See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

Quantities for 100

These amounts are calculated to serve 100 on a buffet - they already include appropriate extra to allow for seconds.
FAQ: Why do your amounts differ from other tables on the web? In the USA portion sizes have nearly doubled since 1980. These tables reflect CURRENT (2015) usage. Think not? Check out the
portion distortion articles and slide shows at the National Institutes of Health.

Option 1:
Potato or
Pasta Salad
35 pounds potatoes (makes 50 pounds, or about 3 1/2 gallons salad)
OR Pasta salad made with 6 1/2 to 8 pounds dry macaroni or pasta
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 cups diced celery
6 cups green peppers and/or pickles, and/or chopped stuffed olives
2 cups minced onion
1 cup minced parsley
1 1/2 to 3 dozen eggs, hard-cooked, chopped
1 1/2 to 3 quarts salad dressing, may also use mustard, Italian, or vinaigrette
Slaw, Mac and Potato Salad Recipes
Option 2:
Caesar salad, dressed
15 heads Romaine
Parmesan cheese, shredded, 5 pounds
small croutons, 3-4 pounds
PLUS 2 1/2 quarts Caesar salad dressing

Option 3:
Tossed Salad
12-14 pounds tossed salad mix (2 ounces per person) OR 20 12-ounce heads of lettuce
PLUS 12 8 ounce bottles or 3-4 quarts (1 gallon) salad dressing- more if thick and self serve

Option 3B:
Garden Salad (1 cup serving)
Lettuce,leaf 8 pounds ready, 12-1/2 pounds whole
Carrots, chopped or shredded, 2 pounds ready, 1 quart 3-1/8 cups, 2-1/2 pounds whole
Celery, 2 pounds chopped, 1 quart 3-1/2 cups, 2-3/4 pounds whole
Onions, fresh chopped or green, 8 ounces, 1-3/8 cups, whole 8-7/8 ounces
Tomatoes, thin wedges or small cherry tomatoes, 4 pounds, 2 quarts 2-1/8 cups, whole 4 1/8 pounds

PLUS 12 8 ounce bottles or 3-4 quarts (1 gallon) salad dressing- more if thick and self serve

Option 4A: Assorted made salads, slaw, etc. Coleslaw made with 20 pounds of mixed shredded vegetables total, 2 quarts dressing

OR 3-4 smaller salads such as marinated beans, Waldorf salad, gelatin salad, coleslaw, your choice, total 50-60 pounds

Option 4B: Molded jello salads17 small packages of jello makes the right amount for a jello-based salad for 100

Option 5:
Cut up fresh fruit platter or fruit salad
For a simple selection, use all:
sliced really thinly, 4 cantaloupes,
2 honey dew melons,
1 12-15 pound watermelon seeded,
3 pounds seedless grapes,
2 fresh pineapples,
4-6 pounds strawberries OR other cut up sliced fruits such as kiwis, apples, berries, oranges or whatever.
(Cut apples, pears and bananas turn brown and must be dipped in "Fruit Fresh" or an acid juice such as orange or lemon juice as they are cut to stay white!)
3-4 quarts salad dressing or dip: poppy seed, yogurt, caramel etc. are very nice with fruits
Many more options and ideas on the Fruit Trays page.
Option 6:
Chicken, Tuna, Egg Salads
luncheon salad (1 cup serving)
6 gallons
allow 1- 1 1/2 more gallon if self serve revised 12-19-04.

reception (1/2 cup serving)
3-4 gallons

sandwich meal self serve (1 cup for 2 sandwiches)
7 gallons

General notes: Allow 40-45% waste and shrinkage with raw meat weight, purchase 50 pounds raw weight boneless meats to roast for 100 people. Allow at least 1 pound per person for raw meat with bones.

If cooking pre-formed burgers or chicken pieces or such, allow one piece per person plus 1/3 more, which is 4 pieces for every three people.

When serving beef and a second meat, such as chicken or ham, on a buffet, you must allow 5 ounces ready to eat beef PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat second meat for each person, if there is a server for the meats. That is about 2 pounds raw lean boneless beef for each 5 people PLUS 1 pound boneless raw second meat for each 4 people. When offered a choice of meats people take larger portions and usually some of each.

Meats can be served cold or hot. For safety, keep temperature from cooking through serving at or above 160 or below 40 continuously until served. Discard meats after 2 hours at room temperature. DO NOT refreeze meats that have been served at room temperature.

