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Cook Talk

Wedding for 150 people
Lisa
06/01/09
I'm having a reception for my daughter's wedding in July. The reception is to start at 6pm. We are planning on about 150 people. Here's the menu and what I plan to buy....can you tell me if I'm close...I don't want to run out of food.
Pig Roast - 250 lb hog w/sauce
Potato Salad - 30 lbs potatoes
Potato Chips - 7 20 oz. bags
Vegetable Tray with carrots(5 lbs baby carrots), celery(3 lbs), tomatos(3 qts), cukes(8-10), and broccoli(3 lbs) and cauliflower(4 lbs)
Fruit Salad with watermelon (8 seedless) and grapes (10 lbs each red and greeen) and maybe strawberries or cantaloupe depending on what's on sale
Pickles and Olives - 1 gallon jar of each
Punch - 10 GALLONS
Iced Tea - 5 GALLONS
Cheese Tray with crackers -15-20 lbs & 2 big boxes Ritz (20 pkgs)
We also have relatives bringing baked beans, pasta salad, mac & cheese, meatball/weinies, and ham wrapped onions and pickles and I'm not sure on the quantities that there will be so I'm trying to make sure I have enough of the other things. My husband says too much food what do you think? Thanks.
Lisa
06/01/09
Oh, yeah what about napkins, cutlery and plates? How many do you buy to feed 150? We are also having wedding cake. Thanks
ellen
06/01/09
Hi, Lisa,

You have a good start.

Pig Roast - 250 lb hog w/sauce
Usually 1 pound whole hog per person is about right, so you are over on the meat, and you do want to offer at least one dish that will act as an entree for those who don't eat pork.

Potato Salad - 30 lbs potatoes OK if you know that some guests are bringing pasta salad, otherwise go to 40.
Potato Chips - 7 20 oz. bags won't be any leftovers. Are you providing a dip?
Vegetable Tray with carrots(5 lbs baby carrots), celery(3 lbs), tomatoes(3 qts), cukes(8-10), and broccoli(3 lbs) and cauliflower(4 lbs)- cherry or grape tomatoes, and dip
Fruit Salad with watermelon (8 seedless) and grapes (10 lbs each red and green) and maybe strawberries or cantaloupe depending on what's on sale. Strawberries are lovely, even if not on sale. Fruit trays are easier to store and serve and the leftovers are nicer. What about a creamy dip?
Pickles and Olives - 1 gallon jar of each OK
Punch - 10 GALLONS OK I suggest not red and not too sweet.
Iced Tea - 5 GALLONS I allow 6 gallons per 100, make sure some is unsweetened. Have water also.
Cheese Tray with crackers -15-20 lbs & 2 big boxes Ritz (20 pkgs)- you want about 9 pounds of crackers- I don't know how big these boxes are.
Dinner service of coffee (see the beverage planning page) is very nice with the cake.
2 dinner and 2 dessert plates, 4-5 napkins, and 2 cutlery sets per person with extra spoons. Don't cut corners here, with the roast pig they need heavy duty knives.
I would add a pineapple salsa, raisin sauce, or some other fruit sauce for the pork, along with BBQ sauce.

Joy
06/01/09
I'm also doing the food for my son's wedding for 150 people. My menu has some similarities to Lisa's, except we're doing more appetizer type of foods, along with a snack table and dessert table. My question is, our only hot appetizer(due to an un-air-conditioned hall) is going to be cocktail meatballs and smoked sausage rounds with a chili and jelly sauce. I am planning on 600 meatballs and 5 pound packages of smoked sausage. Have I allowed enough? Please help!!!
ellen
06/01/09
You need more sausage. Figure 1 pound for each 5 people.
ellen
06/01/09
Lisa, here are some different ideas for side dishes for a summer pig roast, from a recent one:

to accompany the pig, gazpacho, summer white beans, grilled summer squash and potatoes, and a peach crumble for dessert.

Lisa
06/01/09
Thank you soooo much, Ellen. I'm glad I have a good idea what to buy now. I'm wondering about a green salad, my daughter thinks we need one but I think the veggies will be enough - what do you think do we need salad or do we have enough already?
ellen
06/01/09
A vegetable dish is never amiss, will cut down on the main course, and is much more interesting than a tossed salad. A casserole such as my Better green bean casserole or the summer squash casserole would be delicious with this. Or roasted mixed veggies.

If I were doing a green salad, I would probably do a specialty salad such as spinach with blueberries and slivered almonds, or a Caesar salad, or a Greek salad.

Lisa
06/02/09
Thanks again! This site has been a great help!
lotty
06/02/09
hi i am just wondering how many iceburg lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes i will need to go on a buffet for 150 people it is to go with a hog roast. also how much potatoe salad will i need and do u have any other sugestions on what i will need to go with it.
ellen
06/02/09
See the salad planning section at the top of the plan for 100 tables for both potato and green salads. Use 1 1/2 times the amount for 100 to get enough for 150. You need bread, a starch- sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole would be delicious- some kind of apple dish such as applesauce, baked apples , apple cobbler or pie, and some kind of vegetable dish to round out the dinner.
Rebecca
06/03/09
Wedding for 175people
I need to know how many quarts of strawberries i need to feed about 170 people we want to have strawberry shortcake
Lynn
06/03/09
I am cooking for my friends daughter's wedding. IT will be about 160 and we are doing a sit down. I am serving stuffed boneless chicken, garlic mashed red potatoes and a vegetable medley. We will be drizzling a supreme sauce over it. We will also do salad and rolls. I am planning 70lbs. of potatoes but I am not sure of the stuffing. It will be just a traditional with apples. I am doing a cheese, cracker, spreads and fruit table as an appetizer and don't know how much I should buy. Please give me suggestion. Thankyou
ellen
06/04/09
See the appetizer planning page for help with the nibble table and the fruit tray page for comprehensive help with the fruit trays. You will want 1/3 cup stuffing per breast.
Lisa
06/10/09
Ellen, Do you think I've got enough veggies planned for the vegetable tray? You didn't comment on that so I wanted to be sure it would be a good estimate? thanks
ellen
06/10/09
Yes, it looks fine.
Lisa
06/29/09
Ellen I'm finalizing the menu for this wedding...Can you let me know if I'm ok for 150 people with this amount of food please:
Roast Pig 250 lb pig
1 roaster of mac & cheese
1 roaster of baked beans
1 roaster of cheesy potatoes
30 lbs of potato salad
Veggie Tray (as stated above)
Fruit (as stated above)
Cheese and Crackers (as stated above)
2 kinds of Meatballs
Ham wrapped onions & pickles
Pasta Salad (unsure of the quantity)
Pickles/Olives 1 gallon each
Potato Chips 10 20oz bags
BBQ sauce for pig
Dip for veggies and for chips....could we use the same dip and how much???
Punch and Tea as above
Coffee will be provided
Cake to serve 150

The reception starts at 6 pm and we are hoping to eat by 6:30 or 7:00 at the latest.

I've never done this before and want to try my best to make this a good dinner reception for my daughter. Thanks.

Lisa
06/29/09
Oh, yeah we are doing up loaves of banana and apple/cinnamon bread, too. I think about 10 loaves.
ellen
06/30/09
Lisa, this pig really is too big. You only need to allow 1 pound whole raw pig per person, especially if it is head-off.

Roasters only hold 13-14 quarts safely when used for casseroles and stews. You will run out of beans, you need 4 1/2 gallons= 18 quarts, too much for one roaster. You will also not have enough of tmac/cheesy potatoes- you need a total of at least three roasters for these, and I would do 2 12 quart pans of each and have some leftover.

Pasta salad made with 6 pounds dry pasta would be plenty.

A sweet dip for the fruit- creamy or caramelly. Ranch dip for the veggies.

Put out all your nice munchies on a nibble table to greet the guests and you will have time to serve up the buffet dishes.

The next day, go to the spa!

Lisa
06/30/09
I only have 4 roasters available to me. What size foil pan would be 12 quart and would it fit inside a roaster so I could do 2 12 quart foil pans and then pull one out when empty and put the other one in? Could I do one roaster of mac and cheese and two each of beans and cheesy potatoes and be okay? I know the pig is too big but my husband says we can freeze what is left over. I'm still trying to talk him into smaller......I'm sorry if I sound like I don't know what I'm doing........Spa sounds great!!!! :)
jeannette terrell
11/28/09
I am catering a wedding for 150 people, menu is baked chicken leg and breast quarters, spiral ham, macaroni and cheese Mexican rice. dinner rolls, water, iced tea, lemonade, plus 10 extra plates, how much of each do i need, First catering job and I want to do it right. Should I charge $15.00 A PLATE. $500.00 FOR SERVICE,PLUS WAITER (4), AND TAXES.
ellen
11/28/09
Jeanette, this site is primarily for home cooks and volunteers. There are LOTS of things, besides how much food, you need to deal with. You need event insurance (business liability to cover staff and guests in case of accidents, food poisoning, etc). You need written contracts specifying lots of things, including who is responsible for setting up and taking down the seating and tables (and renting all the dishes, tables and chairs, chafers, providing linens and centerpieces, etc.) Also, a party this size, buffet service, would normally have 3 cooks and at least 8 servers. I also notice no vegetables or salads on this menu?

Please go to chef2chef.com and cheftalk.com and read all their thread from new/ starting caterers before you commit to this.

Becca
11/29/09
I am cooking for my wedding and i was wondering how much mastocholi i would need for 150
ellen
11/29/09
It depends on the recipe, For example if you were doing a main dish casserole, you could do the mozzarella sausage bake for 120 on the spaghetti page and make 1 1/4 the recipe, but if you were to do the same recipe and omit the meat, you would need 1 1/2 times the rest of the items, including the pasta, for 150 people.
That page has very good quantity guidelines for side dish, main dish, lasagna, etc.
Jess
01/05/10
Hello Ellen! Thanks for such a wonderful website!I will apologize now for the length of this but Fh and I are looking to self cater for 120-150 in June.

Our venue has a prep kitchen with counter space and 48" fridge, but no cooktop or oven. Because of this we are doing a cold/room temp buffet. Wedding is at 4pm reception to start as soon as done, since it is the same building. Here is our list as of right now. I feel like it is too food sometimes and not enough at others since it will be over dinner time!
Any input you can give us would be great. Thanks in advance.

Meats:
Roasted salmon (whole fillets) 18lbs
Shrimp (cooked, 31-40ct) 25lbs

Thin sliced meats for sandwiches & antipasto:
Roast Beef 7lbs
Prosciutto/Smoked Ham 7lbs
Roast Turkey 7lbs
Assted Hard Salami, Capicola and Mortadella 5lbs

Cheeses approx 21lbs:
Goat cheese logs rolled in spices (4-6) (spread)
Rob's Crab ball (spread)
Sun dried tomato and pesto cheese torta (spread)
Swiss (thin sliced, sandwiches & antipasto)
Munster (thin sliced, sandwiches & antipasto)
Sharp Cheddar (thin sliced, sandwiches & antipasto)
Provolone (thin sliced, sandwiches & antipasto)
Mozzarella (thin sliced, sandwiches & antipasto)
Monterey Jack (cubes)
Dill Havarti (cubes)
Colby (cubes)
Gouda (wedge)
assorted specialty cheeses (undecided yet)

Sides, Salads & Apps:
Mixed greens salad(15 h romaine/30c mescalin /1lb mixed herbs)
Tabbouleh (or other couscous salad) 5lb
Pasta salad (vinaigrette based) 5lb
Bean salad (vinaigrette based) 5lb
Deviled Eggs 75 eggs/150pc

Fruits & Vegetables:
Roasted red peppers, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes Not sure how much...for vegetarians

Relish Tray:
Assorted black olives 4lbs
Assorted green olives 4lbs
Marinated artichokes and mushrooms 8lbs
Baby dill pickles 4lbs
Pickled stuffed cherry peppers 4gallon
baby sweet pickles 4lbs

Veggie tray:
baby carrots 4lbs
Celery 3lbs
Cherry tomatoes 4quarts
Broccoli 4lbs
bell pepper chunks 8lbs
cucumber 8ea
snowpeas 4lbs
Cauliflower florets 4lbs

Fruit Tray:
Cherries 5lbs
Grapes (4lb each green & red) 8lbs
Strawberries 4lbs
Watermelon 16lbs
Cantaloupe (4 at 4lbs) 16lbs
Honeydew ( 4 at 2lbs) 8lbs
Pineapple (3 at 3-4lbs) 12lbs

Condiments, Dips & Sauces:
Mediterranean bean spread or hummus 2qts
spinach dip 2qts
Ranch or French onion dip 2qts
Baba Ghanoush 2qts
Mayo (sandwiches) 2 qts
Mustard (sandwiches) 1qt
Butter (sandwiches) 2lbs
Horseradish (sandwiches) 1qt
Cocktail sauce 2 gallons
Caramel fruit dip 1qt
Yogurt fruit dip 1qt

Breads:
small cocktail rolls 6 dzn
mini croissants 7dzn
Assorted crackers 10 lbs
pita chips 12 lbs
rye party bread Not sure how much
Baguettes (sliced) Not sure how much
Hors d' Oeuvre Twists (2-4 flavor filings) or store bought breadsticks 13dzn

Beverage service will be self serve with spigot beverage jars holding Unsweetened Iced tea sweeteners on the side), Water with lemon and lime, Fruit punch (for kids), Berry Vodka Lemonade and White Sangria, along with wine and beer. Still looking for 1-2 more beverage options for in the jars.

Again sorry for the length but thanks in advance for any advise.
Jess

Jess
01/05/10
Just realized I forgot salad dressings....
4- 8oz bottles each
blue cheese dressing
Ranch dressing
Raspberry vinaigrette
Balsamic vinaigrette
ellen
01/06/10
This is indeed a dinner time event, so you want to end up with about 1 1/2 pounds edible food per person expected. So you are indeed some over on the amounts.

The meats and cheeses are good very nice slection.

I would half the green salad and the veggie tray, you have plenty of relishes, dips, etc. You do need to add a fat free ranch for another quart of dressing. I would do only 2 gallons of stuffed peppers at most.

You do not need the rye cocktail bread or the baguettes.

I would not do any other beverages, you have a fine selection already, except possibly a dinner level coffee service as people do like it with cake.

Jess
01/07/10
Thanks so much Ellen! That really takes a load of my mind to have you go over it and know that you think things are ok.
Erika
01/11/10
I have a informal wedding reception for 200 people. This is where we are at so far. We just started thinking about this and really dont have a clue on what to do. Ive been reading ur site but I still have troubles with the amounts. Thanks!

Sloppy Joes- 22 lbs meat, 10 dozen buns

Cold Ham/Turkey sandwiches- 14 lbs meat, 10 dozen buns

Potato Salad-3.5 gallons

Macaroni Salad- 3.5 gallons

Coleslaw- 2 gallons

Pickles-2 gallons

Potato Chips-10 lbs

Meatballs- ? lbs

Assorted Veggies- 20 lbs veggies, 6 qts ranch dip

Beans-6 gallons

Soda/water- 400 cans/bottles

Ice Tea/Lemonade- 12 gallons

Beer- 5 kegs

ellen
01/11/10
You are on the way to a good list, but there are some specific increases you would need to make in this menu to have plenty for 200.
Increase cold meats to 30 pounds, add 15-20 pounds sliced cheeses.
Increase potato salad to at least 6 gallons, everyone takes some.
Macaroni Salad- 3.5 gallons- increase to at least 4 1/2 to 5 gallons
Coleslaw- 2 gallons- since you do not have a green salad (which is OK), you need at least 3 gallons for each 100 people= 6 gallons
Pickles-2 gallons- OK
Potato Chips-10 lbs- 12-14 is kind of a minimum, especially if there is a dip or salsa
Meatballs- ? lbs- if an appetizer, at least 1 pound per each 5 persons. If as a sandwich filling, 2 pounds for each 7 sandwiches
Assorted Veggies- 20 lbs veggies, 6 qts ranch dip OK, you won't have much left
Beans-6 gallons- OK- non left
Soda/water- 400 cans/bottles-OK- 1/4 sugar-free
Ice Tea/Lemonade- 12 gallons- OK, unsweetened tea, but flavored is OK
Beer- 5 kegs Can't help here, depends on how serious of beer drinkers your guests are...
Lisa
01/12/10
Wedding for 100 people
Hi,

I'm having a 25th wedding renewal with a reception for 100. It will be at 3:00 PM.,
with snack foods.
how much food will I need?
sweet and sour meatballs, mini sausages
homemade chicken salad for some kinda sandwhich
cheese ball
crackers
vegetable tray: cheese squares,pickles, olives,carrots
fruit tray:grapes,pineapple,strawberries
dips, ranch, fruit dip
punch for fountain
chocolate for fountain
having cup cakes stacked on teer.
plates?
napkins?
forks?

ellen
01/13/10
Since this is NOT a mealtime, you only need about 1 pound of food per person. Normally, I would tell you to use the tables to post an estimate, but I like renewals, so here goes:

sweet and sour meatballs, 2 ounces per person mini sausages, 2 ounces per person
homemade chicken salad for some kinda sandwich, 1/3 cup per person (that's about 2 1/2 ounces) plus 2 lttle/mini rolls or 1 small
cheese ball you need a total of 2 ounces of all cheeses including balls/logs cubes and slices below
crackers-6 pounds per 100
vegetable tray: cheese squares,pickles, olives,carrots- how about 1 relish tray for 60 (see veggie tray page) plus the cheeses as above
fruit tray:grapes,pineapple,strawberries
dips, ranch, fruit dip (see fruit tray page, very detailed
punch for fountain 6 gallons PLUS water and an unsweetened choice
chocolate for fountain- hate these for weddings. See the chocolate fountain article for why and amounts and alternatives.
having cup cakes stacked on tier. 1 per person plus 10%, especially if there is more than one flavor, some people will take 1 of each flavor
plates 3 salad size per person
napkins 4 per person
forks 2 per person
glasses 2 per person plus 10%

I would add dinner service coffee- see the beverage planning page.

mary
04/28/10
Hi Ellen,
I am doing a wedding for a friend and she wants down home cooking. She wants 2 meats, 2 vegetables, 2 starches, 2 deserts, rolls/muffins, tea & lemonade. How much of each will I need to feed 150 people and would would be good. I thought of maybe roast beef, chichen, green beans, greens, mashed potatoes, rice, peach cobler, cake. What do you think. I need your help! The wedding is June 5th.
ellen
05/03/10
Hi,

For this summer wedding, would you consider a good chicken, such as my orange dijon wedding chicken, cold poached salmon, rice pilaf with mushrooms or almonds, roasted new potatoes, Greek salad, green beans? The peach cobbler and cake are fine, but the menu I am suggesting is easier and less expensive than the one you mentioned, and more interesting.

Whatever. You want 5 ounces ready to eat main meat (say beef) and 3 ounces ready to eat second meat per person; 1/2 cup each of the starches and each of the veggies. Two small rolls and butter, see beverage page for help on beverages.

I will check a menu if you post it.

Kelly
05/13/10
Graduation Party for 150 people
Ok we are having a grad party for my son and have this for the menu. I need to know if everything is ok and I have enoughfor 150 people. Thanks
25 lbs, pulled pork 100 buns
4 fully cooked and sliced ham, 300 slices bread, 300 slices cheese
4 smoked turkey breasts, 300 slices bread, 300 slices cheese
How much lettuce (for sandwiches)?
30 lbs. potato salad
20 libs macaroni salad
4 (watermelon serving bowl) fruit salad with pineapple, cantelope, watermelon, blueberries, and strawberries
4 16" trays veggies carrots, celery cauliflower, broccoli, cukes
2 18" trays sweet pickles, olives, black and green and dill pickles
cheesecake, brownies, sheetpie and graduation cake for desserts. (2/2" pieces of everything but cake 2/3" cake).
10 gallons punch
coffee
Am I on the right track? Thank you so so much
ellen
05/13/10
Kelly, you have done a great job. The turkey breasts will probably make only about 120 sandwiches (cut back bread and cheese there), but you have plenty of other choices for your guests.
There is a handy condiment table for sandwiches on the sandwich event page, use this for your lettuce, etc.

Allow a brownie and a cheesecake square for every person- they do gobble their sweets.

Beverly
05/22/10
Ellen,
Your site is soooo helpful. Thank you for the time you take to help us nonprofessionals.
We are self-catering our daughter's wedding in July. We have not sent out invitations yet, so this menu is preliminary so we can begin to determine what equipment we need to rent/buy/borrow.... We are planning for 175 people, several won't be eating red meat, and several are vegetarian/vegan. I have consulted with one of our vegan relatives and she assures me the menu will be fine. Please review and advise.
This will be an outdoor pork roast. I have a brother-in-law who has catering experience and he suggested buying a smaller pork and having back up of pulled pork for seconds.
Roast pork - 125 lb. hog
pulled pork - 25 lb. pork roast
pulled chicken bbq - 25 lb. chicken breast, w/o bone
baked beans - 12 cans beans(I know this is alot, but we can freeze leftovers - this would be main course for vegans and vegetarians)
fruit tray - 8 cantalope, 3 honeydew, 2 15 lb. watermelon, 6 lb. grapes, 4 pineapple, 12 lb. assorted berries
vegetable tray - 5 lb. carrots, 5 lb. cauliflower, 8 lb. cucumber, 3 lb. celery, 2 lb. grape tomatoes, 2 lb. peppers
dips: vegetable - 6 quarts; fruit - 4 qts.
roasted potato salad - 40 lb. potatoes
pasta salad - 6 lb. dry pasta
coleslaw - 30 lb. cabbage
potato chips - 9 20-oz bags with 4 qts. dip
roasted beet & carrot salad - 10 lb. vegetables
broccoli-cauliflower salad - 30 lb. vegetables
pickles - 1 gallon dill; 2 qt. bread&butter
olives - 2 qt.; pickled beets - 2 qt.
nuts - 6 lb.
mints - 3 lb.
punch - 9 gallons
cold water - 12 gallons
coffee - reg. 4 lb.; decaf - 2 lb.
hot tea - 60 cups hot water + tea bags
ice tea - 12 gallons
soda(served later) - 4 flats of 24
beer - 15 lb. keg
sangria served with meal only - 8 gallon?
bbq sauce to go with pork - 1 gallon
ice - 50 lb. ?
sugar- 2 lb.
artificial sweetener - 75 bags
agave (natural sweetener) - 1 lb.
cream, dairy base - 4 qt.
cream, nondairy base - 2 qt.

Thanks again....

Beverly
05/22/10
I forgot to mention the bread. My sister-in-law has offered to make rolls that would serve as dinner rolls or sandwich rolls. We were thinking 250 rolls.
kerry
05/22/10
catering for a 150 people
I have to make 2 oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies 1 toffee bar cookie and cold croissant veggie pizza .They would like it so there is 3 items per person, How much would I charge?And how many do I need to make? I was thinkingbetween a 100 and 125 of each. I would really appreciate If you could help me out I never seem to charge enough and always have way to much food Thanks again Kerry
ellen
05/25/10
Beverly, this looks really good. I would probably get an extra gallon of BBQ sauce. I would get extra firm tofu, drain it, cut into 16 cubes per pound, marinate cubes overnight in teriyaki marinade, string on water-soaked bamboo skewers and grill- allow 2-3 sticks per vegetarian/vegan guest. Easy and delicious and lets everyone eat grilled something.
ellen
05/25/10
Kerry, I am not clear about this menu. Is it a lunch? Snacks? a dessert bar?

The usual fee for catered food is 3 to 4 times the cost of the food itself, plus any extra for rentals of tables, serving equipment, etc. My experience with dessert bars that a re self serve is people take \one of each for up to four pieces.

You can email me directly at the contact at the bottom of the page, and I will try to help.

In most states, it is illegal to prepare food for sale in your home kitchen, You have to prepare it on site or in a commercial, licensed kitchen. You also need liability insurance for each event, in case a worker or guest is injured or someone claims the food made them sick. Is it worth losing your house over?

Joanna
06/03/10
Ellen,
Wedding reception at 6:30 or 7:00 at a rented venue that will provide food, also there will be a band.
I expect approx. 150 people to attend, please review this menu and let me know if my quantities are correct for food. Please make suggestions.

Roast Beef with rolls - serves 100
Blackened Chicken Strips - serves 100
Hot spinach & artichoke dip (4 quarts) serves 60
Combo Platter – cheese, vegetables, fruit serves 50
Jumbo Hot Wings (20 pounds) serves 80
Shrimp with cocktail sauce - serves 50
Seafood stuffed mushrooms - Serves 50
Asiago Stuffed Potatoes serves 100
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries serves 50

ellen
06/05/10
Hi, Joanna,
When you serve at 6:30-7:00 for 150, you have to provide enough food for dinner, even if you are serving appetizer type foods. If I were doing this party, I would make some increases in the food-

Roast Beef with rolls - serves 100- OK, but none left
Blackened Chicken Strips - serves 100-OK
Hot spinach & artichoke dip (4 quarts) serves 60- only dip- need enough for everyone
Combo Platter – cheese, vegetables, fruit serves 50- enough for everyone
Jumbo Hot Wings (20 pounds) serves 80-OK
Shrimp with cocktail sauce - serves 50 NOT OK. Most popular item- either order enough for everyone, or skip entirely.
Seafood stuffed mushrooms - Serves 50- serve 100 if also serving shrimp, or everyone if no shrimp
Asiago Stuffed Potatoes serves 100- enough for everyone
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries serves 50- 1 per person
plus 10%

Otherwise you have several items which will run out before everyone has what they want, and this is very undesirable at a wedding reception.

Lia
06/15/10
We are planning an informal wedding for 150 people. We will be having roast hog, but the person hired to do the hog keeps telling me that we need more pork, to allow for 2 pounds of meat per person, which seems extremely much.
I was figuring that a 100-125 pound hog with our meats should be enough.
We were also planning on smoking 50-60 pounds of turkey and having about 40 bratwursts grilled sliced and served with peppers & onions.
Other entrees-
1 & 1/2 roaster of old fashioned macaroni & cheese
1 & 1/2 roaster of Calico Beans

Vinaigrette coleslaw using four heads of cabbage, onions & green pepper.

Potato Salad made with 30# potatoes

My sister will also be bringing two large bowls of pasta salad.

210 buns

1 Gallon BBQ sauce

Does this sound about right & waht are your thoughts on the amount of roast hog needed?
Thanks

ellen
06/15/10
This is light for 150 people. One roaster only serves about 60, so I would go 2-2 1/2 each of beans and macaroni.

With the turkey and brats, a 125 pound head-off hog will be fine. 100 is cutting it close. When you do pork only, you need at least 1 pound head off whole hog per person.

The slaw will be very short, since people will take it for salad as well as for the sandwiches. See my slaw page for recipes for 100, make at least 1 batch (I would do 1 1/2- slaw is cheap).

When I make potato salad, even with pasta salad, I make at least 35 pound of potatoes.

sharon
06/21/10
Hi Ellen. Could you please help me. I am having 150 people for a wedding reception.
I have all the food calculated based on your website and all the advice you have given.
The bride want's sweet tea, unsweetened tea,
pink lemonade, lemonade, and water served at the reception. Even though the wedding is a
4pm it is 96 degrees here. I don't know how
to figure out how much of each to make. (There
will be no soda pop or alcohol served at the
reception. Thank you for your help.
ellen
06/22/10
Assuming 150 people?
I would make 2 gallons of sweet tea and 6 of unsweetened and make a quart of simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water to sweeten some of the second if needed.

I would take my lemonade as frozen concentrate and only make 2 gallons of each, keeping concentrate for 2 more gallons in the freezer. Probably not needed, but you will be covered.

Remember to take fresh lemons for both the tea and the lemonade- circles for the lemonade for decoration, but wedges for the tea for real use.

See the beverage planning page for amounts of ice.

Linda
07/03/10
Doing a wedding reception for 150 - not sure of amounts.

One table of appetizers for guests waiting for bridal party - consisting of fruit, vegetables, cheese, crackers, dips

Dinner:
Beef Tenderloin, bernaise sauce, horseradish sauce

Chicken/peppers/pineapple skewers with pineapple sauce

baby spinach salad, w/dried cranberries, walnuts & strawberry viniagrette dressing

Roasted Herb Potatoes

Vegetable medley (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Pasta and a cream sauce

yeast rolls

water, tea, regular punch, champagne punch

Can you help with amounts?

ellen
07/03/10
You need to tell me if this is plated or buffet, and time of day. You also need to use the plan for 100 table, beverage planning table to make a first estimate and posy it, then I can comment.

You need 1 pound of raw tenderloin for each 2 persons, plus 1 pound of chicken for each 4.

Mary
07/07/10
Strawberry Shortcake to serve 125 people
I`m having a reception for 150 peole and wanted to serve strawberry shortcake as a dessert. I`m not sure how many strawberries and whipped topping I would need - can you help??
ellen
07/07/10
I like a real buttermilk-type biscuit sweet, this is my favorite- here is an off site link to this recipe with a picture:

southernfood.about.com/od/strawberryshortcakes/r/bl00521b.htm

A quart of strawberries (2 pounds) make 8 regular servings.

Kerri
08/01/10
Wedding for 200-250 people
Hi Ellen we are doing most of the work for my daughters wedding, however we did hire a caterer for the food. The soft drinks we are supplying (this is a non alcoholic reception). We had suggestions of using lemonade, Ice tea, water and coffee. There will be around 200 to 250 guest..still waiting on RSVP's. Would this be a better option for us (we are trying to save money) or should we go with a variety of pop, coffee and water instead of the lemonade and ice tea? I also need to know how much i would need for both routes. This is being held at our church and a kitchen is available for us to use. Thanks so much for any help you can give me. Also if we serve lemonade and tea would powder be the best option?
ellen
08/03/10
If it is a meal you serve and she is not a teenager, iced tea, lemonade and coffee would be simple and less expensive. Coffee (dinner level, see the beverage planning page) is always desirable with the cake.
The beverage planning page has a lot of help on quantities. Take a stab at an estimate and post it, and I will check it for you.
Not powder! There are really tasty frozen concentrates for lemonades and there are several concentrate recipes for iced tea base on this site.
Letty
08/11/10
I am serving herb stuffed pork loin and marinated chicken tenders, a rice medley, loaded mashed potatoes, summer greenbean & corn salad, and a tossed salad. Could you please give me an idea on how many lbs. of pork and chicken I should have. Is 40lbs. of poatoes enough? And how much rice should I have? Tea, lemonade, water, punch & coffee will be served as well. How many gallons of each do you recommend? Thanks for your advice!
ellen
08/13/10
Letty, assuming 159 people, you want 1 pound stuffed loin for each 3 PLUS 1 pound raw tenders for each 4-5 people. Because you have rice also,the potatoes are OK. See the beverage planning page for help on the beverages- use the dinner guide for coffee.
charlene
11/01/10
catering a friends wedding
just wanting to make sure that I am on the right road - Southern bbq

during photo time - app. is tortilla pinwheels and poppycock - hot cocoa and cider - due to the late fall weather the bride just wanted some munchies.

buffet:

spinach strawberry salad
sweet and tangy coleslaw 1/3c per person
baked beans 1/3c pp
cheesy potatoes 1/2c pp
large veggie and fruit crudite with sweet dip and ranch
pulled pork sandwiches 1.3 sandwiches pp
chicken pieces 1.25 pp
sweet cornbread with whipped butter
boiled peanuts for those southern folks and pralines
Sweet Tea 6 gal
Unsweet tea 3 gal
Lemonade 3 gal
Water
Coffe, Cider, and Cocoa

Have done this for several friends but southern bbq is a little less formal than what I have done before and just want to make sure it is special for them.

Thank you for the assistance

ellen
11/02/10
Looks about right. I would probably add 10% to the slaw, beans and potatoes. You will have some chicken left- not too much.
Myra
01/02/11
Hey Ellen,

My family and I are catering my wedding of 150. It will be an evening reception (7:00) and would love to have my guest filled and not hungry. My menu includes: 4 fried turkeys, 3 spiral hams, 240 chicken drumette pieces, 40lbs of seafood penne pasta (crawfish or crab meat which ever is cost effective), 30lbs dirty rice, 20lbs of green beans, 13 heads of roman lettuce, and 200 dinner rolls. For dessert, will be the wedding cake and a sweets table with a chocolate fountain. The items for the chocolate include strawberries, cantalope, prezels, marshmellows, and assorted cookies. I will be serving lemonade, bottle water, and coffee. Oh, alcohol as well.
I'm sticking to a budget so will this be to much or not enough for my guest? Also, my neighbor offered to make spinach dip as an appentizer however I will have to provide the crackers and chips, is this needed?

Thank you much for your assistance and Happy New Year!

ellen
01/02/11
Myra, if the reception is 7, the wedding about 6, most of your guests will not have eaten dinner, and the menu is a little light. Also, it would be wise to have a nibble table for the hour between the wedding and the dinner.

4 fried turkeys, about 65 pounds?
3 spiral hams, need about 45 pounds boneless

240 chicken drumette pieces, need 4 pieces per person- put on the nibble table, add cheese tray (20 pounds) and spinach dip (1/4 cup per person=10 quarts) 6-8 pounds crackers/chips per 100

40 lbs of seafood penne pasta (crawfish or crab meat which ever is cost effective), shrimp is the best buy for this
30 lbs dirty rice,
20 lbs of green beans, I usually do 28 pounds per 150
13 heads of roman lettuce, and
200 dinner rolls-depends on size, 2 small or 1 1/2 large, 3 pounds butter per 100.

Sharon
01/17/11
Wedding for 200 people
Hey Ellen,
My son and his fiance are planning a May wedding. They are working w/a tight budget. We have the dinner menu planned, but would like to do something different for the dessert, instead of just wedding cake. I had thought of a strawberry shortcake station. How many strawberries would we need to serve 200 guests?
ellen
01/17/11
Funny, that question cam up last year. You want 1 quart per 9 people for good strawberry coverage.
Ina
01/18/11
Hi Ellen! I am planning a wedding for my son and future daughter-in-law in May 2011. They have a menu picked out, but we have no idea of how much to get to serve 150 guests (buffet style dinner) Here's the menu:
Turkey
Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Lasagne
Perogies
Carrots & Corn
Caesar Salad
Thai Noodle Salad
Pasta Salad
Greek Salad
Buns
Cheese Tray

Dessert - Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes, Nanaimo Bars, Fruit & Dip

Is there some sort of a "formula" I can use to work out quantities of each item? Your help and advice would be gratefully appreciated! Thanks Ellen!

Kind regards, Ina

Gina Isgro
02/03/11
Wedding for200 people
We are cooking for 200 people we will be doing salad garlic bread Mostaccioli; we also will be serving appetizers not sure what kind yet some (advice). we also will be serving lunch meat trays and cheese homemade potato salad and fruitsalad, slaw help me with amouts of all please thanks Gina
ellen
02/04/11
Ina, sorry I missed your question earlier. I would divide a little differently, you need a nibble/appetizer table for the hour between the ceremony and the dinner.

Nibble table
Fruit tray (see fruit tray table)
cheese tray (2 ounces per person) 6-8 pounds crackers per 100
some kind of spread or dip (1/4 to 1/3 cup per person)

Turkey
Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
See the planning and shopping for community feasts article at the top of big pots for these 3 and don't forget the gravy
Lasagne- cut servings quite small, have some vegetarian, make enough for 80 people, but cut 120-150 pieces
Perogies- about 1/2 cup per person, if small, might go on nibble table
Carrots- 30 pounds
Corn-30 pounds

Thai Noodle Salad- 80 servings each
Pasta Salad

Caesar Salad -100 servings each
Greek Salad

Buns 2 smallish per person, 3 pounds butter per 100

Dessert - Cut all small, have 1 small piece of each for every person.
Cheesecake,
Carrot Cake,
Chocolate Cupcakes,
Nanaimo Bars,

ellen
02/04/11
Gina,

As I said to Ina above, I would divide this a little differently, as you need a nibble table for the hour between the ceremony and the meal.

You also need 4 serving lines for 200 people, and about 4 kitchen people and 12 servers to set up, serve, and clean up.

200 people
appetizers
need two serving lines with punch and at least 3 dishes' fruit trays (easier to prep and serve, keep better and look better than fruit salad), a dip or spread, and something fish/meat/cheese

salad -2 x the amount for 100
garlic bread 12 ppounds per 100
Mostaccioli; about 1 pound pasta for each 10-12 people, depends on whether there is meat in it
lunch meat trays-3 pounces meats per person if there is meat in the pasta
cheese -2 ounces per person
homemade potato salad 4 gallons per 100
slaw 3 gallons per 100
sandwich condiments if indicated(see sandwich event article)

cathy
02/06/11
I am doing a wedding reception for a friend and it will be for 125-150 people:
Meatballs
Chicken nuggets
canned green beans
new potatoes
corn
chocolate sheet cake
strawberry sheet cake- how many 11x15 size cake pans would i need to make?
ellen
02/06/11
Cathy, use the paln for 100 tables to make a first estimate, and I will be glad to review it for you.

I recommend green bean casseroles or Greek style rather than plain canned green beans.

You want 1 pound of nuggets per 4 PLUS 1 pound meatballs per 3.

Cake amounts are discussed on the dessert planning page.

Your bride also needs a nibble table with punch and about 3 appetizers (fruit tray, a good dip, and a cheese platter, at a minimum, for the hour between the ceremony and dinner, while pictures are being done.

So give it a try and write back.

Beth
02/22/11
Ok, my head is spinning with all the numbers above. I am having a wedding with about 150 people. I am trying to figure out the best way to feed them and not go broke in the process. This seems to be my biggest expense of the wedding. Any advice? We haven't set a time of day, but I am thinking appetizers may be the least expensive route. The wedding is in June and the reception will be outside following the ceremony. Any suggestions? Meat and cheese tray, or pimento cheese/chicken salad sandwich tray, veggie trays, fruit trays, chips and dip, Tea and punch. I am don't know how much of each. I've taken some notes from above. Does this sound like every area is covered? Cake of course will be there too. But how do you decide how much food is enough? and what is the most cost effecient?
ellen
02/22/11
You can only do just appetizers only, if it is mid afternoon (1-2 pm ceremony) or late evening (7 pm or later ceremony). If it is over a mealtime, you have to offer a meal's worth of food.

Brunch is an inexpensive meal...

Melissa D. SC
03/10/11
Mother-Daughter Luncheon at church appr. 130
Hi Ellen,
I have been put in charge for organizing the food for the Mother/Daughter Luncheon May 7th, 2011 for approx. 130 (that is based off of last year's attendance). Event starts at 11am and I am guessing food service will be around 12noon.

Here is what they desire:
Build your own deli sandwiches..rye, pumpernickle and croissants...meats, cheeses, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce

A table piled high with fruit...pineapple, grapes both green and red, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon

chips/ dip

dessert: cheesecake, strawberry shortcake/ brownies...

So this is what I have come up with:
If we purchase pre-made deli trays they serve up to 30 would 5 trays be sufficient? Or should that be upped based upon more consumption because it is pre-made?

if we purchase pre-made extras...lett/tomato/ pickles..these serve 26 would 5 trays be sufficient.

Do-it-yourself method
If we just do meat trays with cheese that serve 26 would 5 trays be sufficient?

Rolls/breads....would you do more rolls than sliced bread?

I was guessing at 75 rolls with 5 loaves of bread....looking at Wal-mart today the loaves they want only have 14 slices...rye/pumper/sourdough...Sam's club didn't have any of these types.

Tomatoes..16 pounds
Pickles...1 quart
Lettuce...12 heads

Mustard and Mayo will be in packets

Chips:
4 bags 15 oz. ruffles
4 bags 15 oz. Sour cream/ onion

dip 2 types each enough for 30 servings

Fruit Table
they are invisioning the table covered with lettuce leaves of some sort and then the fruit just right on the lettuce grouped by type.

Pineapple....6 3-4 pounders
Grapes green...10 pounds
Grapes red.....10 pounds
Cantaloupe ...3 1-3 pounders
Strawberries... 20 pounds
Would you add in Watermelon as well?

Also, I read on your site that open fruit table like this takes up time in the buffet line...would it be ok to suggest serving the fruit in some sort of little plastic short cup or a firm large muffin paper??? Just to speed along and possibly not use as much?

Desserts:
Cheesecake, Strawberry shortcake and brownies
They also want toppings for cheesecake..that part I have no clue about.

cheesecakes...5 at 12 slices per
they mentioned blueberry, cherry and chocolate toppings but don't know where to buy those at???

strawberries 16 pounds for 65 servings and 5 pound cake loaf's...not sure if anyone is going to be willing to make all the shortcakes

brownies 48

Beverages:
Sweet Tea... 5 gallons
Lemonade Punch...Strawberry with jello and Gingerale mixed together...10 gallons

Water...10 gallons
Coffee...2 pounds regular 1 pound decaf

I think that covers everything...I really appreciate you helping me out by looking this over. Thank you for your time.
God Bless,
Melissa

ellen
03/11/11
Hi, Melissa,

This plan is coming along, but there are some tricks you need to know about the quantities.

Here is the link to the article on site with the sandwich quantity info:

ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/sandwich100.html

You look a little short on the condiments and the rest- self made trays are usually a savings over the deli trays. I would add a big bowl of swirled smooth peanut butter and jam, this is usually popular at kid-included sandwich parties, and saves meat. Do at least one tray of cheese separate from meats, many vegetarians do not like meat touching their food.

