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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

Cooking for 200
Tracy R.
reddickt@missouri.edu
04/12/05
I am the chair of a convention for 200. We are serving a breakfast casserole and I need to adapt a receipe I have to feed 200 how do I do this. Also, we are serving prime rib for dinner, is there a standard formula to figure out how many pounds I will need.
ellen

04/13/05
Breakfast planning and recipes in big pots. Prime rib discussion in several parts of the "meat for large crowd' THREAD HERE IN THE FORUM.
roy evans
roy_evans1@hotmail.com
09/20/05
i cook for a condo about 185 SR'S, about 6 good size prime rib well do
V Harris
veraharris3@aol.com
09/30/05
Cooking for 180
If preparing salad for 180 people at 6oz serving, how many 5 pound bags of salad mix will I need? If adding cucumber and tomatoes how many will be needed?
ellen

09/30/05
6 ounces is a lot for a salad, particularly if it is not the main course, especially with cukes and tomatoes added. I suggest you go to the plan for 100 page and use a bit less than double the amounts for any of the salad options.

But a six ounce serving is basically 3 people per pound, so you are looking at 60 pounds of salad.

In a full meal self service salad bar, the average person takes 14-18 ounces by weight and that includes the dressing, usually 2-3 ounces, cheese, tuna, chicken, etc.

Cari
kampcari@yahoo.com
12/18/05
I am planning a 2006 thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for approximately 100 people. This is my first attempt. How many turkeys do I ask for? Church members will contribute cooked turkeys but how do I manage the rest? This will be a large undertaking, but I ready for the challenge.
ellen

12/19/05
Please go to the big pots page and read all the articles on planning, shopping etc for this meal. You want tp start with 1 pound raw uncooked turkey per person, but safe storage is a BIG issue.
Monica
mojauregui@yahoo.com
01/04/06
how much do i need to purchase for 250 people
spagetti/ sauce / salad/ bread

amounts (lbs, oz, loafs) of each item listed above

ellen

01/10/06
Monica, You need to prepare your estimates using my quantitiy tables and email them to me, then I will be glad to check them for you. Look at the lotsa pasta page, also.
Chris

01/11/06
Cooking for 150
Ellen, I'm planning an horsdvors wedding reception for 150 people at 4:30 p.m. My menu is a small sandwhich, tortilla roll ups, veggie tray, fruit kabobs, cheese cubes, and chicken puff pastries. I'm having a difficult time deciding how much of each thing to make. Can you help me? Thanks!
ellen

01/14/06
For two hours, you need about 10 pieces/items per person, in addition to the cake, etc.
Denise
02/01/06
We are hosting a surprise 25th wedding anniversary for friends Feb 18th. Their kids have invited around 200, 50 of which are children. We are planning on ham, chicken breast, glazed carrots, and a potato gratin as the main course with others bringing appetizers and dessert. I had also thought about throwing together a pan of mosstocoli. How much of the main course do we need to feed these folks?
ellen
02/03/06
With 50 kids, they will provide the "fudge factor" for estimating buffet and multiple entrees. Use the quantities for 100 page for entrees and do ham for 100 and chicken breast for 100.

There is a recipe for mostaciolli and suasage for 125 on the lotsa pasta spaghetti page that will give you a ball park on quabtities. If you make this, you will use less potatoes and less ham.

victor ladd
05/10/06
havina a barbeque for 150-200 hundred people
1. how much potatoe salad do i need
2. how many pounds of beef and pork ribs
3. how much baked beans do i need
ellen
05/10/06
Victor, all these foods are in the quantities for 100 lists in the Big Pots planning section. Read the BBQ and brisket page for how to figure the combo of ribs and beef. Happy smoking.
Kris
05/19/06
planning a dinner for 250 invites
pasta salad, mixed salad, shrimp, bbq tofu, corn on the cobb, yeast rolls, bruchetta.....maybe more how and where do i start to know whether or not i will have enough food to serve?
ellen
05/19/06
kris, you want to end up with 1 1/2 pounds total of food per person for a full dinner. There are quantities for these items in the various quantity tables under quantities for 100, appetizers, etc. in Big pots. You need to figure out how many people you actually expect, add 10% for your fudge factor and a second 10% if it is buffet/ self serve- understand that people are VERY GREEDY about shrimp, so it helps to either have a server, or to put on skewers, or in some way indicate what is an appropriate serving. For grilled tofu, I start with 1 pound extra firm, pressed and then marinated, for each 3 persons. For bruchetta and other such dips and spreads, 1/4 cup per person is considered the ball park figure.
char
05/24/06
Our community would like to host a luncheon for 200 able bodied seniors. They have requested, potato salad, red rice, fried chicken, bbq wings, bow pasta salad, mixedgreen salad and a fruit platter. Surprisingly, some of the senior can eat.....
Beth
06/06/06
We are planning a church meal for 200 members. How many pounds of potatoes do we need to cook to serve 200 people mashed potatoes.
ellen
06/06/06
Char, use the quantities for 100 tables and pages and make double.

Beth, Yoiu would want to start with 80 pounds of potatoes give or take 5 pounds. Remember to use baking type potatoes, not new/red.

Ruth
07/06/06
I am meal coordinator for a Missions group that serves 200 people every saturday and deliver to their homes. I need inexpensive main dishes. Our vegies, breads and desserts are donated. Any suggestions?
ellen
07/07/06
Did you look at the dozen recipes in the big pots basic budget entree pages? There are also lots of others for chilis, stews, etc on site that would work for you.
Valerie
07/07/06
I would like to know how much boiled potatoes and stringbeans would I need to feed 200 people? The stringbeans will be seasoned with hamhocks and the potatoes will be seasoned with salt,pepper, and butter.

Thanks

ellen
07/07/06
Is this two separate dishes or the famous Southern mix? If the potatoes are their own dish, you want 35 pounds per 100 people, beans about 45-50 pounds.
Dianna
07/23/06
Cooking for 55
Having a fish fry could you tell me how much fish is needed, also potato salad and cole slaw
and If you have any suggestion please let me know.

Thank you

ellen
07/28/06
3 gallons potato salad, 2 cole slaw. Fish as indicated in the plqn list- 3 to 4 persons per 1 pound boneless ready to cook fillet.
betty lou
07/31/06
Cooking for 50
how much spagetti do I cook to feed about 45 people? how much sauce---I'm buying it in cans.
ellen
07/31/06
Go to the lotsa pasta page, all the info you need is already there.
Joyce Campbell
08/02/06
I am making potato salad for 200 people how many potatoes and other ingredients do I need? Thanks
ellen
08/02/06
go to the slaws mac and potato salads for 100 recipes, there are a half dozen different and delicious recipes for hot and cold potato salads.
Tina
08/15/06
I am preparing a wedding reception for 200 people, which includes boiled shrimp, chicken fingers, sandwhich tray, which includes ham, turkey, cheese, crossiants, mayo and mustard, fruit tray, which includes strawberries, grapes, pineapple, canteloupe, with dip, cheese straws, and chocolate fondue with pound cake, marshmallows, strawberries, pretzel rods, could you advise me on the quanity of each that I will need? Also, any ideas for the chocolate fondue without the fondue machine? Punch will be white grape juice, sprite and almond extract; how much of each?

Thanks for your help.

ellen
08/15/06
It depends somewhat on the timing of the wedding. For example, if this is after a wedding where people do not eat first, such as an 11:00 or 12:00, they will eat a meals-worth.

The chocolate fountain info thread has amounts for dippers for your choc dip, which is very easy to keep warm in crock pots or chafing dishes.

Fruit tray page for the fruits.

3 0unces shrimp and 1/4 cup cocktail sauce per person, 2 chicken renders, 1-2 small sandwiches. Info on sandwiches on the sandwich and picnic event page.

Punch will be tastier with a little sour element added- lemonade concentrate, maybe. See the recipe sites suggested in the punch thread.

When you have prepared an estimate email it or post it and I will be glad to check it for you.

Sharon
08/15/06
I'm coordinating a continental breakfast for 200, any suggestions for something different, we've been having the standard grapes, strawberries bagels etc.? I have access to a kitchen and have 5 volunteers.
ellen
08/15/06
Maybe a real coffee and hot chocolate bar with regular and sugarfree Italian syrups, real whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, etc. Biscotti. Cheese logs or balls in both sweet and nutty/savory with some king cakes (see the website for this easy bread machine brioche recipe) and really good rye bread. Olives, sweet pickles and dates with dried apricots, pears, etc instead of all fresh fruit.

Or maybe a yogurt sundae bar with fruit salad, nuts, granola, etc to put over vanilla yogurt. Oatmeal date bars.

Or a Middle Eastern breakfast with pita, hummus, feta cheese and various olives, oil-packed sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and mint

Or a breakfast taco bar with eggs, bacon, potatoes, soft tortillas, good salsa. Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon.

Torrie
08/28/06
Cooking for 350
I will have a choc fountain at my wedding od Sept. 2 and I have to get my items to dip but I don't know how much of each to get can you help me Strawberries, preztels, pinapples, smores and another one
tonya
08/29/06
Cooking for 100
how much dry white beans does it take to feed 100 people?
ellen
08/29/06
Torrie, there is a thread here in the board with EVERYTHING you need to know about chocolate fountains, amounts, dippper ideas, etc.

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/6312.html

Tonya, there is a whole page on beans for 100 which has recipes for "from scratch" bean dishes, with amounts. Pick the one that is closest to the recipe you like and use that as guidance.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/beans100.html

mary
09/06/06
Our church is sponsoring a breakfast for 200 people. We'll probably be serving the typical eggs, bacon, etc...How much bacon, eggs,etc... should I be prepared to cook. Is the a simple formula for purchasing quantities? Any suggestions of other items we might serve...Thanks for your help...Mary
ellen
09/06/06
There is a whole page on planning breakfast with extensive quantity amounts for 100. Just double and you should have all the info you need.
Pat Roberts
09/07/06
Cooking for twelve
How many pounds of chicken salad (main course) do I need for twelve people?
ellen
09/07/06
1 pound of ready to eat meat is 2 cups, so it depends on your recipe if you are making it yourself. I allow 7 gallons for self serve buffet for 100 people, which is about 1 gallon for 12. But if YOU are serving the plates, you just need 1 cup per person= 3 quarts.
lynne
09/07/06
I am preparing veggie trays and fruit platters for a wedding of 225 people. How much fruit and vegetables should I buy? There will also be meat trays with rolls and 3 or 4 prepared salads. I just don't know how many pineapples, watermelons, grapes, carrots, etc. to buy.
Thanks
ellen
09/07/06
Lynne, if you look on the veggie trays page and the fruit trays and platters page in Big Pots, it tells how much you need for a 25 person tray. Also, on the fruit page, many other fruits listed in case you want to substitute.
Diana farrow
09/12/06
shrimp for 50
How many pound of shrimp is needed for 50 people?
ellen
09/12/06
Appetizer? Main dish? Hors douvres? Unshelled? Head on? Tail on? Shrimp are on the plan for 100 page. People will eat all the shrimp you put out- the amounts I give are more or less minimum for a party serving.
Cheri
10/03/06
Cooking for 350
I need Quantities for a simple punch of Hawaiian punch and ginger ale? Thanks.
ellen
10/03/06
Please see the beverages planning page- myou are in the range of 6-7 gallons per 100 people. Be sure to pre chill everything and maybe even make "ce rings" from part of the punch to chill without diluting. Or consider a fruit sherbet block as a chiller.

Do also consider offering a sugar free alternative, or at least iced tea or decaf coffee for party. With this many people you will have some diabetics and dieters.

If it is a grown up party, consider using some of the new tropical blends instead of Hawaiian punch- mango, passion fruit, mauna loa, etc. Taste better and much less staining of clothes and carpet.

peg
10/15/06
We are having 0ur 108th church anniversary and I am chairing the event. It is family style for 200. We will be using top round for roast beef. How many pounds do we need?. Same for the potatoes and vegetable.
Kelly
10/15/06
hi

would you tell me how many full size catering trays i would need when i will be serving 2 meet dishes, 1 veg and , and two carbohydrates for 250 people? thank you. also i will serve salad and rolls

ellen
10/16/06
Hi, Kelly,

Most caterers will tell you how many people their trays will serve. The full trays come in 2 1/2, 4, and 6 inch depth, so I can't tell you without knowig the exact tray you are using. I can tell you that a usual meat/entree serving is about a cup and side dishes 1/2 cup, and you plan on 1.2 servings of each food per person.

ellen
10/16/06
Peg, these specific items are covered on the plan for 100 listst in the Big Pots planning section- links are about 1/2 way down the page. This ais a great cut of meat for this purpose. Cook low and slow to get tender beef that shrinks much less.
pattyt
10/16/06
Cooking for 150 for cocktail party
I am preparing a cocktail party for 150 people serving 2 types of bruschetta, 2 types of cheeses, veggies, and dips. Concerned about the Quantities - not sure how much for each person. Also how much wine to serve. thanks.
ellen
10/17/06
There is a planning page for appetizers that goes into some detail about amounts versus the lengh and timing of the party (for example, if you have an hor douvres party from 5 to 8 PM, people will eat 3-4 times as much- they will eat their whole dinner- compared to 7 08 till 10). There is also a beverage planning page with similar notes that includes wine and champagne.

With 150 people, I would advise you add 2-3 more cold bites or big hot dips- such as spinach squares, etc, or artichoke dip that are made ahead and do not require the oven. You will be hard pressed to produce 4-6 bites per person per hour in the home oven.

Leader Wolf
10/19/06
My Cadettes are throwing a daddy/daughter dance for our community. They want to have a Spaghetti dinner. We are expecting 200 people. how many pounds of spaghetti would that be? The salad tip was great! 67# of salad will feed our guests..
ellen
10/19/06
Check the spaghetti/lotsa pasta page- everything I know about quantity spaghetti. I always suggest you consider spaghetti casserole such as baked spaghetti (basic budget entrees) or the mostaciolli and sausage.
Brenda
10/19/06
I need to know how many lbs of turkeys I need to cook to use the meat for turkey salad. also do you have a recipe for turkey salad (with grapes) for 200 ? thanks much
ellen
10/20/06
1 pound raw turkey makes 2 to 2 1/4 cup cooked chopped meat, which will make almost a quart of salad if you use grapes and celery.
For each 100 people this is the total amount of salad you need:
luncheon salad (1 cup serving)
6 gallons
allow 1- 1 1/2 more gallon if self serve revised 12-19-04.

reception (1/2 cup serving)
3-4 gallons

sandwich meal self serve (1 cup for 2 sandwiches)
7 gallons

debbie
10/25/06
Cooking for 150
How many potatoes do I need for 150 people. I am making new potatoes with garlic butter and parsley in a roaster
ellen
10/25/06
53-60 pounds, depends on what other bread and starchy foods are offered.
jay
10/29/06
Cooking for 50
how much shrimp cocktail is needed for 50 adults
ellen
10/29/06
Shrimp is one of the foods that people will eat till its gone, all you serve will be devoured. It depends in part on the rest of the meal, but a modest shrimp cocktail is usually 3 ounces, 5-6 shrimp, while 5 or six ounces, 8-9 shrimp, is common for a large serving. Since shrimps vary tremendously in size, they are sold by size, for example 27 to the pound. You would need 1 pound for each 5 people.
Mary
11/03/06
Ranch dip for 50 people
How much ranch dip do I need for 50 people? The dip will be eaten with chips and/or veggies.
ellen
11/03/06
See the veggie tray page for dip quantities (link in Big Pots).
BRENDA
11/20/06
im going to do my daughters wedding for 200 and im needing to know how much pork loin im needing to buy and im also doing a rice with muchroom or dressing with it how much of that do i need to make and could you make a sugestion on what vegitable to serve with that, and what would you do the rice or the dressing also how much bread to i need to get and how much tea and wine and champ do i need to get
thank you for your help
ellen
11/20/06
Brenda, all of these foods- even the champagne- are covered ib the quantities for 100 pages. There are good rice recipes for 100, you can use them to estimate your own recipes. If it is biiet, I suggest you consider two veggies- people will eat less meat- maybe a corn casserole, or raosted winter squash quarters and a green one, such as broccoli or green beans.

You need to read my article on [lanning your wedding. YOU NEED HELP!!! Probably a dozen or 20 people.

Paula
01/10/07
Cooking for 250
We are planning a wedding and need to know how many Baked beans, and potato salad for 250 people. eggs, mayo, potatoes, onions, mustard.
beans, brown sugar, onion other ingredients?? Thank you very much!!
Casey
01/12/07
We are planning a event for 200
planning to serve boneless chicken breast,
vegetable rice, green beans and green salad and rolls.
How many beans needed, pounds of rice and salad
and other ingredients??
Thanks
ellen
01/12/07
Paula, these recipes for 100 are in the Big Pots section, just select recipes and multiply. Be sure to read the plan for 100 pages and the bbq and brisket page to help with your planning skills.

