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Cook Talk

Potato Salad and Cole Slaw for 120 people
I am charged with buying prepared potato salad and cole slaw for 120 people. Help!!!
Easy. 4 1/2 gallons of potato salad and 3 to 3 1/2 gallons of slaw (depends on whether green salad is also served) and you will have plenty.
I'am planning a family reunion for 60 peoples.
How much do I need for Potatoe salad, cole slaw, bake beans, hamburgers, fried fish, shrimp with potatoes,corn, and gumbo.
Brenda, the way this board works is, I have posted many quantity tables for all kinds of foods on site. You use them to make an estimate, post it, and I will review it and make any comments or suggestions, For example, for 60 people, you would use 1/2 the amounts for 120 above. For 60 poeple 2/3 of the amount for 100 is plenty.

The only difficulty comes with multiple entrees as you are planning; hamburgers, fried fish, shrimp with potatoes,and gumbo. 4 entrees for 60 people, you have to have either a lot extra to make sure everyong gets first choice, or just be ready to run out of some things. For 60 people, I would allow 4 gallons gumbo. 3 ounces shrimp PLUS 4-5 ounces raw fish (1 pound for 3-4 people) PLUS 1 burger patty (4 per pound) per person. You will have some leftovers, but everyone will get some of their first choice.

I don't recommend deep fried items at family gatherings because of both the difficulty of doing them and keeping them crisp, and the danger of the large pots of hot oil outside. If you do this, make sure the setup is VERY kid-safe.

have to prepare cole slaw for 150 people
in May in Texas - how do you keep the slaw crisp?
Lightly salt, press and rinse/drain the cabbage after you shred it and before you mix in the dressing and add-ins. Keep it nice and cold throughout.
This and other hints for slaw success on my page, cole slaw basics:

big bar bq
I have a big bar b q for 500 --brisket chicken and beef and chicken fajitas and jambala and all the sides for this party. Do I serve a total of per pound of each or separate all out per lb. I understand 3oz per person which would be 1500 lb all together am I on the right track please help (I am new to your web site and think it is great)
You want 1 1/2 pounds food total per person counting ALL the food and side dishes. I would count the jambalaya as a side dish for this menu.
For our sons graduation party, we are having italian beef sandwiches, 1 kind of pasta salad, raw veggies and dip, taco dip with lettuce-etc on it, chips and dip, baked beans, pickels and olives, cake, cookies and lemon bars, besides the drinks. Do I need another salad and if so how much for possibly 100 people? The hard part comes not knowing how many to expect...we have 130 invited. Thank you so much!!!!!
What I would add is a fruit tray, using 4 times the amounts for 25- see the fruit tray page.
serving 120 for birthday party
I am having my Father's 60th b-day party in July. I expect 120-150 guests. I ordered 200 pieces of fried chicken and am also having sliced ham. I was going to serve slaw,potato salad and baked beans. Is that enough options or should i do mac & cheese. If so, how much pasta and velveeta do i need?
serving 120 for birthday party
I am having my Father's 60th b-day party in July. I expect 120-150 guests. I ordered 200 pieces of fried chicken and am also having sliced ham. I was going to serve slaw,potato salad and baked beans. Is that enough options or should i do mac & cheese. If so, how much pasta and velveeta do i need?
That is enough, but if I were adding something I would add some big fruit trays- popular, very pretty, and easy to do in advance with no oven time.
Joyce Babros
Potato Salad for 40 people?
My daughter is giving a bbq graduation party for 40 people for my grandson. She needs to know how much potato salad to figure for that amount?
See the plan for 100 page, or any of the eight different potato salad for 100 recipes, make just under half. You need 2 gallons or so.
Planning picnic for 50 adults 20 children - having bbq ribs and fried chicken plus fixings - how many pieces should I consider for each.
You need at least 1/2 pound ribs per person if they are the meaty spare ribs or up to 1 pound per person if they are the more bony baby back or beef ribs. Plus 1 piece of chicken per person, with kids a good bit can be dark meat, but about half the adults will hope for white.
Casual Wedding Reception for 100
I am working on doing a casual wedding reception for 100. Planning on buying a whole ham, roast beef and chicken(deli style approx. 10 lbs each) and slicing the meat ourselvs. Serving with premade potato salad, rolls, sandwiches (tuna and egg), pies, fruit trays, veggie trays. I need to know if this is going to be enough food to feed 100 and how much of each I should considering making.
That is not enough meat for 100 if you mean bone in chicken and ham. Assuming you think most people will make sandwiches, you need 20-24 pounds boneless beef, 15 pounds each boneless chicken and ham. I would do turkey breast rather than chicken, as it is much easier to slice and serve, and I would have the deli slice it, as the thin deli slices go further than home slices. You also need 18-20 pounds sliced cheese.

The tune and egg salad, don't make the sandwiches ahead, serve it in bowls set in ice in larger bowls, with baskets of good bread and bowls of mayo (see the sandwich event page for the condiments needed for 100 people for sandwiches).

Potato salad, rolls, pies, fruit trays, veggie trays are covered in detail on the plan for 100 page, fruit tray page and veggie tray page. Consider adding a slaw or marinated veggie salad (4 bean, corn relish, etc) as a second salad.

For a church dinner we are serving lasagna, chicken alfredo, coleslaw and garlic toast. I need to order the slaw mix and dressing to make the salad. We are serving 200 people, not everyone will take the slaw. So I am wondering how many 3lb bags of mix and how many gal of dressing do I need to make this?
For 100 people, I use about 20 pounds of shredded veggies and 2 quarts of dressing. If there is not another salad and you use a tasty dressing, most people will take some- especially since there is not another vegetable or salad.
50th wedding reception for church leader and spous
I am hosting a 50th wedding anniversity for my pastor. It is being catered for 100 people. We will have an anniversity cake that will serve 120 people. The food will be served after a short "roast and expressions of love" for about hour. we will starting serving at 7:30 in the evening. The caterer is telling me that I will need to buy the following quantities, however, I think it is too much food. I would appreciate your expert advice.

400 chicken fingers(chickenbreast2 in by4 inch)
10 lbs chopped pork bbq
5 pounds country style potato salad
5 pounds creamy cole slaw
8 lbs of baked beans
100 hush puppies
6 dz dinner rolls

This is not too much food for this size group, but it seems to me it is an odd menu for an after dinner party, and not enough for a dinner party. Any more info?
I am doing a banquet for about 125 to 130 people I'm not sure how many bags of slaw mix I need. I won't have time or the means to shred it myself. I am also doing Baked beans, Escallaped corn, Southern Style green beans w/new potatoes, veggie tray,& relish tray in a small cabin! thanks
Get 20-22 pounds of pre-shredded veggies per 100 and 3-4 quarts of dressing (the larger amount if it is thick, the smaller ampunt if it is thin/ vinegrette). Ambitious menu for this kitchen; wondering if you have accurately calculated your oven space, or have a lot of roasters?
lots of roasters(3)! Creamy Cole Slaw. The food will be served under a large tent.
One roaster only holds enough for about 60 to maybe 70 people- I think you need some more roasters.
Thanks will borrow more!
How many bakebeans do I need for 120
Depends on the size of the beans (jojke).
Seriously, about 3-3 1/2 gallons per 100 as a side dish.
love this web site!
It went great!
How much coleslaw for 250 people to put on hot dogs?
This is on the sandwich event page which will also help with mustard, pickles, etc.
how do i make coleslaw with a five pound bag of coleslaw (need exact measurments)
Use 1/4 the dressing in any of the coleslaw for 100 recipes.
Summer BBQ Wedding for 130
We are quartering 40 pre-made roasted chickens; potato salad; pasta salad, corn salad; spinach salad; fresh fruit; dinner rolls and wedding cake. We are not sure how much of the salads we need and if you think we need another meat. Help! We are making all the salads ourselves. We are open to all suggestions. Thank you in advance.
OK. You do not need another meat, but you do need a protein choice for the non-meat eaters. Cheese plate, logs, bowls, or string cheese, deviled eggs or big bowl of egg salad, etc

With a mix of salads you have to adjust my amounts a bit.

potato salad; pasta salad, I would do 35 pounds of potatoes and 4-5 pounds of dry pasta
corn salad; 1/2 cup per person plus 10%
spinach salad; 4 ounces raw per person

fresh fruit; see fruit tray page

Have a happy day. Consider making my Greek salad instead of spinach, it can be made ahead, and is delicious.

