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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

Graduation party Ideas and/or HELP!
Kelly
05/28/08
170 people for graduation party.....how much do I need?
Shrimp
Meatballs
Cheese tray
veggie tray
chocolate fountain (strawberries, banannas, ritz crackers, pineapple)
Spinach dip

Tossed salad
BBQ Beef
Pulled pork
Coleslaw
Chicken wings

Also, instead of sheet cake, we ordered cupcakes, (chocolate & white with different fillings) How many cupcakes, will everyone eat one? Some of the kids will eat more than one?

Need your help! My biggest fear is running out of food, (we ran out at our wedding reception)

Party is set from 2:00 - 7:00. Having it a old reformatory where guests can take 1-2 hours tours also. (hoping this will help with not needing as much food)

ellen
05/28/08
What age persons and what are your refrigeration, cooking, and sserving arrangements?

What beverages?

If this is high school or college, I would DEFINITELY add good bread and a pasta or potato salad- the meal items are light and the eaters will eat a lot more fruit and especially shrimp with no carbs. If teens and young twenties, simply count as 200 to help with quantities; as a friend observed once, "they eat like locusts".

Many of these items are already covered on this site. For example, I am going to tell you to prepare a basic estimate for your chocolate fountain, veggies, cheese board and salads based on the tables, post your estimates, and I will check them.

Write back.

Kelly
05/28/08
Ellen;
Thank you for your response. I am planning on cooking a electric roaster full of rigatoni, (sorry forgot to mention) ordered 5 loaves of fresh italian bread from bakery.
Beverages - Beer, wine, ice tea and soda.
High school graduation - wide age group, many between 30 - 45 years old.
My problem in reading your site over and over, is your basic estimate just for that particular product or do you take into consideration all the other????

Estimates:
Shrimp: 9 bags @ 40 count = 360 pcs
Meatballs: 10 lbs
Cheese tray: 4# swiss & colby, 2# hot pepper
Veggie Tray: not sure of weights
Choc. Ftn: have no idea how much
Spinach dip: ordered 3# of dip, 3 loaves of 2# pumpernickel, 2 loaves of square rye

Tossed salad: 6#
BBQ Beef: 30#
Pulled Pork 20#
Coleslaw: 6#
Chicken Wings, (friend brining) ???
Rigatoni, Electric roaster full, (not sure how much that will yield)

Not sure on quantities

kelly
05/28/08
Refrigeration - walk in cooler
cooking - doing ahead of time on Friday

ALSO forgot to add 3# of salami roll-ups for the appetizer table.

Buffet serving style.

KELLY
05/29/08
Ellen:

Do you feel this should be enough?

ellen
05/30/08
OK Kelly, I have tried to go over the entire menu. It looks to me like you are short on some items.

3# of salami roll-ups
If you can't have at least one per person, skip this
Shrimp: 9 bags @ 40 count = 360 pcs
=OK, but you really need twice that amount- do not put them all out at once, 3-4 ounces per person is more usual.
Meatballs: 10 lbs
=This is only 1 meatball per person
Cheese tray: 4# swiss & colby, 2# hot pepper
=Usual is 16 to 20 pounds for 100 people...
Veggie Tray: not sure of weights
=at least 25 pounds and 3-4 quarts of dip
Chicken Wings, (friend bringing) ???
=usually allow 1 pound for each 3-4 people

Spinach dip: ordered 3# of dip, 3 loaves of 2# pumpernickel, 2 loaves of square rye
=3 ppounds is only about 6 cups? You want about 1/4 cup per person for dips.

Tossed salad: 6#
=Need 20 pounds per 100
BBQ Beef: 30#
=Makes 100-120 sandwiches
Pulled Pork 20#
=Makes 70-80 sandwiches
+This is cutting the meat REALLY CLOSE. I would add at least 20 pounds

Coleslaw: 6#
Usual is 20 pounds per 100

Rigatoni, Electric roaster full, (not sure how much that will yield)
=about 60 servings, I would have at least twice this much
5 loaves of fresh italian bread from bakery
=usually 8-10 pounds per 100. What about rolls for the sandwiches?

Choc. Ftn: have no idea how much
See the very specific article. This is not a great idea for this long a party- they usuallu only run 2-3 hours. Chocolate fondue for dipping is safer and MUCH easier.

Cupcakes, yes, everyone will eat one at least. You might consider 200.

Remember 2 pounds of ice per person and 40 pounds per cooler.

kirsten smith
05/17/09
how much rigatoni and macaroni salad for ~125 people for a graduation party?

we will also have lettuce salad, jello, fruit salad and hot dogs and hamburgers.

I just wasn't sure how much rigatoni to make-I;ll just put sauce on it, no meat

thanks,
Kirsten

ellen
05/17/09
Teens? 12 pounds at least- if they are big eaters, you could go more, since the sides are light.
Tammy
05/21/09
Hi Ellen,
I am having a high school grad party and have invited about 200 people. Guests will range from small chilren to elders, the party begins at 5 p.m.-?.Do I plan on a certain number attending of those invited and how do I plan amounts for the following menu items? I have visited your big pots section and am having a difficult time determining how much of each food item to serve considering the variety of food we are serving.There is only one other grad party on our day.
Hot Dogs
Brats
BBQ's
Deli ham with buns
Potato Salad
Tuna salad
Ham macaroni salad
Beans
Wild rice casserole
Party potatoes
Pistachio fluff
Mandarin jello salad
chips
veggies and dip
fruit trays
meat and cheese trays
cake and other desserts
coffee, beer and soda
ellen
05/21/09
You got very lucky- caught me on a quiet night when there is not much else to do, so instead of telling you to make an initial estimate and post it, I went ahead and did your calculation. That will be $50, please (JOKE!).

I can't help you on estimating the number that will actually attend- this varies hugely- except to suggest that if you have had a similar group for a party in the past, the percentages will probably be about the same.

This is about what I would make for this party:

Hot Dogs (skip- not needed with brats)
Brats-150, but do not open all ahead- you may have some unopened packages to put in the freezer
BBQ's- enough for 120 sandwiches
Tuna salad- 3 gallons- see the sandwich event page
deli ham and meat and cheese trays
2 -3 ounces deli-sliced meats plus 2 ounces deli sliced cheese
Buns 300+ assorted
You need sandwich condiments- see the condiments for 100 on the sandwich event page

Potato Salad- 4 gallons per 100
Ham macaroni salad- 6 pounds dry pasta per 100
Pistachio fluff- 17 packages regular jello (100 regular servings, but cut smaller)
Mandarin jello salad-17 packages regular jello (100 regular servings, but cut smaller)

Beans- 3 gallons per 100= 6 gallons

Wild rice casserole-120 servings
Party potatoes-150 servings
You will have leftovers, but everyone will get their first choice

chips- 6 pounds per 100 for potato or 8 pounds per 100 for corn chips
veggies and dip-covered in detail in veggie trays, but not much will get eaten, I would make 1 60 person relish tray instead
fruit trays-see fruit ray for 25, make 6 times the amounts- the sweet salads will reduce the amount of fruit eaten

cake and other desserts- covered in great detail in the dessert planning charts- you would use double the amount for 100

coffee, beer and soda
use the beverage planning table with the dinner coffee amounts

Jennifer
06/01/09
Ellen,

I am planning a graduation party for my son. We are going to make shredded turkey and warm sliced ham. How much Turkey and how much ham will we need for 200 people? Also how do you suggest keeping the meat moist while it sits in the roasting pans during the pary? I really don't want the meat to dry out. If this helps we are also having buns,potato salad, a baked bean mix (burger and many different beans), potato chips, pickles and cake. Thanks for your time and help, Jennifer

ellen
06/01/09
Jennifer because you don't know who will want turkey and who will want ham, you need to prepare 120 people's worth of each.

