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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

Menu for 200 people
Marie
09/01/07
I am at a lost of how many pound of boneless chicken breast I will need to purchase to feed 200 people. Need immediate help!!!
Also need help with
Tossed Salad (ready salad in bags)
Frozen Mixed Vegetables
Marie
ellen
09/01/07
Marie, it depends- if you are doing strips or bits you need less, but if whole pieces, you get 3 servings per pound, and you need about 1.2 servings per person. So, 240 servings, a minmum 80 pounds. Salad and vegetables already covered in the plan for 100 tables.
Pamela
09/03/07
Not sure how much hamburger to purchase for Sloppy Joes. It would be for around 150 adults and 25 kids. Help
ellen
09/03/07
I usually use a recipe with about 20 pounds of burger for 100 people= 1 pound for each 4-5 people dependin on age and appetite.
LAURI
09/08/07
how many cabbage rolls would i need for 200 people? and how much rigatoni for 200?
Peggy
09/09/07
How many briskets will it take to feed 200 people? The briskets I have are from 10 to 13 pounds. How many do you think I will need?
ellen
09/10/07
Lauri, about 5 cabbage rolls for 2 people, for the pasta quantity discussion see the lotsa pasta page.

Peggy, each brisket will serve 20-25 people, depending on how well trimmed- brisket loses about 1/2 its weight in cooking loss.

Jeff
09/28/07
Do you have a recipe for a (BBQ sauce and/or Brown Sugar) sloppy Joe. Looking for a good recipe for more of an old fashion BBQ using hamburger, without the tomato base.
ellen
09/28/07
You would probably like the recipe I posted:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/bbentree5.html

It has brown sugar and bbq sauce, little tomato for the amount and you could always sub bbq sauce for the tomato.

Debra
10/02/07
We are making mexican rice how many pounds of rice will it take to feed 200 people.
ellen
10/02/07
There are several recipes for Spanish rice for 100 on site, take your choice. It takes 6-8 pounds raw rice per 100 people, depending on recipe and serving size.
Tony DeNote
09/28/08
Having dinner party. All seniors, 62 & older. Menu- 2 carving stations(roast turkey & stuffed fresh rolled ham), fruit cup, scallopped potato,steamed vegetable medly, rolls with butter, design your own ice cream sundaes, with coffee, tea & soda. how much food do I need to purchase for each dish? Tony
ellen
09/28/08
Tony, you would estimate from the planning tables based on 175 people- seniors eat lighter than mixed groups.

2 carving stations(roast turkey & stuffed fresh rolled ham): you want 4 ounces ready to eat turkey PLUS 3 ounces ham per person if this is a party type meal. See the yield tables and the planning and shopping for large turkey dinners article in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots.

fruit cup, see fruit tray page

scalloped potato,60-70 pounds raw potatoes plus sauce

steamed vegetable medley- 1/2 cup each

rolls with butter, 1.5 each unless very small, then allow 2. 6-8 pounds butter per 100

design your own ice cream sundaes, see ice cream sundae bar article

with coffee, tea & soda- see beverage planning page.

If you post your estimates, I will check them for you.

If this is a paid job, please also see chef2chef.com.

April
12/04/08
I need to feed 200 people pork roast and need to know how many lbs of pork I should get. I plan on getting the already wrapped pork roasts from costco. 1 package could be 10 lbs.
ellen
12/05/08
See the meats section of the plan for 100 page, it discusses bone-in, boneless, etc.
Barbara
12/28/08
Menu for 260 people
I'm making hawaiian haystacks for 260 people and need to know how much gravy to make. I can figure out the rice and chicken, but don't know how much gravy to make. Thanks.
ellen
12/28/08
I allow about 1/3 cup per serving
patsy domingue
12/31/08
peparing for 150 people meatball small finger sandwiches,boudon ball,drumettes how much to fix of each
ellen
12/31/08
With mixed meats, you want to allow a total of 8 ounces edible ready to eat meats per person for a dinner type serving. This lets folks get their first choice. I can't advise on how to split them- don't know your local preferences. Usually drummettes you need about 4 pieces per perso minimum (6 is often used) even when there are other meats.
Trinity
01/15/09
appetizers for 200
My sister-in-law is on a tight budget for her wedding. Instead of catering she has asked me to make up a menu and prepare for about 200. My question is, when looking through recipes and making a menu how many of each appetizers dozen should I make? It is fairly early in the process and so I apologize for not being more specific. The two things I do know we will be having is strawberries and shrimp. How much of those two things would you recommend?
Trinity
01/15/09
I just was able to look over your website and found all my answers! Thanks~Trinity
Sheryl
01/27/09
I am having a sundae bar for 200 people. How much ice cream should I buy? Thanks
ellen
01/27/09
See the article on sundae bars, button at the top of the main cook talk page.
Lori
02/12/09
How many pounds of chuck roast is needed to feed 200 people? Also, how many pounds of pinto beans? Thanks
Lori
02/12/09
Hi Again. :)
I just posted the question regarding the chuck roast. We also have 100 pounds of cross rib. Does that make a difference?
Lori
02/12/09
Would 6 gallons of coleslaw feed 200 people? Thanks
ellen
02/13/09
Lori, you need to tell me the menu! 200 people need 100 pounds chuck/ crossrib for sliced beef, but only about 65 pounds for BBQ beef sandwiches. Slaw- 6 gallons will make a scant 1/2 cup per person which is OK if you are serving but may run out if it is self serve.

By the way, a cross rib is a type of chuck roast, just one of the leaner cuts.

Lori
02/20/09
Hi Ellen,

The Menu consists of shredded beef (cooked in a pit), pinto beans flavored with ham hock, coleslaw and dinner rolls.

I realized cross rib was a type of chuck, I just didn't know if it served a little more beacuse it was leaner. :)

Thank you very much for your help.

ellen
02/20/09
OK 200 people.

75 pounds of lean, boneless beef will do for the sandwiches, if someone is serving the meat. If self serve you might need 85-90.
8-9 pounds dry pinto beans per 100.
Since there are no other veggies or salads, you need 4-4 1/2 gallons slaw per 100. I would add great pickles (see the garlic pickle recipe on the chili page, for example).

Also do not neglect all the sandwich condiments. For amounts per 100, see the sandwich event page.

I would add a 4th thing to the plate- a pasta salad, marinated frwesh veggie or grren bean or fruit salad- something to make it a bit less ordinary.

Lori
02/23/09
Great! Thank you very much for the extra tips.

The beef is not going to be on sandwiches, it will be served alone with possibly some green chili and onions in it.

One more thing. Is the 75 pounds of beef the raw or cooked weight? Thanks a million!

Bert Meyer
02/24/09
I'm planning a 75th birthday party for my dad. I'm wanting to make shredded pork loin sanwiches and cheesy potatoes. Could you help me out with any recipes. The part is March 7. Could you send suggestions. Thanks
ellen
02/28/09
Lori, the 100 pounds raw is excellent for plated for 200.

Good for you Bert. For cheesy potatoes, see the recipe at the bottom of this page:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/brunch100.html.
Then, go to the pulled pork and brisket thread for a really good pulled pork sandwich recipe.

Beth
03/03/09
Menu for 100 people
How much boiled cabbage will I need to feed 100?We will also be serving chicken, rice,squash casserole?
ellen
03/04/09
20-22 pounds.
Laurie
03/05/09
How do you set up a pasta bar for 200 people and keep the pasta from sticking or clumping. (I don't want to keep in in water)Should you mix the sauce with the pasta, even for an Alfredo sauce? Thanks
Laurie
03/05/09
I just found the answer on your webb site! Thanks
Jennifer Gibbs
03/05/09
Menu for 200 people, Please Help!!
This is our plan
Brisket
Beans
Coleslaw
Macaroni Salad
Rolls
Chicken Nuggets
Meatballs
Taquitos
Fruit Platter
Veggie Platter
Relish Tray
Queso & Chips
Punch
Tea & Water.
Can anyone enlighten me on how much of this stuff i need for about 200 people (about 150 of them are adults)..PLEASE HELP!!! Thanks!
Jennifer
ellen
03/06/09
You need about 4 taquitos per person. EVERYTHING else is already covered in the site. Once you prepare and post a first estimate, I will be glad to go over it for you.
Jan
03/06/09
Feeding 100 people
We are planning a graduation party for my nephew. We are having Taco salad, Tacos, Nachos, and Spanish rice. About how much lettuce and hamburger will I need to feed 100 people?
Thanks Jan
ellen
03/07/09
Whether they eat tacos or taco salad, you want to allow about 2 ounces of shredded lettuce per person- if you get bagged, get one or two extra and just don't open if you don't need- sometimes the girls do heavy lettuce. You want at least 1 pound raw meat for each 4 people- you can use up to 1/2 ground turkey with no one the wiser- and I would add a big pan of charro or borracho beans, or refried, especially if it is high school
Amanda
03/08/09
Hi, I am planning a reception dinner for 200 people. How much of each would I need?
Pork Roast? (BBQ Sandwiches)
Sauce for BBQ pork?
mac. Salad?
chips?
baked beans?
thanks
ellen
03/08/09
EVERYTHING is already covered in the site. Check the sandwich event page, the bbQ an brisket page, etc. Once you prepare and post a first estimate, I will be glad to go over it for you.
Connie
03/15/09
Menu for 100 people
Two of the menu items for my daughter's reception are shredded pork sandwiches and turkey sandwiches (from fried turkey.) We are using small soft rolls. How many pounds of raw meat (Boston Butts & Turkey) do I need to feed 100?

The rest of the menu consists of cocktail sausages, veggie & fruit trays, relish trays, potato & pasta salads, cheese balls & crackers, spinach dip & crackers, shrimp dip & crackers, nuts and of course cake.

ellen
03/15/09
OK, assuming this is over a mealtime, you need 3 ounces cooked ready pork, which is about 1 pound raw boneless for each 4 people, then suaced up PLUS 3-4 ounces ready to eat turkey per person. Use the turkey yield tables to figure out your turkey, depends on whole, breast etc. ont forget the cranberry relish and sandwich condiments (see the sandwich event page for amounts of the condiments).
Cheryl
03/15/09
I need to feed 200 people pasta salad. There are several other dishes for this party but this is the one I got picked for. Can you help ? I dont know how much to make. thanks
ellen
03/16/09
If this is the only or main starchy dish, use one of my recipes for 100 and make double. If there is also potato salad or other starchy dishes, make enough for 125-150. You are lucky, this is an easier dish to prepare than potato salad, and not expensive to make. If you use rotini or penne instead of other pastas, it will hold up better.
Pamela
03/16/09
I am planning my 2nd daughters wedding reception and my husbands still teases me that I always want to make sure we have enough...so after my first daughters, we ate reception food for a month last time!

Your help on amounts would be very gratefully received! The theme is International. This is the order of the food table layout. We expect 225 guests, mostly adults. It will be 3:30, with apps. The app amounts I can figure pretty good, but the main dishes since they vary is harder.

Apps = Rueben Dip
Nacho cheese w/ chips
Antipasta Veg platter of cheese, olives, veggies

Buffet
Penne Pasta with sausage, tomatoes & spinach
Italian antipasta salad w/ eggs, olives etc
Bread, rolls w/ butter

Fruit platter
Chick Fil A chicken strips platter

Paella
Taquitos (premade, heated and cut in half)

(also, I have a paid experienced person to help that day and some volunteers and will have much of this precooked, but the paella seems like I will have to make it that day from all I can read, any thoughts?)

ellen
03/17/09
Yep. It is too much food and I, with 40+ years experience would not try to do paella for this menu/ crowd. I would also not do antipasto platters and salad, too similar. Since it is a wedding party, I might do my layered antipasto platter (included meats, etc) and my artichoke olive condite coarsely chopped as a bruschetta.

A 330 reception means people will have eaten before the service and will not be meal-hungry. I will think about amounts and post more later.

Pamela
03/20/09
Thanks Ellen, I look forward to your expect opinion and help!
ellen
03/21/09
Hi, Pamela,

Since you are using an international theme, and it is mid-afternoon, what about going for all apps?

For 225 people you want at least eight-ten different items

Add two dry room temp bites, maybe spinach Parmesan squares and sausage balls if you want to do your own, or mini quiches or spinach filo bites?

Use the antipasto platters with meats instead of the salad, skip the pasta and paella.

Add seven layer dip- Tex-Mexican- platters, colorful and popular.

Maybe stuffed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes or tiny potatoes?

jean
04/03/09
Menu for 100 people
im planing a family reuion im not sure how much food i should fix

im thinking about brisket and pork loin
corn on cob. green salad potato salad or pasta salad
baked beans what else do i need to feed 85 t0 100 people
ellen
04/04/09
Jean, you need to go read the BBQ and brisket page, then look at the plan for 100 charts and prepare an estimate. Then post it and I will be glad to check it for you.
debby
04/05/09
i am planning our 25th wedding annv. celebration i am making mostaccoili for 200 people i have 12 pounds of dry pasta how much beef would i need
ellen
04/05/09
I would use 18 pounds of pasta and about 30-32 pounds of ground meat.
lisa
04/19/09
Menu for 150 people
I want to make pulled pork sandwiches for my daughters graduation party. How much pork loin do I need to buy?
ellen
04/19/09
See the pulled pork thread. Boneless shoulder makes much better pulled pork than loin, which is so lean that it gets too dry.
Marcee
04/25/09
Menu for 200 people. We are having fried chicken and tacos for a graduation. How many salads and how much chicken do i get? We are catering in 200 tacos.
ellen
04/25/09
You need to allow AT LEAST 200 pieces of chicken, and I would do 300 if it is a high school graduation- many people eat 2 pieces, and many will take both chicken and tacos. You need some heavy side dishes, or else more tacos and chicken. For various salad amounts, see the salad section at the top of the plan for 100 page.
rena
04/27/09
hiya we are making a beef stew/casserole to serve 180-200 people how much potatoes and meat do you think we would need, and what size pan (litre) do you think we ned to cook it in
thanks
ellen
04/27/09
70 pounds of potatoes, 65-75 pounds of meat, depending on other vegetables added, 4 18 quart/liter roasters or pans.
Patty
04/27/09
Hamfor 240
I need to know how many pounds of ham I need for 240 people
ellen
04/27/09
Look on the plan for 100 page, get 2 1/2 times the amount for 100. For sandwiches, see the sandwich page.
cecilia
05/04/09
how many pounds of pinto beans would it take for 175 people
also potato salad and cole slaw.
ellen
05/05/09
Look on the plan for 100 page under picnic sides, at the bottom. Use 1 3/4 times the amount for 100.
Kris Thurston
05/07/09
Hi there, I am planning a Graduation party for my son, How much of each should i have, The menu is shredded BBQ beef or pork( not sure which based on cost), meatballs, Nachos, Peperoni salad, cucumber salad, potato salad, cole slaw, chips, possiblly a veggie tray and of course the cake. Not sure on number of people but anywhere from 75-150 people
can you help with this??
Kris
05/07/09
I just posted but the number of people could be higher, as high as 250
thats why i'm ahving a hard time figuring the amounts. Thank you
ellen
05/07/09
You have to tell me the time and length of the party, as this affects amounts. You need to consider adding or subbing a fruit tray and you need some kind of bread.
Kris
05/08/09
The party is from 11am -3pm, I did decide to add a fruit tray and a veggie tray to the menu as well, ?? on why a bread?
ellen
05/08/09
Good bread is an inexpensive filler and you have both bbq and meatballs, two items which have tasty sauces and make good sandwiches. About 10-12 pounds per 100 guests. See the sandwich event page for condiments for 100.

These are the minimums I would plan:
shredded BBQ beef or pork- 4 ounces ready to eat per person 1 pound per 4
meatballs- 1 pound frozen ready to cook per 4 people

Nacho sauce 1/3 cup per person. If you do other toppings, use the potato bar page to figure the amounts, they are about the same
chips- minimum 8-10 pounds corn chips per 100 (nachos) PLUS 6 pounds potato per 100

Pepperoni salad (I assume this is with pasta), cucumber salad, potato salad, cole slaw: I would do 3 gallons pasta salad PLUS 3-4 galons potato salad PLUS 2- 2 1/2 gallons each cuke and slaw

veggie tray-see veggie tray page, you would plan enough for about 1/2 the number attending because of the salad selection. Don't omit ranch dip.
Fruit tray- amounts for tray for 25 will do for about 40 with this menu.

Don't forget beverages if it includes adults have iced tea or coffee as well as the punch and soda.

cake- see discusion of pieces per cake on the dessert planning page

Kris
05/08/09
Thanks so much for your help, GREATLY Appreciated.
lisa
05/10/09
Menu for 60 people
I would like to serve pork tenderloin for 60 for a denner party how many pounds would i need to purchase help1 lisa
ellen
05/11/09
Use 2/3 of the amount for 100 on the plan for 100 page.
Betty
05/11/09
I'am having a taco / bake potatoe bar for my daughter's openhouse. There's going to be about 200 people. How much food should I get.
ellen
05/12/09
Use the tables for 100 on the baked potato bar article, you need twice the amounts for 200.
Joan
05/12/09
How much of the following will we need for a high school graduation party of 200? We are making tacos.
ground beef
lettuce
refried beans
cheese
onions
taco seasoning
tomatoes
taco salsa
sliced olives
Please send to my email. Thank you!
ellen
05/12/09
Joan, I cannot send to your email. See the baked potato bar/ taco bar for 100 article (link at the top of the main cook talk page), make enough for 250; teens eat more than adults. Be sure you have rice and beans; 8 pounds dry per 100 people.
Mindy
05/18/09
I need to make Pasa Primavera for 200 people. Do you have a good reciepe for this? If not how much pasta will I need, I think 18 lbs? I would like to know the best way to serve it without getting over done.Can I do it the night before? I am serving Roast beef and It.sausage also with it. If you have a easy way to keep red garlic potatoes hot so I can do them up early in the day that would be great too!!!
ellen
05/18/09
If this is the main dish and self serve, I would make 22-24 pounds of pasta. 18 pounds is side dish size. You can't do primavera the night before; you could do a pasta broccoli, or other pasta veggie bake ahead, refrigerate, and bake the day of.
The potatoes don't hold, either- serve when ready.
NADINA
06/10/09
I'm catering my daughter wedding 200 people i'm serving beef, chicken, and ham how much many pounds should i buy? we will have a rice dish, assorted vegies and salad.
ellen
06/10/09
I would plan to end up with 4 ounces ready to eat beef PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat chicken PLUS 2-3 ounces ready to eat ham per person- see the meat table on the plan for 100 page to help. You don't say whether you are buying raw or ready to eat-

When you have 3 entrees, you have to plan for mote total than if you have just 2, because people often take more, and some of each.

Tami
06/11/09
I'm catering a wedding reception for aprox 170 adults & aprox 45 kids. I'm wondering how many pounds of shredded beef, buns, baked beans(w/hamburger mixed in), cheesy potatoes, pasta salad, mixed fruit and veggies I will need.
ellen
06/11/09
You can figure all these items yourself using 2 times the plan for 100 list, 200 is just right for this size group. If you want to post your estimate, I will be glad to check it for you.
barbara brite
06/12/09
I am preparing chicken salad for 250 people for a wedding reception. This is one of the three meats for the reception. I am using pickles, mayo, celery and of course chicken in the salad. thank you
barbara
06/12/09
I am preparing chicken salad for 250 people for a wedding reception. I will be using mayo, pickles, celery and of course chicken. How many lbs. of chicken do I need? How much celery, pickles and mayo are needed. This is one of three meats that will be served
ellen
06/12/09
See the sandwich event page for advice on amounts- I don't know what your other choices are, so I can't even give you a ball park estimate on the amount, but you may be able to estimate it from the choices on the table. Remember that 1 pound whole chicken makes 1 cup meat where 1 pound boneless skinless makes 2 cups meat.
linda
06/12/09
Hi Ellen,

I need your help please. First I will give you the menu and the quantities of what I have figure.

Chicken - 260 pieces
Cabbage rolls - 250 tennis ball sized
Beans with meat - 6 gallons
Dinner rolls - 18 dozen
Butter - 8#
Tuna Salad - 2 gallons
Potato Salad - 2 gallons
Italian Pasta salad - 2 gallons
Seafood Salad - 2 gallons
Relish Tray -1/2 gallon pickles, 1 quart olives
4 cans black olives,1/2 gallon sweet pickle
Jello salad - 10 cake pans
wine breads - 2 flavors - 20 loaves

Do these quantities sound appropriate for a wedding reception for 200. I got most of the information from your site, but I guess I'm just not sure if i need more or less of the things because we are having different choices in the food items. If you could let me know I would be eternally grateful.

ellen
06/12/09
You are doing pretty well. Here is what I would do differently:
chicken 3oo pieces, especially if it is boneless breast.
Potato salad 5-6 gallons (normally, I would recommend 8-9, but you have enough other stuff.)
Pasta salad 3 1/2-4 gallons

Relish tray is very short, see the relish tray for 60 at the top of my veggie tray page and make at least 2.

Jello salad is short, it takes 17 small packages or 8 large ones to make 100 servings. If it is a creamy one or has nuts or fruits, count on most people taking some.

Sounds great, I love cabbage rolls!

Linnea
06/15/09
I ordered 300 buns. Am planning on 250 people coming to an open house. Do I need 15 pounds of shaved sandwich meat or more?

We are also serving root beer floats. For one large scoop of ice cream in a 16-oz glass, do I need more than 10 gallons of ice cream?

ellen
06/15/09
Help. Where is the first part of your question? If you are planning on the meat to fill the buns, you need 1 pound for each 4-5 buns- 15 pounds isn't nearly enough. See the sandwich planning page. I would also allow 8-11 pounds thin sliced cheese per 100.
1 quart of ice cream will make 7 large scoops, so a gallon makes 28. You are probaly fine for that
gloria
06/16/09
would like some help for amounts for 300 people we are serving hotdogs and beans
ellen
06/16/09
2 hotdogs each and 10 gallons of baked beans.
Sean
06/22/09
I am cooking different items for a wedding reception and I will list the items below. Please help me with how much I should make per person. These items all came from the bride and to me it seems scattered. There are 200 guests coming.

Cheese and crackers
breads
fruit
shrimp toasts
wonton cups with crab and cream cheese
Stuffed mushrooms
cold beef tenderloin
Smoked Salmon
potatoes

Thank you for any advice that you can give

Kathy Rise
06/22/09
Ellen, planning menu for 200 people....A bit confused under salads for 100. If you are having 3 types of salad how do you plan?
Do you do the 3 types to feed 100 each or more than that thinking everyone will take a little of each one? I am having Green Salad, Pasta Salad and Fruit Salad,
Thank you for your help,
Kathy Rise
ellen
06/22/09
Sean is this supposed to be heavy hors douvres in place of a plated dinner? What time is the wedding and the reception, and is the service buffet style? This is definitely not a full menu. Write back, You have a good bit of work to do with this bride.

Kathy, these three salads are completely different types, not like pasta and potato, for example. For 200 people, if I were pretty sure of the numbers, I would do green salad for 150, pasta salad for 200 and fruit trays, rather than fruit salad, for 175.

Sean
06/22/09
I believe the bride wants all of her favorite items on the buffet table and it seems to be the hor dourves in place of a plated dinner. The guests are eating at 6:00 and the information that I have is that she wants all the items above on the same table. Should I steer her in the direction of having all apps, or should I try to lead her toward a plated event?
ellen
06/23/09
All apps is fine, but you still need 1 1/2 pounds of food per person (minimum) for a 6 PM serving time- people will be eating dinner. You need to add some bulky platters and dips, some of the heavier ones, or you are going to run out of food. Like queso, 7 layer dip, artichoke dip in bread bowls, molded shrimp spread, etc. I would also do 2 of my relish trays for 60 (marinated veggies). You will also do well to add one more meat, or else she will need 1 pound raw tenderloin for each 2 people as well as 1 pound smoked salmon for each 5. Maybe chicken tenders or teriyaki, meatballs, or little sausages?
Linnea
06/24/09
I am having a graduation party for about 200 people. I need to know how much food I need to buy. My menu is Chicken Breast, pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans,fruit salad, veg and dip.
One the chicken breast I was thinking to cut them in half.
deb
06/30/09
Menu for 100 people
How many servings are in one pound of shredded pork?
Jennifer
07/01/09
Menu for 20-25 people
I am having a 4th of July party for about 20-25 people. About 1/2 are women. I am serving:
Chips and Dips
Brisket
Sausage
Potato Salad
Macaroni Salad
Baked Beans
Fruit Salad
Cake

Can you please tell me how many pounds of brisket and sausage I should get?

Thaks so much!

Jennifer

ellen
07/01/09
Linnea, did you double post, I have answered this particular question a ;ot this month. Sides are listed in the table at the bottom of the plan fro 100 page, fruit salad on the fruit tray page (fruit trays are prettier, easier, and have less waste, and require less serving/ eating equipment than fruit salads). Allow for 1/2 large breast or 1 small breast per person, PLUS 1 sandwich per person.

Deb, it depends on whether you mean for plates or sandwiches and before or after you add the sauce. But just for starters, it takes 1 pound sauced ready to eat to make 3-4 sandwiches (depends on regular or large buns. It takes 2 pounds sauced ready to eat to serve 5 people plates, a bit more if self serve.

Jennifer,I am assuming 25 people. 12 pounds raw well trimmed brisket, or 5 ounces per person ready tpo serve PLUS 1 pound sausage for each 5 people. You will have a little- not much- left, but everyone will get their first choice.

Rogue chef
07/03/09
Appetizers for 400 people
I'm part of a team that will do appetizers for 400 hungry festival folks and need to know how much rice to buy for an Indonesian spit roasted pig w/ sides (3-oz meat serving w/ veg). There will be a dozen other vendors w/ hearty appetizers, too.
ellen
07/04/09
1 pound whole pig gives only 7-9 ounces cooked meat- depends on head on/off and size of pig, as well as the skill of the slicers. Shoulders or fresh hams give way more meat per pound.

I would do 8 pounds dry rice per 100 for a side/appetizer serving.

Melanie
08/06/09
Menu for 300 people
My sons high school graduation party. I am ordering chicken, making a taco bar with all the fixings.
menu Broasted chicken, taco's, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, peppers, salsa, sour cream, shells, potato salad, relish tray, nachos and liquid cheese, chips. Please let me know how much of everything I will need.
ellen
08/06/09
Melanie, this is a do it yourself site and most of those foods are covered in the planning lists. I would order 300 pieces of chicken and plan tacos for 200. When there is a choice of entrees, people eat more, and some of each.

Broasted chicken, 300 pieces
taco's, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, peppers, salsa, sour cream, shells, see the instructions on the baked potato and taco bar page.

potato salad, 4-4 1/2 gallons per 100

relish tray, 3 times the tray for 60

nachos and liquid cheese, chips
About 25 pounds total chips, 1/4 cup cheese sauce per person, or about 5 gallons.

chasity
08/07/09
hello i am wondering how much pork roast can feed 200 people???? thanks
Nicole & Steve
08/07/09
hi, im preparing for my reception in 2 weeks and am making last minute price comparisons for chicken salad. i was wondering (roughly, of course) how many lbs are in a gallon because here the containers are measured in lbs OR... how many sandwiches we can make out of 2 lbs. my menu is (for meat) half cocktail sandwiches, half chicken salad on croissants, potato salad, macaroni salad, and chocolate fondue with pineapple, strawberries, and bananas. i have no clue how much fruit to cut or chicken salad to get thanks!!!!
Nicole & Steve
08/07/09
hi me again sorry, i was also curious...i didnt see it anywhere on your site...how much chocolate i would need to go with fruit for 200 people...if that makes any sense...
ellen
08/08/09
Chastity, see the plan for 100 page roasts under entrees. Use 2 times the amount for 200 people.

Nicole, use the quantities on the chocolate fountain page for your fruit and chocolate dip. For the chicken salad, buy a pint and weigh it, or by a pound and measure it- this varies according to who makes the salad, you see. Read the sandwich event page thoroughly for info on keeping those sandwiches fresh.

emma
08/13/09
menu for 90people
Hi, first time, How many pounds of boneless chicken breast to feed 90 people w/ roasted veggies.
ellen
08/13/09
about 45 pounds raw weight to end up with party size entree portions, if it is the only meat being served.
judy
08/17/09
I need a taco bar for 180 people. I am having chicken and Carne asada, and chicken. How many pounds will I need for of each. How many pounds of cheese, lettuce, tomato etc. Thank you for any help... I will also be serving chips salsa, pinto beans, and rice... I have never made this much and have no idea how much I will need for any of this.
ellen
08/18/09
Judy, it is the same as the baked potato bar with the heavier amounts of sour cream and grated cheese, both weights and volumes are given. You need to end up with 6-7 ounce COOKED ready to eat meat per person, beef is usually more popular. Chips and salsa on the appetizer page, rice and beans 8 pounds dry of each per 100, or just see my Spanish rice recipes and bean recipes.
Patsy
08/20/09
Hi, I have used your site mmmmmany times it is so helpful at church I would love to have the recipe for stewed tomatoes that is served in restaurants. I have searched the web, I have asked and I never get the right recipe. I believe they use vanilla and powered sugar. They are served at Mitchies tavern in charolettville, VA , the Circle Restaurant in Portsmouth, VA and Makamie Woods in Williamsburg, VA Thanks for any help.
ellen
08/20/09
Using Roma or plum tomatoes is probably part of the plan. Here is a recipe from the Chicago Sun Times that may fill the bill:
Vanilla stewed tomatoes

August 19, 2009

I am always enchanted by chef David Bouley's brilliant food. Once, when dining in his New York restaurant, Bouley, I ate some luscious tomatoes cooked with vanilla-- and those tomatoes led me to this recipe. They're delicious with poultry.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise (Ellen's note; some orange peel or a slice of lemon and two cloves are another option)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel, seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes, catching all the juices in a bowl.

Place the chopped tomatoes in a nonreactive saucepan, and strain the juices into the pan. Add the sugar, and tuck the vanilla bean halves into the tomatoes.

Simmer the tomatoes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until the juices have reduced and the tomatoes are cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean pieces, scrape the seeds from them and return the seeds to the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Let the tomatoes cool to room temperature. Then cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Bring the tomatoes to room temperature before serving, or warm them over low heat. Serve 2 generous spoonfuls in each of four small bowls or large ramekins.

From Ten: All the Foods We Loves and 10 Recipes For Each (Workman, $19.95) by Sheila Lukins

Judy
08/22/09
Does anyone have an easy but good recipe for mexican style pinto beans (not refried)? I need this for about 200 people. I have thought about using canned beans because it would be easier. I would like to add items to canned beans to make it taste better, but not sure what to add.
Thank you Ellen for all your post and recipe, it has helped me more than once.

Judy

ellen
08/22/09
Judy, I highly recommend the borracho beans on the beans for 100 page, they are absolutely delicious. Dry beans are really cheap, you would need about 20 pounds, you could cook this in 3 electric roasters.
ellen
08/22/09
Or, here is a simple recipe for charro beans. If you used canned beans you could use this to suggest the additives...

•1 pound pinto beans (cooks up to 6-8 cups)
•1/2 pound lean bacon, chopped small (May be omitted, but the beans will need extra salt at the end of cooking)
•1 chopped red ripe tomato (May use crushed or diced canned tomatoes in juice)
•1 med onion, diced
•1 small bell pepper, chopped
•1 serrano pepper, OR two jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped
•3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
•1 Tablespoon good chile powder
•1 Tablespoon Cumin
•Salt to taste
•Pepper to Taste
•1 bunch Cilantro chopped fine

Use chile to taste if you don't want it hot. Also remove the raw chile seeds. This will lessen the chile hotness.

Directions
1.Wash beans. Make sure there are no rocks, "floaters" or rotten beans.
2.Soak in water over night, then rinse. If iit is very hot, soak in the refrigerator, otherwise right in the (turned off) roasters is fine.
4.Add all ingredients except for beans and seasoning and tomatoes in the roaster or bean pot. Stir for about 5 minutes.
6.Add beans, seasonings and tomatoes.
7.Cover all with water plus at least 1 inch, bring to a boil, turn down to a slow simmer until beans are done. Check every half hour or so to stir and add water as needed. For VERY large amounts this can take up to 4 hours.
8.Add Cilantro, stir, cook an additional 15 minutes and serve.
9.Freeze well.