Denise Chacon
Potato Salad, rice,beans and sliced brisket
First Thank you for your time and haveing this site. It's very usefull...I am budget for 75 people includes adult male,femals and kids/teenagers..Here is what i seen from your site:
3 gallons of potato salad
2 gallons of regular pinto beans
rice not sure on and brisket 75lbs lean sliced cooked meat or 100 lbs not trimed not cook weight?
Thank You
Rice, 5-6 pounds dry
You only need 40 pounds cooked brisket for maximum size servings, and 35 would likely be enough. More than that, you will have a lot left.
Hi Ellen.. I am serving a supper at 600pm. This is for an older ladies club. It is there 50th anniversary. I am serving around 126 people. This want they want and i have.. I have about 65lbs of boneless beef, 70lbs potatoes for mashed, 16 lbs of corn, 13lbs of winter veggie mix, coleslaw 22lbs, gravy, buns, pickel tray and maybe a jello salad or 2. Do u think this is enough to feed them all? thank you shelly
Compared to a mixed or younger group, they eat lighter, except desserts. I would count it as 110. You need about 50-58 pounds of beef, 35-38 pounds of potatoes, corn 22 pounds, veggies up to 20, slaw you will have leftovers, they usually like jello salads.
Cole Slaw for 120 people
how many cabbages will I need to make coleslaw for 120 people
About 24-27 pounds whole including some carrots and red cabbage for color.
Cole Slaw
how many 14 oz. bags of slaw mix will it take to make 2 gallons of coleslaw
It depends on how it is cut (angel hair, coarse, regular), type of dressing and what else you add, but I would start with about 14 pounds.
We are doing a sq picnic for about 300 adults and/or children. Our menu is going to be hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken breast with potato salad and coleslaw. I have no idea how much to make of anything.
All of these are covered in detail on the plan for 100 page. You just need help with the meats:

hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken breast
If this is self service, you must allow 1 burger PLUS 1/2 hot dog (Polish sausage is MUCH tastier) PLUS 3 ounces boneless chicken or 6 ounces bone in PLUS 1/2 pound (no kidding) ribs FOR EACH PERSON.

Meat Quantity
We are cooking for approx. 275 people. They would like Tri-tip, Pulled Pork and Chicken. How do we know how much meat to cook? Obviously, we are not going to cook enough meat to have 875 servings, so how do we figure our meat quantity when we will not know in advance who wants what type of meat?
I discuss how to do this estimate in detail on the BBQ and brisket page. Try it, post your effort, and I will be glad to check it for you.
Potato Salad for 130 people
How many pounds of potatoes do I need and how many doz eggs will I need to do potato salad for 130 people?
See the potato salad section at the top of the plan for 100 page. Make 1 1/3 times the amount.
Hello Ellen:

We are hosting a fish fry, In addition to the fish, we will be serving baked beans and coleslaw for 40 adutls and 10 children. How much coleslaw and baked beans should I prepare? I am buying shredded coleslaw mix (so how many pounds will be sufficient)?

Thank You!

I like coleslaw. I make 10 pounds of shredded veggies for 50. For baked beans, 1 3/4 to 2 gallons.
dinner for 100
Hi Ellen,

I am hosting a party this weekend for 100 ppl. 25 kids under the age of 10 and 75 adults. I am making homemade ribs and have purchased 100 pieces of chicken. I bought 25 racks of ribs and cutting them into 4 parts each. We have coleslaw, baked beans,macaroni and cheese, green beans,coleslaw, crock pot of rice, redskin potatoes, fruit salad, regular salad, a bread display with brushetta, olive oil, whipped butter. I know people are bringing appetizers cheese and crackers, hummus and pita, veggie trays, and array of dips. I am only concerned with the meat and side dishes. I am making homemade mac and cheese - I was thinking around 56 oz (7 boxes)and about 30 lbs of redskins. I am depending on everyone else for the other sides. Can you please advise on the baked beans, green beans, and coleslaw?

You have plenty of meat. About 2 1/2 gallons each slaw and 18 pounds green beans.
How much iceberg lettuce and slaw mix
We are serving 500 people spaghetti, salad and bread,etc. I need to know how much iceberg lettuce and slaw mix to make the salad for 500 people. We are only using the iceberg lettuce and slaw mix in the salad. Thanks.
I would do 400 -worth of the lettuce and 100 -worth of the slaw mix, using the plan for 100 tables.
Cookout for 120 people
We are planning a cookout for 120 people.
100 adults and 20 kids.
How many Hamburgers, Brats, and hot dogs should I prepare?
I would do 120 burgers, 30-40 hot dogs. For the brats, it depends; if it is a brat eating crowd, a full 100; if not, substitute burgers for part of the brats.
Ideas for Dish to pass for Chili Supper
Chili Supper for 60 people every one is assigned to a dish to bring.But I need some ideas for the dishes. You can have so many sandwiches and crakers!!Please help for some ideas! Thank you,
Corn pudding or casseroles
Marinated bean salads
Artichoke condite
Salads of all kinds, including fruit salads
Veggie Impossible Pies
Pasta or rice casseroles
Ear corn
Garlic pickles
Relish/olive trays
Cheese trays/ cheese and crackers
ruth shope
Hush puppies for 100 ppl
Hi Ellen,

This is for a fish fry our group has every year. I have no clue how many pounds of catfish - these guys have done the fish before, however, our beloved hush puppy chef has died. The duty and privilege has now passed to me and I would love to do the job justice with an awesome recipe for hush puppies and quantity information to serve 100. Thank you. Ruth

OK, Ruth,
The first thing is, peanut oil to fry in. The best. You might get the 5 gallon size. It costs a mint. It can be strained and reused as long as it is not burnt/overheated.

Here is my never before revealed, light and crispy hush puppy recipe:

Hush Puppies from Ellen's Kitchen

1 gallon of oil cooks about 100 hush puppies in 2-3 batches.

To make one batch of 36 (serves 12-16):

2 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup plain flour (flour gives the tenderer, lighter texture, experiment with the
amount you use if you want)
OPTIONAL 2 tablespoons sugar, but probably not if you use the peppers
2 eggs
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk (you can also use beer or even whole milk in a pinch, buttermilk is the best)
3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper OR 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 teaspoon baking soda (omit if you use regular milk)
1/8 cup bacon grease (best) OR other cooking oil
OPTIONAL, but some consider essential, 1 cup finely diced green onion (best) OR onion
OPTIONAL 3/4 cup corn kernels or finely diced bell pepper
OPTIONAL 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers
OPTIONAL 2 tablespoons sugar, but not with the peppers

Mix all of the dry ingredients very well in a bowl. Add your eggs, oil, and buttermilk/ beer. Stir it all up just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the flavors are blended.

You can store this mixture in the refrigerator
for a day or so. Before cooking let it reach near room temperature.

Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven or large saucepan; turn your cooker on medium-high heat, not high, or you will scorch the oil. Heat oil to 365-375 .

When it's hot you can drop your hush puppies in using a spoon. Take a bowl or cup of ice water, wet a soup spoon, wet it in your cold water, dip it in your mixture so you have about enough mixture to cover about one third of the spoon lengthwise. Carefully let it slide into hot oil.

If your oil is the correct temperature, there will be lots of bubbles around the hush puppy.

Drop batter by the rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil, and fry in batches 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. They should begin floating when done, but if they don't, don't overcook them.

Drain on paper towels; serve immediately.

Hi Ellen and thanks so much! I will definately check in after the celebration and let you know how well it went. It isn't until next weekend. Thanks, again!
Hi Ellen, how many pounds of potatoes would I have to cook to make enough potato salad for 150 guests?


