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Cook Talk

How much
DEANA
06/18/06
My side of the family and the brides side will be doing our children Wedding Reception for 150 people. I need to know how many ounces of canned string beans and corn to buy?

How many 7-ounce turkey breast, and canned yams to buy?

Thanks

ellen
06/18/06
5 #10 cans make buffet size vegetable portions for 100 people. Goes for beans, corn, and sweet potatoes. Do check out my better green bean casserole for 60 at the top holiday cooking section of the Big Pots index.

7 ounces of turkey breast is about 1 party dinner serving.

linda
06/19/06
how much potaotes to make enough potato salad for 60 ppl
ellen
06/20/06
35 pounds makes enough for 100, so you want 24-25 pounds.
louie
06/21/06
I am cooking ribs and chicken breast for for 40 people and am not sure of how much food is needed. I use babyback ribs and 1/2 chicken breast?
Louie
06/21/06
is there a conversion chart for something like this?
uKrystal
06/21/06
I have a recipe for sloppy joes that uses 15 pounds of hamburger. How many people would that serve? We need to serve about 200 and I'm not sure how many batches to make. Thank You!
Vicky
06/21/06
I am having a surprise 70th birthday party for my Dad and need to know how many boiled red potatoes I need to feed 60 people. I am just putting butter and chives in them. Thank You
michelle
06/21/06
luncheon for 60
I am planning an engagement luncheon buffet for 60 people. The entire event will run 3 hours max-because that is how long we have the room for until we need to clean up.
First there will be 3 hors d. The hor d. hour will last 45 minutes. The hor. d. are:

Potato pancakes with appleesacue on the side-cocktail size.
Curried chicken puree on top of a toasted baguette round.
A cocktail size square of polenta cake topped with basil pesto.
I was planning 2 of each type of hor. d per person. There are some big eaters to cover.Does that seem right?

After the 45 minutes of hor d. I was going to present lunch and dessert. There is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to do this before we have to clean up. During this time frame:

I was going to offer a mixed green salad, a choice of 2 types of sandwiches, an orzo salald with fresh vegetables and a corncake topped with salmon and then dessert.. Let me describe things for you and follow the description with my questions.

My salad is a mixed greens only salad topped with dates, candied nuts and finished with a maple vinaigrette
How large a salad portion of mixed greens only should I offer? I have the dates and nuts under control. Figure each salad will have 1 date and 4 nuts as part of the plan. I was figuring this on a 2 ounce salad. Does that seem right?
How much dressing do I need for the 60 salads?

I was going to offer a choice of 2 closed sandwiches. One is roast beef topped with a rosemary aioli. The bread is a baguette that I cut up.
How long should each sandwich baguette be? Fig
How many ounces of meat should go on the sandwich? This is critical. The host seems to be vying for 4 ounces which I think is a lot. Should I cut the meat thin so the sandwich appears bigger.How many of this choice of baguette sandwiches should I make in total for these 60 people.

The next sandwich will be turkey topped with a cranberry and raspberry preserve. Same questions apply.
Also do you have any suggestions of a particular type of lettuce or herb leaf to pair with the sandwiches to increase its' size and heighten its flavor.

The sandwiches will be paired with an orzo salad spiked with fresh asparagus and peas. The orzo will be in its own spearate bowl. I wanted to cut the asparagus stalks in half inch sections.
How many pounds of orzo do I need to purchase? What ounce portion should I plan to serve each person-including veggies?
How many pounds each of Asparagus should I purchase?
How many pounds of peas should I purchase?

The third choice will be an approximately 3 inch round corncake topped with flaked salmon in a light lemon vinaigette finished with fresh scallion and sour cream drizzle.
How many corncakes should I figure for this selection?
I was figuring approximately 2 oz. of flaked salmon for each corncake-does that seem right.

Then there will be dessert which I don' need help with since I am not preparing it. But it will probably be cheesecakes, brownies and cookies.

Thank you so much for your personal attention.
Michelle
michelle
06/22/06
engagement luncheon buffet
michelle
06/21/06 luncheon for 60
I am planning an engagement luncheon buffet for 60 people. The entire event will run 3 hours max-because that is how long we have the room for until we need to clean up.
First there will be 3 hors d. The hor d. hour will last 45 minutes. The hor. d. are:

Potato pancakes with appleesacue on the side-cocktail size.
Curried chicken puree on top of a toasted baguette round.
A cocktail size square of polenta cake topped with basil pesto.
I was planning 2 of each type of hor. d per person. There are some big eaters to cover.Does that seem right?

After the 45 minutes of hor d. I was going to present lunch and dessert. There is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to do this before we have to clean up. During this time frame:

I was going to offer a mixed green salad, a choice of 2 types of sandwiches, an orzo salald with fresh vegetables and a corncake topped with salmon and then dessert.. Let me describe things for you and follow the description with my questions.

My salad is a mixed greens only salad topped with dates, candied nuts and finished with a maple vinaigrette
How large a salad portion of mixed greens only should I offer? I have the dates and nuts under control. Figure each salad will have 1 date and 4 nuts as part of the plan. I was figuring this on a 2 ounce salad. Does that seem right?
How much dressing do I need for the 60 salads?

I was going to offer a choice of 2 closed sandwiches. One is roast beef topped with a rosemary aioli. The bread is a baguette that I cut up.
How long should each sandwich baguette be? Fig
How many ounces of meat should go on the sandwich? This is critical. The host seems to be vying for 4 ounces which I think is a lot. Should I cut the meat thin so the sandwich appears bigger.How many of this choice of baguette sandwiches should I make in total for these 60 people.

The next sandwich will be turkey topped with a cranberry and raspberry preserve. Same questions apply.
Also do you have any suggestions of a particular type of lettuce or herb leaf to pair with the sandwiches to increase its' size and heighten its flavor.

The sandwiches will be paired with an orzo salad spiked with fresh asparagus and peas. The orzo will be in its own spearate bowl. I wanted to cut the asparagus stalks in half inch sections.
How many pounds of orzo do I need to purchase? What ounce portion should I plan to serve each person-including veggies?
How many pounds each of Asparagus should I purchase?
How many pounds of peas should I purchase?

The third choice will be an approximately 3 inch round corncake topped with flaked salmon in a light lemon vinaigette finished with fresh scallion and sour cream drizzle.
How many corncakes should I figure for this selection?
I was figuring approximately 2 oz. of flaked salmon for each corncake-does that seem right.

Then there will be dessert which I don' need help with since I am not preparing it. But it will probably be cheesecakes, brownies and cookies.

Thank you so much for your personal attention.
Michelle

Re:
Name:

Lisa
06/22/06
I am using you guides on amounts to prepare for 100. (I will have 200-250.) 2 hot bbq meats with bread, beans, meatballs and little smokies, potato salad, pasta salad, fruit and veggies. On the guide, does that assume that I would be fixing each of those items, or do I re-adjust depending on how many side items/entrees that will be available.
ellen
06/22/06
On the guides, if it says for 100 persons, that assumes that is the only meat or whatever for the 100 persons. But the TRICK is, if you serve two or more choices, people eat more in total; so if I am making 100 people worth of one and 100 people worth of the second, I add about 10% as a "fudge factor" to compensate for the extra helpings. I also suggest having a pleasant server to hand out the meat, it will cut the amount taken abou 10% overall.

You want 1 1/2 pounds food total per person, and the sides are the less expensive way to make the weight. If you made just 200 servings of meat, I would say add another attractive side dish to fill up the plate.

Kathi
07/15/06
How many pounds of hamburger will it take to make sloppy joes for 60 people. I know some will have seconds.

Thanks,
Kathi

ellen
07/15/06
It takes about 20 pounds of raw regular hamburger to make 75-80 sandwiches, which should be plenty unless it is all football platers.
Jessica
08/08/06
how many meatballs will it take to feed 60 people?
ellen
08/08/06
Sandwiches, spaghetti, cocktail hor doeuvre not at mealtime? Details, please.
Claudia
08/09/06
Serving a spinach for a luncheon. How much spinach in a 12 oz. bag? Thank you
ellen
08/09/06
Raw for salad or cooked? The back of the bag will give a clue- baby is more tender, but full-size has much more flavor.

Spinch cooks way down, a spinach lover can eat a whole bag all by him/herself.

linda
08/12/06
hi I'm feeding 75 people han turkey potatos salad and etc.. how much ham and turkey do I buy?? not lunch meat.. cooking turkey breast and sprial ham
ellen
08/12/06
when you serve two meats, you use more than when you serve one, because many people take some of each. Caterers figure 5 ounces of the primary meat and 3 ounces of the secondary meat- that is cooked, ready to serve. I would use the plan for 100 charts and cook enough for 45 people of each, you will have enough and probably not run out.
Barbara
08/22/06
Lunch meat
I am doing a birthday party for about 70 people. I am having a cold cut tray with 3 kinds of lunchmeat and 2 kinds of cheese. (Make it yourself sandwiches) along with several salads, punch and dessert. How much meat and cheese should I purchase?
ellen
08/22/06
On the picnic and sandwich event page, there is a quantity list for 100. Just use 3/4 of this amount. There is also info on trimmings, etc.
Amanda
08/22/06
How much chicken and ribs
my family is hosting an end of summer bar-b-que, we want to cook ribs and whole chickens. How much of each meat do we serve to feed each person? there will be approx. 25 people attending
ellen
08/23/06
I would allow 1/2 pound of ribs and 1/4 chicken per person unless they are light eaters.
Theresa
09/18/06
I am planning a bbq for about 60 people. I am planning on buying premade slaw, potato salad and beans. How many pounds of each do I need? it is also a birthday party so what size cake shouls I buy? A 1/2 sheet or whole sheet?
ellen
09/19/06
A whole sheet unless you want small portions. About 60 pounds TOTAL of the sides, you decide on the distribution, I would probably go 25 pounds potato, 15 slaw, 20 beans.
LaRue Adkisson
09/20/06
How many turkeys are needed to feed 200 people for a church dinner?
ellen
09/20/06
See the holiday/turkey cooking section on the Big Pots index.
Kelly
09/24/06
How many pounds of dry pinto and navy beans for bar-b-que beans would you need to feed 60 firemen?
ellen
09/24/06
Since beans are easy to cook and to freeze, I would probably use one of my "Beans for 100 recipes and just make 1 recipe.
Dawn
09/25/06
we are having a picnic for 100 people. we will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken pieces? can you advise as to how much of each we will need? including buns? and how much potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw? your answer is very much appreciated!
Sharon
09/25/06
Party Birthday Lunch for 75-80 people
How many whole smoked chickens/brisket will I need? Also, I plan on serving green beans, corn, green salad and rolls
How many large cans will I need of corn and green beans?

I want to serve peach cobbler and full sheet cake. How many do I need?

I many gallons of tea do I need.

The menu will be
Green Tossed Salad
Smoked Chicken/Brisket
Green Beans
Corn
Rolls
Cobbler/Cake
Ice tea and water

Terri Banker
09/25/06
ref raw spaghetti
I am fixing a spaghetti dinner for about 75 people. Can you please tell me how much raw spaghetti do I need to feed these people. I have already made the sauce and have it frozen.

thank you so much

ellen
09/25/06
Terri, see the lotsa pasta page for full info on amounts and cooking pasta.

Sharon and Dawn, since I posted all my planning tables in the Bifg Pots section, I no longer do original plans. ALL of the foods you ask about are covered in these tables. I WILL be glad to check your estimates once you prepare them; for 100 people (mixed crowd, adults) it is easy, just use the amounts as given. For 80, use .8 or 4/5 the amount suggested.

Both of you are serving mixed meats entrees. For this, I recommend planning on 1 piece of chicken (cut 8 pieces per whole chicken) PLUS 5 ounces of cooked ready toeat beef/ other per person. When there are two meats, many people eat some of both. Also, with this large a group, it is a thoughtful idea to have at least one package of Boca Burgeres or Garden Burgers (vegetarian) for the special diet folks in the crowd.

Beverly
09/25/06
I need to know how many pounds of mixed nuts to buy to serve 25 people at a bridal shower?
dawn
09/25/06
i am sorry i don't see anything on quantities of soda and beer for 100 people?
also is it cheaper to go with kegs or just buy cases of beer?
thanks so much!!
ellen
09/26/06
Beverly, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.

Dawn, usually for soda in addition to other drinks, 15 2-liter bottles assorted sodas. Include some caffeine free and some diet. Beer, about 15 dozen bottles for beer with meals, including about 1/3 to 1/2 light. If you buy from a liquor store that accepts unopened returns and chill without wetting labels, you can return extra.

Janice
09/27/06
We're "catering" a wedding reception for friends at church. The response list keeps growing. We're now planning for 475. Will have buffet of small ham & turkey sandwiches, cocktail weiners, meatballs, cheese cubes and fresh fruit. I think we can figure out how much we need of most everything, except the fruit - depending on what is in season here in Kentucky on October 14.
ellen
09/27/06
You are about to start winter where you are: you can buy whole watermelons and they will keep 2 weeks in a cold garage, as long as they are on newspapers or cardboard (or not concrete), the skins are intact, they are not frozen, and you turn them a couple times a week. This is the least expensive fresh fruit. An alternative is fresh frozen fruit such as large peach slices, mixed and partially thawed (as in, take out of freezer morning of, mix up, set out at room temp)- 2 really big bags is sufficient for 50 people as a part of a display.

Have some of the cheese in balls or logs and some sliced for the sandwiches. People will eat less and slower if you have them assemble the sandwiches themselves- much less work- fresher and no sog. Condiments and self serve amounts on the sandwich event page. You will find that providing egg salad and a second spread- fruited cream cheese, deviled ham, chopped liver, pimento cheese, etc- will reduce the amount of meat and add interest to the table.

Allow two-three gallons of pickles and a few gallons of olives on the table as well.

Debbie
09/29/06
How much boneless ham do I need to serve 40 people?
ellen
09/29/06
1 pound boneless, ready to eat ham makes 3 nice party dinner portions or 4-5 good sandwiches if deli-sliced. You can estimate based on your menu.
Tandy
10/03/06
How do I work out catering numbers
Hi..I'm in Australia and doing a surprise 50th for my mother. I have about 45 people coming and need help with working out catering numbers for dinner. How many salads do I need to feed the guests. I am doing 3 roasts, some fish casseroles/stews and coronation chicken.

How do I work out how much coronation chicken to make (a chicken dish with cream, mayonaise, curry powder, chopped nuts, apple)

ellen
10/03/06
For desserts, salads and sides, use my plan for 100 tables and make 1/2. You will have plenty.

The split on three entrees is one of the hardest things to figure in home catering. You need to tell me the size and type of roasts and the type of fish casserole. It sounds like you may already have a lot of meat/ entrees.

melissa
10/08/06
How many lbs of hamburger will you need to make meatballs for a party of 40 people? We will be having meat and cheese tray, scallop potatoes, three salads and desserts.
cathi
10/10/06
I am making food for a party of 50.How many lbs. of potatoes will I need for potatoe salad? How many pounds of deli sliced ham will I need for ham sandwiches?
Carol
10/12/06
Help, I am doing a dinner for 50 people and the menu is baked ham, tossed green salad, gaspacho pasta salad, and baked beans with pumpkin ice cream for desert, Can you please advise me as to portions of ham per per can how many punds of beans and pasta and how much ice cream would be adequate. Thank you
ellen
10/13/06
Melissa, if this is dinner, allow 4-5 meatballs per person, at least 10 pounds. For hordouvres, 8 would be sufficient.
Cathy, all these foods are covered in the quantity table. I allow 35 pounds of potatoes for 100 persons.
Carol, nice menu. Since I have posted all my quantity tables- even for desserts and ice cream- in th eBig Pots section, I no longer do initial estimates. But if you prepare an estimate and post it, I will be glad to check it for you. You want 1/2 the amount for 100.
Catherine
10/13/06
How much lunch meay for 75 people & bread
I used to have a chart for meat and bread for a party, but I can't find it. I need to feed 75 adults. I am having chips and cake.
ellen
10/14/06
Check the picnic and sandwich event planning page for meat, cheese, condiments and bread for 100 people. Use 3/4.
Tammy
10/21/06
We are trying to decide on what to serve at our Daughters Wedding. I want to know how many 18 lb Turkey's would it take to feed 275 people.

