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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

wedding reception for 200 people
Sonyette
02/04/09
I'm having a full course wedding dinner for approximately 200 guest. The menu consist of three meats w/the option to choose one:
3-turkeys, 2-hams, or chicken (200 pieces)
dressing w/gravy, potato salad, baked mac and cheese
green beans, greens, sweet potatoes,and rolls.
I need to know how much dressing and sweet potatoes needs to be prepared (lbs..bags).I'm also not too sure on how many pans (lbs) of baked mac & cheese I need.
The desserts will be a three tier wedding cake, a sheet cake, punch bowl cake, and jello pies.
The drinks will be tea, lemonade, punch, and water. Is this menu ok? If you have any other advise or info that you would like to share, please do so.
ellen
02/04/09
Sonyette,

This is a very large group if you are planning to do it yourself, and if you are having it catered or dropped off, the person should be able to halp you with amounts.

You need about 3-5 kitchen people and 12-18 servers for this size group.

This is basically an OK menu, but I am a little confused by your description. If this is self serve, people will not chose one meat, and even it is buffet with servers for the meat, many people ask for more than one. If it is plated, you have to have enough that people can have their first choice, and it looks to me like you will not have the flexibility for that.

First the easy part, you need about 30 pounds of potatoes per 100 and dressing is discussed in the article on planning and shopping for a large community dinner in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots.

You have enough chicken for about 100 people, enough turkey for about 50 and enough ham for about 60 unless they are VERY large. This does not give most of your guests a choice, they will get chicken because the others will run out. I would probably stick with ham and turkey and use the guidelines in the planning section of the holiday cooking section in big pots, which would indicate 150-200 pounds of whole raw turkey PLUS 35 pounds of boneless ham for this size group.

There are several rescipes and also quantity guidelines for the mac and cheese on this site. If you post a plan or shopping list I will check it for you.

Sonyette
02/05/09
Thanks for your response. After I posted this message to you, I made the decision on changing the whole menu all together overnight. The food will be buffet style with servers. I have decided to go with chicken wings...fried, barbecue, and hot
(how many lbs of party wings will I need?)
meatballs...w/barbecue and some w/gravy
(how many lbs will I need?)
the ham and turkey will be slice and served w/rolls or croissant
lil' smokies w/barbecue sauce
(how many lbs will I need?)
mash potatoes, potato salad, pasta salad
what do you think about cheese & cracker/veggie trays?
I didn't make any changes to the desserts but I was thinking of adding a fruit bowl...your thoughts.
ellen
02/05/09
mash potatoes, potato salad, pasta salad- all covered in the [plan for 100 tables.
cheese & cracker/veggie trays? I would put these out as a nibble table for the guests to eat while they wait that hour while you do pics and everything gets set up. See the appetizer planning page.

Though you have picked appetizer type meats, you need a dinner's worth per person:

chicken wings...fried, barbecue, and hot
(how many lbs of party wings will I need?)
~1/2 pound per person
meatballs...w/barbecue and some w/gravy
(how many lbs will I need?
~1 pound for each 5 persons
the ham and turkey will be slice
~1 pound of each for each 5 persons deli thin sliced
and served w/rolls or croissant
small rolls or mini croissants,
~2 per person, and have butter as well as sandwich spreads
lil' smokies w/barbecue sauce
~1 pound for each 8 persons.

millie
10/30/09
Thanksgiving for 100 people
Can you tell me how many turkeys I need to cook for 100 people?
ellen
10/30/09
Between 75 to 100 pounds raw. See the discussion in the planning and shopping for large community feasts at the top of Big Pots.
Therese
11/20/09
Planning a wedding reception for my daughter. Approx 200. We were going to have both ham and turkey. Do you need more turkey than ham?
So for 200 hundred approx 150 or so lbs of turkey and another 150 of ham?
ellen
11/20/09
You need 5 ounces cooked ready to eat turkey PLUS 3 ounces cooked ready to eat ham per person. There is a turkey yield table so you can decide how much raw, depending on what cut. Ham, presliced boneless, 1 pound for 4-5 people, depending on the sides.
Autumn
12/03/10
I'm having a wedding reception for 200 people. We are serving Ham sandwiches on snack buns. I would like to know how many lbs. of ham slices I would need we want to serve shaved ham due to it's nice texture and ease with chewing due to our elderly guest. We are also serving Maid Rites and a Nice Roasted Garbanzo Bean Pasta Salad. The ham is the only amount in question as we are doing this all ourselves with some help with our church ladies. I thank you for any response.
ellen
12/04/10
With the Maid Rites, 4 ounces ham per person is plenty.
Paula
12/12/10
I am serving shaved ham on small wheat rolls and chicken salad on small croissant rolls as finger sandwiches at my daughter's wedding reception. I do not know how many pounds of shaved ham or chicken salad to purchase. We are planning on 200 people. I plan on having 200 of each type of sandwich. Your help would be greatly appreciated
Leona
12/13/10
What's a Maid Rites?
ellen
12/13/10
Paula, the amounts for this are discussed on the sandwich page. My suggestions, 2 sandwiches per person is cutting it very close on amounts and I would add 10%. Remember for each 50 people self serve, you need a line, so you need 4 lines.