Fruit trays- use the quantities from the pineapple fruit tray for 25 at the top of the fruit tray page, make 5

Desserts, everyone takes at least 2, so you cut smaller slices/pieces

Cheesecake, 100 slices. The toppings are usually pie fillings
Strawberry shortcake- 12 quarts, cake for 100 (a loaf of pound cake cuts 8-9 slices) whipped cream- get real whipped light cream in the can, 1/4 cup per person
brownies-140 pieces, 3 bite size

Chips:
4 bags 15 oz. ruffles
4 bags 15 oz. Sour cream/ onion
You need at least 9 pounds and with half kids I would get 12
dip 2 types each enough for 30 servings
You need at least 1/4 cup per person, almost everyone will take it

Beverages are OK. I would try to talk them into adding either slaw or a pasta salad.

Melissa D. SC
03/11/11
Mother-Daughter Luncheon at church appr. 130
Hi Ellen,
Thank you so much for your input....A few more thoughts please...

from last year the "children" that were young numbered about 20 the rest were adults and adult daughters if that makes sense..

We also have someone with an extreme allergy to peanuts...so PBJ is not an option that way...would you just do jam and butter then as a substitute?

ellen
03/12/11
The quantities should still be OK.

I would do an egg salad bowl or a cheese spread for the no-meat choice if you are avoiding peanuts.

jacque
04/14/11
i am making dirty rice for 150 people. how much ingredients do I need? do I really need to use chicken livers or gizzards? Please Help!!! :(
Natashia
04/14/11
Wedding for 100 ppl
My wedding is in July and we are making all of the food. It will be around 5pm when everyone starts eating. I an having turkey bbq, hamburger bbq, potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, deviled eggs, meat and cheese tray with crackers, veggie tray with dip, fruit tray, chips, pretzels, pickles and there will also be cookies and deserts. I have no idea how much I need for anything...please help me.
ellen
04/15/11
Jacque, dirty rice is served as both a side dish and a main dish, and you need different amounts. Here is a favorite classic recipe:

www.gumbopages.com/food/veg/dirty-rice.html

and if you don't put the ground gizzards in and do put other meat in, you get jambalaya, instead of dirty rice. Up to you.

ellen
04/15/11
Natashia, please first read my article under the "wedding dinner" button at the top of the cook talk page. You need a lot of help. This is the food I would do:

turkey bbq,
hamburger bbq, you need about 20 pounds of beef and 15-20 pounds turkey, ready to eat
Need buns and condiments, see sandwich page

potato salad, 4 gallons (35 pounds of potatoes)
macaroni salad, OR
pasta salad, I would do just one of these, 6 pounds dry pasta, and have 3 gallons of slaw or a green salad instead of the other

chips, 8-10 pounds, dip 6 quarts
pretzels, 8 pounds
pickles, 1 gallon

Appetizers/ nibble table
deviled eggs, see recipe this site for amounts and help
meat and cheese tray with crackers, 8 pounds thin sliced sausage, 10 pounds cheese, 8 pounds crackers
veggie tray with dip, see veggie tray page
fruit tray, see fruit tray page, deluxe fruit tray for 100

cookies and desserts have small (2-3 bite size) items, have 1 of each kind per person, up to 4, with about 10-20 extra brownies, if they are included. Yes, that is in addition to the cake.

See the beverage planning page for help with ice and beverages.

sandy
04/17/11
Wedding for 200 people
I was wondering if you could help on how much i will need for dinner-

meatballs
spiral ham
mashed potatoes
mixed vegetables
salad
rolls & butter
mostaccioli
thank you

ellen
04/17/11
Hi, Sandy,
For a wedding reception you need an appetizer table (or in the case of 200 guests, 2 appetizer tables) with 3-4 appetizers and punch (can be 2 punches, one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic) as well as the dinner, since the guests will wait an hour or more after the service while the bridal party does photographs, etc. This is especially important if there are children among the guests. You may want to have the meatballs as part of the appetizers, in that case you would have 1 pound per 5 guests. Fruit trays are always a good choice here.

In addition, with 200 guests, you need to have one dish that can act a s a vegetarian entree for the 10-20 non-meat eaters in the crowd. If you make the mostaccioli meatless, that would do.

These items are covered on the plan for 100 lists, you would simply use double the amounts for 100.

For the meatballs, spiral ham and mostaccioli, what I would do is 18-20 pounds dry pasta, depending on the appetizers; 90 pounds ham if the meatballs are used as appetizers (40 pounds meatballs), or 55-60 pounds meatballs and 75-80 pounds ham if both are used as entrees.

Kristin
06/01/11
Hello!
We are doing 4:00 wedding reception for 150 people and have calculated the following food and drink quantities. If you have any thoughts on our calculations, we'd love to hear. Thank you!
-Kristin

Appetizer hour: 3:00 - 1 hour (pre ceremony)

Cheese cubed cheddar 5 lbs.
Cheese cubed pepper jack 5 lbs
Crackers 3-4 crackers per person
Hummus 1 gallon
Olive Tapenade 1 gallon
Grapes - 2-3 bags

Buffet: 5pm

Pulled Pork: (not sure how much)This we are going to order from a local BBQ place

Pre-sliced buns regular hamburger size 170

Vegetarian Dish: Still to be determined 20-30 servings

Coleslaw: 3 gallons

Herb Potato salad: 3 gallons / 60 lbs of potato

Basil Cherry Tomato Pasta: 3 gallons / 20 lbs of pasta (Dried)

Ginger Carrot Salad - (Sliced carrots) 25lbs

Lemonade: 10 Gallons

Water: supply on site

White Wine: 24 750ml bottles should I go more?

Beer: 20 gallons

Cupcakes: 170

ellen
06/02/11
Appetizer hour: 3:00 - 1 hour (pre ceremony)

Cheese cubed cheddar 5 lbs.
Cheese cubed pepper jack 5 lbs
Add 5-8 pounds third cheese or logs/balls
Crackers 3-4 crackers per person- allow 1 1/2 ounces per person
Hummus 1 gallon- need 2 1/2 to 3 gallons
Olive Tapenade 1 gallon- need at least 2 gallons
Grapes - 2-3 bags- need at least 12 pounds

Buffet: 5pm

Pulled Pork: (not sure how much)This we are going to order from a local BBQ place- Allow 1 pound ready to eat per 4 people. They should also include at least 2 gallons BBQ sauce

Pre-sliced buns regular hamburger size 170- suggest you instead do the next smaller size and do 220-250

Vegetarian Dish: Still to be determined 20-30 servings-Good, could be vegetarian chili, nut loaf sliced, my unchuck roast makes great BBQ

Coleslaw: 3 gallons- OK

Herb Potato salad: 3 gallons / 60 lbs of potato 50 pounds potatoes is about right, it will make about 5 gallons

Basil Cherry Tomato Pasta: 3 gallons / 20 lbs of pasta (Dried) probably 16 is enough

Ginger Carrot Salad - (Sliced carrots) 25lbs OK

Lemonade: 10 Gallons-OK
You need a sugar free drink, either sugar free lemonade, unsweetened ice tea, etc

Water: supply on site-OK

White Wine: 24 750ml bottles should I go more? Is it just for the toast, or for wine drinkers? It is not enough for either- see the beverage planning page

Beer: 20 gallons-should be plenty, kegs are cheapest

You need ice, see the beverage planning page

Cupcakes: 170 - at least 200. If there is more than one flavor, many peo.ple will take 2

JOAN RIEGER
06/29/11
4th july party at clubhouse-150 people
aRE THESE QUANTITIES OK

MEATBALLS -20 LBS
SHRIMP- 25-30 PER LB 25 LBS
2 LARGE VEGETABLE PLATTERS

TOSSED SALAD
CASE ROMAINE
16 PINTS GRAPE TOMATOES
16 CUCUMBERS
6 LBS VIDALIA ONIONS
40 OZ SLICED MUSHROOMS
#10 CAN SLICED OLIVES
1 GALLON ITALIAN DRESSING
1 GALLON THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING

16 PKG BREADSTICKS

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN FOR 120 4 PER CHICKEN 32 CHICKENS
FRIED CHICKEN FOR 30 20 PIECE TRAYS 5 TRAYS

MASHED SWEET POTATOES 50+ LBS

FROZEN STRINGBEANS 27 LBS

fLAG WHIPPED CREAM CAKE 1/2 SHEET
BROWNIES 1/2 SHEET PLAIN, I/2 SHEET NUTS, 2 PKGS M& M 'S

SMALL SF FLAG CAKE
SF BROWNIES -ENOUGH FOR 30 PEOPLE

WATERMELON BOAT
LARGE WATERMELON
2 HONEYDEWS
4 CANTELOPES
3 PINEAPPLES
2 QT STRAWBERRIES
PKG BLUEBERRIES

SODA,ICED TEA,COFFEE

DO THESE AMOUNTS SEEM OK

ellen
06/29/11
Nice party, some items may be a little short:

4th july party at clubhouse-150 people
aRE THESE QUANTITIES OK

MEATBALLS -20 LBS- close- I often allow 1 pound per 6
SHRIMP- 25-30 PER LB 25 LBS- 30 pounds, and don't put them all out at once- people gobble shrimp. You need cocktail sauce, 1/4 cup per person.
2 LARGE VEGETABLE PLATTERS
probably short, see the veggie tray page.

TOSSED SALAD
CASE ROMAINE
16 PINTS GRAPE TOMATOES
16 CUCUMBERS
6 LBS VIDALIA ONIONS
40 OZ SLICED MUSHROOMS
#10 CAN SLICED OLIVES
1 GALLON ITALIAN DRESSING
1 GALLON THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING
OK, but add 1 gallon low fat Ranch

16 PKG BREADSTICKS 18 pounds

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN FOR 120 4 PER CHICKEN 32 CHICKENS
FRIED CHICKEN FOR 30 20 PIECE TRAYS 5 TRAYS
even with the rotisserie chicken, have at least 1 piece fried per person

MASHED SWEET POTATOES 50+ LBS OK

FROZEN STRINGBEANS 27 LBS- 32 pounds

A pasta salad with 6 pounds dry pasta plus fixings would be a great and inexpensive addition here, can be made ahead.

fLAG WHIPPED CREAM CAKE 1/2 SHEET- only about 30 pieces, I would do at least a full sheet, and maybe a two layer full sheet if you expect almost everyone to have some
BROWNIES 1/2 SHEET PLAIN, I/2 SHEET NUTS,

2 PKGS M& M 'S- 10 pounds

SMALL SF FLAG CAKE
SF BROWNIES -ENOUGH FOR 30 PEOPLE
thoughtful!

WATERMELON BOAT
LARGE WATERMELON
2 HONEYDEWS
4 CANTELOPES
3 PINEAPPLES
2 QT STRAWBERRIES
PKG BLUEBERRIES

Need at least double on the fruit, and triple would probably get eaten

SODA,ICED TEA,COFFEE
see beverage planning page

Stacey
07/05/11
We are trying to figure out how much beer (regular and lite), pop (regular, diet and sprite) and water would be needed for a wedding reception of 150 people. Can you give us any suggestions on how much to buy?

Thanks!

ellen
07/05/11
Take a look at the beverage planning page, try an esti8mate, post it if you would like it reviewed.
Von
07/31/11
lunch for 50 people
We're trying to figure out how many pounds of beef, italian sausage and chicken wings we need to serve 50 people. The combo sandwiches will be mini -- 4 oz sandwiches. Thanks!
ellen
07/31/11
Everyone will eat some chicken wings, get about 4 pieces per person.

For the little sandwiches, women usually average 2, men 3. Figure out how many you need.

Then, make 5 beef for each 3 sausage. Allow about 2 ounces ready to serving meat per sandwich- 1 pound raw beef will make about 6 sandwiches, 1 pound of sausage about 8.

Have a nice lunch!

Alison
08/17/11
Wedding for 100 people
I am doing welcome bags for all the guests for our wedding and putting them in the hotel rooms. I am filling them with small candy bags (2 5/8 x 1 7/8 x 10 1/4") and want to fill them halfway or 2/3 and tie the top with a ribbon. How many ounces of toffee do you think each bag will require? Will 5 pounds be enough to fill 100 bags 1/2 - 2/3 full if they are the size above? THANK YOU, you are a genius!!
ellen
08/17/11
No, if you go to the drug store and pick up a bag of candy about the same size as your bag, you will see it holds several ounces. You need about a pound for each 4-6 people, depending on the type/shape of candy.
trisha
08/25/11
Wedding for 100 people
i am having a wedding and reception in my backyard sep 10 we are having it potluck but i am planning on having three veggie trays,three cheese trays, three pickle trays and 2 large fruit salads, two 20lb roasters with spaghetti, 20lb roaster with pasta and alfredo sauce, 20 lb roaster with shepards pie. i want to be preparred as not everyone who is coming has responded with what they are bringing as i had asked. do you have any suggestions. we will be having punch juice and tea and coffee as well.
ellen
08/26/11
Hi, Trisha, I would make only one roaster of spaghetti and 2 of shepards pie. Use the relish tray for 60 at the top of the veggie tray page for a guide for your pickle trays- add some other items as indicated. You will have a lot of food even if few people bring things.
Merrilee
09/19/11
Hello there. I am catering for my daughters wedding on september 24,2011, and would like to know some amounts for the food. We are having two meats, cold ham and hot roast beef, mashed potatoes, kernel corn, gravy, potato salad, pasta salad, Japanese salad, pickles, cheese platter, horse radish, and buns. Could you please give me some amounts, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, Merrilee
ellen
09/19/11
Assuming you are asking for 150 people, this is what I would do:

cold ham- 1 pound ready to eat per 5= 30 pounds
hot roast beef- 1 pound ready to eat per 3= 50 pounds
People take more, and some of each, when 2 or more meats are offered

mashed potatoes, 30 pounds raw per 100
kernel corn, 22-24 pounds per 100
gravy, 1/3 cup per person
potato salad, 3 1/2 gallons per 100
pasta salad, 6 pounds dry pasta plus fixings
Japanese salad, ?? assuming some kind of green salad, about 12 pounds per 100
pickles, 1 gallon per 100
cheese platter, 16 pounds plus 6 pounds crackers per 100
horse radish, 1 ounce per person, you will have some left
buns, 1.2 per person

roorwayDype
10/29/11
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Pam
01/28/12
Wedding snacks 150 people
Hi Ellen,
I am having a snack time about 9 pm at my sons wedding and wondering if you can put some insite in what I need.
meatballs, sauage, cheese, chips crackers pretzels dip
ellen
01/29/12
Depends a little on how heavy the dinner is, but this is approximately right:

meatballs, 1 pound per 5
sausage, 1 pound per 8
cheese, 1m1/2-2 ounces per person
chips,1 ounce per person
crackers, 1 ounce per person
pretzels, 1/2 ounce per person
dip, if only one, 1/3 cup per person

Kristy
01/30/12
Wedding for 200 people
Hi Ellen,

We are having a wedding reception of about 180 people. Our wedding favors are koozies, so we are doing can beer and soda. We are also planning on doing tea and lemonade. How much beer and soda do you recommend?

ellen
01/30/12
Kristy, what is the mix of kids and adults and the alcohol vs non-alcohol leaning of the adults? Write back.
Danelle
01/31/12
I am doing a taco bar and looked on the your list. I am a little confused is that a total of 4 tacos for each 100 people? 2 crisp-2soft tortillas. I am doing just 10inch tortillas no crisp tacos. Would I use about the same?
ellen
01/31/12
I would allow 2.5 large tortillas per person.
Becky
01/31/12
My cousin is trying to cook for her own wedding and I'm the mistress of ceremony. I'm worried we are going to run out of food. Can you tell me the amounts needed for 100-150 people?

mash potato martini for the appitizer

Buffet:

lasagna
chicken alfredo

sides
salad
dinner rolls

drinks
one cooler-- punch
one cooler-- water
one cooler-- ice tea

Then cake, cheesecake, and a groom's cake for dessert

ellen
01/31/12
Yes, probably not enough food. Especially needs an appetizer table and some additional sides.

For lasagna amounts, see the plan for 100 table or the spaghetti page. You need about 80 servings, some should be vegetarian. Another 90 of the second dish.

Sides, you need to add about 2 vegetables, 22-30 pounds of each

Here is an excerpt about the appetizer need:

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.

Jo
02/10/12
Wedding for 250 people
We are planning to cater our daughter's wedding. And I am curious to how many Turkey's and Roast Beef. Also hhaving mashed potatoes, greenbeans,salad and rolls.
ellen
02/10/12
5 ounces ready to eat beef per person PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat turkey. The raw weights depend on what meat you are choosing. For example, top round vs prime rib, turkey breast vs whole turkey. Write back.

By the way, if you do not have experience and a commercial kitchen, you should consider getting at leats part of the meal catered and dropped off.

Rosy
03/07/12
Hi Ellen,
i am planning a party for 150 people and i am not sure how much food amounts i would need.
This is the menu i have set:
o Garden Salad
o Belizean Rice & Beans / Curry Rice
o Butter Herb Chicken/ Roasted Chicken
o Potato Salad / Stuffing
o Fresh Dinner Rolls
o Caramel Cake/ Belizean Bread Pudding

For the Garden salad i have 23 Heads Lettuce, 6 lbs carrots, 7 lbs tomatoes, 6 lbs cucumbers.

For Potato Salad i have 45 lbs Potatoes, 2 cartons Eggs, 1 gal Mix vegetables, 1 gal salad cream..

i am lost at the rest... plz help me

ellen
03/08/12
Belizean Rice & Beans / Curry Rice- Total 8 pounds beans, 18 pounds rice, divide per your choice

Butter Herb Chicken/ Roasted Chicken
Total depends on the cut- see the plan for 100 page under meats- chicken- for discussion. Divide about 1/2 and 1/2.

Do 100-120 servings of cake and 80 of bread pudding. have a sauce for the pudding.

bobbie
03/08/12
we are having a bbq wedding reception for 150 in the evening on May 5th.

60 lbs pulled pork
60 lb beef brisket
130 buns
7 gallons bbq green beans (with bacon)
7 gallons feta pasta veggie salad
4 12x20x4 scalloped potatoes
10 lbs of chips
2 gallons pickels
1 gallon bbq sauce
will this be enough?
ellen
03/08/12
60 lbs pulled pork
60 lb beef brisket
Meats are OK, especially if this is cooked weight. Have someone serve the brisket for the first round.

130 buns- suggest you get 1.2 per person, unless you are very sure of few bread eaters
7 gallons bbq green beans (with bacon)-OK, probably some left. Consider making some meatless; with the pasta salad, any vegetarians could make a pretty good meal
7 gallons feta pasta veggie salad- probably a little over- 6 would probably do it
4 12x20x4 scalloped potatoes- OK,since these freeze, I might make one more pan
10 lbs of chips-OK- need dip or salsa, 6-8 quarts
2 gallons pickles- plenty
1 gallon bbq sauce- allow 1 cup per 4-5 guests
will this be enough?

Have beverages, including coffee. I suggest you pull the chips and dip off and add fruit trays and make a nibble table for the hour between the service and the dinner, especially if there are kids.

Gayle
03/10/12
Reception for 160 people
I am planning on a reception from 7-9pm. No dinner, just light refreshments. Cake, punch, Chocolate covered frozen bananas, and chocolate covered strawberries. I have determined I need to get about 27 lbs of bananas. But how many lbs of strawberries? And how much chocolate? I plan on using sprinkles on the bananas, and white chocolate as accent on the strawberries. Thanks
ellen
03/10/12
Gayle, if you get married at 6 PM, most of the guests will NOT have eaten dinner and need and expect more food. Please read my article on wedding dinners and then get back to me.

If this is not an after-wedding reception, you still need some additional food, let me know.

debi
03/10/12
Wedding for 250 people
We will have a plated meal for 250 in June. Wedding planned for 4:00. Please give me the pros and cons of each option, as well as amounts needed for 250 people. And any other wisdom you might have to be able pull this off for 250 people!

The ceremony and reception will be in the same room. Guests will be seated at the same tables they will be eating at during the reception.
After the ceremony, the pastor will announce that the wedding party will be taking a few pictures ( the majority will have been done before the wedding) and while that is happening Option 1) the meal will begin to be brought out, or Option 2, while pics are being done, guests are free to take appetizers and drinks,then the meal would be brought out within 3/4 hour

Option 1:
Entire meal/beverages served within 30 minutes of ceremony. Tables are possibly semi set for the meal, ie: stemmed glasses may be already on the table, upside down in the center as a form of decoration?

First :
Salad, bread, beverage brought to table as well as salt and pepper shakers, butter plate and salad dressing: Three carts with two servers each with salad on salad plates:
Romaine with one ring of red onion, three cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, caramelized pecan, possibly
Dish/basket of mixed breads
Serving cart wheeled around to tables with ~16 pitchers of beverage: water and strawberry basil
lemonade w/club soda, and dish of lemon for each table ( for water).

Then main meal brought out
Choice of:
Rolled chicken stuffed with spinach and provolone or,
Rolled Beef skirt stuffed with asparagus or mushroom/bacon, etc. or,
Baked salmon- some type

Green bean Almandine
Carrots with mint
Rice with mint or a pilaf or some type of rice

Four carts with enough plates on each to set 2 tables at a time. Two servers to a cart.

Option 2:
“Nibbles” buffet with drinks. The main reason for this is that maybe it would be easier to have everyone get their own drinks. So, if they get up for drinks then maybe get some appetizers as well.
If this scenario, then we probably wouldn’t do a salad. But the rest of the meal would be the same.
To me the cons to this is that you have 250 people moving around while the meal is being brought out (well, within 30 minutes or so…) and it will cost more than just a meal.
On nibbles table have variety of special cheese: baked brie with pecans, etc, /crackers, fruit. Not too much, as we don’t want to curb appetite for meal.
Cake cutting and dancing in another room down the hall.
Cake will be cheese cakes with various toppings:
Caramel, chocolate, strawberry , apricot, nuts, etc
Dessert table with chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate cupcakes (in place of a grooms cake)

Also they are planning on an espresso bar which will offer various types of cookies, nuts, etc for late night snacking.

ellen
03/10/12
Option 2 for sure. You do not want some people nearly finished before the wedding party gets out- I probably would not skip the salad.
debi
03/10/12
Wedding for 250 people
thanks for the quick reply. What do you think of the menu choices? Would you mind giving me amounts for the meat and veggies.
ellen
03/11/12
Wedding for 250 people
Rolled chicken stuffed with spinach and provolone or,
Rolled Beef skirt stuffed with asparagus or mushroom/bacon, etc. or,
Baked salmon- some type

I can't estimate the meat. Put an RSVP for the entrees on the invitation, and consider limiting to just the beef and salmon and vegetarian. This is easier on the kitchen and a sufficient choice.

Green bean Almandine-22 pounds per 100
Carrots with mint-16-18 pounds per 100
Rice with mint or a pilaf or some type of rice- do almondine or other pilaf, not mint. 10 pounds dry per 100 if buffet, 8 is probably enough if plated.

Cathy
03/11/12
We are planning a dessert reception for 150 people. We will have a wedding cake and groom's cake (to serve 150 each). Am thinking of having brownies, lemon bars, wedding cookies, coffee, milk, sweet and unsweet tea and water. Any ideas of other desserts that would be good and can be prepared a day or two in advance? What about quanities of each? How many servings per gallon of drink should I plan for?
ELLEN
03/11/12
Cathy look over the dessert buffet page and the beverage planning page. The usual "serving" of wedding or groom cake is very small, and you will find people eat about 3 other items each.

A chocolate truffle or some other ridiculously chocolate dessert would be a fine addition.

Evelyn
03/17/12
Just wondering how long one can keep hot cooked chicken breasts warm in chafing dishes or warming "device"
ellen
03/17/12
Two hours is the recommended limit for safety. Some foods will not hold that long, flavor-wise.
Schmeka
03/18/12
Wedding Reception 4pm for 120-150ppl
Help me please to figure out how much food I need.

Appertizer- fruit tray, meat cheese tray, veggy tray

Ribs St Lou Style, fried chicken, pull pork
Corn, green bean, mac n cheese, bake beans
Rolls

2 signature drinks ,beer,wine,water and coke fountain

ellen
03/19/12
People will eat a little less at this time than later. I am showing the estimates for 150.

Appertizer-
fruit tray, do the deluxe fruit tray for 100
meat cheese tray,about 120-24 pounds cheeses, some can be balls or logs, 10 pounds crackers
veggie tray- 20 pounds ready to eat veggies, 2 gallons dip

Ribs St Lou Style, at least 1 pound per 3
fried chicken, 1mpiece per person
pull pork, 1 pound per 5
Corn, green bean, 26-30 pounds ready to eat, each
mac n cheese, 1 pound dry (1 9x13 pan) per 12-15
baked beans, 5 gallons
Rolls1.5 per person if full size, 2 if smaller- I would do smaller

Butter-4 pounds
sandwich condiments for 100 see the sandwich page

You need one sugar free beverage- dinner coffee- see beverage planning page

Talk to your bartender about the other drinks- this is too many alcoholic ones for this size crowd, for me to estimate accurately. I would skip either the beer or wine, probably the wine, or one of the signature drinks...

Schmeka
03/22/12
Hi again how many whole turkey would I need for 120-150 ppl im gng to fry them. Also with the ribs you said 1 pound per 3 ppl so would that be around 50 to 60 pounds. Would i serve them 1 or 2 ribs bone a piece. My cake im gng to have a 2 tier cake with cupcake. The wedding party and our parent gng eat the 2nd tier . Should i order extra cup cake if so how many more. Thanks for all your help
ellen
03/22/12
Schmeka, I am confused. Your original plan did nonot mention turkey. Is it replacing one of the other items, or are you adding it, because adding it would change the amounts on the other meats.

You want 1 serving of cake per person plus about 20 extra, so, figure out the number of servings in the cake, then count each cupcake as one serving and add enough to get the right count.

Trina Joyner
03/24/12
Hey Ellen,

I catering wedding reception for a friend. Wedding is at 5 with 150 people. Here is my menu - please advise on quantities for 150 people:

Shrimp & grits in mini martini glasses: allowing 2 large shrimp per 2 oz martini glass.

Mashtini bar: How many lbs of potates would you recommend along with toppings - shredded cheese, green onions, bacon bits, butter and sour cream.

Fruit display - 1/4 lb per person

vege tray with dip - 40 lbs (is this too much?) with 2 gallons dip

Spinach dip?

Meat balls (alfreado, sweet and sour and traditional) 600 total

2 inch round tomato/cream cheese sandwiches: 300

Chicken Salad in mini croissants and pastry shells: 300 mini pastry sheels and 150 petite croissants

Tea and Lemonade (beer and wine being served): ?

ellen
03/25/12
Shrimp & grits in mini martini glasses: allowing 2 large shrimp per 2 oz martini glass.

Mashtini bar: How many lbs of potates would you recommend along with toppings - shredded cheese, green onions, bacon bits, butter and sour cream. 45 pounds of potatoes per 100, toppings, use the taco bar

Fruit display - 1/4 lb per person,

vege tray with dip - 40 lbs (is this too much?) with 2 gallons dip Yes. you only need 30 pounds edible portion

Spinach dip? If the only dip, 1/3 cup per person, you need chips, 1- 1 1/2 ounces per person

Meat balls (alfredo, sweet and sour and traditional) 600 total- if small, 2 of each flavor per person, and you will run out

2 inch round tomato/cream cheese sandwiches: 300
OK

Chicken Salad in mini croissants and pastry shells: 300 mini pastry sheels and 150 petite croissants- OK

Tea and Lemonade (beer and wine being served): use the plan for 100 page ?

Schmeka
03/25/12
Hi it's me again don't mean to confuse you. I had two pork meats but i was thinking abou change one of porks to the turkey. Then also i thought about ham,turkey and chicken. Do you think I should serve all three or just pick two meats.
Schmeka
03/25/12
Hi it's me again don't mean to confuse you. I had two pork meats but i was thinking abou change one of porks to the turkey. Then also i thought about ham,turkey and chicken. Do you think I should serve all three or just pick two meats.
ellen
03/26/12
Schmeka,at 4 in the afternoon, 2 meats is plenty. You want a total of 5-6 ounces ready to eat meat per person, and how you divide it up is up to you.

The fried turkey is pretty tricky for the day of a wedding- I don't recommend. If you want turkey, consider roasted breast..

Tish
03/27/12
I am tryna feed 150 guest we are having crawfish and shrimp étouffée over white rice and for the none seafood eater we are having a new Orleans pasta that has chicken and sausage in it with pasta sauce and made with fettuccine noodle and salad and assorted rolls . How much shrimp and crawfish do I need also who much rice and fettuccini noodles?
Lindsey
03/28/12
Hi Ellen,

Can you tell me how many mini chicken salad croissants I need for a 150 people?

We are also having:
mini round tomato/cream cheese sandwiches
shrimp & grits in mini martini glasses
mashtini bar with toppings
meatball assortment
spinach dip with chips
veggie tray with dip
fruit display

Thank you

ellen
03/28/12
Tish, 1 pound mixed seafood minimum per 3 people, 12 pounds rice per 100.

Pasta in this sort of casserole, 1 pound feeds about 8, makes 1 9x13 dish- so you figure by how many you want to serve...

ellen
03/28/12
Lindsey, the mini croissants come in various sizes.With the other items, you will want about 1/3 cup chicken salad per person and enough croissants to hold it- experiment.
Evelyn
03/30/12
How long can you keep rice pilaf hot in a chafer after it is cooked? Can you cook it in portions stove top?
ellen
03/30/12
About 2 hours if you keep it covered. Yes, you can cook it on the stove top, but the oven is easier.
Auttia
04/02/12
Wedding for 125 people
I am getting married in July and we are planning a bbq dinner for about 125 people. The menu consist of ribs, chicken and links for the meat. Our sides will be potato salad, bake beans, vegetable tray, rolls/bread, tea, water, punch. How much of each ingredient will I need for the potato salad and bake beans?
ellen
04/04/12
Covered in the plan for 100 table, do 1 1/4 the amount for 100

ribs, chicken and links- for this combo, I usually allow 1 pound raw ribs per 2 plus 1 piece of chicken per person plus 1 pound of sausage per 5-6

Cindy
04/04/12
Graduation party for 50 (ish) people
Hi Ellen, we're having a small grad party for my son. I could use shome help please figuring out how much to purchase for the following menu:

Hot Wings
Chicken Strips
Mac & Cheese
Cesear Salad
Baked Beans
Deviled Eggs
Veg tray
Fruit Tray
Rolls
Tea/Water
Sheet Cake

Thanks so much!

ellen
04/04/12
Take a look at the plan for 100 page, the fruit tray page, and the dessert planning page, and the beverage planning page. use 1/2 the amount for 100. Make an estimate and post it and I will be glad to check it for you.

Mac and cheese 9x13 pan (1 pound mac plus fixings) serves 12.

Wings are expensive! Plan on at least 1/2 pound per person, and 2 tenders or strips.

Gloria
04/05/12
Quinceanera 170 people
How many lbs of pork shoulder do we buy to make pulled pork for 170 people
ellen
04/08/12
Is this taco, sandwiches, or plates. Write back.
Sara
05/15/12
Hi, I'm helping a friend with the food for her wedding. I have some catering experience but could use some help with the numbers. She wants to do 4 different pastas, salad and bread for the dinner. I am also going to suggest a vegetable in addition to the salad. for 150 people would you suggest 2 serving areas-both or one side of the table? she definitely doesn't want people to have to wait in line for very long. As far as meet goes is it ok to just do a meat sauce or meatballs with red sauce and sliced chicken as an option for some of the other pastas? pesto, Mediterranean, alfredo, marinara. I was thinking that a baked pasta with a creamy sauce (nice bechemel with fontina) might be better than alfredo. What do you think? With it being buffet I know I need to plan for extra-enough of each for 75 people or would you say more like enough of each for 100? I want to have enough, but don't want to be swimming in it either. As far as service goes would you suggest tongs or a spoon with fingers for serving the pasta? thank you for your help!!!
ellen
05/16/12
two double sided tables for very quick service. I wpuld do at least 2 baked pastas- regular gets mighty gummy standing. Plan enough for at least 1 1/4 the number expected for buffet service; red sauced for 1/2 and 1/4 for each of the others- yes that adds up to more than 100%.

NO FINGERS!!! Tongs and spoons, depending on the dish, you may need both. Definitely yes on the vegetable. Definitely yes on bread- 12 pounds per 100.

Derrick
05/21/12
grad party for 300
Hi. Just came across this web site and love it. It is full of info. We are having a grad party for my daughter. we are having green chile burritos and italian sausage sandwiches. We are also going to pick up party subs for the young ones. The sides will be spanish rice, potato salad,and macaroni salad. I am completely lost on quantities. Would really appreciate some help. Thanks
ellen
05/21/12
How long a party? is it dinner level or reception level? What other foods (fruit trays, veggies/salads, appetizers?) I need more info.
Derrick
05/21/12
The party starts at 4 in the afternoon and the die hards will stay ti midnight. nachos would and chips and dips for appetizer. Family members are wanting to bring dishes so i was asking for fruit trays or deserts (desert salads).I was thinking 2 sheet cakes would be enough.
ellen
05/21/12
Thanks. This assumes you will really have 300 and many will stay...

One sheet cake makes at most 100 tiny pieces- it is the same size as 4 9x13's. Either get 2 2 layer sheets, or have other desserts also.

So with this length of party you are looking at dinner food PLUS about 3 hours appetizers...

nachos would and chips and dips for appetizer:
1/3 cup nacho cheese per person
1 gallon sliced jalapenos per 100- for other toppings, see the potato/taco bar page.
1 1/2 ounces nacho chips
1-1 1/2 ounces other chips
1/4 cup of each dip/salsa per person

green chile burritos- if these are the large ones, do 150, cut in half
italian sausage sandwiches; 1 pound sausage per 5, equal weight peppers and onions. 2 small rolls per person, or 4 inches loaf; 1 quart sauce per 2 pounds, at least
party subs- 3 inches per person- everyone will take some

spanish rice, 6 pounds dry per 100
potato salad, see plan for 100- at least 35 pounds potatoes for base per 100
macaroni salad, see plan for 100- 6 pounds dry pasta per 100

I would definitely add one more dish; either 3 gallons of slaw or some bean dish, per 100

ellen
05/21/12
By the way, if this saves you money or trouble, please consider a donation to support the site!
Lisa
05/22/12
Hi! I am planning a church fundraising dinner for about 150 people. I've not prepared dinner for this many before, usually I only do dessert. It needs to be cheap, but good (not spaghetti)as its a dinner theater put on by the youth.
The general idea is salad, dinner (meat, starch, veg & bread), and dessert. We have a commercial food supplier in the area, open to public, and I was thinking chicken and rice would be the least expensive options. The chicken is thin, quick frozen & usually kind of dry, so I think it will NEED a sauce. Here's my idea for the menu:
Salad
Chicken Cacciatore over rice (w/o mushrooms)
Italian green beans
Rolls (of some sort)
Sheet Cake (that I may donate myself b/c I really enjoy doing it)

I have a general idea of what I need for the chicken dish, so here are my questions:
Do you think this would be an appropriate menu?
I would prefer fresh beans, but not sure of cost, so next choice would be frozen. How much do I need? (I've seen so many different suggestions...)
I normally do cupcakes to control portions better, but didn't think it would be appropriate for this setting. What do you think?

ellen
05/22/12
I would do a different sauce, and I recommend the orange dijon wedding chicken on this site. 22 pounds frozen green beans per 100, or a bit more. Butter on the table for the bread, 12 pounds of bread/rolls per 100. A salad with some pizzazz.

Cupcakes are a lot of trouble for this many. Sheets would be fine- 1 two layer sheet per 100.

Tory
05/29/12
Wedding for 200 people
My friend's wedding is THIS Saturday. They are only serving catfish as the meat and they have 140lbs of it. Is that enough?
ellen
05/29/12
Yes, probably have extra.
Haddie
05/30/12
I'm planning the beverages for my wedding of 150 people. I want to serve tea (hot and iced), coffee, lemonade, and water. How many gallons of each do I need?
ellen
05/31/12
Covered on the beverage planning page. Do dinner coffee. 3 gallons each tea and lemonade, 1 bottle per person if bottled water.
Tammie
06/03/12
I am doing wedding reception for 150. menu is spiral ham and fried chicken mashed potatoes,corn green beans,baked beans,macaroni salad,spagetti salad, and rolls. How much would you recommend of each? Do i need anything else
ellen
06/03/12
You need a nibble 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.

spiral ham- 4 ounces ready to eat per 100
fried chicken- 1 piece per person
mashed potatoes, 45 pounds raw per 100
corn- 22 pounds per 100
green beans, 22 pounds per 100
baked beans, 3 gallons per 100

macaroni salad,spagetti salad, why both? I would do about 10 pounds of dry pasta and add a green salad of some kind- see plan for 100- do 150 servings

rolls- 12 pounds per 100, 3 pounds butter per 100

dinner level coffee, see beverage planning page. Iced tea for tables.

Tammie
06/03/12
Read your message great info. How much fruit like watermelon, cantelope,apples, bananas etc. What would be different kinds of cheeses. How far in advance can you fix it ahead?
ellen
06/03/12
Amounts and instructions for fruit trays are on the fruit tray page. Most day before, it is discussed- berries rinsed day of.

Cheeses about 12 pounds per 100, can be sliced or cubed and tightly wrapped day before. Crackers or bread bites 8 pounds per 100.

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

Wendy
06/05/12
Wedding for 170
We are planning an 11 a.m. wedding with pictures following the ceremony. Guests will journey 2 miles to the reception location and wait for the wedding party to come back from taking photos, which I expect will extend about 1 hour past the end of the ceremony time. Since this puts us at the noon hour, guests will no doubt be hungry. What do you recommend for a nibble table for 175 guests? There will be lots of children and I'd rather not do fruit since that is already on the menu.

The lunch menu includes baked chicken, baked beans, a variety of cold salads, watermelon baskets filled with fresh fruit with dip on side, chips, relishes, rolls. (I have these amounts figured out already.)

ellen
06/05/12
Lots of kids? Cocktail wienies or pigs in a blanket are a kid favorite. 1 pound per 5 guests.

Mini quiches? Spinach Parmesan squares such as the recipe on this site? Bruschetta with a couple of toppings, or another bread based bite. Pizza bites (another kid favorite)- 3 per person. Rollups (done with tortillas, cream cheese and filler, cut into bites). Cheese tray with crackers. A good cold or hot dip or spread.

You want about 10 bites per person for an hour.

Suzanne
06/19/12
Hi Ellen, this is such an amazing site! Thank you!

We are doing a small, semi-casual brunch for our church anniversary. We are trying to plan for 150 but uncertain about the actual number. On a very tight budget, but trying to make it as nice as possible. I just cannot seem to figure out how much of each item we should have. I don't want to overspend but want to make sure we have enough!

Our buffet menu includes:

Spring mix salad w raspberry vinagraitte (feta cheese, croutons)
Pasta salad (6 lbs. pasta) has veggies in it
Fruit salad
Chicken salad (trying just to buy 2 bags of chicken from SAMs club)...recipe w mayo/sour cream

Meat and cheese pinwheels- we have 180 of these

Breakfast breads (banana...)
Mini muffins
Mini powder donuts
French baguette bread
Butter

Yogurt parfait bar w/ fruit topping and granola (was thinking of 1/2C. -3/4 C.(will probably prefill 9oz. Cups w/yogurt w/ choice of toppings

Hoping you can help? Thanks.

Suzanne
06/19/12
and...sorry I just realized this was under wedding. I'll see if I can repost it under an appropriate heading.
Karen
06/20/12
Family has decided to divid the menu and cater my son and daugher-in-law to be wedding on July 21. The following is the menu and amounts I have came up with. Please let me know what you think.

A family friend is doing a large roasted hog
There will also be 2 different types of chicken, approximately 50 pieces each.
Mashed Potatoes 35#
Gravy 2 gal
Scalloped Potatoes 45#
Pasta Salad 5# pasta, 2 qt dressing, plus pepperoni, mushrooms, etc.
Green Beans 5 gal
Rolls 200
Butter 3#
Assorted Jellies
Macaroni Salad 6# pasta
Corn on the Cob 100 ears
Fruit Salad 4 gal
Baked Beans 4 gal
Olives - 1 gal
Pickles - 1 gal
Iced Tea 6 gal - 2 Sweet & 4 unsweet (sugar on hand if we need to sweeten some of the unsweet
Lemonade 6 gal
There will also be 3 kegs of beer

Appetizers while waiting for the bride and groom
3 18" Fruit Trays w/dip
3 18" Vegetabele Trays w/dip
6 Assorted cheese balls and crackers

What do you think, about right, too much or not enough. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you and thank you for such a great site.

ellen
06/20/12
Karen, I need the actual weight of the hog and the number of guests. If it is really 150, some things are a little short.
Karen
06/21/12
The number of guests is 150. The hog is 200#. The pounds like potatoes and pasta are the actual # we are going to buy before preparation.
Angela Rice
06/21/12
Wedding for 250 people
Outside reception for 250 people
Could you help with how much food to get.
Menu is Pig roast (2) one plain one bbq
Mac salad
pasta salad
baked beans
parsley potatoes
green beans
toss salad
cheese trays
fruit trays
vegetable tray
angela rice
06/21/12
Wedding for250 people
rolls butter
chips
drinks
applesause
plates 10",6"
bowels
cups
Angela Rice
06/21/12
Wedding for 250 people
So sorry for numerous messages and misspelled words. I have the granddaughter. The wedding ceremony will be held else where. Having guest arrive for reception around 5. I greatly appreciate your response. The wedding is being held on Aug 11 and we were just told!
ellen
06/23/12
Pig roast (2) one plain one bbq
1 pound raw whole per person
applesauce-1/4 cup per person

Mac salad
pasta salad
15 pounds total dry pasta

baked beans-3 gallon per 100
toss salad- see plan for 100

parsley potatoes-80 pounds
angela rice-12 pounds
green beans-50 pounds

cheese trays- 8-10 ounces per person
fruit trays- see fruit tray page
vegetable tray- see veggie tray page

rolls butter-12 pounds per 100, 2-3 pounds butter per 100

chips- 1 pound per 10, 3 cups dip per pound

drinks-see beverage planning page

plates 10",6"- 2 large an 2 small per person
bowls- 1.2 per person
cups

Jessica
06/26/12
Wedding for 250 people
I am having a wedding with 250 guests. We will be serving pulled port and beef sandwiches with pasta salads. How many roasters do I need to hold the pulled meat?
ellen
06/26/12
You need about 1 pound beef per 4 plus 1 pound pork per 5, so 65 pounds beef, and 50 pork. A roaster can only do about 20 pounds.
Nurca
06/27/12
Hi,my wedding is getting catered but I want to know how would it cost to serve 160 people. Pasta called penne pasta. What exactly do I need to buy alot of. With a salad and French bread.
Karen
06/28/12
Family has decided to divide the menu and cater my son and daugher-in-law to be wedding for 150 on July 21. The following is the menu and amounts I have came up with. Please let me know what you think.
A family friend is doing a large roasted hog around 200 lbs. There will also be 2 different types of chicken, approximately 50 pieces each. Amounts below are about of items we are purchasing, not final product. Do you think we are okay or does it need tweeked.