I suggest 45 pounds.
Regarding making potato salad for 150 you suggested 45 lbs of potatoes, how many eggs would you suggest?
See the basic recipe on the plan for 100 page. or any of the 8 specialty recipes for potato salad on the link there.
Potato Salad for 275 servings at 1/4 cup
how many lbs of fresh potatoes would i need for 275 servings @ 1/4 cup
I plan generous 1/2 cup servings. 1/4 cup is very scanty, unless it is primary school kids. Use 1/2 what I suggest and you will get your smaller servings; about 35 pounds for 200 people, maybe 50 for 275.
Hi we are feeding 150 people at a family gathering chicken alfredo I have no idea how many chicken breast to buy or pasta or salad please please help.......
Go to the spaghetti page, look at the quantities for 100, plan 1 1.2 times the amounts for 150. Read the tips and hints on preparing, also. There is an Alfredo-style sauce for 100, you can increase times 1 1/2.
You want about 40 pounds boneless, skinless chicken for this many people.
Consider a baked pasta dish, rigatoni, lasagna, baked spaghetti; much easier for this many people.
Potato Salad for 50 people
How many pounds of potatoes would I need
About 18 pounds.
side dishe ideas
I can't thank you enough for this site!
I am throwing a grad party for about 150 people. We are ordering:
100 pcs. mixed bone in fried chicken
150 pcs. boneless chicken strips (large in size)
3 whole semi boneless ham (to slice down)
rolls and butter
greek pasta salad (with lots of veggies in it)
fresh cut watermellon
Could you advise me if my quantities of meat are correct and your expert ideas on the best starch (potato) and if another veggie is needed?
side dishe ideas
OOPS! I almost forgot ...please add a caeser salad (to feed 150) to the list of food.
This looks good. If you have oven space, or borrow electric roasters, scalloped potatoes would be great with this. Baked seasoned potato wedges would be an easy to eat choice, as well. People like them, so make plenty.
pasta salad, spinach, strawberry salad and baked b
We are hosting a rehearsal dinner for 75. I plan to serve pasta salad, spinach, strawberry salad and baked beans along with BBQ beef sandwiches. I need to know how much of each salad to prepare. Thank you so much
For each one, use 3/4 the amount for 100 on the plan for 100 table. The spinach/strawberry is like tossed.
BBQ sides for 60 people
We're having a family reunion, picnic/BBQ foods, for 60 people. (48 adults/13 kids)
Here's what I think will work, so far:
Beef ribs: 20 slabs (about 4 ribs/person)
Fried chicken: 15 chickens/120 pieces
Baked Beans - 3 food-service size cans @ 117 oz each, or about 2.5 gallons.
Potato Salad - Three 5-lb tubs, or about 1.9 gallons
Cole Slaw - Three 5-lb tubs, or about 1.9 gallons
Total sides would be 6.3 gallons (I think)

Too much? Not enough? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

I would do only 10 chickens and maybe add one more gallon of potato salad. Everything else looks good.
I am having around 130 for my reception.
We are serving tri tip, chicken, macaroni salad, pear/walnut salad, roasted potatoes, fresh fruit and rolls.
Do you think we should have equal proportions of meat? About 35lbs each?
And how many pounds of potatoes will we need?
The rest I think I can handle. Thank you!
High MacKenzie. For 130 people, pro caterers would allow 44 pounds ready to eat beef (about 60 pounds raw) PLUS 26 pounds raw boneless chicken. Beef is almost 2 to 1 prefered in self serve crowds.

50 pounds of potatoes.

joyce smithers
having a family picnic in a hall we are having hamburgs-hotdogs with toppings potato salad-cole slaw-macaroni salad- assorted squares
Concerned about the amounts of salad per plate they will be served. Thank you joyce
Per 100 people, I allow 4-4 1/2 gallons potato salad, 3 gallons cole slaw and 3 gallons baked beans or pasta salad.
Hello Ellen, thisnis angreat website btw! lotsnof great info about everything! I am having a grad party for about 120 ppl, mostly adilts. the teens are coming later and I plan to order pizza for them. Anyways, I am ordering partybtrays of subs, each serving 15-20 People. How many should I order? For the sides I was going to have 30 lbs potato salad, 20 lbs each of cole slaw and pasta salad. I am also having a large fruit tray, large cheese tray and am considering a large vegetable tray. Is this enough food? I am getting afull sheet cake and various desserts. Thank you
subs, each serving 15-20 People
If it is a time of day when people are hungry or you expect them to stay 3 hours or more, 8 trays, light is 6

30 lbs potato salad,
20 lbs each of cole slaw
20 pasta salad
all OK, probably none left. You could have some chips as back up.

large fruit tray, definitely
large cheese tray- yes
large vegetable tray, relish tray is more fun for grownups, see the veggie tray page and make 1 1/2 to 2 times.

Thank you for expertise, I will let you know how it goes
fried catfish for 60
How much catfish fillets for 60 adults.
See the plan for 100 page, use 2/3 the amount for 100.
I agreed to provide coleslaw for 200 at a church supper. How far in advance can I shred and store cabbage in the fridge so that it stays crisp and white? I was hoping I could shred the cabbage on Tuesday, since I will be out of town until Friday. And then toss with dressing Saturday to serve Sunday.

If that is possible, how should I store it?

Take a look at the cole slaw page, there are a number of hints and recipes.
The freezer cole slaw (many recipes on the web) works well for this situation.
150-160 people.
Buffet style for a square dance in the evening.

Spiral-cut, bone-in ham--80 lbs
Potato Salad--50 lbs
Coleslaw Mix for Ramen Noodle Salad--27 lbs
Salad Mix for Tossed Salad --15 lbs
Various Desserts

Is this enough or too much?

Not too much. The thing I notice about this type event, is you need to about double the beverages- people drink a lot more than at a sit down meal.

You might add fruit trays.

Buffet Birthday Celebration

I'm having a 75th birthday celebration (buffet) for 40 people. Appetizers then meatballs, sausage & peppers, lasagna roll-ups, baked chicken, broiled salmon (served cold), tossed salad, pasta salad, broccoli salad, Asian coleslaw, rolls. Birthday cake, fresh fruit, baked finger desserts and coffee/tea.

Can you tell me how much quantity I need for the menu items. Thanks much.

Kathy, this is more entrees than any pro would do for 40 people, and a very large menu for an event this size. If it is for one meal, would you consider cutting back on the number of items? The difficulty is, with this many items, you either have a lot leftover, or you run out of something before everyone gets his/her first choice.
angel hair coleslaw for 40 women
this is a baby shower and wondering if I should shred my own which I thought 2 medium head of cabbage along with carrots and green pepper, but should I choose the angel hair how many bags would be good??
Angel hair is a good choice. I use 6-8 pounds head cabbage when I am shredding it myself, as it drains and shrinks after shredding. I would probably get 6 of the 12 ounce already shredded bags.
I will be serving 160 people at a wedding reception in March. We are doing EVERYTHING by ourselves due to limited budget. I am planning on 40 precooked smoked chickens, 15 smoked butts that will be 8-10 each pounds before cooking. I was thinking I would serve, Twice baked potatoes, cream style corn, squash melody, mac and cheese, Italian Green beans and yeast rolls. Is this an exceptable buffet dinner? Also, how many gallons of sides would I need to serve 160 and is this enough meat. Any suggestions are Very welcome. I have never done this before and I only have 8 weeks to plan.
Quite a job. Do you have a commercial kitchen for the day of? This is too much for a single home kitchen.

Way too much meat. For 160, you need 16-18 chickens, cut in 8 pieces, plus 60 pounds max ready to eat pork, which might be 80-85 raw.

Twice baked potatoes, good, do ahead. Either very large potatoes split in half to make two or rather medium ones. You want 1 per person
mac and cheese, 10 pounds dry pasta, make ahead, bake day of
cream style corn, OK- 4-5 gallons
squash melody, OK- 30 pounds
Italian Green beans, OK- 30 pounds
yeast rolls, 2 per person. 3 pounds butter per 100 persons

You need an appetizer table, here is the article why:

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

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

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Yes I do have access to the commercial kitchen at the reception site and since I am a member I have been allowed 3 days prior to the wedding to prepare, etc and for free.:-) I also have serveral members that have stepped up and offered to help me with the finishing touches on the day of the wedding.

Thank you so much for your help and you will be saving me tons by correcting me on the meat amounts. Great Idea on the appetizer table and I would have completely forgot the butter for the rolls.

