The Party Planner: Cooking for a Crowd | Chart of Estimates | The Old Farmer's Almanac

The Party Planner: Cooking for a Crowd

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Chart of Food Estimates: How Much Food Do You Need?

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Family reunion? Big cookout? Cooking for a crowd? If you’re planning a big meal, this handy chart can help you determine how much food you should buyβ€”from meats to sides to condiments. Make sure you have enough food for everyone!

These cooking estimates are based on β€œaverage” servings; adjust quantities upward for extra-big eaters and downward if children are included.

How Much Food to Serve at a Party

Chicken or turkey breast8–9 pounds16–18 pounds32–36 pounds
Fish (fillets or steaks)7-1/2 pounds15 pounds30 pounds
Hamburgers6-1/2–9-1/2 pounds13–15 pounds26–30 pounds
Ham or roast beef10 pounds20 pounds40 pounds
Hot dogs4 pounds7 pounds13 pounds
Meatloaf6 pounds12 pounds24 pounds
Oysters1 gallon2 gallons4 gallons
Pork8–9 pounds16–18 pounds32–36 pounds
Bread (loaves)3510
Butter3/4 pound1–1/2 pounds3 pounds
Cheese3/4 pound1–1/2 pounds3 pounds
Coffee3/4 pound1–1/2 pounds3 pounds
Milk1–1/2 gallons3 gallons6 gallons
Nuts3/4 pound1–1/2 pounds3 pounds
Olives1/2 pound1 pound2 pounds
Pickles1/2 quart1 quart2 quarts
Soup5 quarts2–1/2 gallons5 gallons
Side Dishes
Baked beans5 quarts2–1/2 gallons5 gallons
Beets7–1/2 pounds15 pounds30 pounds
Cabbage for cole slaw5 pounds10 pounds20 pounds
Carrots7–1/2 pounds15 pounds30 pounds
Lettuce for salad (heads)51020
Peas (fresh)12 pounds25 pounds50 pounds
Potatoes9 pounds18 pounds36 pounds
Potato salad3 quarts1–1/2 gallons3 gallons
Salad dressing3 cups1–1/2 quarts3 quarts
Ice cream1 gallon2 gallons4 gallons
Whipping cream1 pint2 pints4 pints


2023 Almanac Club