Casey, there are quantities for 7 kinds of salads and all these side dishes lidted in the plan for 100 lists, and you might want to take a look at my wedding chicken recipe (make-ahead chicken breast in orance sauce) for the chicken.

Alfreda Washington
01/23/07
Dear Ellen
I really need to know how much shrimp and crawfish I need to serve fifty people. The crawfish will be boiled and the shrimp will be fried.
ellen
01/23/07
Hi, Alfreda,
This is a very tough estimate, because people eat a LOT of seafood. Can you tell me, will the crawfish be peeled or in the shell? Are you buying the shrimp whole or frozen ready to fry, or somewhere in between? Also, what side dishes?
swalker
01/29/07
I am preparing brisket for 200 people. About how many should I prepare or how many servings can you get from one brisket
ellen
01/29/07
If you buy whole brisket with the fat cap untrimmed, 1 pound raw cooks down quite a bit and only serves about 2 people or a little more. I would roast 90 pounds to 100.
TANYA HALEY
02/10/07
Cooking for 250
hello, my name is tanya haley and i'm getting married in sept. we are having 250 people attend this wedding. we are trying to cut cost and the menu conist of chicken, ham, meatballs,mac&cheese,greenbeans, and potato salad how much do we need to cook to feed our guest.
ellen
02/11/07
Hi, Tanya, since I posted all my tables in 2004, I don't do the original estimates. Use the tables and I will be glad to check them, for you. I would consider having the wedding after lunch (1 pm) with an appetizer or dessert reception or tea, instead of a whole meal. Friendly, and much less work and expense.
Hop
02/19/07
how many pounds of turkey will I need to feed 200 people. I plan to deep fry them?
ellen
02/20/07
Allow 1 pound whole raw turkey per person. Frying turkeys is high risk- read the hints. In the US, about 25 people every year burn down their houses or garages deep frying turkeys...
LaDonna
03/03/07
Cooking for8
How much shrimp would I need to feed 9 people (4 men -- healthy eaters of shrimp, 4 women, 1 child); am boiling the shrimp. To make shrimp scampi, how much shrimp would I need to feed the same amount of people? Also, when you boil shrimp to you boil for a specific time after the water comes to a rolling boil & you add the shrimp? I've never really set a time just kind of watched it but I've heard that you should only boil shrimp for 3-1/2 to 4 minutes after you add the shrimp to the boiling water; like to have another opinion. Please reply; am planning on buying everything tomorrow morning (Sun., 3/4) & would like to know if I'm thinking on the right track as far as how much shrimp to buy. One more thing, how much shrimp season (boil) would I need to add to the water for the amount of shrimp you suggest. I was thinking 20 pounds of shrimp would take care of the boiled shrimp & scampi, what do you think?

Thanks & God Bless!

ellen
03/03/07
In shell head on shrimp, allow at least a pound per healthy eater, so 20 should be great. even some left for shrimp salad the next day; peeled head and tail off, you only need 1 pound for each 2 people. I boil just till it turns pink, which is usually about 4 minutes. For 20 pounds shrimp I use 4 boxes of Zatarans shrimp b oil- I like mine seasoned up.
krissy
03/08/07
Cooking for 50
I am having a party and have no idea how many pounds of hamburger meat I need. I am cooking hot dogs also. There will be about 50 people attending.
ellen
03/08/07
1 patty= 12 1/2 pounds and 1 hotdog per person. Consider Polish sausage instead of regular lot dogs- tastier and more grown up.
Alice
03/21/07
Cooking for 37 people
How many 53 ounce cans of pork and beans will i need for making baked beans for 37 people and should i drain the juice off the pork and beans before making the bake beans? and also how many pounds of potatoes will i need to cook to make potatoe salad?
Mary
03/22/07
Planning on 150 church function for lunch.
Need to know how much spaghetti, salad, Meat--and sauce, bread is needed to feed this many?
Lydia
03/23/07
Cooking for 220
We are planning a sit down cold buffet style meal for 220 people for a 60th wedding anniversary. We want to prepare sliced turkey and ham, coleslaw, potatoe salad, carrot salad, cheese, buns, and fruit platz and an anniversary slab cake for deserts. How many gallons of salads will we need and how many buns, turkeys and hams do we need?
How many pounds of cheese will we need?
ellen
03/23/07
Alice, I drain then add back flavor additions- onions, brown sugar, tomates, etc. 2 #10 can would be a lot for 40 people, enough for 50.18 pounds of potatoes is plenty for 40.

Mary, see the lotsa pasta page with the complete guide for amounts for this meal at the bottom if the page.

Lydia, these items are all covered in the sandwich event article and the plan for 100 page. Caterers plan on 10 gallons TOTAL of salad sides for each 100 people. Cheese siced, 2 ounces per person. Fruit platters and dips are covered on the fruit tray page.

annamaria
04/20/07
4 hours cocktail party
hI, MYNAME IS aNNAMARIA

i HOPE U CAN HELP ME I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW MUCH WINE I NEED FORA 4 HOUR COCKTAIL PARTY WITH A BARTENDER SERVING SERVING A LOT OF APPETIZERS MIX OF FISH CHICKEN AND PASTA FRUIT AND SO ON

THANK YOU
ANNAMARIA

ellen
04/20/07
Hi, AnnaMaria,
This is explained on the beverage planning page- the link is on the Big Pots index page. You don't say how many people, my numbers are for 100 people, you just use the right fraction for the number you are inviting. For example, 75 people, use 3/4, 200 people use twice as much. It tells exactly how to increase for this longer type party.
Andre
04/25/07
Cooking for 50
Good evening,
I will have a "BBQ" and I will have brisquet, ribs, sausage, and chicken with the usual hotdogs and hambuurgers. I need to know how much of what will I need to fix. The meal is to be served friday evening around 6:30 ish. Of course we'll have beans, slaw, corn on the cob, brunswic stew and my famous BBQ cabbage as sides.
ellen
04/25/07
Andre, this is too many entrees for me to split them up. Here is the per person usual: 1/2 ppund raw brisket, 1 pound ribs, 1/2 pound sausage, or 1/4 chicken (2 pieces). So just make sure that your total adds up 55-60 servings and you will have enough meats.
shan
04/29/07
how much pototo salad do i need to make for 150 people
ellen
04/30/07
About 6 gallons. Check out any of my potato salad recipes for 100 people and make 1 1/2 times the recipe. It will be something over 50 pounds of raw potatoes plus all the additions.
Anthony
05/09/07
How many prime rib will I need for 200 people?
ellen
05/10/07
Usual to allow 1 pound raw bone-in, with this large an order you can do 13 ounces if it is plated (people take more at buffet- you can limit this sonmewhat by having a server). There is a lot of cooking loss and cutting waste with standing rib roast.
Lori McNiff
05/12/07
Dear Ellen,
Im really having a hard time on this jack and jill its a party for future husband and wife. it will be outside, picnic style, throw away plates that sort of party there will be 200 people and its an all day affair, most of the people will be 21 and above but since they are young, in there 20's the crowd should be 20-60 in age. the problem Im having is if they are having apps. then dinner, then burgers and hotdogs later with more salads do you still make the same amount. apps--- fruit skewers, veggis and dip, and chips and dip, two hours later 2 kinds of chix, ziti with sauce, mac and cheese, sausage and peppers, tossed salad and rolls. coffee and tea I take care of no desserts or other drinks. 3 hours later they want to start a grill and have hambergers and hotdogs with potato salad and pasta salad. could you please help me this is alitte more then Ive done, the most I have catered is 125 or so any advice would be appreciated thanks so much LORI
ellen
05/12/07
Lori, you are posting on all different threads, and I am finding it very hard to keep track, not to mention it is frustrating to answer and then have more/different info in the next thread. _Please_ either start your own new thread or email me at the update address (at the bottom of every page). This is too much food. You should be charging $40 per person. You will need to hire at least 2 other cooks and 3-6 helpers at $100+ each for the event, besides the food costs. Who is supplying the plates, forks, grills, etc?
Betty
05/13/07
We are doing a family wedding. I would like to know how much chicken and ham we have to have for 250 people. Also how many red potatoes and greens for ceaser salad.
ellen
05/13/07
Betty, I have just added even more info to the plan for 100 page, please use those numbers- you just want 2 1/2 times the amounts. Meats, salads, potatoes are all covered. But DO READ my article on self-catering wedding receptions- this is a very large group for self catering and without really good planning and also hired help, the mother and the bride could be robbed of their time together on the special day.

If you prepare an estimate, I will be glad to check it for you. Just post it or email it.

Mercy
05/13/07
Cooking for 100
We are doing a dinner for a graduation and we were wondering how much fruit salad we waould need for about 100 people. Also how much potato salad?
Berj Tashjian
05/14/07
How many pounds of boneless prime would I need to cook for 220 people.Also best way to cook.
ellen
05/14/07
Mercy, go to the plan for 100 page salad section and the fruit tray page for your info.

Berj, 12-14 ounces raw, but it roasts better and holds better (and tastes better in my opinion) roasted on the bone. I just posted a whole unit on roast beef, the link is on the new pages page. The best way to cook this much is to have it roasted in an Auto-sham (a special kind of roasting oven) by a restuarant that has one, it cuts the shrinkage in half and assures even roasting all the way through. With the cost of rib roast, cutting shrinkage really matters.

judy
05/24/07
Cooking for 20
How many bags of coleslaw will I need for 20 people?
ellen
05/24/07
You need 4-5 pounds shredded veggies for slaw for 20 people.
Lisa
06/02/07
Cooking for 250
i am helping with an openhouse and i would like to know how much fruit salad i would need to make for 250 people
ellen
06/03/07
If you check out the fruit tray guidelines, it talks about amounts depending on time of day type of party (meal vs. reception, for example) and how much fruit per person. I also posted several fruit salad recipes for 100.
Irene
06/04/07
Cooking for 50 people
How many pounds of hamburger meat do I need to make lasagna sauce for 50 people.
anita
06/04/07
i'm doing tossed salad for 2oo people how many heads of lettuce do you think i should buy
Jeanne
06/05/07
Cooking for 13
i have 18 shrimp to a pound-salad includes chopped celery,dard boiled eggs, green onions,lemon juice, and mayonnaise. How many pounds of shrimp do i need

Thank you

ellen
06/05/07
Irene, check the bulk lasagna recfipe on the [plan for 100 page.

Anita, Check the salad section of the plan for 100 page, several different combos listed.

ellen
06/05/07
See the bulk lasagna recipe on the lotsa pasta page.
Beatrice
06/06/07
I will be serving spanish rice as as side dish, How much lbs. is needed to serve 250.
Thanks!
ellen
06/07/07
See the bulk recipe for "Spanish rice- the pink kind" on the tex mex page or any of the rice side dishes for 100. About 8 pounds of raw rice is the usual start for 100 servings.
Dianne
06/14/07
I am making a punch for a family gathering of 200. I will be using 8 - 12 oz. cups I will be adding sprite to a ice block made from punch. How much sprite should I plan on?
ellen
06/15/07
You need to have unfrozen punch base as well as the ice blocks. See the beverage planning section in Big Pots for discussion. If the party goes on past 2-3 hours, you need an additional 8 ounces per person per hour. Don't forget to offer a sugar free alternative- can be a second punch, or as simple as iced tea- for the folks who need this- will be 10% or more of the total.
Shirley Schwanz
06/20/07
Cooking for 100
I am making potato salad, sloppies joes, and baked beans for a family reunion. I need enough for 100 people. How much will I need of potatoes, eggs, celery, and dressing mix (mayonnaise, etc.) for the potato salad.
Vicki Copeland
06/20/07
How many cabbage
How many heads of cabbage do I need to make 6 gallons of slaw?
ellen
06/20/07
Shirley, see the basic recipe in the salad section of the plan for 100 page- the button is at the top of the main cook talk page. There are about 8 variations on the slaw, mac and potato salad for 100 page, including an authentic Russian one that is pink (beets).

Vicki, about 40 pounds, you lose the cores and once shredded it shrinks. There is a whole page on cole slaw tips- link on the new pages page.

Frances
06/24/07
I am in charge of getting everything ready for our very first family reunion. I was wondering how many pounds of fillet fish do I need to feed apporx. 200 people.

Also, what do I need for theses same 200 in french fries, hush puppies, coleslaw and coldrinks.

I have never been responsible for feeding more than 4 people so I need all the help I can get.

ellen
06/25/07
Hello, Frances,

This is a very difficult- and rather dangerous, in terms of cooking risk- meal to self-cater for this many people. Are you stuck with the menu, or can it be changed?

For example, a meal of pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad or pasta salad, slaw and beans would be much easier to prepare and serve. So would a meal of pot roast, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, frozen fruit salad and green salad.

All the food item amounts are covered in the plan for 100 page, the bevergae planning page. But first please read the article under wedding reception about planning to self cater a large group.

Frances
06/25/07
Yes, unfortunately this is the only thing I can get the rest to agree to. They all live out of state and will contribute as far as money wise but the rest is up to me to get it all organized

Any help I can get will be great.

ellen
06/26/07
You would do very well to hire a caterer to do the fish, fries and hush puppies and do the side dishes yourself. This is a good compromise between cost and convenience. I am not kidding about the difficulty and danger- it takes at least 3 fry cooks plus servers to do this meal, 20-30 GALLONS of boiling hot oil in 3 to 4 giant fryers. Basically, if you try to do it all yourself, it will be a low point in your memory forever.
Mary
06/26/07
I am planning a graduation I many turkeys would I need to seve 150 people. I am having shredded turkey sandwichs.
ellen
06/27/07
1 pound whole raw turkey makes 2 cups packed cooked turkey meat. So make a sandwich of the size you like and measure the meat, then multiply out.
Karen
06/28/07
Cooking for 150 Wedding Reception
I am having shrimp cocktail, spiral sandwiches, meatballs, crabcakes, bite size chicken and filet thumb bite sandwiches, veggie tray, cheese and beef sticks and fruit kebobs. How many watermelon, cantelopes, and strawberries do I need.
ellen
06/28/07
You want basically 2 fruit skewers per person, about 5 ounces, which is 6-8 pieces of fruit. On the fruit tray page (button at the top of the main cook talk page) there is a table for how many pieces each kind of fruit cuts into. This way you can figure your own mix. For the rest, you want 12 pieces or "bites" per person for the first hour and about 6 pieces per person for each additional hour, unless it is over a mealtime, when people will eat about 50% more.
Caroline
07/07/07
I am planning a reception for roughly 200 people after my son's bar mitzvah service. This will be more of a light lunch rather than a full meal. There won't be any hot food, besides pizza ordered for the children. We have to keep it simple with mostly finger foods -- bagels, cream cheese, fruit and cheese, sandwiches trays, hummus, etc.

I've never planned anything like this before and need to know quantities. I just really want it to be creative and elegant but simple. The fruit skewers are perfect!

ellen
07/08/07
Hi, Caroline,

Truly, no meal for 200 is simple. Do read the wedding dinner article in the buttons at the top of the cook talk page for some genearl info. You will need to recruit or hire some help for set up, serving, and clean up.

You don't say what time the service or party are, but you need to know that if it is at lunch time (after a 10, 11AM service for example), if people have not eaten since breakfast they will eat a meal's worth, regardless of what it is. That is, in between meals people eat about a pound, but at mealtime they eat about a pound ad a half.

So I have two suggestions. Look at the cold/champagne lunch for 25 and consider adopting that pattern for your party. Or look at this report of a reader's brunch and see if this idea appeals. I belive you could do it as a dairy meal and have great success. Look here:

ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/6671.html

Also, I just posted an article on how to make 800 tea sandwiches, which is what you would be looking for as the sandwich portion of the mixed lucheon you were discussing.

Paula
08/29/07
How much spaghetti with meatballs, sauce, green beans, salad and bread do I need for 200 people?
Donna
08/29/07
how many people will 6 gallon of cole slaw feed?
ellen
08/29/07
Paula, see the spaghetti page and the plan for 100 page.

Donna, 200 t 250, depending on the other sides.

Fai
09/22/07
Cooking for 250 to 275
How many bottles of salad dressing are needed to compliment the tossed salad being served at a birthday celebration with 250 to 275 guests? In addition, how much gravy is required to serve the same number of guests? Last but not least, how many pounds of macaroni and cheese are necessary to make macaroni and cheese for approximately 280 guests?
ellen
09/22/07
See the plan for 100 page (button at the top of the Cook Talk main page)for info on salad dressing and potatoes, and the holiday cooking section (top of the Big Pots index page) for the gravy answer,
dene sims
09/25/07
Im cooking spaghetti for 200 people, how much spaghetti would I need to feed the people. In pounds would be easier for me to caculate
ellen
09/25/07
see the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page. Rather detailed discussion regarding pounds for side and main servings, amounts of sauce (differs for thin and thick), etc. Also, how to hold/reheat.
handlarttut
10/28/07
[deleted]
Sorry
Lana
12/14/07
cooking carrots for 15 people
how many pounds of carrots is needed for 15 people. thanks
ellen
12/14/07
I use about 24 pounds for 100, so about 4 pounds.
Jenn
12/14/07
Cooking for 15
We want to have Prime Rib for Christmas dinner. We'll have 11 adults and 4 kids. How many pounds of prime rib will we need?
ellen
12/14/07
13-15 pounds is the usual for a party meal.
Bill
12/19/07
Cooking for 19
How big of prime rib do I need to feed 19 adults. I will be using deboned prime rib.
ellen
12/19/07
3/4 pound raw per person allows for shrinkage and a party-size portion.
Natasha
01/07/08
Ellen,
I am planning my wedding reception for May 24, 2008 I am trying to find out how much of each of these items I need to buy because I would like to start now with non-perishables or freezer items.
Boneless Frozen chicken breasts
Honey ham
Macaroni
#10 can green beans
dressing
Raw Potatoes
I would also like to know what are some good appetizers for before the reception?