Good for you and do feel free to use the email contact at the bottom of every page if I can help further.
Potato Salad for 150 people
When I first clicked on your site, it was to ask how many potatoes are needed for potato salad for 150, but found the info without having to ask. But I wanted to just send quick note to you to thank you for your site. Very informative. Great to know about and will definitely be adding to my favorites for future reference.
You're welcome.
how much food for party @ 3pm
invited 45 people to 50th bd party @ church. having ham biscuts,veg. tray,chips & dip,cake and peanuts. having at 3pm so figured didn't need alot. does this sound like enough food? how many party biscuts do i need,how much veg.(tom.,carrots,cuc.,celery,caul.,brocc.),chips,dip,peanuts do i need? don't know how to figure for people.
Plan 2 biscuits per person, 2 ounces veggies and 1 ounce chips, 1/4 cup dip, 3 pounds nuts, for cake see the dessert planning page.
Picnic wedding for 130
Hi Ellen We are having a picnic for our wedding reception for 130 people at the park. I know you probably answered most of my questions and I did check the catering for 100 page and am pretty confident with the sides. I tried to calculate out the meat but my fiance thinks I calculated too much. Would you please let me know what you think the appropriate amounts of meat would be. We are serving Fried Chicken, Hamburgers, Hotdogs, and Aracherra (Mexican Grilled Skirt steak). Knowing this crowd the fried chicken will be most popular. Thank you for your time!
Good for you. This is what I would do:

Fried Chicken, 1 piece per person
Aracherra, at least 1 pound raw boneless per 3, it will be more popular than you think

Hotdogs, consider skipping these and having some really good grilled sausage instead- 1 pound per 4-5. They are fiddly to cook on site and very hard to estimate as the third and fourth choices.

Really good rolls; both butter and sandwich condiments; fruit trays

50th Wedding Anniversary for Parents
We're planning a buffet style bbq for 175 people. It will be in the evening form 7-10. We'd like your input for amounts of the following items. Uncooked weight of pulled pork to be cooked in crockpots (# of crockpots), # of buns for pulled pork, potato salad (how many lbs of potatoes), coleslaw (how many lbs of preshredded cabbage, and baked beans. Dessert bar (# of cookies and cupcakes). We'll also have an open bar with a keg, white wine, and red wine. Do you know how many bottles of wine to purchase? Thank you so much for your time and thoughts, the party is April 14th and I'm starting to get stressed out:0
OK. Deep breath, smile, happy Easter.

55 pounds boneless pork, a large crock pot does about 8 pounds. Heat it is a roaster in the oven and transfer.. 1 1/2 larger or 2 small buns per person.

potato salad (how many lbs of potatoes), coleslaw (how many lbs of preshredded cabbage, and baked beans. 1 3/4 times the amount for 100 on the plan for 100 page.

Dessert bar- see the dessert bar page, very detailed, 1 3/4 times the amount for 100.

The beverages are discussed on the beverage planning page.

If you want to post your estimate I will get back to you. Dad has been in the hospital and I have been tied up this week.

Potato Salad and Cole Slaw for 125 people
I am catering a BBQ dinner for 125 people, some children, and I already know how much BBQ to order. How many gallons of slaw, baked beans and potato salad do I need? Thank you.
See the plan for 110 page- I do 4-4 1/2 gal potato. 3 gallons beans. About 2 1/2 slaw.
prepared fried chicken and meatballs.
I am planning combining graduation party for my son & nephew. We are inviting aproximately 160 ppl. Need to know how much prepared fried chicken and prepared meatballs to get and how much of box of pasta penne & jars of spaghetti sauce. Do we need any other meat or is that enough? we are getting potatoe salad, maybe tossed salad & rolls...hulushi, fruit bowls.
I am assuming this is at a meal time and NOT when there are 6 other parties the guests will be dropping in to, the same night.

Get 1 piece of chicken per person plus 10%, 1 pound of meatballs per 4. 1 pound of pasta per 8-10 (the larger amount if it is mostly teens, lesser if mostly adults), 1 quart of sauce per pound. Enough meat. Get good rolls, have butter 2-3 pounds per 100 people).

Party for 70-80 people
Confirmation party...
Sausage & peppers - home made how many lbs.?
Meatballs- home made lbs?
Ziti lbs?
Potato salad lbs.?
Marconi salad lbs.?
Broccoli salad lbs,?
Green salad lbs,?
Burgers how mant?
Hot dogs how many?
Fruit salad and cake.
Time: 3:00 on
Could you help me with how many lbs. of each we will need
Sausage & peppers - home made how many lbs. 1 pound sausage per 4 plus equal amount veggies?
Meatballs- home made lbs? 1 pound per 4
Ziti lbs?- assuming baked with sauce, about 8-10 pounds dry, depends on if they are big eaters
Burgers- no more than 1 per person. Skip the hot dogs, you have sausage and meatballs.
Sandwich condiments, see the sandwich page

Potato salad lbs.20 pounds raw potatoes, you have a lot of other starches
Marconi salad lbs.4 pounds dry pasta
Broccoli salad lbs, 12 pounds
Green salad lbs,3/4 the amount on the plan for 100 page

Cake, full sheet cake or 2 layer 1/2 sheet cake.
Fruit salad 1 pound per 4-5, see fruit tray page.

Cabbage/Noodles for 55 people
I can't believe I found this site! Our son's birthday party is coming up and I'm having a problem convincing my mother-in-law who is graciously making the cabbage/noodles that we need more than 2 pound of noodles w/2 heads of cabbage. We are having chicken (100 pieces), rigatoni (6 pounds dry enough?), potato salad (15 pounds of potatoes). Am I under-estimating the others? How much should I ask her to make or in other words, how much should I make to add on to her contribution. I'm grateful but I'd rather have too much than no enough. I know for my family of 3 I make 1 pound noodles and 1 head of cabbage (we do have left-overs but not that much). Suggestion?? THANK YOU!
I would do at least 10 pounds total of dry noodles and approximately equal weight of cabbage.
broccoli salad to feed 100
How much broccoli should I buy to make broccoli salad for 100 people?
35 pound whole broccoli makes veggie servings for 100. You want at least 25-30 pounds whole.
Lynn rotz
how much to buy?
Our group is having a pork Bar-B-Que fundraiser. We will be purchasing coleslaw and baked beans. How many pounds of prepared coleslaw and baked beans --do we buy? We all work and don't have the time to make it. Sorry to ask but are desperate to know
Lynn Rotz
How much to buy?
Forgot to fill in ---our pork Bar b Que fundraiser is for 200 people! thanks!
You posted twice- see planning for 50 help.
hamburgers hot dogs and brats and tacos in a bag
I need to know how many hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs for 250 to 300 and tacos in a bag for a grad party please help
See the question right below this one. 1 bag chips per kid- some will take them plan.
Love this site! Planning retirement party for hubby. About 70 guests. Planning on pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, coleslaw, potato chips, baked beans, cookies (possibly cupcakes also). Should I add in watermelon slices? Could you guide me on quantities of beans, hot dogs, chips, watermelon and condiments? Thanks in advance
pulled pork sandwiches, 1 pound raw boneless per 4
hot dogs, have 1 each, only cook 1/2 till you see how they go. I use Polish sausage or kiebasa instead, for grown ups.
coleslaw, 2 gallons, some left
potato chips, 1 pound per 10, 2-3 cups dip per pound
baked beans, 2 1/4 gallons
cookies (possibly cupcakes also). 1 each of up to 4 flavors for moderate size bars, cookies. A decorated sheet cake (or 2 layer half sheet) would be a nice option.
watermelon slices- I would- 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person
Planning to serve about 125 people. The menu will have hot turkey sandwiches and barbequed pulled pork. Also, cheesey hash brown potatoes, baked beans, cole slaw and fresh fruit salad. Please let me know the quantity I will need. I'm planning on roasting turkey breasts and cutting the meat up in gravy, and using boneless pork loin for the pulled pork. The cole slaw I will purchase the 2 lb. pre-shredded and baked beans the commercial size cans. Also, how many buns? Mostly will be serving adults.
hot turkey sandwiches- 20 pounds raw, use chicken or turkey broth for the gravy
barbequed pulled pork- pork shoulder makes better pulled pork- 45 pounds raw

cheesy hash brown potatoes, see amounts at the instructions for recipe- last on the brunch page the

baked beans, about 4 gallons
cole slaw, about 3 gallons

fresh fruit salad consider fruit trays- look better, hold better and the leftovers are more usable- see the fruit tray page

What if I had hot turkey and BBQ? How much hamburger would I need?
sweet potato pies, collard green, green beans,
need to know how many sweet potatoes need for pies, how much green beans can, collard greens cleaned,spagetti how much do I need for 100 people.
Patsy, amounts are still about the same.