Roasted Meats- Single item 50 pounds (raw weight) beef roast, boneless raw to be served sliced hot
OR 4 15-18 pounds whole turkeys
OR 25 pounds turkey meat (2- 25 pounds turkeys)
OR 2- 25 pounds bone-in hams
OR 30 pounds cooked boneless ham, cooked pork loin or turkey roll or equivalent lean meat (that's about 42 pounds raw lean boneless)
NOTE For self-serve on buffet, add about 10 pounds extra, such as sliced deli meats
Lamb, with server plating Racks of lamb or loin chops, 60 pounds
OR Bone-in shoulder chops, 50 pounds
OR Bone-in leg of lamb, 45 pounds
OR Boneless lamb roast or stew, 35 pounds
NOTE For self-serve on buffet, add about 8 pounds extra
Meatballs, meat loaf, bulk sausage and ground meat in recipes 5-6 1 inch meatballs OR
2-3 2-inch meatballs per person
OR recipe using 32-35 pounds ground meat with fillers OR
recipe using 20-24 pounds loose ground meat for sauces, sloppy joes, etc.
Meat for Italian beef sandwiches,
pulled pork, pulled beef
38 pounds raw boneless
Hot dogs and sausages
as single entree
Per person:
2 hot dogs or tofu dogs
OR 4 ounces smoked sausages or links= 25 pounds
OR 5 ounces fresh sausages=30 pounds
"hot dog chili" OR sauerkraut, 1/4 cup per person
Hamburgers PLUS Hot dogs Per person:
1 hot dog or tofu dog
PLUS 1 hamburger patty (4-5 ounces)
PLUS 10 to 30% more of each
"hot dog chili" OR sauerkraut, 1/4 cup per person does not vary
See Sandwich planning page for fixings and condiments
Chicken and poultry With bone in single type pieces you need about 70 pounds, with quarters about 80 pounds, whole chickens or mixed pieces (which include legs, wings breasts and thighs) about 90 pounds; but boneless, skinless, only about 45 pounds.
Example: Bone in thighs count as pieces. Boneless, skinless thighs, you only need 2 pounds raw for every 5-6 people (depends on what you are using them for). Leg quarters count as quarters- the main reason for the difference in the needed weights is, the quarters usually still have (quite a bit of) the backbone attached and the whole chickens have even more, while the bone in thighs have just the thigh bone itself, which is relatively small.
check your numbers by doing a piece count:
Whole chickens (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds each) or whole chickens cut up into 8 pieces
allow at least 1/2 chicken or 4 pieces of chicken for each 3 persons
(1 piece is 1/2 boneless chicken breast or a whole boneless thigh) plus 1/3 total=130 pieces
about 90 pounds

Halves (use small chickens), 1/2 each, 120-150 pounds raw

Individual pieces, you need about
Quarters: 1 per person
Legs: 2 per person
Whole wings: 3 per person
Buffalo wings or nuggets: 7 to 8 pieces per person

Fried Chicken
75 pounds cooked for single entree, 1 piece per person for second entree

Handy chicken facts:
1 pound lean boneless skinless chicken makes about 2 cups of meat
1 pound whole chicken makes about 1 cup of meat
2 1/2 pounds of frozen chicken breast or chicken tenders makes about 2 pounds thawed

Beef PLUS chicken for fajitas 2 pounds lean boneless raw beef for each 5 people
PLUS 1 pound boneless skinless chicken per each 5 people (I recommend thighs, they are more flavorful and hold better)
PLUS an equal weight of mixed peppers and onions
plus rice (raw), beans(dry), chopped lettuce salad (about 12 pounds of each)
to add guacamole, 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person
Fish, canned Canned tuna, 4 pound 14 ounce food service size, 6-7 cans
Each contains 2 1/4 quarts of flaked tuna and makes over 1 gallon tuna salad
Fish, fresh Whole large fresh fish, 50 pounds
Fresh or frozen fish steaks or fillets
6 ounces nuggets or fillets per person, about 35 pounds
when served as an appetizer or second entree, allow 3 ounces per person for everyone at the table
small 3 ounce (appetizer type) serving portion
raw, peeled and cleaned: 32 pounds
cooked, peeled and cleaned: 20 pounds
raw, shell on: 40 pounds
You would plan double or more for full main dish servings
You would want 6-7 pounds tiny salad shrimp for adding to pasta salad or garnishing Caesars.
Vegetarian, soy TVP- reconstituted, same as ground beef
Tofu, Seitan/ wheatmeat- same as cooked lean roast meat
Main dish casseroles, pilafs, baked beans or other bean dishes and main dish salads In place of meats:
10-12 9x13 casseroles or equivalent (8-9 gallons)
OR, with meats, 7-8 casseroles and about half the meats, meaty or seafood salads indicated
Chili, meat or vegetable stews, curries, gumbo, main dish soups
1 1/2 cup serving
8-9 gallons soup or stew
PLUS either 6 1/2 pounds dry weight rice or grain, cooked
Or 10-12 pounds dry weight noodles or pasta, cooked Or 12 -14 pounds bread, corn bread or rolls, plus butter or spreads
Pasta sauce or cheese sauce for 100 for spaghetti or macaroni3 1/2 (thinner sauce) to 4 1/2 gallons
Tortelini, frozen16-18 pounds
Dinner breads About 10 pounds, such as:
10 dozen small soft rolls
OR 9-10 garlic bread sliced
OR 18 baguettes
OR 8 variety breads cut in small slices (rye, tomato, whole grain etc.)
Plus 4 pounds of butter
Sandwich breads 1 pound sliced bread for each 6 persons, or 17 loaves
120 full size Kaiser type rolls
Breakfast breads See Breakfast for 100
Soup crackers 6 pounds
Chips Potato, with sandwiches, 6 pounds Corn, with sandwiches, 8 pounds You can easily go double this with college or high school students.
Pizza 12” round thin crust, 20 pies
12” round thick crust, 16 pies
Note:One and one half to double amounts, approximately, for teens and college students
Cornbread or other pan breads 16 8" rounds OR 6-7 9x13 pans

