Is 16 oz steak enough for 2 people?

Quick Answer

A 16 oz steak is typically not enough for 2 people. Most experts recommend around 8-12 oz of steak per person for a satisfying meal. So for 2 people sharing a steak, you would want at least 24 oz or 1.5 lbs. A 16 oz steak would leave most people still feeling hungry after finishing their portion.

How Much Steak Per Person?

When trying to determine how much steak to buy per person, here are some general guidelines from experts:

  • 8 oz of steak is considered a standard restaurant-sized steak serving for one person.
  • 10-12 oz per person is ideal if you want your guests to feel fully satisfied and have leftovers.
  • Plan for 12-16 oz per person for big steaks like ribeyes that have a bone.
  • If you are serving steak as the main feature of the meal, aim for the higher end of the recommendations.
  • If steak is part of a larger multi-course meal, you may be able to get away with less.

The exact amount needed will depend on the cut of steak, thickness, cooking method, and appetites of your guests. But in most cases, an 8 oz steak is a standard serving size, 10-12 oz is very satisfying, and anything below 8 oz will likely leave some people wanting more.

Steak Servings Based on Cut

Here is a breakdown of roughly how much steak per person you should buy based on the cut:


  • Bone-in ribeye – 12-16 oz per person
  • Boneless ribeye – 10-14 oz per person

NY Strip

  • 10-14 oz per person

Filet Mignon

  • 8-12 oz per person


  • 8-12 oz per person

Flank Steak

  • 8-10 oz per person

So you can see that even on the lower end, most people recommend 8 oz per person. 16 oz of steak total would only give 8 oz each for two people, which is considered a minimum standard serving.

Appetites Vary

It’s also important to consider that some people naturally have bigger appetites and will want larger portions. If one person is content with 8 oz but the other has a huge appetite and normally eats 16 oz steaks for dinner, they will leave the table still feeling hungry if you only cook 16 oz total.

To play it safe and make sure everyone feels satisfied, always round up when estimating steak amounts and aim for the higher end of the recommended serving sizes whenever possible. It’s better to have a little extra than not enough.

Leftovers Are Useful

One benefit of having extra steak beyond what gets eaten is you’ll have delicious leftovers for the next day. Leftover steak makes wonderful sandwiches, breakfast steak and eggs, steak salads, or can be used in stir fries and other dishes. So overestimating steak amounts can give you a handy head start on another meal.

Factors That Influence Ideal Serving Size

Here are some factors that can affect how much steak each person needs:

Cut of Steak

  • Fattier ribeyes require bigger portions than leaner cuts.

Bone vs Boneless

  • Bone-in steaks weigh more per ounce compared to boneless.


  • Thicker steaks around 1-1.5 inches require larger portions than thinner 3⁄4 inch steaks.

Cooking Method

  • Grilling often leads to more weight loss during cooking compared to pan frying, so you may need more raw ounces for grilled steaks.

Side Dishes

  • If serving filling sides like potatoes, pasta or bread, you may need less steak than with lighter vegetable sides.

Appetizers & Dessert

  • Serving steak as part of a multi-course meal means you can get away with smaller portions.

Diner Age & Health

  • Young healthy adults often want bigger portions than seniors and kids.

So the ideal serving amount can range quite a bit based on these individual factors. The best bet is to estimate on the higher side to make sure nobody leaves the table hungry.

Examples of 16 oz Steak Meals for 2

To give you a better idea of what a 16 oz steak looks like in terms of portions for 2 people, here are some examples of different meal scenarios:

Two 8 oz Filet Mignons

  • Two 8 oz filet mignon steaks adds up to 16 oz total.
  • Each person gets a standard 8 oz restaurant-sized portion.
  • This will likely leave some people still feeling hungry.

One 16 oz Ribeye, Cut in Half

  • A 16 oz bone-in ribeye steak cut in half gives two 8 oz portions.
  • Ribeyes are considered more filling than lean tenderloin filets.
  • But 8 oz portions may leave some big eaters unsatisfied.