As I told Sonyette, you need about 3-5 kitchen people and 12-18 servers for this size group..

ellen
12/13/10
They are a midwestern variation on sloppy joes.
Brenda
01/03/11
planning reception for my sons wedding that took place in Las Vegas. Now we are having the reception back at home for 200. They want mexican food. Pork burritos, taco bar, mexican rice, fidel using angle hair pasta, beans, chips and cheese dip and of course homemade salsa. Could you tell me how many pounds of pork butt and hamburger to get. Also approx. how much lettuce, tomato, and cheese, rice and beans. I will be cooking most of this myself. please give me as much info as you can!!
ellen
01/04/11
You may be cooking yourself, and you can do a lot ahead but you need to recruit or hire help for the day before and day of, or you won't make it. At least a couple day before in the kitchen, and about 10 day of to set up, serve, and clean up. You would need almost double this if it was plated instead of buffet.
Good sources: community college culinary program, active church kitchen, staff of breakfast diner that closes at 2 PM.

As far as the menu:

Pork burritos, 1 per person Enchiladas (2 per person) or adobo are both easier. 1 pound bone in pork butt or shoulder per 3 people Can be made ahead and frozen
taco bar, See the taco bar page. Do for 150; the burritos will offset the rest Lettuce, sour cream, etc, all covered
mexican rice, discussed at taco bar, or use 2 times one of my Spanish or Mexican rice for 100 recipes; about 12 pounds dry rice; use an oven recipe Day of
fidel using angle hair pasta, about 10 pounds dry pasta Day of.
beans, depends on the recipe; at least 16 pounds dry, 1-2 days ahead
chips, corn, 8 pounds per 100
cheese dip, 1/3 cup per person
homemade salsa, 1/3 cup per person

I would add 2 fruit trays for 100 This is a heavy meal without it.

Beverages, see the beverage planning page.

Donna
01/18/11
A wedding reception for approx. 200 people, the tentative menu, Prime rib w/ Au jus (if need to much may change to sliced ham, baked boneless/skinless chicken breast w/ Marsala sauce, boiled potatoes w/ parsley butter, green beans, pasta salad, fruit salad all served buffet style by servers and toss salad & rolls first on tables, cake, mints, nuts, tea (s &us), punch, water and coffee. I am having trouble with the meat amounts. Do I figure on 3-4oz of cooked rib and 4-5oz of chicken per person or how much raw would you suggest? Thanks, Donna.
ellen
01/18/11
If this is buffet service, you need 4 lines. Each 2 can go to one carving station.

If prime rib and chicken, 4-5 ounces ready to eat beef (that is about 1/2 pound raw bone in) PLUS 1 small chicken breast (3-4 ounces cooked) per person

If chicken and ham, 2 pounds raw breast per 5 PLUS 1 pound boneless ham per 4.

At weddings, you need a nibble table for the guests (in this case 2 or 3) with about 3 items plus punches for the long wait between the wedding and the dnner. I would do one dip, fruit trays, and cheese trays for the table

Donna
01/19/11
Ellen, Thank you for your help!!! :) I have been searching for answers. Just one more question we were wondering if cost wise we should add the ham (3 meats) or just stick with two? Ellen, again THANK YOU for your help and God bless you. Donna
ellen
01/20/11
Stick with 2. Consider adding a side dish that could serve as a vegetarian entree- eggplant Parm, ratatouille, etc: about 7 quarts.
joyce
04/09/11
Planning a wedding and was wondering how much mix nuts, mints, cake and punch needed to serve 250
ellen
04/09/11
6 pounds each per 100 mints and nuts. Punch, see the beverage planning page, and also add dinner coffee for at least 200. Cake, depends on whether there are other desserts as well and what else is being served. Since wedding cake costs $7 per serving or more, a very good way to cut expense is to have a smaller cake and a dessert buffet. Check out the dessert planning page, write back if you need to.
Michele Yordon
08/18/11
How much pasta do I need for 100 people??? It will be a side dish...not the main course.
ellen
08/18/11
Covered on the spaghetti page with explanations about different types.
Cathy
09/08/11
I am going to cook baked ham for 200 people. What is the best type of ham that is a good that will feed that many. How many lbs of ham would we need. We were considering the spiral hams. Would that be a bad choice?
We are doing corn & green beans too. How many of the large commercial type cans that you get at Sam's would we need for each of those?
ellen
09/08/11
Hi, Cathy,

Spiral hams are a good choice, the thin slices cut down on the amounts taken. 50 pounds bone in or 30 pounds boneless ready to eat.