Mashed Potatoes 35#
Gravy 2 gal
Scalloped Potatoes 45#
Pasta Salad 5# pasta, 2 qt dressing, plus pepperoni, mushrooms, etc.
Green Beans 5 gal
Rolls 200
Butter 3#
Assorted Jellies
Macaroni Salad 6# pasta, ?eggs
Corn on the Cob 100 ears
Fruit Salad 4 gal
Baked Beans 4 gal
Olives - 1 gal
Pickles - 1 gal
Iced Tea 6 gal - 2 Sweet & 4 unsweet (sugar on hand if we need to sweeten some of the unsweet
Lemonade 6 gal
Ice Water
There will also be 3 kegs of beer

Appetizers while waiting for the bride and groom
3 18" Fruit Trays w/dip
3 18" Vegetabele Trays w/dip
6 Assorted cheese balls and crackers

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you and thank you for such a great site.

ellen
06/29/12
Nurca, the cost depends on the region, the caterer and what is included, for example, are they serving and cleaning up, or just dropping off the food? And if they are catering, I am not clear on what you are buying?
ellen
06/29/12
Mashed Potatoes 35#- probably run out people love these, might increase to 50
Gravy 2 gal- get 3
Scalloped Potatoes 45#
Pasta Salad 5# pasta, 2 qt dressing, plus pepperoni, mushrooms, etc.- OK
Green Beans 5 gal- some left. Look at the better green beans casserole in my holiday cooking section at the top of big pots, you would do 2 1/2 to 3 the recipe
Rolls 200- unless very large, get 2 per person- bread is cheap
Butter 3#- might do 4, some will take for potatoes
Assorted Jellies
Macaroni Salad 6# pasta, ?eggs- plenty- some left with he pasta salad
Corn on the Cob 100 ears- either break in half, or get 1 per person
Fruit Salad 4 gal- OK, none left
Baked Beans 4 gal- OK, none left
Olives - 1 gal
Pickles - 1 gal- 1 1/2
Iced Tea 6 gal - 2 Sweet & 4 unsweet (sugar on hand if we need to sweeten some of the unsweet) also have a diet sugar, don't forget lemons and ice
Lemonade 6 gal
Ice Water
There will also be 3 kegs of beer

Appetizers while waiting for the bride and groom
3 18" Fruit Trays w/dip
3 18" Vegetable Trays w/dip
I go by weights on these. You need 3 ounces of ready to eat fruit and 2 ounces of ready to eat veggies per person, plus 1 cup dip of each per 5.
6 Assorted cheese balls and crackers- You need at least 18 pounds of cheese and cheese balls, 1 1/2 ounces crackers per person.

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

Melissa Lee
06/29/12
Reception for 75-100 people
Hello Ellen, I am getting married 7-14-12 and we are doing all the food ourselves including 150 cupcakes! Please let me know if I have planned enough cocktail hour snacks and dinner for 75-100, I am so frantic, I have gone over the list many times...and want to have enough without breaking the bank.

Cocktail Hour:
-Spinach Dip(40oz spinach,32 oz sour cream, 4 cups mayo, 4 can waterchestnuts, 4 packs of onion soup mix) w/ 4 sourdough bowls and 2 box of crackers
-1 Gallon of Salsa and 6 bags of tortilla chips
-Meat & Cheese Tray:
2 lb Swiss
2 lb Colby
2 lb Cheddar
3 lb Pepperoni
3 lb Summer Sausage
5 (regular size) boxes of cracker (variety)
-Vegi Tray
3 lb Celery
4 lb baby carrots
8 cukes
3 lb broccoli
3 lb Cauliflower
3 pints Cherry tomatoes
3 qt vegi dip
-Fruit Tray
5 boxes o' Strawberries (halved)
3 bags Red Grapes
3 bags Green Grapes
3 Cantaloupes
3 Honeydew
2-15 lb Watermelon
Fruit dip- 32 oz cream cheese
2 cup marshmallow fluff
8 cup frozen whip topping
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

Dinner: (ever heard of a cream can dinner?)
3 big pots of food steamed over low fire..layered from the bottom up.
-15 lb russet potato (halved?)
-10 lb of carrots
-20 corn cobs (halved?)
-5 onions
-4 cabbages, quartered
-20 smoked sausages
-1 lb hot links

Sides-
Garden Salad
6 head iceberg lettuce
12 head romaine lettuce
3 pint Cherry tomato
6 lb shredded carrots
4 boxes of croutons

1 gallon ranch dressing
2 regular size Cesar dressing
2 regular size french dressing
2 regular size Italian dressings

5 gal un-sweet tea
5 gal lemon-aid

Thank you for any advice or revisions!
Melissa

Melissa Lee
06/29/12
the cocktail hour is from 3:30-4:30 and dinner should be done by 6.
ellen
07/09/12
Wedding for 120 people
Assuming 100; if really 75, cut back 1/4

Cocktail Hour:
-Spinach Dip(40oz spinach,32 oz sour cream, 4 cups mayo, 4 can water chestnuts, 4 packs of onion soup mix) w/ 4 sourdough bowls and 2 box of crackers
I would do 1/4 cup per person. This is only about 3 quarts, you need double
-1 Gallon of Salsa and 6 bags of tortilla chips- plenty
-Meat & Cheese Tray:
2 lb Swiss
2 lb Colby
2 lb Cheddar
add 2 pounds jack, increase cheddar to 4
3 lb Pepperoni
3 lb Summer Sausage
I would double these meats
5 (regular size) boxes of cracker (variety)- 7 pounds crackers
-Vegi Tray- plenty
3 lb Celery
4 lb baby carrots
8 cukes
3 lb broccoli
3 lb Cauliflower
3 pints Cherry tomatoes
3 qt vegi dip
-Fruit Tray- looks OK, don't know the size of your boxes and bags
5 boxes o' Strawberries (halved)
3 bags Red Grapes
3 bags Green Grapes
3 Cantaloupes
3 Honeydew
2-15 lb Watermelon
Fruit dip- 32 oz cream cheese
2 cup marshmallow fluff
8 cup frozen whip topping
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

Dinner: (ever heard of a cream can dinner?)
3 big pots of food steamed over low fire..layered from the bottom up.
Assuming this is in each can
-15 lb russet potato (halved?)
-10 lb of carrots
-20 corn cobs (halved?)yes
-5 onions
-4 cabbages, quartered
-20 smoked sausages-
-1 lb hot links

You need one side dish that can be an entree for people who don't eat sausage/meat- mac and cheese? 8 pounds dry

Sides-
Garden Salad
6 head iceberg lettuce
12 head romaine lettuce
3 pint Cherry tomato
6 lb shredded carrots
4 boxes of croutons

1 gallon ranch dressing
2 regular size Cesar dressing
2 regular size french dressing
2 regular size Italian dressings

5 gal un-sweet tea
5 gal sweet tea added
5 gal lemon-aid

Melissa Lee
07/10/12
Thank you so much for your help, I am more confident going into this en devour. Thanks again, even though it was not for 150 guests.
betty
07/11/12
Wedding for 200 people
I am making potoato salad for 200 people.How many #s of potatoes,relish,mustard,bacon,mayo,eggs or salad dressing,celery,onions will I need.
ellen
07/11/12
See the plan for 100 page, first item, or do double of any of the 8 potato salad recipes for 100 on the potato salad and slaw page.
loulou
07/12/12
anniversary party as well as birthday party
Hi, glad i found you web site. I need help. my neice doesn't want a lot of cake she says a large bible cake but she's having 250 people. chocolate covered strawberries,
'' pretzels
bananna pudding
strawberry shortcake
cheesecake 3 inch
sweet pot.pie '''''
cookies
cupcakes chocolate,red velvet,carrot
please help i need to know how much to prepare. i think she needs more cake.
ellen
07/13/12
chocolate covered strawberries,
chocolate covered pretzels
banana pudding
strawberry shortcake
cheesecake tarts 3 inch
sweet pot.pie tarts
cookies
cupcakes chocolate,red velvet,carrot

I have no idea how large her large Bible cake is, but you need at least 1 cake serving or cupcake per person, and a full sheet cake (18x26, which is 4 9x13 or 8 layers) only serves about 50.

This is essentially a dessert buffet, take a look at the dessert planning page, see if any make sense to you, and write back.

The strawberries are 2 per person, and the pretzels are 6 pounds per 100.

banana pudding
strawberry shortcake
cheesecake tarts 3 inch
sweet pot.pie tarts
cookies
Among these you want at least 500 servings. Yes, people eat cake and about 2 desserts worth.

roxy
07/16/12
Planning wedding reception for 150-200. How do my amounts look?
600 meatballs
30 lbs turkey
30 lbs ham
50 lbs garlic mashed potatoes
4 gallons fruit salad
300 slices tomatoes,mozzarella,basil salad
150 rolls
8 gallons spinach salad
ellen
07/17/12
It looks like not nearly enough for 200. You need to settle on an actual number. For example, if you look on the plan for 100 tables, you will see I use 50 pounds of potatoes to make mashed for 100 for buffet service. Also, everyone eats the meatballs like an appetizer, so they don't count in the meat count- and you need 50 pounds, not 30, of raw boneless meat for 100, plus some extra of the more popular if there are two meats.

Please look at the amounts in the articles on planning and shopping for large holiday meals, at the top of the Big Pots section.

kesha
07/22/12
Wedding for 130
hi we are planning a plated dinner for my sisters wedding and dinner is to be served around 5...so far she wants chicken marsala and some kind of beef...we thought of oven roasted potatoes and another vegetable...i was wondering what are the proportions of each that need to be made also...also how much lemonade and icetea we need...she wants a coctail hour with 3 appetizers how much of that will we need??? we do have six servers but the caterer backed out and we r stuck trying to do this ourselves...
Patty
07/23/12
Hi Ellen and Thanks for the help
Menu for 160 5 pm wedding outside Buffet

Appetizers: Cheese and crackers/baquettes, grapes and almonds and mixed nuts and a jalepeno spinach dip
Cheese Would like to do a Brie, A cheddar, a Havarti.
Can you recommend 1-2 other cheeses and amounts of each cheese, baquette and nuts.
Dinner is
Tri Tip (80 lbs)
Chicken (3/4 piece per person)

Rosemary potatoes
Grilled veggies(squashes, peppers, carrots and purple onion)

Nut/Dried fruit rice salad
Cesear salad
Fruit kabobs or platter (watermelon, cantoloupe, other?)

Assorted rolls/butter

Would appreciate knowing how much to buy Of:
potatoes ?
Fruit for platter or kabobs ?

Yellow summer squash, zucchini,and patty pan squash, red bell peppers, onions and carrots?

Lettuce, crotons parm shaved cheese for ceasar?

Rolls/butter?

Lemonade..Is the powdered ok or any recommendation..How much?
HAve water, beer and wine and someone else furnishing this..
How many people do you need to help restock tables..
Thanks again

Merrill DeGroot
07/25/12
Wedding for 250 people
We are having a taco bar for the wedding reception. Could you please check my ratios per person.
Main Meal-
ground hamburger--4 0z
beans--2 oz.
lettuce--1 cup
tomatoes--1/2
grated cheese--2 oz.
sour cream--1 oz.
olives--2 T.
onions--20 servings per
salsa--2 T.
hard shells or chips--2 oz.
soft shells--1 lg or 2 sm.
Appetizers before dinner-
pretzels and mixed nuts--1 oz.
canteloupe and watermelon served on skewers--4 pieces each (1 oz. per 4 pieces?)
coffee--100 cups regular, 45 c. decaf
lemonade--10 gallons
iced tea-- 10 gallons
bottled water--300 bottles
wedding cake-- 200 servings
ellen
07/26/12
Kesha, if your family member did not ask for a count on the RSVP, you will have to make enough that you don't run out of beef.

chicken marsala and some kind of beef
You need 50 servings of chicken and 110 of beef, because you don't know how the crowd will split

oven roasted potatoes- OK, 60 pounds. Baked rice pilaf is easier- 11 pounds dry rice

another vegetable- have 2 if possible, one could be a room temp one or marinated; 28 pounds each

lemonade and ice tea
Serve the lemonade as a punch for the cocktail hour, plan on at least 10 gallons. 6 gallons sweet tea and 4 unsweet

cocktail hour with 3 appetizers how much of that will we need
fruit tray for 100- see deluxe fruit tray, on the fruit tray page
cheese trays- 20-24 pounds, at least 3 kinds with 1/2 cheddar, some can be logs or balls or spread. 8 pounds crackers per 100
one other dip/spread- 1/4 cup per person, 1 pound bread or crackers per 10

ellen
07/26/12
Patty, you need about 10 people to set up, serve and clean up this size party (160).

Appetizers:
Cheese and crackers/baguettes,
Brie, A cheddar, a Havarti.
About 30 pounds total cheese, some can be logs or spreads, about 1/3 cheddar, divide the rest up more or less evenly- how about a Swiss and a feta/goat?
grapes and almonds and mixed nuts- 10 pounds nuts
jalepeno spinach dip- 1/4 cup per person, 1 pound chips or bread per 10-12

Dinner is
Tri Tip (80 lbs)
Chicken (3/4 piece per person)- I usually do 1 piece per person if it is a self serve buffet

Rosemary potatoes- 55 pounds
Grilled veggies(squashes, peppers, carrots and purple onion)-35 pounds total ready to cook- add some weight for stems, etc

Nut/Dried fruit rice salad- 1/3 cup per person
Cesear salad- see plan for 100 page, 1 1/2 times the amount for 100
Fruit kabobs or platter (watermelon, cantaloupe, other?)-see fruit tray page. Trays are prettier, easier, and the leftovers are more usable.

Assorted rolls/butter- 10-12 pounds rolls and 3 pounds butter per 100

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

ellen
07/26/12
Hi Merrill,

Main Meal per person-
ground hamburger--4 0z
beans--2 oz.
lettuce--1 cup
tomatoes--1/2
grated cheese--2 oz.
sour cream--1 oz.
olives--2 T.
onions--20 servings per
salsa--2 T.- at least 1/4 cup per person
hard shells or chips--2 oz.
soft shells--1 lg or 2 sm.
You can check these against the tried and true amounts on the taco/potato bar page. You need to add rice, beans, and to consider chopped cilantro

Appetizers before dinner
pretzels and mixed nuts--1 oz.- OK
cantaloupe and watermelon served on skewers--4 pieces each (1 oz. per 4 pieces?)- I always allow at least 3 ounces per person
Add either cheese trays (40 pounds cheese, 25 crackers/bread) or a serious dip spread- guacamole?

coffee--100 cups regular, 45 c. decaf- use the numbers for dessert level coffee on the beverage planning page
For the cold beverages, you need enough for a punch service with the appetizers, as well as for the meal
lemonade--10 gallons- 20 minimum
iced tea-- 10 gallons-15 sweet, 10 unsweet
bottled water--300 bottles

wedding cake-- 200 servings- If you do not do 1 piece per person (and I caution you, usual counts of number of servings are for tiny pieces), you need an additional grooms cake and dessert buffet adequate for 100 people- see the dessert planning page

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

Melissa
07/27/12
Hosting wedding reception for 150 people for a buffet style dinner (5:30pm). Can you see if I am on the right track?

Pulled Pork - 175 lbs
Hot Dogs - 40 lbs
Buns and condiments
Meatballs - 45 lbs
Green beans w/bacon - 4.5 gallons
Baked beans - 3 gallons
Sweet corn (mini) - 1 per person ?
Cole Slaw - 20 lbs
Chips/Pretzels - 15 lbs each
Punch - 10 gallons
Tea - 6 gallons
Water - 12 gallons
Coffee - 1 pound
Wedding cake - 150 servings

ellen
07/27/12
I would adjust this menu. You will save money and still have plenty.

Pulled Pork - 175 lbs- only 70 pounds
Hot Dogs - 40 lbs - recommend you get sausage, or kielbasa, much better, 30 pounds
Buns and condiments- see the sandwich page for exact counts on condiments
Meatballs - 45 lbs- 30-35 plenty
Green beans w/bacon - 4.5 gallons- 5.5
Baked beans - 3 gallons- 4 1/2 gallons
Sweet corn (mini) - 1 per person- add an additional 10%?
Cole Slaw - 20 lbs- 30
Chips/Pretzels - 15 lbs each- 15 chips, 8 pretzels
Punch - 10 gallons- probably 12
Tea - 6 gallons- 10
Water - 12 gallons
Coffee - 1 pound- not nearly enough- see the beverage planning page and use the dinner level coffee
Wedding cake - 150 servings- OK these are small servings, you might add a groom cake for back up and chocolate lovers

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Debra
07/28/12
Wedding for 160 people
I am planning my daughters reception in August. I just want to make sure I have enough. We are having a pig roast, bbq chicken, corn on the cob, green beans, tossed salad, mashed potatoes, coleslaw. We are also having a appetizer table with meatballs, veggie tray, crackers and cheese. Towards later in the reception we are will be bringing out salsa and chips, cheese and chips, and 2 trays of taco dip with chips. We have ordered a 150lb pig, I am not sure how much chicken to get and I am lost with the sides. Also silverware- how many extra servings should you have? I am was planning on 7oz of meat/pp 4 oz of sides. Is that correct?
Thanks.
Debra
07/28/12
Wedding for 160 people
Forgot some things. We are having rolls also, venison. We will be serving beer and wine and there are alot of kids coming. I was planning on a sangria punch for the adults and lemonade for the kids. I look forward into your insight. Thank you!
ellen
07/28/12
pig roast, OK
bbq chicken, 3/4 piece per person
corn on the cob, 1 per person, and break some in half
green beans, 22 pounds per 100
tossed salad, see plan for 100 table, do 1 1/2
mashed potatoes, 70 pounds raw
coleslaw, 5 gallons
I would have good rolls and pickles (1 1/2 gallons) and either applesauce or fried apples (4-5 gallons), or fruit trays (see the fruit tray page)

salsa and chips, 1/4 cup salsa per person, 1 pound chips per 10
cheese and chips, 1/4 cup queso per person, 1 pound chips per 10
2 trays of taco dip with chips. 1/4 cup per person, yo don't need more chips

2 dinner plates and 2 dessert plates per person, 3 forks, 2 spoons, 1.2 knives

Debra
07/29/12
Thank you for your help, now I can stop worrying.
Deb
Katharina
08/02/12
Wedding for 120 people
Hello! I am having my wedding for 120 guests in November, and need help with how much of everything to buy. We are having Smoked Brisket, Potatoe Salad, Baked Beans, and Rolls. Also, how much onions, and pickles should I buy to go with that? Thank you for your help! I appreciate it!
ellen
08/02/12
The amounts are covered in detail in the plan for 100 table and the bbq/brisket page. 1 gallon pickles per 100, same sliced onions. Coleslaw, 3 gallons per 100 would be a good idea.
Sarah
08/03/12
Wedding for 200 people
Hi Ellen,
I just happened on your website and could use your advice for amounts to purchase for 200 guests at 5:00-5:30 pm The menu is pulled pork, bar-b-que sauce (to let the guests put on their sandwich individually) buns, cheesy hashbrowns, rotini pasta with green peppers, black olives, pepperoni and bottled Italian dressing; frog eye salad (acine de peppe fruit salad), peanuts, mints, lemonade, pickles and cupcakes. Thanks!
ellen
08/04/12
pulled pork, this has to be prepared and frozen with some sauce on it. 2 pounds per 6-7.
bar-b-que sauce (to let the guests put on their sandwich individually) 1/4 cup per person
buns, 2 smaller or 1 1/2 regular per person
See the sandwich page for condiments

cheesy hashbrowns, see the recipe and discussion at the bottom of the festive family brunch page. You need about 4 gallons per 100.

rotini pasta with green peppers, black olives, pepperoni and bottled Italian dressing;
6 gallons
frog eye salad (acine de peppe fruit salad), 6 gallons

peanuts, mints, 6 pounds each per 100

lemonade, 20 gallons. Have 5 gallons of a sugar-free drink for those who prefer

pickles- 1 gallon per 100

cupcakes- one flavor, 1.2 per person. 2 flavors 1 of each per person.

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

Brandy
08/07/12
Ellen my wedding is Sept. 1st and was hoping to get your opinion on approximately how much to serve for each item. I'm purchasing everything but family and friends are helping to prepare the menu.
Menu:
Pork Roast
Jambalaya
White Beans
Meatballs and Sausage
Sandwich Trays
Shrimp Mold/Crackers
Vegetable Tray - cucumbers,carrots,celery,califlower,broccoli
Fruit Tray - grapes,watermelon,strawberries,cantelope,??
Rotel Dip/Chips
Taco Dip/Chips
Desserts????/Wedding and Grooms Cake
2 Liters for Drinks???
Do you have any suggestions?
ellen
08/07/12
Assuming 150 people

Pork Roast- boneless raw 50 pounds
Jambalaya- 9-10 gallons
White Beans- 5 gallons
Meatballs and Sausage- about 30 pounds
Sandwich Trays?? why???
Shrimp Mold/Crackers- 1/4 cup spread per person, 1 pound crackers per 10-12
Vegetable Tray - cucumbers,carrots,celery,cauliflower,broccoli- use the veggie tray page
Fruit Tray - grapes,watermelon,strawberries,cantaloupe,?? use the fruit tray page
Rotel Dip/Chips- 1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound chips per 15
Taco Dip/Chips- 1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound chips per 15

Desserts????/Wedding and Grooms Cake
See the discussion on cake sizes/portions at the bottom of the dessert planning page

2 Liters for Drinks??? see the beverage planning page. Set up a punch or lemonade bowl with the appetizers- about 2 gallons plus ice.

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

Pat
08/07/12
Wedding for 200 people
I am having a wedding reception for 200 people. The caterer is supplying roast beef for 200 and 4 side dishes. At the last minute, I want to add some fried chicken. I can buy it already cooked from our local deli. Would a 200 piece package be sufficient since we have enough roast beef?

Thanks

ellen
08/08/12
BRANDY, that punch is 12 gallons lemonade. TYPO.
ellen
08/08/12
Pat, 150 pieces would be plenty, probably leftovers.
Rita
08/08/12
Wedding for 300 people
How much fruit cocktail and fresh green salad
ellen
08/09/12
Green salad, see the plan for 100 table. Fruit, see the fruit tray page- it includes recipes.
Beapaul
08/13/12
how many cookies can I place on a 16" cookie tray that comes with a cover for a wedding of 150 people? How many trays will I need? Can I put 2 cookies in the center to fill the space (if the center is empty)? I estimate 600 cookies ( 4 cookies per person ) 4 different kinds of cookies!
Leah
08/13/12
Planning A Luau style Wedding reception for 120 (most of which will be Samoans and Hawaiians)

150 lb roasting pig (headless)
90 lb boneless teriyaki chicken
115 lbs short ribs
5 1/2 lbs mac salad

Also have 120 servings of Haupia (kinda like a coconut jello)

Need to know if the meat portions are off and how much rice, fruit salad and grean salad i make.

And your thoughts on a mango salsa and chips for an appitzer

ellen
08/13/12
Beapaul, you have about 50 dozen cookies, you can get 6-8 dozen per tray depending on size...
ellen
08/13/12
Leah, with that pig, you canb1/2 both the other meats and still have plenty.

You need a LOT more mac salad, at least 4 gallons (30+ pounds)

rice, about 12-14 pounds dry
fruit salad see fruit tray page

green salad see plan for 100 page

Bread?

10 quarts salsa, 12 pounds chips.

Ashley
08/15/12
We are having chicken & sausage jambalaya with green beans and garlic bread as the main item for a wedding reception. About how much chicken and sausage should we use?
ellen
08/15/12
Assuming mostly chicken leg quarters? About 60 pounds bone in quarters per 100 persons, about 20 pounds sausage.
beth
08/20/12
We are having our wedding catered but we are buying chips and chex mix for snacks. How many bags would we need. I have 10 10.5 oz bags of chips. Should I get more and how much chex mix do I need to cover 150 people. Thanks so much for you help.
Sarah
08/21/12
Picnic for 150 people
I need to know how much turkey, lettuce, and tomatoe I need to buy to make 300 finger sandwhiches. Thanks!
Sarah
08/21/12
Picnic for 150 people
Also, how much carrots, celery, brocolli, and cauliflower to make veggie trays for 150 people.

I am going to cut up watermelon, how many should i buy?

How many pounds of potato salad?

How many bags of chips?

ellen
08/21/12
Beth, 1 pound chips per 10-12 people. 6-8 pounds Chex mix per 100.
ellen
08/21/12
Sarah, all these foods are covered on the various planning pages.

turkey, lettuce, and tomatoto make 300 finger sandwiches, is 100 regular sandwiches, see the sandwich page.

watermelon,, see the quantity guide on the fruit tray page

carrots, celery, brocolli, and cauliflower, see the veggie tray page and don't forget the Ranch dressing

How many pounds of potato salad? About 60- 6 gallons

1 pound chips per 10-12, 1/4 cup dip per person

Nceba
08/22/12
Hi Ellen, I just started a catering company and will be catering for my sisters wedding in january 2013 and I would like to know how much do I need for crockery and curtlery set?

Thanks in advance.

Tracie
08/23/12
Wedding reception for 120 people.
menu need help with serving.
Herb roasted chicken breast
Roasted red potatoes
Green beans
pasta salad
rolls

How much of each do i need for my quest?

ellen
08/23/12
Nceba, please post to the catering forums on the pro boards:

chef2chef.com
cheftalk.com

Darlal
08/27/12
I am renewing my vows. 150 people reception at 3:00 could you give me a menue that won't break my wallet?
ellen
08/27/12
Do a dessert bar or a tea party, very appropriate for this time of day. See the dessert planning page and all the tea party pages. Serve dinner level coffee, see the beverage planning page, fruit trays, see the fruit tray page, and about 20 pounds of cheese- some can be spreads or logs/ balls- and 12 pounds of crackers, and all those lovely desserts, and everyone will go home happy.

A wine punch, such a s the High Wire white wine sangria on this site, or mimosas, would be a fine mildly alcoholic addition.

ellen
08/27/12
Darial, Cava, a sparkling Spanish wine, or Prosecco, Italian, would be options for the sparkling wine.
Mary
08/28/12
Hi Ellen,

I'm planning a buffet style wedding reception for 150 people. It will be served at 6pm. The bride wants two meat choices: baked chicken which will be catered from a local BBQ restaurant and meatballs in gravy which we will be making. We are going to provide ample starches and vegetables as sides as well as rolls, desserts. Can you give me a guideline as to how much meat (how many chickens and how many meatballs) to purchase/make of each type?

Thank you!

ellen
08/29/12
Bone in baked chicken, 1 pound per 3 PLUS 1 pound meatballs per 3.
Marta Pickle
09/06/12
Wedding for 150-200 people
It's stresstime...My oldest daughter is getting married Sept. 22 and I have been making mostaccioli sauce for months...I have enough for 25 pounds of pasta with some remaining for extra...Here's here's the menu...I need help on how much for the rest...Shopping list is what I need...Menu includes: Mostaccioli, Brisket, Green Salad, Cold Slaw, French Bread, The for appitizers: Cheese and Cracker Tray, Fresh Fruit Fountain and also we have a chocolate fountain..Using Marshmellows, Pretzils, Graham Crackers, Strawberries and pineapple...We have the Wedding Cake and grooms Cake and Cookies for dessert too...Then Drinks...We will be serving Wine and Beer and I need to know how much Sweet and Unsweet tea and lemonade to purchase as well...There wll be a punch and juice for the kids as well. Please help...Also how much salad dressing I will be using an italian dressing mixed into the salad!! Thanks you so much for your help!! Stressed Mom in Arkansas
ellen
09/06/12
Look at the suggested articles, then if you want to post a specific list, start a new thread and I will check for you.

Mostaccioli, OK
Brisket, 1/2 pound raw per person
Green Salad, see plan for 100 page, has the dressing, I suggest you have a selection
Cole Slaw, 2 1/2 gallons (about 20 pounds, see my slaw recipes for 100)
French Bread, 12 pounds, plus 3 pounds butter

Cheese and Cracker Tray, 16 pounds cheese plus8 pounds crackers per 100
Fresh Fruit Fountain- see the fruit tray page
chocolate fountain- see the article on this site. The fruit will overlap the fruit tray, don't double up.

The beverage planning table is very specific and helpful on amounts.

You have to plan for the largest amount you expect. Buy things where unopened can be returned.

Porscha Peterson
09/07/12
We are hosting an Adult Appetizer & Cocktail Reception, ceremony at 6 Reception to follow
So far we have:
Garden Vegetables-carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, tomatoes and cucumber
Fresh Fruit-Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry and Honeydew
Imported Cheese & cracker tray
Little Smokies in a Chipotle BBQ sauce
Teriyaki chicken breast skewers
Roasted red potatos
Sweet & sour meatballs
Egg rolls

Iced Tea
Bottled Water
Canned soda assortment
Kegged beer
Bottled Wine
Bride & Groom toasting with a signature shot

I was told 5-6 pieces per person per hour

ellen
09/07/12
Porscha, that only works if you are not serving over a meal time, and with a 6 pm service, most guests will NOT have eaten dinner before. You need about double for an over the meal-time appie service- see the article on appie planning-

You really need to add at least 2 starchy/ bready appies. Probably also a classic relish tray or an antipasto tray.

Liz
09/09/12
Planning a wedding reception for 150.
Need help with the amounts!
Veggie tray
Cucumbers 6
Celery sticks 3 lbs
Carrots 4 lbs
Assorted peppers 2 lbs
Broccoli 3 lbs
cauliflower 3 lbs
tomatoes 3 pints
Radish for garnish 1 pkg
3 qts veggie dip

Fruit
Strawberries 3 lbs
grapes red & green 3 lbs each
honeydew 2
watermelon 2
Pineapple chunks 1#10 can
Whole pineapple 1
Blue berries 1 container
Kiwi 6
Dip or dressing not sure of the amount

Cheese Tray
16 lbs of crackers
16 20 lbs of assorted cheese
also making a cheese ball

Little Smokies - how may do you allow per person

Ham & Turkey Sandwiches (with cheese) on a small roll do you plan 150 or less?

thanks for you help as always

ellen
09/09/12
Is this the whole menu? It seems light.
liz
09/09/12
They requested a fruit and veggie tray with dip,lil Smokies, assorted cheeses crackers with a cheese ball and sandwiches someone else is doing a wedding cake and I'll be doing the punch what else would you suggest. Thanks I certainly appreciate your input
ellen
09/09/12
Liz, the basic question is what time are the wedding service and the meal? If it is over a meal time, you need about 1 1/2 pounds of food per person, even if you don't cook a meal. Sometimes the couple thinks they will save money by doing just appetizers, but what happens if they try to do this over a meal-time is, you run out of food; and this is ALWAYS blamed on the caterer, even if it was the couple's request. So tell me when and how long, because it deeply affects the amounts.
Cindy
09/10/12
I have been asked to cater a wedding reception at approximately 1:00pm at the bride's home. They are requesting hor's d'ourves, and the wedding is in October. They are inviting 150 guests. Any suggesstions on what to serve?
Victoria
09/10/12
So. We are not quite catering our own wedding, but we are getting help from friends and family.

Our wedding should be about 120 adults. And maybe 30 kids (mostly under 5).

We are planning a fruit tray, veg. tray with dip, a cheese tray, BBQ meatballs, and spinach artichoke dip with chips.

Then for the entrees we are planning on Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, Crawfish Ettouffee with rice, and Chicken Cheese Spaghetti.

Then for dessert, cake and coffee.

And for drinks, I'm planning on buying 3 cases of regular beer, 4.5 cases of light beer, 15 bottles of Chardonnay, 15 bottles of Cabernet, and 9 bottles of White Zin. Additionally, we are providing Sweet Tea with Peach, Lemonade, Unsweet Tea, and 104 bottles of water.

Any suggestions on amounts would be wonderful. Thanks so much!!!

Liz
09/10/12
The Wedding is at 3:00pm and the reception at a different location at 4:00pm. The bride and groom will be leaving between 6:30 - 7:00pm. They also want to add a salsa and chips. They still say they don't want a meal. So I would desperately appreciate quantities.
Thank you so very much! :O)
ellen
09/10/12
Cindy, if the reception is 1 pm, the service is earlier. People will NOT have eaten lunch, they will eat a meal's worth of food, and you will need to provide the appies at 3 times what you would need for a true appetizer party. It is ALWAYS the caterer's fault if you run out of food, even if you do exactly what the family has requested, and this is a disaster at a wedding reception.

I don't know what your budget is, but most caterers would charge at least $18 per person...

ellen
09/10/12
Victoria,

Your beverages look fine.

fruit tray, see fruit tray page
veg. tray with dip, see veggie tray page
a cheese tray, 16 pounds per 100, 6 pounds crackers per 100
BBQ meatballs, 1 pound per 5
spinach artichoke dip with chips, 1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound chips/bread per 10

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, 60 servings
Crawfish Ettouffee with rice, 80 servings
Chicken Cheese Spaghetti, 50 servings

Victoria
09/10/12
thanks!
ellen
09/11/12
OK, Liz, this is fine, the late afternoon time slot cuts the amounts. 150 people, reception level.

Veggie tray
Cucumbers 6
Celery sticks 3 lbs
Carrots 4 lbs
Assorted peppers 2 lbs
Broccoli 3 lbs
cauliflower 3 lbs
tomatoes 3 pints- go 4
Radish for garnish 1 pkg
3 qts veggie dip- go 4 1/2 that is only 2 tablespoons per person
I use kale or parsley under the items to decorate the trays

Fruit
Strawberries 3 lbs- at least 6
grapes red & green 3 lbs each- go 5
honeydew 2
watermelon 2- get seedless
Pineapple chunks 1#10 can
Whole pineapple 1 DECORATION? get at least 2
Blue berries 1 container- 2 pints
Kiwi 6 a dozen
Dip or dressing not sure of the amount about a gallon

Cheese Tray- OK
16 lbs of crackers
16 20 lbs of assorted cheese
also making a cheese ball- could use 8 pounds logs or balls

chips and dips1/4 cup dip per person, 1 pound chips per 10-12

Little Smokies - how may do you allow per person 1 pound per 5

Ham & Turkey Sandwiches (with cheese) on a small roll do you plan 150 or less? one of eac per person

Liz
09/11/12
Thank you so much for the information and your time greatly appreciated! :O)
bec
09/13/12
customer appreciation day
How many loaves of homemade bread should I order to serve around 150 people? We are also serving smoked butts, steaks, potato salad, slaw, baked beans. There will be lots of children.
ellen
09/13/12
About 20 pounds- people love home made bread. Have 4-5 pounds real butter, and a couple of jars of peanut butter (both smooth and crunchy) and jam.
Lisa
09/23/12
Grooms Supper for 50
Hi Ellen I am makeing the hot sandwiches
pulled pork- I have 6 4 lbs roast
Turkey- ?
buns-?
Roaster of calico bean with hamburger
Chips, chex mix
veggie trays-2 assorted
pickles
olives
cole slaw
I am just not sure how much of these things I will need to serve 50 people mostly adults maybe 6 children 8 and under. Can you give me some ideas please,
ellen
09/24/12
Rita, you posted twice, see the other one.

Lisa, the pork is enough, you do not need the turkey.
buns-? see the sandwich page for advice on buns and "fixings" for te sandwiches, you use 1/2 the amount for 100.
Roaster of calico bean with hamburger- 4 pounds dry beans
Chips, 1 pound per 12
chex mix 2-3 pounds
veggie trays-2 assorted about 6 pounds total
pickles, 1 1/2 quarts
olives, 1 quart
cole slaw, 1 1/2 gallons

Rita Webb
09/25/12
Homecoming for our Church 150 people
Ellen I hate to be a pest but I do not see another post I cannot find where you answered my questions, can you tell me where to look? thanks
Jaime
09/26/12
First- this site is great! thank you so much for the help!

We are catering our own wedding for 150ish. Apps served around 6:15. Dinner at 7. Any help would be great.

Appetizers:
8 lbs assorted chips
one gallon assorted dips (gouda, salsa, artichoke dip, tomato dip)
6 pounds crackers
20 pounds veggies
20 pounds fruit
8-10 cups of veggie and fruit dip

Buffet:
65 lbs (raw) brisket
110 chicken quarters
Baked Beans-4 gallons
green beans-4 gallons
potato salad-4 gallons
coleslaw-roughly 24-27 lbs slaw with 4-5 quarts dressing
150-175 rolls
5 lbs butter
1.5 gallons pickles
1.5 gallons sliced onion
2 gallons bbq
1 gallon ketcup

Drinks: (5 hours on bar)
5 kegs
25 bottles of wine (liter)
144-180 cokes
20 gallons tea
10 gallons water

ellen
09/26/12
You did good. Here is how I would tweak it.

Increase all the appies except the vegetables by 1/2 more, and 2 1/2 to 3 gallons dips would not be too much.

Cook the brisket ahead, chill, slice THIN, reheat in sauce, broth or gravy.

Increase potato salad to 5 1/2 gallons

225 rolls

Split up the sodas as discussed on the beverage planning page- not all cokes

If you are having cake, add dinner level coffee

If those are full kegs, you will probably run out of wine and have some beer left; it depends on the crowd.

Jaime
09/26/12
Thanks for your help. Made your changes. We are precooking the chicken and Brisket partially and finishing them on the smoker at the venue.

Adding more wine!

Sherry
09/26/12
Wedding for my daughter. Caterer had to cancel ( health reasons). Will have to do it ourselves. Planning on lasagna, meatball spaghetti and chicken Alfredo. Plus salad and breads. Question is would it be wise to plan on servings of 50 for each entree? Or maybe even 60. Would you suggest this? Also how much tea would I need for 150 people? And how much coffee should I plan to brew? Thames so much for this site!!!
ellen
09/27/12
Use the dinner coffee on the beverage page for the coffee.

Sherry with this many casseroles, you will need 2 commercial ovens. Do you have this available? If not, time to simplify the menu. Start your own thread and write back.

ellen
09/27/12
Use the dinner coffee on the beverage page for the coffee.

Sherry with this many casseroles, you will need 2 commercial ovens. Do you have this available? If not, time to simplify the menu. Start your own thread and write back.

Lauren
09/30/12
Wedding for 200 people
Hey Ellen, REALLY like your site it is very helpful! I am planning a reception for 150 to 200 people in the evening about 6pm. We will be having light appetizers before the meal. My question is how much tea and lemonade to have. I was thinking 6 gallons of lemonade, 8 gallons of sweet tea, 4 gallons of un sweet tea and 300 bottles of water. I will also have coffee and some tea bags for hot tea. Do you think this enough?
ellen
10/02/12
For 200 people, I would do 12 gallons of lemonade starting as a punch with the appetizers. 10 gallons sweet tea, 4-6 unsweet.

I also recommend dinner level coffee with the cake. See the beverage planning page.

Suzanne
10/09/12
Wedding for 175 adults, 20 children
Love your site! Need help with quantities for daughter's afternoon wedding reception. Having 2 nibble tables before catered buffet BBQ dinner. BBQ dinner will be pulled pork, bbq chicken, garden salad, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, bread rolls. 2 Nibble tables with fruit tray with dip - strawberries, green and red grapes, pineapple. Vege tray - broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, carrots, celery with ranch dip. Relish tray with okra pickles, olives, bread and butter pickles. Sausage and cheese tray with crackers and then some hummus with some dried baguette toast & pita chips.

After dinner we have a dessert table with the wedding and grooms cake as well as 2 kinds of mini cupcakes, 2 kinds of truffles, 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of french macaroons.

Drinks will be a lemonade punch, sweet tea, unsweet tea, water, champagne only for a toast, then beer, wine, and a little bit of soda (coke, diet coke, sprite)during the dance.