Judy
08/25/09
Thank you Ellen
One more question
I have to move 150 cupcakes to a reception site any ideas on how to do this. This is for a wedding cupcake tier so I can't have any accidents.
I am giving this as a gift to the bride, she wanted cupcakes instead of a tiered cake.
Kim
08/29/09
I am needing to make mostaccioli for 200 people and can't find a recipe anywhere on the internet. How much ground beef, canned tom. paste, canned tomato's etc. I need help

thxs

ellen
08/29/09
Judy, the large underbed type boxes with bubble wrap folded in like you do the linen towels when raising multiple baguettes will work. Flat side up, put in a row, pushe the bubble wrap into a fold/wall, put in the next row, etc.

Kim, See the spaghetti page recipe for mozzarella sausage bake for 120. Use the amounts as a quantity guide, subbung the beef for the sausage. Make 1.6 times the recipe..

April
09/26/09
Hello my church has the awesome responsibilty of providing dinner for a local soup kitchen. We will only be responsible for dinner one night a week. This is a long term committment. Can you provide me with any help on where I can find menu planning tools and recipes, menus,recipe conversion charts etc... Thank you so much!
ellen
09/27/09
Before you start planning please read the article called, "Planning and sharing a community feast":
www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/turkintro.html

All the information you need is on site, especially see the budget entrees on big pots and the article on cooking large amounts in the family kitchen- it advises on equipment, etc. There is an article on food safety that everyone participating should read.

Keep in mind that vegetables and fruits are needed at every meal and that lots of people on the street need easily chewable food due to dental problems.

Dominique
09/30/09
Menu for 300 people
I need to know how many pounds of chuck roast i need to feed 300 people and how many pounds of leg quarter. I am really lost because this is my first party and I dont want to not have enough but I also dont too much left over . Thank You in advance
ellen
10/01/09
130 to 150 pounds raw bomeless chuck, PLUS 1 piece of chicken per person, counting a quarter as 2 pieces.
dominique
10/01/09
Thanks for the help.
Dee
10/04/09
here's my dilema! I am plannng a costume gala fundraiser from 6:30 p to 12 mn. It has a cash bar, we are not providing drinks. Most of our items have been donated. We are expecting a total of 200 people. Most will be coming or going all evening! We have arranged 2 ex lg fruit trays (enough to serve 120 people),3 wrap style sandwich trays enough to serve 100 people, pulled pork for 50 people, 2 lbs of smoked turkey, and 5# of pulled beef. We also have chips and salsa for 200, 3 veggie tray (enough for 75 people), 2 cheese taster trays (enough for 50 people), 2 snack trays (enough for 50 people) 100 baked good (asssorted cookies, tartlets, cake and cheesecake bites, 3 shrimp tray enough for(75 people).Also on the menu is pretzels, potato chips, chex mix and nuts. Do I have enough?? This is not a sit down dinner but there will be dancing and drinking involved.
ellen
10/05/09
Hi, Dee,
You need to clarify something for me, the best example is the shrimp; is that 3 trays that serve 75 people each or 3 trays that serve 25 each, total 75?
Here is the thing about shrimp; every single person there will want some and it is better not to have any than to have only a little and run out; people will notice that they did not get any and will complain mightily among themselves.
Among the meats and sandwiches, you need at least 1 serving per person plus 10%, and two per person would not be too much. You are short here.
Cheese trays, 2-3 ounces per person total.
Desserts, 4 pieces per person- way short here.
Dee
10/05/09
OK I have deleted the shrimp trays as they will be too costly for our fundraiser. I have added wrap style sandwiches enough for 50-60 people,Pulled meats w sm dollar rolls enough for 75 people,BBQ beans for 90, 4 gals cole slaw, cheese and summer sausage tray 4 @10# ea, chips and salsa, pretzels, nuts, chex mix,10 doz prepared deviled eggs,4-18" veggie trays (serves 100 total) 1 full sheet cake (cut into 1.2 "squares) 1-11x13 cake, 1 12" cheesecake, 6 doz cookies, 2-8x11 pans brownies, plus a donation from 2 bakeries for about 50 people. Realizing that only 100 will be there for the first 1/2 of the night and 100 for the last 1/2 of the night. What else do you recommend we add or remove? We are trying to keep expenses down to a minimum. Beverages are being provided by the club owner.
ellen
10/06/09
Big improvement. Hope you keep the fruit trays, pretty and popular.
If someone is making the cheesecake, ask them to make it on a jelly roll pan and cut into small squares, it is about the same amount of cheesecake, serves lots more people.

If you expect 100 and 100, you will probably be fine. Just think about what you could do at the last minute to fill in if necessary- sheet pizzas? Fried chicken nuggets? What's open nearby at that time of night.

Dianne
10/10/09
appetizers for 200
Ellen,
We are serving just appetizers for a function at our church. It will be at 8pm in the evening. How many different appetizers should we have and how many will each person eat?
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
ellen
10/11/09
For 200 I would plan 8-10 different items. If it is a 1 hour function, plan on about one of each (where "1" is 2 to 3 bites, that is 1-1 1/2 ounces meat or cheese, 1/4 cup dip, 1 mini quiche, etc- see the appetizer planning page). For a 2-3 hour function, 2 of each or a bit more. If you pick something especially popular, like wings or shrimp, you have to allow more- for example about 4 wing pieces or shrimps per person.
Judy Henzler
10/20/09
Ellen, we are have 200 people for Polynesian theme buffet dinner. What would you suggest for a menu? Thank you
ellen
10/20/09
Judy, give me a clue here. How long is the dinner? Will alcohol be served? What are the cooking and refrigeration options? Are you on economical, moderate, or generous (shrimp and seafood, for example) budget. Write back and I will be happy to help.
Also there are several threads with luau type stuff. Do a search for luau on the site and check out the results.
Deberina
10/29/09
Would like to know how many pounds of pinto beans needed to feed approximately 200 people, we are serving shredded beef, roll, rice, salad and beans.

Thank you

ellen
10/29/09
About 8 pounds dry per 100; if you make them extra delicious, such as the borracho beans on this site, you could go up to 12 pounds.
peggy boyd
10/30/09
Menu for 250 people
great website. I have found several answers however I need a little help: we are planning a wedding reception at 5pm with italian beef and baked ziti dish with bread sticks. included also: vegie trays x 3, cheese balls x 4-5 and tossed salad. I am unsure with 2 entrees how much of each i should plan in addition to the numnber of breadsticks/buns as well. was planning 100-125 sticks and 175-200 buns for beef. I have approx 55 lbs of beef made already. hoping that is enough.
thanks
Peggy
ellen
10/31/09
Hi, Peggy,
The thing about these two entrees is that people will take the beef and then take the ziti as a side dish. If you are expecting 250 people, you need to plan for 4 ounces cooked beef plus 1 cup ready to eat ziti per person. I would also allow 1 bread stick per person and enough buns for 1 each. You will have some left, but you may otherwise run out.

You need 12 pounds of cheese balls per 100.minimum, and see the veggie tray page for help on the veggie amounts.

Melissa
11/08/09
How many yams and winter squash would it take to feed 200 people?
Cheryl walkowiak
11/08/09
I would like to know how much beef, canned cheese, nacho chips, black olives, onion,salsa ,sour cream, hot peppers and refried beans for a nacho bar which will be a snack at a birthday party. I will be serving this with deserts and there will be popcorn on the tables. Thank you Cheryl
ellen
11/08/09
Melissa, Yams are the same as potatoes, about 35 to 40 pounds per 100. Squash 22-25 pounds whole for 100 (small servings).

Cheryl. are these teenagers and how long is the party? How long is the party and is it overt a regular meal time? If it is, most people will eat a meal's worth (about 1 1/2 pounds total) even if it is "just appetizers." Write back.

Felicia Dillingham
11/18/09
Ellen, how much cranberry sauce do I need to feed 200 people for Thanksgiving?
ellen
11/19/09
Check out the planning and shopping guide for large community dinners in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots. Cranberry sauce is available in #10 cans (12 1/2 cups measure) at restaurant supply grocers. I also suggest you look at the cranberry and jello relishes on various sites; tastier and less expensive than canned.
Ren
11/21/09
My husband and I are in charge of salad for my father-in-laws retirement/birthday party. How many pounds of salad do you think I'll need? Costco has an organic spring mix that comes in 1 lb containers. We're also throwing in some dried cranberries.
Ren
11/21/09
Oh, it will be for approximately 200 guests.
ellen
11/22/09
For 200 people, I would do at least 2 different salads, like Ceasar and mixed spring greens. See the plan for 100 page for amounts, including dressing advice, older crowds add just 10% to each as a fudge factor for the multiple salads.
Zory
11/29/09
how much of seafood do I need for 200 people to make a paella and how many lbs of rice thanks
ellen
11/30/09
You need about 3 ounces raw rice per person, or 20-24 pounds of rice per 100 people, which is about 50 cups. Use your favorite family size recipe and multiply the seafood to fit that amount of rice; there are too many different ways to mix it for me to give you a precise estimate on the seafood.
That will make about 100 pounds of paella per 100 people, if you have a hungry crowd and are not serving other dishes, you could go to 30 pounds rice per 100 people
This is about what I use in paella for 6:
1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined 1 Pound clams, scrubbed
1 dozen mussels, scrubbed
1 3 ˝-pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 ˝ pound linguica, chorizo, or Hot Italian sausage, casings removed

You might want to look at this:
www.flickr.com/photos/sylvanfae/3910657659/

ellen
11/30/09
And here is a great photo gallery on paella:
www.thepaellacompany.co.uk/gallery.html
Jeanette
12/06/09
How much Pot Roast will I need to serve 150 people with mashed potatos,gravy, salad, rolls and veges from roast also being served.
ellen
12/06/09
I would start with 75 pounds raw boneless chuck/ shoulder roast and about 60 pounds of vegetables.
Debbie Tapia
01/04/10
Planning a wedding Buffett for 200. Two types of pasta and 5 types of salad and rolls. Also having trays of veggies and fruit. My concern is this a good variety and how much of each pasta should I do of each? One will be a red sauce and another a white.
ellen
01/05/10
What kinds of salads? If I were doing this menu, I would do 1 baked pasta and a different second dish, maybe meatballs, or sausage and peppers or Italian beef sandwiches. It is quite difficult to serve boiled pasta to 200- see the spaghetti page for discussion. Write back.
Debbie Tapia
01/05/10
We were planning to do a ceasar salad, pasta salad (grooms request), fruit salad, green salad (like the premix you get at The Olive Garden) and a brocoli salad. I did do some reading on the pasta page, however I will go back and read it again. My gal friends wanted to do the pasta and sauce up ahead of time, then warm it in big nesco roasting pans and transfer it to a chaffing dish. If you think this is a bad idea, we might need to come up with another idea. The oven we have at the reception hall is small. The kitchen is just a catering kitchen. So we will need to do something that can go from a roaster to the chaffing dishes. Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks Debbie
ellen
01/06/10
OK. A nesco roaster holds enough for about 60, so you will need 4- 2 each for the red and white dishes. If you are going to do the reheating this way, I can't emphasize enough the preference for baked pasta dishes- the loose pasta in this large amount really will clump into globs. You could bake right on the roasters and serve from them...
See the baked sausage and mostaccioli recipe on the spaghetti page and do a white lasagna for the second dish, or look at the spaghetti pie recipe under basic bargain entrees.
Susan Shreve
01/14/10
Hi Ellen,
Great website! I am planning a reception for 200-250, mostly adults for several hours on a summer evening. We will have beer, wine, soft drinks, etc... plus hors d'hoeurves and cake in place of a meal. I am planning a fruit tray; veggie tray; meat and cheese tray with crackers & breadsticks; skewers of grape tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzerella; crostini with a choice of hummus or bruschetta; a dilled brie with smoked salmon layered inside; cheddar shortbread and meatballs. My questions are: does this menu have enough variety and substance and how much of each appetizer should I provide? Thanks so much!
ellen
01/15/10
When you have an hors douvres supper, you have to provide enough food for a full meal- more than twice a non-mealtime party. So I am assuming this is a mealtime party.

You are doing pretty well on the menu, but I would do a little filling in. I would add small rolls with sandwich condiments for the meat and cheese. I would add an antipasto or marinated veggie/ relish tray pickles, olives, artichoke hearts, etc, see my relish tray discussion on the veggie tray page- 2 to 3 times the tray for 60. One veggie item such as my spinach Parmesan squares, spanakopita, mini quiches, etc. You have plenty of proteins, we are filling in the rest.

It would be fine to serve the marinated cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls with toothpicks (or stich pretzels for toothpicks), and would save a lot of prep time.

Write back and tell me what you think.

Susan Shreve
01/15/10
Thanks, Ellen! Your suggestions are great and helpful. I can add the rolls for the meat and cheese platter, plus condiments. I will also add an antipasto platter and the spinach parmesan squares (YUM!). So now if I include all these items for around 200 guests, how much of each should I plan to prepare. You are correct, this will be a mealtime party.
ellen
01/16/10
OK. Here is what I would do:

fruit tray; see fruit tray page- do for about 150 people, as you have other things, don't forget dips
veggie tray; do for about 150 people, as you have other things, don't forget dips
meat and cheese tray- see the sandwich event page, do reception level, with the breads and condiments
crackers & breadsticks; 6 pounds each per 100, don't open everything at once
an antipasto (marinated veggie) platter- 3-4 gallons
spinach parmesan squares 6 9x13 trays per 100
These two are on this page:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/appetiz2.html
skewers of grape tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzerella; 1 pound tomatoes each 5, 3-4 balls of cheese per person (weight varies depending on the size of the balls)
crostini with a choice of hummus or bruschetta;
1/3 cup each dip, about 3 pieces bread
a dilled brie with smoked salmon layered inside; about 2-3 ounces per person
cheddar shortbread- 3 pieces per person
meatballs about 3 ounces per person.

Susan Shreve
01/20/10
Thanks so much, Ellen! You are truly wonderful.
Lindsay
01/23/10
Hi, I am planning on around 200 people for my wedding reception. We are doing all of the food ourselves. We have everything figured out except the chips and queso. How much queso dip and chips do we need for 200 people? Thanks!
ellen
01/23/10
Assuming it is not teens and you have a variety of other dips and appetizers, allow 1/4 cup queso per person and 10 pounds of corn or tortilla chips per 100.
mj
01/23/10
We're are having a fundraiser penne pasta dinner for our church and I need your help. How much pasta and sauce would I need for 200 people. Also would you have a simple recipe for the sauce? We may have more but this would be a start. Thank you.
ellen
01/23/10
See the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the end of the spaghetti page. Make 4 times the amount.
Angela
02/02/10
Menu for 150 people
Hi Ellen.
I am planning a Reception for 100-150 people.
No Beer or wine, but we will have soft drinks, punch, and sparkling apple sider. It will be on Church Property.
My Wedding starts @ 4pm- 5:30 pm this will include pictures of course.
But the Dinner is @ 6pm - to about 7:30 or 8pm.
We are to be Done by 8:30pm this includes the Clean up. I'm Allergic to shell foods, and can't eat salmon; would like Chicken, and/or Roast for main meat dish. On a budget?
This will be short time wise so what do I Serve?
How much would all of this cost?
ann
02/03/10
cheese balls for 150 people
I was given the task of making cheese balls and wedding cookies for a guest list of 150
people. I a'm lost at how many large cheese
balls to make and how many batches of cookies to make. Could you please help? Thanks
ellen
02/03/10
OK.

You need a nibble table to occupy your guests while you do pictures and dinner is being readied. Fruit trays and cheeses?

You need a full meal, for budget consciousness I suggest the dijon wedding chicken, a rice pilaf, 2 nice veggies and one of my salad that hold. All recipes are on site.

Take a look at the wedding dinner article.

Costs, are you using rental china, flatware and glass or paper? But you are really looking at about 12-14 minimum not counting the cake or beverages.

Connie
02/09/10
Church event for 200
Please help having a church event to feed 200.00 and we keep going over budget with food!

Menu idea: the dollar sandwiches, fruit tray, veggie tray and cookies, cheese and crackers.

Thanks,
Connie

Sherry Ford
02/23/10
Looking for amounts to serve a taco bar for 175 people at church event.

#'s of hamburger?
Bags of seasoning?
#'s of cheese?
Bags of chips?
Sour cream?
Lettuce?
Tomatoes?
Jars of Salsa, Salad Dressing?

ellen
02/24/10
This sounds like taco salad?

There is a full guide to taco bars on the baked potato, taco bar page. There is a guide to taco salad quantities per 25 and a recipe for home-mixed taco seasoning, on the walking taco salad page.

Take a look at these to prepare your estimates. If you still have questions, post you estimates and I will check them.

thean burke
02/27/10
Menu for 200 convalescing people
I am a convalescent patient in a good facility however the evening meals are beyond poor. I am looking for some menue suggestionws and recapies to improve things.

Our main meal is mid day so evening meal is equal to lunch. Help please.

ellen
02/27/10
Theann, it is hard to heal on poor food. Do they have any kitchen staff at supper, or does everyone go home at 5 PM? Cut up fresh fruit salad? Breakfast at supper- Eggs, waffles, quiche, etc? What are they serving now? 2 good soups, fresh breads and sandwich "fixings?"
sharri
03/01/10
For a 3:13 wedding (on 3/13!) I am planning appetizers for about 180 people. There will not be a meal following & I'm having a hard time figuring amounts for "almost dinnertime". Can you please this over and give any suggestions. Thanks so much!!

Teriyaki chicken bits (hot) - 30 lbs.
Ham cubes - 15 lbs.
Smoked salmon - 15 lbs. (they may skip this due to cost)
Shrimp - 15 lbs.
Cocktail sauce - 2 qts.
Cheese cubes - 15 lbs.
Fruit tray - 20 lbs.
Veggie tray - 20 lbs.
Ranch dip - 2 qts.
Artichoke dip (hot) - 6 9x13 pans
Doritos (bride & grooms favorite!) - 6 lbs.
Baguettes (for art. dip) - 10 lbs.
Crackers - 10 lbs
Punch - 20 gall.
Coffee/Tea

ellen
03/02/10
By the time the wedding is over, you will be headed into the dinner hour and many guests will be looking to have their evening meal at the reception. Except for the shrimp, you are looking fairly good menu-wise, but if you are actually expecting 180 you need to rework quantities;

Teriyaki chicken bits (hot) - 30 lbs.
Ham cubes - 15 lbs.
Smoked salmon - 15 lbs. (they may skip this due to cost); Fresh salmon, steamed and chilled is an attractive, much less costly alternative Or how about a salmon mold?
Shrimp - 15 lbs. This is the most popular item on the table. You need at LEAST 3 ounces per person- 1 pound for every 5- at least 36 pounds- or skip it entirely and do a shrimp or seafood dip or salad.
Cocktail sauce - 2 qts.- need at least 1/4 cup per person
Cheese cubes - 15 lbs. 22 pounds minimum, and I often get the same amount as fruits, counting logs, balls etc as part of the cheese
Fruit tray - 20 lbs. Ready to eat, you need at least 36 pounds
Veggie tray - 20 lbs. see the veggie tray page for discussion
Ranch dip - 2 qts.
Artichoke dip (hot) - 6 9x13 pans you may run out. Each pan holds something less than 2 quarts, and makes about 28 servings
Doritos (bride & grooms favorite!) - 6 lbs. What do these go with? You could do a queso dip?
Baguettes (for art. dip) - 10 lbs. Need about 18-20 loaves
Crackers - 10 lbs OK

Consult the beverage planning page Do have something cold and sugar free for dieters and diabetics
Punch - 20 gall.
Coffee/Tea

Chasidy
03/05/10
Help 240 people for wedding reception
we are having
pork
beef
cheesy potatos
pasta salad
baked beans
macaroni salad
coleslaw
green bean
corn
salad
rolls
Ill be honest im having trouble figuring out how much ill need from the website. Please help
ellen
03/07/10
Chasidy, this is a pretty simp[le menu and if you are having trouble calculating it from the website, you need to get some experienced help to do this without disaster.

pork and beef. Yopu need 5 ounces ready to eat beef PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat pork per person, Raw amounts depend on the cuts.

cheesy potatoes- start with 20 pounds frozen hash browns per 100. Multiply your favorite recipe but use only 1/2 the salt.
pasta salad- 4 pounds dry pasta per 100 because of the macaroni salad
baked beans- 3 1/2 gallons per 100
macaroni salad- 4 pounds dry pasta per 100 because of the pasta salad. It is a little unusual to have both.
coleslaw- 20 pounds shredded veggies per 100 plus dressing
green bean- 22 pounds ready to eat weight per 100
corn- same as green beans. Consider a corn mix such as fiesta corn for color and taste.
salad- Use 2 times the amount for 100 because of all the other salads.
rolls- see the plan for 100 list, use 2 1/2 time the list, get GOOD bakery quality bread.

debbie
03/08/10
how many pounds of red skin potatoes will i need for 250 people?
debbie
03/08/10
how many pounds of uncooked rigatoni will i need for 250 people
ellen
03/08/10
Potatoes, about 85-90 pounds. Rigatoni depends; 12 pounds per 100 main dish, 8-9 pounds per 100 side dish.
Lisa
03/15/10
Menu for 350
planning a graduation party for 350 guest
I have some of the items that we will have but having trouble with the salads and derserts..

BQ Chicken ( 8 piece fryers 150 lbs)
BQ Beef 50 lbs
Meatball 30 lbs
This is here I am having trouble how much to I need??

Ham
Cheese Potatoes
Cole Slaw
Pototoe Salad
Maccoroni Salad
Taco Salad
Vetable Pizza
Vetable Tray
Brocilli / Cauliflower Salad
pickles
olives
Green Bean Cassarole
derserts

ellen
03/15/10
Hi, Lisa,

This is a VERY large party for an inexperienced planner to take on. It looks like you are planning a full buffet style dinner service.It requires at least 4 kitchen people (6 would be more usual) and 15 servers/helpers to set up, keep the food going and the tables stocked, and clean up.

As to the menu. I am concerned what kitchen facilities you will have available. In particular, the pizzas are not practical for this size group unless you have multiple commercial type ovens.

As to the menu; you have some work to do on quantities. For starters, you need at least 100 pounds of beef and 40 pounds of meatballs; the chicken is only about 400 pieces and people this age eat like locusts.

Ham 1 pound ready to eat for each 5-6 people; at least 60 pounds
Cheese Potatoes- start with at least 70 pounds frozen hash browns.
Cole Slaw- 10-12 gallons
Potato Salad- 15 gallons
Macaroni Salad- from 18-20 pounds dry pasta
Taco Salad not practical to hold on buffet as the chips get gross. Setting up a taco bar or dip as part of your meats with chips would be better.
Vegetable Pizza- see comment above. Not practical unless delivered
Vegetable Tray- fruit tray much more popular with this age group. See fruit tray page.
Broccoli / Cauliflower Salad- 55 pounds raw veggies to start
pickles- 4- 5 gallons
olives- 3 gallons
Green Bean Casserole- 16-18 #10 cans beans
BREADS and ROLLS you need lots, at least 40 pounds, along with sandwich condiments for about 200 sandwiches (see the sandwich event article).
desserts See dessert bar page, complete descriptions

You can write back.

Nicole
03/26/10
I am cooking for a large group for a church fundrasier. Menu is roast beef, boneless chicken breast, mashed potatoes, mixed veg, salad, rolls and dessert. I normally go with the general rule of thumb - 1/2 lb per person for meat. The meal is being served country style, so I think that I should be sure to hae 1 chicken breat available per person. This leaves me with the question about the beef - do I still stick with the 1/2 lb. per person? It will be a mixed crowd (a lot of older couples, but there will also be younger couples (no one under 20). Thanks.
ellen
03/27/10
Good call on the chicken. On the beef, I would not go below 2 pounds for 5 people- served family style, people tend to eat a lot.
Jenny
04/05/10
Menu for approximately 265 people
This is our guest list, we haven't sent out invitations to get a solid head count. We are hoping for 200.

Appetizers
Chips and salsa
veggie platters
cheese platter

We are wanting to do buffet style:
Fajita style taco bar
Dinner Salad
Potato Salad
Pulled Beef--for sandwiches
Pulled Pork--for sandwiches

I've looked through your website but I am not sure exactly how many pounds of everything to get since there is a variety. Additionally should I had mexican beans and rice? Any suggestions would be GRATEFULLY accepted. Thank you!

ellen
04/06/10
Would you consider a little adjustment to the menu? First, I would add fruit trays (preferred) or fruit salad with mango (frozen chunks).

Then, you could skip the pulled meats and simply add bollillos (soft sandwich rolls) to the choices with the chicken and beef fajita strips, they make great sandwiches. If you keep the pulled meats, I would just do the pork since the taco bar will have beef and chicken. Skip the potato salad, do have the rice, and borracho or ranch beans instead of refried.

Have chopped avocado or guacamole, since it is a wedding party. Have chopped lettuce and tomatoes, rather than green salad, and add everything needed to allow people to make taco salad instead of tacos, if they wish.

Then add a really good squash dish and the corn casserole called corn tomatillo about half way down this page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/cornsides1.html

patty
04/08/10
I am trying to figure out how much antipasta salad to make for 250 people please help it has shell noodles, salami black olives green olives celery cheese pepperoni etc any help would be great thanks
ellen
04/09/10
You ne4ed 15 pounds dry pasta, then add the rest in proportion according to your original recipe.
Diane DePoppe
04/17/10
Potato salad for 200 people.
ellen
04/17/10
Twice the amount for 100, plan for 100 page.
Kath
04/20/10
My daughter has requested that I make Italian dinner for her wedding reception. We will have 200 guests. I would welcome any ideas you have. Ouyr planned menu:
Passed hordeorves: Antipasto sticks (antipasto on toothpicks)

Fetticinni alfredo
Spagetti with meat sauce
Meatballs
Ceasar salad
caprese salad
fruit platter
Garlic bread
breadstix

I need to know how much Pasta to cook and I would like some recipes for doing that. Also she mentioned adding lasagna, but I think its difficult to hold and serve and perhaps too much food.

ellen
04/20/10
Hi, Kath,

You are taking on a big project, and I want you to first go read the article I have posted under wedding dinner in the buttons at the top of the main cooktalk page.

A dinner this size, especially with passed hors d'ouvres, requires at least 3 people in the kitchen and at least a dozen servers the day of the wedding, none of whom should be the wedding party/immediate family, especially NOT the moms. The reasons why and some options are discussed in the article.

Now, to the menu. Good choices over all. You might do some of the antipasto on stick pretzels instead of toothpicks, or have platters set up on the tables with the beverages.

Actually, the lasagna is much easier than the spaghetti with meat sauce because it can be done ahead and frozen, requires much less handling the day of, and is less messy to eat in dressy clothes. I would alter the menu to Alfredo and lasagna, keep the meatballs.

And you are in luck, I have just posted an Alfredo style prep for 100 on the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page. Do read the whole page thoroughly, it will guide you on quantities.

I would do alfredo for 120, lasagna for 120 but cut smaller, people will try both. 1 pound meatballs for each 4 people. With the two salad, about 120 of each, with some backup caesar not mixed.

See the beverage planning page for coffee (dinner service) and other beverages. People do like coffee with their cake, especially if there has been wine with dinner.

Melissa
04/21/10
How much chicken wings to get?
How many spagetti boxes to get?
How much ham to get
How much meatballs to get
Melissa
04/21/10
Thanks Ellen..
Barbie
04/22/10
300 people
We are having a fundraiser lunch for est. 300 people. The menu is Grilled Chicken Tenders, Baked Potatoes, Rolls, and Desserts. How many Chicken Tenders do I need to purchase??? The crowd is a mixture of Adults and Children.
ellen
04/27/10
How many gallons of beef stew with vegetables will i need to feed 200 people? 170 adults 30 children
ellen
04/27/10
Melissa, I assume you mean for 200 people, but you have to give the whole menu, tell whether it is for a meal or between meal time, and you should try to estimate it using the plan for 100 lists (double), post the estimate and I can check for you. Write back.

Barbie, allow 6 per adult unless they are very large and 4 per kid below 8th grade.

Beef stew, you want stew made with about 35-40 pounds of raw meat per 100, and the veggies per your recipe.

Katie
05/04/10
Hi Ellen,
What a pleasant surprise to have found your website, it was just what I needed.
I will be cooking for our Rugby Banquet, serving about 200 people, 60 of them teenage boys. I have no idea what amount of food to buy.
The menu is,
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Cole Slaw
Baked Beans
Shepards Pie
Corn

Thank You in advance!!!

ellen
05/08/10
Hi, Katie,

If I have this right, you have both pulled pork sandwiches and shepherd's pie as entrees. You are serving 200 including 60 teens, I count the teens as about 1.3 persons each,(3 teens equals 4 adults) so that is about 220 people. I would do 200 sandwiches (about 65 pounds raw, boneless pork shoulder)and 120 servings of the pie (about 40-48 pounds raw boneless beef). You will have some left, but not too much, and everyone will get their first choice.

All the other items are covered in the plan for 100 tables, you would make 2.2 times the amount for 100.

Kyla
05/12/10
How many pds of salmon for 200 people per serving?
ellen
05/13/10
Depends on whole fish, fillets, steaks, etc; see the fish section of the plan for 100 table.
steven
05/19/10
can you help, cooking alfredo sauce with penne noodle, chicken and shrimp, how many pds of chicken breast, and pounds of shrimp,and a recipe for the alfredo sauce, thanks oh also pds of salad, thanks, asap!!! Thanks
ellen
05/19/10
There is an alfredo style sauce for 100 posted on the spaghetti page. If it is buffet, more people will choose shrimp than chicken; you need about 130 servings of shrimp and 90-100 of chicken; yes that is more than 200, but people take more, and some of each, when there are choices. 3-4 ounces ready to eat shrimp per serving. 4 ounces ready to eat chicken.
Salad, go to the plan for 100 page, pick the type of salad, use twice the amount for 100.
Mary
05/26/10
I am making Potatoe salad for 200 people, How many pounds of potatoes will I need for this.

We are also having Bar-B-Q chicken, Hamburgers, green beans, coleslaw, chips and pasta salad.

Rick
05/26/10
Menu for 200 to 300 people
I am cooking mexican rice for about 200 to 300 people. How many pounds of rice do I need?
ellen
05/26/10
Mary, 60-70 pounds.

Rick, 8 pounds dry per 100, or use any of my recipes for 100 x3.

Angie
06/03/10
Menu for 225 people
How much ice cream should I buy to feed 225 eighth grade kids?
Roshawn Turner
06/04/10
I need a southern fried chicken meal to feed 200 guest. (including sides and a simple dessert.)
ellen
06/05/10
Angie, see the ice cream page. If under 12, or after a meal, use 2/3 the amounts.

Roshawn, 2 pieces of chicken per person, not counting the wings. Yellow squash casserole. Green beans simmered with ham and tomatoes. Rice and gravy, not potatoes. Peach cobbler, with whip cream or ice cream.