You don't say if you are serving this as sandwiches or plated, and whether it is buffet type service. Both affect quantities, see the plan for 100 table for entres and the sandwich even page for weights for sandwiches. You keep it moist by keeping it covered and using 1/4 to 1/2 inch chicken broth in the bottom of each pan.

Write back if you need to.

Lynn
06/05/09
How much do we need to purchase for rigatoni and meatballs for 150 people. They are also serving sloppy joes and creamed chicken sandwiches. I am not sure on what else. My daughter and I are helping out a family at our church that the parents are unable to do the work themselves. But we have no idea how much to purchase for pasta and hamburger.
Lucy
03/20/10
I am helping a friend with her daughters Grad. open house and I am cooking for her. About 130 people.

Sausage, peppers and onions
Rigatoni and Meatballs

Could you please tell me how much rigatoni to buy and how much sausage and meat for the meatballs to purchase and how much sauce to make. The meatballs will be in a roaster by itself with sauce. Plus the sauce on the rigatoni.

ellen
03/20/10
If this is mixed family, not all teens, the numbers below will be about right. If it is all teens, add up to 1/3 more, they eat a LOT!

rigatoni- if this is the only or main starch (no potates, pasta salad, etc) you want 12 pounds dry per 100 or about 15-16 pounds

sausage-- minimum 1 pound fresh raw for each 5 people. Equal weight mixed onions and peppers for the sausages.
meat for the meatballs-- about 20 pounds 90% lean or 23 pounds regular per 100, so you need 26-30 pounds.

Sauce 1 to 1 1/2 quarts per pound of dry pasta, I would do 1 1/2 since you are going to divide it between the pasta and the meatballs.

laurie
03/21/10
I'm going to be seving 50 to 75 people for a graduation party. I plan on having self serve sandwiches of roast beef, ham and turkey with white and wheat bread along with cheese, chips, veggie tray, apple salad. How many pounds should I get of each.
ellen
03/21/10
Did you read the article under the sandwich button at the top of the main cook talk page? Condiments and sides (chips, etc) are also discussed.

Veggie tray guidelines are on the veggie tray page. Apple salad, 1/2 to 3/4 cup per person (1 small apple).

Take a crack at preparing an estimate, post it, and I will be glad to review.

Teresa
03/23/10
Hi, I need some quantities for my daughters graduation party for the food I am serving.
It will be for around 150 people. I plan on having 50 lbs of hot shredded beef, along with 300 buns. Will this be enough? I also plan on having potato salad, pasta salad, cheesy potato's, and calico beans. I have no idea of how much of each I should make? There will be chips and cake as well. Could you give me the ratio in gallons, so I it will be easier for me to figure out? Thank you so much for your help. Have a nice day!
ellen
03/23/10
These are teenagers, and you need 1 pound beef for each 4 buns, so I would up the beef some. Also, put out a meatless spread for the non-meat eaters- with this many people there will be some. Could be egg salad, mixed peanut butter and jam or nutella, tofu spread, etc. For the rest:

potato salad, 4 gallons per 100
pasta salad, 6 pounds dry per 100 (see recipes on site)
cheesy potato's, 20 pounds hash browns per 100
calico beans, 3 1/2 gallons per 100
chips- minimum, 8 pounds per 100 for potato chips, 10 if corn chips
cake- see the bottom ofthe dessert p-lanning page

You probably also want to look at the beverage planning page.

Amy
07/06/10
Hi ellen I am doing a graduation party for 60 people the end of July for my son and I just want to make sure I am not over cooking and at the same time gone to have enough food. The menu is as follows

100 piece chicken
2 pounds macaroni salad
62 hamburgers
48 hot dogs
2 pounds potato salad
2 pounds of cauliflawer salad
2 9x13 pans of pretzel salad
16 pounds ham BBQ
2pounds tapioca salad
2 batches peanut butter cookies
2 batches chocolate chip cookies
3 batches no bake cookies
half a sheet cake
2batches sugar cookies
a tray of mint brownies

Nett
07/08/10
Hello. I bought eight 24" hoagie rolls and plan to put large pepperoni,capicola and ham on them. Also, swiss, provalone and american cheese. How many pounds of each should I buy?
ellen
07/10/10
Nell, you are over on meats and short on other items:

100 piece chicken-70
16 pounds ham BBQ-OK
62 hamburgers-OK, you will have some left
48 hot dogs-not needed
Don't forget rolls and condiments, see the sandwich page for a condiment table.

2 pounds potato salad- for 60 people, I would allow 2 1/2 gallons
2 pounds macaroni salad- for 60 people, I would allow gallons
2 pounds of cauliflwer salad- double
2 9x13 pans of pretzel salad-double
2 pounds tapioca salad- Don't know- how popular is it? This is about 24 servings.

2 batches peanut butter cookies
2 batches chocolate chip cookies
3 batches no bake cookies
half a sheet cake
2 batches sugar cookies
Make the cookies and bars small. Have one of each flavor for each person.

ellen
07/10/10
Nett, this makes about 24 regular-size sandwiches. 8 pounds meat, 4 pounds cheese for fat sandwiches.
Bridget
01/03/11
I am planing a graduation party for my daughter. We wanted to have a "sweet success" theme and really do just desserts... Then we made our guest list and I have 200 people. Can I do an "open House" and serve only desserts???
ellen
01/03/11
Yes, if you set the time for either 2p-5p or 8p-10. See the dessert planning page for quantity help.

If you go over a mealtime, you need to do meal food.

Tallie
03/16/11
I am having a graduation party with roughly 150-200 people. Son is wanting creamy meatballs and cheese hash browns. How many meatballs per person do I plan and what else do I need to serve with this? He is also having a choc fountain and cake. Thank you for your help.
ellen
03/16/11
You want 4 ounces of meatballs per person, minimum, it takes about 1 pound ground meat plus added ingredients to serve 4. The cheesy potatoes are the last recipe on the festive family brunch article.

I would serve fruit trays, roast chicken (1 piece per person), and a green vegetable or salad with this.