I have looked at your charts, but am still a little nervous about the quantities. Can you help? Thanks.

ellen
10/09/12
Sure. Send me your first estimates and I will be glad to tweak them for you.
Suzanne
10/09/12
Wedding for 175 adults, 20 children
Thank you for offering to check my amounts. This is an afternoon wedding that starts at 2:00 and probably won't end til around 8. Following is what we are thinking...

Drinks:
6 gallons punch
6 gallons of sweet tea
4 gallons of unsweetened tea (w/lemon wedges)
(with sugar and substitute packets available)
unlimited water
3 cases champagne (for toasting only)
3 cases red wine
3 cases white wine (this is a 15 bottle case)
2 kegs of beer
12 2 liter soda
36 juice boxes, 24 milk, 36 water bottles for children

200 of each cookie, mini cupcakes, & truffles
wedding cake, grooms cake (is 1/2 sheet) and we have another full sheet cake

for the Nibble tables before the buffet

15 lbs of sausage
15 pounds of cheese squares (pepper jack, colby and cheddar)
15 lbs of various crackers

1 gallon of olives,okra, and bread and butter pickles

For the vege trays:
8 lbs of baby carrots, 6 lbs of celery, 6 quarts of tomatoes, 5 lbs of broccoli & 5 lbs of cauliflower 4 quarts ranch dip

For the fruit trays:

16 lbs of green and red grapes
16 lbs of strawberries
20 cans of cubed pineapple or 8 whole if available

4 quarts fruit dip

2 quarts of hummus, 4 bags of pita chips, 4 bags of dried bread

The caterer will take care of the amounts for the BBQ dinner.

Thank you for your help.

Kate
10/10/12
Wedding reception for 240 people
Will this list cover a buffet-style reception for 200 adults + 40 children? Food service begins at 7 p.m.

400 egg rolls
500 fried shrimp
200 Asian pork sandwiches
450 Mini Phyllo Bites w/shrimp salad
300 Asian mini wonton cups
Cheese and spinach spread with crackers, 150 servings
Fried rice (quantity?)
Chips, 7-20 oz. bags
Dips for chips, 6 qts.
Veggie Tray: 5 lb carrots, 3 lbs celery, 3 qts cherry tomatoes, 8 cukes, 3 lbs broccoli, 4 lb cauliflower
Dips for veggies: 6 qts
Fruit Tray: 10 lbs grapes, 5 lbs berries, 6 lbs pineapple
Dips for fruit: 4 qts
Pickles & olives: 1 gal each
Cheese tray w/crackers: 9 lb crackers, 15 lb cheese
Green salad: 7 heads lettuce
Dressing for green salad: 2 bottles of 4 types
Nuts: 6 lbs
White sangria: 10 gallons
Keg beer: 3 kegs
Iced tea: 10 gallons (2:1 unsweet to sweet)
Iced water: 12 gallons
Coffee: 4 lbs regular; 2 lbs decaf
Soft drinks: 4 cases of 24 ct.
Ice: 50 lbs plus ice for kegs
Sugar: 2 lbs
Cream: dairy 4 qt non-dairy 2 qt.
Lemons: 24 ct.
Thank you!

ellen
10/11/12
Drinks:
6 gallons punch- Would double-
6 gallons of sweet tea- 8?
4 gallons of unsweetened tea (w/lemon wedges)
(with sugar and substitute packets available)
unlimited water
People really like dinner level coffee with their cake, and with the amount of liquor you plan, coffee would be a good idea. See dinner coffee on the beverage -planning page

3 cases champagne (for toasting only)-OK

3 cases red wine
3 cases white wine (this is a 15 bottle case)
2 kegs of beer- if full kegs, is 320 glasses
This is a lot of liquor for a party this size; 2 cases of each wine, or else just 1 keg of beer, would be plenty if you increase the punch and tea, see the calculation almost the bottom of the beverage planning page.

12 2 liter soda- OK, have some sugar free
36 juice boxes, 24 milk, 36 water bottles for children- OK Kids like chocolate milk...

200 of each cookie, mini cupcakes, & truffles
wedding cake, grooms cake (is 1/2 sheet) and we have another full sheet cake- You could just re-arrange amounts and do a 2 layer half sheet for the groom's cake-

for the Nibble tables before the buffet

15 lbs of sausage
15 pounds of cheese squares (pepper jack, colby and cheddar)
15 lbs of various crackers great

1 gallon of olives,okra, and bread and butter pickles- OK

For the veg trays:
8 lbs of baby carrots, 6 lbs of celery, 6 quarts of tomatoes, 5 lbs of broccoli & 5 lbs of cauliflower 4 quarts ranch dip- looks good

For the fruit trays:

16 lbs of green and red grapes
16 lbs of strawberries
20 cans of cubed pineapple or 8 whole if available- if fresh is not available, do melon, not canned, 20 pounds approx

4 quarts fruit dip- OK

2 quarts of hummus, 4 bags of pita chips, 4 bags of dried bread- I would do at least 2 gallons, this is enough chips/bread

Please consider a donation to support the site.

Suzanne
10/11/12
Wedding for 175 people
Thank you so much for your help. I will adjust my amounts accordingly. Your site is so helpful for someone who has never fed a crowd. Donation gladly given! Thanks again.
Kelly
10/15/12
Wedding for 300 people
Hello wears having 300 people at our wedding in July! We are doing our own dessert. We are doing strawberry shortcake compared to a traditional wedding cake cuz we aren't cake people. Lol. So I was wondering how much food I would need? Strawberries-? Whip cream-? Biscuits-? Etc. thanks so much
ellen
10/15/12
1 quart of berries per 8
1 layer of cake or 8 large biscuits or one loaf of pound cake per 8
One small can pre-whipped cream per 12.

Have a lovely day.

Kelly
10/15/12
Wedding for 300 people
Thank you so much! Have a fantastic day :)
sandy
10/16/12
150 people
Just wondering how much roast beef I would need to feed 150 beef on a bun? Would 16 dozen buns be enough?
ellen
10/17/12
I normally do 38 pounds raw boneless for sliced in sauce, 28 for ground meat in sauce, for sandwiched for 100 people. 225 buns if regular size and people get seconds.
LuTrina
10/20/12
I am having a wedding reception for 100-125 people ! With a menu of meatballs,eckridge sausage,potato salad,wingettes,2 tubs strawberries,3 tubs of green&red grapes, 1 watermelon,1pineapple,3 jugs of punch for fountain pasta salad... how much food will it take to make this stress free as possibl? March wedding
ellen
10/20/12
Not enough food so far, esp fruit and punch. Also, you need to fix your numbers- you can't afford to run out. Write back.
Kelly
10/21/12
Wedding for 300 people
Hello we are having a wedding for about 300 people. Was trying to figure out how much beer, wine, liquor and non alcholic drinks we should get?

Was maybe thinking:
4 kegs
10 bottles wine
4 bottles liquor (just for dollar dance)
2 huge pitchers of sangria or something like that
18 gallons of ice tea unsweetened
18 gallons lemonade
Lots of water
18 gallons of some type of juice
Coffee not sure how much.

Does this sound ok or not enough or to much?

Thanks

ellen
10/22/12
Kelly, unless these are very untypical, heavy beer drinkers, this is not going to do it. What is the menu for the meal, and how long is the party? Write back, and START A NEW THREAD.
Kelly
10/22/12
Wedding for 300 people
Well the thing is a lot of them are heavy-average drinkers.

We are from a small country town and a lot of are guests are 21-25 yrs old and still heavy drinkers.

The menu is gonna be a Buffett of pulled pork and chicken and potatoes and vegetables etc etc. (our caterer is taking care of all of that)

Then we are going to have appetizers for cocktail hour.

Then cake and desserts.

The reception is going to be 5-6 hours long

LuTrina
10/23/12
125-150 people at my wedding reception 20lbs sausage,15lbs meatballs,30 lbs potato salad,4 tubs strawberries,1 watermelon,2 whole pineapple, 4 tubs of white grapes, 4 tubs of red grapes, pasta salad, 18 bottles of wine,180 bottles of beer, 3 cases of water, 6 gallon of punch for fountain!! wedding cake(3 tier) & groom cake! Veggie tray! Will this be enough? Help!!! March wedding
ellen
10/23/12
Lutrina, this is VERY light for 150 people, You need to double the food for 150. 10-12 gallons punch. Wine is OK if it is just for the toast; most beer drinkers drink 3 beers; you need to add iced tea.

Add good rolls, butter. Advice on veggie tray is on the veggie tray page.

ellen
10/23/12
Kelly, I first just want to caution you: *Be aware: in many states, you, the host, are legally liable if a person leaves your party drunk and has an auto accident. Blood alcohol rises above the legal limit if drinking more than 1 drink per hour! Friends don't let friends drive drunk.

So, the MOST alcohol you want available is 5 drinks per person for a 5-6 hour party. For 300 people, that is 1500 drinks

Was maybe thinking:
4 kegs- 150 per keg= 600
10 bottles wine- why? Skip it and just do the sangria. If for the toast, you need 6 cases for 300= 300 drinks
4 bottles liquor (just for dollar dance)- this is just 60 shots. Why?
2 huge pitchers of sangria or something like that
Do the High Wire white wine sangria on this site, and do for 300- it will serve as a punch and for the light drinkers- makes about 600 drinks
18 gallons of ice tea unsweetened- OK
18 gallons lemonade- OK
Lots of water
18 gallons of some type of juice- This is a lot if it is for the kids-
Coffee not sure how much- use the dinner level coffee on the beverage planning page and do it twice; once for the early leavers/ with the cake and fresh for the late leavers/drinkers.

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

Kris
10/23/12
Wedding for 250 people
Hi Ellen, I am helping my friend make the food for her wedding. I do not think she has enough.

This is her menu...

Fried Chicken, I say 200 pieces
Sliced Ham ( warm) 60 lbs
Buttered Noodles, I say 15 lbs dry
Mashed potatoes 70#
Green Bean Casserole. I say 10-12 9x13
rolls 250
tossed salad 25-30 lbs of mixed lettuce
corn 6 --10# cans
How close am I??

ellen
10/24/12
You don't have enough either. If this is a buffet (you will need 4-5 serving lines)

Fried Chicken, I say 200 pieces- 250
Sliced Ham ( warm) 60 lbs- You need minimum 65 ready to eat, boneless
Buttered Noodles, I say 15 lbs dry- very hard to keep nice for this many. Consider a sauce
Mashed potatoes 70#- 100
Green Bean Casserole. I say 10-12 9x13 this is about 15-20 quarts, you need double that
rolls 250 at least 375, more if small
tossed salad 25-30 lbs of mixed lettuce- 40-50
corn 6 --10# cans 10-12

Nancy
10/24/12
Hello Ellen. We are having a BBQ wedding reception for around 150 people. We would like to do the traditional burgers, hot dogs, sausage,peppers and onions, BBQ chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, coleslaw, fruit platter and dip, veggie platter and dip, bread dip, cheese and crackers, deli platter, shrimp platter, pickles, chips, condiments, soda, diet soda, juice, iced tea, water, dessert.....we are also going to have steamed clams and smoked venison. My question....how much do I need of everything to make sure everyone is satisfied? We are doing it all ourselves and with the help of family and friends.
ellen
10/24/12
Nancy, what a feast, and I would probably pare down the menu a little- this is a LOT of food choices for this size party, and labor intensive choices, and will lead to too many people including you and the moms having to be preoccupied with food instead of the wedding. Couple of questions:

How much venison?
How much clams?
Have you considered a milk can feast with the potatoes, sausage, corn, etc or a New England steam dinner as part? Consoldates part of the cooking.
How is the budget? Shrimp is a very costly addition to the appetizer table, as you are looking at at least 30 pounds shelled.

Please start a new thread and write back, repeating the menu.

Garrett Chase
10/25/12
How many 10lb cans of whole potatoes will it take to feed 75 people?
ellen
10/25/12
#10 can is 12 1/2 cups, which is about 16 servings if it is the only starch.
Ann
10/26/12
a 5-hour Christmas party for homeless families
We are having a Christmas party for homeless families that will last from noon until 5 p.m.
We are serving finger foods: ham and turkey sandwiches on dollar rolls, cheese trays, veggie trays, crackers and chips, little smokies in BBQ sauce, Christmas cookies and desserts, and punch. How much food should we get? The turkey is boneless breasts that will be donated and the hams are boneless. We will slice the meats thin. How much of each item do we need? We want to have plenty of food for these hungry people and will send leftovers home with them. Thanks SO much for your help!
ellen
10/26/12
Hi, Ann,

Do please read this article and encourage your committee/ volunteers to do so:

www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/turkintro.html

Then read the article on shopping for community dinners.

Now for the menu. You don't specify the number of people, so I will try to do per person. This will not leave a lot of leftovers; Please consider pre-paking a "box lunch" to send out, ideas in one of the above articles.

ham sandwiches on dollar rolls- 1 sandwich, 1 1/2 ounces meat
turkey sandwich on dollar rolls- 1 1/2 sandwiches, 2 1/2 ounces meat. 1 pound raw turkey breast will make about 6 people's worth
cheese trays, 1 1/2 to 2 ounces per person, 1 pound crackers per 10-12
veggie trays, suggest fruit trays instead, much more popular. See the fruit tray page and the veggie tray page
chips and dip- 1 pound chips per 10-12, 1/4 cup dip per person
little smokies in BBQ sauce, this is an expensive appetizer. Sausages cut in dimes are a less expensive alternative. 1 pound per 6-8
Christmas cookies and desserts, 1 of each cookie per person up to 4, 1 regular serving of other desserts, but cut small, as people like to have several

punch.

Ann
10/27/12
A 5-hour Christmas party for homeless families
Thanks so much Ellen. You have been a BIG help to us! What a wonderful service you provide! We are expecting about 120 people but plan to prepare for 150. A butcher has suggested we get 75# of the boneless turkey breasts. Do you think this sounds OK? Thanks for pointing out the fact that Little Smokies become an expensive appetizer. Perhaps we will try your idea of the cut-up sausages, or weiners??? Or can you suggest another hot appetizer that would be inexpensive and filling? We are trying to keep the menu to all finger foods but do plan to have forks on hand for any cakes or pies that might be donated.

Grateful for your help!
Ann
ellen
10/27/12
That would be right for plated servings for this many people, but for the sandwiches, you will only need about 40 pounds. Borrow an electric slicer to get the deli-thin slices you need,
ellen
10/27/12
What about hot queso and chips for the appetizer?
Ann
10/27/12
What a great idea! Will do. And we WILL cut down the amt. of turkey. THANKS!
Ann
10/28/12
One more thing, Ellen. It's about the hot queso dip.I can purchase the large cans of nacho cheese dip at Sam's Club. How much do I need, and how many tortilla chips? THANKS AGAIN!
ellen
10/28/12
One can serves about 40. You need 1 pound of chips per 12.
Rob
11/02/12
I am the groom arranging an informal reception starting at 6 pm. for 150 people. I have sisters to help with the setup and serving.
Menu:

Pulled pork (not sauced/hot and mild bbq sauce on the side)(maybe served with pickles and red onions on the side)

meatballs (I have 1 roaster)
dinner rolls (what brand is good)
bbq beans
potato salad
veggie trays
large cake (already ordered)
plates
napkins
forks
I can only afford 1 keg of beer/ there is an inexpensive bar there, it's an Eagles Club)
10 gal lemonade
misc side dishes brought by quests
I won't be able to pay my house payment if this gets any more expensive.

How many or much of each do I need.

Rob
11/02/12
I am the groom arranging an informal reception starting at 6 pm. for 150 people. I have sisters to help with the setup and serving.
Menu:

Pulled pork - I was planning on cooking 6 pork butts myself and renting chafer water pans with sterno (not sauced/hot and mild bbq sauce on the side and maybe served with pickles and red onions on the side)

meatballs (I have 1 roaster)
dinner rolls (what brand is good)
bbq beans
potato salad
veggie trays
large cake (already ordered)
plates
napkins
forks
I can only afford 1 keg of beer/ there is an inexpensive bar there, it's an Eagles Club)

can you suggest a non-alcoholic beverage

misc side dishes brought by quests
I won't be able to pay my house payment if this gets any more expensive.

How many or much of each do I need?

Shar Welsh
11/04/12
What a wonderful service you offer!!! I'm helping a college couple cater their wedding. There will be between 175 and 200 guests. Here's what we're planning:

Appetizers:
Cheese and crackers:
5# Cheddar
5# PepperJack
5# Colby
5# Swiss
Mixed crackers

3-4 gallons Spinach Dip (with french bread rounds)

Veggie platters:
10# baby carrots
6-8 quarts grape tomatoes
6# broccoli
6# cauliflower
8# bell peppers
1.5 gallons Ranch dressing

Dinner:
50# hot buffalo wing chicken
30# cold chicken pesto salad
400 small sandwich rolls

80# potatoes for garlic cheese mashed potatoes

10-12# rotini for cold pasta salad

3-4 full-size chafers Cheesy Broccoli casserole

2-3 gallons Hummus with pita bread

Fruit platter:
15# grapes
15-18# strawberries
12# sliced oranges

There will be beer and wine, but I will be taking care of the tea and lemonade (and water):
10 gallons lemonade
8-10 gallons sweet tea
5 gallons unsweetened tea

ellen
11/04/12
Rob, Shar, it is going to take a couple of days, you are not forgotten.
Sharon
11/05/12
Reception for 200 people
Hi Ellen, doing a graduation reception for approx 200 people. Menu consist of chicken wingettes, meatballs, vegetable spring rolls, veggie tray, cheese and cracker tray, punch/water, sheet cake. Approximately how much should I prepare for this reception. This will take place around 5:00 in the afternoon. Thank you
ellen
11/06/12
Hi, Rob, hope this helps you stay out of foreclosure:

150 people

Pulled pork - I was planning on cooking 6 pork butts myself and renting chafer water pans with sterno (not sauced/hot and mild bbq sauce on the side and maybe served with pickles and red onions on the side)

This will go quite a bit further if you sauce it with the mild sauce the day ahead, and let it bulk up and season. Just put the hot suace out with some mild sauce also. People will manage.

Definitely onion and pickle, and I suggest 3 gallons vinegar slaw, people will put it on the sandwich and take less meat

meatballs (I have 1 roaster) OK. Hope it is at least 20 pounds meatballs. You can bulk up with frozen fajita veg (sliced bell pepper and onion)

dinner rolls (what brand is good)- Get rolls or bread that can make sandwiches- local bakery often has good buys- 18 pounds. 4 pounds butter
bbq beans- 4 1/2 gallons
potato salad- 6 gallons
veggie trays- have the slaw and do fruit instead- see fruit tray page
ADD chips and dip: 2 1/2 to 3 gallons dip/salsa and 12 pounds chips

large cake (already ordered) never hurts to have additional cupcakes, cookies, etc

Buy the supplies from somewhere you can return unopened packages
plates- 2 dinner and 2 dessert/salad size. Get sturdy ones or people take extra
napkins-4 per person
forks- 3 forks, 2 spoons, 1 knife per person
3 glasses and 1 cup per person
I can only afford 1 keg of beer/ there is an inexpensive bar there, it's an Eagles Club)

can you suggest a non-alcoholic beverage
Do BOTH lemonade (10 gallons), frozen concentrate is good, you can add some of the new guava/mango/pineapple concentrate for part

AND dinner coffee- see the beverage page This is especially important since you are serving liquor

ellen
11/06/12
Shar, good effort on the first estimate. Just a few suggestions. You have to plan for 200 if you think there might be 200- running out is a disaster.

Appetizers:
Cheese and crackers:
5# Cheddar
5# PepperJack
5# Colby
5# Swiss
Add 5-8 pounds of a cheese ball or spread
Mixed crackers- 12 pounds

3-4 gallons Spinach Dip (with french bread rounds) 4 for sure, its popular. 1 pound bread per 15

Veggie platters:
10# baby carrots
6-8 quarts grape tomatoes
6# broccoli
6# cauliflower
8# bell peppers
1.5 gallons Ranch dressing a6t least 2 maybe 2 1/2

Dinner:
50# hot buffalo wing chicken
30# cold chicken pesto salad
400 small sandwich rolls

80# potatoes for garlic cheese mashed potatoes

10-12# rotini for cold pasta salad

3-4 full-size chafers Cheesy Broccoli casserole- 4 for sure

2-3 gallons Hummus with pita bread 3 for sure

Fruit platter:
15# grapes
15-18# strawberries
12# sliced oranges
short- add a cut up water melon and maybe other cut up melons

There will be beer and wine, but I will be taking care of the tea and lemonade (and water):
10 gallons lemonade
8-10 gallons sweet tea
5 gallons unsweetened tea

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

ellen
11/06/12
Sharon, unfortunately, a 5 PM reception means people arrive starving and many try to eat a meal from your offerings. If you are dealing with teen/college age, this is especially true.

chicken wingettes, costly and people eat a lot of them. Much less expensive and more filling to do legs, 2 per person.
meatballs, 1 pound per 5
I would add sausage bites, 1 pound per 5

vegetable spring rolls, will get scarfed. Allow at least 1 full (3 pieces) per person and consider adding one or two more bite type things; a mini quiche would be a good choice; 2 per person. Roasted seasoned tiny potatoes with sour cream, 2 per person.

veggie tray, use veggie tray page, do not omit dip; at least 1 pound ready to eat veg per 5-6 people

ADD fruit trays, see fruit tray page

cheese and cracker tray, 20 pounds cheese, 12-15 pounds crackers

punch/water, 20 gallons punch, with some unsweetened tea available for the no sugar people

sheet cake- 2 layer half sheet serves 50-60

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

Briana
11/07/12
My wedding is in December. We are doing a private ceremony, but then a reception with everyone. I have an idea of what I want to do, but I don't know what amounts I should do. We are only doing appetizer type foods because it will be new years eve @ 8 pm. The following are the food items we plan on doing:
1. Mini pigs wrapped in blanket
2. Popcorn chicken?
3. Cheese/ cracker trays
4. Veggie trays
5. Fruit trays
6. Sandwich tray

Any other suggestion? And how much should we make for around 120-150 people?

Becca
11/08/12
My son is getting married in June and since we are on a tight budget, we are doing the reception meal on our own and want to do something simple as well as inexpensive. We are guessing around 250. Dinner is at 5 pm, this is the menu we have planned
Pulled Pork(using Pork Roasts, smoked by a friend, kept in roasters) 125 lbs
Large Rolls
Meatballs & cocktail smokies in bbq sauce ?lbs
Pasta Salad 10 gallons
Plain Potato chips 20 bags
Simple Veggie Tray

I am a cake decorator so am used to doing quantities for cakes and drinks, but this is my first time doing a meal of this size, can you help with the quantities, am I close? Also can you suggest a simple pasta salad?
Thank you.

Becca
11/09/12
Disregard above, I started a new thread.
Thanks
Marie
11/09/12
Hello, I was wondering how many pounds of beef for birria do you need for 150 guest? How much chilis would you use need?
ellen
11/09/12
This spicy all-meat Mexican stew requires about 1/2 pound raw boneless meat per person. I like this recipe, which gives chili gudance:

mexicanfood.about.com/od/deliciousmaindishes/r/authenticbirria.htm

Marta
11/18/12
To starte off withwe are planning a fingerfood reception for our up-coming wedding event.We are on a limited income and do not have a lot of money.We have a list of food made out. We are both abit over the hill so-to-speak
We would like to know how to plan for the 150 people. I have talked to my other half as he has said buying the food, it has a breakdown of serving size on the label.The ones that we really have a problem with are those that are in poundage. My question is how to figure out the serving for 150 people per-pound. We plan on lil smokies and chicken tenders. For what we have on the list I'm thinking about 800 dollars could cover.
Marta
11/18/12
To starte off withwe are planning a fingerfood reception for our up-coming wedding event.We are on a limited income and do not have a lot of money.We have a list of food made out. We are both abit over the hill so-to-speak
We would like to know how to plan for the 150 people. I have talked to my other half as he has said buying the food, it has a breakdown of serving size on the label.The ones that we really have a problem with are those that are in poundage. My question is how to figure out the serving for 150 people per-pound. We plan on lil smokies and chicken tenders. For what we have on the list I'm thinking about 800 dollars could cover.
Marta
11/18/12
My previous e-mail was sent by a mistake. I wanted to include the list with it.
THE LIST
club crackers (256 per container
spiral sandwiches (60 "
pigs in-a-blanket (60 "
meatballs (155 "
jalepeno poppers (45 "
taquitos (55 "
quiche broc/ches (60 "
mini creampuffs (84 "
mini pastries (35 "
mini pizza bagels (60 "
pizza rolls (140 "
bagel rolls (36 "
chicken tenders (4 lbs
lil smokies (3 lbs
presliced cheese, vegetables, fruit, drinks. We have a few other items maybe you can give us a little somrthing to help us, if you could, It would be greatly appreciated THANK=YOU
ellen
11/19/12
Marta, this is too many different items, and too many that need oven heating- unless you have commercial ovens, you can't heat one item for 150 at once, and you have 7 or 8.

Are you also having a cake?

I will be glad to go over the list and make suggestions if you will write some additional information- time of the service and how long is the reception? Where is the reception being held/ What kind of kitchen and how much refrigerator and oven space? How much help? What beverages are planned?

Just FYI, the usual budget for a DIY reception for 150 people is at least $10-12 per person...

Write back. START A NEW THREAD!

Kristie
11/21/12
Hi Ellen, I am planning a wedding Dec 8th @4pm. The Wedding Menu is as follows:

Baked Turkey
Ham
String Beans
Roasted Potatoes
Dinner Roll
Garden Salad w/ranch and italian dressin

Appetizers:
Meat and cheese tray

Sweets:
Small Candy Bar (for children)
Sweet Potato Pie
Lemon Pie

Drinks:
Punch
Water
Soda

What do you suggest for a signature cocktail for an Autumnn Wedding? Also, should we add another side dish?If so, what should we add?

ellen
11/21/12
I would definitely add fruit trays and a dip and chip or bread and dip appetizer to the appetizers. See the fruit tray page. 1/4 cup dip or spread per person, 1 1/2 ounces chips or bread.

You will also need gravy and cranberry with your entrees. 1/4-1/3 cup gravy per person, 1 pound cranberry relish per 6-8.

Signature cocktail depends on the budget. Freixenet, a Spanish champagne type wine, makes a lovely base for a cava cocktail/ champagne cocktail or punch, not too pricey. With this menu you could also consider a rum punch or eggnog.

Patty
11/26/12
Wedding for 200 people
Having mostaccoli, salad, veggie tray, lil smockies, rolls, cake and cupcakes. How much please?
Lisa
11/26/12
Wedding for 125 people
Hello, I am doing a party for 125 people, I am cooking rotissere chicken, or turkey
mash potatoes
and green beans
how many chickens do you think i need, or turkey? also how many pounds of green beans or mash potatoes?
ellen
11/26/12
Patty, look at the plan for 100 page and the spaghetti page and make a first estimate and I will be happy to check it for you.
ellen
11/26/12
Lisa, the green beans and mashed potatoes are covered in the plan for 100 page, as is the chicken; use 1 1/4 times the amount for 100. Turkey, 3/4 to 1 pound whole turkey per person- the larger amount if it is buffet and seconds expected.
Kristie Sheree
12/06/12
Hi Ellen,

I want to serve Pie at an Autumn Wedding this weekend. I want to serve at least to different kinds. What type of pie should I serve? How many pies do I need for 75 people?

ellen
12/06/12
Is this the only dessert?

For 100, you use:

16 8” pies
10 to 12 10" deep dish pies

This time of year, apple, pecan and pumpkin would be good choices. For 12 pies, about 5 apple, 4 pecan, 3 pumpkin. You need whip cream for the pumpkin, and some people like it on the other as well. I suggest deep dish apple.

cindy diaz
12/08/12
I am having a quinceanera in 2 weeks. I want to have some type of stewing beef, mole (chicken in a gravy sauce), how many pounds/roasters are needed. I have 18 qt roasters
ellen
12/08/12
Hi, Cindy,

For 150 people, assuming rice, salad and beans as well, I would make about 45 pounds of beef for guisada or similar, and 35-40 pounds of chicken for mole. When you have two, people tend to take some of each. 3 roaster pans of beef, 2 of chicken. 2 table lines with both sides open

cindy diaz
12/08/12
Thank you! Also, would one 18qt of pinto beans be enough. And how many pounds of pinto beans
ellen
12/09/12
You need 12-15 pounds dry beans, and that is 2 roasters.
ellen
12/09/12
WARNING about roasters- 2 or more on one circuit can blow the circuit. Use those surge protector power bars so you can reset without going to the fuse box, and limit the plug-ins to 2 per room/ circuit.
Aisha
12/10/12
Retirement party for 150 to200 people
Hello, we are having are party for 150 to 200 people and the main course is chicken fettuccine alfredo how much fettuccine, chicken and alfredo sause do I need to make this meal.
ellen
12/11/12
See the spaghetti page. The guide for 50-60 for spaghetti dinner at the bottom of the page, make times 3 or 4 depending on the actual number.
Lucille
12/15/12
Wedding for 80 people
Hello, I'm having a wedding reception, buffet style, with servers, for 80 people. How many pounds of each of the following do I need?

*Roasted (boneless) Chicken Breast w/Cream Sauce
*Roasted Potatoes
*Green Beans w/Bacon
*Baby Carrot w/Honey Glaze
*Pasta Salad

I also need advise about what kind of Punch to serve and how many gallons I would need.

Please help me, I've never served this many before. Thank You.

ellen
12/16/12
*Roasted (boneless) Chicken Breast w/Cream Sauce- 2 pounds raw boneless breast per 5

All of these are in the plan for 100 page, you would use 4/5 (.8) times the amount for 100.
*Roasted Potatoes
*Green Beans w/Bacon
*Baby Carrot w/Honey Glaze
*Pasta Salad

The punch amount is discussed on the beverage planning page, and types are discussed on the punch thread, with many links.

It take about 5 people to set up and serve this meal.

Brad
01/09/13
How many peanuts should i serve at my wedding of 150 people? Caterer does them in one pound increments and I'm not sure how many would be safe yet not wasteful?
ellen
01/09/13
6 pounds per 100 is the usual allotment for table nuts or mints.
PEARL
01/16/13
Wedding for 200 people
Hi Ellen My daughter is getting married in 39 days my question is we're having a simple but tasty menu. which the menu consist of:
Seasone Rice-20lbs
Fettuccine-50lbs
Cheese-Velveeta-8(2lbs)packages
Milk-5(1 gallons)
Seasoned blend-2(5lb)packages
Beef Brisket-8(8-10lbs)
Baked Chicken-Leg quarters-7(40lbs) cases
Green Beans-17(gallons)-cans
Crossiant Rolls-medium
Veggie Platters
Fruit Platters
Cheese & Crackers platters
Punch Lemonade Tea-sweet-unsweeten Coffee & Water
This is an evening wedding which starts at 4pm and 1 1/2 hour later the meal will be served my question is what type of nibblers should I serve and how much and what other type of dish would help inhanace the Menu also what types of veggies and fruits will go better.with the meal (3 veggies & 3 fruits)and if the calculations are enough for the main meal Thanks..
ellen
01/16/13
Hi, Pearl,

I would adjust the menu, you have too much of some things and possibly shortages in others.

Seasoned Rice-20lbs- if this is cooked weight, I would increase to 30
Fettuccine-50lbs- if this is cooked weight, you are about right

Cheese-Velveeta-8(2lbs)packages
Milk-5(1 gallons)
Not sure what this is for? But if you are making cheese sauce for vegetables, you need only about 4 gallons total- here you have over 6 gallons

Seasoned blend-2(5lb)packages- ?? if this is a veg mix, 40 pounds
Green Beans-17(gallons)-cans- 9 cans

In buffet service of beef and a second meat, you need 5/8 beef and 3/8 the second meat
Beef Brisket-8(8-10lbs)- 100 pounds
Baked Chicken-Leg quarters-7(40lbs) cases- too much- 1 pound per 3 persons- no more than 2 cases, and cut the quarters into pieces

Croissant Rolls-medium- 1 1/2 per person- put on tables- need butter, about 3 pounds per 100

Veggie Platters- see the veggie tray page. 3 Classic relish trays would be a nice option
Fruit Platters- see the fruit tray page 1 1/2 to 2 deluxe trays for 100 would be a good choice
Cheese & Crackers platters- 1 pound cheese per 10, 6-8 pounds crackers per 100

Punch
Lemonade
If some is being served with the appetizers, about 16 gallons total. One alone would be fine
Tea-sweet & unsweetened 10 gallons, including 4 unsweetened
Coffee, dinner level coffee, see the beverage planning page
Water

jessi
01/16/13
mozzerella
how do i make mozzeralla chese sticks for 7 people?
ellen
01/16/13
Do you mean fried mozzarella? You use string cheese.

Put "fried mozzarella" into google and see the plethora of recipes.

It helps to do the chill overnight thing as some of the recipes mention.

Sarah
01/16/13
I am thinking of cubed potatoes for my wedding guests of 150 people. How many lbs of potatoes should I get?
Pearl
01/17/13
Wedding for 200
Hello Ms. Ellen
Thanks for info on the Menu the cheese and milk is for the homemade sauce for the fettuccine and the seasoned blend which is onions bell peppers celery and parsley this will go into the fettuccine and cheese sauce,also I will be using Zatarans creole seasons garlic powder dried parsley cayenne pepper paprika how much would I use to season the cheese sauce without overdoing it. I would like to have a little heat from the cayenne pepper. Thanks so much for your time ans I'm glad I found your sight.I would like to cook the fettuccine the night or two before what is the best way to keep them fresh.
ellen
01/17/13
Sarah, if it is the only starch dish, about 40 pounds per 100.

Pearl, please look at my alfredo style sauce for 100 on the spaghetti page, it will make a much better sauce than the Velveeta. You would make double. Barely cook the pasta, stir in the cooled sauce, add about 30 pounds of frozen, Italian mixed vegetables (peas, broccoli florets. etc). Chill rapidly. Bake day of and serve as a baked dish. The pasta will not hold well unsauced.

Try this family size ahead, you will see what an improvement it is. Italian seasoning plus a few tablespoons of Zatarans and of cayenne are fine in this amount.

rita
01/20/13
Wedding for 200 people
I am considering seafood only jambalaya and a creamy pasta
casserole as the main dishes for my july event. How many total pounds of seafood (mainly shrimp) should I use? How many pounds of dry pasta? Salad, bread etc will be served. Thanks.
ellen
01/21/13
How to split this depends on what region the wedding is in, as for example,in New Englad, more pasta, in the south more jambalaya. Approximately where are you? What else is being served? Write back.
rita
01/21/13
My event is on the west coast. Buffet will also contain red beans with sausage and rice in addition to salad and rolls. Many are
hearty eaters. Need to know total pounds of seafood for the
jambalaya to use for 200 guests as this will be the most in demand dish. Also, how much uncooked pasta for the same amount of guests. Thanks.
ellen
01/22/13
You want to know about this site:

www.gumbopages.com/food/basics/

For a seafood jambalay for 200, you would use about:

56 pounds medium green shrimp, peeled and deveined tails intact
56 pounds mussels in shell, scrubbed and beards removed (crab in shell or oysters are also an option)
28 pounds fish fillets, cubed
about 35 pounds of rice

Amanda Crane
01/25/13
Wedding for 200 people
Hi Ellen
We are doing 3 types of meats for 200 people
Lamb, tri tip steak and chicken Im figuring a whole lamb, 60lbs tri tip and 40 pounds of chicken, does this sound right?
Along with squash onion carrot skewers. Im planning on 250 skewers.
We are also planning a baked potato bar and im planning on 200 potatoes cut in half, Im not sure of the quantities to use on the side dishes like the bacon bits, sour cream, butter and cheese?
ellen
01/25/13
Amanda, for the potato bar use the topping lists from the potato bar page. The potatoes will hold better if you use a smaller potato and don't cut it- 200 6 ounce potatoes would be plenty with the other foods.

30 pounds is OK for skinless, boneless chicken, go to 60 if it is bone in.

Have someone serve the lamb. The size varies, you need about 45 pounds.

Tina
01/26/13
Hello Ellen.
We are planning on doing the food for my daughter's wedding ourselves. Not sure how much of anything to do. The wedding is at 7pm with the reception immediately following. We are looking at just doing finger foods for about 150 people.

We would like to have
veggie trays
cucumbers
celery
carrots
broccoli
cauliflower
tomatoes
veggie dip

fruit trays
Strawberries
grapes
honeydew
watermelon
pineapple
dip

cheese balls
sausage balls
spinach dip
turkey/ham
How much rolls and crackers would we need.

For drinks We would like to serve
tea
water
coffee
punch

Thank you for you help!

ellen
01/27/13
For the veggie trays and fruit trays you can rely on the quantities on the veggie tray page and the fruit tray page.

cheese balls, 16-20 pounds of cheeses, including balls/spreads and slices; 6-8 pounds crackers per 100
sausage balls, at least 3 per person
spinach dip, 1/4 cup per person, 1 pound chips per 10-12

turkey/ham, use the reception level amounts on the sandwich page, and see the same table for the condiments

tea, 8-10 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened
water, bottled? 16 ounces per person
coffee, use the dinner level coffee guide from the beverage page and have both caff and decaf as indicated
punch, about 12 gallons, try to avoid red, as it is always spilled and it stains dressy clothes

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation to support the site.
How much rolls, 2 small per person

Lorraine
01/28/13
Cooking for 150 homeless
I'm spearheading a social group where we're planning the menu, buying the food, cooking it and then serving the homeless. We've done this a few times now so I'm getting a grip on some of the quantities. The group is making donations to cover the cost of the food so I want to make it as cost effective as possible.

We're making the food (i.e. peeling and chopping carrots instead of using bags of frozen vegetables) as it's also a bonding/social time for us as we prepare the meal.

We're expecting to serve 150 people. I wouldn't mind a little left over just in case there are more people to serve.

Menu
Meatballs (3 larger ones per person or 5 smaller ones) - 60 pounds of meat, mixed with breadcrumbs, salt and pepper
Sweet & sour sauce - home made (brown sugar, flour, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup) Will need to expand the recipe. For 2 cups of brown sugar for 6 servings would be 50 cups of brown sugar for 150 people
Rice - no idea how much to get. 38 cups? based on 1/4 cup dry rice per person
Carrots (or some other vegetable - open to suggestions but should be quite common)
Coleslaw - 30 pounds of cabbage shredded with onions/carrots mixed in, 1 large container of dressing purchased.

Bread / dinner rolls - Not sure if we need these or if we'll have enough budget to cover the purchase. Would allow 1 per person.

Desserts (brownies, cupcakes are being donated by a bakery)

ellen
01/29/13
You have a grip on the amounts, you want about 30 pounds of veggies. 18-20 pounds of rice.

Always good to do bread and butter. Frozen bread dough (Rich's) loaves, cut into 12 per loaf, nice fat fresh rolls at less than 10 cents per roll.

Gizelle
02/03/13
Hello Ellen!

Such a great site!!! I am in need of some help for an upcoming Spring wedding of roughly 150 guests. We are having an ice cream bar on top of a few other desserts (made by family) and a wedding cake/cupcake tier enough to feed 150 people. Heh, yes, my fiance and I have a big sweet tooth :) Could you help me decide how much to get of the items below?

* Vanilla Ice Cream (gallons?)
* Chocolate syrup (I have two 16 oz bottles)
* Caramel syrup (I have two 16 oz bottles)
* Caramel syrup (I have two 16 oz bottles)
* Crushed Peanuts
* M&M's
* Fresh Strawberries
* Sliced Bananas
* Crushed Reeses' Peanut Butter Chocolates
* Crushed Oreo Cookies
* Cherries

Thank you!!

ellen
02/03/13
See the ice cream sundae bar and plan for 100. Amounts of syrup. nuts and other toppings are discussed in some detail.
Carla
02/05/13
I am cooking for a 150 people. They want miniature ham balls and little smokies. How much do you recommend? They are also having meat and cheese trays, veggie trays and fruit. Thank You!!
ellen
02/05/13
You want 1 pound of each for every 5 to at most 6 people.
Delly
02/07/13
Hi just wondering I'm getting married in September and am having 150 people we are having food platers made for us what are some good food platers and how meany will I need to feed 150 people please help :)
ellen
02/08/13
What time is the reception, how long will it last and are you asking about all the food? More info please.
Debbie
02/11/13
50th-Wedding for 150 people Time:2PM to 5PM
How much of each of the following would you suggest I serve at a party for friends. Thank you for your help!!! Awesome site!
Menu: Nuts, Mints, Fruit Tray and dip, Veggie tray and dip, Pasta Salad, Chicken fingers, Ham Croissants, Chicken Salad in Phyllo Cups, Hot Artichoke Dip and Chips, Spinach Dip and crackers,
Cake, Punch, Sweet Tea, Unsweet Tea, Water
Angel
02/12/13
April 6 wedding. We are expecting 150 people. My daughter wanted fried chicken (southern comfort food). I need to know how many ounces of vegetables, etc. I need. Here is the breakdown:
Fried chicken tenders (400)
Rolls (200)
Buttered corn (how many pounds)
Purple hull peas (how many pounds)
Loaded new potatoes (caterer is doing these)
Tossed garden salad (how many pounds)

Also, if I am doing sauces for the chicken, what do you suggest? I was thinking ranch dressing and honey mustard (and ketchup for the children).