Marla
06/05/10
Hi- I am planning a brunch for my daughters grad party. We are expecting 250. I am planning cheesy potatoes (50# hash browns), egg bake (8 commercial pans/ 30 servings per pan), spriral cut sliced ham, strawberries(picked the day before) and grapes, 200 large sticy buns (will cut some in 1/2), 150 brownie bites, 1/2 sheet crumb cake and 250 - 8 oz fruit smoothies and OJ. My questions?? Will a large roaster hold 10-15# of cheesy pototoes, is 40# of ham too much and how many pounds fit in a roaster?, how many #'s of stawberries should I pick along with grapes (not picked!), is one egg serving per person enough? and will this be enough food - any other suggestions to help it run smoothly would be appreciated. The egg bake and cheesy pototoes will be prepared the day before.
Marla
06/05/10
I just found your site - 100 for breakfast - hard boiled eggs - great idea - should we prepeel?
vicki
06/06/10
how much ham for ham sandwiches and buns would i need for 200 people
Pam
06/06/10
I am helping with a wedding for 250 people. I have just found out that in addition to the punch they are planning on having a slushy machine offering grape or cherry slushes. The wedding and reception are outdoors. We plan to offer ice water with lemon/lime slices and beer. How does the addition of the slushy machine affect the punch quantity? Love your site. Thanks for the help.
ellen
06/07/10
Maria, hi, great idea. Don't peel the hard-cooked eggs.
150 brownie bites, get at least 250
1/2 sheet crumb cake- need at least a full sheet
Don't forget butter, at least 3-4- pounds per 100
Will a large roaster hold 10-15# of cheesy potatoes,
You need 4 roaster pans for this many potatoes
s 40# of ham too much
No, I might have 50 on hand and not heat the last 10 till I see how it is going
How many pounds of fit in a roaster?, About 18-20
how many #'s of strawberries should I pick ? 1 pound per 4 is generous, 1 pound per 6 is OK if they are not too big
one egg serving per person enough? Usually 2 is a serving
ellen
06/07/10
Vicki, see the sandwich event page (button at the top of the main cook page). Depends on the type of sandwich and the type of crowd, all covered.
ellen
06/07/10
Pam, with those flavors (basically kid flavors), it won't have too much effect; if it were lemon or lemon-lime, that would be different.
carolyn
06/08/10
I am helping with a 80th birthday party. We will be serving @200-250 guest for dinner. How many pounds of potato salad, ham and turkey are needed?
ellen
06/09/10
See the plan for 100 lists. You will get 5 ounces ready to eat (boneless and cooked) turkey PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat ham for the meats, that's 1 pound turkey for every 3 PLUS 1 pound sliced ham for every 5.
Hannah C.
06/10/10
Hi, I've been looking at your website for hours now, might i say, it's one of the most helpful websites I've used. Thank you very much. I'm helping my mom prepare for a wedding of 200 guests, we are having:

Honey Bourbon Chicken
Green Bean Bundles
Fruit Tray
Veggie Tray
Punch (Non-Alcohol)
Cheese ball
Spinach Dip w/ bread chunks
Chicken Salad w/ crackers

If you could, help me out on amounts. We just aren't sure how much is too much and how little is too little. I've already looked at the fruit and veggie tray page and have figured those out. I've got most of it figured out to what i think would be the right amount to serve. I would just feel more comfortable with your opinion. So, if you could, help me out a little bit, and i would GREATLY appreciate it. Thank you so much!
~Hannah~

Hannah C.
06/10/10
Hi, it's Hannah C. again. I forgot to say we are having hotdogs sliced in 3rds and wrapped in bacon too, and also only 180 ppl have rsvp'd but we are expecting a few more in the time of the wedding, which is in 3 weeks, so we are just making for 200 just to be safe. Let me know what you think. :) thanks.
ellen
06/10/10
Hi, Hannah,
If this is the whole menu, you probably need some additional food. Write back and tell me, is this a buffet meal? What about rice/potatoes?

At a wedding it is usually a good idea to have some foods on a nibble/appetizer table that is set up to keep the guests busy while the wedding party changes clothes, does pictures, etc (about an hour?) then service for the meal. Is that how you are planning to do it? Also, what time is the wedding, and what time is the reception. Write back.

Hannah C.
06/10/10
Hi, thank you so much. Yes this is the menu plus meatballs. On the brides table there will be nuts, and on the grooms table there will be cream puffs, recees cups, m&m's, and chex mix puppy chow, if you know what that is. I didn't. No ma'am its not a buffet. We are going to have people serving the food. the wedding is at 6:26 P.M. and she is getting married on 6/26/10. So im guessing the reception will be at 7ish. Also my mom ask you about you take on some prices, if you gave them out. Thank you
ellen
06/11/10
This meal catered would run from 18 to about 30 per person, depending on type of service (waiters but also china, glass, alcohol, etc) not counting cake or beverages.

This menu desperately needs a starch, either rice or potatoes. Rice is easier and goes better with the chicken.

Meatballs- 3 ounces per person (pound for 5)
hot dogs- 1 per person
Honey Bourbon Chicken- 5 ounce serving per person, plus 10% for seconds
You need a vegetarian alternative, not fish, for about 15 people if you expect 300.
Green Bean Bundles- takes about 1 pound fresh for each 3, because of the waste.
Fruit Tray
Veggie Tray
Punch (Non-Alcohol)
Cheese ball- 2-3 ounces per person
Spinach Dip w/ bread chunks- 1/4 cup per person
Chicken Salad w/ crackers- 1/4 cup per person, 2 ounces crackers per person

Paul
06/13/10
How many hot dogs and hamburgs for 200 people at a picnic?
ellen
06/13/10
Covered specifically on the plan for 100 table, meat/entree section-
Hannah C.
06/15/10
Thank you so much Ellen! You've been great help. My mom and I appreciate it so much! :)
pam
06/17/10
Menu for 250 people
I will be doind a wedding recepition for 250-300 people I will be doing the meat, potatoes and rolls, How many pounds of brisket,pork loin,scalloped or chessy potatoes and rolls
ellen
06/17/10
You need 5 ounces ready to eat beef (about 2 pounds boneless raw per 5) PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat pork (about 2 pounds boneless raw for 7). The rest is covered in the plan for 100 tables and the recipes on site.
Lady
06/18/10
how slabs of spare ribs will i need to feed 275 people
ellen
06/18/10
About 275 pounds raw whole if that is the only meat and you are allowing for some seconds.
Rachel
06/19/10
Menu for 100 people
We're making taco salad for 150 people. How many cans of beans; bags of chips would I need. How many bags of shredded lettuce; how many tomatoes, # of bags of cheddar cheese; containers of sour cream; how many avacodas.
ellen
06/19/10
See the recipe for escape from the trashbag walking taco salad, use the texmex link to get there. That recipe makes 30 generous walking taco salads.
Erin
06/25/10
Hi Ellen, I am helping my cousin plan cater her daughters wedding reception. We are going to have chicken, boneless ham, and rigatoni. We are unsure how many pounds of each to buy without there being to much waste. What do you recommend?
ellen
06/25/10
You have 2 meats, so you need to have 5 ounces ready to eat chicken PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat ham per person. About 8 pounds dry rigatoni per 100 if there are more sides, 10-12 if it is the only starch.
Terri
06/25/10
Menu for 400 people
Hey Ellen...

Our 12 and under baseball team is going to the state playoffs about 7 hours away and we are trying to raise some money really quick...in like 3 weeks...well we are going to do a spaghetti dinner for the oil spill workers and we need a good CHEAP recipe for the meat sauce to feed 400 MEN and how much pasta should we cook...also we were planning either green beans, a roll and a brownie...do you have any suggestions on the menu or what we could do to make them most money for our kids on this deal...We know that we have the 400 plate sold so we need to plan whatever for 400 people...Any suggestions and recipes would be greatly appreciated...Thanks

ellen
06/25/10
There is a really terrific recipe for spaghetti sauce for 1000 on the spaghetti page- you could do 2/5 of that-I would cook 12 pounds of pasta per 100, these folks would have big appetites, I expect.
Thinking of them and you with care every day.
MaryLou
07/12/10
Menu for 125 people
Planning 80th BD party for mom. Expect ~125 or so. Buffet. Having shredded beef sandwiches, shredded chicken and spiral sliced ham.
Would like to know how much beef roast to buy, what type of roast is best, and how many spiral sliced hams to buy (costco).
I am serving tossed salad, macaroni salad, german style potato salad. Is 10 pounds of macaroni and potato salad each enough? How much tossed salad should I plan for?
Thanks.
Suzanne Bristow
07/15/10
Hello: I am making pulled pork sandwiches for 200 ppl at a swim meet. How many lbs should I be cooking? I purchased 6 shoulders averaging 13 lbs. Will that be enough? Thanks so much!
ellen
07/15/10
MaryLou, shredded beef sandwiches, shredded chicken and spiral sliced ham- 3 ounces per person ham, 1 pound ready to eat beef per 5, 1 pound ready to eat chicken per 5; for the beef and chicken, that is about 1 1/2 pounds raw coneless. I like boneless chuck shoulder for pulled beef; juicy and beefy.
You need a total of 10 gallons for the two heavy salads. Use the numbers on the plan for 100 page for the green salad; enough for 100 should be OK, as seniors don't eat quite as much green salad.. Fruit trays would be a very nice addition.

You need to plan on 2 sandwiches per swimmer, 1 for each other guest. 1 pound ready to eat, which is about 1 1/2 pound raw, boneless, makes 4 big sandwiches.

Mary
07/16/10
Hi, we are having a fund raiser for missions, serving stacked enchiladas as main course. I have been asked to bring salad enough for 200 people, would like to use romaine hearts or a combination of romain and green/red leaf, what do you think, they only want lettuce & tomato salad. How many tomatoes should I use? Thank you, Mary
ellen
07/16/10
I like to use grape or cherry tomatoes, they hold better and less mess. About 8 pounds per 100 people.
ellen
07/16/10
A pint of cherry or grape tomatoes weighs about 11 ounces. About 33 grape tomatoes per pint which is about 50 per pound..
RUTH
07/19/10
Menu for 200 SAMOAN
Am Helping a Friend With Family Re-union...but i never cook for a Samoan family...just want to make sure i cook plantly of food

Menu

Fruit bar
Chicken Fajitas
Steak Fajitas
Rice Beans
Tortillas
Sour Cream
Avocado dip
green salad mix

How Much Should i buy of each...I looked in previous ?'s but didn't find the answer.Thank You,Ruth

ellen
07/19/10
Count as 250 and use the tables for 100, the fruit tray page Use the taco bar/ baked potato bar page for all the topping and side dishes, see the texmex page for rice and beans. Plan on 9-10 ounces raw boneless meat per person, about 56 beef, the rest chicken, have a weight of onions and peppers mixed the same as the meat weight. Calculate an estimate, post it, and I will check for you, if you like.
Marj
07/25/10
Hi ellen!

I am cooking for 200 people! how many pounds of shrimp should i get?

ellen
07/25/10
For appetizer, kabob, scampi, what? Head on/off, shell on/off? What size per pound? All affect how much is needed.
Brandon Hampton
07/29/10
Hi im done a menu for a 100 peoples how many green beans would i need to uses 10 lb or 20 lb?
ellen
07/29/10
Ready to cook, 22-24 pounds, which add about 2 pounds if you buy them before they are trimmed. Or about 5 #10 cans green beans.
Bill
07/31/10
Hello Ellen. What a great resource! I'm leading a volunteer group to feed 250 at a shelter. They have limited kitchen facilities and we have limited volunteers and prep time. Food must be either pre-packaged or cooked on site. Would like to serve hot entre, green salad, rolls, fruit and dessert. Would greatly appreciate suggestions/recipies for entre and dessert. Thank you.
ellen
08/01/10
Hi, Bill,
First, please read the article on hospitality in the top section of the Big Pots page. Then go to the basic budget entree section there and use 2 1/2 times the amounts for 100.
For dessert, How about fruit cobblers? Baked apples?
Remind folks that many homeless folks have tooth and mouth issues (chewing can be hard). Consider a cooked vegetable or marinated vegetable salad instead of green salad; chewing, dressing are both issues. With the fruit, you would have enough raw food.
Also remember that the meal should be balanced including plenty of calcium and protein.
Rose
08/08/10
I would like to make appitizers for about 200 people. I was planning on cheese and creakers, fresh fruit, and a vegatable platter. How many platters do I need to do?
ellen
08/08/10
On this DIY site, you need to look at the fruit tray page, the veggie tray page and the appetizer planning page, make your estimates and post them and then I will be happy to check them for you. If it is before a meal, you need less than if it is a stand alone event, this is discussed on the appetizer planning page.
Kris
08/19/10
Wedding Rec.
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Mac & Cheese
Green Beans
Slaw

I cooked 100# of pork shoulder and Loin. It is cooked and pulled and in the freezer in ga. zip-bags when do I defrost and how is the best way to re-heat?
I also need a great, but simple recipe for the mac & cheese and how and when to prepare and how much?
Also, how far ahead can I make the slaw? I will use the pre-shredded cab. with red wine vinegar & miracle whip for the dressing.

Jeanette
08/19/10
Hi Ellen. I'm trying to coordinate a soft taco bar for my wedding. We are expecting about 180 people. The taco bar will consist of taco sized tortillas (2 per person), canned refried beans, precooked beef, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, onions, and olives, shredded lettuce, and sour cream and salsa for the top. I'm tryin to estimate how much beans, meat, vegetables, and cheese to prepare. Any ideas?
ellen
08/19/10
This has to be defrosted in the refrigerator, and it is a LOT It will probably take 3 days. You might thaw 80 if there is a microwave available to thaw the rest, you may not need any more than that,

Reheat covered in the PREHEATED oven or roasters, 16-20 pounds per pan.

Mac and cheese can be made the day ahead and refrigerated, which is a good thing as doing that much pasta is a real chore. See the spaghetti page for pasta cooking tips. You need 1 pound pasta for each 10 people and 1 pound cheese for each pound pasta. You want to use real butter, a mixture of cheeses including some Parmesan and top with buttered cracker crumbs or those French fried onion shreds from Durkee There are lots of good recipes on line; try a few.
Slaw can be 2 days ahead. There is a whole article on slaw tips- which see.

Sheila
08/24/10
Hi Ellen,

I am feeding 200 people. The menu is:

Carne Asada (not tacos just seasoned meat on grill)
Spanish rice
Beans
Tortillas
Salsa

How many lbs of meat will I need. We are on a really tight budget (Recreation Department..go figure lol).

ellen
08/24/10
You could reduce costs by doing grilled chicken with the beef!

You need good quality beef, tri-tip, skirt steak, at least top sirloin or best quality top round to do this, and you nee 8 ounces raw boneless per person due to lack of fruit, veggies/salad, other side dishes.

P
08/26/10
I'm planning a menue for 200 very hungry 25-25 year old. Was not sure how much food to order, but here's what I was thinking
300 hush puppies
300 hot wings
75 lbs of rib tips

96 oz of cole slaw and potato salad
30 pound of shredded chicken - with rolls
420 ribs
and
180 peices of corn bread

ellen
08/27/10
Hi, P,

If this is 200 hungry people for a full meal, you need more food.

This is what I would order:

300 hush puppies- 2 per person is the usual small serving, 3 not unusual
300 hot wings- I allow 4-6 pieces per person, MINIMUM, that is at least 1 pound fro each 3 people.
75 lbs of rib tips-OK, none left
30 pound of shredded chicken - with rolls- OK, probably none left
420 ribs- OK if someone serves them for the first round- otherwise, you will run out

96 oz of cole slaw and potato salad- this is 6 pounds each
I allow 4 gallons (32 pounds) minimum per 100 people for potato salad, 3 gallons (about 24 pounds) minimum per 100 for slaw. Very short.

180 pieces of corn bread- allow at least 1 piece per person, add butter and jam or honey.

I would definitely add at least 16 pounds dry beans cooked up into borracho or baked beans. That is 3 Nesco roasters full, at least 6 gallons.

Melinda
09/08/10
Hello Ellen
I will be feeding 200 people at a wedding and would like to have pulled pork, bake beans, and coleslaw. I am thinking about buying boston butts already smoked. How many pounds do I need to purchase?
ellen
09/08/10
These are usually sold bone in, and have about 1.2 pounds bone in each 6 pounds, so 6 pounds bone in weight is 4.8 pounds meat.

Since it won't shrink too much, you would need about 1/2 pound meat per person.

glenda
09/08/10
Planning a feast for 200 people; how much roast beef would it take? Here is the rest of our menu:
macaroni salad
steamed mixed veggies
mashed potatoes
gravies (turkey & beef)
sweet & sour meatballs
chicken fried rice
caesar salad
potato salad
rolls
pies
Cindy
09/08/10
Mini Caprese for 100
How much mozarella do I need to have 100 small balls on toothpicks with a cherry tomato?
ellen
09/08/10
Is this pot roast or prime rib and is there also to be turkey? Are the meatballs as appetizers or an entree? Write back.
Anton
09/09/10
Wow. You are incredible, Ellen. I'm planning to cook for my own wedding (200 guests) and I finally know what I need to do. Thank you so much!
ellen
09/09/10
You're welcome, read the wedding dinner article so you know how much help to plan for.
dora
09/10/10
Ellen, I have owned a Mexican restaurant, before, years back, now I have been asked to cater for 150 people, the client wants chicken and beef fajitas, rice and beans, and of course salsa and chips, I manufacture my own salsa, this is the first time I will do a large amount at one time, I incline to suggest to my client to do green chile or carne asada, this two items were my top seller at my restaurant, and I believe it will go much further, how many pounds for pork roast for green chile, and how many pounds for chuck roast, this is the kins of meat I used at my restaurant.

please advice
thank you in advance.
Dora

Lynda
09/11/10
Ellen, I'm making food for a friends wedding reception for 200 people. They want ham and pulled pork sandwiches along with salads. I'm at a lost as to how much to buy and make. I don't want them to have to eat leftovers for months, but don't want to run short for the guests. Please help!!!!

Thank you
Lynda

ellen
09/11/10
Dora,
However you prepare it, you want to start with 2 pounds raw boneless beef/pork for each 5 (5 ounces per person, cooked) plus 1 pound raw boneless skinless chicken for each 4 (3 ounces per person, cooked). So if it was asada plus beef fajita plus chicken fajita, for 150 you might do 30 pounds top sirloin for the fajita, 30 pounds pork shoulder for the asada, 38 pounds chicken. You have to allow for the 20% shrinkage of the meat.
If it was just asada and chicken fajitas, I would probably do 50 pounds meat and the same amount chicken.
ellen
09/11/10
Lynda, what I would suggest to them is:

200 people.
ham and pulled pork sandwiches
40 pounds deli sliced ham, 4 1/2 gallons pulled pork, 24 pounds breads and buns, condiments for 200 from the condiment table on my sandwich page

salads (I have recipes and amounts on this site)
Lexington slaw for 120
2 of my relish trays for 60 (see the veggie tray page)
Potato salad for 200 (70 pounds raw potatoes)
Pasta salad for 120
a green salad (tossed, Caesar or Greek) for 150
fruit trays for 150

If you want to post an estimate, I will check it for you.

Theresa Blum
09/16/10
I am having my daughter's second marriage reception/party and I need some help please. I am having two meats. I have 110 leg quarters and 50 breast quarters. I also want to prepare hashed barbeque. We have invited 200 people. Since I am having two meats, can you please advise me on poundage for the pork? Also how much sweet potato pudding?
ellen
09/17/10
If you expect 200 people and already have the chicken, I would suggest 60-65 pounds raw boneless pork for the BBQ You can make ahead and freeze in sauce. You would probably have some left, but with these two dishes, the crowd can be voracious.

I would do about 60 pounds of sweet potatoes for this size group unless there are several otehr starchy dishes and salads.

Lori
09/24/10
How many buns do I need to feed 200 people for pulled pork
ellen
09/25/10
Up to 300, depending on the age of the crowd, the size of the bun, and the other food served.
Pat
10/03/10
how much soda do I need for 200 people for a wedding reception? Also, what kind do I need to purchase? any ideas?
ellen
10/03/10
Discussed in detail on the beverage planning page.
Brayla Leighton
10/05/10
Menu for 200 people - Hamburgers
I am planning a hamburger fundraiser. We have sold 200 tickets.

What is the quantity that I need to purchase for the following:

How many heads of lettuce?
How many tomatoes?
How many onions?
How many gallons of sliced hamburger dills?

Thanks in advance for your help. I do appreciate it.

ellen
10/05/10
Go to the sandwich article and look at the sandwich condiments for 100 list on the table.
lisa duboise
10/06/10
Menu for 300 people
HELPPPPPP! Hi Ellen I have to feed 300 people and I am trying to decide if I should feed them pasta and meatball or lasanga...which way would I come out cheaper and which meal could I stretch farther.
ellen
10/06/10
Go to the spaghetti page for help. The sausage mozzarella bake is easier and cheaper than lasagna and much easier to fix than pasta and meatballs. You can use chicken if it is cheaper. The instructions for huge amounts of lasagna are also there.
ramon luna
10/07/10
hi, im catering a buffet for church 200 people its the first time. i want chicken breast,bar b-q mall pieces of ribs also carnitas (pork tender meat, beans, mex rice and how much chips and dinner rolls,dressing for green salad do i need about how many long disposible trays will i need for rice and beans
ellen
10/08/10
Ramon, this is a DIY site- you need to go to the tables for 100 and make some initial estimates, post them, and let me check them for you. The only item not specifically covers is the mix of meats; I would do 1 small piece of chicken PLUS 1/4 pound raw pork PLUS 1/3 pound ribs per person for a self service meal with this menu.
lori
10/14/10
Menu for 100-200 people
I am hosting my daughters wedding reception. She is wanting a full meal. We are having pulled pork made from whole pork loins, hashbrown potatoes and hashbrown casserole, baked beans, veggie trays, mac and cheese. Can you tell me about how much I would need lets say a minimum of 100 guest. We are not sure on the number of guest coming.
ellen
10/15/10
Lori, I can't do an estimate for 100-200 people. I would suggest making the pork from shoulder, not loin; juicier, more flavor and less expensive. Also, I suggest you do roast potatoes or oven-baked potato wedges if you want 2 potatoes and are doing a hash brown casserole.

Most of your items are already listed on the planning pages, vegie tray page, etc. Sandwich fixings are on the sandwich page.

Sylo Youth Group
10/18/10
Chicken Spaghetti for 200 people
Do you have a recipe for Chicken Spaghetti? I will be cooking for 200 people. Thank you for your help! :)
ellen
10/18/10
Look at the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 on the spaghetti page, it has amounts to add chicken.
Crystal
10/21/10
Menu for 300 people
Please help. I have to make a pound cake large enough for about 300 students in two weeks. I need to know the appropreiate steps i need to make this pound cake complete.
ellen
10/21/10
EEK!
You need to make sheet cakes- 9x13 if you have regular ovens- 13x18 if you have commercial ovens- a 9x13 serves 10-12, so you need 26-30. Start now. Freeze them. Use icing to stick them all together, in 2 layers.
Niki
11/02/10
I need to have a veggie tray for 200 people, they want broccoli, califlower, carrots, celery, cucumbers & carrots. I have no idea on how much veggies to buy, please help!
ellen
11/02/10
Take a deep breath. Go to the veggie tray page, all info needed for large veggie trays is provided.
If you want, post your estimates and I will check them.
This will be a dull looking tray. Add tiny sweet peppers or multi-color pepper strips, or cherry/grape tomatoes.
Marlene
11/04/10
Would sirloin be good for tacos? How many pounds for approx. 200 ppl?
ellen
11/04/10
It would be luxurious for fajitas, is this what you had in mind? But wasted for shredded or ground. Write back.
mary
11/08/10
Hi Elle, I need to know if I can make tiny mini quiche for 200 as appitizers. How much do I need?I dont have a lot of pans. can I cook and freeze them or freeze uncooked? Im worried not being able to do them all that day I have to do the rest of the food help.The event is within a month.
mary
11/08/10
Sorry, Ellen also forgot to tell you im doing velvet cake for the 200 people I have full sheets and a bakery oven that I will use for baking it.How many sheets of cake and frosting for filling alsowill i need. Thanks
ellen
11/09/10
18x26 is the standard sheet size. You need to decide how big of pieces, about 40 is nice. As for the icing, 1 sheet uses about the same as 4 regular cakes.

You need at least 400 of the tartlets, and if there are not many other appetizers, or more than 1 flavor, people will eat more, so 3 per person is not out of the question. Freezing before baking is much better for flavor, but you have to be sure of the oven space.

Rose
11/12/10
200 people
We are having a gathering for about 200 people. We are just serving Salsa and torilla chips, pretzels, peanuts and punch. How much of each should we buy?
ellen
11/13/10
Salsa-4 gallons
tortilla chips-20 pounds
pretzels-10-12 pounds
peanuts-12-14 pounds
punch- use beverage planning page- planning issues depend on various factors discussed there. Have at least one sugar-free option (iced tea?) plus water in addition to the punch.
pat
11/19/10
Please help,For 50th wedding Anniversary.For 150,people will deep pit, beans,and green salid.tortillas,salsa,be enough to serve.And how meny pounds of meat and beans do i need?
ellen
11/19/10
Pat, you need 1 1/2 times the amounts for 100 in the tables. Amount of meat depends on what is cooking; whole pig, about 1 1/4 pound per person, for example. BBQ and brisket page will help.
The taco bar potato bar toppings will help with tortillas and salsa.
I would add fruit trays and rice pilaf or Spanish rice. It is a big deal to make 50 years.
Try an estimate, post it, and I will check for you.
George
11/20/10
Hi Ellen, I'm cooking for a weekend retreat for 125 people. I need menu ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, I need dessert recipes that will serve the same amount. Thanks so much!
ellen
11/20/10
George, this entire site is oriented toward this task. Look at the breakfast planning table for example. As far as the menu, I can't even start without knowing the budget, approximate amount of helpers and time for prep per meal, what equipment is in the kitchen, what kind of delivery and storage arrangements, how served (cafeteria, buffet, family table?) So you have to send more info.
George
11/22/10
Our budget is $5000 for the weekend, we will be cooking in a commercial kitchen, with about 20 helping hands divided into 3 teams. We will be serving family style to tables of 8. We will have about 4-6 hours of prep per meal. Trying to find recipes that are a bit more tasty than a casserole or pasta dinner. Thanks so much for your help. This is my first time with this type of task.
ellen
11/23/10
OK, that is about $40 per person, plenty, allows some leeway in planning.

In a group this size there are usually some diabetics, vegetarians, heart patients, etc. Any ideas on this?

First decision, do you want a light meal or a full meal Friday night? Depends on how far people are coming, what activities if any are planned for Friday evening, how much of the kitchen crew can get there and when.

Some groups like to have a big closing meal for lunch Sunday (harder and later cleanup), some do a big meal Saturday night, then a light breakfast Sunday before service, then a brunch. Which do you think?

You don't have to do any casseroles. You can do baked chicken or game hens or turkey for the high meal. Tex Mex? Pot pie or shepherd 's pie? Is it a group that would like pizza or other Italian (chicken cacciatore? Eggplant Parm? Old fashioned beef stew or pot roast?

Breakfast should be mostly self choice, scrambled eggs and hot or cold cereal, or a breakfast casserole such as baked French toast; toast, fruit, yogurt available. Coffee and tea, of course.

Write some more.

George
11/26/10
We start Friday AM, big breakfast is ideal with a sit down lunch and dinner, served family style at each table. Saturday is the same and Sunday is a big breakfast, lite lunch, no dinner.

Not sure of the health worries the group, a few vegetarians and we will plan accordingly for them.

thank you

ellen
11/27/10
Here is a very straightforward, easy to prepare menu of familiar foods

Friday breakfast
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (recipe on site)
Scrambled eggs (see, scrambled eggs that hold, recipe on site)
Toast
Fruit salad
Cereal, yogurt

Friday lunch
Bean and ham soup OR Beef Barley Soup OR Oven fish Chowder OR rich chicken noodle soup
Subs- ham or turkey or cold cuts and cheese or meatball?
Sliced tomatoes, sandwich trimmings
Big fat cookies

Friday supper
Baked rice pilaf
Baked chicken (easier) with borracho/ranch beans side dish
OR chicken stir fry
(could do 1/2 Cornish game hens to upscale)
green salad
roasted veggies
green beans if you did not do borracho beans
sheetcake OR brownies

Saturday breakfast
Oatmeal sheet muffins with streusel topping (recipe on site)
Stewed fruits
Scrambled eggs- or fried if you have the griddle capacity
Bacon and/or smoked sausage
Cereal, yogurt

Saturday lunch
Impossible cheesburger pies, 1 8"for each 4 persons, with impossible veggie pies for non-beef eaters- recipe on site
Greek salad
pasta salad
Could also go with tacos...
Ice cream

Saturday supper
Really good meatloaf OR pot roast OR possibly roast turkey or pork
Scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes
Green beans
Corn on the cob
Apple cobbler

Sunday breakfast
Baked French toast or Amazing maple date strata (see the family reunion brunch article)
Ham
Fruit
Cereal, yogurt

Sunday lunch
Sandwich platter
Icebox minestrone soup
left0ver veggies and salads

Samantha
12/13/10
Great help on the amounts of rice and beans I need for 200 thanks; but now I'm worried about cooking rice in large stock pots...making my own recipe mexican rice and pinto or black beans. Will the rice cook alright in large stock pots? I'm mostly worried about burning...it may also be brown rice which takes a lot longer to cook. Any advice would be appreciated!
ellen
12/14/10
Hi,
Yes, you can have trouble with scorching in deep stock pots.
I would cook this in roasters in the oven, or in the free standing electric roasters (4 for each item). The only change for brown rice, is, bring to a full boil and boil 8 minutes before turning down.
BE SURE to allow for the hour it will take to heat the water up before you start cooking the rice.
Alicia
12/16/10
Hi Ellen,

My name is Alicia, and I am getting married and my cousin has a catering business he told me all I have to do is buy the food and he will cook and cater it for me, My question is.. Here's the menu..

Fresh Fruit and Cheese.
Mixed Green Salad w/ Ranch Dressing,
Baked Chicken,
Meatloaf,
BBQ Ribs,
Turkey Wings,
Rice,
Mashed potatoes,
Corn,
Collard Greens,
Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Dinner Rolls, Cornbread,
Sweet Tea, Lemonade, Sodas, Punch.
To feed 234 people how may packs or lbs of eat cans of vegetables, and potatoes would need to be cook or prepared to servce a hardy 234 folks.. Please advise.

ellen
12/17/10
Hi, Alicia,Usually, I ask the reader to read the article on wedding dinners and also use the tables to make a first estimate, but I have some extra time today, so I will start you off.

First of all, amounts differ depending on what time of day and whether it is buffet or plated service. Buffet takes more food. With 234 people buffet service, you will need about 15 servers to set up, stock and clean up You will also need at least 5 serving lines- can be set up with 2 lines facing each other on banquet size tables, but basically, you need at least one line for each 50 people.

This should also be set up with a couple of nibble tables for the hour while you are doing the pictures after the ceremony. I suggest you put the fruit trays, cheeses and breads and punch and lemonade on these tables. One hot dip, such as artichoke or seafood dip, would be an excellent addition.

240 people
Fresh Fruit
Cheese
Dip and crackers/croutons

Mixed Green Salad w/ Ranch Dressing, see plan for 100 table, use 2 1/2 times the amount for 100

Baked Chicken, 1 piece per person, 32 chicekns
Meatloaf, 50 pounds
BBQ Ribs, 100 pounds, and better if someone serves them.
Turkey Wings, maybe 80, unless you know they are a big favorite.
This is the most difficult estimate, because you want to have enough that everyone gets their first choice, so you always end up with some left over

Baked Macaroni and Cheese, serves as an entree for any vegetarians. 16-18 pounds dry pasta plus sauce

Rice, about 15 pounds dry. Suggest baked rice pilaf, maybe some almonds, onion etc.
Mashed potatoes, about 70 pounds raw

Corn, see plan for 100 table, use 2 1/2 times the amount for 100
Collard Greens, see plan for 100 table, use 2 1/2 times the amount for 100

Dinner Rolls, Cornbread, 1 roll plus 1 piece of cornbread per person, 3 pounds butter per 100.

Sandy
12/26/10
wedding for 200 people having swiss steak mashes potatoes and gravy catered. I have to get ham (thinking bonless sliced) green beans. rolls, cheese trays and some sort of ordeurves. Need amounts and maybe ideas?? Please wedding is on new years 2011. I need help
ellen
12/26/10
Yes, you do.

You need 40 pounds ready to eat ham, 44 pounds ready to eat green beans (such as frozen), 400 small rolls with about 7-8 pounds of butter, 30-40 pounds of cheeses with 12 pounds of crackers.

For simplicity, I suggest adding to the cheese trays, fruit trays for 200 (see the fruit tray page) and one or 2 kinds of dips with bread or toast bites. For the dips, allow 1/3 cup per person for a single dip or 1/4 cup of each for 2.

You need about 12 people plus 3 in the kitchen to set up, serve, and clean up this party.

Sandy
12/27/10
Thank you so much for your quick reply. Very helpful. I wont have that much help so wish me luck!! (ty again :)
sandy
12/27/10
I forgot were are having salad too but I see I can go to your plan for 100. Do you think ham goes good with swiss steak?
ellen
12/27/10
This is fine, you are offering a nice choice.
Alicia
01/11/11
From Alicia
Thanks Ellen so much for providing that estimate, it helps me out a whole lot..
Danielle Ball
01/11/11
Ellen,

I am a senior in college about to get married in 7 months. My family just told me they are on a very tight budget and dont know how much they can help with the wedding. Here is my menu that I thought we could do by ourselves but I have no idea the amounts (lbs) of what I should get.

Meat (pulled pork or hot dogs/hamburgers)
cheese/cracker tray
fruit tray
veggie tray
pasta salad
chips
rolls
sweet tea
lemonade

Would this be enough of a selection?
BTW, this is a picnic themed wedding :)
Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated :)

ellen
01/12/11
Danielle, would you consider having a 1-1:30 PM wedding with an afternoon dessert reception instead of a full meal? This is very fun- you could have a big ice cream sundae bar, cake, many cookies- and about 1/3 less expensive than a meal.