Thank You So Much

ellen
01/08/08
Natasha, how many people and what is the menu, for example, is that macaroni for salad or mac and cheese? Potatoes for mashed or salad? Are the chicken breasts to be served whole or sliced as fajitas or stir-fry? Write back and we will talk further.
Natasha
01/09/08
The macaroni is for mac and cheese and since the chicken breast are so large we were planning on cutting them in half or filleting them in to twos. The potatoes are for the green beans
ellen
01/09/08
OK. I still don't know how many people, so I will give you quantities you can multiply. You want about 1 pound of dry macaroni and 1 quart of cheese sauce for each 8 people to make a side dish of mac and cheese. You want about 4-5 pounds of potatoes for the beans for 100 people. 6 pounds of boneless skinless breast feeds about 15 people (see my wedding chicken recipe on the big pots page). One pound of ready to eat ham feeds 3 people. 4 #10 cans of green beans with the potatoes for 100 people, but consider using frozen (20-22 pounds), tastier.
natasha
01/15/08
Thank you very much. I was able to multiply and now I can began my shopping.
lorrie
01/21/08
Hi Ellen--I am planning an 80th birthday party for my Dad and am going to have Baked Ziti and a Meat Platter--I will be having at least 60 guest--was wondering how much pasta i need to buy and how big of a meat tray to get--thanks in advance---
ellen
01/21/08
Lorrie, on the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page there is a recipe for mostaciolli and sausage for 120. Omitting the sausage, 1/2 this recipe would give about the right quantity for 60 seniors, so you can use it as a quantity guideline for your ziti.

For the meats, you want to allow 4 ounces deli sliced ready to eat meat PLUS 1-2 ounces sliced cheese per person, if no cheese, up the meat to 1 pound for each 3 persons.

Lorrie
01/21/08
Hi Ellen--Thanks for such a fast reply--I have searched this whole site and cannot find the recipe that you are referring to (mostaciolli). with the meat platter I am having cheese on there also (2 kinds)--I was figuring that by having the 2 different items(ziti and meat tray) that it would cut down on the amount of each I would need--I am having all kinds of snacks prior(pepperoni-cheese-crackers-dip-deviled eggs-)I am also having toss salad and italian bread and of course cake afterwards. so you think if I make 6-7 pounds of pasta? or do I need more?
ellen
01/22/08
You will probably have left over with 7 pounds pasta, and with those other items you can cut the deli meats to 3 ounces each.

The mostaciolli recipe is on the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page, second or third section.

lorrie
01/22/08
Thanks so much for the info--My party is this weekend so now I feel more confident it what I have to buy and make---Thanks again--Have a great rest of the day!!!
Pepper
01/29/08
Cooking for 100
Hi this is my first time writing you. Would you please tell me how many pounds of boneless pot roast i would need to feed 100 people buffet style? How many pounds of red new potatoes, and now much broccoli's and carrots would i need. thank you
Pepper
ellen
01/30/08
Pepper, all these items are already discussed on the plan for 100 page- check there, make an estimate, and if you are still unclear, post your estimate and I will check it for you.
christa
02/01/08
iam helping a friend plan her wedding and i was wondering how many trukeys and hams , and potatoes salad we will need. if u can help me i thank you very much
ellen
02/03/08
The planning and shopping article in the holiday cooking section at the top of Big Pots has exactly this information on the combined ham and turkey dinner. If you feel unsure of your estimates post them and I will go over them for you.
Carol
02/27/08
I need to know how many ounces of pork and beans I need to serve baked beans for 25.
Thanks.
ellen
02/28/08
You need about 13 cups for one side serving apiece. That is 1 #10 can.
katorri cunningham
03/07/08
Cooking for 150
i wanted to know what should i price a party to feed 150.
ellen
03/07/08
katorri, hot dogs or filet? Caterers charge 3 to 4 times the cost of food as the total cost.
melissa
03/26/08
how many pounds of peel and eat shrimp should I expect to buy as an appetizer for 16 adults?
ellen
03/27/08
5-6 pounds for appetizer size portions of shell-on shrimp
LaDonna
04/07/08
Cooking for 400
Hi,

I got 20 pounds of prepared coleslaw donated for a fundraiser (fishfry). Is this going to be enough to feed this many people as a side dish at approx. 2 ounces each serving?

ellen
04/07/08
Nope. It will feed about 100 people a normal serving, about 160 one of those mini cups sometimes used. Colesalw is cheap and very easy, fills the plate well and most people like it- be generous.
Danielle
04/08/08
Cooking for 120
I am attempting to cater my own wedding. Do you think that cold sub sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, pimento sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salad, fruit trays, dips with crackers and chips, would be enough?
ellen
04/09/08
Danielle, this is a perfectly OK start for a menu for an informal reception. However you need a lot of help! PLEASE read my article about self catering your wedding dinner and my article on a cold lunch for 25 before making decisions. The cold lunch plan is both easier and much more elegant that all those pre-made sandwiches. Remember, also, you need an appetizer table to occupy your guests for that hour after the wedding while all your photos are being done.
MICHELE
04/22/08
Cooking for 250
i am planning a graduation party. how many pieces of chicken will i need to buy?
also i am having hot sausage, how many pounds of sausage will i need to buy?
ellen
04/23/08
1 pound sausage for every 5= 50 pounds plus 200-210 pounds of chicken quarters - i per person. Teens eat more than adults.
Rhonda
04/28/08
My neice is planning a June wedding for around 250 guest and I need to know how much chicken to cook for chicken salad. Also I will be serving country ham and biscuits. How many hams will I need to fix, and how many biscuits will I need.
ellen
04/29/08
Rhonda, you need to tell me what time the wedding and the reception are and what else is being served. There is a big difference in whether you need enough for a full meal (when guests did not eat before they came)or a reception level. Also whether the chicken salad is for sandwiches or plates.
Rhonda
04/29/08
Ellen, the wedding is at 1:30 in the afternoon with the reception immediately following.
The menu will consist of chicken salad with crackers, country ham and biscuits, cheese, vegetables (carrots, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, radishes) with dip and fruit with fruit dip.
ellen
04/30/08
OK, this is great for planning as people will have eaten lunch, so you just need reception-level food, about 1 pound per person. Use 1 1/2 times the amount for reception chicken salad and 1 1/2 times the amount for ham dinner for 100- see the sandwich planning page for chicken salad amounts and the plan for 100 page for ham amounts. Do allow at least 1 1/2 biscuits per person if large or two if small- everyone will want some.

Consider putting out some additional hors douevres for the hour between the end of the wedding and the phography, clothes change, etc, before the couple arrives. 4-6 "bites" per person.

Rhonda
04/30/08
Ellen,
Thanks so much!! You are a real life saver.
Sherri
05/05/08
We are having an event at church and expecting between 150 and 200 people. We have decided to have turkey and all the trimmings. How do we figure out how much turkey to have? Is there a formula for this? Would it be different if we just got turkey breasts vs. whole turkeys? Thanks so much!
ellen
05/05/08
Answwred in detail in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots.
Jan
05/21/08
need to make kielbasa and sauerkraut for 200!
how much do I need?
Deb
05/21/08
Ellen,
I see someone has asked the question of how much pasta and sauce is needed to feed 45 and your response was to go to the lotsa pasta page. Where do I find this page?
ellen
05/22/08
Jan, you need to decide whether you are going to serve 1 or two sausages, then buy your sausages based on that decision. Sauerkraut, 22-40 pounds per 100, depends on the size/ amount you plan to serve.

Deb, go to the main cook talk page and press the spaghetti button at the top right of the page.

Kendra
05/27/08
Cooking for 350
I am catering for three hundred fifty people at a wedding reception. I need to know how many meatballs to prepare for three hundred fifty people and how much macaroni and cheese do I prepare for three hundred fifty people. How much money would you charge to serve three hundred fifty people.
ellen
05/28/08
Kendra, it sounds like you may be in over your head. It is impossible to give amounts unless you tell me what time the party is, how long it lasts, what type service (drop off, buffet, tables, etc) and WHAT ELSE is being served. For example, if meatballs are the only entree, that is completely different than if they are one of 8-10 appetizers.

As to price, professional caterers charge 3 to 4 times the food costs, depending on the type of service, number of staff supplied, table and equipment rental, insurance (you DO have liability insurance, don't you?) and many other factors. See the pro catering bpoard at chef2chef.com for lengthy discussions of amounts, contracts, etc.

You can use any food service recipe to get ballpark guidelines on your mac and cheese. You need 25-30 9x13 pans or 4 to 5 electric roasters for this much mac and cheese.

foodservicerecipes.com

Kendra
05/29/08
Cooking for 350
The wedding reception starts at 2:00pm on a Saturday. It will probably last about 8 hours. It will be a buffet style. We are serving Roast Beef, Chicken wing dings, collard greens, string beans, macaroni & cheese, dessert, ham, potatoe salad, seafood salad, & etc.
Veronica
05/29/08
I'm having a wedding 6/28/08 and I need to feed around 150 to 200 people. My menu consist of baked chicken leg quarters, garlic oven roasted red potatoes, green beans, dirty rice and chicken spaghetti. I need to know how many pounds of chicken and potatoes and how many cans or ounces of canned green beans I will need to buy?
Thanks
ellen
05/29/08
Veronica, all these items except the chicken spaghetti are covered in the paln for 100 lists, 150-200 is too big a range for me to be more help.

For the chicken spaghetti, I can't help with that unless you tell me how many people you expect will want baked chicken versus the chicken spaghetti. There is a baked spaghetti recipe for 100 people in the basic budget entrees section of big pots that tells how to convert to chicken spaghetti.

You need about 45 pounds of fresh or frozen green beans. Or you could make 3 times my better green bean casserole in the holiday cooking section at the top of Big Pots.

Kendra, I have worked on your request. Please email me directly at: cookupdt@texas.net

Anissa
05/30/08
Cooking for 100
I am catering a weddng for about 100 people. We are serving appertizers. About how many appertizers per person should I prepare? The reception is going to be about 4 hrs. . I really need so advice,and about how much punch should I also prepare?
ellen
05/31/08
It depends very much on the timing of the reception. If it is over a mealtime, you need about 3 times as many appetizers as if it is mid-afternoon and they ate lunch, or after dinner. You need a bit less than 1 pound of food per person if it is not a mealtime, 1 1/2 pounds over a mealtime. I have already posted an extensive table on estimating appetizers and another on beverages for 100, so look at that, make some estimates, and post them, and I will be glad to check them for you.
MELISSA P
06/06/08
preparing food for my family reunion picnic, my mother and i will be serving 150-200 people. how would we estimate buying the food. the menu is ribs, chicken, hot dogs, hamburger, bake beans, potato salad, green beans, collard greens, mac and
cheese, corn on the cob,texas bbq bread,cole slaw,
bread pudding, key lime pies, pound cakes, and watermelons. we're southerners. ha!ha! thanks
ellen
06/06/08
Melissa, you have to get closer to the actual number for accurate estimates.

It appears you have not yet looked at the very extensive planning articles and lists in big pots. For example, your vegetables, salads, bread and beans are all covered there.

Watermelon is discussed on the fruit tray page.

Also I have many recipes for 100 that will give you guidance on the amounts you need for particular dishes.

For things that serve up in 9x13 pans, like mac and cheese, you need 10 pans per 100. For these mixed desserts, though, look at the dessert bar planning page.

There is a beverage planning page. There is a breakfast planning page.

Ribs are 1 pound per person, chicken I allow 1 piece per every person when dealing with a large group and multiple entrees. You do not need hot dogs- the kids will happily eat chicken legs- but if you do get them, get Polish sausage or kielbasa- much tastier than hot dogs. Read the BBQ and brisket page for guidance on how to calculate quantities with multiple meats.

When you have prepared an estimate, post it and I will be glad to review it for you.

If this is an all day or weekend function, you may need to deal with portapotties, too.

Do PLEASE read the self catering your food event/wedding dinner and the food safety articles as well- it is pretty easy to go wrong with this volume of food.

Lona
06/18/08
Ellen,

I am planning my daughter's buffet-style graduation party. I am catering in fried chicken & party subs. I am preparing mostaciolli. How many half aluminum pans of mostaciolli should I make?

Your response is so appreciated. Thank You.

ellen
06/18/08
Lana, many people prepare a half pan to hold 4 8x13 pans which is about 40 entree servings , but some go for just 3 which is about 30 entree servings. Assume that these will be a side dish as you have the chicken and sandwiches, and count the "servings" (people usually eat more than one aerving): count the servings as people instead and you will have plenty.
Joe
06/20/08
Ellen,
I'm preparing a graduation party for about 200 people. The menu will be roast beef with gravy, baked chicken thighs and drumsticks, baked ziti with sauce, meatballs with sauce, potato salad, pasta salad, and dinner rolls. I plan on starting with about 25 lbs of bottom round, 30 lbs of thighs and 30 lbs of drumsticks and 30 lbs of ground chuck for the meatballs. Do these sound like good amounts? Any suggestions on how much pasta salad and potato salad?
ellen
06/20/08
Those amounts should be fine.

Consider adding one hot vegetable medley, or salad.

You want potato salad from 60-70 pounds of poatoes and pasta salad from about 12-13 pounds of dry pasta.

maria
07/10/08
Cooking for 100
Hi Ellen could you tell me how many chicken drumsticks I will need for 100 guests. I am planning my daughters wedding, everything else is sorted. Thankyou for your help.
ellen
07/11/08
If they are for appetizers, 1 to 1 1/2 per person. If they are for the main course, 2 per lady and 3 per man will work out about right.
James
07/30/08
Hi Ellen could you please tell me how many pounds of Prime rib roast will I need to feed 200 people. We are planning to host our wedding at home and plan to cook the roasts on portable bbq spits. Thankyou for your help.
ellen
07/30/08
Hi, James,
There is a whole article on beef roasting in the holiday cooking section at the top of Big Pots. It should provide the info you request.
Bob
10/06/08
Cooking for 400
Cooking Baked Beans, Cold Slaw Hot dogs
ellen
10/07/08
See the new table in bbq and brisket for the sides. Allow 2 hotdogs per person. See the sandwich event page for condiment table- mustard etc. Button at the top of the main cook talk page.
Vanessa
10/23/08
Cooking for 280 people
Hi Ellen
Please could you help me. I live in South Africa and I have to cook the following for 280pp and I am not sure what quantities of the ingredients to get. I am unable to find a website either. the dishes required to ccok are as follows:
Lamb curry with Basmati rice (eg. how much lamb and cups of rice?)
Roast chicken with roast potatoes
roast leg of lamb
Chicken stew with potatoes
lasagne for 20 children
macaroni for 20 children

Many thanks for your help Ellen

ellen
10/23/08
Hi, Vanessa,

The size of portions in the rest of the world, especially the amount of meat for each person, is generally quite a bit less than in the US, so this is a difficult question. In addition, you have 4 meat options and I do not know what the preferences are in your area; for example in texas where I live, if there was a choice of beef, chicken and lamb, about 60% of people would choose beef, 30% chicken and 10% lamb; but that is not true in other parts of this country.

So I need your help; if you have 280 people, and 240 are adults. Approximately what percent would want chicken and what portion lamb? And if they are choosing between roast meat and a sauce/stew, about what part would choose the roast meat?

Ball park figure, 1 pound of raw meat boneless would make curry or stew for 5 people for non-American size portions.

As for the pasta, school age (smaller)children about 2 ounces (60 grams) dried pasta each, plus sauce or additions. Teens eat more than adults and they like pasta, I allow 1 pound (480 grams) for 4 teens.

Please tell me if this event is served by plates or if people will serve themselves; people take more when they serve themselves. Also what vegetables, salads, side dishes.