A good spicy glaze and a raisin or pineapple sauce are attractive accompaniments.

The veggies, 5 #10 cans per 100, or 22-24 pounds frozen per 100.

Cathy
09/09/11
Thank you so much for your help!
ellen
09/09/11
ALERT CATHY!!!
That is 50 pounds per 100 people. You need double for 200 people!
hannah
09/09/11
iam planning a wedding and planning on doing cheese dip how much should i fix for 200 people?
Jane
09/14/11
Wedding reception for 200 buffet style. Meat choices will be BBQ pork (I purchased 4 shoulder/butt roast, approx 37 pounds raw and have already prepared and have frozen in food saver bags), Brisket (planning on 5 to 6 briskets), chicken wings and shrimp boil.

My questions are:
Chicken party wings how many? 1/2 pound per person?

Shrimp boil with potatoes, mushrooms and corn. This would be peel and eat shrimp, large size, how many pounds would you suggest taking into consideration the other meat choices we are having?

Thanks for any info you can provide. The wedding is October 1st.

ALSO ~ JUST FOUND THIS SITE AND LOVE IT... VERY HELPFUL!!!

ellen
09/14/11
Hannah, about 3 1/2 gallons.

Jane, people LOVE shrimp and are quite greedy about them, even with other tasty choices. You need at least 1 pound per each 5 people, and having someone serve these portions for the first round would be wise.

For the wings, 4-6 pieces per person, weight depends on size, but it works out to 2 pounds raw for every 5-6 people. Every 6 should be OK with this menu.

Kayla Wilkins
10/20/11
We are inviting 300 people to our wedding. We are planning a dessert reception. Do you think people would like that? Also, should we serve fruits and veggies too? if so how much?
ellen
10/20/11
As long as the service is after a meal- so people eat before they come- it will be fine. Either 1-2 pm or 7-8 pm for the service.

Fruit trays, nuts, and some cheese trays are a very good addition, as some people can't eat a lot of sweets. I would skip the veggies. Amounts are covered on the fruit tray page, plan for 100 page and the appetizer page.

You want to be sure to serve dinner coffee/tea as outlines on the beverage planning page, along with your punch. Many people want coffee with desserts.

liz
03/30/12
Im planning a wedding for my daughter for 400. We are going to have a taco bar. I have 40 lbs of hamburger and was possibly going to add chirizo to it to spice it up. Will I have enough meat for that many people. We will have rice, beans, quacamole, salsa and all the rest of taco fixings. We will also have some appetizers with it like taquitos, pinwheels and such plus desserts and cake. It will be a meal for everyone not just an appetizer reception.
ellen
03/30/12
Liz, you need to get realistic. I NEVER recommend self catering this size party if you are inexperienced in very large parties.

See the taco bar for 100, it takes 25 pounds of meat just for 100.

You need 3 days in a commercial kitchen to prep this and a walk-in cooler to hold it.

It also takes around 20 people- full time, not wedding members- to cook, set up, serve and cleanup this size party.

Barb
04/05/12
I am making 160 Even Cook 4 oz chicken breasts for a wedding. In the past I have done this for 30 people successfully. I marinade them for 2 days first, then grill them undercooking slightly. I then reheat them in a ziplock bag and microwave. They hold nicely and keep moist in a crockpot. My question is...we have a professional warmer but after reheating them, how long can I hold them in the warmer? We will be using chaffing dishes buffet style when we take them out of the warmer. Any advice would be gladly received.
Wendy
04/06/12
wedding reception for 280 people
we are having about 280 guests at my daughters wedding . Need to know how much food . We are having turkey , ham, potato salad, macoroni salad,cold slaw. Thankyou
ellen
04/12/12
Food safety, Barbara, says a TOTAL of 4 hours including the warmer and the table.

Wendy, all these foods are covered on the plan for 100 tables. Make an estimate, post it, and I will be glad to check it for you.

Wendy, the planning article for holiday meals in the section at the very top of Big Pots, covers the estimating for a ham plus turkey meal.