Cindy, green beans and collards in the veggie section of plan for 100. Sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds per large pie. spaghetti, see the spaghetti page, read all the way to the bottom. Do a google search:
"sweet potato pie" "food service"

Cole Slaw for 120 people
serving, pulled pork sandwiches,potatoe salad, mac and cheese how much cole slaw will I need?
1/4 cupsandwich topping, 1/2 if it is a general side. per person for
Hi Ellen - I'm planning a graduation party (from 2-6, 4 hrs) for about 100. Menu is BBQ Beef for sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw, fruit (watermelon, melon, grapes),cake and brownies. Is this menu ok or do I need anything else. I really didnt want to have a bunch of dips or appetizers, maybe just chips/pretzels. How much of everything do I need since I have 3 different meats and there will be kids. Also, how do I plan beverages-beer, bottled water, iced tea, lemonaide, pop? Any advise is appreciated as this is our first go around with a graduation party. Thank you!
oops! I forgot to mention, I plan to use bagged cole slaw mix.
Doing hamburgers for this type of come and go party is not easy, and it is difficult to estimate amounts. Would you consider doing bbq beef and sausage and peppers, both of which can be made ahead and set out?

Count kids under 10 as 1/2 person.

I count 1 pound ready to eat beef for each 4 plus 1 pound sausage for each 5, adding an equal weight of onions and peppers to the sausage.

baked beans, 3 gallons
cole slaw, 2 1/2 gallons
fruit (watermelon, melon, grapes), see fruit tray page
cake, one layer sheet cake is the same as 4 9x13 or 4 2 layer cakes, serves 50. You could get a 2 layer
brownies, 1 per person if you have 100 servings of cake, 2 if you have 50.

Use the beverage planning page for your beverages, estimating your adults/ drinkers versus non-drinkers. Water for everyone.

Thank you so much! The beverage planning was extremly helpful too!
Outdoor wedding
Hi Ellen, My sister in law and I are planning an outdoor wedding for 125 adults and 25 children we are going to have a 200 pound roast pig, 30 lbs.grilled chicken breast, 100hamburgers, 100 hot dogs for the meats. For the sides 35 lbs potato salad, 12 lbs of different pasta salads, 10 lbs coleslaw, beans, green salad, 3 extra lg trays chicken ziti and broccoli. We have 16 lbs lg cocktail shrimp, cheese and cracker trays, fruit and many deserts. Do we have enough?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
With that size pig, you do not need any other meat. You could EASILY do fine with just a 125 pound pig and the chicken.

35 lbs potato salad, I would do 45-50
12 lbs of different pasta salads,
10 lbs coleslaw, I would do 15
beans, 4 gallons
green salad, see plan for 100 table, do for 100 (because of the slaw)
3 extra lg trays chicken ziti- need one additional tray no meat for the vegetarians in the crowd.
broccoli about 27 pounds ready to cook

16 lbs lg cocktail shrimp,You need 25, or skip it, or make a shrimp dip; with 16 you will run out.
The rest, no amounts, see the fruit tray page, the appetizer planning page and the dessert planning page
cheese and cracker trays,
fruit and many desserts.

Hi Ellen,
We are having a graduation party at the end of September with 70 guests. We will be having BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, chips and coleslaw. For dessert, we will have a sheet cake and cookies.

We are struggling with how much coleslaw to fix. I was leaning to 2 1/2 gallons. Is that cutting it too close? I have 3 gallons in mind for the baked beans.

What do you suggest for the cake? I have a 2 layered sheet cake planned that serves 48 people. I was going to add 2 large trays of over sized cookies. Will that be enough dessert? How many cookies should I plan to have? I am figuring not everyone eats cake and the large cookies will be easy to handle with little children.

I truly appreciate your time. Thank you!

2 gallons slaw is plenty. You will have some, not too much, left with 3 gallons beans.

A 2 layer full sheet is 100, so I assume it is a half sheet.

Have regular size cookies, and make 1 of each flavor per person. Large cookies are not easier for small kids to handle.

Thank you, Ellen! You were a great help!

Yes, it was a half sheet. :)

Serving 130 guys
I am going to be serving 130 guys with the following menu. Would like to know how much of each I should have prepared.
Roast Beef
provolone cheese
tossed Salad
It would be a great help.
Steve, all guys, self serve, count as 150. If you do not have some heavy sides (beans, potato or pasta salad), they will eat an awful lot of meat.

You want about 15 pounds cheese slices; 3 ounces bread/rolls per person; 1 pound roast beef per 4, 1 pound meatballs per 5, plus the sauce. Sandwich page discusses, mustard, mayo, etc.

Salads per the plan for 100 page.

Potato salad, slaw, and baked beans for 40 people
We are preparing a meal for approx 40 people and will be serving pulled pork with potato salad, cole slaw, and baked beans. How much of each sides should we have on hand? Thanks, Connie
Conversions from pound to cups
P.S. Forgot to ask, What is the conversions for pounds to cups on slaw, beans, and potato salad. Thanks again, Connie
Mac n cheese, California veggies, beef chili
My family and I are preparing a meal for 120 homeless adults. Serving chili dogs with mac n cheese and cali veggies. How much ground beef do I need for the chili? How many pounds of Mac is needed and how much veggies do I need? Also dessert will be ice cream with cake, how much is needed Thanks, Aaliyah
2 dogs pert person. VERY light spice on the chili, and you need only 1/4 cup per person, which is about 5-6 pounds ground meat. 12 pounds dry pasta. 28 pounds veg medley. 12 9x13 or 2 layer cakes, 7 1/2 gallons ice cream for one modest scoop per person. Thank you for your effort.
Italian pasta salad for 150
What is the amount of tri-colored pasta to be used when making an italian pasta salad for a wedding reception (buffet style)? Other foods being served are Split chicken breast, pulled pork, baked beans and green beans.
6 pounds dry pasta per 100 plus add ins- Many pasta salad recipes for 100 on this site.
Pam Cayce
how much food do i need
Ellen , I am cooking brisket,sausage,beans,potatoe salad,coleslaw,rolls, tea for 130 people for my Mom and Dads 50th anniversary how much do I need of each ??
Brisket,sausage; using these two, what I do is 1 pound raw trimmed brisket per 5 plus 1 pound sausage per 5. Brisket is a coarse, fatty meat that shrinks a lot while cooking.

These items are on the plan for 100 page, use 1 1/3 times the amount for 100; beans,potato salad,coleslaw,rolls.

See the beverage planning page for tea. Dinner level coffee is very popular with cake and desserts.

Don't forget the onions, pickles and mustard!

coleslaw for 150 people?
There is a whole article of recipes for various slaws for 100 and a second page with more hints- any would be good- just do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100:

Hi Ellen, How many cabbages would I need for 50 people for colslaw, and amount of potato for potato salad
Bout 12 pounds cabbage and 18-20 potatoes, assuming you are not also having a pasta salad.
Graduation party for 70 people.
How much bbq pork for sandwiches would I need along with, cole slaw, potato salad, chips and a fruit tray?
Use the plan for 100 table, do 3/4 the amount for 100. The fruit tray is on the fruit tray page.
amount for 120 people
I am getting married at the end of Sept. We are having a B.B.Q reception. About how much potato salad and macaroni salad do I need for about 120 people?
Use the plan for 100 page, do 1 1/4 times the amount for each. Yes, you need both.
Wondering how much potato salad to make for a wedding reception. There will be approx 150-200 guests. There will be shredded chicken/bbq pork sandwiches, macaroni salad, veggie trays, and chips. Any help would be great! Thanks!
If you are expecting up to 200 guests, make 9 gallons of potato salad, which is about 80-85 pounds of raw potatoes. Yes, even with the pasta salad.
amount for 120 people
Birthday party 120 adults starting at 6pm - till ? We are planning split chicken breast, meatballs, baked ziti, hot sliced roast beef, roasted potatoes, cole slaw, pasta salad, and potato salad. Since we are having a variety, how much do you suggest of each to make sure we don't run out. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
Good menu, just suggest you add an appetizer array separate- fruit tray and chippy dippy thing? See fruit tray page for 100, and do 1 pound chips per 10-12 and 1 cup dip per 6-8 (more if thick, less if thin.)