Thanks

ellen
10/21/06
For large party size zervings, you want 3/4 to 1 pound raw whole turkey to start, so you are in the range of 12-15 turkeys. Please see the Holiday cooking section in Big Pots for everything about planning shopping and preparing large turkey dinners.
Janet
10/21/06
Hi we are throwing my mom a surprise birthday party. I am in charge of making the mostaccoli. I have no idea how much to make and how much noodles,sauce, and hamburger meat to buy. I beleive the count is for 80-90 people. The menu is:

Salad
Mostaccoli
Meatballs
Polish sausage and kraut
Potatoes
Green beans
I think that about it. Plus the cake and some sort of other desserts. Like I said, I was in charge of the mostaccoli. Just want to make sure I make enough but dont over due it.
Thanks so much if you can help. The party is in one week

ellen
10/22/06
Go to the lotsa pasta page and use the recipe for mostaciolli and sausage for 120 as your basic outline. Make 1/2 the amount for enough, or 3/4 the amount for a lot- it does freeze well if unused. Happy birthday, Mom.
ruth
10/22/06
How much chicken salad would I need to feed 75 peo
how many chicken would I have to buy
ellen
10/22/06
See the Plan for 100 page, amount depends on sandwich vs salad lunch vs reception and all are listed. 1 pound of cooked chicken meat is 2 cups.
Diane Babcock
10/26/06
I am preparing a thanksgiving dinner for 30 people.

I would like to know if a 25lb turkey and a 25lb spiral ham will be enough.

Also, how many lbs of white potatoes to cook?
I will be boiling and mashing them.

ellen
10/26/06
The turkey alone would be enough with the usual abundant sides- see the shopping list for holiday dinners on the Big pots index. Turkeys 16 pounds and under have better quality meat. Think about a 16 pound turkey and a 16 pound ham unless you are planning a lot of leftovers. 12 pounds of potatoes, approximately; take a look at the freezable holdable mashed potato recipe on the Big Pots page.
Rebekah
10/28/06
How much bottled water
Hi Ellen - I'm catering a dessert reception for 500 people at my church. I plan on serving your apricot/pineapple/almond extract punch in a fountain, along with decaf coffee and water in crystal pitchers. The tap water at the church tastes horrible (no filter or water service) so I plan on buying water in the big 2 1/2 gallon jugs to fill the pitchers. How much water do I need considering the other beverages being served? Thank you!
ellen
10/28/06
The max you would need is 6 gallons per 100, and I believe that with the other beverages 8 to 10 jugs would be plenty.
Edward
11/06/06
Thanks giving dinner for 40
I am frying Turkeys for a Thanksgiving get together. How many turkeys should I fry and how big?? how many pounds of mac&cheese?, Dressing , stuffing and yams should I prepare? and do you have any good sage dressing recipe's

thanks for your help!!
etm...

ellen
11/06/06
Ed, frying turkeys is DANGEROUS. Read my article.

Figure the amount of turkey- you want basically 1 pound raw per person- I would do 3 14-16 pound turkeys, the meat is better than larger birds. All the rest is covered in the holiday cooking section of Big Pots.

denise
11/06/06
Having a wedding reception for 60 people and need to know how much BBQ to buy. We will serve both brisket and sausage. Can you please assist on the quantities. Than you.
ellen
11/07/06
Check thr BBQ and bisket page in Big Pots. You want about 5 ounces cooked ready to eat brisket and 3 ounces of sausage per person.
sherri
11/08/06
How much hamburger do I need to make sloppy joes for 70 people?
ellen
11/08/06
About 20 pounds.
Debra Gaynor
11/10/06
I am ordering the food for a wedding reception. We expect about 100 guests. The menu is:
Barbecue Mutton Sandwiches
Barbecue Pork Sandwiches
Potato Chips
Slaw
Baked Beans
Onion slices
pickles
Fresh Veggie Trays

HOw much should I order (by pounds)?
Thanks for your help.

ellen
11/10/06
See the sandwich event page, the plan for 100 page, the veggie tray page and the BBQ and brisket page, all in the planning section of Big Pots. Amounts for all your foods are already covered, even sandwich condiments. You want to allow 1.2 sandwiches per person, you have to deceide the pork/mutton split based on local preference.
Paul
11/22/06
How many pounds of potatoes do I need for 9 people
ellen
11/22/06
About 6 pounds will be plenty you may have some left or not depending on your eaters.
Ruth Martin
12/09/06
How much sprial cut ham do I need for 35 people
I am having a buffet for 36 people and wanted to know what size spiral cut ham I should buy. I am having snacks before but not to many. I am having a baked bean casserole,salad,orange cups filled with cranberry mixture, rolls,and a dessert table
ellen
12/09/06
If this is a bone-in spiral cut ham and people are serving themselves, you will want 1 pound for each 2 1/2 to 3 people for nice dinner party size portions. If someone is serving you can easily get by with 3 per pound- people take more when they serve themselves. You might consider adding one hot green vegetable such as a broccoli or broccoli rice casserole, it wil reduce the demand on the ham.
Janis
01/08/07
Our church is haveing a Noodle dinner,
I need to know how many eggs for noodles,potatoes to mash, green beans to serve 400-500 people
jules
01/08/07
im having a babyshower for about 45 people. im serving carne asada, how many pounds will i need to feed everyone. thank you..
ellen
01/08/07
Assuming you are buying ready-made, 1 pound is 2 cups and the usual serving is 1/2 cup if you are offering the usual sides. You want 1.2 servings per person, about 55-56 servings, so you want 14-15 pounds.
ellen
01/08/07
Janis, I do not understand the request. Do you mean eggs for noodles as in, you are making the noodles fresh? The other items are covered in the plan for 100 list.
marion
01/11/07
How many pounds of dry navy beans for baked beans to feed 45 people
Casey
01/12/07
feeding 200 how many bags of salad needed
and how many oz of salad dressing needed
ellen
01/12/07
Marion, see the beans for 100 pagrd for recipes to give guidance on quantities, and make 1/2.

Casey, salad amounts are covered very thotough;y in the first section of the plan for 100 list.

Onelia
01/12/07
How much baked ham for 45 people
I am giving a 1st birthday party for my granddaughter, at 3 PM . How many pounds of baked ham do I need ,to serve 45 people?. I am also serving a 15 pounds roasted turkey and enough meat balls. Plus wild rice, and potato salad.

Thanks.

Amanda
01/18/07
I am having a get together with 20 or so people, I am buying a spiral honey glazed ham how big of one do i need to feed some hungry people and still have leftovers?
joyce
01/18/07
like to know how much ground beef do i need for meatballs too serve 50 people if i make them big i"ll give them 3 each,also how much spagetti will i need.
ellen
01/18/07
Onelia, You have a lot of meats- 8 pounds boneess ready to eat should be plenty.

Amanda, assuming bone in, you want at least a 10 pound ham.

Joyce, see the lotsa pasta page in Big Pots- lots of info.

Debra
01/19/07
How much ice would I need for 300 people with 16 oz. glasses? Thanks
ellen
01/19/07
See the beverages planning page- link on Big Pots, about 1/2 way down
Linda
01/22/07
We are having a fundraiser and are expecting about 125 people. How many meatballs would you suggest we make for sandwiches on club rolls and how many pounds of roast beef for sandwiches? We think 2 sandwiches per person but some will eat more and some will eat less. We are also have potato and pasta salad and desserts. Thanks.
ellen
01/22/07
Unless you are devoted to the roast beef idea, may I suggest either sticking with one sandwich (lowest cost, fewest leftovers) or offering ham or turkey (less expensive)? Two beef choices does not offer any choice to non-beef or non-meat eater, you see, and good roast beef is pretty expensive.

That said, there is a pretty good article in the planning section of Big Pots on sandwich events, with quantity tables. Unless it is teens, or all men, you will probably run closer to 1 1/2 sandwiches per person, rather than two, especially with the nice side dishes.

If people will be assembling their own sandwiches, you can sut costs by offering a bowl of egg salad and one of tuna salad for the non-meat eaters.

4 ounces of meatballs per sandwich.

michele
01/22/07
I am having a birthday party for my son and we have 25 adults coming. We are making pasta fritta and I need to order lunch meat. How many pounds would I need to feed them. I am getting, proscuitto, salami, ham, turkey, mortadella and brick cheese.
ellen
01/22/07
Pasta fritta means different things in different communities- fried noodles, fried bread dough. I have had it with anchovies, but not lunch meats?

Generally for a party meal, I allow: Adults, not teens, allow 1 pound of lunch meats for each 3 persons and 2-3 ounces of cheese (lesser if pre-sliced). Teens, 1 pound per 2 persons.

vanessa
01/31/07
how much ham, chicken breasts, rice, mashed potatoes, bread (rolls), salad, veggies, and fruit would i need to feed a wedding reception of 150 people and also 200 people, we are debating how many people we are inviting so if i could have numbers for both amounts. thanks
ellen
02/01/07
Vanessa, all these foods are covered in the plan for 100 pages in the Big Pots section. Please use these tables to make your own estimates. If it s over a mealtime, you need 1 1/2 pounds food per person, if in between, you need about 1 pound.
Debbie
02/02/07
I'm in charge of the veggie trays for a party of about 150 people. I have no idea how many veggies to buy. Can you give me a rough idea or how many trays to fix up??

Thank you.

ellen
02/02/07
Debbie, therer is a whole article on veggie trays, amounts, dip, etc, in the Big Pots section.
Janet
02/06/07
How much hamburger for 13 people? Making sloppy joes
Barbie
02/06/07
I'm planning a May reception that will be held on a Saturday afternoon. The invitations will say something like "light buffet to be served". What time is best to not hit lunch, but not go into dinner time? We will have about 200 people. I will serve chicken salad on dollar rolls. We'll make the sandwiches that day - but how early can we make the chicken salad? How long can it be frozen? How many whole chickens will I need? We'll also have cheese & cracker platters, veggie trays, chips and a relish tray. Dessert will be strawberries, pineapple, cookies and rice krispy treats for use in the chocolate fountain and cupcakes. Beverages will be punch, tea and water. Will it be correct to double your portions for 100 people? Is this enough variety in foods or do I need more choices? It's a very casual reception. Thanks for your help!
Rena
03/08/07
help..need guide for salads and beef for beef dip for croud of 60 people? salad to be potatoe, macaroni, cabbage, and green salad, how much should i prepare..I desperate, need help........thanks
Marie
03/08/07
I am catering a wedding (130 people). How much pasta would I need to prepare?

The Menu:
Penne Pasta Alfredo
Chicken Parm.
Salad
Rolls/Butter
Thank you!

ellen
03/08/07
Janet, 3-4 pounds.

Barb, 2-5 pm. Freeze the chickens, not the salad, make the salad the day before. Doubling the amounts for 100 works fine. I might put the rolls and chicken sa;ad out separately and let people make their own, and add one non-meat spread such as egg salad or pimento cheese for the non-meat eaters.

Rena, use the salad for 100 list at the top of the plan for 100 page and make a bit less than 3/4 the amount (about 2/3) for 100. You want 1 pound ready to eat beef for each 3 people unless they are light eaters.

Marie, use the guideline on the lotsa pasta page and go about 1/2 way between the side dish and the entree amounts. If this is a reception dinner, you need 4-5 hors douvres to keep the crowd occupied during the hour between the end of the ceremony and the arrival of the bridal party- who are doing photos, etc.

Kim
03/12/07
Planning an office Luncheon for 20 men. I was thinking of preparing a platter of Ham, Turkey & Roast Beef & a Cheese for the men to make their own sandwiches on round rolls. I will have potatoe & mac. salad w/pickels on the side. How much lunch meat would you recommend for the platter.
ellen
03/12/07
2 9unces sliced cheese per person. 1 pound deli sliced for each 3 persons plus 10% if self serve. See the sandwich event page for condiments.
Doreen
03/14/07
How much turkey do I need to feed 80 people
I am catering to 80 people how many turkeys do I need to buy to serve them
ellen
03/15/07
1 pound raw whole turkey per person for generous, 3/4 pound for adequate. Turkeys under 16 pounds have better quality white meat.
Clarice Migdal
03/21/07
Good Morning,

I am providing homemade salsa and guacamole for 100 people to be served with cheese guesadillas and chicken/cheese guesadillas. How Much of avocados, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, green chilis, etc. do I need?

Lena
03/23/07
Ideas for my reception
Hello,

My wedding is May 26, 2007, and I am having about 200 guest for my reception. My menu is
(For Adults):
Garlic Potatoes
Green Beans
Chicken Breast
Breadsticks
Lemonade w/orange slices
Wedding Cake
(For Children):
Finger Sandwiches
Vegetables
Cookies

Is this a good menu to have for an okay price or should I narrow it down or add more?

ellen
03/23/07
Clarice, you need 1/3 cup per person, the amounts depends on what you put in it.

Hi, Lena,
This is a pleasant simple meal. Is it buffet? In any case, you probably want to add another vegetable and maybe a salad.

Amy
04/14/07
We are having a BBQ sale for a organizaion and we are using the 2oz.souffle cups to put slaw in. We are planning on 500 BBQ's (on regular size buns ex. McDonalds hamburger buns),how many pounds of pre-maid slaw will we need? Thanks!
ellen
04/15/07
The 2 ounce size is 1/4 cup which is 1/2 the usual serving. That means that slaw made from 20 pounds cabbage (which is about 30 pounds after you add the dressing, etc.) will make 200 of these smaller servings.
Elizabeth
04/25/07
I am hosting a BBQ this Saturday. We are planning on about 80 people how much Coleslaw and baked beans do you think I need?

The baked beans from Sams come in 117 oz. containers. How many of those would I need?

ellen
04/25/07
Elizabeth, you need 4 #10 cans for 100 people, so either do 3 if it is 75 or less, or do 4. This assumes you will be adding some onion, bell pepper, etc.
You want about 2 1/2 gallons of slaw, this starts with 15-16 pounds of cabbage plus extras and dressing.
ellen
04/25/07
PS #10 cans are those great big ones at Sams.
charlene
04/26/07
I want to make CORN PUDDING for 50 people. My recipe is for 6-8 people. It calls for 2 16 oz. cans of corn. How many #10 cans to make this recipe for fifty? This will be one of two vegetable dishes at this meal.
ellen
04/26/07
Charlene you are in luck. I recently posted a whole section on corn side dishes, with quantity hints, for 50-100 here:

www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/cornsides1.html

Lois
05/01/07
How much hash browns for 150 people
I am serving hash brown party pot. for 150 people. How many pounds of hash browns
ellen
05/02/07
about 50 pounds. Depends on you add-ins.
HERBERT
05/07/07
feeding around 130 people how much brisket will I need the briskets will be smoked
ellen
05/08/07
This is a common question. Brisket is a fatty meat that shrinks a lot. I allow 1 pound raw per two people for party-size dinner servings. You can do two pounds for 5 people for smaller servings (for example, lots of side dishes, other meats also available) or sandwiches.
Renee
05/10/07
How much Brisket / sauage
Planning a Wedding for 130 people, how much will I need?
menu
Brisket
Sauage
Pinto Beans
Potato salad
ellen
05/10/07
1 pound sausage for each 4 people PLUS 2 pounds raw brisket for each 5 persons. 7-8 pounds dry beans per 100 people- see the beans for 100 page. otato salad 4 gallons per 100, or start from 35-40 pounds raw potatoes per 100, see the slaw, mac and potato salad for 100 pages.
Mary
05/12/07
Hi Ellen:
I am having a get-together for 50 people from 1 pm - 5 pm. We are having baked ham, fried chicken (100 pieces), baked beans, macaroni salad, potatoe salad, chips, pretzels, cake, and drinks. How much of each of these do I need?
ellen
05/12/07
Hi, Mary,

All of these are covered in the quantity for 100 yables, makling half. about 10 ppounds ready to eat ham, thin sliced. desserts are covered in desserts, chips are 3 pounds and pretzels the same.

Suzy
05/14/07
How much chicken do I need for chciken salad
I am doing a cookout for 75 people and here is my menu.

