How Many Lobster Tails Per Person: The Ultimate Guide to a Perfect Serving Size

Are you planning to serve lobster tails for your next dinner party but unsure how much to buy? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We know the pain of either not having enough or having too much, so we’ll give you the exact answer you need.

The amount needed may depend on whether it’s served with other dishes or appetizers. For a main dish, plan for about 8-10 oz of cooked lobster tail meat per person, which means two lobster tails per person, unless they are jumbo lobster tails. If serving it as the main course, buy 2 to 2.5 lb of lobster per person, allowing each guest 8 to 10 oz of meat.

In the following sections, we’ll talk about different cooking methods, tips for serving, and things to remember when buying lobster tails. Let’s start and make your following lobster tail recipe a perfect serving size.

How to Calculate the Perfect Serving Size of Lobster Tails

When calculating the perfect serving size of lobster tails, consider the weight of each tail. An ideal serving size for lobster is about 4 ounces. For most, 4-5 oz. tails, one seat is enough for a person as a main course with lobster side dishes. Maine lobster tails ranging from 8-10oz are also famous. More giant lobsters may require 1 to 2 pounds per person.

To ensure that your guests leave your lobster dinner feeling satisfied, it’s essential to get the serving size right. Factors to consider include the size of the lobster, the number of side dishes, and your guests’ appetites.

The size of the lobster is the determining factor in calculating the serving size. For example, one 4-5 oz. The tail may be enough for one person when paired with appetizers and sides, but one 8-10 oz. Maine lobster tail may be suitable for two people. If you’re cooking more giant lobsters, you may need to serve 1-2 pounds per person.

Lobster Tail WeightSuggested Serving SizeAdditional Considerations
4-5 oz.1 tail per personIdeal with appetizers and side dishes; sufficient for average appetites
6-8 oz.1 tail per personSuitable for larger appetites or with fewer side dishes
8-10 oz.1 tail for 2 peopleMaine lobster tails; works well with fewer side dishes; consider 1 tail per person for larger appetites
10-12 oz.1 tail per personSatisfying for larger appetites or special occasions; adjust according to guests’ preferences
1-2 pounds1-2 pounds per personFor giant lobsters; adjust according to guests’ appetites and the number of side dishes
2-2.5 pounds2-2.5 pounds per personFor the main course

In addition to tail size, be sure to account for side dishes when considering portion sizes. A smaller lobster tail may be sufficient if you’re serving various side dishes. However, with fewer sides, an enormous seat may be necessary to satisfy guests. 

Finally, take into account your guests’ appetites. Those with significant needs may require a larger serving size, while lighter eaters may be content with a smaller portion.

Main Course or Appetizer? Determining the Amount of Lobster Tails to Buy

Aim for six to eight ounces per person to serve lobster tails as a main course. These giant tails will provide a substantial amount of meat to satisfy hunger and make for an elegant entree.

When shopping for tails, look for a range of sizes, from 5oz to 12oz, to find the perfect balance between quality and quantity. Remember that high-quality lobsters are worth the investment, so don’t overpay and compromise on taste.

When cooking cold water lobster tails, determine the best size based on the recipe and cooking time. A larger seat will require more cooking time and may produce a more rigid texture if overcooked.

On the other hand, a smaller bottom may not provide enough meat to satiate as a main course. Choose wisely and adjust cooking time to ensure perfectly cooked and seasoned tails.

Consider pairing lobster tails with complementary flavors and sides for an unforgettable and indulgent main course. Popular options include garlic butter, lemon, parsley, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and risotto. Innovate your dish to make it stand out from other lobster main courses.

As a rule of thumb, one lobster tail per person is sufficient as an appetizer. Remember that appetizers are meant to be a prelude to the main course, so they should be lighter and less filling than a full entree. These smaller portions can be cooked and presented in various ways, such as grilled, fried, or baked. Garnish with fresh herbs or a simple dipping sauce to enhance the lobster’s natural flavor. Enjoy!

Cooking Methods for Perfectly Cooked Lobster Tails

Steaming is a gentle approach that yields consistently tender results. Boiling is quick and easy but dilutes the flavor. Another fast and effective option is rapid steaming. Grilling, broiling, and baking are other options that can add a smoky flavor to your lobster.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot with a steamer basket to steam lobster tails. Add the lobster tails and steam for about 8 minutes when the water is boiling. If you’re boiling lobster tails, bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot and add the seats.

Then, cook for about 5-8 minutes, depending on the tail size. Grilling or broiling is also a popular method; first, butterfly the bottom and brush it with butter or oil before grilling or broiling it for about 6-8 minutes.

If you prefer to bake your lobster tails, preheat your oven to 425°F and place the seats on a baking sheet. Brush with butter or oil and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. And to poach lobster tails, place them in a pan of hot water and simmer for up to 10 minutes.

Tips for Serving Lobster Tails at Your Dinner Party

To prepare the lobster tails, you can butterfly them by cutting the shell almost to the very end of the seat and gently squeezing the lobster with the other hand. This will allow for easier grilling or broiling.