Joana
03/30/11
I need help with ideas on decorating for a high school graduation.
ellen
03/30/11
Either go with a theme (sports, hobby or interest such as theater, year/decade such as 50's, or some current event or show), or with the interests of the student, or with a college thing if said student is headed in that direction.
Kim Kern
04/08/11
afternoon art reception for 200 people.
Hi Ellen,
I have enjoyed your site and used it many times. Thank you.
I am planning a 2 o'clock art reception in May. The person in charge is only wanting a tea/punch, two pick up desserts, fruit tray, and cheese straws. They are providing the other beverage. How much do I prepare for such an event, considering the time of day, etc.
Many thanks,
Kim
ellen
04/09/11
Hi, Kim,

This is a little light, so you will need somewhat larger amounts of each. I would do:
two pick up desserts- 4 pieces per person, 2-3 bites each piece
fruit tray- 2 of the deluxe fruit tray for 100
cheese straws- 3 ounces per person- this is more than usual, but without cheese and crackers, or something like that, people will eat more of these.

Tiana
04/18/11
Having a graduation party for 200 people menu consists of:
Teriyaki chicken-boneless skinless thighs
Broccoli beef
orange chicken
sweet and sour meatballs
Lo-mein noodles
potato salad
macaroni salad
fried rice
Cake for desert with a chocolate fountain and fruit for dipping
Can you please tell me how much to prepare of each item.
ellen
04/18/11
This is some serious cooking you are going to do.

I would probably skip the potato salad, it does not complement the menu, and do my cold noodle salad instead of the macaroni salad:

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

Since you have a cooked noodle dish, just 10 pounds noodles for the salad.

For the lomain, 10 pounds dry noodles, also.

This is what I would do for the rest:

Teriyaki chicken-boneless skinless thighs-20 pounds boneless chicken
Broccoli beef- 28 pounds boneless beef
orange chicken- 20 pounds chicken
sweet and sour meatballs- 24 pounds meatballs
Lo-mein noodles see above
potato salad skip, see above
macaroni salad, see above
fried rice, 12-16 pounds dry rice
Cake for dessert with a chocolate fountain and fruit for dipping- see the chocolate fountain article and the dessert planning page

Carrie
05/10/11
I am wondering how to keep 30 pounds of rigatoni warm for a graduation open house. I would like it to be kept separate from the sauce. Would an electric roaster work work as a warming dish, i.e. put water in the bottom with a dish on top holding the pasta.
ellen
05/10/11
In 2 electric roasters at 180 degrees if already fully cooked and hot through. If you cook ahead to reheat, leave the pasta a tiny bit underdone. Water can go under a rack in the roasting pan, it does NOT go in the roaster body itself. The pasta will have top be oiled as well- see the make-ahead notes on the spaghetti page.
Karen
05/13/11
Hi-OK, I'm reading through all this stuff and wasn't stressed when I started, but now I wonder. My son's the party is next Sunday (5/22) and I'm planning on just serving his favorite finger foods. We've heard from lots of people that the full meal thing is way overdone and not necessary. The reception is after commencement, so we won' be the only part. Anyway, here's the menu: little smokies wrapped in bacon, spinach dip and crackers, warm buffalo chicken dip and crackers, mini cheesecakes, sheet cake and misc candy on the tables. Am I completely insane? Is this enough? I'm a great cook and don't mind spending hours in the kitchen the days before the big event. I have absolutely no idea how many to expect. I don't think we'll top 200. So...what am I missing? Should I throw in something easy for "filler"? How about quantities? I don't want to stress, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm living in denial.

Thanks!!

ellen
05/13/11
Hi, Karen, take a deep breath, you are going to be fine. You will just be making a lot of each. I would suggest you add a couple more things- fruit trays and a Mexican spread/dip with chips such as a 7 layer dip would be my suggestion. Write back what you might add and also what your beverages are and how long the party will last, and I will help you figure amounts.
Karen
05/13/11
Thanks, Ellen. The party is scheduled to run from 5:00 to 8:00. Now that you say it, adding something in the way of fruit makes sense. I may throw together a big fruit salad. We all like the cream cheese layered Mexican dip, but that's pretty time intensive, too. The warm dip is a crock pot thing that can be put together well ahead of time, as can the spinach dip. I'm looking forward to fussing over the minicheese cakes - that's my biggest questions in terms of amounts. (I want ot make choco chip ones with Oreo crusts and plain ones with graham cracker crusts.) I'm also famous for my homemade kettle corn. Maybe that could be a filler? Thanks for whatever advice you can give. Sorry for the ramble...
ellen
05/14/11
I would make 1 of each flavor cheesecake per person. Kettle corn is a fine idea; allow 1 cup ready to eat per person. A queso dip in a crock pot would be fine, allow 1/4 cup per person.
Margaret
05/27/11
Hello! We are having a graduation party and serving the following food. I'm wondering if I've bought enough: Pulled pork 60#, rigatoni 10# uncooked noodles with 10# hamburger, meatballs 50# with 3 different types of sauce. Grape salad 40# grapes, pasta salad (someone is making this for me) Pickles 3 gals. olives 8# & cheese cubes 18#. Chips, pretzels & cake. We are thinking there may be 325 +/-people, but possibly not because of other parties on same day. Thank you.
ellen
05/28/11
Margaret, you may very well run out, especially of pork and pasta. You don't mention rolls, condiments. How long and what time of day the party???
Sue
05/31/11
Hi Ellen- I am hosting a grad party on a friday night for 4 hours. We are expecting 70 people(mostly adults) Our menu consist of:
Broasted chicken
Mostacoli (with/without meat)
Tossed salad
Fruit salad
Pasta salad
Rolls
sheet cake/homemade cakes, cookies
can you tell me how much of each I should make and if this is too much pasta?? Thanks in advance!
Sue again
05/31/11
I am also having meatballs, mexican dip and veggies for an appetizer
ellen
05/31/11
It is not too much pasta.

For this simple dinner menu, just use 3/4 of the amounts for 100 posted in the plan for 100 menu, the fruit tray page and the dessert planning page. You might also need the beverage planning page. You can post your estimates and I will check them for you.