30 lbs chicken wings
18 lbs of meatballs
12 lbs american chop suey
20 lbs potato salad
20 lbs macaroni salad
2 dzn egg salad sandwichs(cut in 4's)
2 platters of (4lbs each) of deli meat
ham, turkey & roastbeef

so how much chicken to I buy to make chicken salad sandwiches? I would like to stay at 2 - 3 loaves of breads the most.

Thanks, Suzy

Teresa
05/16/07
Wedding reception for 100..and I'm going nuts!
Hi,
I'm having a wedding reception (station style) at a club in Las Vegas...they give you a huge selection to pick from without a lot of direction and I want there to be enough food to make up for a dinner. Does this sound like too much or not enough? Where should I cut?
-14lb cheese and bread tray
-12.5lb fresh fruit display
-"pasta" station with choice of three pasta dishes (this is ordered per person)
-ceasar salad station with chicken/shrimp (also ordered per person)
-asian station with crab rangoon and beef stir fry (ordered per person)
-halibut with tomato topping (serves 50 per caterer)
-rib eye beef to serve 40
-5 different hot appetizers (500 total pieces)-mini-beef sliders, crab cakes, salmon skewers, not sure of the last two yet
-wedding cake
-full open bar

Any help would be great!! I have never made a menu up before.

ellen
05/16/07
Suzy, 3 loaves is just 24-sandwiches unless they are extra large loaves. You need 1/2 cup salad per sandwich, which contains 1/3 cup chicken. 2 cups of chicken are 1 pound boneless skinless chicken.
ellen
05/16/07
Teresa, you do not need this many entrees for 100 people- 3 only would be very appropriate- maybe ribeye, pasta and ceasar. Then add some hot vegetables, such as a creamy potato dish and a nice mixed Asian veggie mix and one other. You will have some cheese and possibly some fruit left.
kate
05/16/07
Chowder and clamcakes for 100? Any experience with that? It's for a non-profit agency.
ellen
05/16/07
Big bowl is 12 ounces- about 9 gallons per 100- add corn frottewrs and do 2 clam cakes and 2 corn fritters per person (lower cost).
dodi
05/17/07
Graduation open house expecting 200 people
How much hamburger for an open house anticipating about 200 people.

Thank you

ellen
05/18/07
For patties/ sandwiches? You want 1 pound 70% (the cheap kind) for each 3 people.
Sherry
05/21/07
We are having a wedding in June. We are serving about 200-250.
roasted pig
baked beans
salt potatoes
tossed salad
fruit salad
rolls

I am not sure on the amounts could you help?

Susan
05/22/07
How much pasta to serve 130 people?
I am doing a Wedding reception for 130 people. We are planning on have 2 kinds of pasta: Bowtie pasta with chix/alfredo sause and penne pasta with red sause and meatballs. How much uncooked pasta do I need to buy for this amount of people?
Nicole
05/22/07
How Many
How many pounds of fudge will serve 35-40 people¿¿¿¿¿
ellen
05/24/07
Sherry, 200-250 is too big a range. You want 1 pound raw pig per person, sucklings weigh about 25 pounds, so you nee 10 for 250, 8 for 200. The rest is covered on the plan for 100 page. But think carefully- this is a VERY complicated meal to prepare for a VERY large crowd- unless you hire someone to cook it, it could completely overwhelm you and the wedding day.
ellen
05/24/07
Susan, 30 to 35 pounds total for large dinner portions.

Nicole, You want 2 ounces per person minimum, 3 if it is the only dessert, or 1 ounce per type per person if you have more than 2 kinds, up to 4 ounces per person.

Cathy
05/25/07
How many 1lb boxes of rigatoni do I need to serve 100 people?
ellen
05/26/07
Cathy, plwease see the lotsa pasta page, the range is wide depending on whether it is a side dish or main dish and even whether it has thisck or thin sauce- all are discussed.
Ellen G
05/28/07
My daughter expects approximately 100 guests at her wedding. Our menu includes baked macaroni and cheese and chicken strips priced by the pound by her caterer. Can you help me figure how many pounds of each of these two items we will need if our menu also includes green salads, pasta salad, potato salad, fruit, meatballs, bread with spreads, and cocktail sausages?
ellen
05/28/07
About 35 pounds of chicken strips, since you also have the meatballs. The mac and cheese is about 7 gallons- I guess you could buy a pint as a fast food side and weigh it, to figure the pounds. Consider adding one veggie side dish, whole mixed green beans, etc.
Ellen G
05/28/07
Thank you, that helps a lot.
Joel
05/29/07
I'm making 30 pounds of kielbasa for a graduation party. I plan on red skins, corn, celery, onion, and carrots. Does 20 pounds of the redskins sound right? Also about five pounds each of the others- is that a good ratio? This is going to be a boiled dinner.
ellen
05/29/07
Joel, it depends on how many peopLE?
Joel
05/29/07
Probably 75-90. There is also going to be other choices there (grilled food). I'm most concerned about an appropriate ratio of meat to veggies for an attractive plate.
ellen
05/30/07
I would go with 25 pounds potatoes, 16 pounds each carrots and small roasted onions, and one corn per person (could be a "cobbette", which is a half cob). Consider one box of vegetarian sausages or patties for the non-meat-eaters.
Joel
05/30/07
Thank you so much!
Brenda K.
05/31/07
How much punch do I need to make for 100 people?
Shelly
05/31/07
My daughter is having her wedding. We are having fresh fruit such as grapes, strawberries, pineapple. We are also serving carrots, celery,olives and dip. There will be cake served. How do I figure out how much fruit and veggies to buy? We are figuring on about 450 people.
erika
05/31/07
how much hamburger for loosemeat sandwiches for 65 people
ellen
05/31/07
Erika, I use 25 to 28 pounds for 100 people.

Shelly, there is really extensive info on both fruit trays and veggie trays on their respective pages, link in big pots. I would add cheese platters and logs (8 pounds per 100 people, cubes slices and logs) and crackers (6 pounds per 100).

erika
06/01/07
how much macaroni for pasta salad for 65 people
2/3 of the amount fo
06/01/07
2/3 of the amount for 100 people which is listed first in the salad section of the planfor 100 page.
Barbara
06/04/07
How much green bean casserole is need for 22 people if it is the only vegetable, besides potato being served?

Love your site!

ellen
06/05/07
I use the equivalent of 1 #10 can- see my greenbeans for 60 recipe in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots, make about 1/3 to 3/8.
Vicki
06/07/07
I need to make Taco Salad for at least 60 people.
How much hamburger, onions, lettuce, green pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, bage of chips to crush & bottles of creamy french dressing?
karen
06/07/07
We're hosting a wedding reception for approx. 200 guests. One of the dishes I want to make is Cucumber & Onions salad. How many cucumbers should i buy for this. The onion I can ad lib on. Thanks
ellen
06/08/07
I just did this recipe- use it to give yourself an idea-

8 quarts (2 gallons)

8 1/2 pounds cucumbers, sliced thin
1 1/4 pound onions, sliced thin
6 cups sour cream
6 cups mayonaise
3 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons sugar
14 ounces light vinegar
1/4 cup dill weed

Combine sour cream, mayo, vinegar, salt and sugar to make a thin creamy dressing. Pour over cucumbers and onions and combine gently. Chill covered at least 1 hour, or overnight.
If peeling cucumbers add 1 pound. Burpless or English style have more tender skins.

Mary
06/13/07
How many pounds of baby carrots and celery sticks would I need to purchase to make relish trays for 125-150 people? The tray will also have black/green olives and baby gerkin/sweet pickles. Thank you.
ellen
06/13/07
You will be happy to find these items extensively covered on the veggie tray pages in Big Pots. Lots of other suggestions for the trays, too.
Carol
07/02/07
How much coleslaw is needed to feed 200 people?
How many heads of cabbage?
ellen
07/02/07
40 pounds of heads or about 32-35 pounds of shreds. Allow about 3 gallons per 100 for full side dish servings, 1/2 that for sandwich toppings.
Mrs. heald
07/12/07
Okay so Im having a wedding in october and all of my family and myself are going to be making the food. We are planning on doing Potato salad, Macaroni salad, Fruit Salad, Green salad, and Beef and Chicken, So I figure half and half of evertyhign right? But how would I figure out how to make sure we have enough food for apprx 150 people? Thanks for your help!! Im in desperate need!

Thank you!

ellen
07/13/07
Nope, 1/2 and half of everything is not it. When people have several choices and it is buffet style self service, they tend to take more and some of each. So here are some guidelines.

Potato salad for 100- about 30 pounds of potatoes
Pasta salad with about 6 pounds dry pasta
Fruit salad 1/2-3/4 cup per person (see the fruit tray page)
green salad use my amount for 100- will make 150 smaller portions, which will be enough
Beef and chicken- this is where I don't have enough info, because you don't say what kinds. Caterers usually allow 5 ounces cooked ready to eat boneless beef PLUS 3 ounces cooked, ready to eat boneless chicken per person. The 5 ounces of beef requires 2 pounds lean boneless raw such as tri-tip or flank for 5 people, or 1/2 pound raw brisket per person, or 3/4 to 1 pound raw bone in standing rib roast. The 3 ounces ready to eat chicken is 1 pound ready to cook skinless boneless chicken breast per person, or 1 whole chicken for 8 people, or 1 piece per person.

You need to add your rolls/bread.

Angelina
07/17/07
I'm need to know how many (pints) of each I will need based on 150 people ordering thru catering
company by the pint.
Cole Slaw
Baked Beans
Potato Salad
Artichoke Dip w/ chips
Fruit Cobbler
Cindy
07/17/07
I am doing the food for my daughters wedding for 200 people.

I am serving:

Meat trays
Veggie trays
rolls
cheese trays
meatballs

I would like to add penne but need to know how many foil pans (chaffer dish) I will need to make?

Thank you!!
Cindy H.

ellen
07/18/07
Angelina, for each 100 people you want 4 gallons potato salad, 3 gallons baked beans, 3 gallons cole slaw, 6 1/2 to 7 quarts dip, 6 pounds potato or 8 pounds corn chips, and 3 1/2 gallons cobbler. You need 2 gallons ice cream if the cobbler is ala mode. So you want 1 1/2 times these amounts for 150 people.

Cindy, on the lotsa pasta spaghetti page (button at the top of the main cook talk page) you will get help for pasta quantities. The mostaciolli with sausage recipe without the sausage is great for 100 people, or you can use the lasagna pan amounts for a guide for the number of pans for your penne.

Deborah
07/25/07
How many meatballs for 50 people
How many frozen meatballs should I buy to serve 50 people? They are in 6 pound bags from Sam's. Thanks!
Susan
07/25/07
How many
How many chicken casseroles do i need to feed 200 ppl?
ellen
07/26/07
Deborah, for appetizers allow 3-4 ounces per person (1 pound for each 4-5 people). for a dinner serving, allow 4-5 ounces per person (1 pound for each 3-4 people). So, you figure out how many bags you need depending on the meal you are planning.

Susan, you need 10-12 9x13 casseroles for 100 people, each one hold 3 quarts, approximately.

Karla
08/09/07
How much salad for a wedding reception
We will be having about 95 adults & 20 children (some of them big) at our reception. we are serving 2 kinds of hamburgers & 2 kinds of hotdogs. How much total salad should we serve? We are going to have potato salad, mac. salad, BBQ beans, cabbage salad and regular lettuce salad. Thanks so much!
ellen
08/09/07
I would make a recipe for 100 for each of the five items- the salad listings are on the plan for 100 page, the other recipes are on the site- see the big pots index or the new pages page for links.
james juarez
08/11/07
ww.ellenskitchen.com
I'm looking for a recipe for garlic penne pasta salad. My aide picked up some for me at local deli, but tell me which deli.My doctor has put me on a low cholesteral diet. Would that fit into my diet?
ellen
08/11/07
If made with an oil and vinegar dressing, no egg or ham or other fat meat, it should be fine. Garlic is supposed to be helpful for lowering cholestrol. Pasta salads, you just cook the pasta, add the chopped trimmings (the more veggies with yours, the better) and your nice garlicky vinagrette.
nancy
08/14/07
How many
i am having a party of 50 people how many cases of beer will i need for a 4 hour party i am only having beer
ellen
08/14/07
See the beverage planning page.
Michele
08/15/07
How many
I am catering a luncheon for 60 football players and I need to know how many full size trays of pasta with broccoli and chicken do you think I will need?

I believe that the only other thing that will be served, besides dessert, is a tossed salad.

Thanks!

Michele

ellen
08/15/07
You will need about 1 1/2 pounds food total per person. If there is no other item, you will need about 90-100 pounds of casserole. Get a weight on one tray- it varies widely from one caterer to another- and then order the right number of trays.
Regina
08/25/07
Ellen,

My church is planning a dinner for Thanksgiving.
We are feeding 450-500 people. Guess who is in charge of food & preperation? Menu is as follows:

Turkey
Ham
Potato Salad
Dressing
Gravy
Cranberry sauce
Green Beans
Collard Greens
Rice
Yams
Cabbage
Mac & Cheese
Rolls
Corn Bread
Tea

Please Help! How much do I need to prepare for all these hungry mouths? I know this is a lot!!

ellen
08/25/07
Regina, glad you are starting early. You need to go to the holiday cooking section at the top of Big Pots and read the articles on planning a holiday meal, it specifically covers the turkey/ham meal and covers the per-person amounts with lots of hints and cautions. When you have prepared your initial estimate, post it and I will be glad to check it for you.
melinda
08/29/07
making salad for 100 people
i am making salad for 100 people how much lettuce tomatoes cucumber carrots do i need to use so it will be enough
ellen
08/29/07
See the plan for 100 salad section.
Sandi
09/03/07
I am making punch for my step daughters wedding. She has received 50 rsvps. How many people can I expect with that response, and how much punch should I make
ellen
09/03/07
Sandi, you don't say how many invitations went out or whether they are for single guests or "Ms Jane Doe and guest", so I don't know how to help you on the numbers. However the site has very specific info on quantities for punch, etc. on the beverage planning page. There is also a "punch" thread with lots of recipes and discussion. Hope this helps.
Regina
09/09/07
Hello Ellen,

I finally got around to figuring out how much "I think" I need for the Thanksgiving Dinner of 450-500 people. There are a few items I did not know the quanity so please insert the amounts for me. My thread is dated 8-25-07 under topic "How Much" Please correct anything that needs to be corrected. Thank you a hundred times!!

Turkey (whole) 400 lbs
Ham (sliced) 400 lbs
Potato salad 30 gallons ( 130 pounds
Dressing 30 18x16' pans homemade
Gravy 125 cups
Cranberry sauce
Green beans 16 #10 cans
collard greens 348 lbs
Rice 96 cups (uncooked)
Yams 3 bushels (150 lbs)
Cabbage
Mac & cheese 80 lbs
Rolls 1200 rolls (2 1/2 each)
Butter 12 lbs
Cornbread
Tea 15 lbs sugar, 5 gal water
boiling

Regina
09/09/07
Oops! I pressed the wrong key! here is the rest of menu totals

Tea: 15 lbs sugar, 5 gal boiling water, 24 gallons cold water

90 lemons
1200 dinner napkins 2 each plus 200 spare

The desserts will be provided by the seniors of the church so I pretty well have them covered...I think!

ellen
09/10/07
Regina, good work, and I am glad you wrote back, I am going to save you a pile of money.

Turkey (whole) 400 lbs
~perfect, no leftovers
Ham (sliced) 400 lbs
~only 150 pounds- and you COULD do just the turkey and still have enough
Potato salad 30 gallons ( 130 pounds)
~22 gallons plenty
Dressing 30 18x16' pans homemade
~OK
Gravy 125 cups
~OK, but I would make more- 1/3 to 1/2 cup per person
Cranberry sauce
~1 pound for each 6 people- yoou can make jello molds with fresh cranberries, lemon or raspberry jello, etc, OR ground cranberry orange relish, for part,
Green beans 16 #10 cans
~I would allow 20, and would consider the improved green bean casserole recipe- it is very good and just a little bit more interesting/festive than plain green beans.
collard greens 348 lbs
~OK, but even though they cook down, this is a LOT of greens
Rice 96 cups (uncooked)
~OK, that is about 48 pounds, and I would usually do just 40. You might have left over with the mac and cheese
Yams 3 bushels (150 lbs)
~depends on method- if baked, 200 pounds minimum, if casserole, 250 (you lose a lot peeling)
Cabbage
~20 pounds per hundred, but you can reduce some due to the collards
Mac & cheese 80 lbs
~that is total with sauce- about 40 pounds dry pasta
Rolls 1200 rolls (2 1/2 each)
~too much unless they are very small. 1.2-1.5 is plenty with the cornbread
Butter 12 lbs
~OK, I LOVE butter and would get 5-6 pounds per 100 people
Cornbread
~See the recipe for 100 on the chili page. Make enough for 300 people.