If you do have a picnic meal, do the pulled pork, doing a grill at a wedding is a pretty big headache.

Also,be VERY careful about the number of guests. Anything over 80-100 is VERY difficult for an inexperienced crew to pull off.

Feel free to use the contact link at the bottom of the page for more direct help.

JAN
01/12/11
Menu for 150people
I'm planning a dinner theatre supper for a mixed crowd 25-70 years of age, what do you suggest for a menu?
Summer
01/12/11
Wedding for 200
Hi Ellen,

I am planning a wedding for Summer 2012, I am on a bit on a budget but I can't cut the number of guests under 200 people. I am going to try to make the side dishes myself and have a friend's family restuarant take care of the meat. I was thinking that a Buffet would be the best way to serve 200 people with only a few servers.
I would love to have

Tortellini with a choice of red or white sauce
A green salad
The grooms grandmother's cucumber salad (Amazing)
and another side (not sure yet)

For the meat, I would like to have a carving station for Prime rib and some sort of baked chicken.

What is the best way to keep the pasta warm and fresh if i was to make it the day before?

thanks so much for any suggestions!

ellen
01/12/11
Jan, what is your budget, your kitchen facility and your serving style (plated, buffet, etc). Write back.
ellen
01/12/11
Summer, prime rib is SO not a budget item. Even tenderloin is less costly. If you are on a budget, look at tri-tip, steamship round.

I know of no way to keep tortellini edible overnight. You need a baked pasta dish such as lasagna or ziti for that; you won't have the staff to reheat and serve pastas.

You will need a commercial type kitchen to prep and serve a full meal for this many, and you will need at least 12 people in the kitchen and to set up, serve, and clean up this dinner meal. You also still have a lot of work to do on the menu, including the nibble/ appetizer table for the hour between the ceremony and dinner, while you do pictures, etc. Please read the wedding dinner article, look at the links, and the other wedding reception threads, then write back.

A 1 pm wedding with an afternoon reception or a 730 pm wedding with a dessert reception would cut your food costs 1/3 to 1/2, and could be lovely.

Robin
01/25/11
Hi Ellen. I'm close to panic. My neice has asked me to cater her wedding since I am professional(ish) cook. But the 200 heads is overwhelming to me. She wants lasagna (my specialty) Ceasar salad and garlic bread. Appetizer trays of vegetables, cheese and crackers. I have no idea of the quantities. I'm also to make the grooms cake and dip strawberries for 200! help! The wedding is late February. In some of your posts you mention 12 to 15 people to help, so far I have 3. Is this even possible?
ellen
01/26/11
Robin you MUST have all that help day of. Impossible with just 4- that would barely staff the kitchen.

Farm out the appetizer trays of vegetables, cheese and crackers. Amounts are covered on the appetizer planning page and the veggie tray page. Farm out the strawberries.

There is a lasagna quantity guide on the spaghetti page to help adapt your recipe.

Salad on the plan for 100 page. 25039 pounds garlic bread. At least 4 serving lines (see why you need all the help?)

Punch for the appetizer table.

This would be at least a $4000 fee for a pro caterer. They need to be realistic about costs and your capacity.

Erin
02/01/11
Hi Ellen-

First off, thank you for all the advice and help you give to everyone on your website. You are fabulous!

Secondly, I am making all the food for my wedding reception (with the help of some friends/family). We are planning on having--

Rolls
Meat Tray (Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef)
Cheese Tray (Swiss, Cheddar, Colby Jack)
Fruit Tray (Pineapple, Blueberries, Grapes, Strawberries and Mellon)
Veggie Tray (Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Celery)
2 Different Kinds Of Meatballs
BBQ "Lil Smokies"
Baked Beans
Taco Salad
Pasta Salad
Macaroni Salad
AND finally... potato salad.

I have researched what I could find on your website already.. (all the trays). But my questions are--

How many lbs for each of the 4 salads I listed above? How many lbs of the meatballs (2 kinds)? And also, how many lbs of the lil smokies should we buy/prepare?

We are cooking for 200 people.

ellen
02/01/11
You are doing fine, I need a little more info. What time is the wedding and the reception?

Would you consider putting the fruit tray, the little smokies and a dip with crackers out as a nibble table along with a punch, to cover the hour after the service while you get pictures done and the dinner is put out? It really makes a difference for both the guests and servers to have this available.

Erin
02/01/11
That is a good idea.. I never thought of that. The reception is going to be at 6 o'clock. So this is a dinner meal for everyone.

Thanks for your help, Ellen!

Glenda
02/10/11
bbq roast beef sandwhiches for 350
Cooking BBQ beef sandwiches. How many lbs. of chuck roast would you recommend to cook for 350 quests and how much BBQ sauce will I need to buy.
Katie
03/10/11
Dear Ellen,

I am helping my brother plan his wedding for 200. I am responsible for a 7pm dinner the night before. It is going to be a cookout. It is a mixed group, but heavy on the 55-60 year olds. We are building a couple of campfires and having people make their own food. I found lots of help on your site, but had one big question about quantities of ingredients for s'mores. Thanks so much for your help!

Menu: Brats with buns and green salad for dinner. S'mores for dessert.

ellen
03/10/11
Glenda, 1 quart sauce per 6 pounds meat, 1 pound chuck per 4 sandwiches. Extra sauce same as ketchup amounts at the table- see the sandwich page for info on condiments.

Katie, I would get some grills there, not all those 55-60 year olds are going to want to sit on the ground with a stick. Allow for 2 full s'mores per person; 4 squares of graham cracker, 4 marshmallows, 1 whole Hershey bar.

Have dinner coffee if possible.

Add potato or pasta salad, this menu is rather light for an outdoor dinner.

Have at least 2 dozen veggie dogs or other vegetarian sausages or patties for the non-meat eaters.

Carol
03/12/11
Ellen, planning a menu for 200 guest at wedding reception. Meal will be at about 6:30 Will Be a buffet. If you could tell me if this sounds like enough food, or any advice you can give would be appreciated. Ham70lbs. Meatballs 40 lbs. Scalloped Potatoes 3 big electric roasters Macaroni Salad 15 gallons Spaggetti Salad 13 Lbs dry Baked Beans 6 gallons Nanch Cheese 3 gallons Nancho Chips 6 Bags Bread 17 Loaves Sweet Pickles 2 gal. Dill Pickles 3 Olives 3 gal.
ellen
03/14/11
200 people
This is pretty close, here are my notes:

Ham 70lbs- OK if this is sliced ready to eat, not enough if raw
You need a vegetarian option for people who don't eat pork or meat
Meatballs 40 lbs- are these for the appetizer table?
Scalloped Potatoes 3 big electric roaster- close. Might do 4.
Macaroni Salad 15 gallons- too much- 6 gallons plenty - rotini or bowties hold better than plain mac
Spaghetti Salad 13 Lbs dry- too much with the mac salad- 6 pounds plenty
Baked Beans 6 gallons- OK, but 5 is usually enough
Nacho Cheese 3 gallons- 2 gallons plenty
Nacho Chips- 12 pounds
Bread 17 Loaves-
Sweet Pickles 2 gal.-1
Dill Pickles 3- 2
Olives 3 gal. - 2 plenty

You need an appetizer table for the hour fof pictures after the service and I recommend you add fruit trays for both color and flavor.

Carol
03/15/11
Ellen, Thank you so much. You have a great site. This has helped so much.
Crystal
03/16/11
How many approx. 5 lb roasts do you think it would take to make enough bbq beef sandwiches feeding 300 people?
ellen
03/16/11
1 pound raw boneless chuck will feed 4. You need about 75 pounds.
Nancy
03/20/11
Menu for 150
How much mostacholli, fried chicken, meetball, and ham do I need for 150 people.
ellen
03/20/11
Mostaciolli for 150 as a side dish, see the mozzarella sausage bake for 120 on the spaghetti page and leave out the sausage.

1 piece of fried chicken per person plus 1 pound of meatballs per 5 people plus 4 ounces ready to eat ham per person if it is buffet/ self service.

Shawna
03/21/11
Menu for 100 people
Ellen,
I am cooking breakfast for dinner on Wednesday night at church. We have never done breakfast so I am wanting to now much much to by of the following items: This is our menu

eggs (scrambled)
grits
bacon
sausage
white country gravy
biscuits
jam
cheese
butter
pancakes
syurp

ellen
03/21/11
Shawna, you have a lot of choices for this many people, and it makes it harder to estimate. Also, if it is self serve, people will take more. It helps to have a server for the bacon and sausage, otherwise some folks tend to take a whole plateful.

eggs (scrambled)- 14 dozen, and have 3-4 back if needed extra
grits-3 gallons
bacon-see breakfast plan for 100 page
sausage-see breakfast plan for 100 page
white country gravy-2 tgallons
biscuits-1.5 per person if large
jam-about 20 cups
cheese??? what for, what kind
butter-6 pounds, you will have some left
pancakes- 2 4" per person, these are very demanding on the cooks, consider toast or muffins instead
syrup- about 5 quarts. get at least 2 bottles of sugar free

You need dinner coffee, see beverage planning page, and either milk or juice for the kids.

Lynne
03/22/11
We are feeding approx 75 homeless men corned beef and cabbage, cornbread, tea and dessert. How much corn beef brisket and corned beef hash do I need and how many pounds of cabbage. This is their main meal and we want it to be nice.
ellen
03/22/11
Not sure where the hash comes in?

For a happy party type meal, I allow 1 pound raw for each 2 people.

Add potatoes and simmer the last hour, people like them a lot with this meal. Only put the thin cabbage wedges in for the last 20 minutes, otherwise they get overcooked and stinky.

I make 1 9x13 for 10 people for a nice chunk of corn bread, ala, Marie Callahan. You need 3 pounds of butter and a couple of quarts of honey or jam to go with.

Mustard for the corned beef! About 48 ounces.

Barb
03/26/11
Ellen I am catering a wedding reception for 200 people. My menu is

Appetizers:
shrimp salad in phyllo cups
s/s meatballs
mini sausage links
cheese and fruit
tamoto/mozz/basil skewers
assorted cookies/mini cheesecakes

Buffet
Ceasar Salad
Coleslaw
BBQ Chicken
Ham
Stuffed Shells
Pasta Primavera
Scalloped Potatoes
Green Beans
Corn
Rolls/Butter

How many stuffed shells should I make? I was figuring 3 per person. Also, any other suggestions for amounts. I catered my son's wedding for 300 in the fall and cooked way too much. I always cook for 50 more than I am expecting. - Thanks

ellen
03/26/11
Hi, Barb,

This is a costly set of appetizers for this informal meal!

For 200 people, I would make:

BBQ Chicken- 1 piece per person
Ham-4 ounces ready to eat per person
Stuffed Shells-2 per person
Pasta Primavera- about 12 pounds dry pasta
Scalloped Potatoes- about 50 pounds potatoes

You will have leftovers, but with this menu, if you don't make this much, you chance running out of something.

Barb
03/27/11
Thanks

Do you have any ideas to make the dinner more formal to match the appetizers? I want everything to be perfect for their reception.

Rachel
03/28/11
Hi Ellen,

I'm planning a hispanic family reunion and expecting 200 plus. This will be an all day Saturday event, then a menudo breakfast on Sunday with pancakes for the kids. I've looked at your site and found the answer to so many of my questions. Thank you!!!

We're serving carnitas with red chile, refried beans and spanish rice on the day of. Again, thanks!

A family member is bringing a theatre size popcorn maker the day of (saturday). How many pounds of kernals should I buy for an all day event like this? I have a movie theatre supply co who will assist in calculating oil and flavoring from there.

Sept in El Paso can be a bit warm. This is an outdoor event with activities. How much soda should I buy for an all day event where alcohol will be?

What is the most economical way to offer cool water, and how much should I buy?

We're renting a hot dog machine as an option for anyone who gets hungry during the day and into the night. I'm not sure how many to buy?

What kinds of snacks could I put out that won't go bad but will satisfy the kids and adults who will be drinking later on?

We're serving menudo on Sunday morning and pancakes for the kids and people who don't eat menudo. How many people should I plan for the pancakes?

I'm thinking sheet cake for desert the day of, and would like to offer two other choices that don't require oven or fridge space. help?

ellen
03/28/11
Hi, Rachel,

The only estimate I have been able to locate on the popcorn is, 45 pounds for 200 people. Don't forget the bags.

On the beverage planning page, the estimates are for up to a 4 hour event, I would double for an all day event. The ice is discussed there, also.

Least expensive cold water, 5 gallon thermal containers, the big ones you see on construction sites, which cost about $29 at Big Lots; slice in 1-2 whole lemons or limes per gallon.

No idea on the hot dog machine. You MUST keep the raw dogs fully iced until cooked, and they have to be served within 2 hours of cooking.

Chips and salsa, chips and dips are the obvious snacks. Serve the dips in containers that empty within 2 hours and don't put fresh on top of old- change out the containers. Nuts and candies.

No idea on the pancakes, but I would GUESStimate that all the kids and about 1/4 the adults won't eat pancakes. Pancakes are actually quite difficult for a crowd, especially outdoors. I would suggest muffins and breakfast tacos! Much simpler.

ellen
03/28/11
About the desserts, Brownies and cookies; allow 2 small brownies and 3 small cookies per person per meal.
ellen
03/28/11
Barb, to fancy up the menu a bit, I would go for a chicken like my orange Dijon wedding chicken, which can be made ahead (BBQ is a day-of effort).
Replace the coleslaw with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, or a cucumber salad, or a relish tray.
Replace the pasta primivera with an almond rice pilaf. Can be done in the oven, easier to do, holds better.
Add a raisin sauce for the ham.
ellen
03/28/11
Menu for 200 people-POPCORN ALERT
Rachel, 1 pound of popcorn makes about 50 cups- 45 pounds would make 2000 cups- that seems to me an awful lot of popcorn
Barb
03/29/11
Ellen, Your site is GREAT!!!! Thank you so mcuh.
Paula Wood
03/29/11
How much spaghetti does it take to feed 200 people?
ellen
03/29/11
Paula, it depends on the menu and the crowd, see the spaghetti page for in depth discussion of pasta quantities.
Lois Aiken
04/01/11
menu is: turkey rolls ( turkey and stuffing)
honey carrots
string beans
coleslaw
cranberry sauce
rolls
ice tea
cakes

How much cranberry sauce is needed?

ellen
04/02/11
Go to the planning and shopping for holiday meals article in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots.
rebecca
04/08/11
Menu for 100 people
My daughter is getting married Oct 22,2011 we have a 100 people comeing.the wedding is at 2:00 in the afternoon. And im doing all the cooking but I dont have a clue what to fix.. Please help me. Mydaughter wants it simple but I just want everyone to have a good time I have been out about 7,000 on the wedding so I dont want to look cheap on the food lol...
ellen
04/09/11
The good news is, with a 2 PM wedding, people will eat before they come, so they will eat about half what they would at a meal time. Also, this is a nice size party to self cater, realistic.

What I need to know is, where will the reception be? Does it have a freezer, what refrigeration, stoves, and ovens; this affects the menu.

You could do a wonderful dessert reception with a few savory dishes, 6-8 types of cookies and desserts, a fruit tray and the cake. Write back and we will work on this together.

rebecca
04/10/11
Menu for 100 people
she will be getting married at are church it is a large church and the reception is in are fellowship hall. and I will not be the only one cooking I have had family and friends to say they will help.I have alot of family comeing from out of town that day and they will be driveing for about 3 hours.so I know they will ready to eat lol. I just want it to be really nice this is my first baby getting married.any help you can give me !!!
Cheryl
04/10/11
I am in charge of a parking lot party, a church event. We think about 300 adults and children. Planning on hotdogs for the children. I have someone who will get chicken donated, boneless thighs, legs, and possibly some breasts. Please tell me an easy way to do bbq chicken. Should I forget bbq outside and do crockpot bbq?
ellen
04/11/11
Cheryl, BBQ for this many people is a huge undertaking, you are talking at least 6 people manning big grills, oven or crockpot is MUCH simpler. Also, many of the kids will want chicken, not hot dogs. You need about 220 pounds of leg quarters- skip the breasts unless you have plenty, as the folks who want them and don't get them will feel bad.
ellen
04/11/11
Rebecca, in this case you will want more than desserts. This is an idea; look at this buffet luncheon-

ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/buffet.html

I imagine you would be skipping the champagne? Or sub sparkling grape, apple or pear juice?

Anyway, you would do 4 times this amount. It is an elegant presentation. You could substitute cold meat platters for the pate or fish, add some sliced cheese, and so on, but this would give you a place to start.

falicia
04/11/11
bbq sause for 100
hi I am have a wedding 0f 100 guest and I need help with how many ounces of bbq sause should I get!
ellen
04/11/11
For just the table sauce? about 7 quarts.
maricela
04/11/11
Menu for 100 people
Ellen how much whole grilled chicken do I need for 100 people? They also want birria which is something like potroast but with a little broth how much of each? We are also having the beans and mex rice.II saw that you say about 8lbs of each.dont really know if its self serve so im doing 10 lbs of each how does that sound? thanks
ellen
04/11/11
Maricela, that is not nearly enough for a full meal. Not sure where you saw an 8 pound figure for 100 people? When beef and another dish are served, caterers allow 5 ounces of cooked beef PLUS 3 ounces of the second meat per person for buffet service. For this event, that is 100 pieces of chicken (12 3 to 4 pound chickens) PLUS about 30 pounds of raw boneless beef.
maricela
04/13/11
thank you Ellen,the 8 lbs I thought of the rice and beans each is that ok if served and not a buffet?Thanks about the meat portios really helped me .
ellen
04/13/11
Oh, sorry, yes that is fine for plated/served.
Brenda
04/15/11
I am having a graduation party for 200..We are having baked beans, shredded chicken sandwiches,shaved ham sandwiches,cheese potatoes, fruit bowl, cheese and veggie trays..these are the main items...i am buying bags of frozen fruit...I would like to know how much to get, also how much ham and chicken to purchase..the chicken will be canned and boneless...Thanx
ellen
04/16/11
Brenda, except for the mixed sandwiches, these items are covered in the various tables, fruit tray page, veggie tray page, and there is a recipe for the cheesy potatoes for many at the bottom of the festive family brunch page. So tmake a try at estimating, and if you are not sure, post it and I will check it for you.

I would allow 4 ounces ready to eat chicken per person PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat ham per person.

carol
04/30/11
Menu for 150 people
I'm doing a mothers day banquet, the menu is baked boneless chicken breast, noodles with homemade alfredo sauce, green beans a toss salad and a roll with butter. how much of everything will i need
ellen
05/01/11
Carol, look at the plan for 100 pages, use 1 1/2 times the amounts for 100. All these foods are covered. If you want to post your estimates, I will check them for you.
MABEL
05/07/11
how much rigitoni would i need to make for 200 people? i have a 18 qt. roaster
ellen
05/07/11
Mabel it depends on whether it is a side dish or main course- see the spaghetti page for discussion. One roaster only holds about 6-70 people's worth, so you need 3 roasters.
Brenda
05/07/11
Having 100 people for graduation party going from 2:30 to 7:00. I have 200 pieces of fried chicken ordered, i figure 120 rolls with 25 lbs meat, 10 lbs cheese for sandwiches and 15 lbs of rigatoni? I will also have fruit and veggie trays and desserts. Any other suggestions or does this sound about right?
LOVE YOUR SITE! THANKS!
ellen
05/08/11
Sounds good. See the condiment list for sandwiches. Maybe add 8 pounds of chips and 6-8 quarts dips?
damien
05/09/11
im cooking party wings and spaghetti for a wedding reception. how many pounds of party wings and how much spaghetti do i need to prepare?
Rose
05/09/11
Having about 100-125 people for son's graduation party. Doing taco bar.. doing chicken and beef; soft and hard tacos; cheese,lettuce,tomato,onions, olives?, chips and cheese sauce and salsa; vegetable pizza; fruit and dip; cake, cookies and rootbeer floats. Do you think I need another item and how much chicken/beef should I get?
Ruby
05/09/11
food for about 50
I'm haveing a Co-Ed Bridal Shower for my Best Friend we are doing a Gerber Daisy them Bright colors Orange,Blue Yellow,Green pink,Purple I just dont know what to fix to eat. The party is at 2:00.It's me and Her sister doing the Party its on a saterday and we want it to be fun. we have alot of fun things planed.Can You please help me with the food?
ellen
05/09/11
Damien, 1/2 pound wings per person, and see the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page for guidance on quantities- you don't mention how many people?

Rose, you have to plan for 125 or risk running out: I would add Spanish rice, and maybe refried beans, use amounts for 100 on the [plan for 100 table, about 8 pounds dry of each. The taco topping amounts are discussed on the taco bar page. 1 pound raw ground beef per 4, 1 pound raw boneless chicken per 4-5.

Hi, Ruby, with a coed group you want to go a little heavier on the food than you would with all women. A Fiesta theme with taco bar, chips and queso and salsa, salad and guacamole? Or a mashed potato bar with all kinds of toppings? What do you think?

Beverages, see the beverage planning page, then maybe a dessert buffet- use 1/2 the amounts for 100 on the dessert planning page.

Sue
05/10/11
baked potato bar, veggies and dip and fruit
We are having a Graduation party for app. 60 people would you know how how much butter , sour cream , barbecue and cheese we would need. it is a high school graduation 2 for grandsons. thanks
sue
ellen
05/10/11
For help on amounts of toppings, go to the baked potato bar page and use 2/3 the amount for 100. If many will be teens, you might use the full amount for BBQ. Congratulations, guys.
lue
05/10/11
I'm going to have a graduation party and I want to serve tacos with rice and beans. How many lbs of meat(carne asada) do I need?
ellen
05/10/11
Assuming 200 people, about 38 pounds ready to eat.
tressa
05/11/11
Menu for 50 people
Hi Ellen I am planning on having a graduation taco party for 50 people. I am planning on having carne asada (diced flap meat) and diced chicken street tacos on the 4" tortillas, I figured I would serve 3 tacos per person plus chips, rice, beans, and guacamole. How much raw meat should I allow for the 3 tacos per person?
ellen
05/11/11
If it is self serve, you might allow for 4-

I would cook up 1 pound raw boneless beef per 4 PLUS 1 pound raw boneless chicken per 5-6.

Chris
05/17/11
Hi Ellen,

We are having a wedding in a couple weeks with roughly 150 people attending. We are making bbq and teriyaki chicken on several grills. probably 1/3 Teriyaki and 2/3 bbq (planning on 175 good sized chicken breasts from costco). My question is how much sauce will we need? We'd like to marinate the chicken the night before in ziplock bags. Then would need sauce for cooking/tables. Thoughts? Thanks so much!

Dorothea
05/17/11
We're having a graduation party for approximately 300-400 people. It will be late in the evening and we're serving appetizers/finger foods. We are serving small sandwiches, meatballs, chips, veggie trays, and fruit salad, as well as cake and punch. Do you know the amounts that we will need to have?
ellen
05/18/11
You MUST refine your numbers, there is a huge difference between 300 and 400.

small sandwiches, 2 per person
meatballs, 1 pound per 5
chips, 2 ounces per person, 1/4 cup dip per person
veggie trays, see veggie tray page, add ranch dip
fruit salad, see fruit tray page, consider fgruit trays, keep better, easier to eat, and leftovers are more usable.

cake and punch, see dessert planning page and beverage planning page. Consider dinner level coffee for the grownups.

Once you have made an estimate, yo can post it and I will check it for you.

Teresa
05/18/11
Hi Ellen,
We are having a wedding in a couple weeks with roughly 150 people attending. We are making bbq and teriyaki chicken on several grills. probably 1/3 Teriyaki and 2/3 bbq (planning on 175 good sized chicken breasts from costco). My question is how much sauce will we need? We'd like to marinate the chicken the night before in ziplock bags. Then would need sauce for cooking/tables. Thoughts? Thanks so much!
DiAnn
05/18/11
pasta for 200 people
Hi Ellen,
I'm planning food for a grad party, she wants penne pasta with a red and a white sauce. What is the best way to do this?? To have the sauce on the noodles and baked? I want to keep this as simple as possible.
ellen
05/18/11
Teresa, I allow 1 quart sauce per 6 pounds for the marinating, 1/4 cup per person for the table.

Diann, the pre-sauced baked pasta is much easier than trying to hold the cooked pasta and sauce separately, I make about 6 red to 4 white in these situations.

Jean Will
05/19/11
Ellen - for my daughter's graduation party she would like hot chicken sandwiches, meatballs (bot sweet and sour, and swedish), pasta salad, fresh fruit, and a veggie tray. How do I estimate how much of each item to prepare for 200 people?
ellen
05/19/11
Pasta salad, fresh fruit, and a veggie tray are all covered in the planning pages.

1 sandwich per person, plus 1 pound meatballs per 3-4 people, you decide how to divide the sauces.

nicole
05/29/11
rice as a side
I am making a lime/cilantro rice dish as one of the sides in a taco bar. I want to serve about 130 people. How many lbs. of raw rice should I buy?
ellen
05/29/11
I use about 8 pounds per 100 for this dish.
beraleday
06/05/11
Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.
MYRNA
06/06/11
we volunteer at the american legion in ga and would like to know if you have a recipe for hash using boston butts- chickens and beef. we will be feeding apx 150 people
ellen
06/06/11
Myrna, is this chicken and beef in the same hash, or two separate, and do you want potatoes in it? Also, is it a side dish or main dish? Write back.
Rhonda
06/13/11
We are planning a graduation party....doing an Italian Theme. We will be serving Salad, Bread Sticks, Veggie Tray, Fresh Fruit, Mostaccioli and Pasta Alfredo. We will be feeding between 150 - 200 people. How much pasta will I need for each of the dishes?
ellen
06/13/11
Since you don't have heavy sides, you need 1 pound dry pasta per 5. I can't advise on how to divide- this depends on the region of the country you are in, and the make-up of the crowd.
CONNIE
06/14/11
Menu for 150 people
i have a son getting married august 6 5pm wedding menu is potato salad 40 pounds {4 gallons}-pasta salad 3 gallons- cool whip/cheery salad 3 gallons-pulled pork sandwiches 50 pounds -20 dozen buns-relish tray baby carrots pounds-peppers 6 pounds-cherry tomatoes 2 quarts-12 cucumbers sliced- broccoli 4 heads cut up -cauliflower 3 heads cut up-olives quart- pickles 6 quarts-vegetable dip 2 quarts-fresh fruit bowl-cantaloupe 6whole ones cut up-two{ 12to 15} pound watermelons cut up-4 pounds grapes-10 pounds strawberries-5 pounds kiwi cut up.14 dozen cupcakes-nuts 7 pounds-mints 300 -lemonade 8 gallons.does these amounts sound right?
ellen
06/14/11
Hi, Connie, meat is OK, but very close- have someone serve it. I would increase the potato and pasta salad and cherry salad each by 1/2. Veggies OK, fruit OK but no leftovers, nuts at least 10 pounds, lemonade very short if it is the only beverage- 15 gallons is what I would allow for a summer meal. Be nice to have some grilled vegetarian patties (Boca burgers, morningstar) for the non-pork eaters and unsweetened ice tea or sugar free lemonade for the folks who can't do sweet beverages.
Ranae
06/19/11
I am making Pot Roast for our family reunion and expect to feed between 120 and 150 people. How many pound of roast, carrots, and potatoes will I need?
We are also serving green salad, rolls and dutch oven cobblers for dessert.
Thanks
ellen
06/19/11
Ranae, if you will add another potato dish as a side dish, you will cut down on the amount of meat needed. You could also add one vegetable, corn, green beans, to further reduce it.

If you do not, you will need at least 45 pounds boneless beef per 100, PLUS 30 pound potatoes, PLUS 20 pounds each carrots and onions per 100.

It makes a lot of difference if you use beef bouillon instead of water for the liquid.

Ranae
06/19/11
Thank you! Yes I thought I would use Au Jus to give it more flavor.
Corey
07/06/11
Menu for 25
Catering for 25 cocktail mexican party from 5-8 pm. How many empanadas, queso, guacomole, salsa and ceviche do I make. Thank you.
ellen
07/06/11
Corey, as I have mentioned before, this is a site for family and volunteer cooks, I recommend pro catering posts on cheftalk.com or chef2chef.com. I can't accept any liability for pro advising.

That said, if this were a family party, I would tell you that at 5-8, you have to expect that people will NOT eat supper before they come, and will expect a dinner's worth of food, even if it is all bites. You need to add a starchy dish and a fruit platter to this array, or it will get inhaled by the first comers.

empanadas, 1 per flavor per person, minimum 2 large or 3 small
queso, 1/3 cup per person, 2-3 ounces chips per person
guacomole, 1/3 cup per person
salsa, 1/4 cup each, have 2, one mild/fruity, one traditional
ceviche, 1 pound seafood per 5 people plus sauce and veggies

Helyn
07/08/11
Mostaccolli for 130
I am serving a church lunch for 130. My menu is:
Mostaccolli, tossed salad, Italian bread, fresh fruit platter, relish & veggie tray.

I am trying to figure quantities from a recipe I have for the Mostaccoli. I came up with 10# Italian Sausage, 20# ground beef, 10# pasta, 300oz of sauce, and 10# shredded mozzarella. Am I on track?

Also, how many bags of mixed salad greens? We will also add grape tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers and croutons.

I just found your site and it has been interesting to read other peoples menus. Thank you for your help.

ellen
07/08/11
Use 1 1/3 the salad estimate for 100 (plan for 100 page) for 130.

I would use the recipe for baked mozzarella sausage bake for 120 as a guide for amounts- take a look at it. You want about 10% more for your 130.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/sphagetti.html

cheryl
07/10/11
Having graduation party for my Nephew with 180-200 people. Our menu is the following: How much of each do we need.

Italian Beef/Turkey/Ham sanwiches
Veggie pasta salad
Baked beans
Fruit salad
Potato Salad
Chips/dip
Cake/cookies
Veggies plates

Shirley
07/10/11
Menu for 250 people
Hi Ellen: I am having an open house for my husband on the 13th of Aug. for his 80th B-Day. We are having turkey croissants, a veggie tray, chips, and fruit skewers. I am planning for 250 people, using just one strawberry, one cantelope piece, one watermelon piece, on pineapple chunk and a grape on each stick. My question is: How many watermelon and how many cantelope will I need to purchase to make a nice sized piece of each of the above for each skewer? We also have decorated cupcakes for dessert, and both water and punch to drink. Thanks for any help you can give me.
ellen
07/10/11
Cheryl, for 200 people, expect about 2 sandwiches apiece, 1 beef, 1/2 each turkey and ham. It is more economical, and you have better more usable leftovers if you serve the meats separately, in which case I would add some cheese.

ALL the other items are covered in the plan for 100 table, veggie tray page, fruit tray page and dessert planning page. If you want to post your estimates after you make them, I will look them over for you.

ellen
07/10/11
Shirley, the fruit tray page gives counts on pieces of fruits from whole fruits. I would not do skewers, I would do trays, with just a few skewers for decoration; look better, MUCH less work, they keep better, and the leftovers are more usable. If you do skewers, do 2 per person.

For beverages, expect 8 gallons punch per 100, but have some for backup (about 2 gallons per 100). Have unsweetened tea or a sugar free punch for the diabetics and others who don't want just water.

cindy
07/22/11
I need help... we are catering our own wedding in Oct. & am intimidated by the idea! We are needing to do most stuff the day before. Our menu will consist of beef on a bun, some kind of potato & a few salads.
Question 1: How much beef & how many buns will is needed for 250 people; also if it's ok to cook the day before & reheat at the supper. Question 2: What kind of potato would go with this that could be prepped the day before.
Can you please help. Thanks in advance!
ellen
07/23/11
Beef, 38 pounds raw boneless per 100
Buns, 2 regular, 3 small or 1.5 large per person
You need condiments, see the sandwich page

Cheesy potatoes, at the bottom of the family brunch page, is a good choice

Consider adding one hot veggie dish, such as Ellen's better green bean salad, for the menu and see below about appetizers.

Here is something from an upcoming article:

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, including a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

holly
07/24/11
how many sub buns,lunchmeat, and salads do i need for 200 people
ellen
07/24/11
Covered on the sandwich page and in the salad section of the plan for 100 page. Potato and pasta salad and slaw are as indicated. With multiple other salads, figure a total of 2 servings- for example, if you have 4 salads, 1/2 serving of each.
kelly
07/26/11
about 100 people
I need help I'm doing a candy buffet at my wedding and my colors are red and zebra.I have never been married and I want everything to look pretty this is the last thing I have to do for my wedding. It's in 4 weeks. I need to now what kind of candy would look good I have tall candy vases? Please HELP ME I"M LOST ...Lol
ellen
07/27/11
Kelly, how you do this and how much you need depends on how it will be used:

Some people use it as an appetizer table
Some people use it as part of desser
Some people use it as the party favor, supplying bags for people to make a take home treat

What and how much you need depends on what it will be used for. Send more information and you could start a new thread, don't just tack it on one of these log ones.