When planning your menu, a few good sides to include with your lobster dinner are steamer clams, chowder, coleslaw, butter sauce, pasta, salad, roasted potatoes and vegetables, and cheesy bread. These sides will complement the mild yet rich flavor of lobster.

Don’t forget to serve a couple of lemon wedges for each lobster tail, as many people enjoy squeezing lemon juice over any type of seafood. A tasty and easy butter sauce can be made by melting butter and adding garlic, lemon juice, and herbs such as parsley or chives.

For a fancier presentation, serve the lobster tails on a bed of spinach or mashed potatoes. You can also garnish with chopped parsley or paprika for a pop of color. Regarding drinks, a crisp white wine or champagne pairs perfectly with lobster.

Buying Lobster Tails: What to Look for and Where to Buy

When buying frozen lobster tails, avoid the ones with discoloration in the meat. It’s essential to scrutinize the color of the lobster tails because you want them to be pretty and light. Color can be a good indicator of freshness and overall quality. If you need help deciding whether to go for fresh or frozen, consider your recipe preferences and go from there.

Buying online can also be a great option. Lobster Anywhere Now offers a high-quality selection of Maine lobster tails in all sizes that can be shipped overnight for free on orders over $150. They also provide a guide on picking and preparing the best lobster tails so that you can feel confident in your purchase.

Leftover Lobster Tails: Creative Ways to Use Them in Other Dishes

There are many ways to use those excess lobster tails in other dishes. The possibilities are endless, from Lobster Bisque to Lobster Rolls, Lobster Pasta to Lobster & Vegetable Scrambled Eggs!

Let’s begin with Lobster Bisque, which is a smooth and creamy soup made with lobster meat. This is a perfect way to use up any leftover tails and is easy to prepare. Start by sautéing onions, celery, and garlic in butter. Then add some flour and stir until blended, creating a roux.

Gradually add chicken or vegetable broth, heavy cream, and diced tomatoes. Then add the lobster tails, allowing them to simmer until fully cooked. Blend everything in a blender and serve hot.

Another tasty option is Lobster Artichoke Dip, a rich and flavorful dip perfect for parties or as a side dish. This easy recipe combines cooked lobster meat with artichokes, spinach, cream cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve it with crackers or crusty bread.

If you’re looking for a light and refreshing dish, you can try Lobster Salad. This healthy salad is simple to make and requires minimal ingredients. Toss cooked lobster meat with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers. Drizzle with a simple dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Whether you’re in the mood for soup, salad, or a dip, there are many creative ways to use leftover lobster tails. So don’t let them go to waste, create a delicious and satisfying meal instead!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking and Serving Lobster Tails

Avoid common mistakes when cooking and serving lobster tails, such as overseasoning the water or overcrowding the pot. These mistakes can make the meat tough and overcooked. Here are some tips to avoid making mistakes and serving up the perfect lobster tails!

  1. Use the right pot: Choose a pool large enough to accommodate the lobster tails without overcrowding. A bank that is too small will cause uneven cooking and tough meat.
  2. Don’t overseason: Lobster tails are naturally flavorful, so don’t overseason the water. Adding too much salt or other seasonings will result in an overpowering taste and mask the delicate flavor of the lobster.
  3. Cook in the correct order: Start by boiling the lobster tails, then reduce the heat and simmer until cooked through. This will help ensure that the meat is evenly cooked and tender.
  4. Don’t overcook: Lobster tails cook quickly and become tough if overcooked. A general rule of thumb is to cook for 1 minute per ounce of meat. To check if it is done, use a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches at least 145°F.
  5. Drain properly: Once the lobster tails are cooked, drain them immediately to prevent the meat from becoming waterlogged.

Should You Buy Fresh or Frozen Lobster Tails? Pros and Cons of Each Option

The answer is that it depends on your personal preference and availability. Both fresh and frozen lobster tails have their pros and cons. New lobster tails have a more intense flavor, but frozen ones have whiter meat and a lower chance of being enhanced with additives to improve appearance. Additionally, frozen lobster tails can be stored for a more extended period.

Fresh Lobster Tails


  • More intense flavor
  • Firmer texture
  • Better quality


  • Limited availability
  • Shorter shelf life
  • Higher price point

Fresh lobster tails are the best option for those who appreciate an authentic taste. The flavor is so intense that it’s worth paying a higher price. However, fresh lobster tails have a shorter shelf life, meaning they must be consumed quickly. Additionally, these can be challenging to find, depending on your location.

Frozen Lobster Tails


  • Whiter meat
  • Lower chance of additives
  • Convenience
  • Longer shelf-life


  • Less intense flavor
  • Softer texture
  • May suffer freezer burn if not correctly stored

Frozen lobster tails are a more convenient option for those who want to enjoy lobster tails but live outside of coastal areas. These have a lower chance of being coated with additives to improve their appearance and can be stored in the freezer for an extended period. However, they may lack the intensity of flavor that fresh lobster tails offer.

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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