The challenge with multiple meats is, people usually take more, and some of each. Also, beef is very popular-
hot sliced roast beef, 1 pound raw per 3 plus
split chicken breast, 1 pound raw per 5 plus
meatballs, 1 pound per 5-6

baked ziti, 1 pound per 12, 1 quart sauce per pound, make some meatless
roasted potatoes, 25 pounds per 100, so about 30

cole slaw, 2 1/2 gallons per 100, so about 3
pasta salad, 6 pounds dry pasta plus fixings
potato salad, 30-35 pounds raw potatoes

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

Boiled potato's for 110 people
i need to make boiled potato's for a family reunion for 110 adults and 10 kids
how many pounds of real potato will i need?
Boiled potato's for 110 people
i need to make boiled potato's for a family reunion for 110 adults and 10 kids
how many pounds of real potato will i need?
If this is the only starch, do about 50 pounds. If you have any left, they can always go into potato salad later...
Outdoor wedding for 300 people
My friend is holding an outside wedding for 300 people.

meats - chicken thighs/sweet sour meatballs/ pulled pork\baked beans

we will have cheese trays/vege tray/ fruit trays and dips and snacks while waiting for dinner to be served

salad - macaroni/potatoe/broccoli/ceasar/mandarin salad

what amount of salads does she need to make to feed all the guests

Thx Louise

OK, assuming this is the entire menu except for rolls and condiments.

macaroni- 18 pounds dry pasta, or 3 times any of the pasta salads for 100 on this site
potato- 90-100 pounds raw potatoes

broccoli-55 pounds broccoli plus fixings

caesar- use the plan for 100 table, make for 300

mandarin salad- about 1/2 cup per person

Cole Slaw for 40-50 people for hotdogs & hamburger
I need to make cole slaw or buy it for at least 40-50 people for hamburgers & hot dogs. Having a golf tournament for my son's marching band. How much cabbage, mayo would I need? Or would it be cheaper to buy some? Thanks!
Cabbage is so cheap! Slaw and potato salad are very high markup. You need about 10 pounds cabbage a pound or so each of carrots and red cabbage for color, or you could get the angel hair pre-cut so it will be very fine for the hot dogs.

There are some great slaw recipes on this site.

Potato Salad and Cole Slaw for 160 people
I just found out my husband volunteered me to make potatoe salad for 160 people. How many lbs of potatoes do I need? The event is this Saturday!!!!!!
5 gallons, about 45-50 pounds.
120 people
wedding for 120 people wondering how much of each i would need? baked beans, corn, butter beans, slaw, potato salad, pasta salad, mac n cheese, green bean casserole
Nice veggie selection. 120 people. Because of the wide selection, you will have some left.

baked beans, 3 gallons
mac n cheese, 9-10 9x13 pans

corn, 28 pounds
butter beans, 20 pounds ready to cook
green bean casserole, 9-10 9x13 pans

slaw, 3 pounds
potato salad, 4 gallons, about 45 pounds potatoes
pasta salad, 5-6 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins

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

Making coleslaw in advance
How far in advance can you make South Carolina Vinegar Coleslaw or a creamy type of slaw? Do you have information on how far in advance you can make other foods?
If you do the draining and crisping procedure on the slaw tips page, you can make the slaw a couple of days in advance. It MUST be refrigerated.

Many items/recipes on this site say if you can make ahead. The main thing is, it has to be refrigerated thoroughly and continuously, until served.

I am planning my daughter's grad party and need to know how much pasta salad to make. We invited 190 people but do not have a final count. My pasta salad has rotini noodles, cucumbers, plum tomatoes, red onion, salami, chunked cheese, italian dressing and salad supreme.
Usually, about 85% of the invited come, which would give you about 160. For that size group, I would use 10 pounds dry pasta, and the add-ins that your recipe would call for, multiplied for 10 pounds- except 1/2 the salt.
Potato Salad For 40 People
How Many Potatoes And Eggs Will I Need To Make Potato Salad For 40 People?
There are about a dozen different recipes for potato salad for 100 on this site, and you would use 2/5 the amount for 40. or just do half and have some left over.

The basic recipe, as described on the plan for 100 page, would suggest about 15 pounds of potatoes and 12-18 eggs, depends on how eggy you like your salad.

Wedding for 160
So we are making all the food for my son's wedding. 160 ppl. Appetizers are Cheese and Crackers, Veggies and Ranch Dip, Spinach Dip with French bread cubes, Hummus Platter with pita chips. Dinner is Pulled pork _+ rolls for sandwiches, "baked potato" potato salad, creamy coleslaw (and some Carolina style + pickles for the sandwiches), fruit platter. And then wedding cake and cheesecake bar.

For drinks we are having lemonade and iced tea. Keg of home brew and a frozen "margarita machine" with two alcohol options.

I am known for my cooking and people know to come to my house hungry. We entertain big groups all the time, however this is the biggest event I have ever cooked all the food for. It is going to be on a hot August evening, Wedding is at 5pm, at same site as dinner/reception. How much non-alcoholic beverages should I plan on?

You posted twice, please see the other one.
Wedding for 150 people
Hello, I am cooking for my daughters country theme wedding for 150 people which will also include children of various ages. We will be serving bbq for sandwiches and fried chicken with the sides of cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad and fruit trays. I would like to know how much meat to purchase along with how many pounds I need to purchase for the side dishes. Thanks for your help!!
wedding 150 people
bbq, 1 pound ready to eat bbq for every 4
5 rolls or 12 slider rolls for every pound of bbq
about 10 pounds sliced onions, 6 quarts pickles
fried chicken, 1 piece per person

cole slaw, 4 1/2 gallons
baked beans, 5 gallons
potato salad, 6-7 gallons, about 65 pounds potatoes
Consider adding an interesting colorful veg salad such as 3 bean salad, corn salsa, broccoli/cauliflower, etc, about 3 gallons

fruit trays, these are economical to do at home- see the fruit tray page- or get actual fruit weight and figure at least 1 pound per 6

However, and I can't emphasize this too strongly, you need to plan for an appetizer array and here is why:

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 antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

It takes about 3 people in the kitchen and 9 people out front to set up, serve and clean up a party this size. They will not be at the wedding, they will be busy setting up.

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

550 cold plates
Hi I am having a cold plate sell and we are selling 550. I was wondering how much of each potato salad would I need (Mustard, beet and potato)? Also how much coleslaw and corn salad. Thank you in advanced
Victoria, are you putting all 3 salads on all the plates? I have no way to estimate the preferences if not. You need about 250 total pounds of potatoes.
550 coldplates
Yes I am puttin one scoop of each on each plate
OK, if you use a 1/3 cup measuring scoop, a gallon makes about 45 scoops, and it takes 8-10 pounds of potatoes to make a gallon- the lower amount with the beets, as they take up some space.

Instead of the mustard style salad, you might do the Nepalese potato salad on this site, which is very delicious, a bit more interesting, and a lovely gold color from the turmeric.

I would use the same 1/3 cup scoop with the other 2 salads, and estimate the same gallon per 45 servings.

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

hi Ellen!
I am getting married in March and the wife is considering catfish. How many pounds would it take to feed 200-300 people? Hush puppies, Slaw, potato salad, crawfish, and others to be determined.
Deep fried anything for 2-300 people is usually a disaster, unless you hire it in from a commercial/experienced fry-on-site caterer. You are talking 100 plus pounds of fish here. It does not hold well in chafers, so has to be done more or less at the time of service.

If she is willing to go with one of the excellent creole fish stews or baked fish recipes, it might be do-able. Talk it over.