Kari
10/28/08
Hello Ellen,
I just catered a wedding for a family friend for 200 people.
We're wondering what would be a fair price for my services.
The total cost of the food, 2 table rentals and a few bowls and utensils were just under $1000.
The main entree was soup with salad and bread.
The soup was prepared at a local cafe so I was just in charge of picking it up, making the salad dressing and preparing bread, soup and salad (with mand. oranges and raspberries).
Appetizers were from 4-5 with dinner at 6:30.
I served a bruchetta basket along with pesto dip, herbed cream cheese rolled in salami with crackers, large vegetable tray with basil dip and a herbed snack mix and olives.
There was a lot of planning involved as it was held in a lodge with the capacity of 125 plus it was a Quaker wedding (meaning most is held in silence....thank God we had good weather so the ceremony could be held outside).
We also served the dessert which was made by the brides mother (pumpkin cheesecake...mmm).
What should I charge for my services?
hortense
11/11/08
need to cook turkey for 200 how many lbs and turkeys do i need
ellen
11/11/08
See the entire set of articles that covers all this, in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots.
Sherry
11/12/08
Good Morning Ellen. We are holding a fundraiser dinner for 200 people. This will be all adults. I have tried to figure out quantities according to your guiedelines. Could you please check my quantities and tell me if I am on the right track?

Turkey--200lbs
Dressing/Stuffing- 50 lbs
Cranberries- ??
Coleslaw- 40 lbs
Green beans - 100 cups
sweet potato casserole -- 50 lbs
mashed potato -- 75 lbs
dinner rolls/corn bread -- 25 dozen

Thank you so much!
Sherry

ellen
11/12/08
You will have plenty of everything, you probably need only 80 cups green beans and if you don't want any leftover turkey, you could go with 160-180 pounds whole turkey. Cranberry is 1 pound for each 6 people, allow both whole berry and jelly. Don't forget gravy (1/4 to 1/3 cup per person) and butter for the bread (4-6 pounds per 100). Don't forget coffee, iced tea and dessert.
Sherry
11/12/08
Right, yes. I have 67 cups of gravy and pecan pie with small scoop of ice cream for dessert. For drinks there will be iced tea, coffee, and tea. I had figured approx. 9lbs of butter. Thank you so much for your help!
Sherry
11/12/08
Right, yes. I have 67 cups of gravy and pecan pie with a small scoop of ice cream for dessert. I thought about nine lbs of butter should do also. Beverages will be iced tea, tea and coffee. Thank you so much for your advice!
connie
11/14/08
Cooking for 100
How many lbs of green beans and potatoes do I need to feed 100 people.
ellen
11/14/08
Check the veggie table on plan for 100. If this is cooked together, you want to add about a gallon (8-10 pounds)of Partially cooked potatoes to the green beans,
Lynette
11/18/08
I need to cook a turkey dinner for 220 people. Help! How many turkeys, how much dressing, how much potatoes?
ellen
11/18/08
See the holiday cooking section at the top of bisg pots. All yo9ur questions about planning/ shopp9ng and cooking this diner answered.
Dorothy
12/19/08
Hi Ellen! I need to prepare prime rib w/ au jus & horseradish-sour cream for 200 firemen. We are planning on carving 8 oz. servings. ow much do I need & how the $@!*% do I cook all this? I do have access to 6 commercial Vulcan convection ovens in a teaching kitchen.
ellen
12/19/08
Hi, Dorothy, have you mortgaged the house? To make 5 servings you need 3 pounds raw, or 120 pounds; at $6-8 per pound... DO negotiate with an excellent butcher for this meat.

Convection ovens basically work by circulating the hot air in the oven so that the temperature is even everywhere. Usually convection is used to bake many pans on many levels inside the oven e.g. 3 cookie sheets.

Roasting at a lower temp reduces shrinkage and tenderizes.

Use a meat thermometer to determine when the meat is done. Many factors influence the cooking time for a cut of meat: size and shape of cut, amount of fat and bone, and how the meat was aged. A temperature of 120 to 125 degrees is rare, 130 to 140 degrees is medium rare, 145 to 150 degrees is medium, and 155 to 165 degrees is well done.

Let the meat sit fifteen to twenty minuets before carving or serving. A roast will rise in temperature five or ten degrees during this period, so it's best to take the cut out of the oven 5-10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature.

Convection works better for quick baking applications like cakes, cookies, oven fries and the like. It does a worse job cooking items that require long time or require low temperatures i.e roast beef because it dehydrates the product more quickly than conventional ovens, thus you can easily get great crust on overdone beef.

If you have instructions for conventional ovens you should reduce the time by a quarter on average (15 min off for every hour so cook 45 min instead of 1 hour) and reduce the heat by 25F to 50F.

Again, convection applies better to baking. Here is a link discussing the commercial slow cook method:

www.ehow.com/how_2304236_cook-roast-beef.html

Stephanie Satchell
01/19/09
I am cooking for a wedding of 200 people including bride and groom. How much potatoes, greens, green beans, corn, catfish, coleslaw, pork chops, mac and cheese, ground beef, cabbage, and cornbread mix do I need as well as salad. I know its a lot but thats what they want at their wedding.
ellen
01/19/09
Stephanie, this is a site for home cooks, not folks who are catering, and since I posted all my tables in 2004, I ask cooks to make their own initial estimate and post it and let me check it.

This sounds like a typical informal Southern dinner at a wedding. You have some big problems facing you; the frying of catfish is very challenging for this size group. You need at least 4 cooks and 12-18 servers for a party this size with this type dinner. This is about a $25 per person meal, not including desserts and beverages.

If you post estimates, I will check them.

You might want to look at chef2chef.com.

John
06/17/09
Cooking for 100
Graduation party for 100 Our menue consist of
150 stuffcabage 200 perogies (may be less) and veggies. We are also serving chicken (drumsticks and thighs) How many chickens parts would you think I should order.
ellen
06/17/09
If it is teens, 150-175 pieces.
Joyce
06/18/09
I am doing a wedding reception for 175 people. The main course is chicken & waffles. I plan to place the chicken in the gravy to serve. How many pounds of cooked chicken do I need?
ellen
06/18/09
1 pound cooked chicken will serve 4 in this situation, 5 if you are using 2 small waffle squares instead of one larger waffle.
Michelle
06/25/09
Cooking for 150
Ellen,

My husband and I are hosting a large bbq for family and friends to celebrate our recent wedding. We are estimating 150 ppl. Because our menu is so large, we are getting conflicting amounts of food estimates. Can you give me your opinion? Here is what we are making:
1) Chicken quarters
2) Chicken breasts
3) Spare Ribs
4) Pulled pork (for sandwhiches)
5) Hamburgers and hotdogs
6) Potato, Macaroni, and broccoli salad
7) Baked Beans
8) Vegetable Medley
9) Fruit and veg. trays
10) Chips and dip
11) Assortment of cupcakes, cookies, and brownies.

If you could give me any idea of a per person estimate, you would be a lifesaver! Thank you!

Michelle

ellen
06/25/09
Michelle, this is a nice party, and you need to recruit two full time grill cooks plus you and your husband and 1-2 other kitchen folks if you are going to pull off this menu. Plus some help (6-10) setting up, serving and cleaning up.

That said, #7-11 are already covered in detail in plan for 100, veggie trays, fruit trays and dessert buffets. Appetizer plan will help with your dips and chips. You did not mention beverages but check the beverage planning page for drinks and importantly, ice.

Do 100 people each for potato ( 35 pounds to start) and pasta (6 pounds dry to start). Do 20-22 pounds slaw per 100- doesn't matter if it is cabbage, broccoli or whatever, people eat about that much.

Now for the trouble area- TOO many meats. Start by considering eliminating at least one, and I would suggest the hamburgers and hot dogs should go- boring, require lots of extra condiments etc, fall through the grill. Then allow 1 piece of chicken (1 breast or leg or thigh- half white pieces, half, dark)) PLUS 1/2 pound raw spare ribs PLUS 3 ounces pulled pork per every adult or teen, a bit less for kids and tweens. Add another 10% if it is self serve. You will have enough and everyone will get some of their first choice.

eve
07/15/09
I am having a graduation party for 200 this Sunday.
1)I am ordering fried chicken (breasts thighs and drumsticks)
I am making
2) cheese-stuffed shells
3) crockpot pork tenderloins
4) sauerkraut
5) rice salad
6) pasta salad
7) green salad w/peppers/onions/tomatoes/cheese
8) either making or ordering cheesy potatoes
9) either making or ordering a tray with cut up french bread subs and wraps
9)and having 3-4 sheet pizzas delivered on a rotating basis.
The party begins at 2:00 this Sunday afternoon, with no specified ending time.
With the chicken, pork, and stuffed shells together, I am not sure how to come up with a number from your pages. Also the case with the different sides.
Can you give me some numbers for ordering/ making? I am adding the sandwiches and pizzas as a buffer and for kids.
ellen
07/15/09
You need to end up with about 1 1/2 pounds of food per person per meal- so if you think some will stay for two meals, count thenm as about 1 1/2 persons, or as 2 if they are starving teens. early 20's. That gives you as count.

1 piece of chicken PLUS 2 shells per person
Plus 2 pounds raw pork for each 5-6 people.

sauerkraut- 1/4 cup per person

rice salad, pasta salad- start with 6 pounds dry of each per 100

green salad w/peppers/onions/tomatoes/cheese- see plan for 100 page

cheesy potatoes- see recipe at the bottom of the festive family brunch page, plan for 1 serving per person

tray with cut up french bread subs and wraps- allow 1/2 per person, but cut in quarters- these will basically go as hors douvres the first couple of hours

3-4 sheet pizzas delivered on a rotating basis- no suggestions, no idea how big a sheet is where you are- but they will go fast- you want small pieces.

Jane
07/16/09
We are preparing a spaghettie dinner for 200 people and are planning in using stick butter for out tables to serve with hot rolls. How much butter do we need to purchase?
ellen
07/16/09
About 3 1/2 pounds per 100 people for modest butter service. If they are good rolls, go for 1 pound for every 30 rolls.
Sharon
07/20/09
Cooking for 150
I am cooking for 150 people for a wedding receiption. The wedding is at 4:00 but nothing formal. I need to know how many pounds of chicken I need to fix chicken salad sandwhichs, how many meatballs and shrimp for shrimp cocktail.
ellen
07/20/09
Because the wedding is at 4 PM, people will be eating a dinner after, so you have to plan enough or you will run out.

See the sandwich event page for the sandwich quantities and recipes. See the plan for 100 page for the shrimp. For the meat balls, you need about 1 pound for each 4 people, so that is about 22 pounds raw ground meat plus add ins for each 100.

Margie
07/21/09
I'm in charge of a Continental Breakfasts for a series of events that will host between 200 and 800 people (number of people will change w/each event). Our intention is to provide donuts, muffins, bagels, coffee, tea, water and juice, as well as cream, sugar and cream cheese. Can you give me a rule of thumb to determine how much of each to have per 100 for example? The schedule begins in 2 weeks.
Also, working on a community supper and am planning on using your recipe for barbeque chicken and question the use of the marinade for basting...is this safe, should it be recooked before basting?
Thanks...m
ellen
07/21/09
Margie, see the breakfast planning page for all the help you need and the beverage planning page for coffee. Do add some kind of protein source- the most simple are nut butters, yogurt cups, hard boiled eggs and cheese sticks- if you expect the people to be attentive until lunch.
I use fresh marinade for basting, you are quite correct that used marinade is not safe. I will go back and clarify that in the recipe.
Cream cheese is the same as butter, 3-4 pounds per 100.
Sarah Watts
07/22/09
Dear Ellen,

I'm serving dinner to 230 adults who have been dancing all day (hungry).
The menu is red and green chile, mole, salad, rice and beans, tortillas, and fruit and

cookies for dessert. Do these amounts seem right?

chicken: 29 3-1/2 lb chickens, baked (100 lbs chicken, approx)
pork chile verde: 70 cups
vegetarian chile verde: 57 cups
vegetarian red chile: 57 cups
mole: 25 cups

corn/orange/red pepper/cilantro salad: 115 cups

tortilla chips: 21 lbs
various salsas: 11 qts
guacamole: 4 gallons

beans(refried canned): 25 lb
rice: 20 lbs dry uncooked
corn tortillas: 460

shredded cheese: 10 lb
sliced tomato: 18 lb
sour cream: 5.5 qt
lime wedges: 1/4 lime per person (63 limes)

soda: 12 oz per person

fruit (dessert): 62 lbs
cookies: 300

~Thank you!

ellen
07/22/09
Great effort! Looks good too. The chicken has to be pieces, not quarters. You will probably have rice left; it freezes. You need much more beverages, how about one of the fruited iced teas as a cold, inexpensive addition, check the beverage planning page for ice amounts, how much sugar free soda vs regular, etc, and do have water- either iced in pitchers or bottled.
You need one of each flavor of cookie for each person up to 4, and if you have only one flavor, at least 2 per person. NOBODY eats just 1 cookie.
I would do 20 pounds of shredded cheese and 2 of the large sour creams, not just one. Your mole sauce is just a couple of tablespoons per person, and I think most servings are larger-about 1/4 cup.
Francine Smith-Sneed
08/05/09
Cooking for 150
I am cooking baked Macaroni& Cheese and mustard and turnip green; my dad also cooking mustard and turnip green and I would like to know how much mac and cheese I should use and how many pound of greens I should buy for our family reunion 08/08/09.
ellen
08/05/09
Greens are covered specifically in the vegetable section of plan for 100, you would use 1 1/2 times the amount for 100. There is help on the pasta amounts on the spaghetti page; basically, 1 pound pasta for every 8 people for a good side dish.
Shirley Hamilton
08/23/09
We are planning a 60th wedding anniversary party for 200.we are having turkey,ham,meatballs,green beans,lasagna,macaroni and cheese,and salad.i need to know how much meat and how much macroni and cheese i will need
ellen
08/23/09
This kind of party is a little tricky for quantities, because sometimes the ages are mixed and sometimes most are the age of the honorees, and eat less.

Also, the lasagna complicates things, as people who select this as an entree probably won't take make and cheese, and not knowing the group, I don't know how many are likely to choose the lasagna.

My Mother and Dad just had their sixtieth, also. Congratulations.

So, I would probably make lasagna for 80-100 but cut the pieces quite small, and make mac and cheese for about 125.

For the meats you want a total of 7 ounces ready to eat per person (6 would do for an older crowd. I would make small meatballs, as many people will treat them as an appetizer. About 3 ounces of deli sliced turkey and 2 ounces of deli sliced ham. Rolls that would be suitable for making small sandwiches would be a good choice, as well; see the sandwich event page for help on condiments.

Do consider doing several "made salads" (see the suggestions on the plan for 100 list) to total about 120 servings and only about 100 people worth of lettuce-based salad. Cut up fruit is much more popular than lettuce salad and would be a good choice for this menu.

Lizzie
09/27/09
Cooking for 150
Hi, Iam cooking for 150 people wedding reception this weekend. Chile verde, rice, refried beans, salsa chips, would you know how much of each I have to buy? Thanx, Lizzie
ellen
09/27/09
Lizzie, you need 3 cooks and at least a half dozen servers for a crowd this size, and it is usual to take 6-12 weeks for an event this size, it sounds like you have not made a realistic plan.

The usual way to do things on this website is for you to use the tables to make an estimate (all these foods are covered), post it, and let me review it. However since you have not done this and taking pity on the bride here is some help. For each 100 people, I would get;

Chile verde, 8 1/2 gallons
rice, 9 pounds dry- there are several different Spanish rice for 100 recipes on this site.
refried beans, 3 1/2 gallons
salsa, 7 quarts
chips, 8-9 pounds

You also need for each 100:
soft tortillas (I would get corn), 2 per person,
shredded lettuce salad, 12 pounds per 100
sour cream, about 1 1/2 gallons

and usually for party/ wedding type events, I recommend diced avocado or guacamole, 1/4 cup per person.
shredded cheese, 6-8 pounds

Talia
09/28/09
Cooking for 100
How many lbs of prime rib will I need to feed 100 guest?
ellen
09/28/09
If it is a party, 1 pound bone in or 3/4 pound boneless per person. If you have a skilled carver to serve and good sides, you can get away with about 2 ounces less per person.
sam
10/05/09
Cooking for 100
Hi I'm doing a private Christmas dinner for 100 people and am struggling to find ideas or price to charge dont want to charge too much and dont want to under charge.Its going to be a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings and a lasagna
sam
10/05/09
Cooking for 100
Hi, I'm a stay at home mom needing to make a bit of cash for Christmas , so i took on a job doing a private Christmas dinner for 100 people and am struggling to find ideas or price to charge don't want to charge too much and don't want to under charge.Its going to be a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings and a lasagna plus desert. Can you help
ellen
10/05/09
Figure the cost of the food and charge 3 to 4 times that, depending on whether it is drop off or you are serving. But you have tremendous liabilities here. If you do not cook at their house, it is illegal to cook at your house and sell the food in most states. A meal this size is usually budgeted for 3 cooks and 6 servers. You need event insurance; you can be sued (lose your house, etc.) if someone is injured cooking or serving or eating the food, or gets sick from it. And where will you safely chill and store all that food, never mind safely transport it? See chef2chef.com and cheftalk.com for more about the hazards and liabilities of amateur catering.
sam
10/05/09
Thank you for all your tips and yes i know about the not cooking at my house. I am useind a very full kitchen with four stoves,on residence.It was more the cost that had me because its been so long since i have had my caterind buisness.
ellen
10/06/09
Good, then you can do the calculation based on your actual costs. There really is good advice on this at chef2chef.com and cheftalk.com, and if you have catered before you will enjoy those sites.
Peggy
11/10/09
Cooking for 150
Hi,
We are having a surprise 75th Birthday Party for my husband. How many pounds of sirlon tip roast do I need to make Poor Boys/ Italian Beef sandwiches and how many 3" or 4" club buns do I need? How many pounds of beef will fit in a 18 qt roaster.
Also how much:
sheet cakes?
Appetizer meat balls?
We are having other items but these are the ones I have questions on.
Thank you for you help.
Peg
ellen
11/10/09
1 pound raw will make 3 fine sandwiches. About 20 pounds to roast, but you could roast ahead, slice and sauce and reheat, then serve in the roasters.