Frozen French Fries or Tater Tots57 pounds
1 cup per person; teens eat more
Vegetables, small items (corn, green beans, etc.) 3 gallons, such as:
5 #10 cans
OR frozen vegetables, 21 to 28 pounds
Potatoes, fresh38 pounds to 45 pounds, raw "as purchased" for roasted, new potatoes

OR 1 per person for baked, see the Baked Potato Bar for discussion about counts and sizes

OR 45 pounds plus 2 1/2 gallons sauce for scalloped potatoes, baked 2-2 1/2 hours at 350
Broccoli30 pounds, ready to cook
(48 pounds raw as purchased gives 3 stems per person)
Cabbage, chopped
cauliflower, chopped, carrots
30 pounds, raw "as purchased"
Asparagus, fresh, whole
small serving
35 pounds, raw "as purchased"
Sauerkraut22-40 pounds
Greens, collards, etc.58 pounds, raw "as purchased"

OR about 28 pounds frozen, ready to cook
Dried beans8 pounds plus fixings
OR 3 1/2 gallons cooked plus fixings
Winter Squashes35 pounds, raw "as purchased"
Summer Squashes41 pounds, raw "as purchased"

Rice and Pasta Quantities



Cooked Quantity or Measure
Weight Quantity
Rice, side dish7-8 1/2 pounds1 gallon 5 cups
PLUS 2 gallons water, 2 tablepoons salt
75 cups
Rice, under meat or sauce12 1/2 pounds1 gallon, 3 2/3 quarts
PLUS 2 gallons 3 quarts water, 3 tablespoons salt
100 cups
Rice, main dish (biryani, etc)16 pounds2 1/2 gallons135 cups
Pasta Type


Cooked Quantity or Measure
Weight Quantity
Dry Pasta Shapes
Small to medium
macaroni, shells, fusilli, penne, farfelle
2 ounces 1/2 Cup 1 Cup
4 ounces 1 Cup 2 Cups
8 ounces 2 Cups 4 Cups
Long dry pasta shapes
spaghetti, vermicelli, fettuccine
4 ounces 3/4 Inch Diameter Bunch 2 Cups
8 ounces 1 1/2 Inch Diameter Bunch 4 Cups
Fresh Pasta or Fresh Egg Noodles 8 ounces   2 1/2 Cups
Per person Dry Pasta Serving Sizes, Approximate
Main Course 4 ounces 1 Cup 2 Cups
Side Dish or 1st Course 2.5 ounces 5/8 Cup 1 1/4 Cups

The quantities above are basic standards that can be used for estimating the amount of dry pasta to buy. You can also refer to the table on the backside of the package, which shows yields for that specific type of pasta, but pay close attention to serving sizes- many cooks serve a portion about twice the size indicated on the package.
When using fresh pasta in place of dried pasta, the amount used MUST be increased because when cooked, a specific weight of dried pasta will produce close to 60% more than the same weight in fresh pasta. So if you want to use fresh pasta in a recipe calling for 16 ounces of dried pasta, you will need approximately 26 ounces of fresh pasta to end up with the same amount of pasta on the plate.

How much potato salad? Beans? Rice? Slaw?

For side dishes you can figure a total of 1 gallon per 10 people. Again, this is for total amounts of side dishes, not for each side dish. 100 people need 4 to 4 1/2 gallons potato salad to allow plenty for everyone. As I discussed before, more and heavier side dishes, hearty appetizers and other extras do reduce the amount of meat used, while liquor or self service increases it.

Ellen's Kitchen Barbecue and Picnic Sides
ItemNumber of Servings*
Potato Salad 4-1/2 quarts 2-1/2 gallons 4-1/2 gallons
Cole Slaw 3-1/2 quarts 1 3/4 gallons 3-1/4 gallons
Scalloped Potatoes, side 1, 12x20x4 pan
3, 9x13x2 1/2 pan
2, 12x20x4 pans
5, 9x13x2 1/2 pan
4, 12x20x4 pans
10, 9x13x2 1/2 pan
Spaghetti or rice, plain, side1-1/4 gallons 2-1/2 gallons5 gallons
Baked Beans 3 1/2 quarts 1-1/2 gallons 3 gallons
Jello Salad 3/4 gallon 1-1/2 gallons 2-1/2 gallons
17 small boxes
*Remember, it takes about 120 servings to serve 100 people and for self or buffet service or for all men, you need to add an additional 10%.
For teens only, add 1/3 more.

Condiments such as pickles, onions, sauce, jalepenos, and bread are extras. Appetizers and desserts are extras.