Appetizers
meatballs, 3 ounces per person (1 pound per 5);mexican dip, 1/4 cup per person; and veggies, see the veggie tray page

Sue
06/01/11
Do you think I need a bigger variety of items? Roasted potatoes or something? Thank you!
Eileen
06/01/11
Hi Ellen -- Having a grad party for 200
Serving:
fried chicken (breast and thigh)(300 pieces)
Pulled Beef Sandwiches (640 oz pre cooked)
Garden Salad (10 bowls serve 20 ea)
Pasta rotini salad (50 lbs)
Fruit trays (12 trays -serve 20 ea)
Sandwich/assorted rolls

How do my amounts seem ??
ellen
06/02/11
Practical. You might add one other side dish (beans, potato salad, slaw, 3 bean salad?) if it is teens/ college age. They eat a lot.
Dawn
06/05/11
Hi stumbled upon this-- hoping you can help-- having a grad party maybe 100 people-- mix of adults and teens serving the following-- meatballs, sausage with peppers and onions, rolls (for sandwiches) rigatoni, tossed salad, potato salad,chips and dip, fruit tray and dip-- cake-- how much of each should I have and is it enough variety?? Thanks!!!
ellen
06/05/11
Hi, Dawn
All the items on this nice menu are covered in my articles and tables, so normally I would ask you to use them to make an estimate, then post it; but you got lucky, there is only the one request this morning (usually 8-20), so here is what I would do, assuming it is over a meal time and a 3-4 hour party:

meatballs, 1 pound per 4, about 1 quart sauce per 6 pounds
sausage with peppers and onions, 1 poiund sausage per 4-5, equal weight veggies

rolls (for sandwiches), 2 per person regular (because of the teens; you will have some left)

You need sandwich fixings, see the sandwich event page.

rigatoni, 1 pound dry per 8

tossed salad, see plan for 100 table
potato salad, see plan for 100 table

chips and dip, 8-12 pounds (depends on the crowd and corn chips weigh more than potato; 1/3 cup dip per person

fruit tray and dip, see fruit tray page, 1/4 cup dip per person

cake see dessert planning page. asically, a 2 layer sheet cake or about 8-10 regular

ellen
06/05/11
If I were adding anything, it might be a relish tray or marinated bean/veggie tray or salad, about 3 gallons.
Nidole
06/10/11
I have a wedding party for 150 person. how many pounds of cheese straws do i need for the wedding
ellen
06/10/11
At least 2 ounces per person if that is the only cracker type bite.
Debbie
06/14/11
I'm having a dessert only grad party for my daughter. We've ordered 8 dozen cupcakes, but I need to know how much more to get of various other desserts.
ellen
06/14/11
Debbie, how many guests and what beverages?
sharon
06/14/11
Ellen im having a graduation party for my son in two weeks on a saturday at a park 3;00 till 9:oo. there will be approximately 200 people with an additional 40-50 kids dropping by. there are several other parties that my guests may be attending that day. Im serving chicken -174 pieces
300 chicken wings
100 hot sausauge and rolls
roaster of ziti
roaster of noodles and cabbage
240 perogies
fruit salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad cake, cupcakes and about 650 cookies
are my amounts about right should i add or subtract foods my son still wants macroni and cheese
ellen
06/14/11
Sharon, this menu is very, very light if you are expecting that many people. When the party lasts more than 3-4 hours, many people eat twice. And teens tend to eat a full amount, even when they just drop in.

Usual for chicken is at least 1 piece per person, more if there are lots of legs involved. Usual for wings is 5-6 pieces per person. 3 gallons for each of the salads per 100 (you would have nearly 300).

Also, one roaster holds enough for about 60-70 people, so you are looking at about 4 roasters of each side dish.

Cookies, 3-4 per person unless they are large, even with the cupcakes.

Hope this helps you plan.

LISA
03/15/12
I am planning my daughters party for July and have decided to do taco bar and tex mex theme for about 130 people. I would like to have tacos(obviously)with the fixings, some type of enchilada, nachos, virgin margarita and sangria and soda as well. I'm not sure how much to buy for the drinks and also am having some difficulty finding recipes to cook for that many people. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
ellen
03/15/12
The taco bar for 100 page and the other texmex for 100 pages on this site should solve your problem; do 1 1/3 times the amount for 100.

The beverage planning page will help for the beverages. Treat the Margaritas like a punch.

Ruth
04/04/12
I am planning my son's grad party for about 350 people. It will be from 1:00-4:00 pm. He wants to have appetizers, and I have been looking at the site to try to calculate amounts. Could you take a look and see if I'm missing anything?

Nachos Bar:
Tostada Chips - 28 lbs.
Cheese Dip - 6 gallons
Chili - 10 gallons
Jalapeno slices - ??

Chicken wings - 125 lbs.
Popcorn - 350 c.
Chex Mix - ??
Relishes - 100 lbs. total
Ranch dip - 6 gallons

I also plan to order a sheet cake, and serve coffee, root beer, and lemonade.

Any advice on cooking that many wings? Thanks!

ellen
04/08/12
Baking the wings works, and is the only practical approach for this many. Many good oven recipes on the web.

Allow about 1/4 cup chex mix per person.

1 gallons jalapeno slices per 100.

The cheese is close; 3 #10 cans per 100 is the minimum. I would buy extra chips, just don't open and return if not used; 1 pound per 10.

Fruit trays would be a great addition. Since it is mid afternoon, trays for 200 would be enough.

Terri
04/12/12
I am planning a Graduation reception for my son following the ceremony. Two other close friends are having theirs at the same time so most of our invites will be going to at least these other two receptions. After looking at your last post I am feeling like my menu is going to be way too light. My husband still feels like it is fine and doesn't want to overdo. We are planning on around 225 with around 50 of those being high school friends. I was planning on:

400 boneless chicken wings
200 baked potato's (bar with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon)
100 celery sticks
fruit salad (5 to 6 gallon bags)
100 dirt puddings
100 gourmet cupcakes
2 lg. pans chocolate chip bars (friend making)
small candy buffe mix in with the desserts
Pop, water and juice pouches

My questions are, should I maybe add at meat for the potato bar, such as chili or bbq topping? Am I way short on wings? Do I need to add more items to my menu? How may different candies should I incorporate into the dessert table?

ellen
04/12/12
For 250 people, they will eat about 6 pieces of wings each, no kidding!

Yes, adding a meaty topping would be a great choice for the potato bar, see the potato bar page for help with amounts.

The celery sticks are just hanging out there. I would plan 2 ounces assorted veggies per person, 1/4 cup Ranch dip per person.

You will likely be way short on desserts, the teens will take at least 2, and so will some of the others. I would plan at least 400 servings of desserts.

About 6 types of candies for this many people.

Lisa
04/30/12
Planning grad party. Pig roast buns on side rigatonis, cheesy pot, baked beans, lettuce salad. Having a variety of bars along with sheet cake and fresh fruit. Looking at 150 guests ages 18-60. Will this be enough food or is there something else i should add thats hot. Oh and i will also have a cpl dips with chips, and pikles. thanks
ellen
04/30/12
Lisa, how big a pig? What amount of side dishes? More info, please.
Nikki
05/01/12
Hi Ellen,

I am planning a graduation party for 200 people with a mix of adults and teens. I'm serving multiple meat items and I do not have a clue about how much to prepare. The menu consists of the following:

Ribs (20 slabs)
Grilled Chicken (?legs or wings - how many?)
Chicken Skewers
Hamburgers/Buns (100)
Hot Dogs/Rolls (100)
Pasta Salad (12 lbs.)
Baked Beans
Green Beans