One 16 oz NY Strip, Cut in Half

  • A 16 oz NY strip cut in half provides two 8 oz portions.
  • NY strips offer a satisfying middle ground between ribeyes and filets.
  • Half a pound each should be plenty for smaller appetites but may leave some hungry.

Steak Salad Meal

  • For a light steak salad meal, a 16 oz steak split two ways may be plenty when paired with salad greens and veggies.
  • The filling salad makes up for the slightly smaller 8 oz portions.

So in most scenarios, even when split between two people, a 16 oz steak will provide lighter portions and risk leaving some people unsatisfied and looking for more food after the meal.

What About Appetizers, Sides and Dessert?

The above examples assume the steak is the main feature of the meal. What if you are also serving appetizers, side dishes and dessert? In that case, here are some guidelines:

With Hearty Appetizers

  • If serving big appetizers like shrimp cocktails and stuffed mushrooms before the steak, you can get away with slightly smaller steaks, around 6-8 oz per person.

With Filling Sides

  • Pairing steak with starchy sides like potatoes, pasta or bread means you can serve closer to 8 oz steaks instead of 10-12 oz.

As Part of a Multi-Course Meal

  • When steak is part of an appetizer-entree-dessert coursed dinner, 6 oz steaks may suffice since people won’t be as hungry once mains are served.

So in these scenarios, 16 oz split two ways may feel more appropriate since the other dishes provide additional filling fare. But for steak to fully stand on its own as the star of the plate, 16 oz total is still pretty small for two.

How to Split a 16 oz Steak for 2 People

If you only have a 16 oz steak to work with for two people, here are some tips for splitting it up:

  • Cut the steak in half width-wise so each portion looks somewhat like a normal steak shape rather than an oddly narrow strip.
  • Aim for roughly equal thickness in both halves.
  • Cut before cooking since raw steak holds its shape better than cooked.
  • For bone-in steaks, split the bone down the middle.
  • Serve any juices, butter, or sauce over both portions evenly.
  • Offer additional sides, veggies, bread or salad to help fill any hunger gaps.
  • If still not enough food, be ready with quick backups like frozen snacks, cheese and charcuterie plates, chips and salsa.

While not ideal, with the right techniques and accompaniments you can still pull off a decent steak dinner for two from a single 16 oz piece of meat.

Is 16 oz Enough Steak for Leftovers?

If your goal is to have ample steak leftovers beyond just dinner for two, 16 oz is quite a small amount. Here is how far 16 oz will go for leftovers:

  • For sandwiches, 16 oz provides around 3-4 sandwiches if splitting a steak in half.
  • For steak and eggs breakfast, 16 oz gives each person one serving with not much extra.
  • For steak salads or fajitas for a crowd, 16 oz wouldn’t go very far.

To have generous leftovers, experts recommend:

  • 24 oz or more of steak for 4+ hearty sandwiches.
  • 1.5 lbs or more for several breakfast servings.
  • 2-3 lbs for crowd-pleasing apps, salads, fajitas or stir fries.

So while you can scrape together a couple leftovers from a 16 oz steak, you’d need quite a bit more for serious leftover cooking for 4+ people.

Buying Guidelines Per Person for Leftovers

If leftovers are your goal, here are suggested steak amounts to buy per person:

  • Sandwiches – 12 oz per person
  • Steak and eggs – 8 oz per person
  • Fajitas – 8 oz per person
  • Salad topping – 6 oz per person

Of course, the more people you are cooking for, the greater the quantity you’ll want for ample leftovers. But in general, plan for at least double the steak you would buy just for dinner alone. Those leftovers disappear faster than you think!


For most people, 16 oz of steak is not quite enough to comfortably feed two adults. While some petite eaters may feel satisfied splitting a single 16 oz steak, many will leave the table still feeling hungry for more.

To play it safe, target 24-32 oz or 1.5-2 lbs of steak when cooking for two. And if you want generous leftovers, plan for even more. With steaks, it’s always better to have too much than not enough.

When cooking for a group, think in terms of 8-12 oz per person depending on cut and plan for appetite sizes on the higher end. Steak lovers would much rather take home a doggie bag than wish they had more during the meal!

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