Sheet cakes, see the discussion of cake cutting on the dessert planning page. For 150, a 2 layer full sheet would be good.4-5 meatballs per person, depends on whether you have other meats in the appetizers.

Fred
12/04/09
Cooking for 220
When preparing a breakfast for 220 people, how many pounds of link sausage must be ordered if each person is to receive three sausages and there are eight sausages to each pound?
ellen
12/04/09
Fred, you are kidding, right? You need 660 sausages=84 pounds. However, these are very large for breakfast sausages; most caterers would only serve 2 per person if they go along with eggs and other breakfast entrees.
IDA MAE
12/13/09
Cooking for 20
how many cans of green beans are needed for serving 20 people, green bean casserole
ellen
12/13/09
You need 4 1/2 pounds drained weight, whether frozen or canned. French style frozen green beans make a good green bean casserole.
Sharri
12/14/09
Ellen,
I am catering a friends daughter's wedding for about 160 and it would ease my mind if I could run my quantities by you:
Tri-tip - 60 lb.
Boneless chicken thighs - 20 lb.
Fresh green beans - 45 lbs.
Green salad w/cranberries & almonds -20 lb lettuce
Cheesy hashbrown casserole - 28 lb. frozen hashbrowns, etc.
Rolls -200
Also doing "pink fluff", but think I've figured that out.
Punch - 15 gallons
Have referred to your site lots over the years and love it!!
Thanks!
ellen
12/14/09
This is about what I would do for this size crowd. Do have a sugar-free drink alternative for the diabetics and carb watchers in the crowd- maybe the dinner coffee set up or iced tea.
Norene
01/21/10
Ellen, I am cooking a shrimp salad for approx.. 200 guest for my daughters wedding. I am having a hard time figure out how pasta I would need , along with cucumbers, radishes, green onions, shrimp(tiny), and chopped olives.
There will be other food choices there as well. The groom is planning on a Mexican menu for his guests as well. I need help...
ellen
01/22/10
5-6 pounds dry pasta per 100. 5 pounds of meats (chopped ham or pepperoni, shrimp, etc) is what I usually add per 100.
Matthew
02/01/10
Ellen,
I'm holding a fundraiser for my church, just wondering if you knew, how many pounds of taco ingredients would you think i need for 200 people!
like ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guacamole and tortillas... thank you so much :)
Matthew
02/01/10
I apologize, i read some of your other entries and found out i used this forum wrong. Although i have plenty of cooks and plenty of time, i was just not sure at all where to begin to determine the amount of food. once again i apologize :o thank you
ellen
02/01/10
Take a look at the baked potato/ taco bar page for excellent help on your taco bar.
hamlet
02/02/10
Cooking for 350
My church is having a fish fry for 350 plate to pieces per plate white fish cold slaw french fry hash puppies and cold drink. how much would we need of each.
ellen
02/02/10
All these foods except the hush puppies are listed on the plan for 100 tables and the beverage planning page; you would use 3 1/2 times the amount for 100.

You need 2 hush puppies per person. You need 1 cup tartar sauce for each 6 people.

margaret
02/02/10
We are having a fish fry our goal is 350 plates. Each plate will have 2 pieces of fish. My question is how many pounds of fish will I need for 350 plates w/ 2 pieces. The fish is coming in 40lbs cases. How many cases of french fries would I need the fries come 30lbs a case. thanks
ellen
02/03/10
Margaret, both items already covered on the plan for 100 lists.
sheila marie sanders
02/17/10
i have been called by the lord to cook for a new non-for-profit org. for special needs people our 1st meeting is thursday night at 5 pm how do i calculate how much to fix (our first meal is gonna be spagetti,salad,bread,deviled eggs, and ice cream for desert). any advice you might have would be so helpful. and i just love your website, it is great!!!!!
ellen
02/17/10
You don't say how many people. Go to the spaghetti page, see the dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the page, use that for a guideline for the dinner quantities. Deviled eggs, there is a recipe for serving 100 on the site. Ice cream, click the Sundae Bar button at the top of the main cook talk page.
Donna
03/05/10
Cooking for 250
How many salads should we have for a salad buffet for a women's group of 250. Salads only - no other food other than rolls and dessert bars. We plan to ask for main dish salads, vegetable salads, and fruit salads. We will have two serving tables to allow four serving lines.
ellen
03/07/10
Good on the tables. Do have beverages and desserts on separate stations or on the tables already, ore it will jam up.

I assume this is a signup type potluck? Thus you want the costs of the items for all the different items to be fairly in line. Plus, you want some items for non-cooks.

So write back annd tell me how many people will be bringing something and what will be supplied by the organizers and I will help you divvy up the lists.

bridgette
03/12/10
we are planning our first church anniversary, what can we serve that would be appropriate?
ellen
03/12/10
How many people, what kind of budget, what kind of kitchen, what donations? Write back.
Rosie
03/20/10
I have 100 lbs. of red potatoes I plan on cutting into pieces, 48 lbs. of frozen broccoli normandy, and 200 5oz chicken breasts. I am having difficulty knowing exactly the method and timing so that it won't be over cooked yet ready on time.

we will eat about 6:15pm. I had planned on putting the chicken breasts in large roasters with some homemade chkn broth. I have two ovens and a couple free roasters to do the veggies/pot. Help.

Rosie
03/20/10
I have a total of 6 electric roasters for my project above and two ovens. My stove tops will be occupied. I have never used an electric roaster on my own before. I need temp, time and amount of water or chkn broth and # of chkn brsts per roaster for the 200 5oz breasts. Which would be better in the oven? The new potatoes(100#) or the 46# of Broc Normandy? The other in the roaster. If I did the potatoes in the roaster, would I need water?
ellen
03/20/10
Hoping you are cooking for 200?

This is not enough chicken if it is self serve. You need at least 22 as some people will take 2. 200 5 ounce breasts is about 67 pounds, which is what I would do for no more than 150, and the roasters takes about 20 pounds per roaster.

Also, please look at the sauce recipe for the orange Dijon wedding chicken in Big Pots. You will be disappointed with the breasts simply simmered in broth. They will not hold as well, either.

Also this is too many potatoes for 200, you need at most 70 pounds. One roaster can only cook about 20 pounds, so you would need 3-4 roasters for these, just 2 for the broccoli. I would actually do roasted rather than boiled: Preheat the oven to 425 (IMPORTANT!) Cut the potatoes in half, toss the potatoes with olive oil seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. About 1 tablespoon of oil per pound is needed. Arrange potatoes in pan, cut side down. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and paprika on top. Bake in the preheated 425 degree oven for 25-35 minutes until potatoes are tender inside and undersides are crusty brown. Serve immediately.

Vanessa
04/26/10
I have an upcoming wedding and I am doing the cooking myself. The menu consists of BBQ Pork sandwiches, Augratin potatoes (box), Baked Beans and some form of fruit salad.

My questions are:
How much do I need for the following --
Pork - lbs?
Buns - how many?
Augratin potatoes - how many roasters?
Baked Bans - how many cans? what size?
Fruit Salad - any suggestions on recipe? And how many gallons??

We are planning for 180 adults and 60 kids.

ellen
04/27/10
Vanessa, hi,
All these foods are covered in the plan for 100 tables, the fruit tray page has recipes and quantities and sandwich condiments for 100 are on the sandwich page. You just double for 200, that will be about right for this group if some of the kids are preteen. I just posted a great pulled pork recipe on the BBQ and brisket page.

A roaster of potatoes feeds about 60, I would do 4 with this menu.

pat
05/07/10
Hosting a graduation party for 70-80 people. How many pounds of canned beans would I need to fill an 18 quart roaster.

How much meat to make sloppy joe's.

How much potatoes to make potatoe salad.

pat
05/07/10
Hosting a graduation party for 70-80 people. How many pounds of canned beans would I need to fill an 18 quart roaster.

How much meat to make sloppy joe's.

How much potatoes to make potatoe salad.

ellen
05/08/10
Pat, all these are covered on the plan for 100 page, use 3/4 of the amounts for 100, or a bit more if it is mostly teens. If you want, post your estimates and I will look them over.
Patty
05/19/10
Cooking for 175
I am planning a graduation party for my daughter. I am having sloppy joe, shredded chicken,veggie tray, relish tray, chips, etc.
Can you tell me how much to plan for the veggie tray and relish tray?
Thank you.
ellen
05/19/10
Yes. Do 2 times the relish tray for 60 at the top of the veggie tray page. Then allow 3 ounces ready to eat veggies (about 5 pieces) per person, you can use the tables in the same article to figure out your veggie mix. Ranch dressing.
tommy
06/06/10
I am catering a party of 200, and menu includes wings, meatballs, veggie and fruit trays. Looking for rough estimate on quantities(to purchase)and price. Additional advice/ideas are welcome.
Thanks in advance.
ellen
06/07/10
Tommy you have to say time of day and length of event and what else is being served. The estimates can double depending on these facts. Write back.
Diane
06/08/10
Planing an Open House for my daughter's graduation. The estimation of guest is 200 by the time you figure in friends and families. How many 9x13 cakes will I need to make, fruit tray, and potato salad?
ellen
06/09/10
Fruit tray amounts are discussed in detail on the fruit tray page. The others are discussed specifically on the plan for 100 page and the dessert planning page. When you have prepared your estimate, if you want to post it, I will be glad to check it for you.
Stephanie
06/14/10
I am cooking for 250 people for a homeless shelter. I am looking for a simple and cost effective recipe with chicken and rice or pasta. Do you have any suggestions?
ellen
06/14/10
Look at the basic budget entrees for 100 on the big pots page.
Mary
06/24/10
How much macaroni do I need to buy to make a macaroni salad for a wedding to serve 250 people? We are also having fresh fruit, beef sandwiches, and fresh veggies.
ellen
06/25/10
Seethe mac salad recipes for 100 on site. You start with about 6 pounds dry per 100.
sylvia
07/01/10
I'm having a 50th Birthday Luau for 200 people how many lbs of pinto beans do i need?
ellen
07/02/10
Not sure why you will have pinto beans at a luau? But I cook 8 to 12 pounds dry per 100, depending on whether it is a modest side dish or a serious fill-em-up effort.
Debbie
07/12/10
Hi. I am having a graduation party for approx 150-175. I am having chicken, baked ziti, kielbasa in a sweet sour sauce and hot dogs. Also a green salad, fruit salad and pasta salad. Cake and Ice cream sundaes for dessert. I just dont know how much I will need. Can you help?
ellen
07/13/10
This is an unusual combination of foods I would probably skip the hot dogs, make 2 pounds raw boneless chicken for each 5 people (that's 4 pounds whole chicken) PLUS 1 pound kielbasa for each 4 people. All the rest is covered on the plan for 100 page; make 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 times the amount for 100, depending on whether it is 150 or 175.

For help on the sundaes, see the ice cream social page. Then if you want to post an estimate, I can check it for you.

Bern
07/15/10
Cooking for 45
Hi, I am preparing 2 pans of baked ziti for 45 people which will cost approx 45 dollars. How much can I charge total for the pans and labor?
If serving Brushetta for 45 people how much can I charge?
How much can I charge for mini sandwiches with boneless chicken, fresh mozz, pesto sauce and sundried tomatoes? Mini meatballs and mini quiche? All for 45-50 people Thanks
ellen
07/15/10
Bern, this site is designed for family cooks and volunteers, and I don't do pro advice. I can tell you that the usual charge for catered food is 3 to 4 times the ingredient price.

For pro help, try chef2chef.com and cheftalk.com.

Audrey
07/19/10
Cooking for 100
I'm wondering how many people a 30 Gallon garbage can of polish luau feeds? 10# red potatoes, 3# onions, 2 heads of cabbage, 4 bags of carrots, 2# green beans, 2 Dozen ears of corn, 2 rings of bologna, 2# of Kielbasa, 2# polish sausage, 12 Brats, 12 Wieners, and 2 Thick Ham Slices. What a great site. Thanks
ellen
07/19/10
Ok. First be aware that there is such a thing as food safe and non-food-safe plastic; it has to do with leaching toxic chemicals into the contents of the bag or container. Garbage cans and garbage bags are NOT food safe. The really really big dishpans sold at warehouse clubs (like Sam's, Costco) and restaurant supply places are food safe, but where are you going to store them when full?

That is about 25 peoples' worth of food.

Nicky
07/26/10
Hi I'm providing the catering for a function of 200 people - I am wanting to do a cuscous salad - how much cous cous would I need and how much water? Do you have any advice. Thanks
ellen
07/26/10
Hi, Nicki,
This is primarily a DIY site for family and volunteer cooks, and I recommend that pros/paid see chef2chef.com and cheftalk.com.
If you were a family cook, I would suggest you need 8-10 pounds of couscous per 100 people. Water ratio does not change.
Sam
09/03/10
Cooking for 50-60
Hi, I need to know how many lbs of stuffed shells (frozen already made, not shells) will feed a party of 50-60 people, I've looked all over the internet and haven't been able to figure out how much I will need. Thank you!
ellen
09/03/10
A standard serving for the large shells is 2, I always add 10% as a fudge factor- go with three if the sides are light or the shells are small.
BECKY RAGSDALE
09/27/10
how much southern style cornbread dressing to feed 200 people? thank you
Teresa Koop
09/27/10
Cooking for 150-200
How much lamb do I need if preparing lamb stew. Also do you have a recipe for lamb stew
ellen
09/27/10
Becky, see the discussion about dressing in the planning and shopping for large community dinners article toward the top of Big Pots, or see the large quantity southern dressing recipe in the section below that.

Teresa, you need about the same as for beef, about 38 pounds lean boneless per person. A good beef stew recipe will give guidance for a good lamb stew as well.

Krystal
10/08/10
Cooking for 150
Hi Ms. Ellen
I'm planning a cocktail party for my sister's engagement. I plan to prepare all of the food for 150 ppl. I need help with knowing exactly how much food to prepare. I'm cooking party wing, meatballs, pig in a blanket, chicken salad, pasta salad, fruit, meat & veggie tray. Can you please help me? Thanks in advance.
Michelle
10/15/10
Hello , I am planning a benefit for our local veterans. I need to feed 150 people
How much would it cost if we did hot dogs , chips and pop / water?
Also stew .
Jackie
01/22/11
Cooking for 60
We are having a Spaghetti Cook-off. We will be serving garlic bread, salad & dessert.
How many heads of Iceberg lettuce do I need to purchase to feed 60 people? I am planning on adding grated carrots & purple cabbage for color.
ellen
01/24/11
See the planh for 100 page, use 2/3.
Minnie Farr
02/08/11
I am doing a wedding reception 05/07/2011 for 150 to 200 peoples. so my question is how many bags of party wing i sure purchase & also meatballs,how many bags of garden salad i need.how many slices of cheese sure i get for the tray.I plan to prepare all of the food for 150 to 200 people. I need help with knowing exactly how much food to prepare. I'm cooking party wing, meatballs,making the chicken salad & ham sandwich,garden salad, fruit,cheese tray. Can you please help me? Thanks in advance.
ellen
02/08/11
First off, Minnie, in addition to all the shopping, prep work and cooking to do before hand, on the day of you need 4 cooks, 12 servers and 4 serving lines (not counting 2 nibble tables) to set up, serve, and clean up 200 people. And if you don't know if it will be 150 or 200, you have to prepare for 200; can you imagine running out of food before all the guests are served?

Second, the amount depends on whether this is over lunchtime, over dinnertime, or mid afternoon reception. Mid afternoon uses about 1/4 less food. If it is over a mealtime, you have to offer enough food for a meal, even if it is appetizer style.

Third, this is not enough menu. You need to add some hefty side dishes suitable to the service, at least some such as potato and pasta salad and slaw.

party wings, 6 pieces per person
meatballs, 1 pound per 4-5 people
chicken salad sandwiches, use reception amounts see the sandwich event page
ham sandwiches- 1 pound ready to eat per 5-6 people
I would serve the chicken salad and ham on platters, bread and condiments on the side. Keeps better, can be done ahead, leftovers more usable. Sandwiches have to be made day of, and the leftovers are not very usable.