Tea: 15 lbs sugar, 5 gal boiling water, 24 gallons cold water
~Black tea, 1 pound per 100 people, ice, 1/2 pound per person
This is definitely sweet tea, usual is 1 cup sugar(1/2 pound) per gallon. I would make aboput 1/4 unsweetened. Get Sweet N Low, too.
~Don't forget the water
~Consider coffee (see the beverage page for dinner coffe advice) for all those great desserts
90 lemons OK
1200 dinner napkins 2 each plus 200 spare OK
2 plates, 2 cups, 2 sets silverware per person
if using paper and plastic. Buy from someone you can return unopened packages to.

jennifer Lehner
09/10/07
How much brisket to buy
Hi,
This web site looks like its going to be my savior! I have 11 people coming for dinner on Thursday night. Zabars.com is offering whole, cooked, briskets for sale that are a min of 6lbs. each. Do I need to buy 2 of these, or do you think one will be enough?
Thank you!
ellen
09/11/07
One is fine if you don't need any leftover. Cook up some great potatoes and veggies to go with, maybe some baked or caramelized onions?
Regina
09/19/07
Ok Ellen, here is the final (I think) menu and amounts. Thanks for looking over the previous lift for me.

Turkey 400 lbs
Ham 150 lbs (need to serve 2 meats)
Pot sal 25 gal/130 lbs
Dressing 30 18 x 16 in pans
Gravy 250 cups
Green beans 20 # 10 size cans
Cranberry sauce ?????? how much
Collards 200 lb
Rice 43 lbs
Yams 150 lbs
Cabbage 100 lbs
Mac & cheese 40 lbs dry pasta
(how much cheese, milk, eggs???)
Rolls 750
Butter 25-30 lbs
Cornbread ?????? how much
Lemons 90
Tea 15 lbs sugar, 5 gal boiling water
24 gal cold water, 5 lbs tea

sweet n low packets
creamer
1200 dinner napkins
1000 plates, 1000 cups
2 sets silverware (Plastic)

Remember this is for 450-500

Regina
09/19/07
Oops! I forgot...

I am going to have 20 homemade cakes and one large sheet cake made for this event. These will be pound cakes. Is 20 enough?

ellen
09/19/07
The homemade cakes are only about 10 servings, the sheetcake is 20 for each quarter (they come in quarter, half and whole), so you need more desserts. One simple is to make the sheet cake 2 layers= 160 to 180 pieces, then you will only need about 10 more cakes.

I am going to take a few days to check the rest of the menu, will get back to you.

Joel
09/24/07
Just to confirm from your meals for 100-

Fifty pounds of rib roast (boneless) is right for 100? How hearty are the portions? And would you recommend a brand of au jus?

BTW, last spring you helped me on a graduation party suggestion and it went fabulous!

Thanks.

sallyann
09/25/07
Hi Ellen,

My son's wedding is October 6th I am having the food catered being Italian I am partial to your own sauce...so...I plan to serve cavatelli's I have around 130 people...how many pounds of macaroni should I make?

Thank you,

Sally

ellen
09/25/07
Joel prime rib boneless is a relatively fatty meat especially if not tightly trimmed, I might go 60 pounds. Cooked medium rare, this would give about 40 pounds, or an attractive 6 ounce portion. I don't recommend any brand of au jus, here is the recipe I like (funny, I just got this out yesterday!)

"AU JUS" JUICE
Au-jus for Beef Dip Sandwiches and Meat sauce

8 pounds beef neck bones
4 large (2 1/2 pounds) onions, cut into large pieces
4 scrub rinsed, large carrots, cut into large pieces
1/2 large head of celery, including leaves, cut in chunks
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes OR 1/2 bunch fresh parsley with stems, chopped
1 whole head of garlic cloves, rinsed and left in skins, split crosswise
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coarse rock salt

In a large stock pot (deep narrow pot), add enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to full boil, then immediately reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for several hours adding small amounts water if needed but try to maintain a concentrated level for more flavor. Strain.

*Save any cooked meat from neck bones, shred to use in other dishes, very good when added to spaghetti sauces and Mexican dishes. This meat also can be frozen for use another time.

Freeze this leftover stock in ice cube trays for another day to add flavor to brown gravies and homemade soups. Thicken it with corn starch or flour.

ellen
09/25/07
Hi, Sally,

On the spaghetti/lotsa pasta page there is a recipe for mostaciollli and sausage for 120. It should give you a good ballpark guide for your quantities. Sounds delicious. Maybe you will share the recipe? My readers LOVE big tried n true pasta recipes.

Virginia
09/25/07
How many lbs. of luncheon meat for sandwiches to feed 21 people?
HOw many loafs of bread?
How much lettuce to make a Cesear salad?
HOw much fruit for a fruit salad?
ellen
09/26/07
See the sandwich event page for sandwich , meat, condiments. Use 1/4 of the amount for 100, smaller groups don't always "even out" on the quantities as well as larger ones. See the plan for 100 page top section for the sald, see the fruit tray page for the fruit salad- you might just want to use the recipe for fruit tray for 25, it is a very pretty display.
Regina
09/26/07
Ellen Please don't forget about me!!

I've got to turn in a "Guess-ta-ment very soon!

ellen
09/27/07
OK Regina, thanks for asking/reminding so nicely.

Turkey 400 lbs- whole turkeys; 16 pound size had better meat than larger birds
Ham 150 lbs (need to serve 2 meats)
~should be plenty
Pot sal 25 gal/130 lbs
~with mac and cheese, plus rice, plus yams, I would not do more than 20 max, and you will probably have some left over
Dressing 30 18 x 16 in pans
~OK
Gravy 250 cups
~good
Green beans 20 # 10 size cans
~OK
Cranberry sauce ?????? how much
~50 pounds, you will have just about enough
Collards 200 lb purchased fresh or frozen?
~2 pounds as purchased=1 pound frozen or ready to cook=serves 4. This is a lot of collards unless everyone in your area loves them, especially since you are also serving the cabbage
Rice 43 lbs
~OK
Yams 150 lbs
~OK
Cabbage 100 lbs
~plenty, especially with the collards. You might consider casseroling this veg
Mac & cheese 40 lbs dry pasta
~(how much cheese, milk, eggs???)
see the "mac and cheese for many" recipe in big pots for the "fixings". Some added Parmesan goes a long way toward the cheesiest.
Rolls 750
~fine with the cornbread
Butter 25-30 lbs
~Yummy. You may have some left, or not. Consider one or 2 #10 cans of strawberry preserves
Cornbread ?????? how much
~see the "plain ol cornbread for 50 recipe on the chili page, about half way down. Make 6 to 8 recipes.
Lemons 90,Tea 15 lbs sugar, 5 gal boiling water
24 gal cold water, 5 lbs tea
~don't forget 1/2 pound ice per person
sweet n low packets, creamer
~coffee? see the after dinner coffe estimate on the beverage planning page for amounts per 100
1200 dinner napkins
1000 plates, 1000 cups
2 sets silverware (Plastic)
~need 500 dessert plats. Buy supplies from someone who will let you return unopened packs
~if the budget allows, offer milk for the kids

Carla
10/15/07
How much for 150 people!!
I am making the food for a wedding and i need to know how much Briskit to make for 150 ppl< Please Help i have no idea!! and about how much ounces per person for each side dish?!?!?!
Ellen
10/15/07
chichen breast with a sauce
i'm having a buffet and i wanted to know what sauce to have with chicken breast to fix for a nice buffet
ellen
10/15/07
Carla, brisket is a fatty meat with considerable shrinkage, I allow 1 pound raw for each 2 people. Amounts for all kinds of sides are covered in the plan for 100 table. Also there is a good shoppong article in the holday cooking section at the top of big pots- starts with turkey, but talks about all kinds of sides.

If you are uncertain about your amounts after you calculate, post your estimates, I will beglad to check them.

Betty
10/19/07
How much rice do I need to feed 50 people.
ellen
10/19/07
About 4 pounds dry (8-9 cups).
Megan
10/20/07
How many turkeys do you need to feed 50 people
I am planning on cooking Thanksgiving dinner for about 50 people (both adults and kids). How many turkeys and potatoes do I need?
ellen
10/21/07
Planning and shopping for large turkey dinners- see holiday cooking atr the top of big pots. If you want to post an estimate I will check it for you.
Beth
10/23/07
What type and how much do I need for an antipasta platter to feed 100, as an appetizer? Thanks!
ellen
10/23/07
On the page below, there are instructions for veggie platters antipasto style and meat platters antipasto style. I would probably do 2 recipes veggies, 2 trays meats and 1 recipe of my artichoke-olive condite

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/appetiz2.html
scroll down for both platters

Artichoke Olive Condite
www.ellenskitchen.com/recipebox/artichoke2.html

Jay Lind
11/07/07
I am having a thanksgiving party for 100-150 people including kids (about 50) How much/many turkeys and ham(s) would I need?

Thank you
TSgt Jay Lind

ellen
11/07/07
How much turkey and ham
Hi, Sargeant, there is a shopping and planning list for big holiday dinners in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots. For eating purposes, count the high school kids/ teens as adults and the littler kids as 2 for one adult, this usually works out about right. There is a yield table for turkey and info on cooking large amounts of turkey in the same section. Turkey, 3/4 pound whole raw is kind of the minimum per "adult"; 1 pound if you want some leftovers. Ham, allow about 1 serving for each 2 1/2- 3 people (turkey is more popular)- see the plan for 100 page.
Josie
11/12/07
How many hash brown casseroles for 100 people?
I need to know how many potato casseroles to feed 100 people. We are having turkey, ham, shrimp and meatballs along with cesear salad, fruit cup, rolls and cake.

By the way, I tried to find the casserole amount before posting with no luck.

Do I need another vegetable? Suggestions?

Thank you in advance,
Josie

ellen
11/12/07
Take a look at the cheesy potatoes in a roaster recipe, thread is dated 6/28 right now. Two raosters would be plenty for this size crowd. I would consider adding one more vegetable because it is much less expensive than meat. The improved green bean casserole could fill another roaster- you want 1 1/2 times the recipe for 100 people.

For future reference, you need about 8-9 9x13 pans of a casserole side dish for 100 people.

JayLind
11/13/07
Thank you very Much

Jay

JayLind
11/20/07
Ellen,
Thank you for the help. We ended up with a total of 78 persons. We cooked 2 20 & 23lbs turkeys and a 12.lbs ham. We had no ham left but 4-5lbs of turkey. This was my first turkey carving and I think a buzzard would have walked by what I did leave behind. We are having another party (Christmas) And I am sure they will be bringing there families to this one so we will be pushing 150 persons this time. I will be following your guides for this party.

Thanks Again
TSgt Jay Lind

ellen
11/20/07
Thanks for your service, sargeant, glad I could help.

If you have a freezer, those carcasses make WONDERFUL soup later.

linda kile
11/28/07
How much turkey for 80 people
how many turkeys needed to feed 80 people
ellen
11/28/07
80 pounds raw whole for plenty, 60 pounds whole minimum. I prefer the 12-16 pound turkeys for flavor and texture.
Lisa
11/29/07
What a great resource your site is. We are serving around 500 people at a Mission Christmas dinner. Would you check the amounts planned?

Ham 400 lbs-how many slices can we serve each person?
Hashbrown potato casserole (lbs?) 30 18x6 pans
Dressing 30 18x6 pans
Green Beans 80 #10 cans
Cranberry Sauce 50 cans (just using canned)
Rolls 600
Dessert 35 (people will bring homemade)

Can we prepare the potatoes and freeze? They contain sour cream, cheese, hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup and bacon. Thanks for any help you can give. Dinner is in 3 weeks. Lisa

ellen
11/29/07
Do please first read my article in the holiday cooking section and print copies for your fellow committee members or volunteers.
www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/turkintro.html

As to the quantities, I am having a hard time figuring them for 500 people.

For each 100 people, to serve dinner size portions with ham as the only meat, you need:
2- 25 pounds bone-in hams= 50 pounds OR 4 15 pound bone in hams (more bone in the smaller hams)
OR 30 pounds cooked boneless ham, cooked pork loin or turkey roll or equivalent lean meat
NOTE For self-serve/ buffet, add about 10 pounds extra per 100 people.
If your 400 pounds ham is boneless ready to eat, just needing reheating, you will end up with way too much. If it is raw weight, bone in, you will still have too much.

I don't understand the cranberry with ham? Grilled pineapple would be better.

Hashbrown potato casserole (lbs?) 30 18x6 pans
Dressing 30 18x6 pans
These pans usually are 18x13x6 and hold 8 quarts= 2 gallons or 32 cups EACH. Each pan serves about 50 people~! If this is the size you mean, you have too much. The shallower 4 inch pan holds about 1 gallon, but you would still only need 20.

Green Beans 80 #10 cans
5 cans makes 100 servings. I would get 25 each of green beens and corn, if these were my only vegetables.

Cranberry Sauce 50 cans (just using canned)
Why? No turkey!

Rolls 600
Allow 2 rolls per person
You need butter, 4 pounds per 100 people

Dessert 35 (people will bring homemade)
These need to be large desserts, such as a 2 layer cake or 2 pies. You need 16 regular size desserts for each 100 people!

The potatoes will be better made fresh that morning. If you need a potato recipe you can freeze, check the ones in my Once a Month Cooking Section, or use "Freezable Holdable Mashed potatoes".

To make this meal a little more special or festive, I would add a good fruit salad. It is pretty plain as is.

Lisa
12/03/07
Thanks for the portion information. This is at a homeless mission and we try to use food that has been donated. We use what we get and have lots of cans of cranberries and no pineapple (hence the cranberry sauce/no turkey). What about applesauce? Or is there a recipe for a jello salad that would make it festive in place of a fruit salad? Thank you for any suggestions and all of your help.
ellen
12/03/07
I bet you could get turkeys donated after Christmas, if you work on it; large groceries do often have some.

Applesauce would definitely be a better choice with ham.

A jello salad would be a good second choice- experiment a little. If you have whole berry cranberry sauce, you might make a jello salad with chopped celery, whole cranberry, and some pecans, a little whipped topping... even if you just use fruit cocktail, the chopped celery and nuts will improve it a lot.

Joel
12/07/07
Thank you for the advice! Sorry I didn't let you know sooner the event was a great success and compliments comparred us to the local "known" place for prime rib.

Going forward, as we'll be doing this again, you mentioned 60 pounds raw yields 40 cooked. That comes to 0.666666667. Should I use that number to calculate yield for boneless prime rib all the time? I saw somewhere else the number is .75, but yours seems safer.

ellen
12/07/07
Hi, Joel,

Of course it depends on trim, grade of meat, how hot you cook it so as to manage the shrinkage, etc; but the truth is, if you are going to blow the budget on prime rib, you don't want a scanty portion. Besides, leftovers go back to the cook you know (not always, but still...) 30% shrinkage in cooking beef is pretty standard calculation and 2/3 is just easier to calculate.