Having a BBQ for 60 (This is mostley adults and some teenagers. I was wondering if you knew in pounds, how much Potatoe Salad, Mac & Cheese, Collards, Sweet Potato Casserole, Baked Beans,and Greens I should get (Everything is orderd in pounds) Thank you
southern wedding reception
How much do I need of each for 75 people? Fries, onion rings, hush puppies, and fried okra?
Carrie, fried anything at a large buffet service is a real difficulty and can even be dangerous, unless the folks preparing have a commercial fryer and experience with large amounts.

Fries, 4 ounces per person
onion rings, 3 per person
hush puppies, 3 per person
fried okra, 3 ounces per person

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

Grad party quantity review
Hosting a grad party on 4/26/15. My daughter will be giving a recital at 4 followed by party around 5. Expecting perhaps 100 - 150 for recital, and another 50- 100 to do the "graduation pop in" thing. So... food for 200-250. Numbers are such a challenge!

Pulled pork and buns
pickles, bbq sauce
potato chips
vinegar dressing cole slaw
frozen fruit cups premade

Can you suggest amounts?
Thanks so much!

12inch subs and salads
Hi Ellen,
I'm trying to plan a 3 yr. olds Birthday party. We are making fresh sub sandwiches( roast beef, turkey, and cheese ham,salami subs, also potato, macaroni, tri pasta, & cole slaw. 45 adults 15 children. I'm hoping with your help, this party will be a success. Also having chips, pretzels, cake, and fresh fruit salad. My question approx. how many 12 inch sub sandwiches, and how many pounds of each salad?


fresh sub sandwiches( roast beef, turkey, and cheese ham,salami subs
If you cut the subs into 4 inch pieces (3 per sandwich), figure 2 pieces per person
If you make yourself, use the sandwich planning page for amounts

potato salad,

macaroni salad,
tri pasta salad,
total 6 pounds dry pasta per 100, divide to your taste

cole slaw, 1 1/2 gallons

chips, 4 pounds, 1 pint dip per pound
pretzels, 2 pounds

cake, 1 full sheet or 2 layer 1/2 sheet serves 60

fresh fruit salad, use the fruit tray page, do 1/2 the amount for 100

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

Potato Salad, Baked Beans & Cole Slaw for 220
is it
6 oz. for Potato Salad
4 oz. for Baked Beans
4 oz. for Cole Slaw
I do this by gallons per 100...

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 gallons potato salad per 100, depends on the other side dishes, this weighs in the vicinity of 10 pounds per gallon

3 gallons, 4 #10 cans baked beans per 100, or 8 pounds dry for side dish, 12 pounds dry for large/entree servings

2 1/2 gallons slaw per 100, again, somewhat affected by the rest of the menu, this is 25-28 pounds

25 people. Menu is boneless chicken breasts, spare ribs, potato salad, cole slaw, corn on the cob and baked beans. How much of each will I need?
Pleasant summer dinner.

boneless chicken breasts, 1 piece per person if very large, consider splitting
spare ribs, 1/2 pound per person (2-3 ribs)

potato salad, 1 gallon
cole slaw, 3 quarts
baked beans, 1 gallon

corn on the cob, this depends on the crowd. If corn eaters, 1 1/2 per person, break some

I am having a graduation party for my daughter and I am wondering how much of each item to make.
For meat:
Pig roast
Cole slaw
Baked beans
Veggie trays
Fruit tray
Cookie trays
Sorry I forgot to ask about quantities of beverages as well. We plan to have water, pop, and hugs for the kids. Any suggestions on what I need to add and/or subtract would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Pig roast- allow 3/4 to 1 pound whole pig per person
Often elpful to add 6-8 pounds thin sliced onions per 100, 1 gallon sliced pickles per 100, 3 quarts table sauce per 100, 1 1/2 rolls per person

Meatballs- for however many people you don't have pig for, allow 1 pound per 4; then add a few extra pounds. 3 quarts per 5 pounds for sauce

Macaroni, 5 pounds dry pasta per 100 plus add-ins
Potato, 35-40 pounds potatoes per 100
Cole slaw, 2 1/2 gallons per 100

Baked beans, 3 gallons per 100

Veggie trays
Fruit tray
For these, use the veggie tray page and the dessert tray page
Cookie trays, 3-4 per person but not large

Chips/dip; 1 pound chips per 12, 1 pint dip per pound

water, 2 per person
pop, see beverage planning page for amounts and types
hugs for the kids ??jugs?boxes? allow at least 1 1/2 per kid

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

Potato salad for 40
I'm making potato salad for my grandsons birthday. 40 guests are expected including some young children. I know everyone may not eat potato salad. How much should I make?
1 1/2 gallons, about 15 pounds of potatoes. Happy birthday!
We are having a cook-out for my husband's college class. Eighteen have replied which would be 38 adults and kids, not sure on the ages/how many kids. We are having hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats. I plan to order potato salad and coleslaw. I will be making baked beans, and preparing a couple large vegetable trays. The party starts and 12:00 and some may stay into the evening; therefore, possibly some eating again. I would appreciate your suggestion on how much food. Thank you!
potato salad
Both of these are very easy make at homes, can be done ahead (pasta salad is even easier than potato), and will save you serious money, even with the presliced slaw mixes. Start with 18-20 pounds potatoes or 3 pounds pasta to end up with 2 gallons, and do 1 1/2 gallons slaw with about 10 pounds of slaw veg.

baked beans, 1 1/2-2 gallons

and preparing a couple large vegetable trays, considerinstead a classic relish tray, see the veggie tray page, and the sandwich condiments, see the sandwich planning page, and adding a fruit tray, such as 1/2 the deluxe fruit tray for 100 at the bottom of the fruit tray page- or ice cold watermelon, 25-30 pounds Do you want help wth the meats? Have you considered something like a pot of chili for later in the evening? Write back.

How much potato salad should be prepared to serve 300 people?

There are no other salads, only fried fish and baked beans.

4 gallons per 100, for a 3/4 cup serving
open house party
my church is throwing a 10th anniversary open house party. We have approximately 250 members and its open to the neighborhood. The members are notorious for not signing up and i dont want to run out of food when only 105 have signed up... How do i guestimate how much pulled pork and coleslaw and potato salad i will need? should i plan to have enough for 250? and if so how much?
Does it fall near any big event/holiday or travel time? Have you noticed what the sign-up shortage is (for example, if 105 sign up, do you get 120 or 200? Do you have adequate budget to plan some back-up dishes and a menu that flexes? For example, unopened chips and dips/salsa you can put out if you eyeball a big excess? Are you planning for vegetarians and people who don't eat pork? Have you arranged for a local shelter to accept any leftovers? Tell me as much as you can and I will try to help.
i do have adequate budget to cover overages and we do have a local shelter and a food bank that i contribute to when I have overages. And i would much rather have overages than shortages. I purchased pork for 300 people.
so i just go ahead and do 3 gal of potato salad and 3 gal of coleslaw?
For 300 people I would do at least 10 gallons of potato salad (12 is not too much if they are heavy eaters), and 8 gallons of slaw.
Also 3 gallons pickles and about 15 pounds thin slice d onions for the pork.
Potato Salad and Baked Beans for 120 people
100 people
Red Skin White Potato Salad with Mayo, Sour Cream, Dill Seed and Green Onions. Potato's will be medium size quartered. How much will I need of each?
Start with 35-40 pounds of potatoes and multiply the rest of your recipe to match, except use half as much salt until you taste it.
Potato Salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, 3 bean salad,
I'm doing a wedding reception luncheon for 50 people. I'm making roast beef, potato salad, pasta salad, 3 bean salad, cole slaw, buns, desserts. How much would I need to make? Help?
Because you have both salads, about 3 pounds dry pasta and 15-20 pounds potatoes for salad. 1 1/2 to 2 gallons bean salad same for slaw.

The meat depends on whether it is served or self serve, you can write back about that.

They need an appetizer plan in addition. Please read the why further up this column and talk them into it. It's important.