Add sandwich condiments, see the sandwich event page

garden salad- see the plan for 100 table, make enough for about 160- add,
potato salad- about 55 pounds of potatoes
pasta salad-about 12 pounds of pasta

I would put these two items on the nibble tables with punch and one or two other dips and spreads (1/4 cup each per person), and crackers (6-8 pounds per 100)
fruit trays, see fruit tray page
cheese trays, 1 pound per 5-6 people

Beatrice
02/08/11
Cooking for 150-200
How much would it cost to feed 150-200 people at a wedding? Menu: Roasted Chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, garden salad, hot rolls. The Bride and Groom will be pay for the cost of the food, person preparing is not charging.
Beatrice
02/08/11
Cooking for 150-200
How much would it cost to feed 150-200 people at a wedding? Menu: Roasted Chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, garden salad, hot rolls. The Bride and Groom will be pay for the cost of the food, person preparing is not charging.
ellen
02/10/11
About $10 per person. This is an incomplete menu, you need an appetizer table with punch, also, as well as a vegetarian entree.
Minnie Farr
02/12/11
2/12/11

Hi Ellen,

I check around on prices for my party wings for a bulk of wings will cost $69 to $80 with 300 pieces of wings so how many bulk do i need. 10lbs bags of meatball cost @ sam's club $12.98 for uncooked & The fully cooked meatball serving per 32 5/8.oz 6lbs bags of meatball cost the same as the 10lbs.So how many bags of meatball do i need for 150 to 200 ppl. Can you please help me or give me a ideal? Thanks in Advance

ellen
02/12/11
Minnie, 200 people

Wings, 1 bag per 50-60 people=4 bags
Meatballs, either one the same, 1 bag per 30=6-7 bags

Senia
03/21/11
Hi Ellen,

We are hosting a party for 180 guests. I was wondering how many pounds of BBQ should I buy? I want to buy beef, chicken, and sausage.

Thanks for your help!

Clare
04/04/11
Hello Ellen. I will be cooking fo 200 peoples> I need to know how many cans of gree beans will be need. Thank You, Clare
ellen
04/04/11
Senia, sorry I missed this. I would buy (ready to eat) 50-55 pounds beef, 100 pieces of chicken, and about 30 pounds of sausage.

Clare, 5 #10 cans per 100. However, I suggest you do 4 with 1 can diced tomatoes and about 2 pounds chopped sauteed onions per 100, or 3-4 times my better green bean casserole. Both MUCH tastier.

Clifford Knight
04/13/11
Cooking for 280
I will feed 280 people. How many pounds of new potatoes an stringbeans.
ellen
04/13/11
Per 100 about 15 pounds ready to cook green beans and 1 gallon new potatoes, maybe a pound of onions...
Connie
05/02/11
Hi Ellen,
I am about to take on a wedding reception for 200, I have already made 200 cabbage rolls, 780 meatballs, they want a traditional wedding, with turkey, roast beef, ham, perogies, cabbage rolls, mashed,gravy,salad, coleslaw, and sweet and sour sauce for meatballs and gravy for mashed and meats, I am looking for quantities of each roughly, it is buffet style and not quite sure about amounts, any help you could offer would be wonderful. Thank you from the bottom of my oh so busy brain...lol
ellen
05/02/11
This is a LOT of entrees for 200 people, and that makes it harder to estimate. When there are so many choices and it is buffet service, it is necessary to make enough that everyone gets their first choice for the first round, and that means more leftovers with this many entrees. Because, of course, it is always the xaterer's fault if something runs out, even if they (you) make exactly what is ordered.

Also, with wedding receptions, you need an appetizer table for the hour between the service and when the bridal couple arrives/ dinner is served; especially if there are children in the party. This should be about 3 items and a punch (2 if one is alcoholic). I would put the meatballs here, add fruit tray and a cheese and cracker platter, for example.

turkey, roast beef, ham; usually, beef is eaten almost 2 to 1. Thus I would do ` pound raw boneless beef per 3 people PLUS 2 ounces edible turkey per person (see the turkey yield tables in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots) PLUS 1 pound ready to eat ham per 7 people. But I would try to get the family to do just beef and one other meat, and do the dame beef plus 1 p[ound ready to eat of the second meat per 6 people. Plus with beef and tukey, you will have to do 2 gravies, with beef and ham, just beef.

perogies, size varies, about 2 per person if small, 1.2 if large
cabbage rolls, I would do at leats 250 and if large and firm, would cut in half in the serving pan.
sweet and sour sauce for meatballs- about 1 quart for 6 pounds

mashed potatoes, about 35 pounds per 100
gravy, 1/3 cup beef plds 1/4 cup turkey/chicken per person.
salad, see plan for 100 list
coleslaw, 3 gallons per 100

Mary Sinjem
05/06/11
I'm putting on a grad party for 200 with a Pasta bar set up with Penne Pasta, choice of Alfredo or Italian Red sauce, with diced chicken or Italian sausage, Romaine Caesar salad and bread sticks. This will be a self-serve buffet with the guests adding the the sauce and meat. My question, what is the amount of sauce, meat & salad that we should plan for per person?
Thanks for your expert advise.
Mary
ellen
05/07/11
12 pounds dry pasta per 100, 7 gallons sauce per 100. 1 pound boneless raw chicken plus 1 pound sausage per each 5. Salad from the plan for 100 pages, doubled.
Teresa
05/10/11
Wedding Hors de' ouvres for 400, beginning at 4 pm
We are having smoked turkey platters, baked ham platters, chicken roulades, pre cooked shrimp served with cocktail sauce, smoked fish platters, pork riblets, and grilled sausage platters. Can you tell me how many pounds of riblets and sausages I would need? We are also having veggies, fruit and other things...
ellen
05/10/11
Teresa, is the wedding earlier and this is the reception after? Also, I need to know what and how much on the "other things" and how long is the party? It affects amounts.
gabe
05/12/11
I am doing a fundraiser lunch for 175-200 people. We are doing spaghetti and was wondering how much noodles/sauce/meat etc we would need to buy. Also, how long would it take to cook all that in a typical kitchen?
ellen
05/12/11
See the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the end of the spaghetti page for quantities, you would do 3-4 times the amount (less if plated, more if self serve or more people.) Time is discussed, as well as what can be done ahead.
Connie
05/14/11
Hi Ellen, your reply has been soooo helpful, unfortunately the wedding party is insisting on the original menu, which is ok. I have also replaced the roast beef with moose meat now, so your right, 2 gravies are a must. The sauce for the meatballs was one of my concerns and you helped out greatly, your awesome. They will not be doing appetizers, but they are having a childrens table. So once again thank-you for all your help.
ellen
05/14/11
You might just ask them what the guests are to do during the hour between the service and the meal, while the wedding party is doing pictures, etc...
amie
05/22/11
making po boys for 200 people how many boxes of sausages do i need
ellen
05/23/11
You posted twice, see the other one.
Tim
05/24/11
How many pounds of Penne Pasta do I need to cook for 150 people
ellen
05/24/11
Depends on whether it is a side dish or entree, see the spaghetti page.
Amy
05/24/11
HI Ellen, Thanks again for being here!! I am hosting a graduation drop in party (2pm-6pm) on a Sunday. I expect approx. 150 people. I am serving 2 entrees. (Hot Sausage with rolls and 4 ounce chicken breasts grilled).
There will be about 5-6 different salads (vege, pasta etc...and assorted breads plus lots of desserts.
How many pounds of sausage and chicken should I serve? Thank you
ellen
05/24/11
I would do 1 breast per person plus 10 percent and about 30 pounds of sausage. You will have some left, but everyone will get their preferred choice.
Tish
07/04/11
Hosting a party for 100 people
Need it to know how many bottles of water I will need per person for the day ( I'm thinking the 4 oz bottles). I also needed to know how much coffee, and orange juice I will need.
ellen
07/04/11
Suggest you stick to 8 or 12 ounce bottles. for the sake of all the litter, maybe 1 case of 4's if there are very small children attending.

Allow 1 1/2 to 2 liters/quarts per person, 48-64 ounces for all day.

As to the coffee and juice, see the beverage planning page. Then write back if you need to.

Esther
07/27/11
Hi Ellen!

I am trying to work out the quantities for our the cold section of our BBQ buffet for 100 but I'm not getting anywhere...
We have opted for a salad bar, separating each ingredient so that everyone can make their own salad.Here's what I have so far
Tomatoes 35 pounds/15kg
Lettuce 20 pounds
Carrots 20 lbs
Cucumbers 10
Red onions 5lbs
Cherry tomatoes 5lbs
Sweetcorn?
Olives 10 cans
Croutons?
Spinach?

For pasta salad, rice an couscous I've been told 250g per head. Is this too much being a side dish?

I would really appreciate the help...
Thank you

ellen
07/28/11
Hi, Esther,

First the easy part, for side dishes:
pasta salad, 6 pounds dry per 100 plus add-ins
rice-8 pounds dry per 100
couscous- 8 pounds dry per 100
If I were serving both rice and couscous at the same meal on a buffet, I would do 6 pounds of each.

I would use somewhat different amounts of things for 100 people for what is essentially a side salad:

Tomatoes 35 pounds/15kg- 8-10 pounds
Lettuce 20 pounds- 10-15 pounds
Carrots 20 lbs- 8 pounds max- 5 would probably be plenty
Cucumbers 10- OK
Red onions 5lbs- OK, some may be left over
Cherry tomatoes 5lbs- increase to 7, reduce sliced tomatoes to lower amount
Sweetcorn- 1 or 2 #10 cans (I would do 1 and add a #10 of chickpeas or 3 bean salad with a nice marinade
Olives 10 cans- 1 gallon
Croutons? 4 pounds, 1 gallon
Spinach? 4 pounds

patrice
09/28/11
i want to find out how many pounds of motton do i need to order inorder to cook for 200 persons
ellen
09/28/11
You posted twice, see the other one.
Lisa
10/03/11
Hi
I am preparing for the church youth group 150:

Chessy Chicken spaghetti
Salad
Garlic bread
Banana Pudding

Having trouble with numbers on the spaghetti and pudding. I did not see them in your pages.
Thanks

ellen
10/03/11
What I would do, if these are all teens, is use basic quantity numbers for twice the Baked Spaghetti casserole in the Basic Budget Entrees section of Big Pots. If a mixed age crowd, 1 3/4.

If the banana pudding is self serve, the kind with the little vanilla wafers, allow 3/4 cup per person. If you are pre-serving (into those clear plastic cups often used for wine or juice, for example), 1/2 cup per person. You might consider doing about 125 puddings and a fruit tray for 100.

Jenna
10/07/11
Cooking for 300
Hey I am catering a supper for a friends wedding. There is 300 coming and i'm just doing the grocery list. They are having roast/ham, perogies/potatoes, salads and meat trays for midnight lunch. How much would I need to feed all and also have leftovers for the gift opening the next day?
ellen
10/08/11
Jenna, use the tables on this site to prepare estimates and post them, and I will check for you. You need to give the whole menu and estimated crowd for the midnight supper- not everyone will stay.
Meghan
10/31/11
I Ellen! I posted a question before about using three meats for a wedding reception. I was wondering if you had time to look over my plan before I placed my order with GFS and Sams club.

This is what I have planned for a 7:00 buffet dinner following a sunset wedding on a Friday, which will be for a 175-190 big eaters.

Garden Salad(28lbs Mixed greens, 8 pints of cucumber, 8 pints cherry tomatoes, 6 cups bell pepper, 5 pints of diced celery, 12 cups of croutons, 12 cups shredded cheese, 5 quarts ranch dressing, 5 quarts italian dressing)

Coleslaw(40lbs mixed shredded carrots and cabbage, 4 quarts of dressing)

Jello - 17 large packs

Chocolate Pudding - 7 10# Cans

Scalloped Potatoes(One of the girls is going to double a recipe, which would use 90lbs of potatoes.)

Mac and Cheese- (The base would be 12 pounds of uncooked macaroni)

Mashed Potatoes- 105lbs of potatoes

Chicken Gravy - 8 gallons

Green Beans- 7 10# Cans

Corn - 7 10# Cans

Chicken Legs and Thighs- 160lbs

Meatballs - 50lbs

Ham - 50lbs

Rolls - 18 dzn
Butter 8lbs

Punch- 2 varieties 24 total gallons
Cola- 40 2 liters
Diet Cola - 16 2 liters
Mountain Dew - 24 2 liters
Sprite - 16 2 liters

Brownies- 10 9x13 pans
7 layer bar - 10 9x13 pans
Pocket Pies - (Another girl is making and bringing these, but she is bringing 75 cherry, 75 apple. She said they are about 5 inches in diameter and shaped like a heart.)

I followed your tables. However, I have some reservations because there are so many filling sides. I don't know if I should reduce the potatoes because there are two types. However buffet style is a little risky either way.

I am so grateful for your help, and once this whole thing is over I'll be sending a donation your way.

ellen
11/01/11
Hi, Meghan,
You do indeed have more food than you need. I would basically figure this as 200. Here are my suggestions:

Garden Salad(28lbs Mixed greens, -22 is plenty
The rest is ok, you could cut it all 1/3 and still have plenty: 8 pints of cucumber, 8 pints cherry tomatoes, 6 cups bell pepper, 5 pints of diced celery, 12 cups of croutons, 12 cups shredded cheese, 5 quarts ranch dressing- have 3 quarts low fat, 2 regular, 5 quarts italian dressing-4 is plenty)

Coleslaw(40lbs mixed shredded carrots and cabbage, 4 quarts of dressing)
-24 pounds cabbage, 2 quarts dressing

Yes, yo are over on starches
Scalloped Potatoes(One of the girls is going to double a recipe, which would use 90lbs of potatoes.)- 75 plenty

Mac and Cheese- (The base would be 12 pounds of uncooked macaroni)- OK

Mashed Potatoes- 105 lbs of potatoes- WAY too much, 60 pounds with the scalloped potatoes

Chicken Gravy - 8 gallons- 5 gallons

Green Beans- 7 10# Cans- OK

Corn - 7 10# Cans- do 8

Chicken Legs and Thighs- 160 lbs- about 120. Cut some in each pan into 2 pieces

Meatballs - 50lbs- OK. I would put these on an appetizer table with fruit platters and cheese platters

Ham - 50lbs-OK

Rolls - 18 dzn-15 should be plenty
Butter 8lbs

Way over on beverages-
The sodas, buy from somewhere you can return unopened- you will have leftovers
Punch- 2 varieties 24 total gallons- 20 max
Cola- 40 2 liters
Diet Cola - 16 2 liters
Mountain Dew - 24 2 liters
Sprite - 16 2 liters- 8
Diet Sprite - add 8

Will there also be cake? If so, I would cut back on some of the desserts.

Jello - 17 large packs Is this dessert? It looks like too much. About 5 pounds would be plenty. People like to scoop on some whip cream.

Chocolate Pudding - 7 10# Cans - 5

Brownies- 10 9x13 pans- OK, 8 probably fine
7 layer bar - 10 9x13 pans- OK, 8 probably fine
Pocket Pies - (Another girl is making and bringing these, but she is bringing 75 cherry, 75 apple. She said they are about 5 inches in diameter and shaped like a heart.)

linda
01/09/12
Cooking for 15
for 15 adult servings 8 men and 7 women
How many small red potatoes for boiled potato recipe
How many lbs. of beef for beef bourguignon
How many appetizers (puffed pastry) per person also serving cheese and grapes
Bottles of wine to serve with meal
Bottles of champagne to serve with appetizers and dessert
Three heavy drinkers
ellen
01/09/12
boiled potato - 5 pounds
of beef for beef bourguignon- 6-7 pounds raw boneless
How many appetizers (puffed pastry) per person about 4
cheese and grapes
Bottles of wine to serve with meal- see beverage planning page
Bottles of champagne to serve with appetizers and dessert-see beverage planning page
Three heavy drinkers- add 1 extra bottle each of champagne and wine to the usual amounts.
Have coffee available after dinner
Heather
01/11/12
Cooking for 220
Hi need some help for preparing a meal for 220 people
They would like us to serve
Turkey
Ham with Bone in
Mac-n-cheese
Scalloped Potatoes(real)
Baked beans
Corn
ellen
01/11/12
Look at the planning and shopping for large community meals at the top of big pots and you can estimate your quantity needs. Then you can tell me what your questions are.
Heather
01/11/12
Hi again Ellen I believe I figured out the meat.
Turkey 3/4 lb raw turkey per person
Ham 1 lb boneless to every 4 to 5 people
Now if we want to cook the ham with bone in, what would be your suggestion.
Let me tell you what we are serving this for
This is for a cash party so they want the people to have plenty to eat. Now they will be providing alcohol for this party also. How it works the people will arrive at eat right away. Then after the meal we will provide meat and cheese platter along with chips.
I just want to be sure of the amount of food we should be serving.
Heather
01/11/12
Hi Ellen thought of one more thing. Should we charge by the plate or should we set an overall price. This is only our second time doing an event like this. I want to charge enough but not to much.
Thanks
ellen
01/11/12
To do bone in, add 15% to the total weight.