Also, shouldn't this be sufficient? I am open to budget friendly suggestions.

ellen
02/14/13
Buttered corn (how many pounds)35 pounds
Purple hull peas (how many pounds)- 30 pounds
Loaded new potatoes (caterer is doing these)- 2 pounds per 5 to 6
Tossed garden salad (how many pounds)- use the figures on the plan for 100 page, 1 1/2 times the amount for 100. But DO take a look at the southern layered salad on the salads that hold page.

Also, if I am doing sauces for the chicken, what do you suggest? I was thinking ranch dressing and honey mustard (and ketchup for the children). 2 tablespoons each per person, and a little extra.

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.

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

Kristina
02/16/13
Hi Ellen! I am planning a June 29th backyard wedding for 1:30p. Ceremony will be done by 2p. We are expecting 150-200 people and it will be an all day/evening event. All outdoors with tents. Buffet-style.

A lot of my helpers are boys and insist that there will be "plenty" of food. I just want to make sure no one goes hungry but we are on a highly limited budget. There will be a LOT of kids there (probably 50-75).

The host (a male) had suggested we would go right to dinner at 2p, cake at 6p and be done with food for the day.

I had originally thought a nibble-type thing at 2p and dinner at 5-6p. I told him either way, if we eat dinner at 2p, we will still need nibbles at some point later in the evening. He disagrees.

I will check out the tables for amounts but I'm wondering about what we should serve when with our timing?

Generally for food we are thinking:

dinner
-Hot dogs
-Hamburgs
-buns
-pasta salad
-baked beans
-corn on the cob
-condiments

dessert
-wedding cake
-candy bar

Evening snack
-smores

For nibbles (whether afternoon or evening)
-olives and pickles
-cheese and crackers
-bruschetta with toast
-nut assortment
-fruit and veggie platters with dip

drinks
-beer kegs
-white and red wine
-punch fountain for kids
-water bottles
-assorted sodas

Thank you for your thoughts! I think your site is going to prove invaluable to me while planning this!!

ellen
02/16/13
Hi, Kristina,

Big job! And some special considerations, especially the length of the party and the very large number of kids.

First of all, you are right about needing several food opportunities. Basically, one eating opportunity about every 3 hours of party, and at 2pm snacks first, as most people will have eaten lunch. Then dinner, then if you are continuing to 10 P or later, a last bite with coffee available before departure.

However, I am going to make some suggestions about tweaking the menus, because grilling with very large numbers of people and lots of kids is both VERY slow and sometimes dangerous. Also, you can save a little money with some changes.

dinner
-Hot dogs
-Hamburgs
MUCH simpler to do shredded/pulled beef, pork or chicken, done ahead, frozen and served in roasters, or sloppy joes for one choice, with maybe sausage and peppers or meatballs as the second
-buns- the sandwich page has counts for buns and condiments.

A low cost alternative which is very popular with a youngish outside crowd is, a FIESTA theme with a taco bar, with rice, beans and enchiladas added. Also very economical-

-pasta salad- good. Recipes for pasta salad for 100 are on site. would do rice instead if you do a taco bar
-baked beans- good- many choices- could do refried or black beans if you go texmex
-corn on the cob- a little tricky with this size crowd, you would do 250 half cobs
-condiments- see above

dessert
-wedding cake
An attractive and economical approach is to do a smaller fancy wedding cake (about 80 servings) with a big grooms cake, usually involves chocolate, and kitchen cake, which is sheet cake in the wedding cake flavor.
-candy bar- attractive, but expensive and really hypes up both kid and adult sugar addicts... If you did a cookie/ bar dessert buffet, you and family members/friends could bake and freeze all the items ahead at a very low cost. See the dessert planning page for basic info

Evening snack
-smores
Messy. If you do dinner at 5-6, you could skip. Another possibility, if you are planning to go later, 10 ish or past, would be an ice cream sundae bar, see the article on this site. Both kids and grown ups love this. Dry ice is involved to keep very cold.

For nibbles (whether afternoon or evening)
-olives and pickles
-cheese and crackers
-bruschetta with toast
-nut assortment
-fruit and veggie platters with dip

I would do these as I said in the afternoon, and would do 2 of the classic relish trays, and a veggie tray for 100; fruit for 150, 6 pounds nuts per 100; 1 pound cheese per 15 if you are also having cheese with the sandwiches, or 1 pound per 10-12 if no cheese on sandwiches, some can be spreads or balls; 1 pound crackers per 15; consider chips and dips instead of bruschetta due to the large number of kids and the problem with ovens for this many pieces;

drinks
-beer kegs
-white and red wine
Amounts on these are discussed on the beverage planning page, carefully note the parameters about time- your long party is actually 2 parties as far as beverages are concerned. Make some estimates when you have set your menu and time and I will be glad to check.
-punch fountain for kids- consider doing lemonade instead- adults and kids both like it, and it does not stain- serve with both nibbles and dinner
-water bottles- 1 1/2 per person
-assorted sodas- please consider doing iced tea instead, much cheaper, and do 2/3 sweet and 1/3 unsweet.
Also, you need to plan for dinner coffee (see the beverage page) with the cake and because of the drinking

You will probably want to write back and forth a bit more, please do start a new thread so I can find you easily.

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

jean
02/19/13
fundraiser
I am having a fundraiser fro 200, there are 20 tables I want to put peanuts on the tables (It's an old Fashion Hoe Down) I am a caterer but I have never had to deal with peanuts in the shells. I am perplexed how many pounds to buy. Could you lead me in the right direction?
ellen
02/19/13
For a single serving of peanuts in shell, allow 1 pound per each 3 people. It would not hurt to put 4 pounds on each table.

If this is helpful, please consider a donation to support the site.

Brenda
02/19/13
Wedding for 120 people
I am helping my future daughter-in-law and son with their wedding reception. Starts at 5:00p.m.
in church fellowship hall. They just want to do finger foods, Thinking of lunch meat pen wheels, fruit kabobs, veg trays, chips, dip,
The wedding is right after spring close to Easter any thoughts and how much cheese, lunch etc for the pin wheels. Thank you
ellen
02/19/13
Brenda, the amount of food you need depends on the time of the serving, and if it is a 5PM wedding, your guests will not have eaten supper and will expect dinner amounts, even if you do it in finger foods. So, the above alone is not enough food; you would need to expand the sandwich choices, maybe add soup or chili.

If the issue is budget, there are several inexpensive dinner options, such as a taco fiesta; baked or mashed potato bar; baked pasta casseroles with salad, veggies and bread. All would need an appetizer table.

Write back what kind of kitchen, how much help, etc.

Susan
02/25/13
I am planning a wedding for June,22,2013. I have a caterer, and we will have a beef entree, a chicken entree, a pasta entree. We will also have a veg, a salad, and mash potatoes. The wedding is at 2 pm. As a single mom I am on a tight budget. I would love to make fruit cabobs the day before. Guest list is 190. Will 350 be enough? They will have grapes, strawberries, and melon. How much fruit do I need to buy? I am also doing crackers and cheese. Is 16 pounds enough? And I read your suggestion of four crackers a piece, is that appropriate for the time of day? Nibbles 3-4:00 while pics are taken. Thank you so much. Oh! Also getting 2 liters pop. One per two people? Btw reception at church fellowship hall
ellen
02/25/13
Hi, Susan,

I am going to tell you what I suggest to every one about fruit kabobs; they are fiddly to make, handling the fruit means it doesn't hold or keep as well, and you have all the skewers to dispose of. I recommend fruit trays, which make lovely display, can be washed and cut the day ahead except the berries, and the leftovers are more usable. Make a few kabobs for decoration? Use the fruit tray page for guidance on amounts.

You won't have any cheese/crackers left- how about go for 20 pounds, with some of it logs or rolls you make ahead and freeze?

Because it is a 2 pm wedding, people will eat about 10% less than a later wedding, about 1 pound of food instead of a pound and a half- it would be perfectly OK to have just one meat entree.

The amounts are as indicated on the fruit tray page.

Good luck.

jackie
03/11/13
hi. i am getting married in september 2013 and will be having a buffet style supper. I know what i want for a menu but am not sure of how much of each item i need.It will be served cold plate style and i already have servers lined up to put the items on the plates as the people pass. here is the menu:
roast beef
ham
turkey
potato salad
coleslaw
garden salad
for desserts i am going to have an assortment of squares and loaves already cut or sliced. also going to have tea and coffee as well.

i would also like to have some meat trays for the reception and cheese and crackers but am unsure of how much to have. thanking you in advance.

ellen
03/11/13
Appetizers

meat trays for the reception- with you entree do fruit trays- see the fruit tray page
and 2 classic relish trays, see veggie tray page
cheese 1 pound per 10, some can be logs or spreads
crackers- 1 pound per 12
add a punch or lemonade- 10 gallons per 100

Dinner

roast beef- 1 pound per 4
ham- 1 pound per 6-8
turkey- 1 pound per 6-8
The difficulty you have here, is, no entree for non-meat eaters. Add egg salad (1 gallon) or deviled eggs (2 whole eggs per each 3 people) or a cold bean salad- 2 gallons
potato salad- 4 gallons per 100
coleslaw- 2 1/2 gallons per 100
garden salad- see plan for 100 page for amounts and dressings

desserts
an assortment of squares and loaves already cut or sliced. see the dessert planning page

tea and coffee- see beverage planning page

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

Deeanna(:
03/13/13
Wedding for100-125 people
Ok my wedding is April 20th. I am having penne in sauce meatballs in sauce ham parsley potatoes mixed veggies cheese and cracker tray veggie tray fruit salad pepperoni bread dinner rolls brownies cookies cheese cake bites and cupcakes instead of.cake. I really don't know.how much of.anything I need please help me r
ellen
03/13/13
Deeanna, you will need at least 3 people in the kitchen and 6 people setting up, serving and cleaning up this size party. These are not members of the wedding party.

You will have to have more than a family kitchen to do this. I suggest that you and your helpers read both the wedding dinner article and the family brunch article now.

Appetizer table; have this ready as soon as the guests start to arrive
cheese- 1 pound per 10
cracker tray-1 pound per 15
veggie tray- see veggie tray page, I would do 2 classic relish trays instead
fruit salad- do fruit trays instead- easier to serve, keep better, leftovers more usable. Do deluze tray for 100 from the fruit tray page
pepperoni-1 pound per 15
Add a punch or lemonade- 10 gallons

meatballs in sauce- 1 pound meatballs per 4, sauce as desired
ham- 1 pound per 5

penne in sauce- 10 pounds dry pasta, 1 quat sauce per pound
parsley potatoes- 25 pounds

mixed veggies- 26 pounds ready to cook

bread- 10-12 pounds
dinner rolls- 1 per person

Dessert buffet
Cut these in 2 bite sizes, small cookies, so people can have several different kinds. Per person:
brownies- 2 small
cookies-3 small
cheese cake bites-2 small
cupcakes- 1 per person

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

Sonia
03/16/13
Thanking you in advance with my daughters wedding. December 14th. Cocktail hour 4:00 6:00.
Dinner 6:00p-8:00p.
To serve 150 people.
We are serving fruit ,vegetable trays and Chips /dips.
For dinner we are serving buffet BBQ. Brisket, Ribs and sausage . Rice, beans, potatoe salad .bread, Pickles,, onions, BBQ sauce, and jalapeños.
Drinks: non-alcoholic. Sprite, cokes, tea, coffee, hot chocolate.
For alcoholic beverage : beer, champain, and margaritas. How many bar tenders and servers do U need . Also can you help with the amounts to buy?
Brides cake serves 100 and groomsmen cake 60 people .
Thank you so much!
ellen
03/17/13
fruit trays, deluxe tray for 100 from the fruit tray page, add 1/4 more.
vegetable trays, 2 classic relish trays from the veggie tray page
Chips, 1 pound per 10
dips, at least 2, 1/4 cup each

Brisket, 1/2 pound raw per person
Ribs, 1/2 pound per person
sausage, 1 pound per 5

rice, 8 pounds per 100
beans, 8 pounds per 100
potato salad, 35 pounds potatoes per 100
Consider adding a green salad, see the plan for 100 list

bread, 12 pounds per 100

Pickles, 1 gallon per 100
onions, about 7 pounds per 100
BBQ sauce, 1 cup per 6
jalapeños, 1 gallon per 100

Drinks: non-alcoholic.
Sprite, cokes, see the beverage planning page, do for 75
tea, 6 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened
coffee, Dinner level, see the beverage planning page, for 150, or however many are adults
hot chocolate, 30 packets.

For alcoholic beverage :
Buy from a place which accepts returnm of unopened bottles
beer, 300, you can use kegs
champagne, see beverage planning page, use for toast
margaritas, 2 per person for adults

How many bar tenders and servers
2 bartenders, about 8 servers, 3 kitchen folk

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

Sonia
03/18/13
Oh I forgot to mention the appetizers for the cocktail hour or two. What do you suggest?
Thank you Ellen, this is a great help. I will contribute to a donation . What a great site.
ellen
03/18/13
The fruit trays, veggie trays and chips already listed in the amounts already indicated would be fine for the appetizers, just add a nice lemonade or punch, and maybe an alcoholic punch such as sangria, white wine sangria, or margarita punch for the grown ups. Handy to set it up at 2 tables for this many people.
Sonia
03/18/13
Sounds lovely.!! Thank you so much Ellen!
Tiffaney
03/22/13
Wedding for 150-175 people
Hi Ellen!

I am so thankful I came across your website! I am catering our own wedding and things can be a little overwhelming. Even just a little advice will help. I keep going back and forth between smoked pork/beef and soup. It is going to be a fall themed wedding on September 14 so I thought soup would be brilliant, but smoking meat sounds so much easier (and cheaper)! Do you think so?

For soup I was thinking making 4 different soups.
Chili-24 quarts
Chicken Noodle-24 quarts
Butternut Squash-24 quarts
Tomato Basil-24 quarts

I would have condiments on the side for each soup including:
Cheese
Sour Cream
Crackers/Croutons
Homemade Bread

I am not sure on how much of the condiments though.

I don't plan on having anything else served with the soup except of course dessert, which will be pies instead of cake. We were thinking 25 pies for 150 people. What do you think?

Am I on the right track? If you could give me some pointers that would be really appreciated.

Thank you

ellen
03/22/13
Soup is not out of the question, but it depends a lot on the type of crowd! Suit and tie folks? Probably not.

Also, remember it is a feast! If I were headed in that direction, here is what I would do:

3-4 soups, at least one creamy and one seriously meaty, besides the chili
artisan breads and rolls, maybe also sheet sweet bread (gingerbread, etc) or quick breads
extensive cheese trays and maybe a butter sculpture
classic relish trays or salad
fruit trays
maybe a baked potato bar

pies and also cobblers with real whipped cream or ice cream for toppings

What do you think? START A NEW THREAD and write back.

sherri
04/06/13
Ellen,

This is a fantastic site- very helpful. We are planning a reception/dance following a 6 pm wedding. The menu (so far) consists of sliced brisket, roasted cowboy potatoes, glazed almond Italian green beans, a salad of some type, and yeast rolls. Dessert will be white brides cake with almond flavoring with a raspberry curd sauce, and red velvet groom's cake. Tea, lemonade, and ice water will be provided, but many guest will probably BYOB. The food will be served buffet style, guest will be encouraged to start the lines while we are taking pictures. I am absolutely clueless as to the amounts. Also, the dance will go until 11 or so, do we need a nibble table also?

ellen
04/06/13
Sherri, very nice, but I encourage you to set up the nibble tables- not having some people eat-and finish- before you even get to the party. People will be very hungry- most will not have eaten before they came. Here are some notes for 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, 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; maybe shrimps if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Also, this will decrease the amount of meat and so on that they eat from the buffet-

sliced brisket, 1/2 pound raw per person, it shrinks a lot
Get some mustard and 1/4-1/3 cup sauce or gravy?
roasted cowboy potatoes, 40 pounds per 100
glazed almond Italian green beans, 24 pounds per 100
a salad of some type, Look at the salads that hold section and try something interesting, or maybe the classic relish trays?
yeast rolls, 2 per person, 3 pounds butter per 100.

You might consider a dessert buffet at about 9:30- figure kids and elders may be gone by then

Kerry
04/10/13
Cake Reception for 90 people
Ellen- what a wonderful website!
We are having a 2pm wedding w/ a cake reception immediately following. We will be serving cake w/ sorbet, punch & coffee. I am wondering how much punch I will need? Also, I would like to have a small bunch of grapes (about 5-ish) with the sorbet as a garnish. How many pounds of grapes would I need?
ellen
04/10/13
10 gallons, part of which should be sugar free, or unsweetened ice tea. Also consider having coffee available (dinner coffee, see beverage planning page).

about 10 pounds of grapes, but you will probably have some left.

Tracey
04/11/13
Graduation Party for 120 people
Hi there, We are having a graduation party for our daughter. Our menu is BBQ (pulled pork) sandwhiches, potato salad, baked beans , potato chips, banana pudding, oreo pudding and cupcakes. How many pounds of pulled pork, buns, canned beans (very large cans from Costco), pounds of potato salad, Bags of potato chips (large bags), size tray of banana pudding, size tray of oreo pudding and how many cupcakes do I need? Also- we will be providing canned sodas and bottled waters- how many waters and sodas do I figure? Your help is appreciated!
Kimberly
04/11/13
Wedding in July for 150 people
My mother is planning on catering my wedding and these are the estimates of food we should buy.
The Reception is going to start at 4pm.

Main Dish Table
Chicken Strips 50#
Roast Beef 48#

Sides
Green Salad 7#
Veggie Tray
Baby Carrots 4lbs
Celery 3lbs
Cherry Tomatoes 4qts
Broccoli 4lbs
Cucumber 4lbs
Cauliflower 4lbs
Bacon Ranch Salad 15#
Mashed Potatoes 45#
Macaroni and Cheese 22#
Rolls + Butter 16dozen, 2lbs butter

Appetizer Table
Mini-Tacos 150pc
Mini-Hotdogs 100
Fries 30#
Fruit Tray
Grapes 8lbs
Strawberries 4lbs
Watermelon 16lbs
Cantalope 16lbs
Muskmelon 8lbs
Pineapple 12lbs
Cheese and Cracker Tray 10-12#
Ham, Cream Cheese, and Pickle or Onion Rolls 300pc
Punch Bowl 5Gallons
Dr. Pepper or like product 10 2Liters
Coffee 2G
Iced Tea 2G

Dessert Table
Cake 18" round
Mini Strawberry Cakes 50
Mini Chocolate Cakes 50

Drink Table
1 Keg
2 Boxes Wine
2 Gallons Specialty Drinks
Blue Lagoon
The Something Blue

ellen
04/12/13
Graduation for 120 people
This is is what I would make:
BBQ (pulled pork) sandwiches, about 45 pounds raw meat plus sauce. Can be made ahead and f
buns- 2 per zen in sauce.
condiments and BBQ sauce- see sandwich planning page, 1 1/4 times the amount for 100

potato salad, 5 gallons
baked beans, 3 1/2 gallons; 1 can holds 3/4 gallon
potato chips, 12 pounds; 1 1/2-2 gallons dips

Consider adding either green salad or fruit trays, 100, see plan for 100 or fruit tray page.

banana pudding, 6 9x13
oreo pudding, 8 9x13

cupcakes, one flavor, about 150, 2 flavors, about 100 each.

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

Use the beverage planning page to estimate your sodas, it is very specific, 1 1/4 times the amount for 100.

Tracey
04/12/13
Graduation for 120 people
Thansk you Ellen! I do have one clarification- We are purchasing the BBQ Pork already cooked/ made- how many pounds would I need to cover 120 people?
ellen
04/12/13
About the same- the meat shrinks over 1/4, but the sauce adds weight back, and these being teens, they eat more than one.

Consider adding a non-meat spread for the non-meat eaters- egg salad? sliced cheeses?

Kimberly
04/12/13
Could you let me know if my estimates are correct?
ellen
04/12/13
Sorry, Kimberly, sometimes I miss something on these long threads- that's why I encourage people to start a new thread...

Main Dish Table
Chicken Strips 50#
Roast Beef 48#
OK, but you will probably run out of beef
You also need something for the non-meat eaters

Sides
Green Salad 7#
Veggie Tray
Baby Carrots 4lbs
Celery 3lbs
Cherry Tomatoes 4qts
Broccoli 4lbs
Cucumber 4lbs
Cauliflower 4lbs
Bacon Ranch Salad 15#

Mashed Potatoes 45#
Macaroni and Cheese 22#

Rolls + Butter 16dozen, 2lbs butter

Appetizer Table
Mini-Tacos 150pc- 300
Mini-Hotdogs 100-200
Fries 30#- these are tough for buffet- consider the potato wedges under the recent French Fry thread.

Fruit Tray
Grapes 8 lbs
Strawberries 4 lbs
Watermelon 16 lbs
Cantaloupe 16 lbs
Muskmelon 8 lbs
Pineapple 12 lbs
OK

Cheese and Cracker Tray 10-12# cheese, 8 crackers
Ham, Cream Cheese, and Pickle or Onion Rolls 300pc OK

Punch Bowl 5 Gallons-10
Dr. Pepper or like product 10 2Liters- 1/4 diet
Coffee 2G
Iced Tea 2G-6, 2 unsweetened

Please look at the beverage planning pages, please read the wedding dinner article

Dessert Table
Cake 18" round
Mini Strawberry Cakes 50
Mini Chocolate Cakes 50
Not enough- do 80 each

Drink Table
1 Keg
2 Boxes Wine- 6, 4 white, 2 red, try to use an upscale box, at least Boto Box or more
2 Gallons Specialty Drinks
Blue Lagoon
This is not enough if it is usual amounts of adult drinking.
The Something Blue

ellen
04/12/13
I did not get to finish before I hit the button...

Mashed Potatoes 45# OK if you also have the potato appetizer
Macaroni and Cheese 22#

Carol
04/13/13
Graduation party
please give me the amount that I need to purchase for 150 guests.
Thank-you
chicken
meatballs
Bake beans
corn
chips
cheesy potatoes
rolls
punch
coffee
water
cake
ellen
04/13/13
Graduation for 150 people
Carol, almost all of these are already covered on the site's plan for 100 pages. I will give you some guidance, then if you want to post your estimates, start a new thread and I will check your list.

chicken- quarter per person, see the chicken section of plan for 100
meatballs- 1 pound per 4 plus sauce

Bake beans- 3 gallons (4 #10 cans, or 8 pounds dry) per 100. Consider a meatless recipe, since there is not a meatless entree choice
corn- 22 pounds per 100

chips- 1 pound per 10, 1 quart dip or salsa per 20

cheesy potatoes- see the recipe on the bottom of the brunch for 100 page
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/brunch100.html

rolls-12 pounds per 100, 2 pounds butter per 100

punch- about 15 gallons, including at least 3 sugar-free- could be unsweet tea
coffee use dinner level coffee, beverage planning page
water- 2 bottles per person

cake- a 2 layer full sheet cake serves 100

Consider adding either a fruit tray or salad for 100.

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

Donita Shaw
04/16/13
Having a simple wedding reception for my daughter. I'm doing all the cooking. Besides the in laws will be providing the ham. Needing to know how many pounds of pork roast to buy for pulled pork sandwich's for 150 people and how much ham. How many pounds of potato salad and how many pounds of pasta salad for that many people. I also will be fixing baked beans. Please help!!!!
ellen
04/16/13
Hi,
Do definitely read the wedding dinner article. You will need 3-4 people in the kitchen and about 10 servers to set up, serve, and clean up the party. None of these chould be members of the wedding (discussed in the above article).

pulled pork sandwiches- for 100, about 25 pounds
ham-1 pound per 4
rolls 18 pounds- possibly, get rolls that can be used for the sandwiches and also as dinner bread, if not, 100 rolls, about 8 pounds bread or dinner rolls
condiments-see the sandwich page. I also think you might want 2 gallons of slaw if that is popular in your area
butter-3 pounds

potato salad- about 55 pounds potatoes
pasta salad- about 8 pounds dry pasta
Baked beans- make these meatless- you don't have anything else for non-meat eaters to use as a protein- 4 1/2 gallons

salad- strongly suggest you add a green salad of some kind or increase slaw to 4 gallons

Also, Donita, please consider appetizers. Here is an article excerpt.

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; maybe shrimps if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

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

Tam
04/18/13
THANK YOU for helping all of us plan our special events! For 200ppl at 4PM graduation I'm serving pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, chips, cookies & cupcakes, & fresh fruit salad. How many gallons fresh fruit salad will I need? In prior posts you already answered my questions on quantities for all other foods I'm serving. Also, whats your experience with carved watermelon bowls or baskets? They look cool in pictures, but do they get "soggy" sitting out for several hours in buffet style serving(indoors? How are they to store overnight to serve the next day? How many days in advance could I make one? Thanks for any help or advice!
LEOLA
04/18/13
I have a wedding reception for 150 people and the menu is as follows:
Chicken Breast and Brown Gravy
Rice P
Piloft
Green Beans
Caesar Salad
Dinner Rolls
Punch
How many pounds of each item should I cook or prepare for?
ellen
04/18/13
Tam, go to the fruit tray page, the watermelon boats are discussed, also all the fruit salad recipes will give an idea about amounts for your party. Watermelon boats are best made early day of. If you are holding for more than two hours service, consider putting it in a lake of ice.
ellen
04/18/13
Leola, all these are covered in detail on the plan 100 pages, beverage planning page. I think you can do this straight up. If not sure, start a new thread, post your estimate (start a new thread) and I will check.
Traci
04/29/13
Wedding for approximately 130-140 people
We are getting married this Saturday (May 4, 2013) we are planning on 130 to 140 guests approximately. We are serving Sub sandwiches which have already been taken care of. Fruit and veggie trays containing strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes and possibly cherries. Veggies are celery, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes. Ranch dressing, mayo and mustard. Tortilla chips for rotel dip, Sour cream and onion and BBQ chips. Little smokies possibly deviled eggs and punch containing 7 up, white grape juice, and lime sherbet, sweet tea and punch containing Hawaiian punch, sprite, and orange Sherbet. How much would you recommend getting? We're just picking up last minute things but I wanted to make sure I got enough.
ellen
04/30/13
Sub sandwiches allow 6 inches per adult plus 10%. Or, a 6 foot sandwich serves 25.

strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes and possibly cherries- you want 1 pound per 6 persons, 1 cup dip per 6; weigh the fruits, and see the fruit tray page

celery, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes. 5 pounds each, small pieces
Ranch dressing, mayo and mustard.Ranch dressing only is fine, 1 cup per 8.

Tortilla chips, 1 pound per 16
rotel dip, 2 gallons
Sour cream and onion, 2 gallons
BBQ chips, 1 pound per 16

Little smokies- 1 pound per 6
deviled eggs- 6 dozen eggs, see the recipe on this iste

7 up, white grape juice, and lime sherbet,
punch containing Hawaiian punch, sprite, and orange Sherbet
sweet tea

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

sammi
04/30/13
Wedding for 400 people
I need help. We are having a potato bar and smores for my daughters wedding. About 400 people.
Obviously 400 potatos
10 gal chili
16 lbs sour cream
4 gal cheese sauce
12 lb shredded cheese
4 lbs bacon bits
2 lbs chopped green onions
4 lbs butter
24 boxes of graham crackers (each box makes 26)
20 pkgs of marshamallows
25 boxes of chocolates (each making 24)

does any of this sound good????? i really hate doing this.

Thanks in advance for any and all help:)

Shirley
05/07/13
We are doing a simple wedding, (about 125 people)that will begin about 7pm, all finger food (or with picks)-fresh fruit, meatballs, little smokies, cold shrimp, chips, salsa, pretzels, pickles, olives and then a little later mini sandwiches. My question is cleaning the lettuce ahead of time as well as the fruit. What is the best way so it is clean but not wet and mushy when served? I want to do strawberries and those worry me. Also, how many mini sandwiches should we plan. Thank you so much! Great site.
ellen
05/07/13
Sammi,

The potato bar page will give you good guidance on this; it is not a one person job. The usual help for this size party day of, is 5 people in the kitchen, and at least 25 (yes 25) people who are not part of the wedding party to set up, serve, and clean up the party. It will take at least 6 serving lines to serve 400 people in a timely way.

400 potatoes- You want the larger size 80's, you need 5 cases plus 20 pounds
10 gal chili- 13
16 lbs sour cream- ok
4 gal cheese sauce- ok
12 lb shredded cheese- 13
4 lbs bacon bits- 8
2 lbs chopped green onions- need 40 bunches
4 lbs butter- 9-10
Consider adding one veg- chopped broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, about 50 pounds, if there are no other vegetables. I would definitely have salad and a veg if I were doing this at a wedding. I would also have appetizer tables, (4 of them) and here is why from an upcoming article:

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

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, 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 One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

Do reconsider the some mores, it is not practical with 400 people. There are great sites with how to make some more or s'more type desserts, from bars and cookies to pies and sundaes. You want this done ahead of time, I promise you.

www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,some_mores,FF.html

www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/smores-recipes-cake-cookies_n_1563378.html

If you are seriously distressed about this, please consider inviting half as many and having it catered. Resentment is a bitter seasoning.

ellen
05/07/13
This is a very practical plan for your budget, as the 125 people will eat dinner before they come.

fresh fruit, lots of pointers on the fruit tray page, some can be done ahead (day before), it tells which. Strawberries do indeed have to be rinsed day of, maybe you have a friend/guest who would be willing to undertake this and bring them all ready. A deluxe tray for 100 with added simple tray for 25 would be plenty.
meatballs, 1 pound per 5
little smokies, 1 pound per 5
cold shrimp, 1 pound per 5 shelled, 1 cup cocktail sauce per 5. Tailless are more practical. If this is too expensive, do a tasty shrimp dip or mold.

chips, 1 pound per 12
salsa, 1 cup per 5
pretzels, 6 pounds per 100

pickles, olives 1 gallon per 100, but consider doing 1 1/2 or 2 of the classic relish tray at the top of the veggie tray page

mini sandwiches. If only one kind, 2 per person, if 2 types, 5 per 2, 3 of beef/2 poultry or ham or 3 poultry/2 ham. This one is a tough estimate, depends on the crowd, usually some left.

cleaning the lettuce- do day before, drain in spinner or on paper towels, store in the special produce baggies in the fridge. Crispy lettuce!

cleaning fruit and strawberries- see the fruit tray page.

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

Melissa Heffelfinger
05/26/13
Wedding for 100 people
Hi Ellen, I'm getting married on July 21st of this year and we are still trying to figure out a menu for our reception.It is informal wedding, so we don't want anything too fancy. We were thinking chicken parm, baked ziti, Salad with all different dressing and all the fixtures, a fruit tray, a vegetable tray and appitizers i'm not sure what to make for that. We are doing all the cooking. Thank you
Melissa Heffelfinger
05/26/13
Wedding for 100 people
Oh I forgot either sausage peppers and onions or sausage with bow ties. so
Appetizers
Hot- little wieners in BBQ sauce
Cold- fruit tray, strawberries, honey dew, grapes ( red and green) pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi, apples.Also yogurt, caramel and maybe chocolate dip.

A green salad
Lettuce in separate bowls
Roman lettuce
Carrots, broccoli,cucumbers, onions, tomatoes,bacon bits, all in separate bowls so they can make their own. All different kinds of dressing mainly ranch, low fat ranch, french, Italian. I don't know what other kind
Main dishes
Chicken Parm ( maybe or something easier)

Sausage peppers and onions or bow ties with diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sausage, peppers and onions.
Baked ziti-
Rolls
Butter

Sides
Buttered corn
?? what other sides that are simple to make and quick...

desert
Wedding cake

Drinks
Soda
Water
Alcohol- we are thinking of picking 3-5 signature drinks because we have to bring everything ourselves
Kegs of beer ( don't know how much)
Anything that you can help with would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

ellen
05/26/13
OK, 100 people

Hot- little wieners in BBQ sauce 1 pound per 5, 3 cups sauce per 2 pounds.

Cold- fruit tray, strawberries, honey dew, grapes ( red and green) pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi, apples. See the deluxe fruit tray on the fruit tray page.
Also yogurt, caramel and maybe chocolate dip. Skip the chocolate, too much staining. Amounts of dips discussed on the fruit tray page.

A green salad
Lettuce in separate bowls
Romaine lettuce

Carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, bacon bits, all in separate bowls so they can make their own. Use the plan for 100 salad page.
I will post the salad bar spread for you.

All different kinds of dressing mainly ranch, low fat ranch, french, Italian. I don't know what other kind- advice on dressings is on the plan for 100 page

Main dishes
Chicken Parm ( maybe or something easier) look at the wedding chicken and chicken madeira on the wedding chicken page, both easier. do 3/4 the recipe for 100.

Sausage peppers and onions or bow ties with diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sausage, peppers and onions.
8 pounds pasta, 1 pound sausages per 4-5, equal weight veggies. Rest to your taste or recipe.
Baked ziti- skip it. Do roasted small red potatoes or rice pilaf

Rolls -12 to 14 pounds
Butter - 3 pounds butter

Sides
Buttered corn 22 pounds
?? what other sides that are simple to make and quick...

dessert

Wedding cake
Add grooms cake or other additional desserts to cut costs and add variety.

Drinks
Soda see beverage planning page, count soda drinkers
Water-2 bottles per person
Alcohol- we are thinking of picking 3-5 signature drinks because we have to bring everything ourselves- how about the High Wire White Wine Sangria on this site. Delicious summer drink, popular and inexpensive.
Kegs of beer - see beverage planning page, count beer drinkers, most drink 4 bottles/servings

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

Lori
06/02/13
baby shower 35 people
Hi Ellen,
I am doing a baby shower at 1:00pm. I need to know how much mastochiolli noodles i will need for the mastochiolli and meat sauce. We are also having fried chicken 40pieces, 3 pounds of cheesey potatoes, tossed salad, rolls and cake.
ellen
06/02/13
Not much. With the chicken and potatoes 2 or at most 3 pounds dry pasta, about 1 quart sauce per pound
lori
06/07/13
baby shower 35 people
That was 120 pcs of chicken and 6 pounds of potatoes
ellen
06/07/13
For 40 people, no more than 8o pieces chicken
ellen
06/07/13
For 40 people, no more than 8o pieces chicken
Bonnie
06/17/13
I need lots of Help! I don't know where to begin, I'm having the BBQ meat catered in, but I need to fix potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw, also tea, punch, and lemonade. the wedding is at 5pm and the reception to follow, I need someone to tell me how much to make for 150 people. Also I need ideas on what to feed the wedding party, the day of the wedding before the wedding.
ellen
06/18/13
For 150 people, you need 304 people in the kitchen and about 10 people to set up, serve and cleanup the party, and NONE of them should be members of the wedding party, especially bride and moms. Please read my wedding dinner article.

potato salad, 6 gallons
baked beans, 4 1/2 gallons
cole slaw, 4 gallons

tea,
punch
lemonade

You also really need an appetizer table.

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

One appetizer service area One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

In your situation,1 deluxe fruit tray for 100 from the fruit tray page, 1 classic relish tray from the veggie tray page, 12-15 pounds cheese (some could be logs or spreads), 10 pounds crackers, plus 2 1/2 gallons dip and 12 pounds chips. would be fine).

Now about the snacks for the wedding party.

Have 2 small wraps, or 2 halves large wraps, per person, something not drippy, like turkey and cheese or ham and cheese. Much easier and neater to eat than regular sandwiches.
About 4 bars or cookies each, a mix
A veggie tray and a fruit tray-
A non-staining drink, bottled water, sodas to taste

tricia
06/25/13
Ellen, I feel like I hit the jackpot finding your site. I need a professional's opinion on my food quantities. Here are the details:
My parents 50th anniversary Party.
At a stone lodge by lake, fans, but no A/C
160 guests for dinner and band to follow.
Mostly older adults and a few children
5:00- 9:30

Beverages:
Iced Tea - 8 gallons
Water - 8 gallons
Lemonade - 4 gallons
Boxed red wine - equiv. of 6 bottles
Boxed white wine - equiv of 10 bottles
Beer -12 oz. cans - 5 - 24 packs
Pop - 12 oz. cans - 10 - 12 packs various
20 juice boxes

Cake- 1 large sheet cake choc.
1 large sheet cake white.
200 mints
3 lbs. mixed nuts

Pulled pork - 50 lbs.
Sandwich buns - 216
Pickles - three 16 oz jars
BBQ sauce sweet - 36 oz?
BBQ sauce Spicy - 36 oz?
Mustard 1 large bottle

Potato salad - 40 lbs
Cole Slaw - 40 lbs
Baked bean dish - ( I have no idea)
Individual serving fruit cups 12 oz.
Strawberry - 10 lbs
blueberry -5
pineapple -2 large
raspberry -5 lls
watermelon - 2 large
Potato chips - 5 large bags plain

2 Appetizer trays with spinach dip(Separate locations)
Carrots -3 lbs
Broccoli - 5 lbs
celery - 3 packages
cherry tomatoes - 5 lbs.
Red peppers, 5
Green peppers 5
Spinach dip - 2 lbs

Napkins - 600 beverage
Luncheon size - 150
Dinner - 150
heavy white paper 600 (backup)
300 forks

200 dinner plates
175 dessert plates
175 dessert plates for appetizers

Planning on setting up for tables of 10. Should I add some small tables of four
Setting on tables is napkin and fork. Plates on on buffet line.
What about salt and pepper? Do I need it?

Thoughts? advice? Event is July 14th and so I am getting down to the wire! Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated!!

ellen
06/25/13
You are doing very well, I just have some suggestions and questions:

For 160 people you need 3 buffet lines or 2 double-sided lines, or it will take more than an hour to serve everyone.

Yes on salt and pepper at each table. Some small tables are a very good idea, since some guest will be elderly, handicapped or deaf.

Separate serving area for beverages, and put pitchers of water, lemonade and teas on the table. Tie a ribbon or some other marker to the unsweet tea.

Usual for wine is about 1/2 bottle per person, 2 whites for each red. So you have to figure about how many drinkers. The below is a definite run out situation:
Boxed red wine - equiv. of 6 bottles chillable red is not tasty
Boxed white wine - equiv. of 10 bottles suggest crisp white for least expensive drinkable-- but do look at the High Wire white wine sangria, it is delicious and ver popular and festive.
Beer -12 oz. cans - 5 - 24 packs beer drinkers usually drink 4 at a party- estimate from this
Pop - 12 oz. cans - 10 - 12 packs various- split is discussed on the beverage page
20 juice boxes- get apple- grape or berry stains too much

Cake- 1 large sheet cake choc. - 50-60 pieces
1 large sheet cake white. 50-60 pieces
You might want one of those to be 2 layer...
200 mints- I get 6 pounds per 100
3 lbs. mixed nuts- I get 6 pounds per 100

Pulled pork - 50 lbs.OK
Sandwich buns - 216 OK
Have a platter of sliced cheese or a big bowl of egg salad on ice for the people who don't eat meat/pork.

Your condiment are short- see the sandwich page and do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100
Pickles - three 16 oz jars
BBQ sauce sweet - 36 oz?
BBQ sauce Spicy - 36 oz?
Mustard 1 large bottle- you need some at each serving area, and even better to put small ones on each table-

Potato salad - 40 lbs- you need 6 gallons at least
Cole Slaw - 40 lbs- you need 4 gallons
Baked bean dish - ( I have no idea)-you need 5 gallons (about 12-14 pounds dry beans)

Individual serving fruit cups 12 oz.
Strawberry - 10 lbs
blueberry -5
pineapple -2 large
raspberry -5 lls
watermelon - 2 large
add other melons, you need at least 80 pounds of fruit; fruit trays are prettier, keep better, less work to prepare and the leftovers are more usable

Potato chips - 5 large bags plain; 1 pound per 12 Dip? 1 cup per 5 if thick

2 Appetizer trays with spinach dip(Separate locations)
Carrots -3 lbs
Broccoli - 5 lbs
celery - 3 packages
cherry tomatoes - 5 lbs.
Red peppers, 5
Green peppers 5
Spinach dip - 2 lbs
You need 2 ounces of vegetable per person and 1 cup dip per 5-6. You could do a couple of antipasto veggie trays or classic relish trays for part, all these recipes are on the site

Napkins - 600 beverage
Luncheon size - 150
Dinner - 150
heavy white paper 600 (backup)- for bbq, I would put 2 dinner napkins at each place to start- 320 dinner, 320 backup
300 forks- OK, but VERY close- I would go 350

200 dinner plates- Buy at a place you can return unopened and get 300
175 dessert plates- 200
175 dessert plates for appetizers-200

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation-maybe a dime pr person- to support this site.

Natasha
06/26/13
Wedding for 250 people
Hello Ellen,
I ask helping a friend plan an outdoor wedding for 250 July 19th, her menu consists of

pork roast (not sure on quantity)
8-10 elk roast
40 lbs of potato salad
20 lbs of macaroni salad
20 lbs of pasta salad
30 lbs of baked beans
Chips?
Buns?
2 sheet cakes (that will be pre cut for 100 each) and a half sheet cake and also a home made cake for the bridal party that could feed 40-50
Sweet tea
Lemonade
And lots of bottles of water!
Ice? For drinks and to keep foods cold?

Not sure on paper products? And utensils?

ellen
06/27/13
Hi,Natasha,

pork roast (not sure on quantity)
8-10 elk roast
For 250 people you need 125 raw boneless, figure the pork after you know the weight of the elk.