If time permits, specific quantities would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Nikki
05/01/12
I forgot to mention that the party is from 6-11 p.m.
ellen
05/01/12
Ribs (20 slabs)- no idea the weight. If these are full size, consider having the butcher split them across the bones into halves, then cut apart after cooking
Grilled Chicken (?legs or wings - how many?)- legs are cheaper- nice with a teriyaki marinade- 1 per person
Chicken Skewers-skip- trouble and duplicate legs
Hamburgers/Buns (100)-OK dont forget fixings- see sandwich page
Hot Dogs/Rolls (100)- not necessary, skip, or get just a few pounds of Polish sausage or kielbasa
Pasta Salad (12 lbs.)12 pounds dry pasta- you need about 8 gallons
Baked Beans-about 6-7 gallons
Green Beans- about 40 pound (8 #10 cans, or 3 times Ellen's better green bean casserole on the Big Pots page.
ellen
05/01/12
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Sue
05/24/12
Grad part for 175-200, family and friends, mix of ages

Menu is Picnic buffet from 11-2

hot dogs with toppings/buns (vegan dogs, too)
Potato chips
Potato salad
pasta salad
Ramen noodle cabbage salad (maybe)
Baked beans
watermelon wedges
Lemonade (frozen to mix)
Ice water
Coffee
Sheet cake from bakery

How much for quantities of each item?
Best brand/kind of hot dogs? Where to purchase?
Best way to cook and keep dogs hot?

Thanks much for your help!

ellen
05/26/12
Nathans or Hebrew National by far the best hot dogs, at least 2 per person

Lengthy discussion on cooking on hot dog thread

Potato chips 1 1/2 ounce per person, 1/4 cup dip per person
Potato salad- 35 pounds potatoes per 100 plus fixings
pasta salad-6 pounds dry pasta per 100
Ramen noodle cabbage salad (maybe)- do slaw if not- 20 pounds cabbage or mixed veggies per 100
Baked beans- 3 gallons per 100
watermelon wedges- at least 1/2 pound per person
Lemonade (frozen to mix) 10 gallons per 100, have some sugar free
Ice water
Coffee- dinner level for adults, see beverage planning page
Sheet cake from bakery- sheet serves 50 get double layer sheets (serve 100-120)

Sue
05/26/12
Thanks for your response. I guess I should have asked first...how many people to expect when we invited about 230 people to the open house?

And, I'm changing the hot dogs to shredded pork, with BBQ sauce on the side. I will also have a 10-12 serving recipe of vegan tempeh sloppy joes. The rest of the menu will be the same.

I am planning on:

-75-80 pounds of (raw) pork roast, and 300 turkey buns...how many oz. of BBQ sauce variety as a condiment?

-30 10 1/2 oz. bags of potato chips

-My mom has offered to make the family recipe potato salad, but my guess is that it will only be 2 to 2 1/2 gallon ice cream buckets worth. How much more should I purchase from a deli?

-I will do 10 lbs. dry pasta to make pasta salad with veggies and Italian dressing

-40 lbs. both vinegar (which recipe do you recommend?) and creamy Cole slaw (store bought dressing)...how many average heads of cabbage would that be?

-6 gallons baked beans...how many 7 lb. 5 oz. cans would that be??

-8 to 10 18-25 lb. watermelons

-20 gallons lemonade; water, plain ice tea, coffee as needed

-sheet cake pre-scored for 192 servings

I think that's all...I appreciate your response!

ellen
05/27/12
Caterers advise that about 85% of the invited number generally show up

-75-80 pounds of (raw) pork roast, and 300 turkey buns...how many oz. of BBQ sauce variety as a condiment? 1/4 cup per person, but also, put some on the meat when you shred it and freeze it- it picks up flavor and volume and reheats more easily.

-30 10 1/2 oz. bags of potato chips-OK

-My mom has offered to make the family recipe potato salad, but my guess is that it will only be 2 to 2 1/2 gallon ice cream buckets worth. How much more should I purchase from a deli? about 4 gallons

-40 lbs. both vinegar (which recipe do you recommend?) and creamy Cole slaw (store bought dressing)...how many average heads of cabbage would that be? There are great slaw recipes on this site for 100 for both types. cabbage varies from 1- 2 pounds per head

-6 gallons baked beans...how many 7 lb. 5 oz. cans would that be?? 4 #10 cans is 3 gallons

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Margaret
05/28/12
I am planning a grad party with approx 200 guests.

We are planning on:

120 lbs baby back ribs,
250 pieces fried chicken,
30 lbs of italian sausage (w/peppers and onions on rolls),
8 lbs pesto penne pasta served cold,
8 lbs orzo salad,
cheesy potatoes (from 30 lbs hashbrowns)
roasted veggies (served room temp)
garden salad

How do my quantities look? Thanks.

areli
06/04/12
graduation 60-70 people, how are the numbers?:)

100 piece chicken
12 boxes rigatoni
48 hot dogs
shredded cheese potatoes. not sure quantity?
baked beans
salad
fruit salad
rolls
your help would be awesome!!!

ellen
06/05/12
Maragret, you amounts look great

Areli, your numbers are fine, here is the rest:
shredded cheese potatoes. not sure quantity?
baked beans
salad
both are on the plan for 100 list, use 2/3
fruit salad- use the fruit tray page. Trays hold better, look pretty and the leftovers are more usable
rolls- 8-9 pounds, 2 pounds butter

cheryl
06/09/12
Hi Ellen
having a grad party w/ mixed ages for 120
chicken 200 pieces having delivered

Cooking
meatball sandwich 3-4 meatballs/sandwich
rigatoni w/ just sauce
mac and cheese
potatoe salad > 35lbs of pototoes
fruit salad >6 gallons
toss salad 40lbs
bean salad enough for 60
beans and hotdogs 4cans of 7lbs 2oz w/ 8lbs of hotdogs

how much mac and cheese and rigatoni
dry pasta would you recommend ?

how do my quantites look ?

Appreciate any other tips
Your help would be great

ellen
06/09/12
120 people- this may be too much food

meatball sandwich- 3-4 meatballs/sandwich- 100 rolls, about 25 pounds meatballs
beans and hotdogs- 4 cans of 7lbs 2oz w/ 8lbs of hotdogs

rigatoni w/ just sauce-skip- with beans and mac already plenty starch
mac and cheese- 10 pounds dry mac, equal amount cheese

potato salad- 35lbs of potatoes, OK
fruit salad- 6 gallons- 4 plenty, consider fruit trays
toss salad- 40lbs too much- 25 pounds
bean salad enough for 60- OK

how much mac and cheese and rigatoni
dry pasta would you recommend ?