To reduce costs, I would do fruit and cheese rather than meat and cheese after that meat-heavy meal.

If you are doing this for someone else, you need to charge a flat rate for a fixed number of plates. It is NOT emphatically NOT the caterer's job to collect money from the guests.

I would also add one more vegetable to the selection if it is a self serve thing; green bean casserole would be the obvious choice.

Emily
01/14/12
Cooking for 150
Need to calculate how many strawberries would be needed to serve 150 people and how many strawberries per serving?
Dana
01/16/12
I've been asked by a friend to cater a graduation party for approx 200.... first off sooo glad I found this site.
Meeting tomorrow to start a plan, and Im not sure were to start.
ellen
01/16/12
Emily, check the fruit tray page- you get to decide how large a serving. I usually buy a quart to make 8 strawberry shortcakes.

Dana, start with the budget and the kitchen facilities available, then check volunteers and donations, this will determine the limits of your menu.

Heather
01/16/12
Hi Ellen I had some more questions.
I am trying to figure out how much I will need for a pasta meal. I had wrote you earlier about a turkey and ham meal but the people we are preparing it for decided it was going to be to expensive. They are trying to have a fundraiser and trying to cut the cost. So I was thinking pasta would be the way to go.
I am having
Salad
Chicken Alfredo
Pasta noodle with a Red sauce
Meatballs
Sliced Bread

Sheet cakes for dessert.

Thanks for your help

ellen
01/16/12
Heather, you need to try some of these estimates yourself and post them. I would do a white chicken lasagna rather than Alfredo, it holds much better.I would definitely add a vegetable, such as broccoli or a medley.
BRIAN
01/21/12
i AM HAVING A FILLET FISH FRY FOR APPROXIMATELY 200 PEOPLE HOW MUCH FISH AND COLE SLAW WOULD I NEED
ellen
01/21/12
See the plan for 100 table, do double.
Cici
01/22/12
Hi Ellen, We are going to make finger sandwiches for my daughters wedding. We're making them ahead by putting just the meat (turkey, ham, roast beef)on the sandwiches and sitting cheese and condiments to the side. How much meat do we need to purchase for 225? And how much in advance can i make the sandwiches? Also, we are going to make BBQ meatballs, baked beans, corn and pasta salad. Do you have any other suggestions we could do or change for the buffet?
ellen
01/22/12
You posted twice, see the other one.
Shirley
01/26/12
Cooking for 150
What's the best inexpensive cut of beef to use. I want it to be tender and flavorful when cooking for family i usually marinated for a couple of days. The beef i am buying will weigh about 20lbs each i figure i need 60 pounds will also be baked chicken and fish. Ziti and sauce is a marinara better than a spagetti sauce. limited budget what would be good inexpensive appetizers its an evening reception thanks
ellen
01/26/12
Shirley are you making pot roast? dry roast? stir fry? Either sauce is OK.

Appetizers, simple, fruit trays, cheese and crackers, and one dip or spread with chips. Hummus with pita chips is very popular right now.

Arlene
01/31/12
Cooking for 21
Ellen, I am frying fish and shrimp for 21 people. How many fish filet's per person and how many shrimp per person. Also, beer, how many do I allow for each person?

Thank you.

ellen
01/31/12
Use the plan for100 tables, do 1/4 if you have light sides, 1/5 if you have heavy sides. See the beverage planning page for help on the beer.
emily
02/07/12
Cooking for 80
Ellen, I am trying to determine how much food I would need for this menu? How much pounds of shrimp? How much chicken? How much fish? Trying to help a friend out on short notice...HELP

Jambalaya Rice
Shrimp Boil (shrimp,sausage and corn)
Seafood Salad (Pasta, Shrimp, Crab, Tuna)
Fruit Salad
Cajun Chicken
Baked Tilapia

ellen
02/08/12
Too many entrees for this size crowd. In order to offer everyone first choice, you will have to have leftovers. This is as close as I can come

jambalaya 8 pounds rice plus fixings per your favorite recipe
Shrimp Boil (shrimp,sausage and corn) 1/3 pound shrimp, 1 corn per person, 1 pound sausage per each 5
Seafood Salad (Pasta, Shrimp, Crab, Tuna) I would NOT do seafood in this, too repetitive and you need something for the vegetarians to eat. 5 pounds dry pasta plus fixings
Fruit Salad see fruit tray page
Cajun Chicken- 1 small piece bone in per person (1 pound per 3)
Baked Tilapia- 1 pound per 5

andrew
03/10/12
i am cooking for 250 people 50 will be kids they will have chicken nuggets. The adults will have la cordon chicken blue and asaparagus , with roasted potatoes how much meat and veggies will i need?
ellen
03/11/12
Is it buffet or plated? What else is being served?
Chivonn
03/13/12
At my wedding reception we are serving cheesecake, cupcakes, fruit bowl and cookies. If we have 350 people at this event, which lasts 3 hours, how many of each would I have to make? (There are 5 different types of cheesecake, 6 different types of cupcakes, and 5 different types of cookies)
Chivonn
03/13/12
AND how much of beverages should we get if we are having coffee, tea, and water. Obviously water is nothing to worry about since it will be coming from the faucet, but I have no idea how much coffee and tea we should make.

Do you have any idea how many plates, stirrers, cups, or forks I should buy?

Also, since I'm having a fruit bowl, would you suggest I have small bowls as well, or would the plates work out fine for that?

ellen
03/13/12
Chivonn, what is the time? This is very light, would usually be done for a mid-afternoon reception after a 1 or 2 pm wedding.

Beverages are covered on the beverage planning page, you want dinner level coffee. I would strongly encourage you to add a punch-20 to 25 gallons.

2 of each serving item per person, some extra plates. Plates are fine for the fruit unless it is very juicy.

22 pounds of assorted cheesecakes per 100, 2 cupcakes per person, 1 of each cookie per person, made small.

Ken M
04/07/12
Cooking for 250
Greetings. I am cooking for a June rooftop party for 250. I am keeping it very simple, serving horderves only and the menu is as follows: chicken and shrimp [2 sticks] skewers, bruschetta, pulled pork spring rolls and a sweet dessert, which I could . Can you help with quantities such as lbs of chicken, shrimp and pork?
ellen
04/09/12
Ken, for this sort of party, it depends on the time it starts and how long it is. Please send mote information.
Heather
05/29/12
20 Year High School Reunion
80 Adults
120 kids (various ages)

Menu:
Burgers
Hot Dogs
Condiments
Chips
Watermelon
Cookies

Drinks:
Bottled Water
Pop
Cookies

We are at a park that has really large grills. We didn't want to have anything that needed a utensil. People can either donate money or they bring an assigned item. We are hoping the donated money will buy the meat.

HOW MUCH OF EACH ITEM DO YOU SUGGEST?

WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST/CONCERNS/HINTS FOR GRILLING?

ellen
05/30/12
Lots of the "kids" will be heavy eating teens and tweens. I would estimate this as at least 175 people.

All of these items are covered on the plan for 100 list, the beverage planning list and the dessert planning list. Watermelon is 1/2 to 1 pound per person (how long and how hot is the party?) Condiments are in a table on the sandwich page.

Natasha
06/06/12
Cooking for 230
I am preparing food for my wedding reception and have about 225 people that rsvp! I am wanting to see how much food I am going to be need along with beverages?? Menu.

Potatoe Salad
Coleslaw
Veggie tray (celery,carrots,peppers, califlower, brocli
chips
ranch dip
and frend onion dip

ellen
06/07/12
if 225 RSVP, you have to add another 10% for folks who don't.

Potato Salad- 4 1/2 gallons per 100
Coleslaw- 2 1/2 gallons per 100
Veggie tray (celery,carrots,peppers, cauliflower, broccoli- see veggie tray page
chips- 1 pound per 10
ranch dip- 1/4 cup per person
and french onion dip - 1/4 cup per person

Mary
06/12/12
It's not 200, but they sure eat like they are. We are going on another family trip to Gatlinburg and there will be at least 20 very hungry adults, and their children bringing me to a total of 34 people. Each "kid" is preparing dinner for everyone one night. My bf and I will be making Cajun Paella. Now, my question is, how long would it take the rice to cook? Assuming the calculation for recipe conversion is correct, for 5 pounds of dirty rice? The rice is my biggest concern. I know the sausage and chicken and shrimp and corn will all cook the same as long as it's hot enough, I might even glaze the meats in the oven before having them finish off in the rice. The recipe says 1 hour and 15 minutes, but that is the original recipe cook time, no conversion. How long would it really take for the rice to cook?
ellen
06/12/12
Allow 2 hours; bring the water to a boil, cover and bake. Turn down to 180 and it will hold nicely, covered, up to 2 hours.
Dalelyn
06/24/12
Cooking for 35
how much green salad/dressing and garlic bread would I need for 35 people? we are having lazagna for our rehearsal dinner. and what would be a good dessert and how much
ellen
06/24/12
Use the salad section of the [plan for 100 table and the dessert planning table, do 1/3 the amount for 100. A dairy-rich dessert would be a great choice.
deb plikerd
07/09/12
Cooking breakfast for 60
I am cooking breakfast for 60 people this weekend and want to use a roaster oven to do a breakfast casserole. I found great information for cheesy potatoes but is there more detailed information and maybe a recipe to do an egg, meat and cheese casserole ? I think the roaster oven is a great option as we have limited oven access. thanks for your help !
ellen
07/10/12
Deb, if I were doing the egg etc casserole for 60, I would do it in 2 roasters so the layer would be a little thinner, more like the usual glass casseroles.

Preheat the roasters 20 minutes.

Keep temp at 325. Grease or spray the cook pans and coat with grated Parmesan (plain old Kraft style, the one that is kind of like cheese dust).

Cook to temp of 180 in the middle, turn roasters to 180 to hold.

I put a clean dry cotton dish towel across the dish once it cooks, to keep moisture from dripping back onto the casserole as it holds.

deb
07/10/12
cooking breakfast for 60
a couple more questions -- can you give me an estimate of how long it should take to get up up to the safe 180 degrees if i use two roasters and have the layers around 3 inches ?

Breakfast is set to serve @ 9 AM and I want to make sure we're ready --

The plan is to make these the day before so they will be chilled prior to putting in the roasters.

thanks so much -- i love this forum so much great information !!!

ellen
07/10/12
Start them no later than 730, preheat around 7 am.
cindy
08/06/12
hi, i am planning a breafast for 100 people. It includes eggs, bacon, sausage, bread and baked beans. THIS is my first time planing something this big and i dont know where to start. how much will i need for all these items? and how do i start?
thank you
ellen
08/07/12
Use the breakfast planning page. Allow 3 gallons baked beans for 100 people.
Diane
08/14/12
I am doing a drop-in continental breakfast for 125 adults which spans 1 1/2 hours. We are planning bagels w/ cream cheeses, muffins (2 flavors), apples, bananas, grapes, coffee and orange juice.

What quantities of each food should we prepare for this event? Any other suggestions? Thanks!

ellen
08/15/12
Diane, I would tweak it a little:

cheese plate with real cheese or spreads, 12 pounds, for proteins.

Melons instead of apples and bananas, easier to eat once cut, less cleanup, they don't get brown when cut, and people like them better. See the fruit tray page.

For the juice and coffee amounts, see the breakfast coffee, which also includes decaf and tea, on the beverage planning page.

One whole bagel per person, 2 ounces spreads, 1 of each flavor of smallish muffins.

Shanell
09/06/12
Cooking for 50
I am preparing food for around 50 people. I want to purchase wing dings that only need to be fried/baked/microwaved. I'm trying to find out about how many come in a 4lb bag. I'm trying to save some money instead of just buying them hot and ready at the restaurant.
ellen
09/06/12
The best way to save is to do chicken legs, allowing 2 per person. This has been a big success with others I have suggested it to.

For an entree, you want at least 1 pound per 2 people. For an appetizers, 1 pound per 3 people.

Michele
09/11/12
Wedding Reception for 200 people. Bride wants:
Chicken Parm
Green Beans
A type of baked corn (mix or cream and whole kernel)
Oven roasted quartered potatoes
Rolls
It will be served buffet style. I have never paired Chicken Parm with green beans and corn so I am still perfecting my recipes to make the favors marry!
Please help with amounts and maybe any ideas of recipes to make this menu look, taste and feel cohesive!
Thanks so much!
ellen
09/11/12
If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation to support the site.

Chicken Parm- same as my orange dijon wedding chicken, about 40 pounds raw per 100.
Green Beans- 24 pounds per 100
A type of baked corn (mix or cream and whole kernel)-popular, about about 3 1/2 gallons per 100
Oven roasted quartered potatoes- 4o pounds per 100
Rolls- see plan for 100 list. Get butter.

She needs a dish (can be a side dish with protein) for the non-meat eaters, with 200 people there will be some.

She also needs an appetizer table- here is an excerpt from a coming article:

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

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

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Nicki
09/17/12
Cooking for 150
Hello all,

I need your help. I am cooking for a birthdat party of 150 people. My meat menu is baked fish, rosemary chicken, fried turkey breast and roast beef. My sides are yellow rice, red garlic potatoes, green beans and tossed salad with dinner rolls. For a vegetarian dish, I am making stuffed shells. I never cooked for a party of this size and I don't know how much of what to prepare. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

ellen
09/17/12
Nicki, this is a rather complicated menu for 150 people. First of all, a party this size, requires help- three people in the kitchen and about 6 servers to set up, serve and clean up. Local churches that cook can be a source.

I would delete at least one main dish.

I would add a fruit tray, see the fruit tray page.

baked fish, 30 pounds
rosemary chicken, \
fried turkey breast/ do one or the other, 1 single piece each or 1 pound raw
roast beef, raw 60 pounds
stuffed shells, almost everyone will take one, 150

yellow rice, 8 pounds dry
red garlic potatoes, 40 pounds raw
green beans, 30 pounds

tossed salad see plan for 100, do 1 1/2
dinner rolls see plan for 100, do 1 1/2

ellen
09/18/12
The poultry is 1 pound boneless raw per 4-5.
Nicki
09/20/12
You are a blessing!!! Thanks!
Delores
09/27/12
Measurements for 20 sweet potato pies
I would like to know what would be the measurements for the ingredients for 10--20 sweet potato pie.

The measurements for 10 pound cakes

Thanks
Delores

ellen
09/28/12
Delores, pie does not change, you make the filling just a few at a time, just take your recipe and multiply.

Cakes, do NOT mix more than 4 at once, and I usually do just two. They do not mix well in larger amounts.

tim
10/10/12
Cooking for 150
cooking 40 lbs of glazed carrots how much brown sugar anb butter will i need
ellen
10/11/12
For each pound of carrits about 2 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed.
Peter
12/05/12
Cooking for 250
I'm cooking for 250 people for an event in February. The Entrees are chicken and beef enchiladas. The only problem I don't know how much of each entree to make until that day before. How much of each protein should i buy?
ellen
12/05/12
make about 3/5 beef enchiladas and 2/3 chicken. How many depends on the sides- I usually do 3 per person. Also, one pan of cheese enchiladas for the no-meat folks.
mercy
01/06/13
how many kilos of chicken breast fillet do i need for my chicken cordon bleu to feed 200 people
ellen
01/06/13
You need 85-90 pounds of boneless skinless breast, which is about 39 to 41 kilos. This makes 200 nice servings. If it is the only meat and self serve, add 10%, people will take more when they serve themselves.
doreen
01/06/13
Cooking for150
what is a good menu for 150 for a june 28th wedding? I need some ideas, there money is tight. time is around 2:30 pm. but, they don't want to look cheap either. thank you
Jackie
01/29/13
Ellen
I am doing a fundraiser for 200 people I want it simple Hot Dogs with chips, and nacho chips with cheese sauce for sale. It will be from 5pm with Karaoke and BYOB we will also be selling soda and water(no Beer) Because of the starting hour, I tending to believe most people will not eat before. I do not want to run out of food to sell. I also want to sell single pk chips and/or cheetos for those who do not want Hot Dogs or nachos. Please let me know if you think 2 HD per person or 3 based on an average. How many Oz of chips to a serving for the Nachos then adding the cheese sauce. Please Help
emma
01/29/13
i doing a party for 200 people i need help with the serving sizes of what to buy. Potatoes, chicken wings, green beans, turkey breast, and i need help today the event is in a few days.
ellen
01/29/13
emma
Potatoes, about 35- 40 pounds per 100
chicken wings, if appetizer, 1 pound per 3
green beans, 22 pounds ready to cook per 100
turkey breast, see turkey yield table in the holiday cooking section at the top of Big Pots
ellen
01/29/13
2 hot dogs per person.

