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making chicken salad finger sandwishes for 800
How much chicken do I need to make chicken salad finger sandwishes for 800 people. How many loaves of bread, and how many ounces of salad on each sandwish.
Is this the only sandwich being served and is it at a mealtime? What else is being served?That massively affect the amount of sandwiches needed. Write back.
except for about 200 Piminto Cheese, fresh fruit, cookies, punch. It's served at 12:noon after a section with the Pastor. It was suppose to be just light refreshments. Please help me!!!
Pat, here is a sad fact of the free food situation; if you are serving at noon, whether it said light refreshments or not, people will try to take enough for lunch. In this case, the pimento cheese will only cover about 100 peoples' worth of food. With no other sandwich foods, you need to expect about 2 sandwiches (that is 8 fingers) per person for 700 more people!

In addition, chicken salad is about the most expensive and fiddliest of tea sandwich fillings except for the shrimp and seafood options. They also have to be made day of, because they get soggy fast.

Assuming you have not much budget, you don't want to do all chicken. This is what I would do:

1- use regular bread, not the thin-sliced I normally recommend for tea sandwiches. Do not trim the crust; less attractive, but more filling.

2- plan to make 200 cream cheese/sour cream and jam, 200 smooth peanut butter and jam, 400 deviled ham and 100 cream cheese/sour cream and olive sandwiches. All of these can be made ahead and frozen.

3- this leaves you with only 400 sandwiches to make day of, which for economy sake could be part egg salad and part chicken salad chicken salad sandwiches.

The amounts and freezable spreads are discussed in this article:


and more fillings on the sandwich event page.


This is a massive job, you need help. Get people to make and freeze them now, bring frozen morning of. You will need about 8-10 people making and setting up most of the morning.

You can write back.

Ok, Ellen, The chicken salad and Piminto is finalized. I've been told that I need 120lbs. of chicken. I resolved to either use the chicken that comes alread diced, 2-5lb. bags or the can chicken 3lbs/50ozs. I am figured out! I can't even add at this point. Can you please tell me how many pounds of chicken I need in either or both of these. Also the fruit; grapes, strawberries, kiwis, pinapples. I had said I'd just order 5 cases of each. Is that too much or not enough. I so appreciate your websites. It's on my favorit list on my computer.
Hi, Pat,

In order to make this much chicken go this far, it is all going to have to be very finely diced, as is the celery, much smaller than the chunks, and yes, you don't want to pick it off the bone yourself (it would take 240 pounds of whole chicken or turkey to make 120 pounds of meat). 120 pounds= 240 cups= 15 gallons.

The most basic tasty chicken salad is equal volumes of chicken, celery, chopped fresh parsley and almost the same amount of mayonnaise. About 1 tablespoon salt per quart of chicken.

About 2 ounces of salad per sandwich if finely chopped; it takes 3 if coarse, and you need all the sandwiches you can get.

4 slices of bread per person (this are thin sandwiches), so you need 1400 slices of bread. 1 tablespoon mayo per sandwich for spreading , otherwise, you will have soggy sandwiches.

Dont know what your fruit cases weigh. I would do 800x 2ounces= 1600 ounces = 100 pounds each grapes and strawberries. Kiwis are very fiddly and not as popular as you would think, I would switch to melons, seedless watermelons or whatever is ripe and inexpensive, 100 pounds, and 32 pineapples.

Thanks Ellen, you've really been a life-saver. I think we will leave the Kiwis off. So if I used whatever mellon is in season, would I also get 32 of those. Instead of actually fresh celery can I use celery seed? And you do think the 120 lbs of chopped chicken should be enough? I'm using 40 loaves of bread; 5 whole wheat, 5grain, rye, and wheat.
Get the melons by weight, 100 pounds is only about 50 once seeded (thin slice into crescents, leave on the rind), which is only about 1 ounce per person for 800 people.

No, the celery is needed for bulk as well as flavor- otherwise you will run out of filling- the seed is a fine addition but not a substitute.

As to the bread, count slices. I usually allow 12 pounds per 100 minimum when I go by weight.
I've resolved to just making chicken salad and using crackers on the side instead of finger sandwiches. The Toasteds PartyPack, it says 40ozs. per box. How many crackers mke up 40ozs. I'm also trying to get them to use the Dole fruit cups instead of fresh fruit. Do you think this is all a better idea?
The crackers are good, but you will need 20 setup tables; it takes one setup table to do 50 if it is easy (such as the sandwiches) and 40 if it is longer (as it will be with people scooping chicken salad.)

One pack is about 3 pounds, you need 20 packs. Get them where they can be returned if unopened?

The fruit cups are much easier than the trays, both need flatware.

Sounds like whoever set you up for this does not have much experience... next time go for muffins, cheeses trays...

By the way, still make sure the chicken salad is very smooth and use small serving utensils, or people will take more.
Thanks so much. I'm going to make sure all my friends know about your site!!!!!!
God Bless you!!!
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