jonni
06/17/12
graduation party
we are having a grad. party for about 120 people. on the menu is, pulled pork sandwiches, fried chicken, pasta dish, stuffed cabbage, cheesy potatoes, parsley potatoes baked beans, three bean salad,fruit salad, garden salad, cupcakes, cookies, pretzel jello. i dont know how much of the three bean salad to make. thanks for your help.
ellen
06/18/12
3 gallons.
suzanne
06/21/12
we are having a wedding for about 400 people.menu is hot beef &cold ham sandwiches,chicken wings meatballs cheesy potatoes baked beans pasta salad vetables &dip celery carrots radish cucmbers, 2 kinds of cheese balls meat & cheese wraps pickles & olives chips.could you please help me out on how much food I will need. Thanks
Tammi Campbell
06/21/12
I am planning a graduation party for my son and will have approx 30 people there. My menu will consist of the following:
chicken - 50 piece
meatball hoagies -
rigatonis (sauce only)
baked beans
cheese potatoes
macaroni salad
linguini salad
buffalo chicken dip
veggie tray
deviled eggs - 3 doz
chips and dip
cake and ice creams
Can you tell me how many meatball and sauce should I make?
How many pounds of rigatoni noodles and sauce do I cook?
ellen
06/23/12
30 people

chicken - 50 piece- 40 plenty
meatball hoagies - 1 pound meatballs per 4, 4 rolls per pound
rigatonis (sauce only)-3 pounds dry, 1 quart sauce per pound

Marge
07/01/12
I am planning my son's graduation party beginning at 2 p.m. and I want to be sure I have plenty of food for approximately 40 people.

Meatballs on Football Rolls
Sausage and Peppers
Fruit Salad
Pasta Salad
Garden Salad
Fruit Salad

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownies
Mini Cheesecake
Half of Sheet Cake

Charlotte
07/01/12
Planning small graduation party for 40 people:
How does my menu look to you?
Mostly adults.

Sausage and pappers 8lbs. sausage - 1 gallon peppers
Meatballs 8 lbs.
Parsley potatoes 2 gallons
Bsked beans 1 gallon
Baked ziti 3 lbs. dry
Hard rolls 5 dz.
Pasta salad
Fruit salad large.
Green beans with loose sausage and sauce 2gal
cake
watermelon
soda, water, coffee

Charlotte
07/01/12
Re: Graduation party above for 40 people
Friend offered to make 5 lbs. of potato salad
Also having chips and dips
ellen
07/09/12
Marge, this is plenty of food. Mid afternoon is not quite as heavy a mealtime
Meatballs on Football Rolls- 1 pound meatballs per 4
Sausage and Peppers- 1 pound sausage per 5, equal weight veggies
Rolls, 1.2-1.5 per person- depends on whether they are heavy eaters

See fruit tray page for Fruit Salad

Use the plan for 100 lists for these; 4/10 the amount for 100
Pasta Salad
Garden Salad

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownies
Mini Cheesecake
Half of Sheet Cake

Charlotte, nice, but you only need about 1 1/2 gallons green beans, and a couple more pounds of meatballs wouldn't hurt.

Lil
07/13/12
First Bday Party- HELP!
First Bday Party in 2 weeks.
Approx 60 guests plus 25 kids under age 10. Please advise how much of each item I should prepare:
Burgers
Hot Dogs
sausage & Peppers/onions

Pasta Salad
Baked Beans
Potato Salad
Cole Slaw

Will have a cake, cookies, fruit tray for dessert as well as chips/pretzels, veggie tray for pickies.
THANKS!!!!!!!

ellen
07/13/12
Count this as 75 and you will have some leftovers.

See plan for 100 and use 3/4 of each:
Pasta Salad
Baked Beans
Potato Salad
Cole Slaw

Burgers- consider meatballs instead, kids love them, they can be done ahead and the sandwich fixings are the same for both (see sandwich page for amounts of condiments)
Hot Dogs- about 30- you will have some left
sausage & Peppers/onions- 1 pound sausage per 4-5 adults equal weight peppers

maryann
08/04/12
I am having 50th B-day party for fiancee. 75 invited; unsure how many will show. 80% adults

Menu:
6-lb dry Rigatoni w your recipe for 100 spaghatti sauce (like lots of sauce)
100 pieces Chx strips
Large toss salad w Ital and Ranch dressings
roaster of baked beans
roaster cheesy potatoes
10 lb Baked sliced ham
3 lb sliced American cheese
Rolls for sandwichs
Large condiment platter (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles onions, etc)
Mustard/Ketchup
3 loaves Italian bread
1/2 sheet cake with cupcakes to equal another 1/2 sheet.
Variety of chips and multiple flavored dips
11 2-liters of soda
2-kegs beer

Do I have enough? Is this enough rigatoni? Any suggestions? As like everyone, want the perfect party!

maryann
08/04/12
Time 4 pm until food and beverages are done. Have the rental hall until 11:00 pm. There will be DJ to entertain.
maryann
08/04/12
Oops! I plan on cutting your spaghetti recipe in 1/2. I don't want dry rigatoni. Family likes sauce to pour over.
ellen
08/05/12
Maryann, the timing from 4-11 pm suggests you should do a 2 part meal- a 5 pm meal and then an 8 or 9 snack.

Dinner
6-lb dry Rigatoni w your recipe for 100 spaghatti sauce (like lots of sauce)- I would do at least 8 pounds, at most 3 gallons of sauce (2 is the usual)
100 pieces Chx strips-if you are planning for 75, you need 150 chicken strips
Large toss salad w Ital and Ranch dressings-see the plan for 100 page
roaster of baked beans- 3 gallons per 100, so at least 2 1/2 gallons
roaster cheesy potatoes- do for 50, see the recipe and discussion at the bottom of the family brunch page

3 loaves Italian bread- at least 7 pounds
1/2 sheet cake with cupcakes to equal another 1/2 sheet. Only 50 servings- you need a 2 layer 1/2 sheet with the cupcakes

Snack
10 lb Baked sliced ham- 12
3 lb sliced American cheese- 5
Rolls for sandwiches- 80
Large condiment platter (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles onions, etc)-see classic relish tray on the veggie tray page, and see the condiment section on the sandwich page
Mustard/Ketchup

Variety of chips and multiple flavored dips- 1 pound chips per 10 plus 1/4 cup each dip per person for up to 3 dips

11 2-liters of soda- see the discussion on the beverage planning page- at least 20 for this 7 hour party
2-kegs beer- a keg is 160 glasses, most per drinkers drink 1 per hour
Iced tea- 10 gallons

Kim
10/22/12
Retreat -
I am planning for 50 people for treat in November.

I would like to know how much should I buy/cook.

Simple meatball spaghetti.
Toss salad and Garlic bread.

Please advise.

Many thanks,
Kim

Flora
10/22/12
Hi Ellen,

I need your help for two things I am doing this weekend.

#1 Meatball hoagies for 50 - how much burger and how much sauce will I need. I figured about 8 pds of burger, not sure with sauce.

#2 I am planning a hot luncheon for 60 mixed families. We are having ham, mashed potatoes and green beans. How much do I need of each? I hope you can help me out.

Thanking you in advance,
Flora

ellen
10/22/12
Flora,
Burger is OK if someone serves the meatballs- when people help themselves, they take more.