You are short on the sides for 250 people, I will give it in gallons, a gallon weighs about 8 pounds
40 lbs of potato salad- 10 gallons
20 lbs of macaroni salad
20 lbs of pasta salad
You need a total of 12-15 pounds dry pasta, you decide the split
30 lbs of baked beans- you need about 8 gallons

Chips? 1 pound per 12
Buns? If those are sliced meats, you need roll, not buns, 2 small per person or about 12 pounds per 100

2 sheet cakes (that will be pre cut for 100 each)- these will be tiny pieces, consider cutting 80, they will still be small
and a half sheet cake- cut 40
a home made cake for the bridal party that could feed 40-50

Sweet tea- 6-8 gallons per 100 and 1/4 should be unsweetened
Lemonade- 6 gallons per 100
And lots of bottles of water! 2 small

Ice? For drinks and to keep foods cold? Outside? 1 pound per person plus 40 pounds per ice chest.

Not sure on paper products? And utensils? Buy from somewhere you can return unopened, use the supply estimates on the beverage page. Consider adding the dinner level coffee, many people like it with their desserts.

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

Not sure on paper products? And utensils?

Dermot
07/07/13
Hi Ellen. Planning a backyard buffet reception in hot July around 6pm for 140 people, 20 of which are kids. Here is my menu was hoping you could tell me if I need to up anything.

Greek salad - serves 75
Caesar salad - serves 75
13 dozen dinner rolls
40lbs each of mashed potato, asparagus, pork roast, chicken cutlets and vegetarian lasagna

ellen
07/07/13
Dermot, Some items are pretty close, some need tweaking.

Greek salad - serves 75
Caesar salad - serves 75

13 dozen dinner rolls- you need 15 pounds, plus 3 pounds butter

40lbs each
mashed potato, about 10 pounds short . Need gravy,1 cup per 4
asparagus, 30 pounds ready to cook
pork roast, OK if boneless and slow roasted to reduce shrinkage, but I would do 50-60
chicken cutlets, that is about 100 servings- half would likely do it, if you increase the por.
vegetarian lasagna- you have 80 full size servings, some people will take it as a side serving instead of potatoes. Still you may have some left.

You could add a kid friendly veg- corn, maybe? 24 pounds,or applesauce. For a reception, you need appetizers: fruit tray and chips and dip would be excellent; see fruit tray page, and do 1 pound chips per 12, 1 cup dip per 6-8

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

Mary
07/14/13
Wedding for 175 people
Hi Ellen!

I am having a cake reception including a few brunchy refreshments for my daughters wedding. We are expecting 175 people. The reception will begin at 11am. We are having,

mini quiches
small muffins
cheese cubes
fruit tray
slices sausage
yogurt parfaits
a cookie table
wedding cake.
Punch
water
coffee
Can you tell me how many quiches, small muffins per person I should have and how much fruit including watermelon pineapple and grapes. Also how many pounds of cheese cubes and gallons of
punch.
Thank you so much!
Mary

ellen
07/15/13
Mary, you need a double sided line for this many people. Also, if it begins at 11 AM, they will be very hungry, and even though you are trying to keep it simple, you will need serious amounts of food, or you will run out. I would add some items.

mini quiches- 3 per person
small muffins- 3 per person
cheese cubes- 1 pound per 6
fruit tray - see fruit tray page- add breakfast melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew
slices sausage - 1 pound per 5-6
Consider adding frittata squares, about the size of brownies. Use veggies not in the quiches, maybe ham in some. Or deviled eggs- recipe per 100 people on this site.
Suggest some kind of bread with toppings or spreads, bruschetta style- 1 pound bread per 5-6, 1 quart spread per 25

yogurt parfaits- I would do these pre-scooped into 9 ounce glasses with a variety of toppings; use the topping list on the ice cream sundae page to help with amounts

a cookie table - at least 4 small to medium pieces per person
wedding cake.
Consider adding a grooms cake, allows for chocolate and much less costly that the largest wedding cakes. A full sheet, or a two layer hale sheet makes about 50 servings.

Punch 12 gallons and you need several gallons of something sugar free for those who can't do sugar- one of the unsweetened flavored iced teas would be fine.
water 2 bottles per person
coffee use breakfast level coffee, see the beverage planning page

JC
07/17/13
Wedding for 350 people
We are having an outdoor wedding in a couple of weeks and are having the following items for an evening meal. Could you tell me how much of each we should plan on having.

12 inch assorted tortilla wraps (meat, cheese, lettuce etc)
2 Pasta Salads
Coleslaw
Beans
Veggie's/Dip

Thanks in advance!!

Valarie
07/17/13
Hi Ellen!!!!

Yes - Just like others on this site - We have won the lottery! You have provided great ideas to all who post....

so - here I am - asking for your assistance...

Want tp keep the menu very simple as well as have a sweet buffet table.

Dinner Menu:

Not sure how much to purchase...

Baked Chicken (please suggest recipes)
Sliced Picnic Ham
Green beans w/ smoke turkey
Roasted Cut Potatoes(please suggest recipes)
Red Sauce Pasta (please suggest recipes)
White Cream Sauce Pasta(please suggest recipes)
Garden Salad
Cesar Salad
Rolls

I think I'm missing something...

With the Candy - Sweet Buffet - Need suggestions....

Please help - thanks in advance for all your help :)

ellen
07/18/13
JC, this is not enough food, and for 350 people you will need at least 4 kitchen people and 15-18 servers to set up, serve, and clean up the party.

You also need an appetizer table (three actually) 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 One serving area is needed for each 100 guests. In your case, I would probably do a Tex Mex theme, chips, salsa, a Mexican fruit tray and queso, maybe with nacho fixings, or guacamole.

12 inch assorted tortilla wraps
Are you ordering these pre made? You want about 1 1/2 per person, some meatless.
(meat, cheese, lettuce etc) if people are supposed to be making these themselves, use the sandwich page to plan amounts. In this case, hoagie buns are easier for people than wraps.
2 Pasta Salads- total 20-22 pounds dry pasta, you decide split, one should be meatless
Coleslaw- 9 gallons
Beans- 10 1/2 gallons
Veggie's/Dip- see veggie tray page. Consider doing 3 classic relish trays and fresh veg for 200.

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

ellen
07/18/13
Valarie, if you really won the lottery, hire a caterer and enjoy being just family of the bride!

Assuming however that is not the case, and 150 are coming for food:

You need at least 2 kitchen persons, and 8 servers, none of whom are members of the wedding party, to set up, serve, and clean up this party. Do read my article on wedding dinners to see why.

You need to select a menu that offers non-meat eaters, of which there will be some, nice choices.

You need an appetizer area, it's critical. See the answer just above for why and what.

Baked Chicken (please suggest recipes)- need something in sauce or gravy to hold best- see the wedding chicken recipes on this site- about 44 pounds raw boneless skinless
Sliced Picnic Ham- 1 pound per 5
Have mustards and maybe a raisin or pineapple sauce with the ham.

Green beans w/ smoke turkey- consider ellen's better green bean casserole for all or part, see Big Pots, you need about 32 pounds of green beans, some meatless.

Roasted Cut Potatoes(please suggest recipes)- about 30 pound potatoes. See this blog for my current favorite:
thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/06/crash-hot-potatoes/

Red Sauce Pasta (please suggest recipes)
White Cream Sauce Pasta(please suggest recipes)
About 1 pound per 12 people total with the potatoes, 1/3 white, 2/3 red; It takes about a quart of sauce for each pound. Make baked casserole type dishes, they hold much better, and at least 1 should be meatless. Using the shaped pasta such as rotini, ribbed penne, bowties, they hold better. The spaghetti page has sauces, recipes, and a good Alfredo style white sauce.

Garden Salad
Caesar Salad
Do one salad, use the plan for 100 page. If you want a second cold dish do some kind of marinated veg, antipasto veg or artichoke-olive condite such as on this site

Rolls- Get good ones 18 pounds, 5 pounds butter

Candy buffet, about a pound for each 4-6 people, depending on the type/shape of candy- assuming there is also cake
Add dinner level coffee, see the beverage planning page

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

tiffany
07/23/13
Wedding for 125 people
I need some help , we are having a pig roast , having salads , rolls , apple sauce and cranberry sauce how much of each would i need to feed 125 people . Thanks
ellen
07/23/13
You need a plan for an appetizer area also, and you need to expand the menu; with 125 people, there will be people there who don't eat pork, or don't eat meat.

You need an appetizer table 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 One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

pig roast, at least 125 pounds whole pig
1 gallon bbq type sauce
Consider doing a bag or two of chicken leg quarters for the non-pork eaters

salads,
5 gallons potato salad
3-4 gallons bean dish- meatless- so vegetarians can use as an entree
3 gallons slaw

green salad for 100, see the plan for 100 page

rolls, 15 pounds, butter 4 pounds

apple sauce- 5 #10 cans- don't open the last one till you see if you need it
cranberry sauce-about 10 pounds, but you might switch to a pineapple-raisin sauce with the pork

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

Colleen
07/24/13
Wedding for 100 people
Hi Ellen! I am planning the dinner for my son's "Country" themed wedding for 100 people and am wondering if what I am planning will be enough/too much. So, here's what I'm planning:
-Pulled beef (on a bun) - 100 pounds
-150 Panini buns
-4 pounds butter
-600 meatballs or 12 BBQ roasted chickens (haven't decided on which for a second meat yet)
-35 cups of BBQ beans
-25 pounds of potato salad
-Caesar salad (20 heads of romaine)
-1 gallon pickled beets
-1 gallon pickles
-4 quarts corn relish
-Marinated vegetable salad (2 heads cauliflower,2 bunches broccoli,one 5 pound bag of baby carrots,3 pounds of cherry tomatoes,4 cans of baby corn,4 cans of mushrooms and dressing)
-Sliced cheese (10 pounds)
-Fruit salad (2 large watermelons, 2 honeydews,2 cantaloupes,8-10 pounds grapes,1 large pineapple,10 large oranges)
Thai salad (10 pounds)
Coffee
Tea
2 quarts of coffee cream
1 pound sugar
3 gallons lemonade
3 gallons iced tea
Water

Do you think I have enough selections of salads/sides? Do you have any suggestions? Any ideas will be greatly appreciated...thank you!

ellen
07/24/13
Hi, Coleen,

I am going to save you a lot of money!

-Pulled beef (on a bun) - 100 pounds- 40 pounds plenty
-150 Panini buns- OK
-4 pounds butter- OK
-600 meatballs (just 15 pounds) or 12 BBQ (10 plenty)roasted chickens (haven't decided on which for a second meat yet)
-35 cups of BBQ beans- 3 gallons
-25 pounds of potato salad- 40
-Caesar salad (20 heads of romaine)- plenty

-1 gallon pickled beets
-1 gallon pickles
-4 quarts corn relish
all plenty

-Marinated vegetable salad (2 heads cauliflower,2 bunches broccoli,one 5 pound bag of baby carrots,3 pounds of cherry tomatoes,4 cans of baby corn,4 cans of mushrooms and dressing)- fine
-Sliced cheese (10 pounds)- good- have 5-6 pounds of crackers
-Fruit salad (2 large watermelons, 2 honeydews,2 cantaloupes,8-10 pounds grapes,1 large pineapple,10 large oranges)- plenty
Thai salad (10 pounds)- plenty

Coffee
Tea
use the dinner level coffee on the beverage planning page
2 quarts of coffee cream
1 pound sugar
3 gallons lemonade- do 6
3 gallons iced tea- do 6 about 1/2 unsweetened
Water- 2 bottles per person

Colleen
07/25/13
Wedding for 100 people
Hi Ellen! It's Colleen again. Really just 40 pounds of beef will do? Wow! As for my other selections, do you think I have enough variety? Thanks so much for your advice!
ellen
07/25/13
Yes, it will fill all the 150 buns.

I would add the appetizer table, see the appetizer table discussion, 7/13.

Christina
08/02/13
HELP -
I am preparing dinner for 150 people for my daughters wedding. WE are on a DIY budget. Please let me know if I am doing okay on my planning - so nervous. the wedding starts at 1:00

BBQ Buffet
Smoked pork butt - 50 lbs uncooked - we are doing sliders - 2 a piece (350 rolls)

Potato Salad - 40lbs (Sam's Club)

Baked Beans - 40lbs (Sam's Club)

Veggie Tray - I am trying to decide if I just go to Sam's and get 10 of their already prepared trays for $10 each tray ($100) or build my own - I am a little nervous to build my own. I look at what others on your post are doing and if I build my own would this be okay
5 lb. carrots, 5 lb. cauliflower, 8 lb. cucumber, 3 lb. celery, 2 lb. grape tomatoes, 2 lb. peppers and 5 lbs broccoli
dips: vegetable - 6 quarts

1 gallon of sliced pickles

My daughter wants a black and green olive tray with cheese - not sure what to do about that

Thanks!!!
Christina

ellen
08/02/13
Christina, since it is mid afternoon, people will indeed eat a bit less than at a meal time. You do want to go a bit lighter on the plan, for example, a cold bean or corn salad instead of baked beans.

Also, since it really doesn't matter what meat you pull, and there are many reasons people don't eat pork, please consider doing pulled chicken instead. It is actually cheaper, and you would use thigh meat or leg quarters, which stays juicier.

if you do have 150 people, please include an 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 buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception. It also reduces the amounts of food needed for the dinner.

This does not have to be complicated or expensive. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray (this could be your daughter's olive and 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 One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

Write back after you discuss the menu ideas and I will help with amounts.

Christina
08/02/13
Thank you so much! I will get back with you.
Dolly
08/03/13
Hi, My daughter is getting married in 2 wks and we are making our own food. Menu consists of:
Hog roast (someone is doing this)
Baked beans
Mac & cheese
Potato salad
Veggie tray w/ dip
Fruit tray
Can you tell me how much of each to make and if we should add anything. The wedding is at 3:00 so it will be during meal time.
ellen
08/03/13
Assuming 150 people

Hog roast (someone is doing this)- 150 pounds minimum
Baked beans-5 gallons, have some meat free for non-meat eaters, there will be some in the 150 guests
Mac & cheese- 15 pounds pasta, 15 pounds cheese, 15 quarts white sauce
Potato salad- 6 gallons
Veggie tray w/ dip- see veggie tray page
Fruit tray- see fruit tray page- deluxe tray for 100 plus 2 trays for 25
Rolls- 18 pounds, 4-5 pounds butter

I would add some kind of green vegetable- 30 pounds

Beverages and utensils, see beverage page

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

Dolly
08/03/13
Thank you. How far ahead is it ok to make the potato salad?
ellen
08/03/13
48 hours. Use commercial mayo or a non-mayo dressing for best and safest results.
joe
08/05/13
I am cooking a party for friends for 150-175 people. I have worked out the menu with them and have come up with the following:

appetizers
250 fresh mozzarella ball wrapped in a fresh basil leaf and skewered with two cherry tomatoes and then drizzled with balsamic glaze right before serving.

800 steamed little neck clams

250 shrimp skewers (boiled in old bay and then skewered and seared quickly on grill

4 large veggie and cheese trays

Dinner:
40 BBQ chicken halves
60 lbs of BBQ prime rib roasts

all salads are being provided by a local deli

Do these quantities seem right (specifically the appetizers

Julie
08/05/13
Hi There! I am putting on a 40th Anniversary Party for my parents this Saturday at my house from 1-3pm, so far 111 people are coming, with an additional 19 "maybes"...so potentially 130 people max. 17 of the total are kids. I"m starting to stress about having enough food. I didn't write "food will be provided" so hopefully not everyone will come completely starving, LOL...I'm paying for all of this on my own, so I'm on a very tight budget.

Here's the menu:

Sloppy Joes (20lbs??)

Buns (doing small buns, not hamburger buns): ?? no clue!!! 14 dozen??

Watermelons: ??? Would 5 be enough??

Veggies: Carrots and Broccoli (how much??)

Ranch Dip for veggies: two large bottles from Costco

Chips: Four very large bags from Costco, not sure on the weight

Water: 70 bottles

Pop (various kinds, including Sprite): 192 cans

Beer: 6 cases (72 cans)

Wine: 6 large bottles (various kinds)

Juice Boxes (for the kids): 40

Lemonade (in a dispenser)

There are also about 9 people that are bringing something to share (various things).

How much ice would you guesstimate on?! We are having 8 different things to hold beverages.

Do you really have to calculate 4 napkins per person?? And 2 forks per person?? How about spoons? And I read 2 cups per person...would I have to do that if I'm providing canned pop and beer and bottled water..the cans would only be used for the tea and whatever else we decide.

PLEASE HELP!! YOU ARE A LIFESAVER!!!!!!

ellen
08/05/13
So I would estimate this as 125 adults, 1 1/4 times the amounts for 100.

You look to be a little short for 125, and there are a few cost reducing changes you can make. Biggest, skip the soda and switch to fruit punch, lemonade or limeade from frozen concentrate, and iced tea-
10 gallons lemonade/ punch
10 gallons tea, at least 1/3 unsweetened

Do you really have to calculate 4 napkins per person? YES And 2 forks per person? YES How about spoons? ONE OK And I read 2 cups per person...would I have to do that if I'm providing canned pop and beer and bottled water..CHEAPER TO DO BEVERAGES ABOVE the cups would only be used for the tea and whatever else we decide.

Here's the menu:

Sloppy Joes (20lbs??) use recipe for 100 on this sie, plenty for this party

Buns (doing small buns, not hamburger buns): ?? no clue!!! 14 dozen??- 2 per person, 1 per kid

Watermelons: ??? Would 5 be enough?? 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person

Veggies: Carrots and Broccoli (how much??)
Ranch Dip for veggies: two large bottles from Costco- use fruit tray instead- see fruit tray page

Chips: Four very large bags from Costco, not sure on the weight
You need at least 10 pounds

Water: 70 bottles- at least 1 per person

Pop (various kinds, including Sprite): 192 cans

Beer: 6 cases (72 cans) mot beer drinkers drink 2 cans first hour, 1 the second

Wine: 6 large bottles (various kinds)- not enough if family drinks wine...

Juice Boxes (for the kids): 4o- OK

Ice- about 30 pounds per large chest, 1/3 pound per person for drinks

Jenna
08/07/13
Wedding for 200 people
Hey There!! We are doing our own food for our June 2014 Wedding of 200 Guests.
This is what we have so far:

Apps:
Carrots,Celery,Cucumbers,Green Peppers
with Ranch.

Chips (tortilla chips) & Salsa.
Chex Mix BOLD

Possibly a candy bar:
Skittles,Starbursts,Airheads

Dinner:
Pig,BBQ Sauce & Rolls:
Cheesy Potatoes:
Pasta Salad:
Fruit: Not really sure what would be the easiest...
Corn:

Cupcakes for our Guest, we already have those numbers :)
And in individual cake for us!

DRINKS:
Water (Bottled):
Pop: Diet, Regular and Sierra Mist
Beer: 2 diff. kinds of beer = 4 Kegs
Wine:

Any suggestions would be very helpful!
Thank you!!

Jenna
08/07/13
Wedding for 200 people
Shoot Forgot about:

Lemonade:
Un-Sweet Tea:
also...

Linda
08/07/13
Hi Ellen,
We are self-catering my granddaughter's barn wedding for 155 people on August 17. This is what we are planning: 232 ham, chicken, tuna and egg filled finger rolls; 45 lbs. of potatoes for salad; pasta salad (not sure how much to make); large tossed salad; frozen meatballs; chips; 155 watermelon wedges; olives and pickles.

For beverages we are having soft drink cans, pitchers of water & lemon, iced sweet tea.

How much pasta should we make? how many pounds of meatballs? how many drinks? any suggestions or changes you would make? Thank you so much!

Linda
08/07/13
Ellen, it's Linda again.
For appetizers we are having cracker and cheese platters and veggies and dip platters. Can you tell us how many veggie pieces to plan for each person and how many cups of dip? How many pounds of crackers and cheese?
Thanks again!
ellen
08/07/13
Linda, help! What exactly is the whole menu, what time is the reception and how long will it last? And PLEASE start a new thread- I almost missed this.
ellen
08/07/13
OK, Jenna, if you are seriously doing a pig roast, let's tweak this out of the ordinary into a feast!

First, the pig roasters can't be part of the wedding party, they won't have time.

Second it will take 3-4 cooks and about 12 servers to set up serve and cleanup this size party. None of them can be part of the wedding party either- they will be VERY busy while you are doing the ceremony and photos.

Apps:
Carrots,Celery,Cucumbers,Green Peppers
with Ranch.
How about, take a look at the antipasto marinated veggies instead?
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/appetiz2.html.
About 4 gallons

And the artichoke condite here, last recipe, served with French bread:
about 4 gallons, 18 pounds bread

www.ellenskitchen.com/recipebox/artichoke.html

Put the fruit here; do 1 1/2 times the deluxe tropical tray for 100 on the fruit tray page

Chips (tortilla chips)1 pound per 15 & Salsa 1 cup per 8.

Chex Mix BOLD about 6 pounds per 100

Possibly a candy bar:
Skittles,Starbursts,Airheads
You need 1 pound per every 4-6 people and there must be chocolate...

Dinner:
Pig,BBQ Sauce & Rolls:
1 pound whole pig per person
2 gallons per 100 for basting, another gallon per 100 for table sauce
2 medium rolls per person, 6 pounds butter available
4 gallons slaw
10 pounds sliced onions
1-2 gallons dill pickle slices

Have a vegetarian option- "Field Roast" is a very tasty brand of vegetarian sausages, found in the dairy or produce area, have abt least a dozen.
Cheesy Potatoes:
see the bottom of the brunch page or the breakfast planning page, it's a LOT of potatoes and a LOT of oven space. An Hawaiian rice pilaf might be easier.
Pasta Salad: how about the Asian noodle salad here? Very nice with pork, made ahead, and very beautiful on the plate.
ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/salads1100.html#asiannoodle
Fruit: Not really sure what would be the easiest...suggest you move the fruit to appetizers and try a special salad, such as:
ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/salads1100.html#greeksaladcrow
Corn: 22 pounds per 100 off the cob- For pork, fiesta corn would be very nice. Or break cobs in halves and allow 3 halves for every 2 people.

Cupcakes for our Guest, we already have those numbers :) Have some extras, about 10%
And in individual cake for us!

DRINKS:
Water (Bottled): 2 per person
Pop: Diet, Regular and Sierra Mist estimate pop drinkers and use the beverage planning page to decide the split
Beer: 2 diff. kinds of beer = 4 Kegs people drink about 4 per person, one keg has 160 12 ounce servings, this is a LOT of beer for this size party.
Wine: for a toast, see beverage planning page. Expect about 1/2 bottle per person for the wine drinkers. A 5 liter box serves about 12.
Lemonade- put out with appetizers as a punch, 14-16 gallons
Iced tea- 14 gallons, 1/3 unsweet

People really like coffee with dessert. See dinner level coffee on the beverage page for adults.

You can write back, but do start a new thread.

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

Ginette
08/07/13
Wedding for 100 people
My wedding reception consists of 100 guests. Please tell me how may waiting staff would be needed for the buffet. Also need to know how many bar men would be needed. Thanks
ellen
08/07/13
Ginette, it depends on whether it is a sit down dinner or a buffet, and if a buffet whether it has carving stations, pasta stations, etc. Also the menu.

The bar staff depends on what kind of bar (full, open; paid; limited choice; signature cocktail, etc) and whether you intend to have servers pass drinks or appetizers.

Also, are these professionals or volunteers?

Please send more details.

Diane
08/07/13
Graduation 150- 200 guests
Having a graduation party with 150 guests plus in and out students
This is what I have planned
I am worried about having enough food

Pulled pork - one roaster
roast lamb - two roasters
sloppy joes - one roaster
potato salad - 40lbs
fruit salad - 20 lbs
baked beans - 30 lbs
vegetable tray
pickle tray
Natcho machine with chips/ cheese cheese
popcorn machine
2 cakes
buns
tableware

Please advise

Diane
08/07/13
Graduation 150- 200 guests
Having a graduation party with 150 guests plus in and out students
This is what I have planned
I am worried about having enough food

Pulled pork - one roaster
roast lamb - two roasters
sloppy joes - one roaster
potato salad - 40lbs
fruit salad - 20 lbs
baked beans - 30 lbs
vegetable tray
pickle tray
Natcho machine with chips/ cheese cheese
popcorn machine
2 cakes
buns
tableware

Please advise

ellen
08/08/13
Pulled pork - one roaster
roast lamb - two roasters
sloppy joes - one roaster
These depend on how full the roasters are, but one full roaster, about 14 quarts, is usually plenty for 50 people.

potato salad - 40lbs- this is about 5 gallons, I usually do 4 gallons per 100, especially if it is the only starchy salad.
fruit salad - 20 lbs- do fruit trays, hold better, look prettier and the leftovers are more usable. See the fruit tray page for help with amounts
baked beans - 30 lbs- you need 5 gallons
vegetable tray - see veggie tray page, add dip
pickle tray- 1- 1 1/2 gallons
Nacho machine with chips/ cheese cheese- 1 pound chips per 10. I usually get 3 #10 cans sauce per 100, hold the last one till I see how it is going, so I suggest you get 5-6. You may want to add 3 quarts or a #10 can sliced jalapenos, or switch the beans to borracho beans, which are very good on nachos.
popcorn machine- 7 pounds makes 100 servings
2 cakes- one sheet cake only makes 50-60 servings. If you want some for every one, you might need 2 2 layer full sheet cakes
buns- 1 1/2 per person full size, 2 medium
you could add 3-4 gallons of good slaw, it would go with the menu.

tableware- see the beverage planning page for tableware, ice and beverages

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

Linda
08/08/13
Wedding for 155 people
Hi Ellen,
We are self-catering my granddaughter's barn wedding for 155 people on August 17. The ceremony is at 3:00. You asked what the whole menu is and this is it:

For appetizers we are having cracker and cheese platters and veggies and dip platters. Can you tell us how many veggie pieces to plan for each person and how many cups of dip? How many pounds of crackers and cheese?

The buffet menu:
232 ham, chicken, tuna and egg filled finger rolls;
45 lbs. of potatoes for salad;
pasta salad (not sure how much to make);
large tossed salad;
frozen meatballs;
chips;
watermelon wedges (1 for ea person);
olives and pickles.

For beverages we are having soft drink cans, pitchers of water & lemon, iced sweet tea.

How much pasta for the salad should we make? how many pounds of meatballs? any suggestions or changes you would make?

Thanks again!

Linda
08/08/13
I forgot to tell you that the reception will start around 4:30 and last until 8:30.
ellen
08/09/13
Hi, Linda,

Because the reception extends over a meal time, you need to supply enough food per person for a meal, even if you choose appetizer or reception type foods. So, assuming total 155 people, here are some suggestions:

crackers, 9 pounds
cheese platters, 1 pound per 10, assorted types, there is a discussion of selections on site. Some can be rolls, logs, spreads. Very nice to have 10 pounds of grapes (small clusters of 2-3 grapes), or strawberries or dried fruits with the cheese; and/or 6 pounds of nuts
veggies- strongly suggest you use the classic relish tray on the veggie tray page, do 3
dip- Ranch, see amounts on veggie tray page

232 ham, chicken, tuna and egg filled finger rolls;
You need at least 2 per person unless they are the size of a full croissant

45 lbs. of potatoes for salad; usual to use 40 pounds per 100

pasta salad (not sure how much to make); 8 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins, suggest rotini or bow ties, as they are easier to fork up and hold better. OR, take a look at the Asian noodle salad in the salads that hold section of Big Pots, beautiful and a little more festive

frozen meatballs; 20 pounds plus sauce

chips; 1 pound per 12, dip, 1 cup per 6, can be salsa, creamy, or both

watermelon wedges (1 for ea person); at least 1/2 pound per person

large tossed salad; skip this, messy to eat, have one or two more interesting such as tomato caprese, Greek village salad (tomatoes and cukes), marinated bean salad, corn salad, gardiniera; more like a vegetable than a salad You need about 5 gallons

soft drink cans, see guide on beverage planning page for amounts and assortments
pitchers of water & lemon,
iced sweet tea. PLEASE have at least 1/3 unsweetened; you will need about 15 gallons

If you are having cake, many people like dinner level coffee with dessert. Amounts are on the beverage planning page.

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

Angie
08/13/13
Hi!
I'm planning all of the food for my friends wedding. There are 100 people who are attending. The ceremony is at 4pm, with reception following. We are doing a Taco Bar. I found amounts based on your other resources, but had a couple questions.

*If I do beef and chicken would 15 lb of each be sufficient?

*Is it okay to have the salsa/guacamole on a separate table with chips to ease the crowding, or should we keep it in line with the buffet?

*How much salsa do you recommend if it is being used for both dipping, and tacos? 1 Gallon?

*What do you recommend for cilantro and lime amounts (assuming lime is cute in 12 pieces per lime)

*If we have rice and beans is 8 lb uncooked rice and 3 gallons of black beans too much?

*Is a green salad recommended?

Thank you so much!

ellen
08/13/13
*If I do beef and chicken would 15 lb of each be sufficient? Plenty

*Is it okay to have the salsa/guacamole on a separate table with chips to ease the crowding, or should we keep it in line with the buffet?

No, put separate, and you can put the fruit trays with it

*How much salsa do you recommend if it is being used for both dipping, and tacos? 1 cup per 4, minimum

*What do you recommend for cilantro and lime amounts (assuming lime is cute in 12 pieces per lime), Cut 8 pieces, easier to squeeze, 1 lime per 4. At least 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro per person, size of bunches vary, buy one locally and chop and measure.

*If we have rice and beans is 8 lb uncooked rice and 3 gallons of black beans too much? No it is just what I would do.

*Is a green salad recommended? Either that or plenty of shredded lettuce and some chopped tomato- good for tacos or salad making. 2 ounces per person at least.

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

Robyn
08/15/13
Hi Ellen,

This also is my first time preparing food for my son's wedding reception. I really need help on the quantities. The menu is as follows:

Appetizer:

Cheese
Bologna
Crackers
Fruit Tray
Vege Tray

Meal:

Broasted Chicken (we are buying done)
Meatballs
Mac and Cheese
Baked Beans
Potato Salad
Pasta Salad
Dinner Rolls/butter

Dessert:
Cake

Would you help me figure out the quantites of each?

Robyn
08/16/13
Sorry Ellen, forgot to say it will be a buffet style meal served between 2-3 pm.
ellen
08/16/13
Hi, Robyn,

Because people will have eaten lunch and it is too early for dinner, you will need less food than a reception at meal time. Assuming 150 people:

Cheese-1 pound per 12
Bologna- 1 pound per 15
Crackers- 10-11 pounds
Fruit Tray- deluxe tray for 100, plus 8 pounds added fruits
Vege Tray- suggest 2 classic relish trays from the veggie tray page
Add 10 gallons lemonade or light colored punch

Meal:

Broasted Chicken (we are buying done)-220 pieces
Meatballs-
Mac and Cheese- skip- you have enough and the oven handling for this many is tiresome
Baked Beans- 5 gallons, some left
Potato Salad- 45 pounds potatoes
Pasta Salad-7-8 pounds dry pasta
Dinner Rolls/butter- 1 1/2 per person, 4 pounds butter

Add about 12 gallons iced tea, 1/3 unsweetened

Dessert:
Cake
A 2 layer sheet cake serves 100. The least expensive arrangement is to have a small wedding cake that serves about 50, a groom's cake (usually chocolate) that is a 2 layer 1/2 sheet cake, and a sheet cake or a 2 layer 1/2 sheet cake in the wedding cake flavor.

Add dinner level coffee- see the beverage planning page.

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

Charlotte
08/17/13
I just got done spending 25 hours cooking for 150 people for an outdoor wedding. I don't know how much to charge. This was for my boss's sons wedding. They supplied to food and some foil pans. I had to purchase some pans for cooking, and used my utensils, propane, electricity, paper towel and so on.

Cooked the following

Grilled and baked chicken

200 fruit kabobs (I cut up all the melons and cleaned all the fruit)

Home fried potatoes with green peppers and onions

Two different types of perogi's (I boiled and fried with onions)

Cut up vegetables for veggie tray.

I stored the food before and after cooking. The food was picked up from my house. I had 18 large foil pans of food

ellen
08/17/13
Charlotte, did you do this with no prior arrangement on costs? Argh.

Essentially, you acted as a private chef. The average hourly rate is $30.00 plus benefits (1-2 weeks vacation, health insurance with VERY high deductibles), or about $35 per hour without benefits. Which come out to about $800- the fees per pan generally run $40, or about $720. So, something in that range would be a fair price.

But if you have been catering this, it would have been a per person charge of at least $12 per person, or $1500 Next time, do a real contract with prior deposit of half and day of pay of the other half.

anna
08/18/13
Hi Ellen

I am doing the cocktail hour for my sisters wedding. there will be about 160 people.

the menu follows:

Chinese roast pork (someone else is providing this and I have no control over the amount)

Fruit kabobs (300 skewers. 3 pieces of fruit per skewer)

Bread basket- mix of bread sticks, sour dough, pita and butter crackers (3-5 pieces per person)

trio of dip- hummus, spinach, and smoked salmon

Fruit punch- 44 gallons
200 water bottles

Ice cream sundae bar (budgeting for 100 servings as per my sister's wishes) 23 gallons of ice cream (vanilla and chocolate) and a whole mix of variety of toppings

please comment and make suggestions!

thanks :)

ellen
08/18/13
I don't understand. How long is the reception, when does it start and is there a meal between the snacks and the ice cream? If there is not, this is not enough food.

Also, this is double too much punch and way to much ice cream. See the ice cream sundae bar guide for 100 on this site.

anna
08/18/13
Hi ellen,

The ceremony starts at 11:30 am.
Reception isn't until 6 pm.

the snacks and ice cream will be served at the same time right after the ceremony.

For punch- it is actually 44 litres (not gallons)

where can I find your guide for 100 on your site?

anna
08/18/13
I also meant 23 Liters (about 6 gallons) of ice cream not 23 gallons!
ellen
08/19/13
That makes more sense.

12 gallons/44 liters is fine for 100, a bit short for 160. Do have something sugar-free (iced tea?) for the folks who can't do sugary drinks.

Use the button at the top of the main cook talk page to go to the plan for 100 page, beverage planning page, ice cream planning page, etc.

If you are serving right after the service, it is essentially lunch for the 100 people.

Chinese roast pork (someone else is providing this and I have no control over the amount)- check the amount- it needs to be at least 1 pound raw per 4, or you need to add more proteins.

Fruit kabobs (300 skewers. 3 pieces of fruit per skewer), light- do at least 4 pieces per skewer

Bread basket- mix of bread sticks, sour dough, pita and butter crackers (3-5 pieces per person)- at least 2 ounces per person (20 pounds total)

trio of dip- hummus, spinach, and smoked salmon
1 cup each per each 5 people= 2 gallons each

Fruit punch- 44 liters/quarts- see note above
200 water bottles

Ice cream sundae bar (budgeting for 100 servings as per my sister's wishes) 23 liters of ice cream (vanilla and chocolate) and a whole mix of variety of toppings- close, see the ice cream sundae page, you need 1 1/2 times the amount for 100.

I would definitely add cheese- 1 pound per 12, some could be bars, logs, balls

If the meat is short, you might add deviled eggs, or some kind of bites- mini quiches, etc; 2 per person

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

Doris S
08/19/13
Please help....I been asked to cook for a wedding on 9/16/2013 with 150 guest and I am not sure of the quantities. The menu is:

baked chicken leg quarters (how many 40lb cases)
macaroni and cheese (how many lg aluminum pans)
green beans (how many #10 cans)
rice (I figure 1 10# bag)
gravy (3 gallons)

ellen
08/19/13
Doris, this meal requires 3 people in the kitchen day of and about 9-10 to set up, serve and clean up the dinner. Also you need an appetizer plan and here is why, from an upcoming article:

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

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, 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 One serving area is needed for each 100 guests.

Now back to dinner.

As listed, this is not very festive and is likely to disappoint the guests. I will make some suggestions, and please go back to the family and get some changes; if people are unsatisfied, yo will be blamed, and if you want to do this for a living, you will ruin your rep before you get one!

baked chicken leg quarters (how many 40lb cases)
for 150 people, 2 40 pound cases, but you need to marinate or brine and you need a good sauce
macaroni and cheese (how many lg aluminum pans)
for 150 people with rice, 12-14 pounds dry pasta, 1 quart white sauce per pound, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese with an optional small grated onion for each pound. Don't know how large your "large" pan is...
green beans (how many #10 cans)- please do a casserole such as ellens better green bean casserole, or a mixed vegetable. Plain canned green beans are not sufficient for a wedding
rice (I figure 1 10# bag)-no more than 6 pounds and for the sake of some color, consider a Spanish rice or a fried rice or a green rice.
gravy (3 gallons) OK

This meal is bland and colorless. Consider adding a spiced peach or apple ring to each plate, or a sliced tomato salad, or something like that. It desperately needs some fruit, if you don't do appetizers with fruit trays, do have fruit trays with the dinner service.

What are the people who don't eat meat going to use as their entree? In 150 people, there will be some.

ellen
08/19/13
Doris, you also need 18 pounds of breads or rolls and 4 pounds of butter.
Janine
08/21/13
Hi Ellen,
Your website is a god send!
I am catering for my friends evening wedding reception. I have opted for a Chile with sides of rice and a cabbage salad along with grated cheese and sour cream. I was wondering if you could just cast a trained eye over my recipe to see if you think the balance is right??

Chile Con carne

15 kg ground beef
6.5 kg chorizo
25 onions
3 bulb garlic
75 gram cayenne pepper
20 kg chopped tomatoes
375 gram tomato puree
10 kg kidney or borlotti beans
225 gram cumin
225 gram dried coriander
375 gram brown sugar
75 gram oregano
(to taste) salt and pepper

Cabbage salad

1 bag radishes
7 red onion
10 white cabbage
bunch coriander leaves
virgin olive oil
sherry vinegar or lime juice
salt and pepper

Also how much rice do you think I will need? I plan to hire 3 rice cookers which I am hoping should be enough as most of them have a capacity of max 60 portions.

Do you think I have missed anything or need any extras??

Thanks!!!

Janine
08/21/13
Sorry I forgot to say, with the spice I was told to start with about half of each and then taste as I go, or do you what I have is about right anyway? I want it to be nicely spiced but not alienate people who don't like hot/spicy food!!
ellen
08/21/13
Hi, you make me work too hard translating to non-metric!

This is a team effort. For this menu with this size crowd, day of you need 3 cooks/ kitchen/ food people and 9 or 10 servers to set up, serve, and clean up the party. Not members of the wedding, they will be busy, just when you need the help.

Assuming 150 people, this menu has two problems. One, nothing for vegetarians/ non-chili eaters to eat, two, you must have an appetizer table for this light meal 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 One serving area is needed for each 100 guests. For this menu, I would definitely use the fruit tray (see the fruit tray page) and the cheese tray (1 pound per 10-12, 10 pounds crackers), and a citrusy or fruity punch such as lemonade or agua fresca (12-14 gallons).

Now back to dinner.

For the chili, please look at the church social chili here:

ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/chili.html

This quantity serves 80, the spicing is already tested for acceptability and it has the beans and tomatoes you want to include. Topping amounts are the same as the taco bar for 100, see that page, which also discusses amount of rice for 100. You can use 2/3 beef and 1/3 chorizo for the meat. 1 pound of dried beans is about 6 cups of cooked beans, or 4 15 ounce cans. Have bottles of hot sauce on the tables for those who want to spice it up.

Here is my personal recipe for mild chili powder, you would need about 3 times the amount for each recipe. Do measure:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/oamc/vegweek.html#chili

Here is a recipe for vegetarian chili, I would do 2-3 recipes for this size crowd.

www.ellenskitchen.com/recipebox/stews1.html

As for the slaw, you need to start with 30 pounds of cabbage for 150 people. The recipe looks fine. I usually add some grated carrots and make a few heads of the cabbage pule cabbage, for color and sweetness. You may want a little sugar in the dressing.

For 150 people for this menu, you want to cook about 15 pounds of rice. You will probably have some left.

You need to add 18 pounds of good crusty rolls and/or corn bread(some could be crackers, which many people like with chili) and 4-5 pounds of butter.

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

ellen
08/21/13
That was "purple cabbage" in the slaw discussion.
Colleen
08/23/13
Wedding for 100 people
Hi Ellen! I e-mailed you back in July about my son's country themed wedding. I am going to be providing a midnight lunch for the 100 guests also. I am going to make chili, hotdogs, nacho chips (tostitos), guacamole, salsa, sour cream and (for the hotdogs) chopped onions, grated cheddar cheese, sauerkraut, ketchup, and mustard. What amount of these items ill be appropriate to feed 100 guests?
ellen
08/23/13
Hi, Coleen,

Renting a roller type hot dog machine/cooker would be a fun way to provide/cook the hot dogs, and allow you to do a variety of dogs and other bun sausages.

The amount is tricky- about 1 dog each for over 25, 2 for under...

chopped onions,
grated cheddar cheese,
sauerkraut,
ketchup,
mustard,
these are all actually discussed on the sandwich page in the condiment table

There are new hot dog buns available now, such as pretzel and poppy seed, so get some variety.

chili, is this hot dog chili or bowl chili? One recipe of the church social chili on the chili page might do for bowl chili.

nacho chips (tostitos), 1 pound per 12
guacamole, 1 cup per 5
salsa, 1 cup per 5
sour cream, 1 cup per 8

How about the nacho cheese- 2 #10 cans, and a couple quarts of sliced jalapenos.

How about some fruit trays for lightness and sweetness?