Joel
12/09/07
Thanks, I suppose there are so many variables. We like the portions hearty, 10-12 ounces, so I was coming up with an excel equation to help organizers at our sportsclub plan these as we're doing about four per year now. The spreadsheet calcualates all costs and even predicts the portion size for the prime rib. A lot of these dinners are nonprofit so trying to keep the estimates in the ballpark is a must.
ellen
12/09/07
When doing a non=profit, a slow roasted top round or rump is a good roast beef chice, leaner, no bones, and much less expensive.
Joel
12/09/07
Agreed, the nonprofit dinners, when we go all out for that is worth it though. We do the top round dinners for average nonprofit stuff or even a Sunday dinner from which want to make a couple of bucks. But once or twice a year, we go all out for the ladies' appreciation or something like that. The other times we do prime rib, it's a fund raiser charging $15. We've also got a steak and lobster dinner (over 100!) which is a great fund raiser ($25 for both whole lobster and a ribeye). Our wild game dinner is the biggest. I've just been getting involved in those dinners the last couple of years or so and your site is invaluable- I don't look like such a greenhorn in front of the ol' timers. Thanks again.
ellen
12/09/07
Ne thing about these paltes, if you do a stuffed twice baked potato and a fancy veg such as creamed spinach ala steak house spinach, people think it is much nicer than a baked potato and green beans, and the cost is the same...
pie
12/28/07
How many boxes of macaroni for 70 people
How many boxes of macaroni do I need to make macaroni and cheese for 70 people?
pie
12/28/07
How many pounds of ribs for 70 people
How many pounds of ribs to make BBQ ribs for 70 people?
ellen
12/28/07
70 pounds.
Robin
01/03/08
How much fried chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, baked beans would I need to feed 100 guest including children and adults for a 50th birthday party.
ellen
01/03/08
Go to the plan for 100 page, it is all covered. Basically you want 2 pieces chicken per person, 3 1/2 gallons each potato and mac salad unless unless you have a strong local preference for 1 or the other, 2 1/2- 3 gallons beans and the slaw from 20 pounds cabbage plus dressing and trimmings.
Robin
01/03/08
Thank you for your help with the chicken and side items since the party is at 7:00p.m to 11:00p.m. would you have any other suggestions as to what I should serve for the 50th birthday party that would be less time consuming.
ellen
01/03/08
If I were cooking it all myself, I would do roasted or baked chicken, or oven-fried. Pan frying that much chicken in the home kirtchen is a lot of work. I might also have a baked rice pilaf and a pasta salad- the potato salad is another time consumer.
Robin
01/05/08
Dear Ellen,

A friend suggested sandwich platters for the 50th birthday party with chips since the party was going to start at 7:00 at night, what is your thought on this and how many sandwich's would need to be prepared or have prepared by a store for 100 people. Along with vegetable trays and cheese trays. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

ellen
01/06/08
Sandwich platters are expensive and the leftovers are not very usable. I suggest a sandwich buffet if you want to go that route. See the sandwich events page for amounts for breads, fillings and condiments and have baskets of good bread and rolls for people to make their own.
Roxanne
01/10/08
Ellen,

Hello! I am SO glad I stumbled on this site! I am planning my wedding for May 9th in Tulsa and am going to have a dessert reception. I am majorly cutting costs by doing this, but I have no idea how to prepare! I am expecting around 200 people, and want to be prepared for that many. I know so far that I am going to have an ice cream sundae bar, and was thinking just some cookies, brownies, pies and candies. How on earth do I decide how much of each thing? Thank you so much for your opinion!!

ellen
01/10/08
Hope you are surviving the OK weather in the meantime!

There is a whole page on sundae bars and another on dessert bars, see the buttons at the top of the main forum page. If yoou did each for 100 and added the wedding cake, you would be about right. This is a sensible and atractive way to keep the costs down.

Remember you can start now baking and freezing every weekend to have a wonderful selection for the party.

Dorothy
01/22/08
How much sandwiches to feed 45 people
I need to know how many loaves of sandwich bread I need for 45 people
ellen
01/22/08
Hi, Dorothhy, there is a sandwich event page with quantities for 100, button at the top of the main cook talk page. It also shows trimmings and condiments. Use 1/2 the amount for 100.
Mary
01/25/08
Cooking ahead
Would it be safe to cook my short ribs and chicken legs a day before the event and let them warm up in a chafing dish? I'm trying to save time.

Thanks

ellen
01/25/08
No. The chafing dish does not warm fast enough. Make them with sauce, keep in the refrigerator, reheat covered in a 350 oven.
suzy
01/28/08
Ellen,I am having a wedding reception for about 150 people and am serving appetizers. I will have brisket, sausage, meatballs, taquitos, chicken w/bacon wrapped assorted breads, ham, turkey, cheeses, queso, and spinach artichoke dip, cheeseballs w/ crackers and fruit. I started off with an idea of how much to buy but I am overwhelmed now. I am so afraid that I won't have enough. The wedding is in 2 weeks! please help me!
ellen
01/29/08
Suzy, if you started with a plan and stuck with it, you are probably doing fine. A quick and dirty check is to see if your food totals up to 1 1/2 pounds per person, this is what is needed quantity wise for a typical meal. I can't do better because I don't know how much of what you have.

You can always have some standby foods (cheeseballs, deli meats, rolls, for example) that can be frozen if not used.

Connie
02/12/08
Salad
Hi, we're having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to hlep raise money for a terminal illness called Huntington's Disease that my 24 year old daughter has, and several thousand people. I'm wondering on the salad, how many heads of lettuce I will need. I'm going to have lettuce, cherry tomatoes and shredded carrots in it. I would appreciate your help.
Thank you!
Connie Jenkinson
ellen
02/13/08
Connie, the plan for 100 page has a really good salad planning guide at the top of the page, and do read the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 article on the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page. It is a devastating diagnosis and I hope this fund-raiser goes well for you.
lisa
02/22/08
Hi,

How much people cobbler to serve 150 people? This needs to include crust etc. Thanks

ellen
02/23/08
Er, people cobbler?

For each 100 people, you want about 12 9x13 pans, assuming you are using a family type recipe. If serving with ice cream, you need 4 1/2 to 5 gallons per 100 people.=

ashley
02/28/08
i need this for a project!!
Hi, So i have this science thing to do and i need to find out..
How many lemons does it take to make 1 liter of lemonade? How much sugar does it take to make 1 liter of lemonade? How much water(ml) does it take to make 1 liter of lemonade?
100 people party <
02/28/08
Stressed
So, i have this party and i need to make chicken and desert and patatoes for every body(100). How big of serving do i need for the the chicken and patatoes? How bigg of seving so i need for a piece of choco cake for every body? i'm so stressed because i have to cook so much food for the party. and the party is in a couple days so i need to know soon !!!!! :0 please help!!!!!!
ellen
02/28/08
Ashley, you need 3/8 to 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar to make a quart of lemonade, which is about 450 ml. You need to figure out how much juice in a lemon.

Stressed: 83 pounds raw chicken quarters, 35 pounds potatoes for 100. 8-10 boxes of cake mix for enough cake. Or order the cake; most grocery store bakeries do nice ones.

Toppings for baked poatoes are listed on the baked potato bar page. Beverage are outlined on the beverage planning page.

Mary
03/03/08
Brining
Can I brine 40 chicken breast for 1hr, then rinse, season and freeze for a later date?

Thanks

ellen
03/03/08
Yes. Be careful of freezing garlic, the flavor changes.
connie
03/06/08
how much
how many pounds of nuts & mints to serve 100 and how many boxes of club and ritz crackers to serve 100
ellen
03/06/08
It's on the plan for 100 tables; 6-8 pounds of nuts OR mints, 6-7 pounds of crackers per 100
Sharon
03/16/08
I am planning an event for 150 people with hotdogs on buns for the main dish. I plan to serve mac & cheese with this. How many 9 x 13 pans of mac & cheese do I need?
ellen
03/17/08
about 15; 12 for light appetites, up to 18 for really heavy eaters, 15 is a good midrange choice.
Marie Thomas
03/19/08
I am having a birthday party and having 60 people.My menu consist of barbecue ribs,porkchops and chicken wings. Fried Drumettes Sides- Collard Greens, macaroni cheese. baked beans,potato salad,strings beans -Breads- Rolls and Cornbread. I need the amount of quanity I needs. I need to know this as soon as possible because the party is Saturday March 22.2008
ellen
03/20/08
Marie, did yoou even look at the plan for 100 lists? All your sides, even the collards, are covered- you need 2/3 of the amount for 100.

Ribs are 1 pound raw per person, bone in pork chops are 10 ounces (2/3 Pound)raw per person, chicken wings are 3/4 to 1 pound raw per person. You will have to figure your own mix- aboput how many people of each- then add an extra 10% to each as people will eat some of each.

Joyce
04/21/08
How many large cans of mixed nuts and mints should I buy for my husbands 60th birthday party? There will be between 60 and 70 people attending.
ellen
04/22/08
5 pounds of each and you will have some left over, but not too much.
Beth Moon
06/03/08
How many pounds of dried pinto beans are required to feed 200 people?
ellen
06/03/08
For bean side dish, 7-8 pounds per 100. For bean main dish, about 12 pounds per 100.
Sherri
06/04/08
I am having a graduation party with 100 guest.
how many pounds of Barbeque will I need and I am also doing fried chicken? any suggestions?
ellen
06/04/08
BBQ what? For sandwiches? Ribs? Sliced? Chopped? When fried chicken is the second meat, I allow 1 piece per person for everyone there.
Angie
07/18/08
I am trying to plan a wedding reception on a budget for 150 people. What menu would you suggest to keep things simple so could be done without hiring someone. This will be late October. Thoughts were: Meatballs(different flavors),chicken wings, green beans with potatoes,pasta salad, cucumber salad, cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, wedding cake and punch.
Allison
09/17/08
For our wedding reception, we are planning on having bbq (pulled chicken, pulled pork, sliced pork, sliced beef and smoked sliced turkey), baked beans, green beans (for those who don't like baked beans) and cole slaw. Could you help me estimate how many pounds of each type of meat we should order and how many gallons of each side to order to feed, roughly, 80 to 100 people? I've never planned a huge dinner such as this and I'm a bit lost, to say the least. We are not making this meal ourselves, we will order from one of our favorite bbq places, I just want to be prepared when I get ready to place my order. Thank you so much for your time and advice.
ellen
09/17/08
Angie, I am sorry I missed your post. I don't know why people hook on the end of a long thread instead of starting their own topic, it is so much easier for me to answer. If you are serving 150 people, you will need at least two people in the kitchen (three would be better) and 10-12 additional people to set up, serve and clean up the dinner. Read my article on wedding dinners. You need to hire some help, even if you do the food yourself. For a lengthy discussion of a menu for a reception this size, see the thread "Wedding reception menu ideas".
ellen
09/17/08
Allison, you need 1/2 pound ready to eat meats per person, you will have to judge how to divide it yourself, 1/3 beef at least. 3 gallons each baked beans and slaw, 2-3 gallons green beans, and IO would add 3 1/2 gallons of potato salad.

You need to think about a beverage and nibble table for guests for that hour while they wait for you to get photos, change clothes, etc.

Jackie
10/02/08
A wedding reception. How much fruit and veggies to I need to feed 150 people. we are having cake, finger sandwiches and punch, tea, coffee.
ellen
10/02/08
See the fruit tray article and the veggie tray article for specific help. Buttons at the top of the main cook talk page.
Marsha Brown
10/13/08
I am catering an hor doeuvre birthday party. The menu consists of wing dings, veggie trays, meat and cheese trays, fruit trays, Pasta salad, mini quiches, and meatballs bith sweet and sour and plain. My question is how many 96 oz bags of meatballs would it take to feed 200 guests?
ellen
10/13/08
First, the disclaimer; this is a home cooking site. I suggest commercial caterers see chef2chef.com.

What I would tell a home cook is, 4 meatballs per person; I would do an onion or brown gravy for the plain ones as they dry out without sauce.

Lisa
10/27/08
How much Chicken Salad
I am planning my daughters wedding reception we are planning on having approx 200 - 250 people attend. They are wanting to have
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Ham salad Sandwiches
potatoe salad
broccoli salad
meat trays roastbeef, ham, turkey
cheese trays american , swiss colby pepperjack
veggie trays with dip
fruit trays with dip
Any suggestions would be appreciated.Wedding Will be November 29, 2008 Thanks Lisa
ellen
10/27/08
It will help if you tell me what time are the wedding and reception, how long is the reception, and whether you will be serving alcohol. All these things affect the amounts.
Lisa
10/27/08
ellen, the wedding is at 1pm and the reception is following the wedding. and will last approx.3-4 hrs. And there will be no alcohol.
ellen
10/27/08
OK, because it is a 1 pm wedding, people will have eaten lunch and you will use about 1/3 less food. Good work.

Please see my two articles about teas and tea sandwiches for overview.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Ham salad Sandwiches
These have to be made right ahead, don't keep well and aren't much use if left over. I would make the two salads to serve in large bowls set in ice, with baskets of lovely thin sliced breads and spreads next to each, so people can eat it plain or assemble their own. Use the amounts for 150 chicken, 100 ham, reception quantities, not luncheon. You will need the condiment tables for spreads etc.

potato salad
broccoli salad
1/2 cup per person each. You will have some left over.

meat trays roastbeef, ham, turkey
Allow 2 ounces deli sliced beef, 1 ounce each of the others per person

cheese trays american , swiss colby pepperjack
Consider mild cheddar instead- tastes better. You need 3 ounces per person, about 1/3 american, 1/3 swiss, split the rest between the other two.

veggie trays with dip- see veggie tray page, only make enough for about 3/4 of the expected

fruit trays with dip- see the fruit tray page. If using strawberries, 2 per person, plus enough more to make 4 ounces per person.

Don't forget some coffee for the cake, see the beverage planning page, dinner amounts.

Sherri
11/03/08
How many turkey breast should I buy to stuff for a reception of 50 guest?
ellen
11/03/08
If you are talking boneless turkey breast roast, at least 1/2 pound per person- you won't have leftovers. For turkeys I recommend you cook the dressing separately; by the time you get the dressing to 180 which you must do for safety, the breast is cooked to sawdust.
Jeannie
11/03/08
Hi Ellen we are having a buffet for 80 people for a birthday party which will have two or three hot dishes and meatballs and ham and tossed salad
How many chicken breasts would I need to buy. I usually slice the chicken breast thin so I usually get about 2 or 3 pieces out of a breast
Any ideas on how to keep the hot dishes hot before the guests arrive as the oven will only hold so much.
thanks in advance
ellen
11/04/08
I am not clear on how the chicken is to be used, but as a general guideline, I allow just 2-3 ounces ready to eat chicken meat per person when there are other entrees.

You need to borrow or buy some of the 18 quart Nesco roasters. One holds about the right amount for 40-60 servings, which is about what you need of each for this size group.

Lisa
11/17/08
Hello Ellen. My employer is having a Thanksgiving potluck in which our team is to bring enough mashed potatoes to feed 200 people. I was wondering how many lbs of potatoes it would take to feed 200 people or how many 5 lb bags of potato flakes it would take to feed 200 people?
ellen
11/17/08
It takes 80 pounds raw to make mashed for 200. See my freezeable, holdable mashed potato recipe in big pots for a good make it ahead recipe. Can't help with the flakes; don't use them.
Michael
11/20/08
Giving a Thanksgiving Lunch at work for our employees. Need to know how much ingredants for the greenbean casserole with mushroom soup in it for 60 people. How many cans of mushroom soup and milk do you add to this reciepe?
ellen
11/20/08
See my recipe, better green bean casserole for 60, in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots. If you don't want to add the extras, just use another can of green beans (but it is WAY better with the extra vegetables).
Pat Traill
12/17/08
For Christmas I am having 21 adults and 5 children. Will 20 lbs. of cicken feed them? I have 4 chickens around 6lbs. each. Also, they are roasting chickens, how long should I cook them. Thank you, so much.
ellen
12/17/08
1 pound of roaster serves 1 person, it is close. You might consider an extra package of legs, or one more chicken if it is a party situation. Take a look at my recipe "Roast chicken melee" or look at any of these good sites:

www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Favorite-Simple-Roast-Chicken-231348

www.taunton.com/finecooking/articles/how-to/roast-chicken-start-to-finish.aspx

www.ehow.com/how_6603_roast-chicken.html

Sherri
12/20/08
How many pounds of fajita meet do I need to feed 35 people
ellen
12/21/08
Sherri, it depends on the sides, for example, if you are serving rice and beans with it. Also whether it is beef, chicken, or both. Send me some additional information.
Michelle
12/31/08
We are planning a church dinner to serve 300. We are planning on the following:
Ham (300 lbs)
Baked Beans (6 18 qt. roasters)
Potato Salad (20 9x13 pans)
Marshmellow/Fruit Salad (20 9x13 pans)
Buns and Relish Trays
Pies/Cakes (40)

Will this be enough food? Thanks so much!