Michelle
04/21/12
I'm doing the cooking for a family member who's getting married. How much food do I need to purchase for 200 people

Beef Roast and gravy
Lemon baked chicken
Red garlic potatoes
Green Beans
Toss salad
Dinner rolls

ellen
04/22/12
Beef Roast and gravy- 2 pounds raw per 5 PLUS
Lemon baked chicken- 1 pound raw per 4

All the rest are on the plan for 100 list, use double.
Red garlic potatoes
Green Beans
Toss salad
Dinner rolls

Sandra Hoadley
08/05/12
wedding reception for 300 people
I'm making turkey and boneless ham for our wedding for 300 people. How much of each should I plan of each meat with turkey being the main ham as second choice. Also serving salad, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, & having meat, cheese, fruit, and crackers appetizers 1 hour before the meal.
ellen
08/05/12
Sandra, if you check out the planning and chopping guide for large holiday meals article at the top of big pots, it goes into detail about planning a turkey plus ham meal. Then put together a first estimate and post it, and I will be happy to check for you.
Sandra
08/06/12
wedding reception for 300 people
This is what I've figured out am I close?
Turkey 100lbs cooked & deboned
ham 60lbs already cooked
stuffing 6- 48 serving/box
potatoes 6-65 serving/box
fresh sweet corn- 12 gal
buns- 50 doz
tossed salad-18-2 lb bags
gravy- 6 gal turkey of broth
cupcakes-275
1/4 sheet cake
2 gal ranch
2 gal french
vegi mix- 6 lbs
pineapple- 4 lbs
strawberry- 4 lbs
summer sausage- 1 tray
cheese (mixed)- 1 tray
4 boxes ritz crackers
ellen
08/07/12
Sandra, if that is 100 pounds raw turkey, cooked and deboned, it is not nearly enough. You need at least 150 pounds, and 200 would not be too much.

ham 60lbs already cooked- OK
stuffing 6- 48 serving/box- OK
potatoes 6-65 serving/box- OK, but fresh made are MUCH better
fresh sweet corn- 12 gal- OK
buns- 50 doz- 1.5 per person is enough unless they are the smaller ones.
tossed salad-18-2 lb bags- OK\
2 gal ranch
2 gal french
add 2 gallons Italian
vegi mix- 6 lbs??? if a veggie tray, you need 1 pound per 8 people!
gravy- 6 gal turkey of broth- OK

cupcakes-275
1/4 sheet cake
Are these the only desserts? I would not do less than a 2 layer half sheet- it IS a wedding...

Your appetizers are very short:

pineapple- 4 lbs
strawberry- 4 lbs
For a fruit tray, you need 1 pound edible fruit for every 5-6 people
summer sausage- 1 tray need 1 pound per 10 people
cheese (mixed)- 1 tray- need 1 pound per 8 people
4 boxes ritz crackers need 6-8 pounds per 100 people

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

rebecca
08/09/12
what foods should be served with ham and turkey as the meats. We are having pasta salad,fruit trays, vegetable trays and rolls for the ham and turkey for sandwiches but it seems something is missing
ellen
08/09/12
Rebecca, if this is the whole meal, and a party, this is a very thin menu.

I would add at least a condiment tray for the sandwiches- see the sandwich page table for sandwich fixings. Also slaw and either beans (could be hot or a cold bean salad) or chips and dip (1/4 pound dip per person, 1 pound chips per 10), or both.

Check the plan for 100 page.

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

Jana
09/19/12
I want to make a fruit bowl in a punch bowl for 200 people.

Should I use a 3 gallon bowl or a 5 gallon bowl?

sandy
09/29/12
reception for 200 people
How many pounds of shrimp is needed for shrimp salad for 200 people. Other items are being severed as in wings, subs, coleslaw, deserts. veggie trays and cheese balls.
ellen
09/29/12
Jana, you need at least 2 serving points if this is with appetizers, and 4 if it is part of the meal. A 3 gallon bowl refilled is what each one would have.

Sandy, 1 pound shelled per 5.

KAREN MCBRIDE
11/25/12
church luncheon for 200
want to serve canned sweet potatoes for 200. how much do i need?
ellen
11/26/12
5 #10 can per 100
Susie
01/16/13
wedding reception for 110 people
My daughter's wedding reception. I baked chicken tenders and meatballs. I plan to have gravy for both. I figure 1/4 cup gravy for meatballs (similar to swedish meatballs) and 1/2 cup gravy for chicken tenders. All this per person on a buffet. Am I figuring this properly? Thanks so much this site is a GREAT idea!!
ellen
01/16/13
This looks good- enjoy
christian lomax
02/13/13
My menu is italian chicken, Rice pilaf, green beans,and roll. My family is is preparing it. (200guest)
How many pounds of chicken do you think ill need?
ellen
02/14/13
Use the chicken chart on the plan for 100 page, amount depends on what cut you are using.

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

Brenda
03/04/13
wedding reception for 250 people
Making chicken salad sandwiches for neice's wedding reception. How much chicken breast will I need? I will cut bread into 4 pieces.
ellen
03/05/13
You need to make one sandwich (4 bites) of this if there are other sandwiches also. 1 pound chicken breast boneless and skinless, makes 2 cups of meat, which makes about 3 1/2 cups of chicken salad. For these sandwiches be sure you dice the celery very small. This makes about10 to 14 sandwiches, depending on whether you use 1/4 cup (thin) or 1/3 cup (slightly thicker) of filling per sandwich.