Potato Salad and Baked Beans for 175
I am feeding 175 people and the sides I am having is Baked Beans and Potato Salad and needing to know how much to have. I am serving 150 but want to plan food for 175 to be safe.
Use the plan for 100 list, do 1 2/3 times the amount for 100.
Family reunion
I am serving baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad or potato salad for 140 people. If I am serving 4 ounces of each, how much do I need to make?
For 100 people, I make

beans, 3 gallons per 100
coleslaw, 2 1/2 gallons per 100
macaroni salad or potato salad , 4 gallons per 100. If you do pasta salad, rotini, small shells, bowties, or penne all hold better than macaroni.
If a bunch of kids do 1 1/3 times the amount for 100. If all adults, scant 1 1/2 times.

Baked cookies for 200 people
How many cookies do I need to bake for 200 people. I plan to bake cookies without a lot of ingredients.
If this is the only dessert, at least 3 2" cookies per person for adults, 4 for teens.
Regina Seminsky
grad party
I am having a grad party for approx 120 people, I am planning on having, pigs, 200 pcs. bone in fried chicken, pulled pork, hot dogs, kielbassi, sauerkraut, rigatoni, meatballs, beans, cabbage dumplings, pot salad, pasta salad, pasta salad, Mac salad, relish tray, veggies and dips, buff chicken dip, cookies, cake, jello pudding desserts , slices of watermelon, my dilemma is, how much of everything, being I am having a selection of different sides? Can you please help me, like how many pigs, boxes of noodles for pasta salad, boxes for rigatonis, buns, hot dogs how many bags of red potatoes for pot salad, and cabbage for cab dumplings and how many heads for a side dish of Cole slaw a?
Way too much food and too many choices- you would have a LOT of leftovers.

pigs, ??? if whole roasted, 1 pound for each person as main entree
some kind of apple dish, 3 gallons
some kind of bbq sauce 1 1/2 gallons
200 pcs. bone in fried chicken, way too much; with other meats, 80 pieces OK
pulled pork, skip if you are roasting a pig!
hot dogs, skip
kielbassi, about 50
sauerkraut, 6-7 quarts
rigatoni, 10 pounds dry pasta
meatballs, skip

beans, 3 gallons (4 #10 cans) per 100,
cabbage dumplings, at least 1 per person

pot salad, 40 pounds potatos (about 4 gallons made

pasta salad,
Mac salad,
Suggest you skip at least one of these if you are doing the rigatoni- you need total all pasta no more than 15 pounds

cole slaw 3 gallons, see all the coleslaw tips and recipes

relish tray, see classic relish tray on veggie tray page, do 1 1/2
veggies and dips, do for 3/4 100 if you are also doing relish trays
buff chicken dip, 2 gallons, 8 pounds dippers

cookies, cake, jello pudding desserts ,

slices of watermelon, 1/2 pound per person

Hi Ellen
I am preparing salads for my wedding reception this weekend. We have hired someone to do roast pork hips and turkeys for 150 people, along with baked potatoes for everyone. Aside from that, I am planning to make potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and pasta salad - how much of each should I make?

I was playing with the idea of a Quinoa salad rather than a pasta salad .. what do you think?

I would skip the potato salad and take a look at my baked potato bar page for all the potato toppings. Instead, please consider making ahead a marinated or roasted veg dish to serve room temp, Italian style- about 35 pounds ready to cook assorted veg

coleslaw, 4 gallons

baked beans, 5 gallons (2 roasters plus a dish meatless for any non-meat eaters in the group. Label it)

pasta/quinoa salad salad, quinoa more interesting; 3 1/2-4 gallons quinoa salad or 4-5 pasta

If you are serving turkey, have some kind of cranberry relish or conserve- there is a recipe in the Big Pots section for a simple one.

PLEASE make a simple appetizer plan, and here is why:

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 antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area serves about 100 guests.


I love that I came across this are amazing! I will be preparing food for a wedding and their will be approximately 120 people, so I am preparing the food for 150. One of the requests is mashed potatoes with sides of bacon, onion and cheese. What is your suggestion for preparation of the potatoes (amount, etc.) also....I can prepare the chili ahead of time and freeze it...any other shortcuts?

casual wedding reception for 115
We are catering our own wedding. All adults. How many or how much...?!? We have some ideas but we've never done it before...

Hamburgers ??
Hot dogs ??
Baked Mac and cheese ??
Potato salad ??
Pasta salad ??
Fruit salad ??
Veggies & dip ??
Cupcakes ??

(We are also serving: chips, pretzels, trail mix, peanuts with the shell... Water/soda/tea/beer)

Thanks for any suggestions :)

Wedding for 120
Dear bride,
It looks like you plan a relatively informal reception, so I would like to offer a few suggestions that will make it more memorable and also easier to prepare.

First, the grilling takes a lot of time and people for this many. For your basic sandwiches, how about meatballs and sausage and peppers? Both are prepared ahead, served in roasters and require no day-of care. You only need one type bun (baguettes or hoagie rolls), your guests will feel more like grownups, and they may end up costing less.

Potato salad, start witn 45 pounds of potatoes, many delicious and unusual recipes this site; or 4 gallons purchased, but freshen it up with extra chopped egg and fresh parsley

Baked Mac and cheese ??
Pasta salad ??
Having both and the potato salad may be too much of a good thing . Either do 12 pounds of dry mac for mac and cheese, 1 quart sauce per pound and 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound; or 9 pounds dry pasta for salad
Then consider adding 2 1/2 to 3 gallons of either slaw or a marinated bean salad.

Fruit salad ?? Fruit tray keeps better, looks prettier, and the leftovers are more usable. See the deluxe tray for 100 on the fruit tray page, for guidance on amounts, one would be plenty.

Veggies & dip ?? Suggest a green salad of some kind instead, use the plan for 100 page and do just 1/10 more than for 100. It has guidance for dressing. If you do the slaw, just enough for 100.

Cupcakes ?? If one flavor, do 11 dozen; if two flavors do 6 dozen of each as some people will take 2.

A keg of beer serves 40 beer drinkers. The rest of the beverages are discussed on the beverage planning page.

You can write back. Do read the wedding dinner article on this site!

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making 450 BBQ sandwiches and Coleslaw for BBQ
We are making 450 BBQs and cole slaw - How many pounds of pork shoulder and how many pounds of cabbage will I need?
Assuming a standard size bun, 1 pound of BBQ ready to serve, makes 5 sandwiches. So you are looking for 90 pounds ready to serve, which, with your sauce, will start with about 110-120 pounds bone in shoulder. I plan on 1 1/2 gallons slaw, 8 pounds sliced onions, and 1 gallon sliced pickles for each 100 people.

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Dinner for 50 Reception for 150
First of all - Thank you! I successfully used this website to cater for my daughters wedding dinner 4 years ago - I went perfectly.

Now my niece is getting married and my sister needs help. I live in USA, she lives in UK.

She is planning a sitdown dinner for 50 guests at 5pm which is all under control. However, she is having an additional 150 people come for an evening buffet 7:30pm. She is getting an extra large hog roast which the supplier is cooking and carving from to feed the 50 at dinner and then shredding the rest for the evening guests to use as pulled pork baps/sandwiches. She wants coleslaw, potato salad and green salad as sides. She will also supply as few baked potatoes and a meat chilli (in a crockpot for those who don't like baps) and a pasta and marinara sauce for those that don't eat meat).

I understand that the 50 dinner guests have been fed already but I'm questioning how much extra I will need for those 50 that might dip into the buffet for 150 later? I calculated the following could you please tell me if I have gone overboard or if I need more?:

7 gallons potato salad
6 gallons coleslaw
19lbs green salad mix (I will add toms, cuc, celery)
5lb dried rigatoni pasta (1 gallon marinara sauce)
1 large crock pot chilli
20 baked potatoes

She is on an extremely tight budget so I do not want to over-estimate but she is very concerned that no-one goes hungry. I'm nervous...

Yours most gratefully!

Mendy Mason
How many bags of slaw mix for 100 people
My sons graduation open house we plan on 100-125 people. Doing pork loin, baked beans and slaw. How many bags of mix do I need
3 gallons of slaw- not sure how big your bags are-
Graduation party for 250 people
need help with how much of each i need to prepare

fried chicken
potato salad
broc salad
baked beans
cheese tray and fruit tray
please help!

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