Michelle
12/31/08
I forgot to add that we for ham we are figuring 300 lbs raw, ending up to be approximately 7 oz cooked per person. Thanks.
ellen
12/31/08
160-200 pounds ham would be plenty, depending on bone in or not. Beans are good. Potato salad you need 30- 10 people per pan. Marshmallow salad, you are cutting it very close, since there is o other salad- I would go with 25 to 30. For desserts check the dessert bar page- if it is mostly 8" pies you will be a little short, if it is mostly 2 layer cakes you will have some left over. Don't forget the mustard.
Relish tray for 60 at the top of my veggie tray page, you want at least 3- with 4 you may have some left over.
Michelle
12/31/08
Thanks for your very quick response Ellen! Just one more thing--looking at the church supper pork and bean recipe for 100, it says it fills 1 18 qt. roaster. So--would that mean we only need 3 roasters, or is it better to triple the recipe for 100 and put into 6 roasters? THANKS!
ellen
12/31/08
I would not put one whole recipe in one roaster- too full- I would put a triple recipe in at least 4, but preferably six roasters.
Carmen
01/03/09
We are having a baby shower and expecting about 50 people. The menu consists of rigatoni, meatballs, chicken, and barbecued ham plus side dishes such as zucchini casserole,linquini salad, potato salad and regular salad. How many pounds of (uncooked) rigatoni should I cook?

Thanks!

Lisa
02/02/09
We are having a rundraiser and are planning on having a chilli Supper for approx. 400 people.
How much of each should we get.from noon til 4pm.
Hamburger
Spagetti noodles
chillipowder
chilli beans
tomatoe juice
onions

Thanks Lisa

ellen
02/02/09
Carmen, this is a lot of food. 6 pounds dry will probably be plenty, especially since you also have a pasta salad.

Lisa, See the fundraiser chili recipe on the chili page. All items are covered.

Sheila
02/06/09
We're doing a beef and beer fundraiser for 150. I read above your suggestion for an alternative to the expensive but someone is donating the beef. I do a lot of parties for 50 or so, but various people are offering to cover a dish so I need to be able to tell them how much I need. I plan on doing 2 buffet lines. What I need to know is when we're talking weights and portion sizes, how much does a full size chafing pan contain? I need to figure out how many full pans of each main dish I'll need.
Mains
Roast beef
Ziti
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole(not the norm, but a favorite with all our friends)
Roast potatoes
Salad I can figure out from your big pot pages along with the fruit salad.

Also, when I'm looking at your beer quantities, or your soda amounts, is that based on that being the only item. How do I use those table to calculate beer, wine and soda for 150. Or do I figure it on say 75 beer, 50 wine and 25 soda? (No children)

ellen
02/06/09
The full pans come in 2 1/2, 4, and 6 inch depths, so the amount depends on which pan. Measure by filling one with water and measuring the water.

A regular foil half pan holds about 2 9x13 pans, and it takes 8-10 9x13's to make a side dish for 100.

The sausage and mozzarella bake for 120 on the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page makes an entree pasta for 100 if you omit the sausage; this amount of pasta split between your two pasta dishes would be plenty as a part of the entrees for 150, this may help you with quantities. I would make the ziti meatless, as you will have some vegetarians in a group this size.

Potatoes, about 30 pounds per 100 people, you will have some left because of the pasta, but you won't run out. If you have good gravy, more will get eaten.

Yes the beverages are for one beverage only. Buy the beer from a store which will allow you to return unopened and keep the last 1/3 of it cold in the fridge instead of iced, so you can return it if not used. I would suggest 100 beer, 75 wine and 30 soda, the everyone should get their first choice.

I would definitely set up 3-4 lines (such as two double sided table lines) for 150. You want to keep the lines to about 40 people for fast service. Set up the beverages and the desserts at separate stations, also.

R.J.
02/20/09
How much zit to cook for 200 people
how many pounds of ziti should I cook to feed 200 people? Thank you
Paula Lojak
03/27/09
Deli trays
I have a bulk food store and deli that I opened recently. I'm getting orders for meat and cheese trays. I have tried to find out how to figure how much meat and cheese to put on them but haven't had much luck. I've seen 1/4 pound meat per person. Does that mean of each meat or total of all the meats. Cheese I haven't seen anything. Lately if its for 20 people I put at least 20 slices of each thing on it and it still seems like too much. Hope you can help me or tell me where i can find this out. Thank you.
ellen
03/27/09
RJ, I missed yours. Hope you found the spaghetti page, where it is covered.

Paula, if you will read my sandwich event page, you will see the quantity tables for different types of sandwiches. I would offer a regular tray and a "teen/hero" tray, based on the regular sandwiches or the teen/hero size. I allow 3 ounces total deli thin sliced meats and 2 ounces cheese per person for regular trays.

Amity
04/10/09
200 guest~ how many turkeys and Prime rib
Aloha...I have about 200 people on our guest list for our wedding in may. I wanted to know how many turkeys and prime rib would I need to feed 200 people. Its a heavy PUPU "appetizers" party.
Mahalo~
ellen
04/11/09
Amity, you should send and RSVP for beef or turkey or you will have to have way to much of both in order to make sure everyone gets their first choice and that is VERY expensive. You also need to offer a non-seafood vegetarian option for the approximately 20 people who don't eat either.

If it is too late for this, you will need carving stations with servers at each- you can't get away with serve yourself prime rib- and baskets of nice LITTLE rolls so people can make tasty sandwiches- allow about 4-6 ounces ready to eat beef (raw boneless prime rib has about 30% shrinkage) and 3-4 ounces ready to eat turkey (see the turkey yield table in the holiday cooking section of big pots) per person.

You could reduce costs mightily by serving a poached or smoked salmon instead of the beef...

T. Galowitch
04/13/09
How much will it cost?
I have to do fruit and fruit dip for a wedding reception of 130 guests. How much will it cost to do this? and how much should i buy?
ellen
04/14/09
See the fruit tray article for amounts, dip, etc. Cost can be low or high depending on the fruits you select and where you buy them. For this many people, I go to my wholesale produce guy, where the pineapples are $1.50 instead of $4. Remember that you need to buy fruits ahead to allow time to ripen; I get my fruits home at least 3 days before I plan to cut them.
edith powers
04/14/09
how much ground beef needed for 200 in a spaghetti sauce?
ellen
04/14/09
Edith, see the spaghetti page- there is a dinner for 50-60 near the bottom of the article- you would want about 4 times that amount-
terri
04/18/09
How many pounds of pinto beans do I need to feed 400 people? thanks
ellen
04/18/09
Depends on side dish or main, and size of portion. I go with 8 pounds dry per 100 for a side serving, up to 12 pounds per 100 for a heavy main dish.
Terri
04/18/09
Main dish is brisket, also having potatoe salad , pickles onions bread. How many pounds of beans should I go with? Thanks
ellen
04/18/09
Nice menu. 8 pounds per 100.
Karen Lewis
05/04/09
Having a baby shower and serving chicken salad. How much chicken salad for 35 people. Serving other things as well.
ellen
05/04/09
See the chicken salad quantity guide on the sandwich event page.
michelle
05/12/09
I am having a graduation party with about 75 to 80 people how many hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken breast should I buy we are having side dishes mac and potatoe salads, beans, fruit and tossed salads.
Stefanie
05/12/09
how many pounds of roast beef are needed for 75 people?
ellen
05/12/09
Michelle, 1 piece of chicken PLUS 1 patty PLUS 1/2 hot dog per person.

Stefanie, for raw boneless, see the plan for 100 table for meats and use 3/4. For cooked ready to eat depends on the use (sandwiches, plated roast beef, pot roast, etc) and whether it is a party. For non party or sandwiches, you want at least 4 ounces per person ready to eat. For party you want 6-8 ounces ready to eat.

june
05/17/09
Ellen I am doing a benefit fundraiser with pinto beans as my main protein. I will be giving each person 1 1/2 cups (12oz.) How many pounds of dry pinto beans do I need to feed 300 people.
ellen
05/18/09
12 pounds makes around 100 cups (8-9 per pound), so you are looking at 50 pounds for this large serving for 300 people.
Gwen M
05/20/09
How many pounds of sliced turkey do I need for a deli tray for about 25 people
ellen
05/20/09
If this is the only meat, you need about 4 ounces per person for sandwich/ lunch, 5-6 for dinner slices.
Nicole
05/20/09
Having a graduation party - expecting 80 guests. How many pounds of wing dings and how much macaroni & cheese do I need in order to accommodate 80 people?
ellen
05/20/09
You need 40-50 pounds of wing pieces and about 7-8 9x13 pans of mac and cheese. If this is the only meat, even 55 pounds would not be way too much.
Nicole
05/20/09
Thanks a bunch!
vicky
06/04/09
need to feel 60 people for a graduation party. how many briskets do i need? Also having potato sald, rice, beans
ellen
06/04/09
1/2 pound raw well-trimmed per person. It shrinks a lot.
Jean
06/04/09
How much f
we are serving 570 people for a wedding reception how much fried chicken and barbeque pork do we need? they are also having corn mashed potatoes and noodles. how much
ellen
06/04/09
A party this size is way too big for self catering; just the servers would be 6 people in the kitchen and about 30 servers.

Use the plan for 100 pages for ball park estimate on the meats; 1 piece of chicken PLUS 4-5 ounces pork per person.

Donna
06/06/09
I'm having a graduation party with about 50 guests and serving chicken tacos and refried beans with appetizers. How many pounds chicken do I need to cook?
ellen
06/06/09
If it is dinner time, about 1 pound boneless for each 3 people.
diana
06/10/09
How pounds of potatoes for salad for 65 people
ellen
06/11/09
2/3 the amount for 100- check the plan for 100 list, first item.
michelle
06/23/09
I am having a party we are having hamburgers hot dogs and chicken, we are going to also have macaroni and potatoe and pasta salads, but i dont know how much of each salad i should make, like how many boxes of pasta for macaroni salad or pasta salad. help .... there will be about 70 people thank you
ellen
06/23/09
Make enough pasta and potato salad for 50 people each, when they are both there people eat more. Use 1/2 a recipe for 100. There are several recipes for pasta salad for 100 on the site, most start with 6 pounds pasta, so you would use 3 pounds. And about 15 pounds of potatoes plus fixings-you want to end up with about 2 gallons.
fonda
06/25/09
We ordered a whole BBQ pig (40 pounds cooked)for our church's lunch this Sunday, do you think it will be enough for 150 people? salad and noodle are the side diskes.

by the way, how many pounds of uncooked pork = one pound of cooked?

thanks in advance

ellen
06/25/09
Not nearly enough. For whole pig, 1 pound raw per person is the usual order. 1/3 to 1/2 is lost in cooking and trimming, especially if it is head on. Your 40 pounds cooked will serve no more than 60-70 people.
I would get at least 50 pounds additional of trimmed, boned pork shoulder, season and roast in the oven; or 60 pounds chicken quarters, ditto.
sheryl
08/11/09
Making kielbasa and sauerkraut for a bridal shower of 50 people. There will also be chicken kabobs. How many lbs. of kielbasa should I make?
ellen
08/11/09
One kielbasa per person. You will have some left, but not too much.
Lynn
08/17/09
Having a baptism party for 35 people. W
Lynn
08/17/09
Having a baptism party for 35 people. W
Lynn
08/17/09
Having a baptism party for 35 people. W
Lynn
08/17/09
I'm serving spiral ham & bun for 35 people What other foods should I have
ellen
08/18/09
Hi, Lynn,
A good pasta salad and a Greek salad would be great with this (1/3 the amount for 100) and can be made ahead. Sandwich fixings- see the plan for 100 page. How about a hot bean dish? Could be traditional, or calico, or charro/ boracho, or my deacons' sweet and tangy limas. Coffee and desserts as well as the cold beverages.
Rachel ery
08/18/09
Wedding for 400 people
Am haveing a wedding and with my family and my fiance family it is going to be about 350 400 people. I was wondering is it cheaper to have someone carter the event or try to do it our self. I think that it will cost more to do it our self but his mom is saying no doing it your self is cheaper. Can you help
ellen
08/18/09
Rachel, for a wedding this size, it is not cheaper to do it yourself; you have to hire a commercial kitchen to cook on this scale, as well as a manager, at least 4 cooks and 20-30 servers. If you and she were very experienced and had done this before, it would be different, but your question indicates that is not the case. Read my article on self catering and you will see I DO NOT recommend it for groups this size. As I say there, if you are inexperienced or do not have enough facilities or help, you can have a mess and actually spend more than catering would have cost.

You can cut costs in half by scheduling a 1 PM wedding with reception to follow, which allows a great reception without a meal, or scheduling it for 7 PM and having a dessert reception or hor douvres and a dessert bar instead of a meal. Or, brunch is much less expensive than most other catered meals.

If you schedule at a time when the reception is over a mealtime, you have to serve a meal's worth of food or you will run out before everyone is served, a terrible thing.

Or consider: a SMALLER wedding. If you read the thread called "wedding reception menu ideas"; that family was very experieinced, they had 15 helpers for a wedding of 150, and we worked on the plan for several months before the event. If you had a party in the 130-150 size, it would be possible. 350-400 is really not.

Denece
10/02/09
How much lunchmeat and cheese would I need to make a coldcut tray for a party of 65 people?
ellen
10/02/09
It depends on the function (reception vs. meal) and the age of the eaters. See the sandwich event page quantity table for exact help. Link button at the top of the main cooktalk page.
Nana
11/02/09
Wedding Reception for 150.
Consisting of Brisket, chicken, sausage, and ribs.

how much of each meat should we buy lb wise.
Got the potato salad and beans down already.

ellen
11/02/09
This is a lot of meats for this size crowd, and with more choices you have to have extra to make sure everyone gets their first choice. I would get all of these: 1 piece (not a quarter) of chicken per person, 1 pound cooked sausage per 6-8, 1 pound ribs per 23- (depends on whether they are large bone or baby back) and 1 pound cooked brisket per 4 (which is 1 1/2 pound raw well trimmed).
Carmen Ferrer
11/04/09
How much many bushels or better yet pounds of collard greens should I make for 50 people. Plus, if we're adding fresh string beans in the dish---how many pounds of that should there be?
ellen
11/04/09
See the vegetable table in plan for 100 and use 1/2. I use 22-24 pounds fresh green beans per 100 as a single side dish, you can figure down from there, but I would cook them separately, maybe with new potatoes.
Mario
11/16/09
need to know many pounds Bacon needed to serve 175 quests for Breakfast.
ellen
11/16/09
Depends on thick or thin slices, see the breakfast planning page.
Melanie
11/24/09
How much turkey
I am preparing to do a once a month cooking of a bunch of different recipes and I need 14 c. of cooked turkey. How many lbs of raw on the bone turkey do I need to buy? How big of a bird will I need, I guess is what I'm asking?
ellen
11/24/09
one pound whole raw turkey makes 1 cup meat.
Stephanie
01/20/10
How much cherry cobbler do I need for 200
How many pan (size) would I need to make cherry cobbler for 200. I will have it heated in a buffet server. pan size is about 3 inch deep 6 inces accross 12 inches in lenght
ellen
01/20/10
See the pan sizes page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/cooktalk/pansmeas.html

Usual serving is 3/4 to 1 cup per person.

Disanna
02/12/10
How many
How many sweet potatoes to feed 65 people ?
ellen
02/12/10
About 25 pounds for pieces or casseroles, but you will need to go by count for baked.
neva
03/02/10
how many dried pinto beans do i need to pressure for 50 people
ellen
03/03/10
4 pounds for a side dish, up to 6 for a main dish.
Rene
03/31/10
I wonder how many pounds of Hamburger I need for meatballs? To feed 80 people. It's just meatballs by themselves. And then were having chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes. Boneless wings, fruit tray, vegetable tray, deviled eggs. Corn and green beans. And also cake with ice cream.
ellen
03/31/10
Allow 3 ounces of pre-made meatballs per person for this appetizer size portion. That means a recipe starting with 1 pound raw for every 5 people plus additives.
stacy
06/01/10
I am having a backyard reception at 7pm. The wedding will be earlier in the day and pretty much only family, but reception is for friends. I am going to have about 50 people and plan on serving cocktail meatballs, breaded chicken wings,steamed shrimp,mini crab cakes,crab dip,chips with dip and salsa,veggie tray with carrots,cucumbers,celery,zucini(grown in parents garden) and bell peppers, and strawberries and pineapple for fruit tray. My father works for wholesale food distributer and I can get all of the meatballs,shrimp,crab cakes and wings at a great discount. I want to make sure that everyone is well fed as there will be alcohol but I tend to overdo it when I have had parties in the past.Help!!!
ellen
06/01/10
50 people, 7 pm, many will not have eaten and will be looking for a dinner's worth of food.