There is a good deal of information on line, including great pictures, do a google search for images.

Be cautious about online candy ordering, not every site is reliable.

You may also have time to order custom M&M's (red, white and black shells) and/or jelly beans.

Judy Farmer
08/01/11
taco salad bar for 250 ladies
Menu items:
meat -- thought maybe having chicken and taco meat too (hamburger)
rice
charro beans
lettuce
tomato
salsa
sour cream
cheese
dressing
Sandi
08/06/11
We are planning our daughter's wedding reception menu for 200 guests. Roast beef, baked ham, scalloped potatoes (or potato salad), pasta veggie salad..wondering how much food needed to prepare these items.
ellen
08/07/11
Judy, use the taco bar article, 2 1/2 times the amount for 100. Either allow 1 pound of corn chips per 5 people or 1 taco shell per person plus 10%. Sorry I missed this earlier.

Sandi, you need 1 pound ready to eat beef for every three PLUS 1 pound ready to eat ham per 5. You alos need about 20 people' worth of a non-meat entree for 200.

All the other items are in the plan for 100 tables. You also need an appetizer table.

Future bride
09/01/11
Menu for 300 people
Paired with chicken, green beans, & rolls, also sides such as fruit & followed by dessert ---How many pounds of red potatoes will it take to feed 300 people? Planning on cooking & serving whole.
ellen
09/01/11
I allow 35 pounds per 100, which is more than some caterers, but people like potatoes, and they are not expensive...
Pamela Lund
09/02/11
I will be serving 200 people at church. My menu is:

Roast Chicken Provencal
Boeuf Bourguignon
Baby carrots
Peas with onions
pickled cucumbers
rice
Small boiled potatoes
Green beans with bacon and almonds

How much stewing meat and whole chickens will I need as well as the other items. Clueless in Seattle.
Thank you. Pam

ellen
09/02/11
Hi, Pam, this is what I would do:

Roast Chicken Provencal 1 piece per person
Boeuf Bourguignon 1 pound raw beef per 4 persons = 50 pounds

Baby carrots
Peas with onions
Green beans with bacon and almonds
Covered on the plan for 100 page; 18-22 pounds per 100

pickled cucumbers 1/3 cup per person=about 3 1/2 gallons per 100

rice- because you also have potato, 6 pounds per 100
Small boiled potatoes- because you also have rice, about 28 pounds per 100

Jason
09/12/11
This is for a teen event. Planning on 200 in attendance. It is a Fiesta theme. We are planning on doing Burritos. Looking for recommendation amounts for:

Beef
Shredded Cheese
Salsa
Sliced Black olives
Shredded lettuce
Sour Cream
Refried Beans
Jalapeno peppers

ellen
09/12/11
I would add rice, about 8 pounds dry per 100, to the menu.

The amounts for the burritos, use the taco bar table, but plan for 250- teens eat a lot.

Shari
09/13/11
I am planning our annual church fall supper and am wondering is scalloped potatoes and ham would be appropriate for the main dish. Sides would be corn and cole slaw. Dinner Roll, pies and bars.

Your opinion is greatly appreciated. I should also say this is our main fund raiser.

Thank you.

ellen
09/13/11
This is a GREAT fall entree dish. I would add two things; a brightly colored veggie dish such as scalloped tomatoes or baked winter squash, and about 10% scalloped potatoes with NO ham for the folks who don't eat ham.
Sandra
09/14/11
Ellen I have to fix a meal for 200 hundred people. My menu is stew beef with potated and carrots, corn and green beans. Can you please help me by telling me how much of each thing you think I will need. Thanks this is a very important meal.
Pamela
09/19/11
I am doing a reception for 200 people. i am doing Rigatoni ,Scallops potatoes, bakes beans,Pull pork and also Sausage in Sauce how much of each should I have of each and do you have a good receip for Rigatoni
ellen
09/19/11
What is the whole menu and is it a wedding or what event? This is a very heavy menu. Also, it is usual when doing two meats, is that both are not pork.
Pamela
09/20/11
This is a Wedding, I understand about the two pork but that is what the bride and groom wanted and they choose the food items from what there family asked for.How much of each for 200. Could I make the scallop potatoes and rigatoni the day before and reheat it?
Scallop Potatoes
Bakes Beans
Rigatoni
Sausage
Pull Pork
cold meat tray with cheese
They have veg tray, cheese and crackers, chips. before food is serve.
ellen
09/21/11
OK, I do encourage you, though, to try to get them to add fruit trays, or at least a green vegetable of some kind. This is not a balanced menu.

Bakes Beans- 3 gallons (4 #10 cans) per 100

Scalloped potatoes- 25 pounds raw potatoes per 100
Rigatoni- 8 pounds dry pasta per 100
Discuss rigatoni recipe with family, there are many variations, and they probably have something specific in mind.

You can assemble the two casseroles ahead, but they should be baked day of, neither is as good reheated. Potatoes need fruit fresh to keep from darkening.

Sausage- 1 pound per 4-5 people
Pulled Pork- ready to serve, 1 pound per 4 for sandwiches, 1 pound per 3 if plated
If sandwiches, buns and slaw are usual
cold meat tray with cheese- ??? 2 ounces cheese per person, but you already have the cheese trays??? Amounts for meats depend on what kind.

Kim
09/25/11
Hi Ellen - wonderful website, it has answered many of my questions already, I just have a couple more.

My fiance's dad and friends are catching salmon for our wedding next June. We are hoping to have smoked salmon for our starter, for 120 people. I am wondering how many salmon we may need to feed everyone? (some advise between 1/2lb and 1lb smoked salmon per 4 people). We are having canapes earlier on, and a main and dessert afterwards. The salmon will be served with a light salad.

Also, we are hoping to have cloudy lemonade for non-drinkers for drinks reception (about 30 people, 3 drinks each), would it be realistic to try and make this ourselves, if not where do we search for home-made tasting lemonade??

Thank you, Kim

ellen
09/25/11
If there are other appetizers, I suggest 1 pound per 5 people.

Yes. home made lemonade is totally possible. Use real lemon juice, sugar syrup, and water or soda (lemon-lime or ginger ale). If not, use a frozen lemonade base- several are very tasty.

vernie
10/11/11
how much chicken do I need for chicken alfredo fetticuni and how much noodles?
ellen
10/11/11
About 30 pounds chicken per 100 is a lot for this dish. 10-12 pounds noodles per 100-
CRISSY
10/12/11
Tray of food
hi i would like to know how much food i need to buy and how much i should charge to make this i need to make a large tray of each item

chicken alfredo with bow tie noodles
pototo salad
mexican rice
quarter chicken

i use can sauce for the alredo

ellen
10/12/11
Crissy, several things you need to know:

This site is for family and volunteer cooks- for pros I recommend
chef2chef.com
cheftalk.com

I cannot price, as prices vary locally and also depending on where you buy your food.

If you sell food/ cater and anyone is injured (staff or guests) or sickened, you personally can be sued. You could lose your home or other assets if you do not care liability insurance, and paid services are not covered under most homeowner's liability insurance.

It is illegal in most states to prepare food for sale in an unlicensed kitchen (home kitchen, for example).

Most catered foods cost the customer about the same as the comparable dish in a restaurant.

Please use the pro sites. You will need to tell how many people you are trying to serve with each item.

Cindy
10/13/11
My daughter is getting married in a month and we still dont know what to fix she wants it simple. there will be about 150 people and it will be about 4 in the afternoon. what should I do?
ellen
10/13/11
Hire a caterer? Actually, it is probably too late for that. You are in some trouble here.

What is the budget? What is the venue and size/equipment of the kitchen? How much experience do you have with large group cooking, how many helpers and servers, and what kind? Do you want to prep before hand, and if so, what freezer space?

Will alcohol be served?

What is the age mix of the crowd?

How long will the party last, and is the service at 4 or is that the start of the reception?

Any big box stores (Sam's, Costco, Restaurant Depot handy?

Read the article on wedding dinners. Send the information above, and I will try to help. Start a new thread.

crissy
10/18/11
ellen i am going to make food a for a party for the family party but they want to help pay for the food and i live in west palm beach and i shop at walmart and winn dixie and costco i justed wanted a price range if u can t help me that s fine
ellen
10/18/11
Crissy, it depends completely on the menu, time and length of the party and the number of people to be served. Can you send more info?
Benjamin
10/20/11
i need to feed 120
hey there im planning a event and i need to come up with a few canapes for upto a hundrend and twenty people max but only have a budget of 280 would you have any ideas on cheaply made food in production and great results for a spring carnival
Benjamin
10/20/11
i need to feed 120
hey there im planning a event and i need to come up with a few canapes for upto a hundrend and twenty people max but only have a budget of 280 would you have any ideas on cheaply made food in production and great results for a spring carnival
ellen
10/20/11
Whoever gave you that budget doesn't realize that caterers charge at least 10 per person for 1 hour of canapes!

I do a low cost event monthly by making a lot of homemade breads/rolls, both sweet and cheesy/savory, with spreads. If you need bites, rather than table trays, how much help will you have? Any donations?

Restaurant supply houses have MUCH lower costs than even the warehouse stores.

You need at least 10 "bites" per person, where a bite is an ounce of cheese and cracker, 1/4 cup dip or spread, 1 ounce of fruit or meat. etc.

You cam write back.

Penny
10/21/11
Hi Ellen, we have our monthly fellowship dinner at church and I was asked to make pancit bihon or pancit canton (Philippino dish)this month, so I need to know how much ingredients (meat/noodle/veg)I need to feed 150 or more people. I need approx. 2 1/2 aluminum trays (I think). Thanks for any help/advice you can give me...
ellen
10/22/11
For 150 people, if this is the only main dish, I would make

18 pounds noodles
30 pounds meats
veggies to go with this (don't know how much you usually use)

cindy
10/26/11
I need to make enough spanish rice to feed 200 people, how many pounds do I need to make.
ellen
10/26/11
At least 8 pounds dry per 100- might go as high as 11-12 if you want really big servings.
donald
10/27/11
how much boneless ham and chicken do i need to feed 200.
ellen
10/27/11
What dishes? What menu?
Brenda
10/31/11
Menu for 65 people
Making Lasagna .. how many boxes of the noodles will I need
ellen
10/31/11
Covered in detail in the middle of the spaghetti page- for 65, do 1 1/3 times the amount for 50.
marianne
11/01/11
I am planning a short reception to say good bye to a beloved pastor. It must be quick to set up since it's right after church. It will last only 1 hour so food must be finger food. I am currently planning on Chicken salad sandwiches on croissant and Pimiento cheese sandwiches. Also fruit such as strawberries and grapes. Then cookie trays. Is there something else I should offer? It just doesn't seem very special. Would rather not do veggie trays. The head count will be closer to 400.
ellen
11/01/11
Marianne, how about an extravagant dessert buffet with all kinds of cookies and bars and small cakes? And beautiful pre-made cheese trays and fruit trays? Maybe chocolate fondue for dipping the fruits and cookies? I might even skip the sandwiches- since there will not be enough for lunch.
Coffe, of course. but what about a good special punch or a hot cider or cranberry cider if it is cold?
There is a guide to amounts for dessert buffets on the site- the button is at the top of the main cook talk page.
Sue
11/08/11
I need to know how many pounds of boneless chicken breasts to buy when cooked and cubed they equal 5 quarts...thank you
ellen
11/08/11
1 pound is 2 cups. Add a bit for a fudge factor.
Tee
11/09/11
Budget Wedding Menu for 200 people
The menu is Wings Fried and Hot
Tuna Salad
Crackers
Meat Balls (Frozen to just add BBQ Sauce)
Deviled Eggs
Veggie Tray
Fruit Tray
Hamburger Dip (With the velvetta cheese and salsa) and Tortilla chips

The rest of the stuff I will buy prepared

ellen
11/09/11
Tee, what time of day, how long is the party, what else is being served and and what else is on the menu? All these items affect amounts.

The wings are NOT a budget item; they are expensive and you need abot 1/2 pound per person. These days, tenders or breast chunks on sale are cheaper. Are you very attached to them?

Tee
11/10/11
It is going to be in the evening around 5pm, there will also be chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches. Yes I am very close to my family and his family as well, although I dont see his family as much.
Tee
11/10/11
What might you suggest as a menu?
Carleane
11/10/11
We are having a Christmas party for children and their parents. They will be about 225 people. The menu is Chicken (legs, thighs, breasts and wings) with jojo's and corn. I how many pounds of jojo's would I need?
ellen
11/10/11
Carleane, these are very popular potatoes. at least 35 pounds per 100.
ellen
11/10/11
Carleane, these are very popular potatoes. at least 35 pounds per 100.
Johnice
11/16/11
Menu for 200+ people
Ellen,
I have recently taken over the ministry at my church to feed college students at a local college. My budget is $250. I'm running out of ideas. I only do this once a month. We've had lasagna, BBQ sandwiches and super nachos(beef with all the trimmings). I also need the quantities to purchase for any meal suggestions. I really want to keep this as simple as I can. There are other organizations that feed the students at other times during the month so I try not to duplicate the meals. I won't be serving during December and January has already been taken care of. I'll need meal ideas for Feb. - May. Also, I live in Texas!! You know how crazy our seasons are. :) Thanks for any suggestions.

Johnice

Robyn
11/16/11
Hi Ellen, On an earlier post you asked if someone wanted the easy recipe for cheesy potatoes or the cheap one that is like scalloped potatoes. I can't find the "easy" one. Can you please post it? Thanks so much for your wonderful site. It's a life saver!
ellen
11/16/11
Hi, Tee, you made me smile. What I meant was, are you attached to having wings?

Tuna Salad- reception level, see the sandwich event page
Crackers-6-8 pounds per 100
Meat Balls (Frozen to just add BBQ Sauce)-1 pound per 5, 1 cup sauce per pound
Deviled Eggs-I do 5 dozen eggs for 100
Veggie Tray- veggie tray page
Fruit Tray- fruit tray page
Hamburger Dip (With the velvetta cheese and salsa) and Tortilla chips- people love this stuff. 2 pound box plus add ins does 10-12 people. 8 pounds corn chips per 100.

ellen
11/16/11
Johnice, while it is still cold, a baked potato bar with toppings, see that article. A chili supper with my church social chili, cornbread, maye spaghetti (see the article). A soup bar with a beefy veggie soup and a creamy one, fresh breads and a cookie buffet. Baked jambalaya/ chicken and rice. Baked chicken spaghetti. Check out the basic budget entrees on the Big Pots page.
ellen
11/16/11
Hi Robyn, that is the cheesy hash brown potatoes recipe at the bottom of the festive family brunch article.
deb
11/18/11
Menu for 150 people
I am planning the Christmas party for the office.
How many cheesy potato casseroles (funeral potatos) will I need.
How many fruit trays?
Green Bean Casserole or cans of vegetables.
Jello Salad
ellen
11/19/11
Deb, all these foods are covered din the plan for 100 table and the potatoes are in the article on Festive Family Brunch, at the end. Put together an estimate, post it, and I will look it over for you.
Shirley
11/19/11
I would like to check quantities for my dinner party of 200, here is my menu and what I have
4 - 20 lb. turkeys
15 lb. ham
10 doz. eggs
20 kg. turnip
20 kg. carrott
4 kg peas
200 dinner rolls
do I have enough?
ellen
11/19/11
You will run out of turkey, ham and peas if 200 people come-

Turkey, whole, 150 pounds
Ham, 40 pounds
Peas, 15-20 kg peas
Rolls, at least 300

nancy
11/21/11
I'd like your opinion on my plan for a church party for 250 people. ( Families, adults, teens and about 50 children)

Ham (spiral w/bone from Costco) 100 - 120 lbs.
Scalloped potatoes 75lbs raw
Fresh glazed carrots-not sure how many lbs
Rolls (bag of 36 from Costco) apprx 400

We are also preparing a frozen fruit cup for each person. Defrosted for 1 hour, then served.

Do you think we should also serve a green salad?
Also, what about an inexpensive beverage?

Cupcake bar for dessert.

Do you think that is enough ham, enough potatoes?

Appreciate you! Your website is the best!

ellen
11/21/11
You need 22 pounds carrots per 100.

I would add a second hot veggie, rather than a salad, see the veggie table on the plan for 100 page. How about a pineapple or raisin sauce for the ham? 1 cup per 6.

I would definitely make 90 pounds of potatoes, these are extremely popular.

Everything else looks good.

Iced tea, coffee, and lemonade for low cost beverages.

Brenda
11/21/11
Making Ham & Bean Soup Need to make 50 Qts. Will be using canned northern beans but dont know quanity i need to buy. I will also purchase a full size ham,(bone in) but what size ham or how many to buy. Also how much carrots, onions and what kind of broth and how much to buy? Need to know asap. Thanks for your help.
Brenda
11/21/11
Oh ..forgot to ask how many potatoes for the 50qts of bean soup?
pat
11/21/11
i will be cooking for a wedding and they want pork lions smoked and i need to figure out how many pounds i need
ellenj
11/21/11
Brenda, you need a recipe for about 13 gallons of soup. I use part carrot juice in my broth, no kidding. For 3 recipes that make about 25 quarts each, (you would double), go to the Big pots page. Go about half way down to the Army quartermasters link, go there, and put bean soup into the search box.
This is a secure military site, you can safely allow it on your computer.
ellen
11/21/11
Pat, use the plan for 100 table, multiply for the number of people, add 10% to the raw weight for weight loss during smoking.
Morgan
11/27/11
I am having pulled pork shoulder and pulled chicken for 250(wedding reception) How much bbq sauce will I need? We do not plan on adding bbq sauce to the meat, but rather providing it on the tables for the guests. We have plenty of other sides as well (cole slaw, potato salad, cornbread, mac n cheese, veggies, salad, rolls) pretty mixed ages for guests as well.
Thanks!
ellen
11/27/11
You want to allow at least 1/4 cup per person.
Sarah
11/27/11
I'm making a Naked Burrito Variety (Filipino Tacos) for 200 people this coming Sunday.
The ingredients will be:
Rice, Ground Beef, Pork and Beans, and lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
How much RICE, GROUND MEAT, and PORK AND BEANS will I need for 200 people?
This will be the complete meal with dessert. (It's pretty filling...pretty much just like Qdoba's Naked Burritos, with a different flare.)

Please send me an answer ASAP if possible!
Thanks!!
Sarah

ellen
11/28/11
If you make the amounts you would use for these items for a regular meal, you will have plenty:

Per 100
(you would double)

8 pounds dry rice
3 gallons (4 #10 cans) baked beans
24 pounds beef

Use the taco bar page for help with toppings.

Shir C
11/28/11
I will be hosting an Open House again next year and expect 200 guests. I want to have my dining room table filled with finger food that people can gradually migrate to during the party. I don't have a lot of help..just small family members. What can I make ahead of time that doesn't require a lot of cooking. I usually have two chafing dishes (meatballs and cocktail weiners - that can be eaten with toothpicks) and chicken salad and ham finger sandwiches, crackers, vegetables and dips, and little desserts like petit fours, cookies, etc.. I usually also have an open bar plus a non-alcoholic punch bowl.
This menu is getting tired as I've had 3 open houses and the same menu! I need some new ideas.
ellen
11/28/11
There are so many frozen tidbits to help. What about a Mediterranean platter with stuffed grape leaves (I like Aetna brand), feta chunks, black olives and sweet banana pepper rings. Or antipasto platters, as on this site?

Cheese balls or logs for the crackers; hot dip in one of the chafers such as one of the artichoke spinach dips or queso.

Fruit trays.

Maybe a mini taco bar?

The dessert bar continues popular.

Jennifer
11/28/11
Taco Bar for 250 People
I am having a 250 person wedding and serving a taco bar during the reception. We are serving ground beef and chicken. We are also going to have a re-friend bean option as well for the vegetarians.
For toppings we plan to have is mexican rice, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion, nacho cheese and mixed shredded cheese.
I have no clue where to start as far as how much to buy....
How much beef/chicken do you recommend for 250 people?
How many taco shells?
How many lbs of rice?
How many lbs of each topping?
ellen
11/28/11
Jennifer, go to the taco bar page and use 2 1/2 times the amounts for 100. For feasts, I suggest you add guacamole (lots) and queso with chips.
Melanie
11/29/11
Menu for 300 people
Will 75 lbs roast beef be enough to feed 300 people?
ellen
11/30/11
Not nearly, I recommend 50 pounds raw per 100 for party size entrees.
terrence
12/01/11
Menu for 30 people
Will two boston butts feed 30 people?
ellen
12/01/11
Not usially. For party size portions, which are larger than regular size portions, I allow at least 1/2 pound bone in of this cut for each person.
maybel
12/07/11
menu for 250 person
We are cooking for a christmas party and they want spaghetti and baked macaroni for the snack.they also want rice, chicken cordon bleue, and fish fillet with sweet and sour sauce for dinner.
How much spaghetti noodles, macaroni, tomato sauce, ground meat, etc. for the pasta dishes? And how much rice, chicken fillet or chicken breast, ham, cheese, fish fillet, etc. will I need for 250 person?
Please! I need your opinion on this.
THANKS!
ellen
12/07/11
Maybel, for pro help, post this in the catering sections of:
chef2chef.com
cheftalk.com

This site is for family and volunteer cooks, I can't take on the liability for pro events.

Terri
12/07/11
pot luck cooking
Please help! I have a Christmas party to attend for my husbands work and they are doing it as a pot luck. I want to make Hawaiian pulled pork sandwiches with a sauce. And its for about 30 people. All the recipies Ive found are only for 4-6 servings. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You
chevell coaxum
12/07/11
Hi I am throwing a Mother's Day event and will be serving approx. 200 people. I will be serving chicken parts,wings, thighs, drum stick and breast and Roast beef. How many pounds of chicken should i get and How much roast beef.
ellen
12/07/11
Terri, if you have a recipe you like this size, do 4-6 times the recipe, lesser if there are other meats, larger if it is the main main course.

Chevell, Caterers do 2 pounds raw beef for 5 PLUS one piece of chicken per person for buffet service with these two items.

John
12/08/11
I am having a lunch for 200 and trying to keep it simple. Just wondering how my amounts look. I'm doing subs, pasta and side salads. I was thinking 4 6ft subs
8 half trays of pasta (ziti and lazagna)
5lbs each macaroni and potato salad
Am I close or do I need a lot more for 200 people?
ellen
12/08/11
You need a lot more.
6-8 subs.
12 1/2 trays, if they are the 2 1/2 inch deep ones.
at least 50 pounds total the two salads, and if it were me I would do 60.
John
12/08/11
Thanks Ellen. I had no idea how much I would need.
Steve
12/08/11
Trying to figure how much chicken bog to feed 200+ people. (Chicken/Sausage/Rice) I'm stuck on how to figure this type dish/serving size. Other items will be there for food - this is main course but some will eat one bowl - others will eat 2 or more. Thanks!
ellen
12/09/11
Chicken Bog comes up this time of year. Get 1 pound of sausage per 5 eaters and 60 pounds of whole chicken per 100 eaters and you will have a nice, meaty Bog.
kim
12/12/11
Menu for 60 people
Planning holiday gathering 60 people - mainly young men from 2:00 to 5 pm.
Egg Rolls,
Queso Dip - chips
7 layer dip - chips
Cocktail meatballs
Cocktail sausages
3 differernt style wings
crackers,cheese meat tray
vegetable and fruit tray
spinach dip and sour dough bread

How much do I buy or make of each?

ellen
12/13/11
Egg Rolls,
Queso Dip - chips- 1/4 cup per person, 1 ounce chips
7 layer dip - chips- 1/4 cup per person, 1ounce chips
spinach dip and sour dough bread-1/4 cup per person, 1-2 ounces bread

Cocktail meatballs- 1 pound per 6
Cocktail sausages-1 pound per 6

3 different style wings-1/2 pound total per person

crackers,cheese meat tray- I would skip this and do an assortment of small bars and cookies- 3-4 per person

vegetable and fruit tray- skip the veggies, do 1/2 the deluxe fruit tray

jennifer
12/13/11
catering an event for 175-200 people. Mexican menu-
ceviche
taquitos(beef and chicken)
taco bar-shredded beef , shredded chicken
fajitas-beef and peppers and onions and chicken, peppers and onions
carne asada
tortilla soup
guacamole
refried beans
black beans
mexican rice
mexican brown rice
how many corn tortillas and flour tortillas?
how much shredded lettuce etc. for tacos?
ellen
12/13/11
Jennifer post this on the pro boards;
chef2chef.com
cheftalk.com
And read my taco bar page
RSK
12/15/11
Menu for 35
hey,
I wanted to know how many pounds cake I wud need for 35 people?
ellen
12/15/11
Cheesecake, about 7 pounds, pound cake about 5 pounds, layer cakes about 4.
Karen
12/18/11
I am catering an annual banquet, for around 200 people. I am doing Spaghetti, meatballs, alfredo, chicken, salad, rolls and dessert. I was wondering if you think I should have the chicken on the side or in the sauce, and what kind of chicken would you use. Also, what would you suggest to go into the tossed salad, and what would you serve for dessert. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!!
Marsha
12/18/11
Planning a wedding reception for 100 to 150 people menu includes pork sliders baked and fried chicken potato salad pasta salad rolls green beans how much of each do you think i need its a july wedding focusing on the 4th any other ideals please tell me
ellen
12/18/11
Karen, serve the chicken on the side, quarters is good. There are lots of choices for the salad- maybe look at the salad bar article for ideas?

Marsha, you need to firm up your numbers. Plan for 1 pound bbq per 5 PLUS 1 piece chicken per person, about 2/3 fried and 1/3 baked. All the rest are covered on the plan for 100 page. When you get closer, you can post an estimate and I will review it for you.

patrrick
12/20/11
Menu for19 people
I'm planning a 21lb turkey with sides, 2 lasagnas, a large cold antipasto with everything you can possibly think to put in it. Need to know if its going to be enough.
ellen
12/21/11
Patrick, Maybe too much? A 14-16 pound turkey will have better quality meat, cook faster and still leave you with plenty of leftovers.
DeEtte
12/28/11
Planning wedding reception for 200 people. The menu is, Brisket, beans, potato salad, sliced pickles, sliced onions, tea, and bread.. How many buckets of potato salad should I get if it is in 5 lb buckets?
ellen
12/28/11
I allow 40-50 pounds per 100. Consider adding a slaw or marinated mixed bean salad- 3 gallons per 100
Paul
01/03/12
Silent Auction 7-10 pm; Saturday Night; Estimate 200 adults; Self-serve heavy hors douvres; Bartender - one free drink, subsequent drinks discounted.

Is this enough?

- 10 pound cheese
- 10 boxes crackers
- 400 mini Tostado scoops filled with 4 layers (beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese)
- 20 pounds fresh veggies and dip

- 30 pounds (raw) sliced grilled flank steak for mini sandwiches (estimate 700 small slices, 2 slices per roll)
- 360 Hawaiian rolls (15 packs of 24), mustard and horseradish sauce
- Warm cheese ravioli (2.5 to 3 inches in diameter) with pesto cream sauce – 200 pieces

- 10 pounds Chocolate fondue in chafing dish w/ pretzels, marshmallows and graham crackers
- 240 mini frosted red velvet cupcakes
- 10 pounds butter cookies

Thanks!

Paul
01/03/12
There will also be a live band. Thanks!
ellen
01/03/12
Paul, this is pretty light hors douvres for 200 for 3 hours. If you look at my tales and articles, you will see you are at about 1/2 what I would recommend, except for the cupcakes and cookies and rolls.

I would also add several more foods and you will need at least 3 stations for this many people. A fruit tray, for example...

- 10 pound cheese
- 10 boxes crackers
- 400 mini Tostado scoops filled with 4 layers (beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese)
- 20 pounds fresh veggies and dip

- 30 pounds (raw) sliced grilled flank steak for mini sandwiches (estimate 700 small slices, 2 slices per roll)
- 360 Hawaiian rolls (15 packs of 24), mustard and horseradish sauce
- Warm cheese ravioli (2.5 to 3 inches in diameter) with pesto cream sauce – 200 pieces

- 10 pounds Chocolate fondue in chafing dish w/ pretzels, marshmallows and graham crackers
- 240 mini frosted red velvet cupcakes
- 10 pounds butter cookies

Angie
01/05/12
Menu for 40 people
How many pounds of ground beef do I need to feed approx. 40 high school basketball players. I plan to serve them beef bbq. Thanks
ellen
01/05/12
If this is like sloppy joes or manwich, they will easily eat 2 each plus sides. 12 pounds medium lean for the players plus extra for the adults and volunteers, if any.
Shelley E.
01/11/12
Wedding Reception for 200 people
Hello! I need some help please. I have been asked to work up a quote for a Wedding Reception and I have no idea how to begin. I could also use some help on food quantities. Here is all the info. Please help me if you can! Thank you soooo much

Wedding Reception @ 6:30 pm.
Taco Bar:
Beef Taco meat
Shredded chicken for tacos
Soft & crunchy shells
shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese
chips & salsa
mexican rice
refried beans
sour cream
coke, diet coke, sprite & water

I don't have to worry about any decorations. Just prepping the food, getting it to the location and breaking food down.

Thanks again!

ellen
01/11/12
Shelley, this is a site for family and volunteer cooks, and I do not advise pros. You can post at:

chef2chef.com
cheftalk.com

A party of 200 requires 3 kitchen persons and 12 servers to set up, serve and clean up the food. In addition, costs are usually 1/4 to 1/3 of the billing.

Yes you do have to worry about the decorations; you need to oversee the serving areas (you need 3-4 bars for this many people (at least 2 double sided tables). In addition, you need to persuade this bride to do an appetizer area.

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, including a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Randy
01/14/12
Menu for 800 people
I am a mentor for a robotics team and we are trying to have a Teriyaki Feed. We have secured 200 pounds of beef and 200 pounds of chicken thighs. I am trying to determine how much teriyaki sauce I will need as a service sauce, as table sauce and how much I will need for the marinade. I am also trying to determine how much salad fixing and salad dressing I will need for this fund raisers for our high school robotics team. I think I have everything else worked out. The thighs will not be cut until after they are cooked the beef will be sliced to about 4-6 mm before marinading.
ellen
01/14/12
About 2 gallons teriyaki sauce per 35 pounds meat for marinade, 1/4 cup per person for service.
E Angel B
01/15/12
hello i need help my employer just requested i cater an event for him, he is expecting 200 people and doesnt want to spend more than $650 that includes the cost of food, supplies, my payment and the cost of me paying servers. he is requesting 2 meats, 2 vegetables, and 2 starches. i am open to any cheap menu suggestions it is a sit down black tie award ceremony and the other things is it is only three weeks away.
ellen
01/15/12
Angel, the MINIMUM charge for this sit down meal per person would be about $26 per person=$5200. For a sit down dinner this size you need 15 servers at $100 per person and 4 kitchen staff at $150; $2100 for just the staff; that is why the cost is as it is. I would get estimates from 3 or 4 local caterers and take it back to your boss, you simply can't do this.
E Angel B
01/15/12
Hi Ellen my boss suggested a buffet line style affair that way i would only need about 2 people to help me serve along a buffet line. the current request is that the food will be prepared at my home and just placed on warmers on location. he has emphasized his goal is for everyone to eat atleast once and once the food is gone it is just gone. I need to earn a few extra dollars but at this time and at this cost im thinking it will be impossible for me with even the simplest menu. such as cocktail meatballs, bbq wing portions, tossed salad, sauteed stringbeans, and baked ziti. my boss is providing all drinkables and desserts. ellen i am really at odds as to whether or not i will be taking on too much. i am trying to start my own private catering business but am really only in the beginning stages. i have only catered a few events with my max # in attendance have been about 75ppl. i figured doing this event would be a great networking opportunity for me, but as i said i am up in the air as to whether or not this budget is feasible or worth it for me. i would really appreciate all input and feedback.
ellen
01/15/12
Angel, if food runs out, everyone blames the caterer, even if it is the host's decision. Not a good ref. And as a beginner, you need to stick to the 75 range until it is easy for you and you have more experience.