Colleen
08/24/13
Wedding for 100 people
Hi Ellen. It ill be bowl chili/hotdog chili. We ant the guests to have a choice. The other ideas for nacho cheese and fruit trays are great. Thank you so much again!
Priscilla
08/25/13
potluck Church dinner for 150 guests
I am planning a potluck dinner and need to clarify quantities. I have calculated the following:

150 lbs Turkey
Boxed Dressing - 35 boxes and we will cook up onions and celery to add to dressing
Turnips - 10 lbs
Peas & Carrots - 15 Bags
Salads - 8 - 10 salads (lettuce type/Caesar/tossed)
Coleslaw - 4 large bags coleslaw
Cabbage rolls - 150
Pickles 3 large jars
Cranberries - 15 cans
Fresh Buns - 150
Butter 3 lbs

Priscilla
08/25/13
Church Potluck dinner for 150 people
I omitted the mashed potatoes

Mashed Potatoes - number of pounds?

ellen
08/25/13
150 lbs Turkey- whole turkey
gravy, at least 3 gallons

Mashed potatoes- 65 pounds raw, none left
Boxed Dressing - 35 boxes and we will cook up onions and celery to add to dressing, don't know how big the boxes are?

Turnips - 10 lbs- 15 pounds
Peas & Carrots - 15 Bags- need 30 pounds

Salads - 8 - 10 salads (lettuce type/Caesar/tossed)- if individuals are bringing these, get at least 15, and do not restrict to lettuce type- some will bring relish trays or holiday fruit specialties
Coleslaw - 4 large bags coleslaw- at least 20 pounds

Cabbage rolls - 150- do 200, some folks will take several

Pickles 3 large jars- 1 1/2 gallons, some could be olives

Cranberries - 15 cans, need 1/2 whole, 1/2 jelly. See also the crock pot cranberry relish, on the Big Pots page, cheaper and better

Fresh Buns - 150- at least 20 pounds
Butter 3 lbs - 5-6, some will be used on the potatoes

Priscilla
08/26/13
Church Potluck 150 people
Thank's Ellen for your response. We will be having a work bee for the cabbage rolls - 200 rolls and am wondering what quantities of meat, rice, onions and celery and tomatoes we will need.

Half ground beef and half ground pork I was thinking.
Rice quantity?

Onions?
Celery?

I will check out the size of the stuffing boxes.

Thank you I truly appreciate your help.

ellen
08/26/13
Some cabbage rolls are much fatter than others...

I love cabbage rolls and actually have 2 partially finished articles about them. So here is one:

Cabbage Rolls, Stuffed Cabbage and Cabbage Casseroles
I was taught to make cabbage rolls by a lady who made them by the roaster pan full, which was fine by me as I love to have two or three as a serving. They freeze beautifully, and are MUCH less expensive than the ones in your grocer's freezer. So why not make a roaster pan full, as long as you have a tight cover for your roaster, or a crockpot full, or even a Dutch oven full on top of the stove, as long as you keep the layer less than 4 inches deep. Or you can do just a few in the microwave!

Cabbage rolls usually are stuffed with a mixture of raw ground meat and partially precooked rice. The sauce is most often a tomato-based sweet and sour sauce, generally cooked in with the rolls. The variations are discussed below.

A whole stuffed cabbage makes quite a handsome presentation. Like cabbage rolls, they are relatively inexpensive but time consuming to make. Test a whole stuffed cabbage for doneness by sticking all the way through with a cake skewer or bamboo barbecue skewer; it should just easily pierce the core. The cabbage is carved into wedges at the table, with a side dish of tomato gravy passed for garnish, and 6 happy diners. Casseroles of shredded cabbage, rice and ground meat are the quick way to obtain the flavor of cabbage rolls without the labor of rolling.

Serve with boiled potatoes & beets with onions & vinegar & crusty rye bread. Or mashed potatoes and those sausages or meatballs you layered across the top before you covered it to bake. Or cottage cheese on the side with a loaf of poplanik (potato and cheese bread).

Basic cabbage anatomy

A standard large cabbage, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds, has 10 to 12 large leaves very suitable for wrapping cabbage rolls, but will make over 20 if carefully peeled. Choose heads that are firm and unscarred. A variation which supplies many more wrappers per head is to select large heads of either the crinkly Savoy cabbage or Napa or Chinese cabbage, the long, loose more expensive flat head you see in the Chinese vegetable session. Sometimes, though, regular cabbage is so cheap that it is still the better buy.
You have to slightly soften the large outer leaves of the cabbage to get them off the head and roll them. Technique doesn't affect the flavor of the finished rolls, the purpose is simply to make the leaves flexible. It also helps the filling stick to the leaves. Watch your timing, though, overcook the cabbage and it will tear when trying to wrap the cabbage rolls.

After removing damaged or torn outermost leaves, core the cabbage by cutting around the stem at an angle with a paring knife. Remove as much of the tough white flesh of the core as possible without damaging the inner leaves.
Lower the whole cabbage into boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Some recipes add 2 tablespoons or vinegar to the boiling water to "sour" the cabbage. Remove the (10 or so) largest leaves and set aside. If the inner leaves are stiff, put it back in the pot for a few minutes. You may want to use tongs or a rubber glove; the leaves and water will be very hot.
Continue the steaming or boiling process until you have separated all but the smallest leaves; it should take about 15 minutes.
You can also steam the whole cabbage. Put the whole cabbage in a large pot with 2 inches of water. Cover and let cook until you can peel leaves off. As you get deeper into the cabbage the harder or less cooked they are. If the leaves are still raw just put back in pot and simmer for up to another half hour. Put leaves in cold water to stop cooking.
lately I have had success microwaving the cabbage leaves just until soft. I wrap them in wet paper towels, time depends on number and thickness.
An alternative that works especially well with Napa cabbage; boil 4 cups water. Turn off the heat. Immediately put the leaves into the pot and soak for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove, drain and cool.
And finally, here is the big secret method, which is especially good if you are living single or have young hands helping with the rolling: an easy way to soften cabbage leaves for cabbage rolls is to stick the head of cabbage into the freezer for a day or two and then defrost. The leaves are very soft. Do be sure to rinse off any dirt. You can even just put the cabbage head in the freezer for an hour or two; leaves can then be removed one at a time, filled as desired, and rolled up. Be sure to trim the center "web" before using. And, keep the remainder of the head in the freezer.

Save the larger leaves that are torn and some medium leaves to cover the top layer of rolls once the cooking pot is filled. It is also traditional to chop the remaining cabbage including the core and place it on the bottom of the cooking utensil or crockpot before layering in the rolls.

Calculating your amounts; usual cabbage roll proportions

You want about 1/4 cup filling for each cabbage roll, so for each cabbage (10-12 rolls), you need about:

1 pound ground meat. Beef is most common but veal, lamb or pork are also used.
1/4 cup grated onion
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw rice, partially cooked about 10 minutes, drained and cooled
1 egg
crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, soup, juice or diced canned tomatoes to cover, about 2-3 cups, plus
enough water or broth to barely cover rolls
the sweet and sour: about 1 to 4 tablespoons cider vinegar or lemon juice, or a layer of sauerkraut, PLUS about 1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
spice or seasoning to taste. The sauce or fillingshould be well seasoned because some of the seasoning will be absorbed by the leaves, giving a flat taste to the finished product.

Ethnic and regional variations

Cabbage, rice, and small amounts of ground meat are found all over Europe, so thrifty cooks have developed many cabbage roll variations.

Polish: raw rice, beef, add minced or shredded carrot, sweet sour tomato sauce salt pork for flavoring
Hungarian: beef, paprika, sauerkraut and sour cream, no sweetener
Swedish: beef, milk, lemon juice, very little sweetener
Italian Savoy cabbage
Midwestern USA: tomato soup or chunky spaghetti sauce
My cabbage roll mentor added a few spoonfuls of raisins to her sauce, a tasty variation I have not seen anywhere else

Standard cabbage roll/ stuffing procedures

Tenderize your leaves and make them more flexible, by one of the methods above.
Spray the inside of your cooking utensil with non-stick spray. Put a thin layer of finely shredded cabbage over the bottom of the pan.
Mix your filling and your sauce.
Place the leaf for stuffing on the board or counter with the stem end nearest you and the cup or curve up. If the rib is very thick even after you have tenderized the leaf, shave it down so you can roll the leaf up.
Place about 1/4 cup of rice-meat mixture in the center of each leaf, toward the stem end. Shape into a cigar or oval shape across the rib.
Roll from the stem end toward the tip end just once, wrapping most of the filling in one layer of leaf, then fold in the two sides and roll the rest of the way. Keep the sides tucked in as you roll.
Place seam side down in the cooking utensil or slow cooker crock. If it won't stay together, reroll with slightly less filling. I don't use toothpicks, they are dangerous to the diners.
Place the layer snugly but not tightly, you want the sauce to get down into it.
when you have finished the first layer, pour about 1/3 of the sauce over it. Repeat after the second layer
Three layer MAXIMUM, two is usually better for faster and very even cooking.
Sprinkle any remaining shredded cabbage across the top layer. Place in large pan layered with the rest of cabbage (shredded) & sauerkraut under & over each layer.
Spread all the remaining sauce over the completed dish, cover with an overlapping layer of the large and medium scrap leaves you saved.
Put the tight cover on the pan or pot.

Cooking your cabbage rolls

These times assume you start cooking right after making the rolls, using raw or only partially cooked rice. If the rolls are unusually large or small, the cooking time will vary. If the sizes vary too much, some will get mushy and overdone, this is why you measure the filling. If you chill the dish overnight before cooking, you will add up to two hours to the cooking time. Since the recipe contains raw ground meat and raw egg, for safety I prefer to cook the same day and reheat the following days. This improves the flavor, also. If you must serve the same day, flavor also improves if you switch off the oven and let the dish stand for at least 30 minutes before serving, because the rolls soak up the flavorful sauce.
Cabbage rolls made with tomato are less likely to scorch if baked in the oven rather than in a pot over the stove.
By crockpot, 12 rolls take 7 to 9 hours on low.
In the oven, a large roaster with two layers (80 rolls) takes about 4 to 5 hours at 300. A full Nescoelectric roaster (18 quarts, takes about the same. You may need to check and add water or sauce if the lid is not sufficiently tight. A single layer of 8 to 12 rolls in a 9x13 glass pan cooks covered at 250 in about 3 hours, 325 about 2 1/2 hours, or 350 for about 1 hour 40 minutes. Check on the rolls halfway through baking and see if the casserole needs a water added to prevent the pan from scorching.
On top of the stove, a tightly covered full Dutch oven on very low heat takes up to 4 hours. Over the same very low heat, a single layer takes about 2 1/2 hours. Cover everything with a large plate and then fill the pot with enough water, or broth, to cover the plate by 2-inches. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat covered well with its matching lid. When at a boil, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 45 minutes, partially covered; check the pot to see if it needs a bit of water now and then, just in case the liquid has reduced too much, too quickly and gently jiggle the pot from left to right a couple of times to move around the rolls. Remove the plate and allow the rolls to cook for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and has barely covered the rolls.
To quickly cook just 6 to 8 in a skillet, add cabbage rolls and about 1/2 the sauce. Cover, bring to boil. Turn down and simmer briskly about 35 minutes covered, adding sauce or water if needed and spooning sauce over rolls occasionally.
Steam them for 3-5 mins. This freezes well, perfect for a snack or party hors d'oeuvres.
Fry rolls briefly in butter, pour on beef stock, cover and let simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Or simmer for 3/4 hour and bake in moderate (350 F) oven for 15 minutes.
After placing a layer of bones and cabbage leaves to prevent scorching, cook under pressure 20 minutes
In the microwave, a tightly covered glass pie plate of 4 to 6 rolls takes about minutes on half power, then must stand for at least 5 minutes with the cover still on before serving to finish cooking.

Storing and freezing cabbage rolls

Once cooked, serve or chill the cabbage rolls immediately. they can be frozen about 2 months and still taste good, up to 4 months and still taste decent.
They may be stored in the refigerator for up to three days
The rolls freeze best if they're frozen uncooked. If cooked, frozen and then cooked again, the rice splits and the filling doesn't taste the same as if made fresh.
Line a large baking pan with plastic wrap. Place the rolls spaced well apart from each other on the prepared baking sheet and freeze. Stack the frozen rolls in plastic freezer bags or containers, or vacuum pack them. Freeze the sauce separately.
To cook frozen cabbage rolls in a pot, you have to thaw them first. Pry apart the rolls and let them defrost at room temperature for a couple of minutes and then cook them as indicated for "in the pot". The cabbage rolls, because they're partially frozen, cannot be placed snugly together in the pot, because they're stiff frozen and aren't flexible: this is normal. To bake frozen cabbage rolls in the oven: Warm the tomato juice until warm to the touch in a medium pot. Place the rolls in the casserole and then add enough juice to cover the rolls by 1-inch. The rolls will float, therefore, press one roll down into the casserole and see if the casserole needs more juice. Cover the casserole tightly with its lid or foil. Place the prepared casserole on the lowest rack level, in the oven; turn the oven to 500'F. and bake for 30 minutes; then reduce the heat to 425'F. and bake for 1 hour. The tomato juice, when finished, will have reduced to about 1 cup or so. If there's too much liquid, loosely cover the casserole and bake at 500'F. until the liquid reduces to a thin sauce. Some of the tops of the cabbage rolls will have small darkened spots and this is normal.
If you decide to cook them to freeze, remove from the heat just as soon as they are barely done (internal temp of the dish at the center is 160 degrees). I often make a larger and a smaller pan, the larger cooks a bit slower so is ready to refrigerate for reheating while the smaller is for that night's dinner.
To freeze, the rolls may be bagged in freezer bags in a single layer in serving size portions.
Or they may be frozen individually on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray, then bagged, like burritos.

Microwave and cabbage rolls
Use one of the thicker sauce variations and use only 1/2 as much as you would need for regular prep. Microwaves do not dry or concentrate the flavors like the oven does.
Cook cabbage leaves, covered, on high 3 to 5 minutes or until limp.
Microwave the mixed sauce on high (100%) power for 2 minutes.
Place rolls in a single layer in a casserole dish and cook, covered, on high for about 11 minutes or until done turning a half turn once while cooking.
Drain excess liquid and top with the sauce. Cook for 6 minutes more or until the sauce is heated through.

Some typical cabbage roll recipes

Holubtsi (Cabbage Rolls) for 100 posted by Jan B 10-29-98 2:23 PM Holubtsi for 100 St. John's Sisterhood 5 lbs long grain rice 2 gal water 2 TBS salt 2 TBS cooking oil 1/4 cup cooking oil 4 large onions 3 cup cooking oil 1 lb butter 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 10 lbs ground chuck 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced salt to taste 2 tsp. pepper 50 lbs cabbage, medium heads 3 stalks celery, cut up 1 large onion, sliced 1 (46 oz.) can tomato soup 3 soup cans water 3 stalks celery, cut up Prepare rice: Wash rice in cold water three times or until water comes off clear. Add 2 gallons cold water, salt, 2 TBS oil. Bring to fast boil, cook 1 minute. Cover, turn off heat, let stand until water is partially absorbed but not more than 10 minutes. The rice will only be partially cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add 1/4 cup oil , mix. Cool. Prepare filling: Preheat oven to 325° F. Fry 4 chopped onions in 3 cups oil until soft. Add butter, onions, finely chopped celery and parsley, and garlic to cooled rice. Add meat, mix well. Season with salt and pepper Prepare cabbage: Remove entire core from cabbage. In a large deep pan, bring water to a boil, add cabbage heads and cook slowly until leaves are soft. Take off leaves, place in colander to drain. Cut off hard center from each leaf. Cut large leaves into 2 sections. On the bottom of an 18 x 24 x 2" roaster, make a bed using large cabbage leaves, 3 cups cut up celery stalks and sliced onion. Make holubtsi by placing a generous spoonful of the filling on each cabbage leaf; roll. Arrange rolls in layers, sprinkle each layer with salt (No more than 3 layers for best results.) Combine soup with 3 cans of water, pour over holubtsi. Protect top from scorching by covering with a few large leaves and 3 cup up celery stalks,cover roaster tightly. Bake at 325 degrees for at least 4 hours, or until both cabbage and filling are cooked. ========

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Yield: 200 rolls
350 degree oven
8 9x13 casseroles or 4 12x20x2 inch steam table pans
or use covered roasters
Hint 1: The cabbage leaves can be blanched up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated covered. For plenty of large easy to roll cabbage leaves, try Napa cabbage, the big flat Chinese type. Or get twice as many cabbages, use only the 10-12 largest outside leaves after blanching. Refrigerate the remaining smaller heads and use these white tender inner cabbages for borscht soup, hot Bavarian cabbage, slaw or another cabbage dish. 30 pound cabbage as purchased will yield 24 pounds trimmed and cored.
3 pounds whole lemons, about 12 lemons, will yield 2 cups of juice.
Hint 2: If oven space is limited, may double layer cabbage rolls kn baking pans, but add 30 minutes to cooking time.
Hint 3: Easy to freeze and reheat. Remove from oven 15 minutes early. Freeze in single layer, reheat in oven or microwave covered.

2 gallons water, boiling, for blanching cabbages
2 ounces salt for cabbage boiling water
24 pounds (about 12 large heads) cabbage, white fresh
24 pounds lean ground beef, raw
1 1/2 teaspoons dehydrated garlic
OR2 tablespoons (6 cloves) fresh garlic, minced
3 1/8 pounds onions, chopped (3 pounds 11 ounces as purchased)
OR 7 ounces (2 1/3 Cups) dehydrated chopped onions, rehydrated
3/4 ounces pepper black
1 1/8 pounds tomato catsup
1 cup worcestershire sauce
4 1/2 pounds cooked long grain rice (1 1/2 pounds raw)
For sauce:
10 1/2 pounds tomato soup concentrate OR 3-36 ounce cans tomato juice concentrate OR thick tomato sauce OR 4-6 quarts (2 #10 cans) diced tomatoes packed in juice
2 cups lemon juice
2 cups (14 ounces) white or brown sugar
OR 1 1/3 cup honey

Cook the rice or use previously cooked rice. 1 pounds 8 ounces long grain rice cooked in 1 3/4 quart water with 1/3 tablespoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon salad oil will yield 4 pounds 8 ounces cooked rice.
Blanch the cabbage leaves. Boil water, immerse entire head of cabbage for 10 minutes, remove and add next head. Drain well, let cool slightly. Peel off the large leaves which should now be tender and flexible. After the first 10 leaves or so, when they are not flexible anymore, you put the head back in the boiling water for another 5 minutes, or set the head aside for another dish. You need 200+ leaves. To make easier to roll, you can trim down the very thick middle rib carefully. Set aside.
Shred the cores, rib trimmings and any broken leaves. Set aside.
Gently but thoroughly stir together the raw beef, cooked rice, onions, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Place 1/4 cup meat mix (#15 scoop) on each leaf. Fold sides of leaf over mixture. Roll up tightly. Because the rice is already cooked, it does not expand.
Place 25 rolls seam side down into each pan in a single layer. Spread shredded cabbage over rolls.
Mix tomato sauce from tomatoes, lemons, sugar or honey. Pour about 2 3/4 cup sauce over rolls in each pan.
Cover pans. Bake single layers 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees F. until cabbage is tender and beef is done (internal temp is 140 or above). Skim off excess fat. For convection oven, bake at 325 F. one hour on high fan, vent closed.

Sara
08/30/13
Hi Ellen, your website is PHENOMENAL!!!
I am trying to coordinate the catering for our wedding with 150 people. Ceremony is at 4pm, reception to start immediately after and go through 9pm at my aunt's. She has an extra oven, extra fridge, and we have 4 chaffing dishes. Could you please advise me on what we have planned so far?

Pulled Pork sandwiches:
75lb pork shoulder, to be cooked in crockpots 2-3 days early

9-24 packs buns
2-gallons BBQ Sauce

Caesar Salad:
14 6-packs Romaine Hearts
5 Qts Creamy Caesar Dressing
5 lbs. Shredded Parmesan
6-8lb Croutons

Pickles - 4 gallons
Black Olives - 2 gallons
Green Olives - 1 gallon
Assorted Cheeses - 15lb
Assorted Crackers - 9lb

Prepared Fruit Trays - ?

Prepared Vegetable Trays - ?

Veggie Dip - ?

Macaroni Salad - 8lb uncooked

Baked Beans - 5 gallons cooked

Lemonade - ?

Ice Tea - ?

Coffee Service - ?

Water - 16oz bottles, 6 cases of 24

Wine - 8 cases

Domestic Beer - ?

Micro Brew - ?

Cake - 2 layer cake for cutting, plus 3 Costco sheet cakes

Napkins - 500
Forks - 400
14oz Cups (Beer and N/A) - 200
9oz Cups (Wine) - 200
Coffee Cups - 100
10" Plates - 250
6" Plates - 250

I am also considering a tortellini pesto dish.

Any advice would be HUGELY appreciated!

ellen
08/30/13
You are doing pretty well, in fact some cut backs are OK:

Have these out as appetizers when the guests arrive:

Assorted Cheeses - 15lb
Assorted Crackers - 9lb

Prepared Fruit Trays - use fruit tray page, amounts are covered- if bought, get a weight, you want 1 pound per 5

Add an interesting dip or spread with 9 pounds chips or crackers

Dinner

Pulled Pork sandwiches:
75lb pork shoulder, to be cooked in crockpots 2-3 days early- plenty

9-24 packs buns- Consider doing slider size buns, they drip less and are nice for the kids there, also, 3 per person
2-gallons BBQ Sauce-Assuming the meat is already in sauce??? This is OK

You need an alternative for the non-pork or non-meat eaters, and there will be some. a vegetarian chili? Vegetarian sausages ("Field roast" is excellent). 20 servings.

Caesar Salad:
14 6-packs Romaine Hearts- too much, please see the salad section of plan for 100
5 Qts Creamy Caesar Dressing
5 lbs. Shredded Parmesan
6-8lb Croutons

Pickles - 4 gallons- 2 plenty
Black Olives - 2 gallons- 1 is probably plenty
Green Olives - 1 gallon

Prepared Vegetable Trays - see the veggie tray page, amounts for veggies and dips are covered
Veggie Dip - ?

Macaroni Salad - 8lb uncooked- at least 9 and you could go 10 since you don't have potato salad also

Baked Beans - 5 gallons cooked- OK

Lemonade - have out with appetizers, 12 gallons

Ice Tea - 15 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened

Coffee Service - Use dinner level coffee guide on the beverage page, based on the number of adults

Water - 16oz bottles, 6 cases of 24, OK. Need to ice them, about 30 pound per chest

Wine - 8 cases- usual is 1/2 bottle per person, this may be too much, buy from somewhere you can return unopened.

Domestic Beer -
Micro Brew -
A keg serves 40 beer drinkers, or you figure 4 bottles per beer drinker. If you are trying to figure both, the split is a very tough call, as groups vary hugely in their beer fussiness.

Cake - 2 layer cake for cutting, plus 3 Costco sheet cakes OK

Napkins - 500
Forks - 400
14oz Cups (Beer and N/A) - 200- get 3, return if not needed
9oz Cups (Wine) - 200
Coffee Cups - 100- 150
10" Plates - 250- get 300
6" Plates - 250

I am also considering a tortellini pesto dish.
This would be the perfect addition. About 5 gallons.

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

Sara
08/30/13
Thank you Ellen, my feeling of panic is now subsiding ;)

I looked on the salad section, and it has 15 heads of romaine for 100 people. So that would be 23 for 150, but how does that translate to the romaine hearts only? Or are the outer leaves removed from the heads in your recipe?

Also, I am going to make the cheese stuffed tortellini pesto dish, with mushrooms, spinach, onion and tomato. Can that count as the vegetarian/non-pork entrée? I am also making the baked beans with olive oil to keep them vegetarian friendly. If so, how many pounds should I make?

Sara
08/30/13
Also, my FH is a fisherman and so he is going to smoke some of his salmon and we will use that for a smoked salmon dip for the crackers. How much dip do you suggest?
Melody
08/30/13
Pre-wedding barbecue for 150 people
We're doing the "night before the wedding barbecue" for ~150 (many children), picnic theme. Must travel to the site, but trying to do it myself that day with help of sisters, brothers, daughters, sons. I want to do a buffet of salads that can be mixed with no cooking and little chopping, using prepared greens mixes from warehouse stores. Family-caught King salmon will be barbecued by the family "barbecuist" -- 85 lbs. in the freezer:). With several salads, I have no idea how much of each to prepare:

Salmon
Tartar sauce
Hot dogs
Buns
Condiments
Potato chips
Tortilla chips
Purchased dips
Salsa
Purchased veggie trays (costco)
Caesar salad
Potato salad (purchased prepared)
Spinach/almond/cherry/blue cheese salad with vinaigrette
Green pea/bacon/water chestnut/green onion/sour cream salad
Cole slaw
White bean/onion salad
Watermelon/cantaloupe/grape bowl
Broccoli salad (purchased prepared)
Dinner rolls
Butter
Olives
Pickles
Cheesecake (purchased already,ordered at site)
Variety of canned/bottled beverages
Bottled water
Coffee
Tea?

Tableware, centerpieces covered.

Sister says I should do fewer salads. What do you think?

ellen
08/30/13
Sara, here is the best I can do for your questions:

23 heads for 150, no more than 30 hearts unless they are very small.

cheese stuffed tortellini pesto dish, with mushrooms, spinach, onion and tomato. Can that count as the vegetarian/non-pork entrée? Absolutely.

I am also making the baked beans with olive oil to keep them vegetarian friendly. If so, how many pounds should I make? same amount as you figured, which is about 8 pounds dry per 100 to start.

smoked salmon dip for the crackers, about 1 cup dip per 5-6

ellen
08/30/13
Wedding prequel picnic for 150 people
Hi, Melody, yes can can simplify a bit without any harm to your party.

Salmon-you have plenty
Tartar sauce-2 cup per 6
Hot dogs- Are these for the non-fish eaters? How about switching to bun size Polish sausage or kielbasa? Much tastier and more in keeping with the festivity level of the party. 100 dogs or 15-20 pounds sausages
Buns
Dinner rolls
If you were to get baguettes, they make both great dinner bread and fine hot dog/sausage rolls. About 18 pounds- 20 if they ARE BIG BREAD EATERS
Condiments- see the sandwich page, do about 1/2 the amount for 100
Butter 4 pounds

Potato chips
Tortilla chips
15 pounds total, you divede per taste of the crowd
Purchased dips
Salsa
You need a total of about 1/2 cup (4 ounces) per adult, 1.2 that per kid

Purchased veggie trays (costco)- with all the salads, I strongly suggest you do fruit trays instead, incorporate the Watermelon/cantaloupe/grape bowl, By weight, 1 pound per 5-6

Cole slaw
Broccoli salad (purchased prepared)
Do one of these, about 3 1/2 gallons

Spinach/almond/cherry/blue cheese salad with vinaigrette
Caesar salad
Do one of these, about 100 servings. Consider putting the blue cheese on the side

Potato salad (purchased prepared)6 gallons

White bean/onion salad
Green pea/bacon/water chestnut/green onion/sour cream salad
Do one of these, about 3 1/2 gallons

Olives- 5 quarts assorted
Pickles- 6 quarts

Cheesecake (purchased already,ordered at site)

Variety of canned/bottled beverages- see the beverage planning page for suggestions, but consider just doing about 12 gallons of lemonade
Bottled water, 2 per person
Coffee- dinner level coffee, see beverage page
Tea- if you skip the soda, do about 12 gallons, about 1/3 unsweetened

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

Melody
08/31/13
Wedding prequel picnic for 150
I'm happy to make a donation! This is such a big help. Good suggestions, plus it will save me money, I'm sure, as my family chides me for always overbuying. (Can't let anyone go hungry!)

One small question: How much prepared baby spinach for 100 salad servings?

ellen
08/31/13
When it is the only salad you use 8 pounds- so 6 should be about right.
Elena
09/02/13
I am making a potatoe salad for my sister's wedding, to feed 150 people. I usually make my potatoe salads with in an hour of serving the meal. I'm not sure how much pickles, eggs, mayo or potatoes to buy, that's all I put in mine. Also can this be refridgerated before the wedding and how far in advance can I make this and it still taste fresh. Also how many containers do I need to buy to put it in. Thanks for any response....
ellen
09/02/13
You need 6 to 7 gallons, which will take 60 to 70 pounds of raw potatoes.

It easily holds 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Make sure the salad is chilled quickly- it would not hurt to put it in the freezer for a couple of hours before transferring to the refrigerator, and if you use the refrigerator only, it will take 2 to chill it quickly enough.

If you look on the plan for 100 page, there is a basic recipe there, or use any of the special recipes on the slaw page.

Elena
09/02/13
Thank you so much for your quick response.
chelsea
09/08/13
Wedding for 100 people
This should be around our menu didn't now if you could tell me how much I would need of each thing.

I am planning to have 100 people at out wedding and possible a fall or spring one. We were thinking of a BBQ reception and some of the close family bring side dishes there will probably be about 10 dishes. Something like, baked beans, string beans , potato salad ,

macaroni salad, prezel salad , lima beans, cole slaw , meatballs, little sausages, veggie tray, fruit tray.

hot dogs, hamburgers buns.
corn on the cob
plates
napkins
plastic ware
sodas
coffee
Tea
cups
possibley; rock fish and shark

Chelsea
09/08/13
Wedding for 100people
Also chips dips pretzels too
ellen
09/09/13
Assuming a hundred people.

Appetizers:
meatballs, 10 pounds, 3-4 quarts sauce
little sausages, same
veggie tray, see veggie tray page, add Ranch dip
fruit tray, see fruit tray page, do for at least 75.
chips, 1 pound per 12
dips, 1 cup per 6-8
pretzels, 6 pounds

Starches
potato salad,
macaroni salad,
pretzel salad,
You need a total of 10 gallons. When I just do potato and pasta, I do 35 pounds potatoes and 6 pounds dry pasta.

Salad
cole slaw, 2 1/2 gallons

Veggies
string beans, 20 pounds
lima beans, 2 gallons
corn on the cob- 1 piece per person, some broken in half, 3 pounds butter

hot dogs, hamburgers buns. Consider doing grilled or baked chicken instead; three people would have to be grilling continuously for this size party.

If you do burgers and hot dogs, the info is on the plan for 100 page, rolls and condiments on the sandwich page.

Supplies and beverages are discussed in detail on the beverage planning page:
plates
napkins
plastic ware
cups
sodas- see beverage planning page for amounts and assortment
coffee- dinner level coffee
Tea-12 gallons iced, 1/3 unsweetened

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

chelsea
09/09/13
Wedding for 100 people
thank you so much Ellen!:) just one more thing all these things you've told me to look on pages where are these pages at?
this is my first time with all this!
ellen
09/09/13
There are buttons for each of these at the top of the main cooktalk page, where you originally posted. The cooktalk link at the top of this page will take you there. Have fun.

There are lots of recipes you might use linked to the Big Pots page, you can reach it by using the link on the left, middle of the column.

PoentVon
09/10/13
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Peggy
09/10/13
I am throwing my daughter a sweet 16 party at 6pm. We are expecting 100 people. I am wanting to do a taco bar. Here is my thoughts on the menu, but not sure of how much of each I will need:
taco meat, we have 45lbs
refried beans
black beans
soft tacos ( I have 200)
hard tacos ( I have 200)
lettuce
tomatoes
onions
sour cream
guacamole
salsa
jalapeños
chips/ salsa
Spanish rice
nacho cheese
olives
cheese
Ranch/ 1,000 island in case they want to make a salad
Punch
Lemon Water

Any help would be appreciated! I a spinning my wheels, this has gotten way bigger than I first planned :)

ellen
09/11/13
Peg, way too much meat. It is easy to plan a taco bar for 100, just go to the taco/potato bar for 100 page, button at the top of the main cook talk page, and it will walk you through. Get 3 cans of nacho cheese sauce, but only open 2 to start. 1 pound chips per 8. Increase lettuce to 2-3 ounces each person to allow for salads, and provide about 3 quarts of ranch dressing.

10 gallons of punch and about 6 of iced tea, some unsweetened.

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

Brenda
09/11/13
This is an awesome site. I just discovered it. My son is getting married in a week and a half. The family is doing the meal. They have 125 confirmed guests, but the max that could show up would be 150.
Here is what we have.
Meatballs for 155 sandwhiches
bbq pulled pork (I have 80#) pork tenderloin
Baked mac and cheese (being made with 20# macaroni)
enough green beans for 160 servings
scalloped potatos (here is where we need help. How many pounds of potatoes do we need)
Her family is providing pasta salad and potato salad

They are having bologna and cheese trays and veggie trays (from sam's club) for during picture taking time. Any recomendations on how many of the veggie trays and how much bologna and cheese?

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
Brenda

ellen
09/11/13
You will have a lot of meat left. With this menu, for 150 people, this is what I would do:

Meatballs for 155 sandwiches
bbq pulled pork (I have 80#) pork tenderloin- if the pulled pork is not made, consider just roasting about 50 pounds, chill, slice, reheat tightly covered in gravy, broth or sauce. Save the rest.
If already pulled, no more than 35 pounds- each pound makes 4 sandwiches
Rolls- if you get crusty rolls or baguettes and slice, these will serve both as sandwich bread and rolls. 1 pound per 6 (about 4 inches per person).
You need 5 pounds of butter, a gallon of pickles, 5 pounds of sliced onions, and I recommend 2 gallons of a mildly vinegary fine slaw. Also, for the meatball sands, 3 pounds grated Parm and possible 5 pounds thin sliced provolone. 1 1/2 quarts good mustard.

Baked mac and cheese (being made with 20# macaroni)- with 2 starchy salads and the scalloped potatoes, no more than 10 pounds mac
scalloped potatos (here is where we need help. How many pounds of potatoes do we need) 35, or so

enough green beans for 160 servings- if using canned, take a look at the "Ellen's Better Green Bean Casserole" in the holiday cooking section at the top of Big pots. 2 1/2 times the recipe.

Her family is providing pasta salad and potato salad.

About 100 servings of tossed salad would not be wasted, see the plan for 100 page.

As for the appetizers, I strongly suggest you add fruit trays (20 pounds) and a punch or lemonade (12 gallons).
Vegetable trays, about 20 pounds.
Bologna (assuming this is the dry sausage type you slice into rings), 12-15 pounds (more with no fruit); 10-12 pounds cheese, some could be logs or spreads; 9 pounds crackers.

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

Theresa
09/18/13
I'm planning my wedding and trying to get a good count for how many plates, napkins, and silverware I will need to get. We are just doing finger foods (fruit, meat, and vegetable tray). I've got 100 confirmed but 150 maximum that were invited. What would you say is a good number to go by? Thanks!
ellen
09/18/13
As a rule, 85% of the invited attend, but that is influenced by how many are family, or from out of town.

Suggestions for plates, etc, are on the beverage planning page.

Jessie
09/30/13
Wedding for 110 people
Hi Ellen, this is a great site. We are cooking for a wedding. Number of people is 110. The food will be cold cuts as follows: Cold sliced turkey, cold sliced roast beef, cold sliced toupee ham, potato salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad and cole slaw.
We have planned a 25 lb turkey, 20 - 25 lbs. roast beef, and 2 - 10 lb toupee hams. I'm guessing we will need about 40 lbs. potato salad, 20 lbs. broccoli salad, 20 lbs. pasta salad, and 15 lbs. coleslaw. Does this sound about right?
ellen
09/30/13
You are doing fine. I would increase the the slaw to 20. Sandwich fixings on the fixing page are on the sandwich page.
Pamela
10/03/13
Wedding reception for 200 people
Hi Ellen,
We are having a cocktail hour immediately after the wedding ceremony and it will NOT be catered. We are considering the cocktail hour because the wedding ceremony will be held in the church and the reception venue is another location not too far from the church. So as to allow time for pictures and transport of the wedding party to this venue, we would like our guests to enjoy themselves. The dinner will be catered but we are planning a DIY cocktail hour and have come up with this menu. Please check it out and provide any input/guidance that you can. We really would appreciate it. We are expecting approx 200 guests and the cocktail hour would begin immediately after the wedding at about 4:30.

10 lbs baby carrots
6 lbs. celery
6 qts. broccoli
3 large containers cherry/grape tomatoes
1 extra large container ranch dressing
1 gal. jar of olives
Cubed cheese (??? how much)
Assorted crackers/pita chips (???how much)
10 lbs grapes (red)
10 lbs grapes (green)
10 lbs strawberries
3 large tub cool whip
Cubed fresh pineapple (??? how much)
Yogurt fruit dip
Sweetened Tea (10 gallons)
Unsweetened Tea (5 gallons)
Water

ellen
10/03/13
Veg tray:

10 lbs baby carrots
6 lbs. celery
6 qts. broccoli
3 large containers cherry/grape tomatoes- need 5
suggest you add 6 cauliflower and 3 bags of mini peppers
1 extra large container ranch dressing - you need 1 gallon per 100
1 gal. jar of olives- for 200, I would do 2, or one olive and one crunchy small pickles

Cheese and crackers:
Cheese- 1 pound per 10, some can be spreads or logs
crackers- 8 pounds per 100
chips- 1 pound per 15
dip- 1 pint per 15- could be salsas, sour cream base, etc. If hummus, 1 pint per 8

Fruit tray:
10 lbs grapes (red)
10 lbs grapes (green)
10 lbs strawberries
consider adding apple bites (dip in citrus juice if homemade) or melon bites- 10 pounds
3 large tub cool whip
Cubed fresh pineapple (??? how much)- 3-4 pound pineapple cuts 40 bites, you want 2 per person

Beverages
Sweetened Tea (10 gallons)
Unsweetened Tea (5 gallons)
This is light. Unless you have no kids coming, suggest you add 8-10 gallons of lemonade or fruit juice/punch
Water - 2 bottles per person

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

Faye
10/18/13
We are having a wedding at 6:00 pm for 200 people. I am planning on 18 lbs of cheese balls with 12 lbs of crackers, 40 lbs of ground chuck for meatballs, 800 skewers with bite size pieces of turkey and cheese cubes (2 pieces of each per skewer), 9 lbs of broccoli florets, 9 lbs of petite carrot sticks, 10 lbs grape tomatoes, 136 oz ranch dressing for dipping, 10 lbs of strawberries, 10 lbs of grapes, 10 lbs of pineapple chunks,64 oz of dip, 150 oz of mixed nuts, 500 cheese straws, mints(don't know how many to buy), a bride cake, and a groom cake. 15 gallons of punch, water, 6 gallons of sweet tea, 4 gallons of unsweet tea, and 4 gallons of lemonade.
Does this sound like a good amount for a 2 hour reception a finger food dinner?
ellen
10/19/13
Hi, Faye,

Because of the time of the service, people will not eat before they come, so you need almost twice as much food as you would for a finger food reception later in the evening, or you will run out before everyone has something. This is what I would do:

18 lbs of cheese balls with
12 lbs of crackers,
OK, none left

40 lbs of ground chuck for meatballs, OK; 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds

You need to add at least 2 bites of something like miniquiches or other bites and also 2 bites of a starchy thing or bready thing

800 skewers with bite size pieces of turkey and cheese cubes (2 pieces of each per skewer), OK

9 lbs of broccoli florets,
9 lbs of petite carrot sticks,
10 lbs grape tomatoes,
add cauliflower and/or mini peppers, 10 pounds
136 oz ranch dressing for dipping, is 4 quarts, need 6

10 lbs of strawberries,
10 lbs of grapes,
10 lbs of pineapple chunks,
add 10 pounds of melon chunks
64 oz of dip, is only 2 quarts, need 6 quarts

150 oz of mixed nuts, 12 pounds

500 cheese straws, OK

mints(don't know how many to buy), 8-10 pounds

a bride cake, and a groom cake. You can also add what are called kitchen cakes, which are wedding cake flavor, but just sheet cakes.

15 gallons of punch,
water,
6 gallons of sweet tea,
4 gallons of unsweet tea, and
4 gallons of lemonade
I would add dinner level coffee, see the beverage planning page.

Faye
10/19/13
Thanks. If I add chicken salad sandwiches cut in 4 triangles to make up 400, how much chicken salad would I need? And add cheese biscuits for starchy thing?
Donna
10/20/13
Sweet Sixteen for about 150
This is a great site wit so much info,...I think reading all this I have made myself so confused. The party will have about 100 family & 50 of her friends. She requested mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and chicken fingers. The rest will be Italian. My confusion is how many trays to make. I wanted to make 3 different pastas (penne ala vodka, alfredo, ziti) meatballs and some kind of Chicken.
But how many trays of each do I make ,..Please Help
ellen
10/21/13
Faye, 1 pound of boneless chicken makes about 2 cups of meat, which makes about 4 cups of chicken salad with plenty of celery, parsley and mayo. 1 cup of chicken salad makes 4 sandwiches, so one pound of boneless chicken makes about 16. So about 8 pounds boneless raw chicken...
Cheese biscuits are nice, but very close to cheese straws. What about sausage balls of some kind?
ellen
10/21/13
Donna, I would figure this as about 1 3/4 times 100, allowing for the big teen eaters. This is a starch heavy menu, so I hope there is also fruit, veg and salad on the plan.

I would do total 24 pounds pasta including all 4 of the pasta dishes. 35 pounds raw potatoes. 1 pound chicken per each 3, up to half chicken fingers, PLUS 1 pound meatballs for each 4-5. If you want to post your final estimates, I will be glad to check thyem.

The Alfredo style sauce for 100 on the spaghetti page holds very well.