For the ham meal, if there are 10 or more children under 12, do 1/2 the amount for 100 under the plan for 100 table. If there are teens or mostly adults, do 2/3 the amount for 100.

ellen
10/22/12
Kim, do the meal for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page
Peggy
11/05/12
Sports Dinner for 100 people
I am helping organize a sports dinner for 100 people. Attendees will be adults and teenagers

We were planning on serving:

Rolls with butter
Salad
Rigatoni or spaghetti with red sauce
Meatballs
Sausage Peppers and Onions
Chicken Parmesian

Salad - 5 large trays
Probably making about 120 meatballs
Probably making 110 pieces of chicken parm
Sausage Peppers and Onions - 7 - 1/2 trays
Rigatoni - 12 pounds

Just wanted to know your interpretation as to how much so we don't undercook or overcook.

Will be using 1/2 size trays and large trays for the salad.

Thank you.

Peggy
11/05/12
Sports dinner continued
Forgot to tell you that we will be serving the food.

Everyone will get one meatball and one chicken parm. We are actually getting 2 pieces of chicken parm out of each cutlet.

Sausage - 12 sausauges per tray and cut up on a diagonal slice

Thanks for your help.

ellen
11/06/12
Hi, Peggy,

If this is adults and teens, I strongly suggest you add two how vegetables or one veg and a fruit garnish, otherwise there will not be enough food on the plate to satisfy the teens.

You want about 20 pounds of sausage.

Veg, broccoli first choice, 24 pounds ready to cook.

See the plan for 100 list for notes about the salad dressing.

Allow 2 rolls per person, 3 pounds butter.

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

Kathy
12/31/12
Rigationi And Meatballs
How much rigatoni and meatballs do I need for a baby shower of 125 people? I was asked to make this for the baby shower. Thank you.
kathy
12/31/12
How much rigatoni and meatballs do I need for a baby shower of 125 people? I was asked to make this for the baby shower. Thank you.
ellen
01/01/13
See the baked sausage mozzarella supper for a crowd on the spaghetti page. These quantities are right for 120 if you add salad, bread, maybe a vegetable, and dessert.
Cheryl
02/28/13
I am planning a Graduation Party for my daugther, she has picked her favorite foods for the menu. There will be about 150 people of all ages. What should the quantities be?
Sweet and Sour Chicken, Meatballs and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Pasta Salad, Toss Salad and Fried Rice. There will also be a Sundae Bar and Fruit Tree. Thanks
ellen
02/28/13
OK, this menu is a two to 3 kitchen event- do you have neighbors or family to help cooking and storage wise?

Sweet and Sour Chicken, raw chicken meat, 1 pound per 4
Meatballs and Gravy, 1 pound per 4

Mashed Potatoes, about 50 pounds raw, you can use the make ahead recipe for freezable holdable potatoes on the Big Pots page
Fried Rice, start with 8 pounds rice
You will have some of one of these left, but there is no telling which one

Pasta Salad- 6 pounds dry pasta
Toss Salad- use the plan for 100 list, make 1 1/2 times the amount

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

Donna
03/30/13
We're expecting 70 for graduation open house, 3:30 til who knows. Most people will visit several homes. My daughter wants finger food, mostly appetizers I've done before - pinwheels and bacon-wrapped items. She also likes ham but doesn't want the basic ham sandwiches. Any suggestions of what else I could do with ham?
ellen
03/30/13
What about hot ham and cheese on little slider buns? Or deviled ham with crackers?
Sarah
05/04/13
How much deli meat for 150 teens and adults for graduation party 4 - 6:30 pm on day of many other parties?

Plan to make the sandwiches in the kitchen on mountain rolls and put on tray for them to take.

also how much cheese?

Ann
05/22/13
Hi Ellen,

I'm having my son's graduation party on a Saturday from 2-7pm and would like some input on how much food I will need. I invited approximately 180 people.

Menu:
These items we are ordering from Famous Dave's;
pulled chicken-19 lbs
jalapeno Macaroni and cheese-15 quarts
coleslaw-15 quarts
corn bread muffins-180 muffins

These items I will be providing;
Pulled pork
beans-not sure what kind yet
veggie tray
fruit tray
chips and dip
lemonade, soda, beer and wine coolers
cake

Is there anything else you think I'm missing. Variety of ages from toddlers to elderly.
Thanks!

ellen
05/22/13
Sarah, so sorry I missed this- I would have done 2 small rolls per person, using the reception level fillings on the sandwich page.
ellen
05/22/13
Hi, Ann,

For 180 people, I would tweak the Dave's order .

pulled chicken-19 lbs- OK, none left
jalapeno Macaroni and cheese-15 quarts
Add 3 plain 9x13 (you could make these) for the people who don't eat peppers
coleslaw-15 quarts- cuts it very close- consider a couple more
corn bread muffins-180 muffins
Add 12 pounds bread or rolls 4-5 pounds butter

These items I will be providing;
Pulled pork- at least 35 pounds raw boneless
beans-not sure what kind yet- 14 pounds dry, about 6 gallons. Have at least some meatless for the non-meat eaters.
veggie tray- How about 2 classic relish trays plus salad for 100 from the veggie tray page
fruit tray- Do 1 1/2 the deluxe tray for 100, or 1 deluxe tray and 2 25 person simple from the fruit tray page
chips- 1 pound per 10
dip- 1 cup per 5, you could do slasa and a creamy dip.
Add sandwich fixings (lettuce, onions, pickles etc) for 150, see the sandwich page

lemonade, 12 gallons
soda, 1 per person 20 or under- divide as suggested on the beverage page
beer, amounts in a keg discussed on the beverage page. Average beer drinker drinks 4 12 ounce servings..
wine coolers- consider the High Wire white wine sangria on this site, cheaper and tastes better

cake- double layer full sheet cake serves 100.

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

Ann
05/22/13
Thank you so much for your input Ellen. It is very helpful.
I made a donation to thank you for your time:)
Laurie
06/12/13
Hi Ellen!!!
Having graduation on Saturday.... This is my 3rd one, but a totally different menu than others. I need some advice on he menu portions. Expecting approx. 150-180 mixed ages from 11:30am to 3:00pm.
Menu:
Sloppy joes
Electric roaster shredded cheesy potatoes (18 &20 qt sizes)
Fresh fruit
Rainbow rotini pasta salad
Broccoli supreme salad
Cake
Lemonade & coffee

How many pounds ground beef & fruit? How many pounds shredded hash browns & how many roasters to use?
How many gallons of each salad? Thank you!!

ellen
06/13/13
Roaster alert!!! You have too many roasters planned- you can only plug in one roaster per room or circuit.

Do sloppy joes per the recipe on site
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/bbentree5.html

Fruit per the fruit tray page, 1 1/2 times the deluxe fruit tray.

Hash browns, see the recipe on the breakfast planning page. Full help on amounts.