Also, FYI, it is illegal in most states to prepare food for sale in a home kitchen. You need to look into renting a licensed kitchen (such as a church or school) if you are serious about this.

Buffet services for 200 takes 3 people in the kitchen and 8-10 to set up, serve, and clear. That'a a thousand bucks or so...

melani
01/18/12
food for 90 people
hi. i will be cooking for 90 people. the menu is arroz a la cubana. i just want to know how many kilos of ground pork i should buy. thanks
Neetu
01/19/12
Menu for 100 people
Hi Ellen,
Can u just advice me that for 100 people in a party we are serving 100 plain chapatis, mix vegetables curry and manchurian balls. So how much should we charge for three things. Waiting for ur reply ASAP.
Thanks
Many regards
Neetu
ellen
01/19/12
Melani, I am not familiar with this particular recipe, but it is usually about 28 pounds of ground meat in a really meaty casserole dish for 100. If it is just for flavor, it might be as little as 8-10 pounds.

Neetu, in the USA, the food cost is 1/4 to 1/3 of the total bill, depending on the amount of serice given (the caterer who drops of, it is about 1/3, as they have less labor cost; the caterer who sets up serves and cleans up, it it about 1/4.

Tammy
01/20/12
Menu for 75 people
I am preparing salmon for 75 people and will need to deliver it to the party location. Is it possible to bake the salmon then chill and reheat in a chafing dish? Thanks for your advise
ellen
01/20/12
Neither you nor the host will be too happy with a reheated dish. Can you cook it there in roasters? Will the hosts consider a cold salmon portion? How long is the transport?
eva
01/21/12
Menu for 300 people
hello, we are cooking for about 300 people. we will be serving carne guisada, spanish rice and ranchero beans. How many pounds of beef, rice and beans do i need to buy
ellen
01/21/12
See the plan for 100 page, use 3 times the amounts. 40 pound boneless meat per 100 makes a very meaty dish, 35 is OK.
Kayla
01/22/12
How much pancake mix would i need to buy to feed 200 people?
ron
01/25/12
Menu for 250 people
thanks sorry cant type im not in charge of the crab but this what i need to buy 'already baged mixed salad ,garlic bread pre made ,cocktail shrimp and sauce , butter pattys ,
ellen
01/26/12
Kayla, see the breakfast planning page.

Ron, your question is not clear, is this what you are adding to some kind of crab dinner? More info, please.

Amethyst
01/26/12
i was recently asked to prepare a menu for 200-250 guests - a wedding - she said she wanted something simple like chicken , potatoes, broccoli , & appetizers / plus im stuck on how much to charge her because she is a good friend please hellllp
ellen
01/26/12
You charge the same as for anyone else, and you need to be very clear about who is providing the 15 servers and 3 kitchen people needed to provide a party this size.
Amy
01/27/12
Menu for 80 people
We are getting married in June 2012 and my step mother and sisters are all cooking for our reception the problem is I am at a loss for how much of these items i will need...

Macaroni salad, potato salad,toss salad, baked beans, chips and dip, the rest we can figure out, the meat is all set we bought a 150lb pig for a pig roast.

ellen
01/28/12
Macaroni salad, 4 1/2 pounds dry pasta
potato salad, 25 pounds potatoes
toss salad, 4/5 the amount for 100 on the plan for 100 list
baked beans, 2 1/2 gallons
chips and dip, one 1/2 ounce chips and 1/4-1/3 cup dip per person
Amethyst
01/31/12
okay i was just asked to do a 3 salad bar buffet for 280 people ( church function ) she wants chicken , shrimp & basic salads . about how much would i charge for the ingredients & my service charge
ellen
01/31/12
Pro questions need to go to:

chef2chef.com
cooktalk.com

Renea
02/01/12
Menu for 150 people
My sister and I are giving my mom a party The menu consists of Pasta Salad, Chicken Salad, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Meatballs, Ham/ Turkey trays, Fruit Tray, chicken Drummettes, and Deviled Eggs. Is this too much food, What do I need of each to serve 150 people
ellen
02/01/12
Renea, more info, please. What time is the party and how long will it last? Also, what is the age mix of the party.
Victoria
02/08/12
Menu for 100 people
I am making arepas with shredded beef for about 100 ppl., using flank steak, how many pounds of flank steak would i need?
ellen
02/08/12
Yum, 1 pound per 4 plenty.
Theresa
02/09/12
Menu for 150 people
I need to make chicken orzo soup for 150 people. How much cooked boneless chicken do I need. I will be taking this to Haiti.
Also can you tell me how much celery, carrots, and orzo will i need. I will be using a chicken base. My thoughts are 1 cup servings. Do you have any recipes that are for large group? I am trying to merge several, but would love to have one that is tried and true. I would be willing to use noodles and/or rice instead of orzo if necessary. Thanks for your help!
ellen
02/10/12
I would allow about 1 pound orzo per 15 and 1 pound boneless chicken per 10 (or 1 pound whole chicken per 5).

Look at this basic recipe for ideas about quantities and types of veggies:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/beefsoup.html

You would be making 3 times that amount of soup.

Jenn
02/11/12
I am over our class reunion BBQ picni. WE are having 3 different salads how many lbs of each marconi, potato and green salad do we need to feed a group of 200 classmates.
ellen
02/12/12
Use my plan for 100 list, do green salad for 150, potato salad and pasta salad for 150 also.
betty
02/13/12
Banquet for 200 buffet style

How much is needed:

Meats - Pork loin and boneless chicken breast
Side - Rice dressing
Veg - Green beans
Toss Salad
Assorted desserts

ellen
02/13/12
Estimate using the plan for 100 table and doubling. Use the dessert planning table for your dessert buffet. If you want to post it, I will check it.
Denise
02/16/12
Menu for 900 people
Hi Ellen,
We are planning a graduation party for 900 people. (6 graduates-6 families) Yes, we are crazy. We are planning on having:

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (225 pounds)
Buns
Pickles
BBQ Sauce
Wings
Cheesy Potatoes (crockpot)
Coleslaw
Fruit
Cake
Lemonade
Coffee

Could you PLEASE help us with how much we are going to need of each? Any help you can give us is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Antoine P
02/16/12
How much will stuff chicken cost all together for a banquet of 200 people?
ellen
02/16/12
Antoine, I don't do costing, it varies too much by region and supplier.
Denise
02/16/12
Menu for 900 people

Not quite enough food.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (225 pounds)- need about 280-300, as these are teens
Buns-1200

See the condiment table on the sandwich page for help with ALL the condiments.
Pickles
BBQ Sauce

Wings 1 pound raw per 3, 1 cup dipping per 4

Cheesy Potatoes (crockpot)- see the recipe at the bottom of the festive family brunch page.

Coleslaw- 30 gallons
You need to add pasta salad, 6 pounds dry pasta per 100- make ahead, fills the gaps
Fruit- use the fruit tray page

Cake- use the dessert planning page. I would do a dessert buffet with lots of bars and cookies as well.

Lemonade- 6 gallons per 100, at least 10 sugar free
Coffee- see beverage page

Don't forget ice.

Pam
02/16/12
Hawaiian Haystacks for 150 people
Hi Ellen,
So glad I found your site!! I'm preparing Hawaiian Haystacks for about 150 people, that will be serving themselves. I need help with the rice, and shredded chicken. We're having other toppings, but I can kinda guess on those. I'm planning on cooking the rice in the oven and boiling the chicken and then adding it to the gravy. Could you please let me know how much rice and chicken I need to get?

Thanks!!
Pam

Antoine P
02/16/12
sorry well how much chicken breast will I need to stuff for 250 people?
Alex J
02/17/12
Menu for 30 people
Hi-

I am making turkey mostaccioli for my wife's 30th birthday and was wondering home much penne and how much turkey I will need.

I've found a few recipes that will yield ~ 6 servings that call for 8oz. of penne and 8 oz. of turkey. I could quadruple this by 4, but it still seems too little.

Thanks,
Alex

ellen
02/17/12
Pam, see these messages for help with you estimates:

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/34023.html

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/27796.html

Cut and paste this line into your search browser to find mmore.

"hawaiian haystacks" site:ellenskitchen.com

ellen
02/17/12
Antoine, 270 if palted, 300 if self serve.

Alex do 4 pounds dry p[asta and 8 pounds turkey meat, snd you will hsve some left over.

ANGIE
02/18/12
Hi
1st thank you for your help in advance. I am planning my own wedding and the family is cooking. My menu is for 250 people and it is as follows: deep fried turkey, ham, macaroni & cheese, greens/green beans, linguini and potatoe salad. My cocktail hour menu is veggie tray, cheese tray, and salsa and chips. My dessert buffet will have 2oz cups of banana pudding, mini cheesecakes, mini donuts, mini cake balls, also things to dip in the chocolate/caramel fountain such as: pretzel rods, marshmallows, and strawberries. We are having a wine/beer bar, with lemonade, sweet tea, and an alcoholic punch. If you can think of anything else that would sound good feel free to add on. If possible, can you please give me a break down of the amount of stuff needed for this dinner. I've seen you refer to page 100 on this site, but I can't find it. Also if you think this is too much, feel free to cut it down. I just want a beautiful wedding (with everyone fed).
Thank you
ellen
02/19/12
deep fried turkey, 3/4 pound whole per person- but DO NOT fry day of; you either do before, or do roasted, and reheat
ham, 1 pound per 5
macaroni & cheese, 1 vpound dry pasta per 10 plus sauce
greens/green beans, see veggie table on the plan for 100 page, the button is at the top of the cook talk page.
linguini- I would probably do rice, since you already have mac and cheese.
potato salad- 40 pounds potatoes per 100.

This is fine, might add fruit trays-
veggie tray,
cheese tray,
salsa and chips.

Lamar
02/21/12
How do I figure rigatoni for 400 people?
ellen
02/21/12
See the spaghetti page quantity tables. Amounts depend on whether it is a side dish or entree and what else is being served.
Jen R
02/25/12
communion for almost 100
Hi!
We are planning a May Communion party at our house. About 80 adults/teens and 15 kids. Afternoon party about 4 hours long.

Chicken Marsala 45lbs.
Sausage 38 lbs. and peppers
Penne with sauce 12lbs.
tossed salad 12 lbs
3 sheet pizzas (120 pieces)
fruit tray (from your 100 serving list)
dinner rolls (9 dozen)

Full sheet cake

Lemonaid 6 gallons
72 bottled water
72 cans pop
200 cans beer (I counted about 50 beer drinking guests at beers 4 per person)

Does this look about right?
Thank you in advance!!!

ellen
02/25/12
Chicken Marsala 45lbs.- 35 cooked probably enough
Sausage 38 lbs. and peppers OK
Penne with sauce 12lbs.-OK
tossed salad 12 lbs-OK have nice dressings
3 sheet pizzas (120 pieces)-OK
fruit tray (from your 100 serving list)- good
dinner rolls (9 dozen)- 3 pounds butter have at least 1 per person, 1.5 if they are tasty.

Full sheet cake- Might add 100 cookies or bars/brownies, not too large

Lemonade 6 gallons-OK Kind to add 2 gallons sugar free for us diabetics and dieters
72 bottled water
72 cans pop- if you are pretty sure most of the grownups won't drink it?
200 cans beer (I counted about 50 beer drinking guests at beers 4 per person)

norma_bonachita@yaho
02/29/12
I am having a pack snack for 100 persons:
they ask me to cook a pancit bihon with i sliced of bread in 1 pack. how to estimate the food for 100 persons, I need your help mam...
norma bonachita
02/29/12
pleased help me I was assigned to cook pancit bihon with 1 sliced of bread for 100 persons. ( a pack snack only) i know to cook but i dont know how to estimate how many kilos of pancit bihon & a kilos of meat to mix. pls...help me...
norma bonachita
02/29/12
pleased help me I was assigned to cook pancit bihon with 1 sliced of bread for 100 persons. ( a pack snack only) i know to cook but i dont know how to estimate how many kilos of pancit bihon & a kilos of meat to mix. pls...help me...
ellen
03/02/12
This tasty Filipino stir fried rice noodle dish is a good choice for 100 people- here are approximate amounts for 100 people.

17 pounds cooked meats, shredded (pork, chicken, fish)
2 quarts vegetable oil
2 cups, approximately,garlic cloves, minced
about 4 pounds of onions, thinly sliced
2 quarts soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 1/2 cups or more fish sauce (nuoc mam)
11 -15 pounds cabbage,
5 pounds carrots, julienned in 2 inch lengths
3 heads celery , thinly sliced
4 pounds shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 1/2 gallons chicken broth
5 pounds package rice noodles

For garnish:
11 bunches green onion, thinly sliced
22 limes or 22 lemons , cut in wedges
cilantro leaves
hard cooked egg slices

You know all the veggies are slivered or chopped.

This version has a lot of meat and veggies. You can increase the noodles double or more to bulk up the recipe.

Some people like twice as much fish sauce, or add fresh chopped ginger to the oil. You can also add diced string beans, bamboo shoots (canned), mung bean sprouts

JoEllyn
03/06/12
Hi Ellen, Our church is putting on a benefit for a little girl in our community, we are planning on serving about 250 people. We are having a baked potato bar, and I am in charge of the broccoli cheese topping. I was just wondering if you have a recipe for this many people. I was just thinking of using a broccoli cheese soup recipe but I dont have one to serve that many. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
JoEllyn
03/06/12
I forgot to mention that we are also having chili topping plus so Im just not sure how much to prepare.
Trey
03/07/12
Help ! We are doing an appreciation dinner and making chicken bog, or chicken perlow..
there is chicken, sausage & onion in the recipe.. We are estimating 200 people how many uncooked cups of rice would you think i need. We will be using regular white long grain rice.
Thanks so much !!!
Trey
Denise
03/08/12
Menu for 150 people
We're doing a reception for 150 people. I'm looking for amount and cost with the meat.
What kind of beef could I do, how much and the pproximate cost. Same qestions with a pork?
Jenn
03/08/12
I'm having a Sweet Sixteen party and planning on making Barbacoa ( Shredded Meat) Beans and Rice for 250 how many lbs of meat do I need to buy.
ellen
03/08/12
Chicken Bog comes up this time of year. Get 1 pound of sausage per 5 eaters and 60 pounds of whole chicken per 100 eaters and you will have a nice, meaty Bog.

I use 1 cup of rice per 2 pounds of chicken.

cindy hampton
03/08/12
Hi
doing 2 pasta dishes, red and white sauce for a wedding for 250 how much pasta do I need when doing both types?
ellen
03/08/12
Sauce is usually estimated at 1/3 white, 2/3 red. See spaghetti page for help on amounts of pasta.
Mary
03/13/12
Doing a brunch for 200 ladies would like to serve scrambled eggs but not sure of a recipe for this amount do have access to liquid eggs and not sure how the will hold up in chafers till served.
ellen
03/14/12
Amounts- see the breakfast planning page. Help with holding, see the eggs section in the recipe box.
Melanie
03/17/12
Wedding Recepton 125 people
My friends and I are preparing the food for my sons wedding reception. Wedding is at 4:00 and we plan to serve appetizers. List below is our menu. My question is the quantity of each that we should prepare.

Chicken Strips (cut into pieces)
BBQ (with rolls/buns for sliders)
Meatballs

Chocolate Fountain
Marshmallows
Strawberries
Pineapple
Cake Squares
Carved Watermelon with other fruit
Chips with a Cold Tomato/Corn/Pea Dip
Veggies and Dip
Cheese and Cracker Tray
Pinwheels

We are also having a few friends/relatives bring a batch of their favorite cookie for a cookie table.
Can you help us out with the quantities of the above food items.

Of course there will be the traditional Bride & Groom cake. Beer and wine will be served.

Thanks so much!

ellen
03/17/12
Melanie, because the service is at 4 PM, people will be hungry after- dinner level hungry- and they will need a LOT of appetizers, or you will run out.

Chicken Strips (cut into pieces)- 3-4 ounces per person
BBQ (with rolls/buns for sliders)-2 per person- 4 ounces ready to eat meat
Meatballs-1 pound per 5
Pinwheels-2 per person

Carved Watermelon with other fruit- use the fruit tray page
Chips with a Cold Tomato/Corn/Pea Dip- 1 1/2 ounces chips, 1/4 cup salsa per person
Veggies and Dip-use the veggie tray page, add dips
Cheese and Cracker Tray-1 pound cheese per 8-10, 1 1/2 ounces crackers

Chocolate Fountain
Marshmallows
Strawberries
Pineapple
Cake Squares
Covered in detail in the chocolate fountain article-

Eileen
03/18/12
Hi Ellen, I am in charge of a funeral luncheon as the regular gal is on vacation. They expect 225 people and want fruit salad, pasta salad, German potato salad and American style potaoto salad. They also want sandwiches, which are buns with ham or beef and we figure 2/person. In gallons, how many of each salad would we need? Thank you!
ellen
03/18/12
I would do either a canned fruit salad or fresh fruit trays, which are prettier, can be made ahead. See the fruit tray page. Do for 200.

I would do 10-12 pounds dry pasta plus fixings, 90 pounds potatoes, divided per the local taste- regional preferences vary-

If these are full size sandwiches and you are having desserts also, 1 1/2 per person would be about right.

Ashley
03/19/12
Menu for 150 people
I am hosting a benefit dinner and serving pasta, sauce, meatballs & salad-- how much or each per person typically? We are petrified of running out of food, but can't be left with too much either...
ellen
03/19/12
Doo 3 times the spaghetti dinner at the bottom of the spaghetti page.
Melanie
03/19/12
Wedding Reception for 125
This is Melanie again from the 03/17/2012 post. Based on your comment of dinner time and hunger people...do I have enough food on the menu? The Chocolate fountain artcile is scary...is it really that bad?
ellen
03/19/12
If you do the amounts I indicated, you will have enough. I prefer a chocolate fondue, to the fountain, and the article is accurate.
Jan
03/20/12
How much food should I prepare for a group of 200 plus people?
Luci
03/26/12
Menu for 250 walking tacos
I need a break down of what I'll need for 250 walking tacos. How much meat and size of dorito bags
winetta
03/26/12
need to know how much food i will need to feed 180
mac and cheese
tossed salad
green beans
wingettes
baked leg quarters
rice and gravey
lima beans
dinner rolls
ham
this is the menu i need to know how much food i need, and how much to charge the person thats haveing the dinner she is buying all of the food but needs to know how much to buy, and how muuch should she pay me to cook and serve the food
ellen
03/27/12
Winetta, this site is for family and volunteer cooks, and I don't do costs or pro catering advice- that is a service that has pro fees attached.

You can use my tables for 100 to estimate amounts. As it indicates, for example, you allow a quarter chicken per person for the first part and 1 pound boneless ham per 5.

Perhaps you want to post on the pro boards:
chef2chef.com
cheftalk.com

ellen
03/27/12
Luci, see the walking taco recipe (out of the trashbag taco salad).

Jan use the plan for 100 tables, double the amounts. You want to end up with about 1 1/2 pounds of food per person.

linda
03/30/12
I need to make ham dinner for 200 people how many hams do I need?
ellen
03/30/12
Check the plan for 100 list and double the amount for 100.
Alica
04/04/12
Hi.I was wondering if you could help me come up with some number on how much of each ingredients i need. Myself and three other people are cooking for a high school (300 people). The planned menu is burritos with: beef(half, chicken(half, re-fried beans, cheese, sour cream,salsa, tortilla wraps, tomato,lettuce.

How much of each thing do you think we'll need?
And if you have any range of the cost that would be really helpful but it's not necessary.

Also, do you have any tips on how to cook all the beef? Do you put it all in at once? Small batches? I have no experience at all.

Thank you in advance

Michelle
04/04/12
Serving 200 people for breakfast and lunch.
How much of the following do we need to buy.

Breakfast:
Eggs, rice & sausage

Lunch:
Rice, chili, hot dog/bun, chicken & burger/bun

Drinks:
Bottled Water & can Juice

Michelle
04/04/12
Besides having the breafast and lunch, we will have snacks and salads that will be served also.
ellen
04/08/12
Alicia, the 300 high schoolers will eat about 500 burritos- teen are enormous eaters! I would be sure to have beans and rice for everyone as a side dish, not just for the burritos.

For the toppings, use the tacos for 100 table on the potato bar page, add about 10% for those teen appetites.

For cooking the beef, see the sloppy joe recipe, just use taco seasonings instead. Works for chicken too. But you can only do 20 pounds at a time in an 18 quart roaster. Chicken is usually simmered, then seasoned, and chicken thighs are great for this.

You want to start out with 1 pound raw meat for each three students, totaling both meats.

There is an OAMC burrito recipe on this site if you are planning to make ahead and freeze. Be aware it takes a LOT of oven space to heat this many burritos- check out the kitchen situation.

If you want to post an estimate, I will check it.

ellen
04/08/12
Michelle, use the breakfast planning page for the breakfast items and the side dishes on the plan for 100 page for the rice.

You need to clarify about lunch; is this chili for everyone, plus a sandwich for everyone? Write back.

Kai
04/09/12
I am planning a surprise 30th birthday party for my husband. I plan to serve appetizers, buffet style dinner and a dessert bar. I am planning for 100 people. I have a menu in mind but don't know how much of each I should get.Can you help me please? Here is the menu.

Appetizers

Cheese and cracker tray
Buffalo chicken dip
Tropical fruit sald bowl
Mussels

Buffet Dinner
Blackened Salmon
Yellow Rice
Mini meatballs in pineapple glaze sauce
Mini crabcake balls
Vegetable Medley
Red Potatoes
Corn on the cob
Dinner Rolls

Thank You

Kai
04/09/12
Also are there any substitutions you would recommend?
Michelle
04/09/12
Yes lunch is for everyone. We are running this as a concession stand.
ellen
04/12/12
Michelle, amount needed would depend on price and what else is available- concessions are almost impossible to estimate. I would make 2 times the church social chili and let it run out.
ellen
04/12/12
Kai,

Appetizers

Cheese and cracker tray 2 ounces cheese plus 1-1 1/2 ounces crackers per person
Buffalo chicken dip-1/4 to 1/3 cup per person, depends on the crowd
Tropical fruit salad bowl- would probably do fruit trays, easier to prep and store, easier to eat, and the leftovers are more usable- do the deluxe fruit tray for 100
Mussels- about 3 per person, if this is a mussel eating crowd. Stuffed mushrooms are an alternative.

Buffet Dinner
Blackened Salmon see the plan for 100 table for amounts- about 1 pound whole raw per 3
Yellow Rice- 8-12 pounds
Mini meatballs in pineapple glaze sauce- 1 pound per 5-6
Mini crab cake balls-2-3 per person, tartar sauce 1/4 cup per person, with the mussels and salmon, these could be omitted.

These items are on the plan for 100 tables;
Vegetable Medley
Red Potatoes
Corn on the cob
Dinner Rolls

Kai
04/16/12
Thanks so much Ellen!!! Truly apprecaited!!!
SANDI
05/05/12
Menu for 150 people
appetizer cream cheese ham roll ups how many would i need to serv 150 people?
Casper
05/08/12
Hi Ellen,
I am having a catering event for about 200 people and they are requesting appetizers only, how would I calculate the following items. They are requesting 3 different chicken wings (different flavors), meat balls. How many pounds each of this items should I get. There are other food items, but was wondering for this particular 2 items the weight or quantity I would need.
Appreciate your assistance and thanking you in advance for your help. Have a nice day!
Casper
05/08/12
Sorry Ellen, let me give you more background of the event, its a FUNDRAISING EVENT for the CHURCH. I would like to give you the other items for the appetizers to give you a better idea. We are having devilled eggs-about 10dozen eggs were purchased. 500 sticks of pork kebabs about 2 slices of meat a good size per 8" stick. 3 fruit circular trays(strawberry dipped in chocolates, and other assorted fruits), 2 vege trays. Cheese pimiento sandwiches, little soft rolls. THis is an asian event so they are not really big on veges and fruits so we limited the trays to 3 fruits and 2 vege trays. Couple of trays of baked mussles. Some desserts, brownies, cassava pudding, somewhat like a gelatin dessert, and a rice cake dessert.
So in reality, the main food for the appetizers are, PORK BBQ, MEAT BALLS, CHICKEN WINGS, DEVILLED EGGS, MUSSELS.
Would appreciate any input you may have regarding the menu or quantities involved. Thank you in advance.
Cas
ellen
05/09/12
Caspar, here in the US, wings are very expensive, legs or leg quarters are MUCH less expensive. If I were doing a fundraiser, I would do legs, same sauces, 1 per person plus 10% because you also have the pork. 1 pound meatballs per 5-6.
Rebecca
05/20/12
Hi Ellen. I am planning a graduation party for our son for approx 150-200 people. We are having a pig roast and will be serving chicken legs, baked beans, Hawaiian style fried rice, cole slaw, and salt potatoes. I was considering having bbq meatballs for another meat and pasta salad, if necessary for another side. We will also be having green salad and rolls. Can you tell me how much I should plan to make, please?
ellen
05/20/12
Rebecca, how big is the pig and are you making all the side dishes yourself? Write back.
Melanie
05/22/12
I am doing a salsa bar for my daughters reception. We will have hot wing dip, chili cheese dip, corn avacodo salsa, green and red salsa and a mango salsa. How much of each do I need for 250 guests?
Casper
05/23/12
Thank you ELLEN for your information and getting back to me, I actually was able to use your suggestion,Thank you again, this was helpful and look forward to learning more from you in the future. More power to your website. Take care and have a nice day!
ellen
05/24/12
hot wing dip, 1/4 cup per peron
chili cheese dip, 1/3 cup per person
corn avacodo salsa, 1/4 cup pp
green and red salsa 1/4 cup pp
and a mango salsa 1/4 cup pp
ellen
05/24/12
Good, if it helps and you can do it, make a donation to support this site.
Peggy
05/30/12
I am doing a salsa bar along with punch and cake for an outdoor casual reception. I have 5 salsas in mind including two that are loaded with hearty stuff like beans and corn and one fruit salsa and two to three different kinds of dipping chips. What kind of volume do you recommend for the salsas to have enough and how many chips in pounds will I need? Also punch, in gallons?
Tami
06/01/12
Hiya Ellen!

Graduation party for approx 150-200 people
Menu

Baked Chicken
Meatballs and buns...... unsure how many to make
Hot Sausage and buns.... unsure how much to make
Cabbage and noodles...? how many pounds to make
Potato Salad.... ? how many pounds to buy
Macoroni Salad.. You Guessed It
unsure how many pounds to make

Baked Beans
Watermellon filled with fruit
Chocolate fountain with goodies to dip in it
chips, dip, salsa, tortilla chips.

appriciate any help you could give me...
thanks, tami

Tony
06/18/12
I am cooking for a wedding recp.for 200 ppl Please let me know what you think. planning on having--Chicken Breast 50lbs (206 pcs)--Pork loin 50lbs--Rigatoni and Meatballs 25 lbs uncooked pasta 5 gals suace with 635 meatballs--50 lbs of roasted potatoes--50 lbs of mashed potatoes--corn 10 #10cans--green beans 10 #10 cans--9 gals of pasta salad--7 gals of coleslaw--Salad 26 lbs of tossed salad mix and 24 8oz bottles of salad dressing--18 dozen dinner rolls and 8 lbs of butter. Thats what i have come up with so far. Gonna have a server on the meats and buffet on the rest. Please let me know what you think and if i should change anything.. O and I have a few appetizers shrimp cocktail and meat and cheese roll ups tray and cookies and crackers...
Thanks Tony
Judy
06/19/12
Grad party for 250 HELP
menu: pulled pork sandwiches ?bs
lemon chicken ?lbs
pasta with meatballs pasta ? lbs 2 meatballs per person
roasted potatoes cans? (6lb)
potatoe crepes 1 to 2 crepes per
green beens cans? (6lb)
fresh fruit Watermellon, honeydew canalope,grapes, pineapple HOW MANY?
cupcakes 20 doz
jello salads
cookies
ellen
06/19/12
Tami, that is too big a range, so I will give you per persons:
Baked Chicken- 1 piece per person
Meatballs-1 pound per 4
Hot Sausage- 1 pound per 6
1 1/2 large or 2 regular rolls per person
Sandwich condiments, see the sandwich event page

Cabbage and noodles- 2 pounds cabbage, 30 pounds noodles

chips, 1 pound per 10, 3 cups dip per pound

everything else is on the plan for 100 page, chocolate fountain article, fruit tray page.

ellen
06/19/12
Tony, you double posted, see the other one.

Judy, this does not look like a complete menu.

menu: pulled pork sandwiches 38 pounds raw meat per 100, 1 1/2 large or 2 small rolls
lemon chicken 1 pound raw boneless per 4
pasta with meatballs pasta ? lbs 2 meatballs per person 10 pounds pasta per 100
roasted potatoes cans? (6lb)??? I would do potato salad...
potatoe crepes 1 to 2 crepes per yes
green beans cans? (6lb) 4-5 cans per 100- my better green bean casserole in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots is better.
fresh fruit Watermelon, honeydew cantaloupe,grapes, pineapple HOW MANY?- use the fruit tray page

jello salads- it takes 17 small packages to make for 100

cupcakes 20 doz
cookies 1 of each flavor per person, up to 4; 4 to 5 bite size

luis martinez
06/26/12
hello i have a wedding of 200 peoples the Bride wants chicken and carne asada. and other things but i got the other stuff down.my question is how much of chicken and carne asada would i need for 200 peoples 40 of each will do?? need answers asap thanks
ellen
06/27/12
Luis, what kind of chicken and is the asada for tacos/burritos or plated? And are these the only meats. More info, please.
Leonard
07/01/12
Menu for 100 people
Hi Ellen,
We have been chosen to make prawns curry for a 100 people for a reception, the other items on the menu would be Salads, Rice, Roasted chicken, Mixed vegetable curry, Desserts etc.
Can you tell me how much of the prawns (raw,Shelled) I would need. Thanks
ellen
07/09/12
22-25 pounds, depends on whether there are other chunky bits in the curry.
Rita
08/01/12
wedding anniversary for 175 people(Indian)
rice Pulao --- how many kgs
Pork vindalho---how many kgs
chicken masala ---how many kgs
vegetable chow chow
beef tongue------how many kgs
fruit salad --- how many packets of milk
lori
08/01/12
Menu for 150 people
Hi Ellen, I am doing a 60th birthday party, first it was 75 people now up to 150 the menu is easy but not sure how much
Chips and Salsa
Veg and Dip
Hummis and Crackers
watermelon sliced
mexican layered dip this will be for when people arrive its outside so didnt want mayo or any cheese in case its hot

menu
bbq chicken dark with bone white without
Veggie Lasagna
Zucinni casserole

Pasta pesto salad
fresh coleslaw
Tomato, cucumber, pepper salad
she could only spend 450 for the party so trying to keep it cheap Im doing it for as the gift could you help with some Ideas I have the big full pans Im thinking 4 lg lasagna and 170 or 180 pieces of Chicken and 4 pans of Zuchini

ellen
08/01/12
Rita, quantities are less for the rest of the world- Americans eat really big portions- I can only do pounds, but here is my best estimate:

rice Pulao --- how many kgs- 12 pounds dry rice per 100
Pork vindalho---how many kgs- 1 pound pork per 5
chicken masala ---how many kgs- 1 pound boneless chicken per 5

beef tongue------how many kgs You need to end up with 1 pound ready to eat per 8, but the raw weight depnds on how well trimmed they are, whether they are skinned, etc.

vegetable chow chow- 3 ounces per person

fruit salad --- how many packets of milk?? I do 1 pound ready to eat fruit per 5, don't know how your recipe includes the milk.

ellen
08/01/12
Lori, I could not do this menu for 150 for $450- that would just about cover the appetizers alone- that is not even enough per person to buy a happy meal. So I will tell you what you need and you and she can try to figure it out.