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

taylor
03/17/13
Hi there Ellen,
I want to do a mexican meal for my wedding. We are going to have approximately 130 guests.(Less if I can maneuver it) I was thinking of doing beef, and shredded chicken or pork to put into soft and hard shell tacos. Making a rice dish, refried beans, and homemade salsa, along with taco chips. I would have lots of shredded lettuce, guacamole, onion, corn, sour cream etc. Is there any advice you have for how much I would require for a reception this size? Is there an easy way to prepare a meal like this ? I was thinking for renting all the heating dishes etc. because to do the meal I want it is approximately $16.50 per guest and I really dont foresee my budget stretching that far. How much do you think we should budget for a meal like this?
Thanks so much for any advice
ellen
03/17/13
If it includes service, this is a fair price for this meal. See the potato bar page for quantities- do 1 1/3 times the amount for 130, or 1 1/4 times for 125.

You need an appetizer table, this is discussed in quite a few of my recommendations for receptions.

YOu need about 9 people to set up, serve, and clean up this meal.

Coleen
03/30/13
I am doing the cooking for my sons wedding There will be appro. 200 people at the receptin. I need to know how much eef and pork I will need for pulled bbq sandwiches. Also how many buns should we get? Thank you for your help,

Colleen

ellen
03/31/13
You need about 80 pounds raw boneless. I would probably split it 50 pork, 30 chicken. The chicken bone in takes twice the weight of chicken as boneless.

About 1 1/2 normal roles per person.

Joe
04/01/13
I need to know how many lbs of fingerlings potatoes to buy
for 200 guest as a side dish to tri tip
Staci
04/01/13
We are planning a soup & salad wedding reception for my daughter. We are expecting 200-250 guests. We have planned three kinds of soup and one ethnic rice and beans dish. I have chosen recipes that I know freeze well so that I can make all the soup ahead of time. I am making the soup in large batches (standard recipe times 6) and putting cooled soup in gallon zip-lock bags and freezing them flat on trays. My idea is to transport the "bricks" of frozen soup to the reception venue early on the morning of the wedding, and cut the plastic bags off the frozen soup and thawing the soup slowly in 18-quart roasters. I will then serve the soup cafeteria-style directly from the roasters. The reception is not until 5:00 p.m. I plan to have a two roasters per soup ready to go at the start time and extra bags of each soup thawed, but cool, and ready to reheat in large pots on a stove top. We have access to a warming kitchen only.

Does this sound realistic? I guess I'm primarily wondering if I can thaw and reheat frozen soup (each brick is about an inch or so thick) in an electric roaster using a low-and-slow method over six or seven hours? I have figured out that I can layer 4-5 "bricks" of frozen soup in an 18-quart roaster. Again, the plastic bag will be cut off before I place it in the roaster. If this sounds doable, what temperature would you suggest for the roaster? There will be individuals available to stir the soup occasionally through the day.

ellen
04/02/13
250 people requires 4 serving lines, or 2 double-sided serving lines, minimum. You also need about 22 gallons of soup; how it is divided depends on the flavors,which you have not specified here, but is is often a 50/25/25 split or a 40/30/30 split.

A roaster can hold at the max 4 gallons, 3 1/2 is better. The reheat method is OK, but you really need to have the soups ready to serve; you will have less than 1/2 hour to refill the containers.

Now a sad fact about roasters; they require 1 full electrical circuit each to run, and you need at least 6 for the 2 tables- you were probably counting on 2 more for the rice and beans? In other words, no standard venue can run 6 roasters. Look into renting the big soup tureens (the black ones you have seen at some buffets) for serving and transferring the ALREADY HOT soup to them to serve.

If you try to run 2 roasters on one circuit it blows the fuse and you have cold soup. Trust me on this, I speak from experience.

It takes about 3 kitchen people and 12-14 servers to set up, serve, and clean up this size party.

You need lots of really good muffins, quick breads and rolls, some salad, and an appetizer area to fill out this plan. Here are notes 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, 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; maybe shrimps if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Feel free to write back, but do start a new thread. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site.