This is what I would do. You might have some left, but not too much.

cocktail meatballs, 3 ounces per person
breaded chicken wings, 3-4 pieces, depends on size
steamed shrimp, 4 ounces per person, people will eat all there is, don't put it all out at once. 1/4 cup cocktail sauce per person
mini crab cakes, 2 per person
crab dip, 1/4-1/3 cup. Need bread or dippers, 1 1/2 to 2 ounces
chips with dip and salsa, 3 pounds potato or 4 pounds corn plus 1/4 cup each dip
veggie tray with carrots, cucumbers, celery, zucchini(grown in parents garden) and bell peppers, add ranch dressing, allow 3 ounces total per person, see veggie tray page
strawberries and pineapple for fruit tray. See fruit tray page, make 2 times the tray for 25

Suggest one starchy "bite" such as tiny roast potatoes or my Italian spinach Parmesan bites- about 3 pieces per person.

Have a grand party.

stacy
06/01/10
Thank you!! You are a lifesaver. I was getting a headache trying to figure it all out!!
Marilyn
06/15/10
I was volunteered to make meatballs for a crowd of 130 people. I would like to make these from scratch. How much ingredients will I need to make enough for this type of crowd? It is for a wedding reception.
Pat
07/28/10
how many hot dogs and hamburgers do I need for 20 persons. I will also have chicken tenders, corn, salads and finger food
ellen
07/28/10
Pat, 1 burger per person PLUS the tenders, you will only need enough hot dogs for back up- get 2 or 3 pounds, but only open 1 until you see how they go. Polish sausages are tastier than hot dogs, and about the same price.
Janet
08/16/10
We're having an 85th birthday party for my grandfather this weekend and are expecting 65 to 80 ppl. We're serving cocktail meatballs, pasta salad, fruit tray, vegetable tray and chicken wings. How much of each should we need?
ellen
08/16/10
Janet, on this DIY site, you need to use the tables and take a stab at an estimate, then post it and I will be glad to review for you. Seniors eat a little less than a regular mixed crowd, so to help, I need to know the time of day of the party, how long it will last, the age mix of the crowd and what other foods and beverages will be available. For example, as explained on the appetizer planning page, a mid afternoon party uses about half the food of one at lunch or dinner time.
Michelle
08/17/10
I was wondering how much pans of food for a wedding reception party for 250 people? How much of the each product I needed? The wedding reception food list is Red Rice, Yellow Rice, Ham,Chicken drummett, meatballs, tuna salad, potaotoe salad, green beans, corn and Roll. I was wondering how much pans and the product to fix them I needed to make it
ellen
08/17/10
Michelle, a party this size requires at least 4 people cooking and 12-15 servers to set up, serve and clean up, even if it is done buffet style. Please read the article under the button called "wedding dinners" on the top of the cook talk main page.

For salad, potato salad, green beans, corn and Roll, see the plan for 100 page, use 2 1/2 ties the amount for 100.

Red Rice, Yellow Rice, 4 pounds dry rice per 100 for EACH type.

Ham, 1 pound ready to eat per 3 people
Chicken drummett, 3-4 pieces per person, everyone will eat them as appetizers
meatballs,3 ounces per person (1 pound for each 5)
You would do all of these for each person.

Trudy
08/19/10
I am planning a luncheon buffet for 200 people--children and adults--with multiple salads (tuna, green salad, pesto pasta, tabouleh, fruit salad) and a noodle kugel casserole. (I have a friend who will be catering--she is a professional baker/chef and this is her first catering job. We would like to confirm the amount of food that we are trying to prepare. How do you know what is the appropriate amount of food to create in total for 200 people? Is there a rule of thumb that each person will put 12 oz of food on their plate?

(I have been reading through your blog and different threads and am wondering should I be making each salad so that it serves 100 people or 150 people?
Right now I have created and frozen 48 pounds (6 full steamer trays of noodle kugel) and have purchased 6 4-pound cans of tuna. I've bought 8 pounds of pasta for the pesto pasta dish, and purchased 16 pounds of grain for the tabouleh and am now trying to work out how much of the different salads I should make.
There are 5 salads altogether. Should I make each salad so that it serves 100 people or more?

ellen
08/19/10
Usually at salad bar lunches, adults take 18-20 ounces per person, small kids about half that

multiple salads
tuna, 24 pounds- you need to end up with 12 gallons of this salad. If you don't have enough tuna to make it, get chicken leg quarters and make it up in chicken salad.
green salad, I would do Caesar for 100 and spring greens or tossed for 100, using the plan for 100 table. Croutons, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices on the side. Dressing as indicated on the lists.
pesto pasta, 8 pounds pasta-OK, you will probably have none left
tabouleh, 16 pounds- ok, you will have some left

I would add 3 #10 cans marinated bean salad or make chickpeas and red beans and cut green beans dressed and marinated. I would add 10 pounds grated cheese for garnish and the non-meat eaters.

fruit salad need full amount for 200 people, consider fruit trays, easier to prep and serve, leftovers more usable.

a noodle kugel casserole, 48 pounds (6 full steamer trays of noodle kugel) -Plenty; is this sweet or a savory one?

Need bread at least 22-24 pounds and butter at least 6 pounds. I would add a really big jar of smooth peanut butter and equal weight of strawberry or grape jam.

See beverages planning for the beverages.

Paula
09/10/10
How much dressing for Thanksgiving dinner for 400
Our church is feeding approx. 400 people for Thanksgiving dinner. We are keeping the menu simple. Turkey - dressing, green beans, sweet potato casseroles, and dinner rolls.
ellen
09/11/10
Hey Paula, I always make a bet with myself about when the first Thanksgiving question will come in, and this year YOU WIN!

First, please read this article, and pass it around to your fellow committee members:
www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/turkintro.html

Then use this article for your guide:
www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/planshop.html

coleen
11/20/10
pounds of asparagus
Hey Ellen,
First time on your site. The question is How many pounds of asparagus do you need for 9 people?
ellen
11/20/10
3 pounds would be abundant, 2 if they are polite.
Cassandra
11/29/10
Hello Ellen, I am preparing for Thanksgiving dinner next year. I plan to feed at least 1,000 people. So I am buying throught the next year. I was wanting to serve:
Turkey
Ham
Mashed Potato's
Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet potato casserole
Cranberry sauce
and rolls.
Could you please tell me how much of each i would need in order to feed the 1,000 people I am trying to feed. I appreciate it greatly!! Thank you so much!
ellen
11/30/10
Cassandra this is already covered in detail in the holiday shopping article at the top of Big Pots. Please read the hospitality article also. Good luck with your project.
Pam
12/06/10
Hi! I'm making a fruit display for 125 people. They are wanting pineapples, cantelope, honeydew, grapes, apples, and kiwi. How many/much of each fruit do I need to make enough for the display? First time here...love your site!
ellen
12/07/10
Look at the deluxe tray for 100 and add 1/4 more. Be sure you dip the apple pieces in Fruit-fresh, oj, or lemonade so they don't brown.
Richard
06/07/11
I'm cooking half chickens,mac and cheese,bake beans and rolls for 500 at a softball ternament can you please help me on how much mac and cheese and bake beans i will need
ellen
06/07/11
8-10 pounds dry pasta per 100 (the larger amount if seconds are permitted); 3 gallons baked beans per 100 (4 #10 cans plus fixings).
Richard
06/09/11
thank you very much
Sharon
06/21/11
Hi, i am making red and white chowder and clamcakes, hamburgers and hot dogs watermelon and doughboys with powdered sugar and cinnamon for 61 adults and 6 kids. most of them prefer the red chowder, how much do i make so i dont run out?
Sharon
06/21/11
Thank you for taking the time to help, my biggest concern is after they eat some chowder, how many burgers and dogs will they eat and how much red verses white do i make? i don't want to run out, my mom who is 83 now will shoot me! lol
ellen
06/21/11
Hi, Sharon, thinking of this crowd as basically 2/3 of 100, You want about 6 gallons of soups, and I would estimate 4 red, 2 white. You won't run out!
To be sure of enough, I generally figure 1 burger PLUS 1 hot dog per person. But I use Polish sausages or kielbasa, much tastier than hotdogs and not much more costly.
As for mom, hide the gun or rub butter on her glasses...
Sharon
07/28/11
Ellen your the best
Thanks for the great info! Your estimates were right on! and i didn't even have to "hide the gun" lol
Ashley
09/09/11
How much hash is needed for 150 people?
Hi Ellen, I am wondering how much hash is needed for 150 people for a wedding
ellen
09/09/11
Ashley , what kind of meal (brunch? dinner?), what kind of hash, is it a side dish or a main dish and what else is being served? More info, please.
Mel
10/05/11
Pound of potatoes
How many pounds of potatoes, how many mixed froxen vegetables and cranberries to serve 250 students?
ellen
10/05/11
If teens, you need 10% more than regular adults. The amounts are discussed at length in the holiday cooking section, planning/shopping for large community dinner articles at the top of the Big pots page. Teens/college, eat up to 50 pounds of potatoes per 100.
K
10/07/11
My sister and I are throwing a surprise party for my mom next weekend and we are preparing some of her favorite things to send home with the guests. She loves fudge, how many pounds of fudge will we need to make to send home with the guests if each has aprox 4 pcs and there are 75-80 guests?
ellen
10/08/11
About 20 pounds (4 ounces per person).
billy
11/01/11
how much of bow tie pasta do i need for about 40 guests.and i am having green salad and chicken salads all so
ellen
11/02/11
For pasta salad or a light side dish, a scant 3 pounds.
beryl
12/05/11
How much red wine reduction sauce can you make in one batch. I am preparing a reduction sauce with red wine and black currant preserves for a pork loin meal for 80 people.
Kathy Lucas
12/05/11
Candied Yams
How many pounds of large yams would it take to feed 35 adults?
ellen
12/06/11
Beryl, you need to stand right over it and then you can do a bottle at a time.

Kathy, about 10 pounds, depends on the other starches.

Rachel Marie
12/17/11
I am in charge of a community wide spaghetti dinner. We are guessing about 400-500 people to show up. How much of the following will I need:

Hamburger (raw-in Pounds)
Noodles (in Pounds, uncooked)
heads of lettuce (for salad)
loaves of bread

ellen
12/17/11
See the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page, count as 60, use to estimate your quantities.
richard
01/23/12
Im making party meatballs for about 80 people this is a baby shower how many meatballs do you think would do there is going to be other snacks with meatballs
ellen
01/23/12
Make 1 pound for each 5 people and you will have plenty.
richard
01/24/12
Thank you very much.
Amy
01/25/12
I have invited 100 people to a bridal shower. I want to make chicken salad sandwiches on dollar rolls? How much chicken will I need?
Laura
01/25/12
Hi Ellen,

I'm cooking for ~60 people at a homeless shelter next Friday (2/3/12). I have a few family members helping, so it's not all me.

Here is the menu...
Salad
Bread (store bought)
Mashed Potatoes
Corn
Eye-of-Round Roasts
Gravy

How much of each do I need? The most I've cooked for is 10 people...HELP!
Thank you very much,
Laura

Laura
01/26/12
Hi Ellen,
Let me know your thoughts regarding my above post...

Salad - 10 lbs - bagged
Bread - enough rolls for 100 people - incase anyone wants two or seconds
Mashed Potatoes - 25 lbs.
Corn - 15 lbs.
Eye-of-Round roast - 30 lbs. - I cook the roast at 500 degrees for 7 minutes/pound, then keep my oven door closed for the next 3 hours...the roast is so wonderful...and cheap!
Gravy - 5 lbs.

For some, this will be the only meal they eat that day...so I don't want to run out...but I also don't want to waste.

Any thoughts and input would be appreciated!

Laura

ellen
01/26/12
Amy, this is covered on the sandwich page.

Laura, I would do chuck roasts cooked with mushroom soup and dried onions as a pot roast (in the oven, in foil). Cheaper and more tender.

All the other items, use 2/3 of the amount for 100 from the plan for 100 page.

A cobbler or bread pudding would be a great winter dessert.

Laura
01/29/12
Thank you!
Rachel Marie
01/29/12
Thank you very much! The dinner was a huge success, we raised over $1,500!
ellen
01/29/12
Appreciate the feedback, gals.
ClareBear12
03/21/12
How many salads would I need to feed 160?
I am holdong an engement party for 160 people. How many salads do u think I would need. We are also serving a butter beef and rolls.
ellen
03/21/12
I would do 300 servings of salads, could be 100 each of 3 different kinds or half and half, or half one and 1/4 of each of the others. Basically, you need one gallon of sides (salads, starches, veggies) for each 10 people.
Nancy Lamkin
03/26/12
How much ham do I need to fix 14 sandwiches ?
How much ham do I need to fix 14 crossiants if I put 2/3 pound on each one.
ellen
03/26/12
Nancy, the MOST you can put on one normal croissant, if you stuff it, is about 4 ounces. 4 pounds is plenty.
Jenielle
04/22/12
I am catering my own wedding in June. I am planning on making penne alfredo pasta, cheese ravioli, served with meatballs and sausage on the side, a garden salad and bread. I am expecting approx. 60 children and adults. Could you give me an idea of how much of each food I will need and an idea of where to look for an alfredo receipe? I greatly appreciate your time.
Jenielle
04/22/12
Please disregard the above message as I just found out that my food budget has been drastically reduced.
ellen
04/22/12
Jenielle a baked lasagna with the sides you mention would be an option at a fraction of the cost.
Jill
04/24/12
Hi Ellen
I am catering my friend’s wedding reception for 60 people. For salads they want: Broccoli Salad, Potato Salad & Caesar Salad. Hot food they want Wings, Chicken balls, Meatballs & Bacon wrapped water chestnuts. They also want a meat tray, veggie tray, fruit tray and sandwich tray. (Seems like a lot of food) so How much of each should I have?
Thank you :)
ellen
04/25/12
Count this as 2/3 of 100 and you will have plenty. This is not a lot of food for a wedding party

Broccoli Salad, Potato Salad & Caesar Salad. Do 50 servings broccoli salad, 2 gallons potato salad, 1/2 the Caesar on the plan for 100 page

Wings, expensive, 1/2 pound per person plus 1/4 cup dipping sauce, legs are cheaper, 2 per person
Chicken balls, ??? 3 per person or 1 pound per 5
Meatballs & 1 pound per 5
Bacon wrapped water chestnuts. 3 per person

meat tray, 1 pound per 5 need mini rolls, 2 per person, and mustard and mayo

veggie tray, fruit tray and sandwich tray. (

ellen
04/25/12
With rolls, sandwich tray not needed.
April Alvarez
04/30/12
How many #10 can of black beans would I need to feed 60 people and how much white rice for 60 people. Thank you.
ellen
04/30/12
Is this a main course or side dish? #10 can makes about 10-12 main, 20+ side. Rice for 50 4 pounds dry for light side dish, up to 8 for heavy main dish.
elaina
05/06/12
how much brisket, rice, beans, and pasta do i need to feed 450 people?
ellen
05/09/12
Elaina, I am puzzled by the pasta.

brisket, 1/2 pound raw per person
rice, beans, 8 pounds dry of each per 100

and pasta??? pasta salad, see the plan for 100 table. Cooked pasta side dish, see the spaghetti page for amounts.

catina boone
05/21/12
i am catering for my first wedding this saturday May 26th for 130 guest
320 Meatballs
5 gallons pasta salad
5 gallons hot spinach dip
5 gallons cold spinach dip
6 chicken cheese balls using 10 pounds cream cheese
10 gallons non alcoholic punch
6 watermelon baskets
15 pounds Pork Lion
10 pounds of turkey i will be doing a small sandwich bar with different cheeses and condiments please let me know if my measurments are correct...thanks
ellen
05/21/12
If this is a normal mealtime with a buffet, this is not enough food, probably not enough beverage, and also not the right distribution. In addition, the list is not complete- what are you using with the dips? (Too much dip). What about rolls/bread?

