 sacks
15-20 people3 sacks

How Many Crawfish Per Person?

Crawfish are much smaller than lobsters, so you need far more if you’re having people around.

A full-grown crawfish is only three to seven inches long, compared to a lobster which can be 25 inches long.

To work out how many crawfish you get in a pound, you need to know the size of crawfish you’re buying. The bigger the crawfish, the fewer you’ll get in a pound. 

  • Field run or mixed-size crawfish: 20 to 25 per pound
  • Select crawfish: 15 to 20 per pound
  • Jumbo crawfish: 12-15 per pound

The larger the crawfish, the more expensive they will be. Remember always to buy live crawfish for the freshest meat.

How To Calculate How Many Crawfish You Need

To work out how many crawfish you need per person, follow these steps:

  • Write down how many guests you are going to have. 
  • Multiply the number of guests by the number of pounds of crawfish you need. For example, if you serve crawfish as an appetizer to 5 guests: 5 guests x 2 pounds of crawfish = 10 pounds in total. 
  • Multiply the number of pounds you require by the number of crawfish in a pound. For example, if you need 10 pounds and buy jumbo crawfish: 10 pounds of crawfish x 12 crawfish per pound = 120 crawfish.

Use this table to help you determine how much crawfish to buy if you serve crawfish as the main dish, estimating that each person will eat five pounds of crawfish.

Number of peoplePounds of crawfishNumber of crawfish (jumbo)
1560
210120
315180
420240
525300
1050600
1575900
201001200



One sack can contain up to 500 crawfish, especially if the crawfish are small.

Because of the different sizes of crawfish, it’s better to work out how many pounds of crawfish you need, rather than the number of crawfish you need or the number of sacks you need.

Conclusion

Most people can eat between three and five pounds of crawfish at a sitting.

So, to work out how much crawfish you need when you have guests, multiply the number of guests by three or five to get the number of pounds you need to buy.

Because crawfish are sold by the pound or sack, it’s easier to determine how many pounds you need rather than the number of crawfish.