George
06/17/13
Golf outing for about 150 people
Hello,

I was asked to cook for a local vol. fire dept. golf outing for about 150 to 160 people. I will have plenty of help cooking and serving, they are wanting pulled pork sanwiches and chicken pieces. I have a commercial Meadow Creek Bbq cooker capable of cooking for this amount and even more, I just need help in the food amouts to buy. I was thinking of atleast 5-20lb , and atleast 400 pieces of chicken. thinking 2-3 pieces each. Or if they wanted chicken halfs instead of pieces, that would give guys more chicken per person.Then I would plan on making about 180 chicken halfs instead. I am sure they are planning side dishes also, but tat not mt responsability, just the bbq meat. does my meat amounts sound right? Thank you for any help or tips you may have to ensure there is plenty of food for all. Thank you, George..

ellen
06/17/13
If this is a single meal, 1 sandwich per person plus 1/4 chicken per person (2 pieces) is a lot. I would do about 60 pounds boneless pork and no more than 40 chickens. This would allow 1/2 chicken for half the people and 2 sandwiches apiece for the rest, or a sandwich and a quarter chicken per person, or any other combo. That should be plenty with any kind of sides.
George
06/17/13
Golf outing for about 150 people
Hi Ellen,

Thank you so much for all your help, I would rather have left overs then not enough. You just never know how people(guys) are going to eatespecially when they are drinking as well. Thanks again for your help, There is alot of good info on your site. I will keep it on my favorites..
George

Jenny
07/01/13
trying to finish up menu plans...buffet for 200 serving a chicken breast dish, spiral ham, baked mac & cheese, green beans, cole slaw...how many pounds each meat, how many full size aluminum pans of mac and cheese and pounds of cole slaw will I need? Ham will be personally served on the buffet table.
ellen
07/01/13
200
chicken breast dish, 1 piece per person (1 pound raw boneless per 4)
spiral ham, 60-70 pounds
baked mac & cheese, 20 pounds dry pasta, 1 quart sauce per pound, don't know the size of you pans, but a standard full size pan only serves 20.
green beans, 45 pounds
cole slaw, 5 gallons, about 40 pounds of cabbage

You need bread (25 pounds) and butter 5-6 pounds

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

Darcy
07/09/13
We are serving pulled pork sliders, coleslaw, and baked beans for roughly 200 people. I'm planning on having 85 pounds of pork and 600 buns. I'm not sure how much coleslaw and baked beans I will need. We are doing it buffet style outdoors at a park. Ideas?
Darcy
07/09/13
We are having the wedding at 2, and the reception at about 3 if that helps
ellen
07/09/13
Most people will eat lunch, so not quite so much needed-

slaw 2 1/2 gallons per 100
beans 3 gallons per 100

Darcy
07/09/13
How many pounds will that equal? I'm buying my cabbage and dressing separately for the coleslaw, so how much cabbage would you get? And I'm buying the large, 117 oz, cans of beans, so how many cans would you get?
Darcy
07/09/13
My math says 20 pounds of cabbage and about 24 pounds, or 4 cans, of beans. Does that sound about right?
ellen
07/09/13
Yes, that is good math and NOTICE that is per 100.
Darcy
07/09/13
And my math was per 100 as well...I was just trying to get a baseline to know how much to look at buying in the store
ellen
07/12/13
wedding reception for 160 peoepl
How many pounds of large shrimp for 160 people for an appetizer, before dinner @ a wedding. There will be other appetizer available. They will be large and peel yourself if that makes a difference. Thanks Ellen,
ellen
07/13/13
At least 3 per person if jumbo, pounds depends on the size you select, about 3 ounces per person.
angie
08/09/13
Outside country wedding for our daughter, we are having boneless wings, and, or pulled pork with small rolls and little smokies, rest of the food is horderves and desserts. my question is should I do the pulled pork, or have the boneless chicken wings catered in how much on the wings, , also how may pounds of little smokies will I need.
Thank you,
Angie
ellen
08/09/13
Little Smokies 1 pound per 5.

For the entree, wings are neater (less drippy) but may be more expensive.

When you say everything else is hors douvres, what do you mean? The amount of entrees depends on the total menu, so write me some more info.

angie
08/09/13
we are having as far as hors douvres, little pinwheel sandwiches, veggies in ranch dressing, shrimp, sushi, fruit salad, kale salad, crackers, italian pasta salad, hummus, spinach artichoke dip, desserts, wedding cake, cream puffs, belgium cream puffs, pies, cupcakes, chocolate zucchini bread cut into cubes, cheesecake, cookies and more, we are also thinking of the children, pbj's, animal crackers, gold fish. separate from all this a candy buffet

I have 18 lbs of smokies, we are thinking we will have 180 people, but planning enough for 200. We are for sure doing the boneless wings with a BBQ sauce in a small crockpot. so looks like I should get about 6 more packages, 3lbs in a package. thank you for your help :)
Angie

ellen
08/09/13
Angie, this is a lot of items, but I am concerned you will run out of the two meats. If I were planning for 200, even with all these good things, I would not plan less than 1 pound per 6 of each of them.

Also, with the wings, you might want to consider a roaster, or at least a very large crockpot; otherwise, someone will be running back and forth all night.