Chips and Salsa- 1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound chips per 12
Veg and Dip- see veggie tray page
Hummis and Crackers-1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound crackers per 12
watermelon sliced- 1/2 pound per person
mexican layered dip- 1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound chips per 12

menu
bbq chicken dark with bone white without- do dark only, use quarters, 3 quarters per 4 and cut some into pieces
Veggie Lasagna- 5 pounds dry noodles per 100, and see the spahetti page for help on the rest of the ingredient quantities (with e pestpo salad, might skip
Zucchini casserole- 24 pounds zucchini per 100

Pasta pesto salad- 6 pounds dry per 100 with no lasagna, 4 pounds with lasagna
fresh coleslaw- 3 gallons per 100
Tomato, cucumber, pepper salad- see the Greek village salad on the "salads that hold" page;

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/salads1100.html

lori
08/02/12
Thank you so much Ellen thats a big help
DONA
08/02/12
Looking for menu ideas for Sunday OUTDOOR lunch with 150 people expected.
ellen
08/02/12
What budget, what refrigeration and heating?
dona
08/03/12
Refrigeration and heating are in house kitchen. Party is in backyard using 12 ft picnic tables spread around 5 acres. We will have a covered platform where we can set up the food which has electricity and is about 500 feet from kitchen in house. Budget is $2,000. Party starts at noon and goes until 5pm and "lunch" is served at 1pm. Guests are over 60 yrs old. I'll have coolers set up for sodas, water and ice near the food area.
dona
08/03/12
Just can't think of a delicious entree that can be prepared partially ahead of time. I can't see bbq chicken on the grill unless it's pre-cooked in oven that am, then finished on grill.
Looking for fresh and delicious ideas that work being served outside in warm weather.
Did pulled pork bbq last year in crock pots. Looking for something over the top good.
ellen
08/04/12
What about focusing on cold and room temp foods- sliced meat plates, sliced cheese plates, some chicken salad and pimento cheese? Roasted vegetables marinated and served room temp, classic relish trays, potato salad, a couple of different marinated bean and vegetable dishes; big fruit bar. Dessert buffet with lots of tasty choices (see the dessert planning page).

Wonderful breads and rolls. Butter and condiments.

The secret to the meat trays is to do REAL meats- sliced turkey, real roast beef, cold meatloaf.

dona
08/04/12
Sounds fantastic! Thanks!!!!
Kay
08/07/12
Cooking chicken and rice for 200-250 people. How much chicken, rice and broth is needed. Also, what are the directions for cooking it?
ellen
08/07/12
You need about 12 pounds dry rice per 100. Chicken depends on the cuts/pieces; see the plan for 100 tables discussion on chicken options.

Baked in the oven, using the baked rice method on the recipe box page, is the optimum method for fixing this much chicken and rice.

You will be making about 10-12 gallons of food, plan for pans and cooking space accordingly.

schmeka s
08/07/12
Having wedding September 175 guest reception go be 430 main meal fried chicken smoke turkey and ham potato salad corn green bean mac n cheese appertizer salad meatballs fruit salad how much do i need of each
ellen
08/08/12
fried chicken- 1 piece per person
smoke turkey- 1 pound ready to eat per 5
ham- 1 pound ready to eat per 4

Don't forget mustard.

potato salad 7 gallons

corn- 5 1/2 gallons
green bean- 6 gallons

mac n cheese 18 pounds dry pasta

appetizer
salad?? see the plan for 100 page, or any of the many salad recipes for 100, do 150 servings
meatballs- 1 pound per 5
fruit salad do fruit trays, keep better, look prettier and the leftovers are more usable- see fruit tray page

If this saves you time, trouble or money, please consider a donation to support the site.

Rebecca Jones
08/13/12
Wedding reception
I am planning my wedding reception for the end of October but I am at a total loss as to what to do for food. We can't afford catering and family and friends are going to be handling it...so I really want something quick and easy so they can enjoy the reception as well. I was thinking some type of a pasta bar where they could pick from 2 or 3 types of pasta and 2 or 3 different sauces...but I don't know. Do you think people will like that kind of thing? How can I keep the pasta warm without it sticking together? How much pasta would I need for maybe 150 people? I'd also like to do some type of salad bar and garlic bread. How much will I need. Any suggestions?
ellen
08/14/12
Consider a fiesta with a taco/nacho bar; sets up and holds much better than a pasta bar. If you do pasta, consider baked pastas- lasagna, shells, sausage bake- they hold much better than loose pasta.
millie
08/23/12
Menu for 105 ppl 20 children
Hello! I'm in desperate need of advice. My wedding is oct 13th. Family was suppose to pay for food. Just found out today thats not going to happen! Wedding is at 2p.m. at my church. We have a decent size fellowship hall. My husband to be wants an outside reception...dont know how we wld pull that off... What is the cheapest meal i could make to feed the allotted amount of guesta? My husband to be and I both are fairly handy in the kitchen!
ellen
08/24/12
Millie, a dessert reception rather than a meal would be a great choice and very appropriate at this time of day. It is also a good buy. Does this sound interesting to you? You could start baking now and have plenty by the time of the party.
millie
08/24/12
dessert?!
wow, never even thought a/b it! Sounds cute! Sweets for our loves! What should this consist of?
ellen
08/24/12
Check out the Viennese dessert buffet on the dessert planning page. Basically, you make a variety of small cookies and bars, including brownies and blondies and fruit bars, cut in small pieces of 1x2- the size of 2-3 bites. Most of these can be made ahead and frozen for weeks.

Maybe 2 kinds of little tarts- cheesecake bites and fruit or eclair/ cream puff- these are available frozen.

Use colorful aluminum trays or black, like a deli.

Add fruit trays and cheese and crackers, see the fruit tray page and have about 16 pounds of cheese per 100 with about 8 pounds of great creackers per 100.

6 pounds fancy mixed nuts per 100; maybe mints or custom M&M's in the bridal colors at the same amount.

You have dinner level coffee (see beverage planning page), maybe a white wine sangria or other alcoholic punch and a punch for the non-drinkers, seet the punch thread.

J. Armstrong
10/04/12
Hello, I am new to this site,appears as thought it is very informationly.I am feeding approx 200 people at a church affair.My menu consist of grilled chicken(12 whole chic. and two glazed bags of thighs (each bag contain 32 pieces ea.)12-slabs of pork ribs,beef hot dogs,48-turkey dogs,48-chicken dogd,86- wieners,36 good times hot links from costco,60-louisana hot links- louidana regular sausage,all grilled; baked beans,pasta salad, potatoe salad,mac and cheese, green beans-5# 10 cans using smoked turkey, wild rice,veg. trays,fruit salad,buns,cakes and cookies,peach cobblers, for beverage, lemonade w/ginger ale;assorted chips. " I need a simple recipesfor the pasta salad" my cost averaged out to be $2.00 per person, God is Good!!!!
ellen
10/04/12
There are a group of pasta recipes under the slaw/potato pasta recipes for 100 pages on this site. Do double.
corine
11/18/12
Hi Ellen, We are doing a church dinner for 200. We are going to serve Hawaiian Haystacks and dessert. How much rice and chicken gravy do we need? Thank-you so much.
ellen
11/19/12
Corinne, do a search using the custom search on this site for "Hawaiian Haystacks". Here are some points:

Gravy, 1/3 cup per person
4 ounces cooked ready to eat chicken per person

Per 100, rice and toppings:
14 cups, approximately of regular toppings (2 tablespoon servings), 16 of popular (almost 3 tablespoons).
Maybe 12 pounds of dry rice for large servings

You can use the taco bar page amounts for specifics on toppings.

Skyler
02/07/13
Hello Ellen, I'm planning my wedding and want to serve 2 pastas, chicken alfredo and a red sauce with meat pasta, that's to feed around 200 people. Also, a mixed salad and garlic bread. How much do you think it will cost to feed all my guests? As of right now I'm just looking for a price. Thanks.
ellen
02/07/13
Skyler, I can't do price estimates, as they vary from region to region and depend on the experience and resources of the shoppers, whether you need to hire staff or a commercial kitchen (usually required for a 200 person party), renting setup/chairs/tables/plates/ etc.

The simple way to price this is to get bids from local caterers or restaurants, and figure it will cost you around 2/3 of that amount, if the people managing have some experience with big parties. You would want to order red for about 140 and alfredo for 90; you have to have more when you have multiple chpices. You also need a vegetarian choice for about 20 people (One catering pan).

chef
03/21/13
how much spring vegtables would i need for a party of 250 people
Noe
03/21/13
Menu for 250 people
Aloha! I am planning a "get together" for 250 people here in Hawaii. I am trying to keep it simple..and do a BBQ. My menu so far consists of Korean Chicken, Char Siu Chicken,(Chicken is boneless thighs), meatballs, rice, potatoe salad & mixed green salads. There will be pupu's (appetizers) as well. How much of chicken & meatballs will I need? Do you think this is a good menu? Any suggestions? I was thinking of adding baked ham.
ellen
03/22/13
Noe,

Three Hawaiian specialties, are missing from the menu! Seafood, great fruits and no SPAM?

You need 2 1/2 of the deluxe fruit tray on the fruit tray page, substituting papaya and mango for some of the non-tropical fruits.

Spam sushi is very traditional island food and always makes great conversation. 2 pieces per person.

Korean Chicken, Char Siu Chicken,(Chicken is boneless thighs),
You need 1 pound raw meat per 4 total, no suggestion on how to divide it.
meatballs, 1 pound per 4-5
Instead of ham, what about a roast fish or pork dish? 1 pound raw per 5
rice, 8 pounds dry per 100
potato salad, 4 gallons per 100
mixed green salads, see the plan for 100 page

Add Hawaiian rolls and butter, 10 pounds bread, 3 pounds butter per 100.

If this saves you time trouble or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime a person, to support the site.

ellen
03/22/13
Chef, about 50 pounds ready to cook.
Casper
04/03/13
Hi, someone has asked to do a wedding catering for 170-200 people, 140 are meat eaters and about 50 vegans.
They are requesting chicken breast for the meat eaters and 3 other dishes, 1 vegan, 1 vegetable and 1 starch.
I was thinking, chicken marsala, roasted vegetable medley, penne pasta with an alfredo sauce with spinach and bell peppers and herb roasted potatoes.
Can you help me figure out, how many pounds chicken breast, I was calculating, is it about 40lbs? how many pounds pasta? potatoes?
More or less, what would be a reasonable price for a menu like this for the number of people they have, considering, the food will have to be delivered to the site since there is no commercial kitchen in the facility.
Would appreciate your input.
Thanking you in advance for your help in this inquiry.
ellen
04/05/13
Casper, starting a catering career with a wedding is dangerous. It is the MOST difficult catering job; it has to be "perfect" and the contracting customers are usually very keyed up.

First some cautions, you are liable and can be sued if anyone is sick or injured from your food, you need liability insurance; you can lose your house. Also, it is illegal to prepare food at home and sell it. It needs to be done in a licensed kitchen or at the site.

Second, you need 3 kitchen people and about 10-14 servers on site to set up, serve and clean up this party.

Third, I don't do prices. Post to the pro boards such as chef2chef.com or cheftalk.com.

chicken marsala, 55 pounds
roasted vegetable medley, everyone will have some, 45-50 pounds
penne pasta with an alfredo sauce with spinach and bell peppers, about 18 pounds dry pasta, 4-5 gallons sauce
herb roasted potatoes,45 pounds

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site.

Chase
04/09/13
Menu for 250 people
Feeding up to 25O people I need to know how many bags of meatballs to get, pork loins and briskets
ellejn
04/09/13
Need the whole menu, event, whether it is buffet.
Casper
04/10/13
Thanks ELLEN for your support and concern, actually, the only thing they requested was to food to be delivered and yes, we were planning to prepare it at the commercial kitchen of the reception site, a church. They have not gotten back to us whether they will be ordering the food from us as of yet. They will not need any servers since they are on a very tight budget, so in essence its the FOOD only they really need from us.
Can I just get liability insurance to cover me for future, what type of insurance is this called?
Yes, of course, if they get us, I would not mind donating to your site as a food consultant. I will update you on what they decide. Thank you again for your information. More power to you. Have a nice day!
ellen
04/10/13
Hi, Caspar, pretty good plan. Do cautuin them about the number of servers, etc. You can get single event liability insurance. You can also check with whoever handles your house insurance about liability insurance.
joni
04/25/13
need to know a receipe for cheesey potatoes, and how much of each item to feed 200 people. thank you
ellen
04/25/13
Recipe with quantity discussion is at the bottom of the brunch page.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/brunch100.html

Kalley Johnson
05/04/13
Hello Ellen, wedding party of 200. The menu grilled chicken, fried chicken, green beans, rice pilaf, salad. How much of everything will I need. Also a fruit display with cheese and crackers. and a ham carving station.
ellen
05/05/13
Kalley, use the plan for 100 pages to start an estimate, post it on a new thread and I will check it. Double for 200. See the fruit tray page for the fruit.

I would make 1 pound ready to eat ham per 4 persons plus 120 pieces each fried and grilled. chicken

lakeisha pope
05/13/13
This I my wedding reception menu can you please tell me what you think and how much chicken turkey and shrimp I would need and also what you think about the menu. WEDDING MENU

Hors d'oeuvres
Peel and eat shrimp w/cocktail
Chesse/crackers tray
Vegtable tray w/ranch

Main Course
Turkey
Ham Yellow rice
Macaroni& Cheese
Corn
Green beans
Rolls

ellen
05/13/13
Perfectly nice menu-

Hors d'oeuvres
Peel and eat shrimp w/cocktail, At least 1 pound per 5, shelled; tailless is good if there is no place to put the tails
1 cup cocktail sauce per 5
Cheese/crackers tray, 1 pound cheese per 10, 6 pounds crackers per 100
Vegetable tray w/ranch, use veggie tray page; but consider doing fruit trays instead, prettier and goes better with the cheese

Turkey
Ham
This classic mix is discussed in this article:
www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/planshop.html
You may want to go with breast or pre-sliced and reheated instead of whole turkey

Yellow rice- 8 pounds per 100
Macaroni& Cheese- 1 pound dry per 10-12 (1 9x13), 1 quart sauce approx for each pound

Corn- 22 pounds per 100
Green beans- 22 pounds per 100

Rolls- 2 per person unless very large
3 pounds butter per 100

Do read the wedding dinner article and get plenty of help.

Kim
05/17/13
Menu for 60
I'm planning a Weeding BBQ menu for 60 guests and need to confirm the following quanties are correct and if the menu choices are ok:

Dinner:

Pulled Pork(cooked): 20 pounds
Sandwich Rolls (small sammies): 10 dozen
Baked Chicken: 120 pieces
Ribs: 30 slabs
Baked Pasta: 2 X-Large Trays
Potato Salad: 10 pounds potatoes
Pasta Salad: 5 pounds dry pasta
Coleslaw: 4-5 ponds of cabage
Baked Beans: 1 1/2 gallons
Bread Sticks: 10 dozen

Appetizers:

Cheese/Cracker Tray
Vegetable Tray
Fruit Tray

ellen
05/17/13
Menu is fine, too much meat, a bit short in salads/veggies:.

Pulled Pork(cooked): 20 pounds
Sandwich Rolls (small sammies): 1.5 small per person
Baked Chicken: 60 plenty pieces
Ribs: 2 full ribs per person only. Have some bbq sauce for the table (1 cup per 5-6) slabs
Baked Pasta: 2 X-Large Trays OK, none left
Potato Salad: 10 pounds potatoes- go at least 15, I would probably do 20
Pasta Salad: 5 pounds dry pasta- 4 plenty
Coleslaw: 4-5 ponds of cabbage- do at least 10
Baked Beans: 1 1/2 gallons
Bread Sticks: 10 dozen only 6 pounds

If this saves you time trouble or many, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site.

Jennifer
05/31/13
I need to know how many pounds of chicken strips I should buy for a salad bar to serve 200. We will be cutting the strips up.
ellen
05/31/13
It depends on what other meat toppings are available. At least 1 pound boneless skinless raw per 6.
Jennifer
05/31/13
Thank you! We will have chicken salad and ham for sandwiches on rolls, but the chicken strips are the only meat topping for the salad bar. The salad and sandwiches are the main food besides fruit and dessert. I wanted to purchase strips from our deli already fried, but I didn't know how many pounds to purchase.
ellen
05/31/13
Allow 2 ounces per person cooked, plus a bit for fudge factor.
Jennifer
05/31/13
Thanks!
Melanie J.
06/23/13
Menu for 250 people
I am planning my own wedding. I plan to cater it also. I'm inviting 200 but thought it would be good to cook extra. It's an italian menu:

Caesar Salad
Stuffed beef rolls in Tomato Sauce (stuffed with Italian breadcrumb mixture and Mozzarella)
Skinless/Boneless Italian Chicken Thighs
Pasta tossed with vegetable medley butter sauce
Yeast Rolls with Garlic Butter

Any suggestions on quantities to purchase? Thank you in advance

ellen
06/23/13
Hi, Melanie,

A party this size requires at least 4-5 people in the kitchen day of, about 15 people to set up, serve, and clean up. These folks cannot be members of the wedding party- see my article on the wedding dinner for some discussion why, and also other guidance. The usual pay is $150 per kitchen person and $100 per front person for about 4 hours. This is not including the shopping and prep time before the day of.

Your menu is perfectly OK, but you need 2 to 3 appetizer serving areas and here is why:

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; add an Italian flavor with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Now, your dinner:
Caesar Salad- use the guide for 100 on the plan for 100 page
Stuffed beef rolls in Tomato Sauce (stuffed with Italian breadcrumb mixture and Mozzarella)- usual, 2 rolls per person unless they are very small or very large PLUS
Skinless/Boneless Italian Chicken Thighs- 1 pound per 5
Pasta- about 18 pounds per 100
tossed with vegetable medley - 18 pounds per 100
butter sauce- 1 cup per pound pasta
Yeast Rolls- 2 per person
Garlic Butter- 1 cup per 10

I would definitely add a vegetable- could be roasted veggies, eggplant, summer squash, broccoli...

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site.

Camden Oltjenbruns
06/27/13
Menu for 1,700,00 people
I know it sounds crazy but I am going to an African country and will be supplying food. I will be making shredded beef sandwiches and I was wondering how many pound of meat I will need. I am serving food to everyone in the whole country!!!!! PLEASE HELP!
Camden Oltjenbruns
06/27/13
Menu for 1,700,00
I'm sorry I meant 1,700,00 people
ellen
06/27/13
Camden, if this is for real, email me at the contact link at the bottom of the page.
sharon
07/30/13
I am doing the catering for daughter's wedding. 200 people, wedding at 5pm. Thinking jambalaya, green bean bundles (using canned or frozen whole beans), rolls, fruit and veggie trays w/dips for the buffet line. Saw your jambalaya recipe, but wondered about a green bean recipe. Do you have one for 200 folks? Budget is my biggest concern and we thought this would be very budget friendly and easy. Ideas are always appreciated!
ellen
07/30/13
Sounds like you are on your way, but I want to suggest some tweaks.

First, you will need to recruit at least 15 sensible people, NOT members of the wedding party, to set up, serve and clean up this size party; you cannot do it the day of, and neither can the bride, if you want to be mother-of-the-bride and not kitchen manager.

Second, you need an appetizer arrangement and here is why:

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

In your case, deviled eggs would be a traditional addition.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch (6-8 gallons per 100), or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray (see fruit tray page), a cheese and cracker/bread tray (10 pounds cheese, including logs and spread for eah 100, 6 pounds crackers for each 100) and an attractive dip or spread (1 cup per 6-8 plus 1 pound chips per 12); or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

Now on to the dinner:

Jambalaya is a fine entree, but you also need to plan for the folks (vegetarians, low carb folks, non-pork eaters) who will surely be present among 200 guests. You could add 2 recipes of this vegetarian jambalaya as an entree offering:

www.food.com/recipe/creole-style-vegetarian-jambalaya-40821

If you are going to go Cajun, you need to add at least crusty French bread, (12 pounds per 100) and crisp green salad (see the salad section of the plan for 100 page). Platters of ripe, sliced tomatoes (about 10 pounds per 100) would be very handsome with this meal and add needed color. Dollops of mayo and chopped basil or parsley to garnish.

You do not want to get into the green bean bundle business for 200 people. Two vegetables would be great, but how about something like creamed corn or smothered cabbage and a green bean casserole like ellen's better green bean casserole on the top of the Big Pots page? You would do 3 times the recipe.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider donating a dime per guest to support this site, and laissez le bon temps roulez!

Peggy
07/31/13
I am having an Oktoberfest party and would like to serve the following menu.
Roast pork & gravy
oven fried chicken
bratwurst & sauerkraut
potato pancakes
potato salad
mixed vegetables
coleslaw
For dessert I am buying black forest cake and apple pie maybe some pretzels
Could you give me an idea on how much to buy.
thanks
ellen
07/31/13
Assuming 200 people

Roast pork & gravy- 40 pounds per 100 raw, 1 quart gravy per 15
oven fried chicken- 1 piece per person
bratwurst & sauerkraut- 1 pound per 4-6, 1/4 cup kraut per person

potato pancakes- 2 per person, and 1 #10 can applesauce per 25-30

potato salad- 4 gallons per 100

mixed vegetables- 22 pounds per 100

coleslaw- 3 gallons per 100

black forest cake and apple pie- each cake serves 12. each pie, 6
pretzels- 4 pounds per 100

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider donating a dime per guest to support this site.

Danielle
08/13/13
How many meatballs and party wings for 200 ppl at a wedding?
Danielle
08/13/13
It's my mothers wedding. Baked, BBQ, and Fried chicken. Greens and meatballs?
ellen
08/13/13
Danielle, for appetizers, 10 pounds 1/2 ounce meatballs per 100 plus 4 pieces wings per person. Is that what you wanted?
yyet
08/29/13
i am cooking menudo for 200 person...
how many kilos of pork do i need?
ellen
08/30/13
You posted twice, see the other one.
yyet
08/30/13
i cant find your answer..

i am cooking menudo for 200 person...
how many kilos of pork do i need?

thank you..=)

ellen
08/30/13
ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/43534.html
Sheila
08/31/13
Hi, I'm planning a wedding for 190 people. I'm serving Costco lasagna, Olive Garden bread sticks and tossed salad. How much salad do I need and what is a good simple recipe?
ellen
09/01/13
On the plan for 100 page, there is a guide for several different green salads at the top of the page. Make 2 times the amount for 200, or do 3 different ones.

Be sure some of the lasagna is vegetarian, or you non-meating guests won't have anything to eat.

You also need an appetizer plan for 2 areas, with punch. See the discussion above with Sharon, dated 7/30.

raine
09/05/13
Menu for 300 people
I'll be hosting a party and i need to feed around 250 adults. How many kilos of rice, pork and beef i should buy? i dont have a certain menu plan i just want to estimate the kilos i needed. pls help me out! thanks :)
ellen
09/05/13
OK, I do pounds, you can translate.

In the USA, if you have beef and pork, about 3/5 will take beef and 2/5 pork. I don't know if that holds where you are cooking.

In the USA, I allow 1 pound raw meat for each 2 guests. In most of the world, 1 pound for each 3 guests makes plenty. One pound for 4 might be enough, if all the dishes are vegetable-meat mixes.

Rice is usually a serious part of the meal, I allow 12 pounds per 100- I would only use 8 if it were a side dish.

I hope this helps.

Tara
09/09/13
I am helping a friend who is getting married with catering the event. She is estimating 200 guests. The menu consists of baked chicken (bone-in legs and thighs), glazed ham (boneless, sliced), glazed baby carrots, green beans, roasted red potatoes, rice, gravy, garden salad and rolls. The dinner is not going to be served to the table, it will be buffet-style but controlled servings. How much food should I purchase for each item to accommodate the number of guests?
ellen
09/09/13
To produce and serve this meal day of requires 3 to 4 serving lines, at least 3 people in the kitchen and at least a dozen servers to set up, serve and clean up; none of the kitchen or set up people can be part of the wedding party.

In addition, you need to add an appetizer plan and here is why:

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

Now, dinner

baked chicken (bone-in legs and thighs), 160 quarters, cut some into 2 pieces at serving
glazed ham (boneless, sliced), 40 pounds

glazed baby carrots, 40 pounds
green beans, 44 pounds

roasted red potatoes, 65 pounds
rice, 10 pounds, suggest a baked pilaf
gravy, 3 1/2 gallons

garden salad, use plan for 100 table, make double

rolls, 12-15 pounds per 100, 5 pounds butter

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider donating a dime per guest to support this site. Thanks.

amar
09/10/13
i am catering for my local nursery school with 200 hungry boys and girls on a weekly basis
on the menu i want to give them a variety of pastas and also a variety of health sandwiches but am not sure on what quantity of pasta is to be cooked
pasta varieties
chicken
tuna
itallian
vegeterian

sandwiches varities
chicken
egg
cheese
ham
salad
vegeterian
please can you help me with the quantities required to feed 200 hungry little boys and girls
thank you very much
amar

ellen
09/10/13
Even though hungry, these little guys eat just half what an adult would, so enough for 100 adults is enough for 200 5 year olds. For example, in the basic budget entrees, the amount of baked spaghetti for 100 would be just about right for the kids.
The only thing to watch out for is, be sure to count the adults who will also be eating, for example if there are 20, you would need 20% or 1/5 more.
Pastas such as bow ties, rotini, and radiatore that stay on the fork or spoon and don't tend to drip are a good choice. You can get fortified flour, that's preferred, and do try the multi-color veggie pastas.
As for the sandwiches, kids have very definite preferences, and they don't prefer salad sandwiches as a rule, whether veggie or chicken/tuna. Favorite vegetarian is peanut butter, usually preferred with jelly.
Cut sandwiches into 3 or 4 fingers, squares or triangles for easier eating, or do little slider buns.
Every meal needs a calcium source, usually either milk or cheese, and a bit of veg; tiny finger salads with ranch dip are very popular; and a bit of fruit. You want to offer about 400 calories.
Here are some useful links:

www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/school-food

www.opt-osfns.org/schoolfood/schoolfood/MenusDailyDisplay.aspx

www.schoolfoodplan.com/plan/

www.fns.usda.gov/slp

I am very interested in this area of food. Feel free to start a new thread labeled "school food" if you have more questions.

William
09/23/13
I am helping my church with a fund raiser. They would like me to BBQ (smoke) brisket and sausage for 400 people. I don't know how much of each item I should purchase.
ellen
09/23/13
William, Normally I would suggest 1 pound raw brisket for each 2 and 1 pound raw sausage per 4. If you are serving the plates, not self serve, you can reduce 10%. I know this seems like a lot, but because of the shrinkage you will only have about 4-5 ounces brisket and 3 ounces sausage.

If you are doing a smaller portion, you can cut another 10%.

lettie
09/29/13
Hi
I am making chicken enchildas for 200 how many pounds ofchicken breast do I need
ellen
09/29/13
1 pound raw per 4- about 50 pounds
natalie
10/01/13
Hi Ellen! Can the buffet quantities you have for 100 be double for 200 or would that be wrong?
ellen
10/01/13
Natalie, that is what they are for. The only change is, after you get to 400, you decrease 10% due to savings for quantity service.
Deniece White
11/01/13
I am getting married and I am having 300 guests

I need to know how much of each item I will need to purchase in order to feed this amount of people

Chicken (Breast wing thighs drumstick)
Roast Beef
green beans
boiled potatoes
corn
macaroni and cheese

ellen
11/01/13
Deniece, is this catered/drop-off or are you planning to cook it yourself? Write back.

Day of, this size party needs 4-5 people in the kitchen and 15-20 people out front to set up serve, and clean up the party, not members of the wedding party.

Also, you need to plan for two appetizer areas, here is why:

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Deniece White
11/01/13
My family and I are planning on cooking ourselves. I plan on doing a fruit and cheese table for appetizers but hadnt thought of any dips. So because I am having 300 people are you saying have 3 appetizer service areas?
ellen
11/01/13
Yes, 3 areas- just think about 100 people clustering around the table.

Chicken (Breast wing thighs drumstick)- suggest you consider doing one of the wedding chickens on the Big Pots page- can be made ahead and hold better, easier to eat. You need 1150 servings
Roast Beef- 100 pounds raw boneless beef
green beans- 68-70 pounds ready to cook or 14 #10 cans
corn- same as green beans

boiled potatoes - 80 pounds

macaroni and cheese - 25 pounds dry pasta, 1/2-1 pound cheese per pound, 1 quart sauce per pound

You need 36-40 pounds of bread or rolls and 8-9 pounds of butter.

Appetizers

Fruit trays- do for 200, dip on the fruit tray page
Vegetables- follow the veggie tray page, about 2 ounces per person, dip as described on the veggie tray page
Chips and dip- 1 pound per 15, 1 pint dip per pound
Cheese and crackers, 8 pounds cheese, some can be logs or balls plus 6 pounds crackers per 100
Add lemonade or punch, 8 gallons per 100

If this saves you time, trouble. or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site.

ellen
11/01/13
That chicken was supposed to be 150 people. If you do pieces, use the plan for 100 table and do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100.
Kar
11/08/13
Anniversary party for 200+, 2pm-6pm. Having pasta salad, broccoli salad, rolls (240), meat tray (28lbs), cheese tray (14lbs). Is this enough or should I add another salad or baked beans?
ellen
11/08/13
Kar, this looks way short to me.

200+

pasta salad, start with 12-14 pounds dry pasta
broccoli salad, 5-6 gallons
rolls (240), suggest you get slider style, 2 per person

meat tray (28lbs), barely 200- add more if you really expect over 200

cheese tray (14lbs), same as with the meat

Add sandwich condiments for 200, see the sandwich page

I would definitely add fruit trays, see the fruit tray page.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site.

ellen
11/08/13
By the way, you can easily add some dips- say 3 different, 1 cup per 5 of each, plus chips, 1 pound per 12. Also, I would suggest crackers, about 12 pounds.
vern
11/13/13
How much cranberry sauce is needed to feed 200
ellen
11/13/13
I allow 1 can per 6-8 and offer half whole cranberry and half jelly.
Danuel
11/14/13
We are hosting a banquest for our little league footbal team. The menu is as follows: chicken - legs, thighs, and breast. For sides mashed potatoes and green beans. 2pieces of chicken per person about how many pounds would we need? Thanks in advance!
ellen
11/14/13
Hi, Danuel,
Chicken pieces vary a great deal in terms of weight, because of the differences in how they are cut. For example, leg quarters have some backbone on the thigh, while thighs cut individually don't, so they weigh differently, but both count the same for eating.
So there is a table in the plan for 100 table that carefully identifies weights for all the different cuts, for 100 people.

You don't specify the number of people. In the USA, white meat is preferred about 2 to 1, the opposite is true in most of the rest of the world. Because this is a younger crowd, you could go 50/50- if the budget is very tight, even all leg quarters is possible.

If this helps, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Danuel
11/14/13
Thanks so much for your fast response. A dime per guest is doable :)How would I measure the sides?
ellen
11/14/13
The plan for 100 table has basic amounts for all kinds of sides, and with this group, I would do a starch and 2 other sides such as veggies, beans etc; plus a salad if there are quite a few adults, or even more popular, fruit trays, see the fruit tray page. Beverage page covers beverages and set ups (plates, glasses, etc.)There are many recipes for 100 on this site, you just multiply by the necessary amount or fraction.
Wendy
11/17/13
How many pounds of egg noodles do I need for 200 people?
ellen
11/18/13
Depends on what they are used for, this is in a table at the top of the spaghetti page- if it doesn't answer your question, write back.
Ken
11/21/13
menudo
how many pounds of menudo to feed 10 people
ellen
11/21/13
A pound each is about 2 cups, a large bowl, but that is how menudo is usually served. Don't omit chopped onion, chopped cilantro and plenty of lime wedges when you serve.
amy
11/23/13
I am doing a Mexican bar for my wedding for 200. chicken, steak, and beef with all the fixings to make nachos, burritos, or tacos. I have no idea how much of everything I need. advice?
ellen
11/23/13
Do an appetizer bar with fruit trays, and 2 other appetizers, Texas caviar and guacamole, maybe queso, here are recipes:
www.rd.com/slideshows/10-perfect-mexican-appetizer-recipes
And here is why:
"A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests. "

A party this size takes about 3 people in the kitchen, 12 out front to set up, serve, and clean up, and these can't be part of the wedding since they will be working during the service.

Now to the food.

You need to go to the taco/potato bar page, which has clear, detailed amounts for a fiesta bar for 100, and double it. You will also want to serve rice and beans.

After you look it over, feel free to write back if any more questions.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site. Thanks.

Ernest Lewis II
11/23/13
I am hosting a catering event and want to know the quantities to purchase I have enough for 200 guests

Cucumber Breeze Salad ( Cucumber, Tomato, Red Onion and Bell Pepper)

Mango Chicken Salad (Canned Chicken, Frozen Mango, Celery and Almonds)

Teriyaki Swedish Meatballs (Ground Beef, Pineapples, Teriyaki Sauce)

Orange Glzed Pork Shanks ( Pork Shanks, Honey, Organges and Cherries)

Seasoned Rice (Saffron Yellow Rice, Chicken Broth, Frozen Spinach)

Ashley
12/03/13
Menu for 225 people
Hi! I'm planning my wedding reception for 225 at 7pm. I'm thinking all apps. Here's what I have:
meat and cheese plates, with strawberries candied walnuts and bread
smoked salmon
shrimp
boneless chicken wings
bruschetta
veggie tray
fruit tray
tortilla rolls
mini sandwiches - deli meat/cheese

I have no idea how much to plan for of each appetizer. I know 12-15 pieces per person, but I don't know what defines a piece - like how many shrimp is one piece? or how many veggies? I would so appreciate any help! Thank you so much.

ellen
12/03/13
Ashley, this will be expensive, because people will not eat before the ceremony, so they will eat a dinner's worth of food, about 1- 1 1/2 pounds. You are not talking 12-15 pieces, more like double that.