Pasta salad, 6 pounds dry pasta per 100 plus add-ins

Broccoli salad, 16 pounds per 100

Dawn
08/13/13
I am having a grad party this weekend for my son. Invited a little over 100 guests (mostly adults). I am serving:

Hot Dogs
Sloppy Joes
Pasta Salad
Cole Slaw
Baked Beans
Corn-on-the-Cob
Fruit Salad
Cake
Cookies
Pop & Water

Any suggestions on how much to make?
Thank you.

ellen
08/13/13
100 sloppy joes (about 18 pounds meat)
60 hot dogs
buns to match
sauerkraut, pickles onions, etc, see the sandwich page condiment table.

Pasta Salad- start with 6-7 pounds dry pasta
Cole Slaw- 2 1/2 gallons
Baked Beans- 3 gallons
Corn-on-the-Cob- 2 ears per each 3 people, broken in half; 3 pounds butter
Fruit Salad- do fruit trays, easier, prettier, hold better and the leftovers are more useful. See fruit tray page
Cake- 2 layer full sheet serves 100
Cookies- about 2 per person
Pop & Water- 2 bottles of water
Soda is discussed on the beverage planning page, both amounts and what flavors/types. You will save some money if you add 6 gallons of iced tea (2 unsweetened) and 4-6 of lemonade; it will cut down the soda by at least 1/3

ellen
08/13/13
By the way, Dawn, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.
Kelly
03/24/14
Hi Ellen,

I am throwing my first graduation party for my daughter. Sat. from 4-6. Invite will probably be around 200, but from what I've read, plan on about 85% showing.
We are going with a spagetti theme.
What do you think about this:
Spagetti with marinara sauce on side and meatballs in a crock pot if people would like.
Bread sticks
Some type of salad (is tossed to plain?)
cake. or cupcakes.
I have no idea how much of anything I need. I believe there will be 4 grad partys that day, so some peolpe won't be starving. Do I need another option, such as alfredo sauce?
Should I do penne pasta too?
Also, what do you suggest I do to help keep the noodles from being sticky?
Thanks for any help.

Kelly
03/24/14
Hi Ellen,

I am throwing my first graduation party for my daughter. Sat. from 4-6. Invite will probably be around 200, but from what I've read, plan on about 85% showing.
We are going with a spagetti theme.
What do you think about this:
Spagetti with marinara sauce on side and meatballs in a crock pot if people would like.
Probalby should have some fruit too. Beer, water, pop, lemonade for drinks.
Bread sticks
Some type of salad (is tossed to plain?)
cake. or cupcakes.
I have no idea how much of anything I need. I believe there will be 4 grad partys that day, so some peolpe won't be starving. Do I need another option, such as alfredo sauce?
Should I do penne pasta too?
Also, what do you suggest I do to help keep the noodles from being sticky?
Thanks for any help.

ellen
03/24/14
OK, so 175.

spagetti theme.

Spaghetti
marinara sauce on side
meatballs in a crock pot- you need a roaster, not a crock pot, due to amounts. Holds at 200-220 degrees.
See the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page. 3 times the amounts would be about right.
You could do 2/3 red and 1/3 Alfredo style sauce- the Alfredo style sauce recipe on the spaghetti page holds well.
Sticky noodles are discussed there. Penne holds better and is a perfectly acceptable alternative.
Don't forget the Parmesan.

Bread sticks,Salad both discussed in the dinner discussion. You could add one classic relish tray from the veggie tray page.

Probably should have some fruit too. 1 1/2 times the deluxe tray for 100 from the fruit tray page would be ample.

Beer, full keg is about 160 servings
water, 2 bottles per person, buy cases where unopened cases can be returned
lemonade, 6-8 gallons, frozen concentrate is excellent
You could skip pop and do iced tea- about 12 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened for drinks.
If you do soda, do for 100, use the guide on the beverage planning page.

cake or cupcakes
A full sheet cake serves 60. You could do 3 sheets or 3 2 layer half sheets in 3 different flavors-
OR do 1 cupcake per person if all one flavor, or about 95 each if 2 flavors

Richelle
04/04/14
Hi ellen,
My daughters graduation party is set and we're looking at around 200-250 guests. Well she has a particular menu she wants me to follow and this is what she would like. Only my brain is overwhelmed trying to crunch the numbers. This is where i could use your help. PLEASE!!!

Pulled pork sandwiches
Cheesy potatoes
Baked beans
corn on the cob (cooler method style)
Coleslaw
potato salad
taco dip w/ chips
cake or cupcakes
root beer kegs!!!
PLEASE HELP!! THANK YOU!!

ellen
04/05/14
No worries. You want to plan for 250, unless you want to order pizza or chicken delivered if you run out...

Pulled pork sandwiches
1 pound ready to eat per 4, 5 rolls per 5, or 10 slider rolls per pound.
Have 2 dozen vegetarian sausages or patties, such as field roast, boca, or mornin star, for the non-meat eaters; there will be some.

Cheesy potatoes- 3-4 full roaster pans. See the recipe at the bottom of the breakfast planning page.
Baked beans- 3 gallons per 100, have a crock of meatless for the vegetarians

corn on the cob (cooler method style)-do halves, 1 piece per person plus 10%. 3 pounds butter per 100 and some sprinkle on Parm- 2 pounds per 100

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

taco dip w/ chips, 1 cup salsa per 3 plus 1 pound chips per 10-12

cake or cupcakes- full sheet serves 50-60, so 2 layer full sheet serves about 100-120, and 2 full sheets in 2 different flavors would be plenty.

root beer kegs- full keg makes about 160 glasses, so 3-4. Suggest you also have 6-8 gallons unsweetened ice tea for adults or non-sugar folks, and maybe 2 cases of sugar free cans.

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

single mom on tight
04/06/14
I'm trying to plan for 200-300 drop in and out guests for graduation and keep the food at $200 or less. Good Luck. Right!
A sandwich
A salad or chips
Mini cupcake
Want to keep life simple. Problem being the family staying for the entire event. How do I know I have enough for them?
Thought about fruit salad or pasta salad as a filler but really want pulled pork as the sandwich so the salad needs to be less expensive than what fresh fruit is.
Help!
ellen
04/06/14
Mom, I hear your budget concerns, but you can't do any kind of sandwich meal for $1 per person. Either switch to a 2 hour reception, or cut guest list to allow at least $3-4 per person. Please write back your choices.
Julie
04/18/14
Hi! We are having a high school graduation party. Inviting around 400 - do we expect 1/2 will show? Son wants Italian meatballs in sauce, bread, veggie tray, fruit and small cake but then have a cookie bar. Do I need to do pasta or meatballs and bread ok? I'm just worked about keeping pasta fresh . Also don't know how much food to actually get.
Julie
04/18/14
I forgot to tell you in the previous post it's on a Sunday from noon to 3.
ellen
04/18/14
For ordinary parties, 85% show. Grad parties depends on what other parties are going on at that time. I need the start and end times of the party to help with the estimates.
Julie
04/19/14
It's on a Sunday from noon- 3
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