1 ounce package chips per person

3 ounces chips per person for the nachos, 1/4 to 1/3 cup cheese sauce. They sell better if you also have some jalapeno slices for topping

Jackie
01/29/13
I'm sorry Ellen, I forgot to also add the question of with the Nachos chip with just cheese sauce, no meat or peppers, how many OZ would you suggest to put on a single serve corn chip?
harvey anderson
03/09/13
roast beef dinner for 200 people.how much smash potatoes per serving for each one, dice carrots, and smash turnip. how many cans of green peas. how much beef per serving for each person. please e-mail me thank you.
ellen
03/09/13
roast beef- 2 pounds raw boneless per 5- about 5 ounces cooked portion
1/4 cup gravy per person

mashed potatoes- 45 pounds raw per 100

diced carrots- about 36 pounds
mashed turnips- 1/3 cup per person) (not too popular) about 38 pounds
green peas- frozen are better- 40 pounds

ellen
03/09/13
If this saves you time trouble or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site.
Holly
03/23/13
Cooking for 250
I am planning a reception for my wedding, and needing to know how many turkeys and hams will I need for 250 people?
ellen
03/23/13
See the cooking and shopping article in the holiday cooking section atop of Big Pots, it deals with this exact meal.
Ann Lucky
04/26/13
cooking for 410 high school students
I need a recipes for hot dogs stews for cheap and easy and quick.

Thanks
AL

ellen
04/26/13
Look at the basic budget recipes on the Big Pots index page, do 1/2 of the amount for 100. Lots more entree choices.

For hot dogs, 2 per person plus 1 for each guy. Fixings on the sandwich planning page.

Linda Burchett
04/30/13
I am having a dinner for 150. I want to have 75 serving of chicken spaghetti and 75 servings of Chicken Alfredo using penne noodles. Fresh spinach salad with strawberries and pecans. Dressing? French bread and a fruit salad. Can you help me with amount to purchase please. Thanks Linda
ellen
04/30/13
Look here for the spinach and strawberry salad:
www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/40025.html

If you want large salads, you use 8 pounds spinach per 100.

12 pounds bread and 2-3 pounds butter per 100.

If this is buffet, you don't do 1/2 and 1/2 on the entrees, you do 100 servings of chicken spaghetti and 75 of alfredo. See the recipe for baked spaghetti in the basic budgat entrees in Big Pots.

There is a holdable Alfredo sauce on the spaghetti page, as well as advice on amount of pasta, You would add about 18 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast to the recipe.

Fruit salad, I strongly suggest fruit trays; keep better, look prettier and the leftovers are more useful, see the fruit tray page.

Gina
05/14/13
I am doing a wedding dinner reception for 250 buffet style. BBQ pork and sides. Please check my quantities:
Cole Slaw 6 gallon
Broccoli Salad 6 gallon
Baked Beans 7 gallon
Mac and Cheese 9 gallon
Bone in BBQ pork - I am planning to feed 2 people per pound of bone in pork.
I have read all of your info on BBQ for 100. How am I doing?
ellen
05/14/13
You are doing pretty well- you need rolls and sandwich condiments, of course.

You know that pro caterers generally make food for 10% over the expected number of guests? It is always the cayerers fault if anything is not perfect, even if you have done exactly what the client asks.

You know that it should be in the written contract how much extra per extra guest you will charge, and that all remaining food goes home with the caterer, NOT the client? You do have a written contract?

You know that you are looking at about 4 kitchen people and 15 servers to set up, serve and clean up the party?

You know that if you are getting paid, you MUST have liability insurance? If a server or guest is injured or sick after eating, they can sue you.

Good luck. If it is a paid gig, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this web site.

Gina
05/14/13
Thank-you for your quick response - I will most definitely make a donation. The Mom of the bride and I are doing the cooking - no caterer. Would you adjust any of the quantities? It is self-serve so I will need help in the kitchen and for clean up. We anticipate 250 people. Your help is greatly appreciated!!
ellen
05/14/13
A local church may have the cooks and servers you need to help.

Quoting myself from above-
Because you need a dish (can be a side dish with protein) as an entree for the non-meat eaters, I suggest no meat in some of the beans, and label them (could even be a different color beans). With 250 people there will be some.

Rather than more of anything, consider adding relish trays or another dish.

She also needs an appetizer table- here is an excerpt from a coming article:

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

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

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Andrea
08/27/13
Hi Ellen! My fiance and I are getting married in September 2014 at an outdoor ceremony in Indiana. My family has graciously offered to help with the catering of side dishes (we are hiring a caterer to do a pig roast for the main course). I have determined what side dishes to have, but am unsure how much of each should be made. If you could lend your expertise, it would be greatly appreciated!

The sides are as follows:
- Spinach Salad
- Cabbage Salad (a light oil based dressing, not heavy like cole slaw)
- Rice Pilaf
- Warm (or cold?) Pasta dish w/Goat Cheese, asparagus, & lemon
- Watermelon Slices
- French bread w/butter

I'm also open to your opinion on if you think these are good ideas, given the nature and setting of the event. Please feel free to let me know if I am forgetting or overlooking anything!

Thank your for your time!

ellen
08/27/13
Main suggestion is to add the appetizer table as discussed above, 2 tables.

Assuming 200 people:

- Spinach Salad, 8 pounds leaf per 100
- Cabbage Salad (a light oil based dressing, not heavy like cole slaw)- 2 1/2 gallons (about 20 pounds cabbage) per 100
- Rice Pilaf- with pasta, 6 pounds dry rice per 100
- Warm (or cold?) Pasta dish w/Goat Cheese, asparagus, & lemon, 6 pounds dry pasta per 100
- Watermelon Slices, 3/4 to 1 pound per 100
- French bread w/butter, 12-14 pounds bread and 3 pounds butter per 100

Grilled pineapple would be lovely with this...

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

Jessica
09/23/13
Hi Ellen! I am planning my son's first birthday party in January. I was considering making the food but I would like to know how much I need of everything to see if it would actually cut the cost down. Anyway, we come from a very Polish family, so I was thinking of making Polish themed food. I was thinking of making Kielbasa w/sauerkraut, Pierogies, and Halulshki. I am guessing the party will consist of about 40 people. Thanks in advance!
ellen
09/23/13
This is what you would make yourself.

Kielbasa w/sauerkraut, 1 pound sausage per 3-4, 1 cup sauerkraut per 4

Halulshki, cabbage and noodles, 3 pounds dry wise noodles, 8 pounds cabbage, 4-6 onions, several cups oil or butter

Pierogies, 1 large or 2 small pierogies per person, plus 10%

Sherry
10/14/13
Cooking for 150
Doing a wedding for 150 guests. The appetizer menu is:

Chicken Alfredo -2oz
Italian Meatballs - 4 per person
Bruchetta - ?
Cheese Platter - 15lbs
Fruit Salad - 45lbs
Shrimp Cocktail - ?

There will also be some sandwiches and a couple other items that the brides family is bringing. I'm just not sure mostly about the shrimp and bruchetta. Am I anywhere close on the other items? The buffet opens at 5:30.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

ellen
10/14/13
I am not clear on whether this is the whole menu or the before dinner menu? If before dinner,
2 pieces bruschetta each, 8 pounds crackers with the cheese, switch the fruit salad to fruit trays, see the fruit tray page, 1 pound shrimp per 5-6 with 1 cup cocktail sauce per 5 people.

If this is all there is, it will be different. Write back.

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

venus
01/13/14
I am cooking a pasta salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, green onion, imitation crab meat, feta cheese and Italian dressing for a funeral. I have no idea where to begin on how much of the ingredients I will need. This will be served as a side not a maim dish. Can you please help guide me.

Thank you so much

ellen
01/13/14
Per 100,
6 pounds dry pasta (about 1 ounce per person)- I like rotini or bow ties for this
6 pounds crab flakes (about 1 ounce per person)
3 pounds feta cheese (about 1/2 ounce per person)
3 pounds grape tomatoes (about 1/2 ounce per person)
2-3 pounds sliced red and yellow bell peppers
10-12 cucumbers (some could be zucchini or broccoli florets)
3 bunches green onions

2 tablespoons dressing per person
extra feta crumbles and/or chopped green onions to garnish
boofalo
02/12/14
how many kilos of chicken thigh do i need for 235 person
ellen
02/13/14
Depends on how you are cooking them and where you are.
Boneless, skinless grilled at least 1 pound per 3; strips in stir fry or pasta, plenty of veg, 1 pound per 4. Outside the USA, you can cut back 10%.

The plan for 100 table has a detailed discussion on the various cuts of chicken for 100; for 235, you would do 2 1/3 times that amount.

Ashonti Harris
03/11/14
Cooking for 200.. Well 300 really!
Hello!

I seriously need your help Ellen! Ive been asked to donate food and drinks for a Aids Walks coming up for 300 people. The menu is :

-Cajun Chicken Pasta
-Broccoli, Green Bean Saute Casserole or Salad
- Homemade Rolls
I want to do a fruit & cheese tray but am not totally sure about that.

Will be be easier to do regular pasta or easier to do a bake?

Also Im a little confused on how much of everything I need. Ive tried taking your recipes and conforming them to 300.. Seems like a lot though... Like I came up with 70 lbs of pasta.. That cant be right! lol.. HELP ME PLEASE.

How much of everything do I need.. I appreciate the help in advance! Thank you!

ellen
03/11/14
Not sure where you got 70 pounds of pasta- anyway-

Cajun Chicken Pasta-
50 pounds fettucine, equal weight boneless, skinless chicken breast
per pound of pasta:
1/3 pound onions
1/2 pound bell pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 ounce each fresh basil
Cajun spice, garlic, and assorted other spices
about 1 quart of sauce for each pound of pasta

Broccoli, 24-28 pounds ready to cook (lesser amount if chopped, larger if full size)
Green Bean Saute Casserole- take a look at the "ellen's better green bean casserole", and use it as a guide for your recipe
Salad- use 3 x the amount for 100
Homemade Rolls- about 2 per person, 3 pounds butter per 100

Ashonti
03/12/14
ok awesome! Thank you for making this so easy! If is use Penne is it the same weight?

Also will a pasta bake be easier to do... In the other post you said its a tough menu for this crowd. What would you suggest thats simple and good on the pocket?

Thanks Ellen!!

ellen
03/12/14
Yes, a pasta bake will be easier and hold better- and yes, same weight for penne; loose pasta is harder to hold and reheat for a crowd. You could look at the sausage mozzarella bake on the spaghetti page for guidance on amounts and procedure. Hope this helps.

Next time suggest big fat burritos or tortilla wraps- popular and much easier to transport and serve.

Ashonti
03/12/14
Yea I saw your other post. Im going with this one! The burritos are a go.. I think Ill do beef and bean and also a bean and cheese.
melissa nash
03/19/14
we are cooking for our own wedding but not sure how much salad to make?
how much veggies to make?
how much pasta to make?

how many full sized pans would u say to make for each to feel 200 people for a spring wedding with an open bar.

ellen
03/19/14
Melissa, what about your appetizers, beverages, breads, and desserts? What kind of kitchen and storage? Do you really plan to have 200 people? If so you will need to plan now to staff the kitchen and party. For this size group, you need 4 people in the kitchen and about 12 out front to set up, serve, and clean up the party, and none of these can be part of the wedding, as they will be setting up during the service. For buffet service, you will need 3 lines, or 2 double sided lines.

What kind of spaghetti? Baked casserole types can work, but loose pasta is quite difficult for 200 people with amateur help.

With 200 guests, you also have to plan for some vegetarian options.

You can write back, and it is OK to start a new thread.

Danielle
03/20/14
Cooking for 50
Hello
I need to buy ingredients for a chef to do an omelet station for around 50 people. How many eggs and ingredients will I need? I plan on having
Cheddar cheese
Ham
Bacon
Mushrooms
Green Peppes
Onions
Red Peppers
Are there any other ingredients we should include?
ellen
03/20/14
See your other post.
melissa
03/22/14
what do u suggest?
ellen
03/22/14
Melissa, not clear what the original question is?
Kimberly
03/25/14
We are having a traditional Texas BBQ for our wedding. We plan on serving brisket, sausage and ribs. We plan on having 200 people in attendance. How much of each meat should we buy?
ellen
03/25/14
1 piece of chicken per person (a quarter is 2 pieces) plus, 1 pound sausage per 4-5 plus 2 pounds ribs per 5 if they are big and bony, or 1 pound per 3 if they are small and meaty.

Please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Tisha
04/07/14
Cooking for 200, what is the price per person
I'm cooking for 200 people buffet style for a funeral repast, they want 100pcs of fried chicken, 100pcs of baked chicken, string beans, potato salad, yams, rolls. how would you calculate this catering event.
ellen
04/07/14
I don't do costing, too much regional variation. If you mean amounts,

100pcs of fried chicken, do 150
100pcs of baked chicken, OK
string beans, 8 #10 cans

potato salad, 6-7 gallons

yams, 6-7 #10 cans

rolls, 2 small per person plus 5 pounds butter

Pearl
05/18/14
Hi i was wondering how uch strawberrie you need to make hush puppies i can't find anythng online about it i really hope you know
ellen
05/18/14
Hi, I have never made hush puppies with strawberries, I use a quart (the larger container at the store) to make shortcake for 8.
Daniel
05/30/14
Cooking for 180
Hi we are last minute cooking for my sisters weeding we are needing to know how much food to make for the 180 guest we are either going to do fried chicken or chicken tenders or both, with mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad.
about how much do you think we will need? really getting nervous now like I said last minute and the wedding is tomorrow
ellen
05/30/14
Yikes.

2 pieces chicken or 4 tenders per person.
80 pounds mashed potatoes (95 raw)
44 pounds ready to cook green beans (6 gallons)
Salad, use the plan for 100 table, do twice
Add something like a spiced peach or spiced apple ring or fried apples for color on the plate.

You need the fastest possible appetizer table:

12 pounds chips, 1 pint dip or salsa per pound
12 quarts strawberries, 12 pounds grapes
15 pounds cheese slices or cubes
10 pounds crackers
1 gallon each olives and pickles

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

busi
06/03/14
I need to know how much beef for beef curry to cater for 200 people in my wedding and how much drummets do I need
ellen
06/05/14
60 pounds boneless beef plus 65 pounds drummettes.
Kandie
07/24/14
I am getting married and we are doing a crawdad and shrimp boil. I can not find anywhere that can tell me how much of the crawldads and shrimp I need because all the ones I find has sausage and other meats in it. We are just adding lemons, tators, limes, seasoning, shrimp and crawldads. And yes we will have every bit of 200 people at this wedding. We are members of a motorcycle ministry, so all will be there. Thanks
gradmom
07/25/14
Love your website--very helpful! Need some advice. I am hosting a high school grad party for my son. 225 have been invited, expecting about 150. The menu is as follows: pulled pork sandwiches, chicken tenders (boneless), penne with red sauce and sausage, penne with alfredo sauce, cheesy potatoes, green beans amandine, bake beans, veggie and fruit trays. I have asked previous party planners about the amounts for each type of food and everyone gives me different amounts. HELP! I was thinking about 40 lbs. pork, 2 tenders per person, 8 lbs. of pasta, 8 lbs. of green beans, 8 lbs. of cheesy potatoes. Not at all sure about everything else. Please help me. THanks!
ellen
07/27/14
Hi, Kandie,

If his is your ministry group, you need to expand the menu a little; some folks can't eat seafood!

One option would be to add the midwestern style "cream can dinner"; there is a thread about them on this site. And look here:
barbequelovers.com/grills/milk-can-dinners/cream-can-dinner-recipe

Anyway, for the seafood, if that is the only choice and they are head on, in shell, you need to plan on about a pound per person. 1/2 cup cocktail or dipping sauce. about 3 ounces of bread. 5-6 ounces potatoes.

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

ellen
07/27/14
Cooking for 150 grad friends
Hi, Gradmom

pulled pork sandwiches, 1 pound makes 5 full sandwiches, for this many, 30 pounds ready to serve, 6-7 quarts table sauce; 150 buns; 10 pounds sliced onions, 6 quarts pickles, 3-4 gallons slaw
chicken tenders (boneless), 2 per person

penne with red sauce and sausage, penne with alfredo sauce,
I would serve the 2 sauces separate from the pasta, let people add their own. Usually this is 1/3 alfredo, 2/3 red. For 150 people, with the potatoes, about 12 pounds pasta, 12 quarts sauce, 5 pounds Parm cheese

cheesy potatoes, see the recipe at the bottom of the breakfast planning page, do for 100, some left

green beans almondine, about 28 pounds green beans

baked beans, 4 gallons

veggie trays- skip, do tossed or Caesar, see the plan for 100 page
fruit trays, use the fruit tray page, the deluxe tropical tray for 100 would be enough

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

gradmom
07/27/14
thanks for help Ellen! You're a lifesaver!
gradmom
07/27/14
one more question...can I prepare the cheesy potatoes ahead of time and store in fridge until ready to cook? I was thinking about preparing the pans the night before party day. Please advise. Thanks!
ellen
07/27/14
Try a family size one held overnight in advance, some brands get grey/mushy.
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