ARe you trying to avoid any hot foods?

Will people be sitting at a able to eat?

Write back.

ellen
12/03/13
Hi, Ernest, I am sorry I missed yours earlier- it's why I ask people to start a new thread. Do you still need this info?
Ashley
12/03/13
Thanks for your quick reply! We are trying to limit hot food because of limited kitchen space at our reception venue. There will be a mix of tall tables for standing and chairs at tables.
Yvonne Macias
12/11/13
I'm making Chicken Fajitas for 200 people with red spanish rice and pinto beans.. Can you please tell me how much chicken ,rice and beans to purcahse?? Cocina Love Catering (Yvonne)
ellen
12/11/13
Yvonne, see the fajita article and the plan for 100 pages.
Janeye
12/30/13
I'm doing a build your own burrito bar, taco bar and quesadillas! I'm struggling trying to get a grocery list I have the meat and rice and beans taken care of but the lettuce, cheese etc I'm struggling! Can you help?
ellen
12/30/13
Go to the taco bar page and find everything You need about toppings per 100.

ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

maria
01/08/14
Menu for 250 people
Were making my son a party and he wants chicken Alfredo I need to find out how much of chicken,fettuccine and how much sauce ,and how much salad I needed for 250 people can u please help me
ELLEN
01/08/14
Hi, your husband just posted the same question, check it out.
Dee
01/09/14
Graduation party for 150. Here is menu I am thinking about. Just don't know how much to make. Meats-lemon chicken, sausage and peppers, and pulled pork. Salads-pasta, rice spinach, fruit salad, cheese tortellini, Carolina slaw and a blueberry/pineapple jello. How do you determine beverages amounts. Weather in the 80s at the time of the year.
GiGi
01/16/14
Wedding, meal for 200. Was thinking pork loin roast and marinated turkey tenderloins. Not sure what veggies would be good (and inexpensive) and what apps to try. NC crowd. Would love a chip table for apps, with lots of ideas for dips. Will have access to a kitchen and a crew and am thinking a buffet type line, with servers. Meal will be around 6:00 pm.
ellen
01/17/14
Dee, graduation, 150, people this age are heavy eaters

Meats-
lemon chicken, 1 piece per person
sausage and peppers, 1 pound per 5 people sausage, equal weight veggies
pulled pork, 1bout 25-30 pounds

Rolls- 2 medium per person
table sauce- 1 cup per 5
onions- 7 pounds per 100
pickles- 1 gallon per 100

Salads-
pasta, 6 pounds dry pasta per 100
rice spinach, 6 pounds dry rice per 100
cheese tortellini, 15 pounds per 100
Carolina slaw, 4 gallons
blueberry/pineapple jello, 2 1/2 gallons per 100

fruit salad, I would convert these to fruit trays, see the fruit tray page; easier to serve, keep better, easier to eat

Beverage page will give you full guidance on the beverages.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site. Thanks.

vickie
01/18/14
feeding 200 people bbq's using 1/3 cup per bun. how much ground beef will I need? it is the medium lean beef.
I will increase amount of pounds as some adults may take 3. this is for a scouting event and left overs will NOT be a problem as the boys will have no problem cleaning up extra. I just need a ball park on pounds to buy.
Nest Catering
02/01/14
I am catering a wedding reception for 200 ppl. This is the menu: Pork Tenderloin, Chicken Fingers, Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potato Bar,
Green Beans, Caesar Salad, Roll. When serving these two particular meats I am at a loss as to how to calculate what I would need of each. Any suggestions? BTW, your website is an invaluable tool for me! I use it often.
ellen
02/01/14
OK, I usually don't do pros; consults are $50 per hour for this type work. However, it is a pleasant Saturday AM, so here is the deal;

For party-size expectations, I do 1 pound raw #1 per 2 PLUS 1 pound raw #2 per 4 (or 1 piece bone-in chicken per person).

If you use this, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, for when you use the tips, to help me pay for the site. Thank you.

Amy
02/16/14
Menu for 150 people
I am planning my daughter's wedding reception for 150 people. It will be around 2:00 in the afternoon and we were thinking of doing just appitizers and deserts. Because we are doing everything for the wedding, I need as much prepared ahead of time as possible. I will not have access to a stove at the event site but will have crock-pots and microwaves. Can you help with amounts needed? Here is the menu we were thinking of:
Ham sandwiches (pre-made)
BBQ meatballs
fresh veggis with dip
fresh fruit
tortilla pinwheels
queso with chips
wedding cake
Popcorn (regular and carmel)
cream puffs
cookies (2 different kinds)
nuts/mints

drinks: water, punch, sweet and unsweet tea

ellen
02/17/14
Hi, Amy,

This is a perfectly OK menu for a mid-afternoon reception. I would add hummus or another vegetarian protein dip or else a cheese platter for the non-meat eaters.

Ham sandwiches (pre-made)2 pieces per person
BBQ meatballs- 10 pounds per 100, 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds
tortilla pinwheels- 3-4 pieces per person

fresh veggies with dip- consider a classic relish tray and veggie tray for 75; see the veggie tray page
fresh fruit- use the fruit tray page- the deluxe tray for 100 would be enough

queso- about 3 gallons
chips- 1 pound per 12
If you add hummus, you would do about 2 1/2 gallons, of each queso and hummus, and add about 8 pounds of pita

wedding cake- because wedding cake per serving is so expensive, many do a wedding cake for 2/3 and a grooms cake for 1/3 (regular, can be chocolate)
Popcorn (regular and caramel)- this is tough- 6 pounds unpopped per 100 is what we use for movie nights- if pre-popped, maybe 1 cup per person...
cream puffs- get mini, 1 1/2 per person
cookies (2 different kinds)- one of each per person

nuts- 6 pounds per 100
mints- 4 pounds per 100

drinks:
water, 2 bottles per person
punch, about 8 gallons
sweet and unsweet tea, about 12 gallons, 1/3 unsweet

Add dinner level coffee for the adults, see the beverage planning page

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime or quarter per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

ellen
02/17/14
Amy, don't forget the ice, about 1/2 pound per person
Mitzi
02/28/14
Menu for 150 people
I am working on a cubscout banquet. WE are feeding them chicken tenders, baked beans, potato salad and an ice cream bar.
How many chicken tenders or pounds of chicken tenders for 150 people?
Any suggestions on the ice cream?
ellen
02/28/14
There is a complete guide for a sundae bar on this site- see the buttons at the top of the cook talk page for the link.

Allow 1 pound raw tenders for each 3 people. Please consider adding either veggies/salad or fruit to the meal, use the plan for 100 page or the fruit tray page for help on amounts.

Pam Waite
03/04/14
Hi Ellen, I am planning on serving pulled pork sliders for my son's wedding but I'm not sure how much meat I will need
ellen
03/05/14
You want to plan 2 per female and 3 per male, and a pound ready to serve makes about 6-7.

Don't forget the sliced onions, slaw and pickles and consider adding some extra side dishes, corn and black bean salsa, texas caviar, etc, to increase the festivity level of your menu.

Riki
03/05/14
Menu for 200 children
At my daughters school they have beans and rice for Good Fridays. I wanted to make Spanish rice for the kids but I have no idea how many pounds of rice to make.
ellen
03/05/14
Great idea. Kids, it depends what age, so write back and tell me the grades. Basically, under 4th grade, they eat 1/2 what adults do, so any of my rice recipes for 100 would work; but you do have to add in the adults/ staff at full portions.
Ashonti
03/10/14
Menu for 200 people.. Well a little more 300
Hello!

I was asked to provide food for a local aids walk for about 300.. Do you have any suggestions for a good recipe and how much I would need food I would need to serve efficiently outside? Thank You!

ellen
03/10/14
Big burritos, either hot (held in pre-heated ice chests) or cold as wraps, are an excellent choice. Very portable, easier to eat than a regular sadnwich. You need some vegetarian for 300- maybe 25-30. Cheese, fried tofu, etc.

Add a cookie and either a fruit bag or a veggie bag, and you have a pretty good lunch.

How does that sound?

Ashonti
03/12/14
Burritos sound amazing!! Sounds a lot simpler than pasta... Also So will 300 burritos be enough? 1 burrito for each person...

And some vegetarian dishes to feed about 25-30 people? Am I reading that right?

The fruit and veggie tray sound great. I'm thinking of adding a small simple dessert bar.

I'll be serving insideat a school so I plan on setting up stations and serving in lines.

This is much better, I'm ditching the pasta idea lol.

ellen
03/12/14
Yep, you got it. Add about 20 extra in case of staff and/or starvation.
ashONTi
03/12/14
Ok awesome!

So for a family reunion.. Party of 150 ppm about half adults and half kids...

The menu is posted below i'm just not sure how much of everything I truly need.

I appreciate the help so far and am grateful. How much is an appropriate donation to leave?

Sherry
03/13/14
Ellen, Looked through hoping to find without asking but a benefit with 200 or more. Making shredded chicken sandwiches with the can deboned chicken how much chicken and chicken soup will it take? ( I make mine with can chicken, chix soup, and bread crumbs) so like a roaster size? Also having hot dogs, sloppy joes, pasta salad, macaroni salad, and desserts. By the way love your site.
ellen
03/13/14
Ashonti, your message posted without the menu.
ellen
03/13/14
Sherry, the split among hot dogs, sloppy joes, and chicken depends upon the age and mix of the crowd. Tell me more.
Sherry
03/14/14
Ellen, It will be all ages and they have a big family just a rough idea on how much chicken for a roaster well like 1/2 a roaster :) I know this probably don't help much but just an idea is better then what I have. I normally only make it in a crock pot.
ellen
03/14/14
Rough estimate! about 20 pounds of chicken meat will make one roaster, that is 40 pounds whole bone-in chicken. More than that and it does not cook through or reheat evenly.
Sherry
03/15/14
Thanks so much for the help. Much Appreciated and Love your site
Diane
03/24/14
how much hamburger do i need for 200 orders of spa.
ellen
03/24/14
about 60 pounds really meaty.
Judy
03/25/14
How many 3 lb bags of potato chips do i need for 200 servings?
ellen
03/25/14
Approximately 1 pound per 12-15, depends on whether it is self serve (more)or you serve.
Connie
03/26/14
How many pounds of chicken to feed 200 people chicken tenders?
ellen
03/26/14
Main course, same as boneless breast, see the plan for 100 list.
Toya
03/28/14
Hello,

I am getting married this year and to cut out on cost I have decided to prep and cook everything for the wedding. I want to do something light and not time consuming.If I have 200 guest how much do I need to buy for the following list:

Chicken Breast Strips
Penne Pasta
Garden Salad(prepackaged lettuce)with tomatoes, cheese and bacon bits.
Ranch and thousand Island Dressing
Hawaiian Rolls

Thanks so much!!!!!!

ellen
03/31/14
Hi, Toya,

This is a VERY bi undertaking; a party this size needs at least 4 people in the kitchen day of and about 12 people to set up, serve and clean up, especially if they are not pros. These folks can't attend the wedding, they will be working.

Also, you need an appetizer plan, and here is why:

A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch (8 gallons per 100), or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

In addition, you need an entree choice for the vegetarians among the guests, with 200 guests, there will be some.

Chicken Breast Strips- do a premade chicken dish such as the Orange Dijon Chicken or the Chicken Marsala on this site; make ahead and freeze.
Penne Pasta- rice pilaf or potatoes both hold better and are less work day of.

Garden Salad(prepackaged lettuce)with tomatoes, cheese and bacon bits.
Ranch and thousand Island Dressing
Amounts covered on the plan for 100 page

Hawaiian Rolls- 2 per person, 2-3 pounds butter per 100

Think about this and write back. Do read the wedding dinner article if you haven't already.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per uest, to support this site. Thanks.

toya
04/01/14
Thanks so much this really helps. I will definitely have staff for the kitchen only and will think about everything and get back to you. Please let me know where I can go and donate because this site has been helpful!!!!
ellen
04/01/14
Thanks. You can use the Paypal button upper left. Even if you don't have a regular Paypal account, they do E-checks.
Beth
04/21/14
300 guests at grad party
Hi Ellen,
I'm planning a grad party for my son where he wants a white queso cheese fountain and nacho fixings. I think I have handle on meat and veggies and such, I'm just not sure how much cheese to have on hand! I'm considering both the white queso (from a restaurant) and some cheddar/nacho cheese from Sams. I'm wondering how many ounces per person you recommend.
Thanks!! :)
ellen
04/21/14
For 300 people, 8 #10 cans nacho cheese. You can't put queso, with chunks, in a fountain.
Carol
04/26/14
We are having a Spaghetti dinner for 200. I plan on using the 6 lb cans of sauce. Can u tell me how much I would need and how many pounds of noodles I will need . tks
ellen
04/26/14
Carol, look at the pasta dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page. It serves 50 buffet style, 60 if you serve the plates, and tells how much you need of everything.
Jill
05/02/14
Help,
We are planning a stag and doe and we are hoping to get 200-300 people to attend. Our menu plan is
Sloppy Joes
Roast Pig
Hot Dogs
Baked Beans
Pasta Salad
Macaroni Salad
Potato Salad
Tossed House style Salad
and Corn Bread muffins.
Please help me figure out how many of each I should prepare as to not have a ton of food left over. Our Party is June 7th and I've started having anxiety about running out of food.
ellen
05/04/14
The amount of meat here depends on the size of the pig.

Roast pig- each 2 pounds whole feeds 3 people
Sloppy Joes- roaster recipe on this site do 1 or 20 roasters (50 or 100)
Hot Dogs- 1 per each 2
You need 12 pounds bread or rolls per 100
SANDWICH CONDIMENTS, RELISH, ONIONS, see the sandwich plan.

Baked Beans- 3 gallons per 100

Pasta Salad
Macaroni Salad
- 6 pounds dry pasta per 100; you decide the split

Potato Salad- 45 pounds potatoes per 100

Tossed House style Salad- use the plan for 100 table, do 2 or 3 times the amount

Corn Bread muffins- 2 per person

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest to support this site.

Kelli
05/28/14
What would be the most economical chicken salad sandwich I could get/make for a wedding? Or any kind of sandwich for that matter :) I have 200+ people. And I'm on a tight budget. Thanks for your help!
Nzingu
05/29/14
Help,
We are planning a wedding reception for 250. The wedding will be at 1:00 so we will probably be eating around 2:30. Our menu plan is:
Thai Chopped Chicken Salad
Summer Mixed Green Salad (for non-meat eaters)
Pork Tenderloin Medallions
Rolls with butter spreads
Fresh Fruit grapes, pineapples, strawberries & canteloupe
Cheese Assortment
Crackers
Fresh Vegetables

Thanks for your help.

ellen
05/30/14
Kelli, you would use thigh meat for the sandwiches, not breast. Slider size rolls, 1 dozen per 5 people. Lots of very finely chopped celery- equal volume to the chicken, equal volume mayo, 1/2 volume chopped parsley. You would want to do an assortment of sandwiches for lower cost. Read the sandwich pages for more ideas.
Meher
06/02/14
Menu for 175 people
Dear Ellen,

I would highly appreciate if you can provide me with the measurements for the following 3 dishes for serving 175 people.

Lamb curry & rice

Onions
potatoes
tomatoes
chilli powder
turmeric powder
ginger garlic paste
pounded mix spices
coriander leaves
green chillies
salt
Rice

Cut beans with lamb
lamb
Cut beans
tomatoes
potatoes
salt
ginger garlic paste
chilli powder
turmeric powder

Eggs on tomato

Eggs
tomatoes
brown sugar/sugar
vinegar
onions
coriander leaves
green chillies
salt

Sincerely,
Meher Khandhadia

ellen
06/07/14
Assuming you will be serving all 3 at the same time.

Plan 50 pounds lamb, divide between the 2 lamb recipes, probably 30 curry, 20 with beans. 17 dozen eggs. You will do the rest according to the particular recipes for these dishes that you use, by adjusting for the weight.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site.

Gina
06/08/14
I am requested to prepare this menu for 250 people how much do I need to purchase:

How many pounds of chicken? Jerk Chicken (combination white and dark meat)
How many pounds of tilapia? Parmesan Tilapia
How much rice? Lime Cilantro Rice
How much pasta? Spicy Asian Pasta Salad
How much corn and beans? Corn and Black Bean Salsa

This will be a buffet type meal

ellen
06/08/14
How many pounds of chicken? Jerk Chicken (combination white and dark meat)- 2 pieces per person, 1 whole chicken per 4
How many pounds of tilapia? Parmesan Tilapia-1 pound raw per 5-6
How much rice? Lime Cilantro Rice- 10 pounds dry rice per 100
How much pasta? Spicy Asian Pasta Salad- 6 pounds dry pasta per 100 plus add-ins
How much corn and beans? Corn and Black Bean Salsa- You want to end up with 8-9 gallons, I don't know how your recipe divides.

If this is a paying gig, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

Debbie
06/08/14
Menu for 250 people
Serving meatballs, mini quiche, spinach/artichoke dip, veggie trays,cheese and frut and possibly small twice baked red potatoes. There will also be cake, tea, and lemonade served. The reception will only be from 2-4pm. Really trying to keep it as cost effective as possible. At a loss as to how much we should prepare.
Debbie
06/08/14
Menu for 250 people
Serving meatballs, mini quiche, spinach/artichoke dip, veggie trays,cheese and frut and possibly small twice baked red potatoes. There will also be cake, tea, and lemonade served. The reception will only be from 2-4pm. Really trying to keep it as cost effective as possible. At a loss as to how much we should prepare.
Lynn
06/09/14
Hi! I'm making a couple of dishes and a couple of appetizers for my son's wedding for appx 200 guests. Can you please advise how to determine how much to make/buy? I'm making the following:
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Green Beans w/bacon & onions
Bourbon Whiskey Meatballs
Fruit & Cheese Tray
Pinwheels
Any suggestions or advise would be greatly appreciated!
ellen
06/11/14
Debbie, 250 people
Debbie, very good choice for timing, people eat much less food than at meal times. Also realistic menu.

meatballs, 10 pounds per 100, 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds
mini quiche, 2 per person
spinach/artichoke dip, 1/4 cup per person. Torn bread pieces are nice with this, 1 ounce per person. If you use the bread, you can put out bottles or pitchers of seasoned dipping oil, too
veggie trays, use the veggie tray page
cheese, 1 pound per 10
crackers, 6 pounds per 100
fruit, use the fruit tray page. 2 times the deluxe tropical tray for 100 would be plenty.

possibly small twice baked red potatoes. This is a nice addition, if you don't want to fiddle with the stuffing see this trendy recipe for smashed crispy red potatoes:

thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/06/crash-hot-potatoes/

If you use tiny red potatoes, they come out appetizer size. 2 per person

cake, a samller wedding cake with a separate "grooms cake" (yay chocolate!) or "kitchen cakes" (flat sheet cakes in the wedding cake flavor) is a cost saving option. A full sheet cake will cut 60 servings.

tea, about 8 gallons per 100, 1/3 unsweetened
lemonade, about 6 gallons per 100

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Beth
06/13/14
150 guests for 50th Birthday
should i have munchies for guest? guests arrive 30 to an hour before guest of honor. if so thinking cookies, fruit,veggie tray.
ellen
06/14/14
Lynn- 200 guests
Assuming these are for dinner
Strawberry Spinach Salad with
spinach, 16 pounds ready to serve
12 pounds strawberries
maybe 3 pounds chopped pecans
Poppy Seed Dressing- about 7 quarts

Green Beans w/bacon & onions
about 40 pounds beans. Make some without bacon for any vegetarians- tomatoes or mushrooms are a good alternative

Assuming these are appetizers
Bourbon Whiskey Meatballs, 10 pounds per 100
Fruit tray, use fruit tray page, about 1 1/2 the deluxe tray for 100
Cheese Tray- 1 pound per 12, 6 pounds crackers per 100
Pinwheels- 2-3 per person, depends on type and size.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Beth
06/14/14
Yes, munchies, no cookies.

How about a cheese tray?
1 pound per 15, 6 pounds crackers per 100
Fruit tray, use the fruit tray page, do for about 75
Maybe a salty or savory thing like cheese straws, chex mix, or pretzels? about 1 ounce per person

Jacque Conrad
06/16/14
We are planning a turkey dinner for 200 at our Church. Have everything figured out except for the jellied cranberry sauce. How much would you suggest for this number. Thanks!
Jacque Conrad
06/16/14
Sorry, forgot my email on the above message. Thanks again!
ellen
06/16/14
If you get canned, do 1 can per 6 and get some whole berry, some jelly. Or look at the crock pot cranberry relish on my Big Pots page- might be a savings for you.
Cara
06/24/14
I am having a graduation party with approximately 180 people. We are serving taco salad bar, fried chicken, pasta salad, veggies, fruit, and desserts. How much should I prepare?
Robyn
06/26/14
Ellen, you are amazing. A great amount of thanks for this service.
ellen
06/27/14
Cara,
taco salad bar, use the taco bar page, cut the meat in half, 1 ounce chips per person.
fried chicken, 1 piece per person

pasta salad, start with 12 pounds dry pasta

veggies, use veggie tray page, prepare for about 150
fruit, use fruit tray page, 1 1/2 times the deluxe tray for 100 is about right

desserts, full sheet cake serves 60; add dessert buffet for 100, see the dessert planning page.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Tom
06/29/14
I cook every Sunday for church the problem is that wee cook outside in a tent at a park we,only have big pot that we use with propane burner do you have any ideas. For a meal we feed about 240 people a week
Ali
06/30/14
Hello,
I am planning a wedding for 200 people,
the menu consists of;
Tossed salad
Macaroni salad
Potato salad
Homemade Mac and cheese
Chicken kabobs
And
Steak kabobs
Both with 3 peices of meat with
cherry tomatoes, yellow & green peppers.

My question is how many pounds of steak and chicken do I need?

Ali
06/30/14
Hello,
I am planning a wedding for 200 people,
the menu consists of;
Tossed salad
Macaroni salad
Potato salad
Homemade Mac and cheese
Chicken kabobs
And
Steak kabobs
Both with 3 peices of meat with
cherry tomatoes, yellow & green peppers.

My question is how many pounds of steak and chicken do I need?

Jody A
06/30/14
Hi Ellen - I have used your site extensively to plan the quantities for my niece's upcoming wedding reception for 200 (July 19). I would like to ask you to confirm my calculations, and I would be more than happy to make a contribution for your time! This is very long...

Self-Catered Wedding for 200 (actual count 185; 125 adults)
Outdoor Buffet; 6-hour event (4:15-10:15)

Starters (Cocktail hour 4:15-5:15)
250 bags 1 oz. potato chips
200 Ice cream sandwiches/bars

Veggie tray: 1600 bites (8 bites pp; 25#)
10 # Broccoli florets (400 bites)
10 # Carrots (400 bites)
12 heads Celery (400 bites)
4 # Pea pods (440 bites)
2 gallons Veggie dip

Fruit Tray: 1200 pieces (6 pieces pp)
28 # Strawberries (4 pp)
9 # Grapes (2 clusters pp)
5 melons Bowl of cut up watermelon

A bunch pinwheels (will "eyeball" this quantity)

Dinner (approx 5:30)
50# Ground Beef Sloppy Joe's (Nesco cooker)
400 Small buns for sloppy Joe's

350 pcs Fried chicken (Large foil tray – ambient temp safe if served within 4 hours from picking up?)
400 Dinner rolls (what if we did the same rolls for both…sliced ok??)
200 Pats of butter (8 #?)
7-10# cans Baked beans (doctored up)
7-10# cans Cheesy corn
16 # dry Pasta salad
25 # lettuce Green salad; tossed with dressing
Cucumber salad (from garden)
Grama bringing rice and beans (can’t guarantee quantity)

Beverages:
3 kegs Beer
5- 1.75 L vodka + 15 gallons lemonade (mixed, served from igloo; supposed to be same alcohol percentage as beer at this ratio but haven't tested)
1 case Wine (this is all…if we run out, so be it)
5+ gallons Sangria
13 Gallons Non alcoholic yellow lemonade
13 gallons Unsweetened iced tea
unlimited Water
Ice (not serving drinks with ice; icing the beverages in the coolers) *Not sure how much to get for the drinks AND to keep other food chilled - any suggestions?)

Dessert & coffee - more than covered! Will spare you the list.

Thank you in advance,
Jody

ellen
07/01/14
Tom, paella, jambalaya or any of the one-dish rice meals would be an option. See

www.gumbopages.com/recipe-page.html

ellen
07/01/14
Ali, these are small skewers, you need to plan 3 per person, many parts of the country that is 2 beef and 1 chicken, some places, 1/2 and 1/2. For a 2;1 split, you need at least 4 ounces raw boneless beef and 2 ounces raw boneless chicken per person.

You really need an appetizer or nibble table any time you are doing a wedding, here is why:

le
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Jody A
07/03/14
Hi Ellen - I am concerned my post from 7/1 may have not been seen? Should I have started a new thread? Thank you
ellen
07/03/14
Thanks for the heads up. Yes, it definitely helps me if you start a new thread.

Self-Catered Wedding for 200 (actual count 185; 125 adults)
Outdoor Buffet; 6-hour event (4:15-10:15)

Starters (Cocktail hour 4:15-5:15)
250 bags 1 oz. potato chips
Dips, salsas- 1 pint per pound of chips
200 Ice cream sandwiches/bars- I would really put these to dessert and do something like hummus or 7 layer dip, or some such, 3 gallons

Veggie tray: 1600 bites (8 bites pp; 25#)
10 # Broccoli florets (400 bites)
10 # Carrots (400 bites)
12 heads Celery (400 bites)
4 # Pea pods (440 bites)
2 gallons Veggie dip
Maybe cut the others a bit and add cherry or grape tomatoes for the color? People usually eat a little more fruit than veggies

Fruit Tray: 1200 pieces (6 pieces pp)
28 # Strawberries (4 pp)
9 # Grapes (2 clusters pp)
5 melons Bowl of cut up watermelon
OK, maybe some summer berries for decoration? Maybe fruit dip- eg 8 oz cream cheese whipped with 1 cup warmed marshmallow cream for cheesecake dip?

A bunch pinwheels (will "eyeball" this quantity)- 2-3 per person, depending on size

Dinner (approx 5:30)
50# Ground Beef Sloppy Joe's (Nesco cooker)
400 Small buns for sloppy Joe's

350 pcs Fried chicken (Large foil tray – ambient temp safe if served within 4 hours from picking up?) 1 piece per person? Also, try hard to keep it to 2 hours- you want 4 hours from cooker to mouth
400 Dinner rolls (what if we did the same rolls for both…sliced ok??)200, max
200 Pats of butter (8 #?) OK
7-10# cans Baked beans (doctored up)OK
7-10# cans Cheesy corn OK
16 # dry Pasta salad, 12-14 plenty
25 # lettuce Green salad; tossed with dressing, 18-20 plenty
Cucumber salad (from garden)
Grama bringing rice and beans (can’t guarantee quantity) Consider doing a roasting pan of rice pilaf to add

Beverages:
3 kegs Beer- serve about 120
5- 1.75 L vodka + 15 gallons lemonade (mixed, served from igloo; supposed to be same alcohol percentage as beer at this ratio but haven't tested), OK,
1 case Wine (this is all…if we run out, so be it)
5+ gallons Sangria
13 Gallons Non alcoholic yellow lemonade- 10 OK
13 gallons Unsweetened iced tea- probably 8 OK
unlimited Water
Ice (not serving drinks with ice; icing the beverages in the coolers) *Not sure how much to get for the drinks AND to keep other food chilled - any suggestions?)Takes about 40 pounds per large ice chest

Dessert & coffee - more than covered! Will spare you the list.

You look good. Plan a spa day after...

Jody A
07/04/14
Thank you! Some follow up questions:

Do you think my fruit quantities are ok? I started thinking that 9# of grapes seems skimpy! and 5 watermelons excessive.

400 buns for sloppy joe's?

You think 1 piece chicken per person?

How do you suggest serving butter without buying "chips"?

Happy Independence Day!

ellen
07/04/14
9 pounds grapes, 5 watermelons;
You could go to 1 pound grapes per 10-12 and still be OK. Watermelon, about 1/4 pound per person, so it just depends on the size of the melons.

50 pounds sloppy joes is actually 2 roasters, will make about 200 full size sandwiches or at least 400 sliders.

Yes, with the other dishes, 1 piece chicken per person will be fine.

For 200 people, you could just buy about 8 pounds of chunk butter.

Travis
07/16/14
Wedding for 200 people. We already have the protein lined out. However, needing help with the sides! how much salad should we use? and how many pounds of Baked potato casserole?
ellen
07/26/14
Sorry I missed this- you want 2 times the salad for 100 on the plan for 100 page, and at least 90 pounds of potatoes in your casserole.
Madeline
07/27/14
Hi, how much for the following for 200 after a 1:30 afternoon wedding: Country ham sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, pasta salad, potato salad, green beans, cheese balls and chips and dip? Thanks so much.
ellen
07/28/14
Country ham sandwich,
chicken salad sandwich,
I would do these on small biscuits or rolls, or possibly mini croissants, and do 1.2 each per person (5 of each for each 4 people). Have 30-40 egg salad for any non-meat eaters

pasta salad, 9 pounds dry pasta
potato salad, 65 pounds raw potatoes, or a bit more if peeled

green beans, 30 pounds, but consider doing a cold 3-4 bean salad so no one has to cook- about 4 gallons.

cheese balls-16 pounds
crackers- 10-12 pounds
chips- 1 pound per 15
dips/salsa- 1 pint per pound of chips

would definitely add fruit trays; 1 1/2 times the deluxe tropical tray for 100 would be about right.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Linzi
07/31/14
I need to know how much potatoe salad to make for a wedding of about 200 people. Also how much turkey, ham, macaroni salad and coleslaw? (that is all I am having) ..is it easier or cheaper to buy the meat or cook it ourselves? please help!
Greg Jackson
08/07/14
I'm serving 200 people for a family reunion. How much will I need of each:
beef brisket
fried chicken
pork ribs
pulled pork
turkey
chicken breasts
hot dogs
hamburgers
cole slaw
potato salad
Pasta salad
jambalaya rice
Brown rice
tomato n cucumber salad
Salad
Mac n cheese
Greg Jackson
08/07/14
Menu for 100 people
I'm serving 200 people for a family reunion. How much will I need of each:
beef brisket
fried chicken
pork ribs
pulled pork
turkey
chicken breasts
hot dogs
hamburgers
cole slaw
potato salad
Pasta salad
jambalaya rice
Brown rice
tomato n cucumber salad
Salad
Mac n cheese
ellen
08/10/14
Greg, this is way too many meats for one meal. Cut down to 3 or at most 4 and I will try to estimate it for you.
sanjeev gulati
08/26/14
please suggest indian dinner menu and portions
sanjeev gulati
08/26/14
please suggest indian dinner menu and portions
ellen
08/27/14
Sanjeev, this depends on whether you are serving a vegetarian, meat, or mixed crowd, what kind of occasion, and what kind of budget. Please write back and tell me more about the occasion.
Nicky
08/29/14
Menu for 170
Hog roast for 170, how much coleslaw and apple sauce would i need

thank

ellen
08/29/14
About 4 1/2 gallons of slaw, or a bit more if it is the only salad. A #10 can of applesauce serves 24 servings, 1 per person is ok. Consider fried apples as an option- tastier.
Jay
09/30/14
Hi Ellen,
we are having a party for around 200 people with a few different curries 1)Dal 2)Vegtable Curry 3)Rice 4)Butter Chicken Curry.

I am not sure how much chicken (Kilo Grams)do we need to prepare butter chicken since we have such as variety of food could you please help.

ellen
10/01/14
1 kilo per 10 boneless, would be plenty.
Roberta Akers
10/09/14
I am going to make Mostaccioli for a wedding reception. Need to Know how much of everything I will need. Sauce , noodles, hamburger and etc. Thanks Ellen.
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