Angie
08/12/13
The roaster is a great idea, i will make the smokies in a large roaster, and as far as the boneless chicken wings, will they be ok in a roaster, or could I have a chafing pan in back warming them. both meats will be in chafing pans on buffet table. The pinwheel sandwiches are from Sam's "Nancy's, have you heard of this brand? 60 in a box, I am thinking of buying 10 boxes?
Thank you for your help.
Angie
ellen
08/13/13
Chafers are not hot enough to reheat items, you can put the chafer pans in the oven to warm them (temp in the middle 165 on an instant read thermometer). The Nancy's pinwheels are certainly adequate and that is the least amount you would want.
Rose
08/29/13
wedding reception for 175 people
Wedding reception for 175. Using meat platter of roast beef, ham & turkey on mini croissant and small rolls, also cheese. How much meat and cheese per croissant/roll? What kind of cheese(s) do you recommend? Chicken salad on crackers, how many pounds of chicken salad needed? Medium size shrimp - how many per person? How much cocktail sauce per person? Homemade cheese balls (about 6 to 8 inches round). How many do I need? Candy & nut station: peanuts, mixed nuts, cinnamon pecans, almonds, cashews, Godiva chocolates, butter mints, colorful candies (give suggestions). How much do I need (will eat these at reception, not carry out). Will also have a fruit station. Other menu items include: meatballs, vegetable tray, lady fingers, orange balls, cheese straws, four different kinds of cheese balls, four kinds of dip for fruit station, several kinds of crackers, two kinds of dip for vegetables. What condiments for mini croissants do you suggest? There will be a station for the cake & for the punch fountain, and a bar. Thank you so much for your help.
ellen
08/30/13
wedding reception for 175 people
I would divide this up a bit so that there is an appetizer table set up right away- 2 areas for this size party- for the hour while the guests wait for the photography, etc. before dinner. These items:

the punch fountain,

Medium size shrimp, 3 ounces per person
cocktail sauce, 1 cup per 6

Homemade cheese balls (about 6 to 8 inches round). four different kinds of cheese balls,
20 pounds total

vegetable tray, 2 kinds of dip
several kinds of crackers, 8 pounds total per 100 for all the different items

cheese straws, 1 pound per 12

Dinner:

meat platter of roast beef, ham & turkey
40 pounds, 1/2 beef, 1/4 each of the others
meatballs, 1 pound per 5
cheese, 1 pound per 12, mild cheddar, jack and muenster
chicken salad, 1 pound per 6
mini croissant and small rolls, 22 pounds
crackers, 8 pounds
condiments- this is discussed at length on the sandwich page, mayo, mustard, olives, pickles, add 4 pounds cranberry jelly

You need a starchy salad such as a potato or pasta salad, 4 gallons per 100. Many recipes this site.

A marinated veggie or bean salad, or tomato salad, 3 gallons per 100, or a classic relish tray, would also be a good addition.

Candy & nut station: peanuts, mixed nuts, cinnamon pecans, almonds, cashews, Godiva chocolates, butter mints, colorful candies -
1 pound per 6, M&Ms the usual colorful choice

fruit station, four kinds of dip, 2 is plenty. Amounts per fruit tray page; 1 1/2 times the deluxe tray for 100 is plenty

Not sure whether these two items go with the candy or desserts or where?
lady fingers- 2 per person (might be nice with coffee suggested below)
orange balls- depends on size, 1-2 per person

There will be a station for the cake and a bar.

Suggest you add dinner level coffee per the beverage planning page.

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

Al
08/31/13
Hello Ellen
We are setting up two double sided buffet for 200.
Plan on main course of penna pasta with Alfredo and basic red sauce
Sliced sirloin with au jus not sure wether to use eye round or top sirloin shoulder butt will plan on 60 lbs.
Last protein is lemon pepper chicken plan on 50 lbs of 5 oz trimmed b/s breast.
The starch is a cheesy smashed potato 60 lbs pots 5 lbs fancy shredded Colby Jack and 2lb butter.
the last is green beans planning on 46 lbs.
This the largest party I have planned just making all precautions I can. Ty Ellen
ellen
08/31/13
Al, this is the right amount of lines. Your amounts look good.

With all the pasta, I would not do potatoes; I would do 2 great vegetables, or an antipasto veg, etc.

Top sirloin is tenderer than top round.

Add rolls, 24 pounds, and 6 pounds butter.

