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Advice on Amounts of Meats if Serving 3 kinds?
Hello. My sister and I are putting on a 30th Anniversary for our parents this June. We would like to serve Tri-Tip, Boneless Chicken Breasts, and Polish Kilbasa (Fresh). I have reviewed your site and the cook talk but would really appreciate advice on the specific amounts of each meat for 75 people. I dont want to run short but I would like to avoid excess. We also plan to slice the Tritips thin, slice up the chicken breasts into strips, and cut the sausages into thirds.

We have not decided on sides but some possibilities are baked potatos, rice pilaf, green salad, rolls, baked beans, slaw, corn on the cob, fruit salad, and a pasta salad. Any other ideas?

We also are considering having a relish tray, veggie tray, cheese balls and crackers, bread bowl and spinach dip.

I would also like to know if you think we could cook the kilbasa first (we really want the grilled flavor) before the tritip and chicken and place in a roasting pan with some beer and onions until serving, do you think they would dry out to much?

Also are our sides enough or should we offer something else for a non meat eater? I was thinking maybe a pasta with alfredo and veggies (Too much to handle maybe)?

I should also probably mention that I am planning this from two states away, will have a 2 month old baby, and will most likely be arriving the evening before the event but I do plan to enlist help from friends to prepare ahead of time and setup/break down, the meat will be pre-rubbed and marinated and my DH will be maning the BBQ.

Thank you in advance. Your site is great and has been much help!

OK so after reading several of your posts I think you will need a bit more info. We will be serving a dinner buffet style around 5 or 6 in the evening. There is also a possiblilty that the list could go as high as 100 guests. Dinner will be followed by a cupcake tree, dancing, and just hanging out. We do not plan to have booze, just punch, water, sodas & tea. Would like to serve coffe but I am not sure how to do this without renting a large coffee pot. Any ideas on coffee service?

Back to the meat. I am not sure which would be most popular, 2nd and 3rd. I was thinking for 100 people 30 lbs tritip, 20 lbs Chicken, 15 lbs sausage. What do you think? Too much? Too little? What amounts if we only had 75 people?

Also the place we are buying from sells the tritip in 15-17lb bags and the chicken in 10lb bags. The sausage we will buy by the lb. Thank you!

Yes, this extra info is VERY helpful! Give me a couple of days to work on this-
You want to plan for 6-8 ounces cooked meat per person, I would tend to split it 1 1/2 ounce sausage, 2 1/2 ounce chicken meat, 4 ounce beef. These are cooked ready to eat weights. This roughly translates to 2 ounces raw sausage, 4 ounces raw chicken breast with skin but no bone, and 6-7 ounces raw lean boneless beef (it shrinks at least 1/3). For 100 people that is about 13 pounds sausage, 25 poiunds boneless chicken breast, 40 pounds beef. So you did a good estimate! For 75 people you would use 3/4 that amount.

The sausage will not dry out if it is not overcooked to start with, just keep the pan at 165- 180 degrees. You could do mac and cheese as one of the sides and that would cover any vegetarians, much simpler than a hot loose pasta.

A coffee urn might be borrowed from a local church. You can get info on amounts for dinner coffee on the beverage planning page.

The appetizer type foods are a very good idea with this large a party, they take some of the pressure off the serving lines. You want at least 2 identical serving lines- can be two sides of a row of tables- or it will take too long to serve. You can set up the salads separately to further space out the serving lines.

Ok so we were thinking of a green salad bar instead of appetizers. What are your thoughts? Do you have any guidelines for this? Including amounts of toppings?

Also if we served canned soda and bottled water (8oz), how much should we buy?


The salad bar can be set up separately, nice idea. There is a considerable discussion on dressings etc on the veggie tray page. The potato bar toppings amounts work well for salad bars.
Ok so if we decided to only serve chicken and tritip how much of each would this change the amounts to for a party of 100? Thanks.
Caterers plan for 5 ounces cooked ready to eat beef PLUS 3 ounces cooked ready to eat boneless chicken (which is 6 ounces cooked bone in chicken) per person for a beef/chicken entree split. You basically need double that amount of raw meat to get the right amount cooked- 10 ounces beef (with careful cooking to minimize shrinkage you can do eight ounces lean, well-trimmed) PLUS 6 ounces boneless (1 pound for each three persons) or 2 pounds whole bone in chicken or pieces for each 3 persons.

This is for self serve and allows chicken eaters to eat chicken, beef eaters to eat beef and most eaters to eat both.

Serving 3 entrees for a party of 40
I am planning a party for 40 guests. The party begins at 6PM and ends around 12. I will be serving appetizers: cheeses, crackers, dry sausage, pepperoni, dip, chips - for apx. an hour and 1/2. Then I put Sausage, Peppers and Onions in a sterno tray, along with baked ziti, chicken pieces and a ham. My question is: How much sausage, peppers, onions, chicken pieces and how big a ham should I buy, and how many pounds of ziti.
This is a very difficult estimate because it is 4 entrees and a small group. Larger groups tend to even out, but with a small group, you have to have enough to give everyone their first choice. If I were trying to do this for my own party, I would probably have leftovers, but here is how I would do it:
40 individual pieces of chicken
4 ounces cooked ready to eat ham per person- get spiral sliced, or slice it yourself. If the guests carve, you have top allow more.
3-4 ounces sausage per person- probably 3, about 3 bites worth
4 pounds dry ziti (assuming the casserole has cheese and ricotta in it

Hope that helps.

Advice on Amounts
Hi there. We are planning an outdoor wedding reception for 100 people, 20 are children. The theme is Mediterranean. We will have appetizers to begin with but the meal itself will consist of 3 different salads; tabbouli, zucchini & pearl couscous, a greek salad. There will also be a side of yogurt/cucumber salad and marinated grilled chicken strips and pita bread. About 10 friends are helping to prepare the food but I'm having a hard time figuring out quantities for the chicken and each salad.
Also, can you advise about how much beer and wine to have on hand?
The reception will start at 5:00 PM and go into the night.
Thanks for your help.
Jane, for the beverages use the beverage planning page.
Make tabbouli and couscous for about 65 each (2/3 what you would make for 100). Make Greek for 80.

You need 7-8 ounces ready to eat chicken per person, which is about 3 pounds raw boneless for each 5 people.

Advice on Amounts
Thank you so much, this is really helpful.
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