320 Meatballs- need at least 35 pounds
5 gallons pasta salad- OK need second starch

5 gallons hot spinach dip
5 gallons cold spinach dip
Allow 1/4 cup dip per flavor per person and do not do 2 of the same flavor. 3 gallons of each is about right for this size crowd
Need 10 pounds breads/crackers/chips

6 chicken cheese balls using 10 pounds cream cheese- I would not do less than 20 pounds of cheese balls for this size crowd
7 pounds crackers/chips

10 gallons non alcoholic punch
need a sugar free choice as well, at least iced tea

6 watermelon baskets- ??? can't check amounts- see fruit tray page

15 pounds Pork Lion
10 pounds of turkey
For 130 people, need considerably more; see the quantity chart:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/sandwich100.html#quantities

There is a condiment bar estimate for 100; you need 1 1/4 that for your party.

mar haight
05/23/12
I am catering for 100 people of seafood chowder which will consist of scallops, haddock and lobster. Also fresh rolls with that. Any ideas on how many gallons or amount of each fish I would need and potato for this. Thanks
ellen
05/24/12
You need 12 ounces (1 1/2 cup) soup per person if it is self serve and 12-14 pounds rolls, 3 pounds butter.
susan
08/08/12
I am cooking for 450 people
How much pasta and meatballs do I need?
ellen
08/09/12
See the spaghetti page at the bottom, meal for 50-60, do 8 times the amounts.
LisaW
08/10/12
We are having an engagement party with 60 adults attending, we are serving tossed salad, macaroni salad, new england calm chowder, boiled new red potatoes/half ears of corn, chicken BBQ (legs w/thighs attached)and steamed seafood (clams, muscles)

also for appetizers, cubed cheese and shrimp cocktail.

I know this is very fuzzy, but I would really appr.any suggestions on quantities. Thank you Lisa

ellen
08/10/12
This is an expensive dinner, and I would skip the shrimp cocktail, since you have the chowder and the steamed seafood.

Make about 40 chicken quarters and cut some up.

Do about 1/3 pound each shrimp and crab for the seafood, per person.

LisaW
08/10/12
Thanks Ellen, I didn't think about cutting some of the chicken up, great idea. Do you have any suggestions on the salads, corn and potatoes? Lisa
ellen
08/10/12
The other items are all on the plan for 100 page.
Bere G
08/23/12
I want to start working in a school cafeteria and I need to learn about can's, and the # for example can #10 is there a book that I can buy to get this info I really need to memorize what they are
ellen
08/23/12
It is already posted on this website:

www.ellenskitchen.com/pantry/cansize.html

SLI Intermediate
11/02/12
We are making cooked carrots for 75 people how many carrots do we need?
ellen
11/04/12
About 16 pounds ready to cook, which is about 18 pounds raw.
doreen
11/10/12
We are having a christmas party at work that i am catering.Menu is glazed ham, turkey, stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, regular baked potatoes,carrots, string beans, salad,rolls, pickles, olives, cranberry sauce. deserts. there is 15 people who want ham,27 people who want turkey, and stuffing, 20 sweet potatoes, 22 reglar baked potatoes. could you please help me out with the rest of the quanitys that i need ? thank-you
ellen
11/10/12
This is what I would do:

7 pounds boneless ham
20 pounds whole turkey
15-20 pounds stuffing (the ham eaters will also take some)
5 quarts gravy
4-5 pounds cranberry
1 classic relish tray (see the veggie tray page)
9-10 pounds green beans

Carolyne Reitz
01/06/13
40th Birthday Party Midnight Snack
130 people-- buns, coldcuts, cheese.
How much do you estimate of each will I need??
ellen
01/06/13
Assuming most are around the birthday age, but will stay till then, use the reception level plan on the sandwich page.
jodie
03/03/13
how much pork roast for pulled pork sandwiches for 200 people?
how many boxes pasta for salad for 200?
ellen
03/03/13
I use shoulder- 1 pound raw boneless makes 4 nice sandwiches.

6 pounds dry pasta to start for each 100, can go to 8 if they are very heavy eaters and no other starches.

Mary Jo
03/04/13
to serve 100 cook in 18qt roasters
HOW MUCH OF EACH IS NEEDED
CHICKEN boneless leg/thigh lb raw /cups cooked
Rice lbs/cups raw and# cups cooked
frozen vegetables , mixed or stir-fry lbs. please
Pineapple chunks or tidbits #10 cans
teriyake marinade used as sauce in cooked dish to moisten and flavor #of oz I will be using some of the pineapple juice in this sauce.
Mary Jo
03/04/13
This is being served as a mixed main dish not a rice side dish with a chicken portion. The chicken is mixed in with the rice & vegetables. I prepare the main dish one Friday every other mo. @ a local food bank/mission. we serve 175-200 people but closer to 300 plates of food served. Thank you so much for this sight. I've been using it but just found this post today. Thank you, again for the help.
ellen
03/05/13
Start with the Basic chicken and rice for 100 in the Basic Budget Entree section of Big Pots, double it:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/bbentree3.html

Since you are headed in an Oriental direction anyway, the almonds and water chestnuts in the recipe would be great with this. I would leave out the salt and Italian seasoning and use soy sauce for the flavor- maybe use all chicken stock and pineapple juice and omit the milk, if you don't want any creaminess.

This will make 3 roasters full without the additions below.

You want to add 40 pounds of stir fry vegetables, 2 #10 cans of well-drained pineapple chunks, this will increase the total amount by about 4 pans, or two roasters.

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

susan
03/19/13
I'm using frozen peas in a hot chicken casserole that serves 15. HOw much should I use in the casserole that bakes for 35-40 minutes and should I cook the peas first or just mix in frozen and then bake?
ellen
03/19/13
2-3 cup, added before baking.
Susan
03/19/13
I'm making tossed salad for 40 using about 7-8 heads osf lettuce. How much salad dressing will I need?
ellen
03/19/13
See the salad section of plan for 100, use 1/2 the amount for 100.
Rosemary
04/23/13
I am doing an engagement party for 125 people I would like to know how many 1/2 trays of assorted food (Pasta, Sausage, Eggplant, chicken, Salad) I should have to be safe. The only appetizer will be shrimp cocktail.
ellen
04/23/13
Most half trays are estimated for 12 people. This is what I would do:

Pasta, 10, at least 1/3 meatless- all could be

Eggplant,8
Consider adding 24 pounds frozen steamed broccoli florets- fills out the plate for the non-meat eaters

Sausage, 4-5, more with more men
chicken, 7
This adds up to more than 125 servings because when you have 2 meats, people take more than with a single meat.

Salad- for economy, you could put this together yourself from salad mixes- Use the plan for 100 salad mixes and bottle dressings, 1 1/4 times the amount for 100. Otherwise, 10 1/2 trays.

Add 15 pounds of good bread and 3 pounds of butter.

Shrimp cocktail, 24 pounds shrimp, 7 1/2 quarts cocktail sauce

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

Robin
05/27/13
how much
how much pork & beans, cole slaw, and bbq hash for 60 people
Robin
05/27/13
how about rice for 60 people
ellen
05/27/13
use 2/3 the amount for 100. See the plan for 100 page.

The hash, 1 pound boneless meat per 4.

Sarah
09/11/13
I am considering cooking for my sons wedding -- planning for 200. I was going to fix two different pasta dishes (Cheesy Mostaciolli and then a Chicken Alfredo w/Penne). I was figuring to do a total of 320 servings as I figure some people will eat some of each -- does this seem like too much? Also as I figure a 22 quart roaster will hold 6 9X13 pans worth of the casserole. Do you agree? I was thinking 300 rolls; and #10 10 lb cans of corn. We are also having salad. What do you think
ellen
09/11/13
two different pasta dishes (Cheesy Mostaciolli and then a Chicken Alfredo w/Penne).

I would do 150 alfredo and 100 mostaciolli. For pan help, see this page:

ellenskitchen.com/cooktalk/pansmeas.html

With Italian, I recommend 2 crusty rolls per person or 4 inches of baguette. olive oil dipping oil or butter

I would not serve corn with 2 pastas. You need some green veg, or roasted mixed veg.

Be aware that one roaster needs a 15 amp circuit, you can't plug in twpo on the same circuit.

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

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or artichoke condite or antipasto added; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Autumn
10/21/13
How much of canned corn would I need to use to feed 17 people? Also how much potatoes would I use to make mash potatoes for 17 people?
ellen
10/21/13
About 4 pounds drained weight of corn and about 8 pounds raw potatoes.
Sarah
10/27/13
Roasting Pans - Heating time
Ellen,

When using an 18 quart roaster filled with #5 9X13 pans worth of cheesy mostaciolli that has been refrigerated--how long do you think it will take to reheat to the point of being able to serve it?

Thanks!

ellen
10/27/13
If you want to make the whole roaster full in the cookwell, these are the hints for pasta in the roaster that I give:

Coat the cookwell (the removable pan) well with a nonstick spray or shortening (oil does not work well here) and coat with the old fashioned grated type Parmesan that comes in a shaker- you don't want the fancier shredded type for this job, before filling it with the pasta recipe.

Preheat the roaster to at least 400 for 20 minutes, insert the pasta in the insert and IMMEDIATELY turn down to about 300.

It needs to be about 4-5 inches deep or less, which means the maximum amount is about what you would put in 4-5 9x13 pans. Refrigerate covered until ready to bake.

Have a can of tomato juice or an equivalent of whole milk for a creamy sauce, available, to add moisture if needed.

Insert the cookwell and cover. Bake until the temp in the middle of the dish is 165 degrees, which takes about 3-4 hours depending on the thickness and temperature of the pasta. Check about every 1 hour to see if it needs liquid added, use the reserved liquid if needed.

If you use a higher temp, the cooking time is shorter, but you run the risk of burnt edges.

When it reaches cooked temp, turn the roaster down to 180 and keep covered until served.

ellen
10/27/13
If the casserole is freshly made and still hot when it goes in the roaster, it can take as little as 1 1/2 hours.
Sarah
11/01/13
Grated Parmesian
Is the purpose of the grated parmesian so it doesn't stick to the roaster? Is using the non-stick spray enough or what is the purpose of the grated parmesian?
ellen
11/01/13
The Parm is used like flour on a greases baking dish, because with the pasta, spray is not sufficient to reduce sticking.
Sarah
11/01/13
Thank you Ellen -- you are the BEST!
Sarah
11/02/13
Hi Ellen -- my last question for today (I hope) when you talked about checking the center temp and ensuring it is 165 -- should I be stirring the casserole during the time it is heating (reminding you it is #5 9X13 pans worth in an 18 quart roaster) or leave it to heat like it would in the oven-untouched? I didn't know if it will heat thru in the roaster without stirring or will I risk breaking down the penne noodles?
ellen
11/02/13
Stirring from the edges to the center and then out is fine. Of course you have undercooked the penne a bit before you start, a few minutes short of al dente to start.
Kelly Groll
11/06/13
This is my recipe for a tomato sauce I need enough for chicken parmesan for 35 people can you help me convert this recipe please?
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
1 cup of water
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch Italian parsley
1 Cubano chile pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
ellen
11/07/13
That looks about right for 8. Do 5 times the amount for plenty. Any leftovers can be frozen.
Nancy
11/14/13
We are planning to have a Thanksgiving lunch for our employees here at work...How many turkeys and ham would we have to purchase to feed 300 people?
ellen
11/14/13
Nancy, please don't triple post. See the article referred to in your post under under cooking for 300.
tom
12/04/13
Ellen,
I am serving greeen beans as the vegie for a dinner for 150 I am planning on using frozen whole green beans how many pounds should I plan on? I found one post that says about 33 pounds does this sound close?
ellen
12/04/13
Yes. and if it is the only veg, do 35-36.
Jo Anne
12/06/13
HELP !! How much do I make?
I am cooking mostaccioli for 250 women as a side dish to fried chicken, green beans, salad and roll.

How much pasta do I need? How much sauce do I need? We are planning on giving one scoop per person of a large serving spoon (sorry that's all the info that I have)

The event is Monday 12-9-13

Jo Anne
12/06/13
HELP!! How much do I make? (Part 2)
Mostaccioli (part 2) sorry. I forgot to ask.

How many roasters (and what size) will I need to hold all of this? Dinner is served at 7pm - if I boil the pasta at 5:30 - how long will it take?

Will the food stay hot if it goes right into roasters?
what temp do I set them at to keep the food hot?

Thanks for the tip on spraying the pans/coating with grated parm. Thanks again.

ellen
12/07/13
Assuming from your note that you are putting the sauce on and then holding the mixed pasta.

It takes 4 roasters to hold this much, and 2 will blow any single circuit.

If the food is cooked when it goes in the roaster, hold at 180, and be aware that you need to slightly undercook the pasta, as it will keep cooing while held.

Water takes 20 minutes to bring to a boil and you need A LOT_ for 250 people, you are talking 25-30 pounds pasta, see the spaghetti page for info on large amounts of pasta. Consider making ahead and baking day of.

250 people, at least 25 pounds pasta, 21 quart sauce per pound. If adding cheese/ ricotta, 1/2 to 1 pound per pound of pasta.

ellen
12/07/13
That was supposed to be, 1 quart sauce per pound of pasta.

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

Juan
12/08/13
We are looking to make enough brisket for 275. How many uncooked and at what weight do we need for our wedding to do this
ellen
12/08/13
Because this meat is a coarse, fatty meat, a sliced portion requires a half pound per person. A sandwich portion is one pound per 3.
help!
01/05/14
A recipe that serves four people calls for 2 3/4 cups of nuts. Carla has 16 1/2 cups of nuts. How many people can Carla serve?
ellen
01/06/14
Just do the math. 33/2 times 4/11=
hey even gave you some easy factoring/ cancellation...
johnny
02/20/14
cooking for 150....chicken,yams,collard greens,,mac/cheese how much do I need my numbers are crazy
ellen
02/21/14
chicken, on the plan for 100 page, it gives amounts for the different cuts of chicken, quarters are very different from halves or pieces. Do 1 1/2 times the amount of whatever you choose.

yams,2 pounds per 5 (canned, a #10 serves about 20)

collard greens, see plan for 100, depends on whether it is bought whole leaf or frozen

mac/cheese, some wiggle room here, depending on the hunger of the crowd. 8 pounds dry pasta per 100, minimum; hungry? 12. 1 quart sauce and 1/2-1 pound cheese per pound of pasta.

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

Danielle K.
03/19/14
Hi Ellen- I'm making Cavatelli for a church dinner for about 200-250 people. How much pasta should I be looking to get for that amount of people? Also, I'm making a side toss salad, any suggestions on the easiest way to make that? Thank you for your help.
Danielle K.
03/19/14
Oh also, how much hamburger meat? Sorry, forgot that question. Thanks again.
ellen
03/19/14
Take a look at the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page. Do 4 times if it is relatively light eaters, 5 times if higher.
Nancy Athey
05/12/14
450 ham sandwiches
Wondering how many pounds of ham I need for 450 medium sizes buns...
ellen
05/12/14
If you use deli style ham, 1 pound per 8-10, depends on the actual size of the bun.

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

lynn
06/24/14
I am smoking chicken, sausages and pork shoulder for 20 people...how many chickens, how many sausages and what size pork shoulder should I prepare? I will also be serving the usual sides that go with BBQ, beans, macaroni salad, rolls, corn on the cob & watermelon.
ellen
06/28/14
smoking chicken, sausages and pork shoulder for 20

Mmmm.
3 chickens, 4 if small. (about 10-12 pounds)
4 pounds sausage
4 pounds boneless shoulder
Plenty, prob not a lot left...

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

Izel
11/21/14
I am planning for Christmas dinner at church for 100-120 people. How much of the following do I need?

Baby back ribs
Prime rib Roast
baked cornish hens
Turkey Roulade
Baked Salmon
Basmati rice or rice pilaf
asparagus
Flan or creme brulee
Sans Rival

Thanks so much Ellen!!

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