Karen
09/18/13
wedding reception for 100
Hi Ellen, we are doing a wedding reception for 80 to 100 people. The main meal would consist of a chicken dish (boneless/skinless) rice & a vegetable. I'm not concerned with the sides, but the reception is being held at a family member's house. What's the easiest & safest way to reheat the chicken breasts? The dinners will be plated, it won't be buffet style. I'm worried about the chicken being dried out by the time they are served. Thank you.
Dianne Hannah
10/25/13
We are planning a outside rehersal dinner, mostly finger foods for about 60 people , I'm planning hot wings, sausage balls , chicken salad sandwiches ,ham with rolls , veggie tray, cheese logs and tuna dip with crackers , stuffed eggs , salted pecans ,chips and dip,cheesecake , crockpot candy , cookies , how much of each should I have ?
ellen
10/25/13
Karen, take a look at the two wedding chicken recipes on the Big Pots page, both have sauces and reheat without drying out.
ellen
10/25/13
Dianne, for 60 people,

hot wings, 16-20 pounds
don't forget dipping sauce- Ranch dressing, 1 cup per 4 people
sausage balls, 3 per person
stuffed eggs, 3 dozen eggs=72
chips, 1 pound per 12
dip, 1 pint per pound

chicken salad sandwiches, use reception level from the sandwich page
ham with rolls, 1 pound deli slice per 8-10, 2 small rolls. Get mayo and mustard

veggie tray, use the veggie tray page, but maybe start with a classic relish tray
cheese logs- about 5 pounds
tuna dip, 1 cup per 8
crackers, about 5-6 pounds

salted pecans, 6 pounds per 100
crock pot candy, 2 small pieces per person

cheesecake, 1 piece per person
cookies, 1 each several flavors per person

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

Andria
02/13/14
School Luncheon for 300 people
Hi Ellen,

I am cooking and serving 300 students/parents for a special event during the school's lunch next Friday.

My meal includes:

Macaroni and Cheese
Fried Buttermilk Chicken Legs
Green Beans
Cornbread

I'm doing the majority of prepping and cooking Thursday, saving just the frying of the chicken for Friday.

My questions are:
How much elbow macaroni, roux (flour and milk), milk and cheese for cheese sauce, buttermilk to soak chicken legs in overnight and use before frying, flour for coating for chicken legs, green beans, cornstarch for cornbread, and oil for frying. Also, how long do you think it will take to fry up 300 pieces of chicken legs in 2 large stockpots filled with oil? I have a 2 hr time frame, and keeping in mind the oil will need time to come back up to temp.
Can you help me with this? Thanks so much, it's very much appreciated!!

ellen
02/13/14
Andrea, what age children? Also will you consider oven-frying the chicken after marinating and coating? Easier, MUCH safer and healthier.

Write back, please.

Elaine
03/04/14
I am catering my son's wedding (April 12, 2014). I'm using full-size steam table aluminum pans to prepare my Crawfish Fettuccine & Baked Mac&Cheese in. How many pans of each dish do I need for 200 guests?
ellen
03/05/14
Elaine, what is the rest of the menu? Please write back.
Jill
05/24/14
I'm doing a wedding for 200 ppl. I would like to know ... the family is doing salads and desserts . I just need to know how much should I prepare of
Sweet n sour meatballs
Reg meat balls
Lasanga
Rice
Wings
Turkey
Ham
Roasted potato

Any helpful info would be appreciated !!! Thanks !!

SabrinaP
05/24/14
Hi! I just started an event planning business and we booked our 1st wedding for October this year. Approximate guests = 200. We are using full size aluminum pans to prepare pole beans, collards, yams, mac and cheese, rice pilaf, and potato salad..How many pans of each should we prepare? Please respond :) Thanks!
ellen
05/25/14
Which of these are for the appetizer tables and which as entrees? This is too many items for entrees only.
ellen
05/25/14
Hi, Jill, you double posted, please see the other post.
ellen
05/25/14
Sabrina, I cannot say strongly enough that if you are asking these questions as a business owner, you need an experienced LOCAL manager to coordinate the food; weddings must be prefect, and you can ruin your rep in one event. I don't know what the rest of the menu is, either. If it might be 200, you have to plan for 200; if it is 200 invitations, you have to estimate how many people are included in each invitation, as it can be a couple or family, and then figure about 85% will come. This is over 300 pounds of food, and requires about 4 people in a commercial kitchen and about 12 people out front to set up, serve, and clean up the meal event.

pole beans, 24 pounds ready to cook or drained weight, per 100
collards, frozen, 22 pounds per 100, if fresh from scratch, about 50 pounds per 100

yams,
mac and cheese,
rice pilaf,
This depends on what the meats are. Either look at the turkey and ham planning article at the top of the Big Pots page, or write back.

potato salad, 4 gallons per 100, about 10 pounds potatoes per gallon

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

Jill
05/25/14
?? What other post
ellen
05/25/14
Sorry, the question is, which of these are for the appetizer tables and which as entrees? This is too many items for entrees only.
Appleville
07/21/14
Pleasant Good night Ellen,

I am serving diced grilled potatoes for 200 people and would like to know how many pounds of red potatoes is required. The other items on the menu are vegetable rice, stir fry veg and three meats.

thanks for your help

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