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

lisa
11/09/13
Wedding for 100 people
Afternoon wedding at 2:00am in the Spring in Florida light fare, boiled shrimp and mini meatballs a must. Can you geive me ideas on what I could serve with those items plus I need ideas for a coffee bar set up? Thank you
ellen
11/09/13
What kind of kitchen arrangement, what kind of budget, and will you finish around 5 or go through dinner time? Write back.

If you do peel and eat shrimp, it is very messy for wedding level clothes. What about some sort of shrimp cocktail?

Lisa
11/13/13
wedding for 100
No budget really. They want boiled shrimp, yes we will have peeled and deveiend. no dinner. Yes we will finish around 5:00. Thank you for the advice we really do appreciate it.
ellen
11/13/13
OK. 3 hour party, between meals, you want about 16 "bites" or small items per person.

boiled shrimp- 1 pound per 5 persons, 1 cup sauce per 4
mini meatballs- 1 pound per 6-8, 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds
Trendy to offer slider rolls to make meatball sladers...

fruit trays, maybe with some dried fruits or chocolate dipped strawberries
See fruit tray page, plan for about 6 pieces per person (smallest items, like 2 dates, count as 1)

cheese trays- about 10 pounds, some can be logs or rolls

cocktail breads, crackers and small rolls- about 8 pounds- people enjoy hacking on big artisan breads too

interesting bite one- could be a 7 layer dip or an artichoke condite- several suggestions/recipes on this site

interesting bite 2- a thing, maybe stuffed grape leaves or mushroom caps, mini quiches; 2 pieces per person, 3 if small

coffee bar- using the beverage planning page for amounts of reg, decaf, and teas. Add some cans of real whipped cream; real 1/2 and 1/2; bottles of hazelnut, vanilla Italian syrups; squirt bottles of chocolate and caramel sauces; shaker of nutmeg. Get cube sugar- coarse cut if available, or other coarse sugar; have Splenda, truvia/stevia, and pink stuff.

Write back if there is more.

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

K.J.
11/26/13
Wedding for 75-100
thinking of doing something reasonable. Mainly Considering
Spaghetti w/meat sauce
Spaghetti w/sauce
cheesy baked ziti or spaghetti
garlic bread/dinner rolls
Salad
dressings
tea, punch and water
i do not know if i need to add an additional side
K.J.
11/26/13
75-100
also considering trays of
cheese crackers and grapes as guest arrive in reception hall places on each table
ellen
11/26/13
Hi, K.J.

Spaghetti w/meat sauce
Spaghetti w/sauce
cheesy baked ziti or spaghetti
Lasagna- much better- easier to prep, to hold. Do meat and veggie- maybe red and white- spaghetti page has amounts, about 2/3 meat and 1/3 veg

garlic bread/dinner rolls 12-14 pounds per 100, 3 pounds butter

Yes, adding a veggie would be good, I would go with either broccoli or roasted mixed veggies, about 22 pounds per 100.

Salad
dressings
Use the plan for 100 salad page.

tea, 9 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened
punch, 8 gallons
water, if bottled, 2 per person

Add dinner level coffee from the beverage page with the cake/ dessert

You definitely need an appetizer area- expand it a bit-
cheese- 1 pound per 10-12, some can be spreads or logs
crackers- 6 pounds
grapes- do a real fruit tray- see the fruit tray page, maybe the deluxe tray for 100
Do one classic relish tray from the veggie tray page.

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

Brenda Graham
12/23/13
Christmas dinner 100
Im using can peaches, 15oz can how many do I need to make peach cobbler for 100 people
ellen
12/23/13
To make 4 steam table pans, 100 moderate servings, you need about 20-24 pounds of canned peaches and all the juice. That is 4-5 #10 cans (cheaper than all those little ones). Nutmeg, cinnamon, and you can use frozen orange or apple juice concentrate for part of the sugar.
Jo-
01/04/14
Hi Ellen, We are doing a VIP party for our church, approx 500 ppl. Our menu is just appetizers, can you help me out with quantities? Its not a lunch just a social gathering-

Meatballs
Mini open faced Beef Sandwiches
Skewered Chicken
Dogs in a blanket

Veggie Table
Fruit Table
Cheese and Cracker table
Dessert table

also need quantities of BBQ Sauce for meatballs and teriyaki sauce for chicken and Ranch dip for Veggies-

Thanks in advance:)

ellen
01/04/14
Hi, will you tell me what time of day and how long the party is? Thanks.
Jo-
01/04/14
11:30- 1 pm
ellen
01/05/14
OK, Jo, even though you are not thinking of this as lunch, most of your guests will NOT have eaten lunch and will expect to eat enough to satisfy their meal need. This means at least a pound of food per person.

Also, it will take at least 30 volunteers to set up, serve, and clean up this size party.
This is about what I would do.

Meatballs- small ones, at least 10 pounds per 100; 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds
Mini open faced Beef Sandwiches- at least 1 per person, and you may run out
Skewered Chicken- ??? 1 pound rawper 4 to 5
Dogs in a blanket- ??? full size? 2 tiny or one regular per person

Veggie Table- use veggie tray page. Has dressing estimate. Consider doing the classic relish trays on that page for 1/2 the amounts.
Fruit Table- use fruit tray page. It takes about 6 hours to prepare fruit for 150-200
Cheese and Cracker table- 1 pound cheese per 10-12, some can be logs or spreads. 6-8 pounds crackers per 100

I would definitely add chips, pita, bread, 1 pound per 12, 1 pint dip per pound. Can be salsa, hummus, etc as well as more traditional chip dips.

Dessert table- use dessert planning page.

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

kristi
01/15/14
coffee and dessert for 150 people
We are having a dessert and coffee bar event. We would like to serve strawberry shortcake. How many pounds of strawberries do we need and how much cream to make the whip cream? Thank you.
ellen
01/15/14
This question comes up often enough that I need to put it on the dessert planning page!

I would use real whip cream or whip cream in the spray can. Either one has the number of tablespoons or cups on the side of the can, Allow 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup per person, and add a couple of extra cans/tubs; people get a little generous serving.
Heavy cream whips up about double the starting volume.

A quart of strawberries (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)makes 8 servings.

Lorraine
01/17/14
Wedding for 165 people
Please see the suggested items for a wedding of 165, what would you suggest the quantities be...so need your help:
Passed hors deaures
Shrimp on a stick
Scallops wrapped with bacon
Spring rolls
Pizza rolls

Tables
Cheese tray with strawberries and grapes and crackers and crab dip with French bread

Salad
Leave with tomato and cucumber house salad with raspberry vinaigrette

Main course
Vegetable lasagna
Roasted chicken w/ skin
Slice beef with gravy
Yellow rice
Green beans
Rolls and butter

Fountain punch she said she has the foutain we just need to put punch in it
Drinks
Coffee and tea
Two large pots

ellen
01/17/14
Passed hors douvers
Shrimp on a stick- 2 per (3 oz per person)
Scallops wrapped with bacon (depends on size, 2-3 per
Spring rolls-small, 2 per
Pizza rolls-2 per

Tables
Cheese tray 1 pound per 12
strawberries 1 quart per 10-12
grapes 1 pound per 8
crackers 6-7 pounds per 100
crab dip- 1 cup per 3
French bread- 1 ounce per person

Salad
Leave (?) with tomato and cucumber house salad with raspberry vinaigrette- see the Greek village salad under salads that hold, for guidance on the amounts Suggest several dressings, not just raspberry. 1 gallon per 100

Main courses

Slice beef with gravy- 1 pound raw boneless per 2 people, 1 cup gravy per 3-4
Roasted chicken w/ skin- 1 piece per person
Vegetable lasagna- If this is buffet, you need more than if plated, for example, people will take a bit of lasagna even with the meats

Yellow rice- 9 pounds per 100
Green beans- 24 pounds per 100
Consider adding a second veg or some kind of relish

Rolls- 2 smallish per person and butter, 4 pounds

Fountain punch she said she has the fountain we just need to put punch in it, gallons per 100
Drinks
Coffee and tea- use the beverage planning page and dinner level coffee
Two large pots- not enough, see note

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

Tammy
01/22/14
My daughter's wedding is in March and will have Indian and Southern food. The reception (for 125-150 -will have a better count as we get closer) will start at approximately 2:00-2:30 P.M. I guess we will eat around 3:00. The Indian food is being catered by the grooms family. We are making the Southern except for the Roast Pork which we will have catered. After reading through your sight, I have written an estimation of portions. Here it is:

-Roast Pork for 100-125 (there will be quite a few vegetarians and vegans)
sauce and possibly hush puppies-catered
-Potato Salad- 40 lbs potatoes
-Coleslaw- 4 gallons
-Bread and Butter pickles- 2 gallons (this is a maybe item)
-Fruit Salad (not sure which one...thinking Southern Ambrosia) 4 gallons
Not sure about the sauce either. Could do a simple honey to drizzle or the traditional Ambrosia sauce with sour cream- suggestions?
-Appetizer will be chutney and an Indian bread-catered
Indian Food-
Tandoori Chicken, Chole, Aloo Gobi, Garlic Naan, Rice-catered
Beverages-
Sweet Tea-9 gallons
Lemonade-3 gallons made-with concentrate available
Water-2 bottles per person ?
Lemon Wedges for tea (no idea how many lemons I will need-thinking I can get 6 slices per lemon-25-50?)
I am also making the wedding cake. It is a three tier, 12,10,8. I will make a sheet cake for the rest. They are all edible. How big should my sheet cake be?
We will serve Chai Tea with the cake. I have no idea how much to make.
The venue does not allow use of their stove top/oven so your sight helped me make the decision to go with cold items. Thank you! It does have warming trays and chafing dishes. I know that chafers are used primarily to keep foods warm but can I add cold water to keep the potato salad and coleslaw cool?
Love your sight...it is a blessing! All suggestions are welcomed :)Thank you!

tammy
01/22/14
Just found you Chai Tea for twenty...that should help in my portions..nice!
ellen
01/22/14
What a sensible set of choices for this situation. My only suggestion would be, make sure the Indian side has no objection to pork. If they do, roast turkey would be a great option, you would do a cranberry-orange whole berry relish, have gravy, and the Indian rice would replace stuffing.

Remember it takes 40 minutes to heat chafers to safe serving temp.

You would use ice plus water and some salt under the slaw and potato salad, and fruit salad.
I gallon pickles plenty. A second of olives would be an option.
The rest of the numbers look pretty good for this number. I would make a creamy yogurt dressing for the fruit. To each quart of whole milk yogurt ad honey to taste, 2-3 teaspoons real vanilla and 1 teaspoon of mace (look for it, it is delicious here). Let sit refrigerated 4 hours or overnight.

Chai does not take lemon, so about 30 is way plenty unless they are very small.

The sheet cake- 1 full sheet extra would be cutting it very close. 2 will leave leftovers. Your choice- maybe one full sheet and a 2 layer (chocolate) 1/2 sheet grooms cake? Consider an egg and dairy free cake such as an almond based cake for all the vegans? Eating the practice cakes is fun.

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

Britney
01/27/14
I am planning a dinner for 150 people, would like to know how many 2 pound tubs I will need to buy?
ellen
01/27/14
Tubs of what Britney?
Brittney F.
01/27/14
Wedding for 130 people
Hi there!!! I absolutely love your site. It has helped me so much. I I have about 110 adults and about 25 kids that we have planned for our wedding so far. We are having an outdoor wedding and the reception is in the barn.

I want to order catering from Brewery City and they have their meat and vegetable lasagna that feeds 25-30. I was wondering how much of each type of lasagna I should get? I wasn't sure if I should order the same amount as people for each.

Also, I plan on doing a fruit/veggie bar myself and the salad, how mud of those do you think I need? Thank you so much for your time! :)

ellen
01/27/14
If you think there will be a few more, I suggest you use 1 1/3 times the amounts for 100 on the various planning pages.

How about 6 pans of lasagna, 3 red/meat, 2 white chicken and 1 veggie? That will cover everyone in about the right proportions, , but not too much left.

The fruit bar, 1 of the deluxe trays for 100 from the fruit tray page. The veggies, suggest 1 classic relish tray plus salad for 100 from either the plan for 100 page, or one of my recipes for 100.

AT least 16 pounds of breads, 4 of butter, could do a bit more.

Finally, consider adding at least a chip and dip nibble table- 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 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 usually needed for each 100 guests. For this informal party, one would be enough.

ellen
01/27/14
By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support the site. Thanks.
Amie
01/29/14
Wedding for 200 people
I'm getting married in April and I'm worried about how much food i'll need to feed between 200 - 210 people. This is my menu:
Baked chicken
Rice
Gravy
Mac & cheese
Green beans
Pasta salad
Salad
Dinner rolls
Lemonade
Fruit kabobs
So my question is how much or how many items in the menu do I need to feed 200 to 210 people??
ellen
02/01/14
Baked chicken- use the plan for 100 page, double for 200. Amount depends on what cuts you pick
Gravy-1 cup per 4

Rice- 6 pounds dry per 100
Mac & cheese-6 pounds dry per 100
Because you have 2 starches, and a starchy salad, you don't use as much of either.

Green beans- 24 pounds ready to cook per 100

Pasta salad-6 pounds dry pasta per 100
Salad- use plan for 100 list or any of the recipes for 100

Dinner rolls- 2 small per person, 3 pounds butter per 100

Lemonade- use the beverage planning page. Also, add dinner coffee for dessert

Fruit kabobs- these are tedious to prep and don't hold well, suggest you do fruit trays (see fruit tray page) and a few kabobs for decoration.

You need an appetizer plan, 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.

By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

Fruit kabobs

By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

jan coffman
02/04/14
car show for 250 people
We are having car show and feed about 250 people for a free lunch. We have all the items and the amounts needed to feed this many people a full course BBQ meal.

My question is what amount or the number of sheet cakes do we need to make? I know it depends on the size of each piece and I am not sure what each piece should be.

ellen
02/04/14
Usually, 1 sheet cuts either 48 or 60.
Angela
02/04/14
Hi Ellen. Me and my family are catering my wedding this June. It is a country rustic theme so we decided to stick with that with our food as well.I have been following some of your posts, so I know about how much of each to make, I just want your opinion on if this is enough, or should I use another "filler"
We are ordering 200 or 250 pieces of fried chicken
BBQ Meatballs
Baked Bean
Cheesy or scalloped potatoes
Coleslaw
biscuits
I know how much to make of all the sides, but is that enough chicken? I thought about throwing in a fruit tray as well. What are your thoughts?
Angela
02/04/14
Also, I was going off of your "Potato Salad" thread, for the yield on the hot cheesy or scalloped potatoes. You said 40 lbs for the cold salad, would you say its the same for the hot potatos as well?
Yadi
02/05/14
quincerena
I'm having a Quincerena for my daughter and I want to know what I can feed 220 people. To make the cost low.
ellen
02/06/14
Angela, how many people?
ellen
02/06/14
Yadi, the least expensive large group feeding that can be fancied up to party level, is a taco and enchilada bar. This could be a fine choice for you. But be realistic; if you cater this yourself, which is quite a challenge, you are still looking at $10-14 per person, including non-alcoholic beverages and desserts. There is a whole page on the taco bar. If you like the idea, write back, but do start a new a thread.
Marianne
02/07/14
Wedding for 130 people
Hi Ellen, you are amazing that you help so many frazzled people...hopefully myself included!

I am catering a wedding for a friend of mine, and although I think I am a good cook this is the first time I am doing a wedding!

This is some of what I have planned...but I am stuck on the quantities.

baby potato salad with dill, capers and roasted almonds (how many potatoes do I need? I plan to do a mayonaise and sour cream dressing...how much to buy of each?

Green mesculan salad....How many kg do I need to buy of the lettuce?

to make Garlic bread out of a french stick...how many sticks do I need?

Roast potatoes....how much for 130 people?

honey glazed carrots......how many for 130 people?

I also want to make chicken caricature with chicken breasts...what size breast should I go for for each person? can I get 3 portions out of one breast?

The bride and groom are providing roast lamb and beef as well so there is other meat avaliable

thank you so much for your help!

ellen
02/07/14
OK Marianne, the first thing you need to know is that a party this size takes at least 3 kitchen people and at least 6 people out front the day of to set up, serve, and clean up. None of them can attend the wedding- there is too much to do. This is critical; without enough help, the meal will be a disaster, even if the food is perfect.

You need to expect everything to take twice as long as you thought it would in your prep, both pre-day of and day of.

Go to the kitchen you will be using before the date and make SURE there are enough ovens and burners for your items. If one whole oven is taken up with the beef and lamb, will you have room for chicken, potatoes, etc.?

You need to make a card or list for every worker, telling what they are to do when (when to start and when to finish), and in what order, and you need to post the work plan in the kitchen.

Also, you REALLY need an appetizer plan and here is why. There is an hour between the service and the dinner while photos get done and you finish the serving arrangements for the meal. People can't just stand around, especially if there are children or seniors in the party.

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

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests. In this case, you could do just one as long as it is spread out for people to access both sides.

Now back to the menu

baby potato salad with dill, capers and roasted almonds (how many potatoes do I need? I plan to do a mayonaise and sour cream dressing...how much to buy of each? You need 24 pounds of potatoes and about 3 quarts of dressing, I don't have your recipe to be exact. Less than I usually suggest because you also have a hot potato dish.

Green mesculan salad....How many kg do I need to buy of the lettuce? about 20 pounds, 4 quarts assorted dressings, see the plan for 100 list for help here

to make Garlic bread out of a french stick...how many sticks do I need? about 15 pounds, 3 pounds butter. Leave some plain, not everyone eats garlic.

Roast potatoes....how much for 130 people? about 45 pounds- more if you peel them

honey glazed carrots......how many for 130 people? about 28 pounds ready to cook

I also want to make chicken caricature with chicken breasts...what size breast should I go for for each person?
With this menu, I would do my wedding chicken dijon or chicken marsala rather than a cacciatore, in any case, you need one pound boneless skinless breast per 4.

Shay
02/11/14
70th Birthday Party for 150 people
I was asked to cook the following items for 150 people. They supplied the menu which includes the following:

Liver & Onions
Fried fish
Smothered chicken
Pull pork
Sweet potatoe casserole
Cabbage rolls
Loaded mashed potatoes
Green beans
Green salad
Rolls
Tea
Lemonade

I am trying to see how much food I need for each item and is $25-$30 per person to much to charge?

Briana
02/13/14
Wedding buffet for 150 guests
Hi Ellen,

I am soo glad I found you! My wedding is March 8th buffet style for 150 guests. The menus is as follows and I would really appreciate your help making sure I have enough to feed everyone.

Appetizer’s :

Sharp Cheddar Cheese & Cracker’s

• Main Dish(es) :

Spanish-Style Pork Shoulder (Seasoned with Adobo, Sazon, Garlic, Sofrito, Onions)

Sweet Glazed Ham w/ Pineapple & Cherries and Cinnamon

Oven-Baked Pulled Chicken (Seasoned with Chicken Seasoning)

3-Cheese & Veggie Lasagna

• Side Dishes :

Yellow Rice w/ Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)

Roasted Potato Dill Salad

Tortellini Salad (w pepperonis and cheese in it)

Seasonal Vegetables

Thank you soo much for your advice! I'm going frantic with only 3 week left until my wedding!

Briana

ellen
02/14/14
Hi, Shay,

Somehow your inquiry got lost until the newest one posted- these long threads are very hard to process- anyway, what I said the first time I tried to answer is that 5 entrees

Liver & Onions
Fried fish
Smothered chicken
Pull pork
Cabbage rolls

is way too many to handle, or to plan for for just 130 people. First of all, fried fish does not hold well, is difficult to fix, and requires one person frying during the meal; try to eliminate it, or at list switch to a baked fish almondine.
Second, it is important that you not run out of any entree during the first service. With 5 entrees, you have to make a LOT of extra to avoid running out, because you don't have a good idea of how many will take what. Trust me on this, it varies from region to region and even from crowd to crowd.

So the first thing is, you need to go back to the party givers and re-negotiate the menu. Then recognize that you will need at least 3 people in the kitchen and 10 people out front to set up, serve, and clean up this size party. At 100 to 125 per person for a standard 3 hour party, you are looking at 1500 plus labor costs; plus event liability insurance incase a worker or guest is injured or claims sickness; plus rental and transport for all the equipment and supplies.

If you are just dropping off the food, no set up service or clean up, the usual estimate is 3-4 times food costs (you still need liability insurance).

So I suggest you do at most 3 entrees; smothered chicken, liver and onions, and either the cabbage rolls or pulled pork, but not both.

Liver & Onions probably 30 servings
Fried fish- skip
Smothered chicken- 24 chickens, cut 8 pieces

Pull pork
Cabbage rolls
Do only one- 1 pound raw boneless pork per 4 or 2 cabbage rolls per person

Loaded mashed potatoes about 55 pounds
Sweet potato casserole- about 30 pounds

Green beans- 35 pounds

Green salad- use plan for 100 table, 1 1/2 times the amount for 100

Rolls- 2 good per person, 1/2 suitable for the pulled pork, if you do that

Tea- about 12 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened
Lemonade- about 8 gallons

For this menu $30 would not be too much with 5 entrees, 24 would be more reasonable with 3.

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

ellen
02/14/14
Hi, Brianna,

Given that most wedding dinners are settled months is advance, it is understandable that you are feeling nervous. So let's see what we can do. I am going to suggest some additions and tweaks, for your 150 guests:

First be aware that you need 3 serving lines, or 2 double sided lines, for this many people. 3 people in the kitchen, about 10 out front to set up, serve and clean up, and NONE of these can attend the wedding, as they will be terrifically busy during that time.

Appetizer’s :

Sharp Cheddar Cheese, about 8 pounds
add a mild white, about 5 pounds
Cracker’s 10 pounds

Please add at least a fruit tray (see the deluxe tropical tray on the fruit tray page)
and one or two spreads/dips (1/3 cup dip per person for one, or 1/4 of each for 2, 1 pound chips or bread per 12-15)

• Main Dish(es) :

Spanish-Style Pork Shoulder (Seasoned with Adobo, Sazon, Garlic, Sofrito, Onions)- 1 pound raw boneless per 4, none left

Sweet Glazed Ham w/ Pineapple & Cherries and Cinnamon- 1 pound per 5

Oven-Baked Pulled Chicken (Seasoned with Chicken Seasoning)- suggest pieces instead- 1 piece per person

3-Cheese & Veggie Lasagna- good- people who take meat will also treat this a s a side dish and take some- 2 full trays

• Side Dishes :

Yellow Rice w/ Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)
about 12 pounds dry rice and 6-8 pounds dry beans

Roasted Potato Dill Salad- 25 pounds potatoes, add -ins per your recipe
Tortellini Salad (w pepperonis and cheese in it)
about 25 pounds tortellini

Seasonal Vegetables- 30-35 pounds

By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime or quarter per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

Beth
02/19/14
Hi Ellen. We're planning a wedding for @ 150. We would appreciate your help with amounts so that we don't run out of food. Here is the menu we're planning.

Appetizers: cheese and crackers, fruit, veggies and dip.

Entrees: whole roasted pig with sauce on the side, low country boil, green beans bacon and red skins together, grilled veggies, cucumber salad, and tossed salad.

Desserts: various cookies, brownies, caramel apples, etc.

ellen
02/19/14
Hi, Beth,

Besides the grillers, a party this size takes about 3 people in the kitch and 10 out front day of, to set up, serve and clean up the party day of. They will be working through the wedding.

Appetizers:
cheese, 15 pounds, assorted, can include spreads and dips
crackers, 9 pounds
fruit, use fruit tray page, the deluxe tray for 100 would do here
veggies, consider a classic relish tray and raw for 50, see the veggie tray page
dip, discussed on the veggie tray page

Entrees:
whole roasted pig, 1 pound per person
sauce on the side, 1/4 cup per person
low country boil, people will use this as a rice dish, about 12 pounds dry rice plus the fixings
You need to provide a meatless choice, I suggest Field Roast vegetarian sausages
green beans bacon and red skins together, 30 pounds beans, 25 pounds potatoes, about 12 pounds bacon

grilled veggies, 35 pounds

cucumber salad, 10 pounds provides about 4 slices each for 100 people
tossed salad, use plan for 100 pages, do 1 1/4 since you have the cukes also

Desserts:
make these smaller- 2-3 bites
various cookies, 1 each flavor per person, up to 4
brownies, make 1/4 no nut, 1 1/2 small per person
caramel apples, use very small apples, these are hard to eat. Consider sliced with caramel dipping sauce.
see the dessert planning page for more

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

Olive
03/05/14
Wedding for 100
Hi Ellen!! What a great site!! I am catering a wedding for some friends of mine as my gift to them and I am only making the sides, they are getting chicken from a local place that broasts the best chicken ever! Anyway, I am in charge of the sides. She wants lemon dill green beans and red potatoes, shells and cheese, a pasta salad and rolls from me. How much of each should I make? It is a dinner affair, so folks will be hungrier than an afternoon event. I am thinking I will prepare and transport everything in foil roasters and then transfer them to chafing dishes at the venue.
ellen
03/05/14
Hi, Olive,

Are the potatoes in the green beans or separate? Would you consider adding cold dishes, and bread, or is someone else doing these/ Write back.

Amber
03/09/14
im having a wedding for 150 people
i want a pig picking

pig with head cut off - 150 lb
slaw - ???
should i do boiled potatoes or potato salad and how much of either
baked beans - ???
hush puppies- 13 dozen
cornsix- 13 dozen

ellen
03/10/14
OK. You need to expand the menu, including appetizers 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, or there is grilling.

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.

Now on to the dinner.
The single biggest issue with a pig roast is, what do any vegetarians or non-pork eaters eat? In a crowd of 150, there always are some. So, I suggest adding a side dish that can serve as a non-meat entree. This could be scalloped potatoes with cheese, or pasta and cheese, eggplant Parmesan, etc.

pig with head cut off - 150 lb
slaw - 4 gallons
should i do boiled potatoes or potato salad and how much of either
I suggest both a cooked potato dish and a salad dish. 60 pounds potatoes for the first dish. Use the plan for 100 list salad section and do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100 for the salad.

baked beans - 4 1/2 gallons, suggest some meatless

Consider adding some kind of green vegetable, 35 pounds or 6 #10 cans.
hush puppies- 13 dozen- most people eat 2. Would be OK to skip and increase corn stix
cornstix- 13 dozen - most people eat 2-3
4 pounds butter, maybe 3 pounds jam or honey

For 150 people, you will need the 2 people on the grill, 3 people handling the kitchen end of the food, and about 8 people to set up, serve, and clean up the party. These can't be part of the wedding party, since they will be working during the service.

By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime or quarter per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

Claire
03/18/14
red beans & rice for 120 people
Trying to figure out amounts for a simple meal of red beans and rice when my recipes all call for cups, but I have to buy in cans and sacks. Help!
ellen
03/19/14
Hi, Claire, I make 10-12 pounds dry rice per 100 when I am making a main course rice plate. About 15 pounds dry beans per 100, using this recipe:

www.gumbopages.com/food/red-beans.html

It is really worth it to make them from scratch. You can make ahead and simmer covered at 300 in the oven, if you don't have big enough pots.

claudia
03/20/14
Hi Ellen,

I am doing my own wedding dinner -seated plated and I expect around 150 people all European origins( I contracted 3 Cooks/ helpers for kitchen and 5 people for serving the kitchen comes fully equipped top of the line stoves, dishwashers warmers, etc

Below is the menu I was thinking about: please can you give me your input and tell me how much should I buy to be enough of each quantities, I expect from 150 people 10 to be vegetarians.

-appetizers- on same plate( mozarella balls, mediterannean olives, cucumbers and tomotoes slices , 1 scoop of potato/egg salad, 2-3 meatballs, feta cheese blocks, 2 slices of european cheeses and 4 slices of ham/salami different assortments

- spring mix salad with kalamata olives, small tomatoes and dressing + dinner rolls and butter

- Mixed plate with Pork loin roast & roasted chicken leg quarter. Comes with roasted red/white potatoes with rosemary and vegetables (zucchini,green beans and peppers) On the side dill pickles

-stuffed cabbage with polenta and sour cream

For the vegetarians I was thinking :

-selection of cheeses,crackers and grapes, potato/ egg salad, red peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese and dill

-eggplant parmigiana with penne pasta

- meatless stuffed cabbage with polenta

-desert station ( fruit platters- grapes, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and pinaples, I was thinking to buy from Costco their pre-made fruit bowls and selection of chesecakes, european desert assortments, cream puffs , brownie bites, Tres leches cakes, tiramisu cakes.

What are your thoughts ? My reception start at 6 pm, what time should the people cooking the food should start to prepare it ? Do you think if I tell them to go in at 12 or 1 pm would be ok? The stuffed cabbage will have to be warmed up only and the mix salad will be premixed .

Thank you

ellen
03/21/14
Hi, Claudia,
This is a fine menu, very elaborate in fact, and I can't advise you on the timing for your helpers; I don't know how experienced they are, whether there will be a manager, how much of the food will be pre-prepped, etc. I can tell you that with a seated, plated dinner this size, I would put at least 4 in the kitchen and 8-10 on the floor, especially with a sophisticated clientele. The cooks, at least, would start in the morning. Your local, experienced event/kitchen manager may be able to help with the timing.

If it were my event, I would slightly consolidate and simplify the meat and vegetarian courses.

Have the same appetizer for everyone, and put them at place on the tables, so everyone can sit down and they do not have to be served.
selection of cheeses- 2-3 ounces),crackers (1 ounce) and grapes (2 ounces), potato/ egg salad (1/3 cup), red peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese and dill (1-2 depends on size). Add some olives (1 ounce) and maybe some sundried tomatoes in oil (1/2 ounce) for salt and color.
If you are devoted to the sausages/meats, put that platter in the middle of the table and let people pass it, about 1 pounds per 10; but not necessary.

Salad for everyone, also on table: - spring mix salad with kalamata olives, small tomatoes and dressing 2 ounces greens, 1 ounce olives, 2-3 tomatoes (depends on size).

dinner rolls and butter, bread in baskets on table, 2 pieces (at least 2 ounces) per person.
Butter, large pat, at least 1/2 ounce.

Then for the dinner plate, you do the zucchini mix for everyone; pork with chicken for the meat course or the eggplant for the veggie entree. I would do just a thigh, and not a whole quarter of the chicken per person. Pork, 2 pounds raw loin per 5. Could be stuffed or seasoned.

Reconsider the cabbage rolls, unless you are pre-making them. The polenta is fine. Keep the plates as similar as possible for the sake of your kitchen servers. You do NOT need polenta and penne pasta on the same plate.

dessert station

fruit platters- grapes, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapples, I was thinking to buy from Costco their pre-made fruit bowls- OK, about 3 ounces ready to serve per person

selection of cheesecakes, european desert assortments, cream puffs, brownie bites, Tres leches cakes, tiramisu cakes

4 pieces per person, cheese cake and brownie for everyone, the rest as you wish.

You need dinner level coffee, at least for dessert. Wine and other beverages are discussed on the beverage planning page.

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

Elizabeth
03/23/14
Wedding of 140-175
Hi there, your website is so helpful! I am at a loss. We are having a self catered reception with desserts and appetizers. It is in the late evening in November. Here is what we were thinking for appetizers and finger foods but we need help with is it enough? how much to buy? and any other suggestions. we will have 3 people in the kitchen helping and we have some young cousins who want to help set up with the 3-4 people earlier in the day before the wedding.

Appetizers:
Meatballs for mini slider sandwiches
BBQ cocktail weanies
Mini tacos
Spanish rice
Mac and cheese
Spinach dip and bread/crackers
Queso dip and tortilla chips
Nuts
Fruit and veggies trays
Cheese and cracker trays
Salad?

The highlight is really the desserts but we need/want food/appetizers as well.

Desserts
brownies
pies
cookies
donut holes
cupcakes (normal sized cupcakes)
Cheese cake bites
Cookie bars
Chocolates (Peppermint patties/fudge/coconut bars)

This may be way off and not enough food but we are so lost and do not know where to begin.

ellen
03/24/14
If this is 175, it counts as 1 3/4 times the amount for 100.

You are doing too much dinner type stuff for appetizers only, so I am making some tweaks and suggestions.

Meatballs for mini slider sandwiches- 18 pounds meatballs, 5-6 quarts sauce
BBQ cocktail weenies- 18 pounds sausages. Check prices, you may want to cut up links
Mini tacos- 2 per person
Spanish rice- skip
Mac and cheese- skip, unless you do the trendy muffin cup bites
Spinach dip and bread/crackers, 1/4 cup per person, 12 pounds bread, crackers
Queso dip and tortilla chips, 1/4 cups per person, 1 pound chips per 12
Nuts, 6 pounds per 100
Fruit trays, use fruit tray page, 1deluxe tropical for 100, add extra tray for 25
veggies trays, use veggie tray page, 1 pound veggies per 10, 1 pint Ranch dip per 15. OR do 2 classic relish trays, see veggie tray page, and fresh veg for 50.
Cheese- about 12 pounds, some can be logs or spreads
cracker trays- about 10 pounds, open as you need them
Salad?, no

Desserts
brownies- 2 small per person
pies- do tarts, 2 small or 1 regular per person
cookies, Cookie bars- 1 of each per person, 2 -3 bites each, up to 4 per person
donut holes- 2-3 per person
cupcakes (normal sized cupcakes)- 1 per person
Cheese cake bites- 2 per person

Chocolates (Peppermint patties/fudge/coconut bars)small, 1 each per person.

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

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

Kim
03/25/14
Hi Ellen. We are planning for approximately 150 people and the menu is Chicken, Ribs, & Sausage BBQ, Potato Salad, & Pinto Beans. My question is in regards to the amount of beans. I've looked through the previous posts to try to find my answer, however I have only seen dry beans. How many lbs of prepared beans would I need?
ellen
03/25/14
A #10 can makes 20 side servings.
Katie
04/04/14
Wedding for 350

Hi Ellen,
I'm doing my own food for my Wedding for 350 people! (I know, I'm crazy). We are having Chipotle Chicken Tacos/Salads.
I have some estimates and could you let me know if I"m even close? Thanks :)
55 heads of romaine lettuce
25 onions
7 jalapeños
7 bunches of cilantro
65 green peppers
100 tomatoes (to be cubed up)
15lbs of shredded cheese
10 lbs of sour cream
25 lbs of pinto beans (I don't think everyone will take some)
56 lbs of white rice
150 lbs of chicken to be cubed up
650 small corn tortillas
enough for 400 cups of lemonade
enough for 250 cups of coffee

thoughts? am I missing things?

ellen
04/04/14
Yes, Katie, you are some distance from enough for the wedding fiesta. Do keep in mind that the usual response for 350 guests invited is about 300 attending. I will give you numbers for 350; adjust if needed.

First, a party this size takes about 4 people in the kitchen and 20 (twenty) people out front to set up, serve, and clean up this size party, especially if they are inexperienced. These folks can't be part of the wedding, as they will be working during the ceremony.

Second, do consider adding an appetizer arrangement or nibble table and here is 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, plus a punch/lemonade (8 gallons per 100), or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray (see fruit tray page), a cheese tray (about 8 pounds per 100, 6 pounds crackers per 100), and an attractive dip or spread with breads or chips (dips, 1/3 cup per person for one, 1/4 cup each for 2, chips, 1 pound per 12-15, bread, 8 pounds per 100); 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.

there will be wedding cake for dessert. You can add a grooms cake 2 layer sheet cake, about 100 servings, you can have about 200 servings of wedding cake, (or an even smaller wedding cake with "kitchen cakes"- sheet cakes in the same flavor as the wedding cake- sheet cakes make about 60 servings per sheet). It is much less expensive, and you can have chocolate!

Now on to the dinner menu. There is a guide to a wedding fiesta menu at the bottom of the fajita page, here:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmexfajitas.html

So I would at least add rice to the menu.

Wedding for 350 people
Chicken Tacos/Salads

55 heads of romaine lettuce
25 onions
7 jalapeños
7 bunches of cilantro
65 green peppers
100 tomatoes (to be cubed up)
15 lbs of shredded cheese
10 lbs of sour cream
25 lbs of pinto beans (I don't think everyone will take some)
56 lbs of white rice
150 lbs of chicken to be cubed up
650 small corn tortillas
enough for 400 cups of lemonade
enough for 250 cups of coffee

OK, this is what I would do for 350 for this menu.

55 heads of romaine lettuce- 24 pounds
25 onions- 8 pounds
7 jalapeños- 10 quarts
7 bunches of cilantro- 10 bunches per 100
65 green peppers- red or yellow better, 8-10 pounds
tomatoes (to be cubed up)- 20 pounds
shredded cheese- 15 pounds
sour cream- 12 pounds
pinto beans (I don't think everyone will take some) 10 gallons, or 24 pounds dry beans
white rice 8 pounds dry per 100
chicken to be cubed up- 90-100 pounds boneless skinless
small corn tortillas- 2 soft and 2 crisp shells per person, reheat instructions on the taco bar page

Add salsa, 24 pounds (3 gallons)
Add a gallon Ranch dressing
Add a gallon vinaigrette
Add 5 pounds butter
Consider adding 6 pounds chopped olives

enough lemonade, for 350, 6 gallons per 100 for punch, and add iced tea about 20 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened
use beverage planning page to calculate dinner level coffee for adults.
Ice about 1/2 pound per person

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

brenda
04/15/14
Hi ellen, I'm doing a wedding for 150 ppl
My plan is 40lbs lunch meat ham & turkey combo
For sliders 2 each per guest
6lbs bake beans
7lbs patato salad
7lbs pasta salad
3 veggie trays about 15 pounds veggies combination total
300 slider buns
The customer is providing condiments and some cheese trays, a few fruit trays.

Is my totals correct for my part ?
Also, they were thinking of adding dumette wings but I'm not sure of the amount on the wings.
Thank you so much for your help.great website !

ellen
04/16/14
40 lbs lunch meat ham & turkey combo- ok, 2/3 turkey
300 slider buns
For sliders 2 each per guest; many people, especially men and teens, eat 3
You need sandwich cheese, at least 12 pounds sliced, and I would add at least a gallon of egg salad for the non-meat eaters

6lbs bake beans- you need 5 1/2 gallons
7lbs potato - you need 6 gallons
7lbs pasta salad- you need at least 5 gallons
These are not nearly enough for 150 as posted.

3 veggie trays about 15 pounds veggies combination total- OK, you need dressing/dip; see the vegetable tray page.

Drummettes are VERY costly, you need at least 1 pound per 3. You need an appetizer selection added,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.

Calvin Sheffield
04/17/14
Wedding for 100 people
Hello I am having my own wedding with about 100 guests and I was wondering how much food I need to buy for the following items:

Brisket
Smoked Sausage
Beans
Potato salad
tea
peach cobbler
hamburger Buns

Thank you so much for all of your help.

ellen
04/19/14
Hi, Calvin,

It takes 2 people in the kitchen and about 6 out front day of, to set up, serve and clean up this size party- they will be working during the ceremony. Also you need an appetizer plan and here is why:

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

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Now, onward to the menu:

First, you also need appetizers, 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.
.
Now, for the main meal, you wan to end up with 1 1/2 pounds of food per person.

Brisket- 1/2 pound raw per person, this is a coarse, fatty meat with serious cooking shrinkage PLUS
Smoked Sausage- 1 pound per 4-5
2 squirt bottles mustard and 2 mayo per 100
Beans- about 3 gallons or 8 pounds dry per 100
Potato salad- 4 1/2 gallons per 100
consider adding slaw, 2 1/2 gallons per 100
tea- see the beverage planning page, do 1/3 unsweetened
peach cobbler- if this replaces the wedding cake, you need 1 9x13 per each 10 people. Consider adding vanilla ice cream (about 3 gallons per 100
hamburger Buns- suggest you have French bread or one of the Italian breads instead- 12 pounds per 100, 2 pounds butter per 100

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

Dawn
04/23/14
Wedding for 300 people
I am doing my daughters wedding for 300 people. We are roasting a pig. She wants mashed potatoes, green beans, Caesar salad, relish tray and maybe some kind of a fruit dish. Not quite pig roast food. How many roasters of potatoes and green beans would I need to do? Also if I place the salad in a 8qt stainless steel pan, how many pans should I prepare? I plan to do meatballs for those who do not like pork. How many 8 qt pans should be done?
ashley
04/23/14
Hi!

I'm buying all the food for my wedding and my boss is helping me by cooking it! We invited 100 people but everyone has said to expect about 75. We are just doing appetizer style food. My menu idea is:
1oz- Meatballs-30#
Bone in wings- 30#
Pasta Salad- 1 roaster
Potato Salad- 1 roaster
Veggie Tray
Fruit tray
Maybe salad?
Chips and dip
& then an assortment of cookies, cheesecake and cake for the dessert.

Does this sound good or do you think I will need more? Thanks for any input!

ellen
04/24/14
Dawn, a pig roast is a chancy meal choice for a wedding reception for 2 main reasons; first, it requires 250-300 pounds whole head-off pig to feed 300 people, and getting that done and served on time is a real challenge; and second, it is a messy meal, difficult if people are dressed up. If you have experienced, reliable roasters, it is possible...

A 300 person dinner party this size requires day-of help from people who are not in the wedding party; 4-5 people in the kitchen in addition to the pig roasters and at least 15 out front to set up, serve and clean up. Yes, even for buffet. None of these folks can attend the wedding, as they will be working to prepare during that time. In addition, you will need at least 4 serving lines, or 2 double sided lines, to make sure everyone gets served in under an hour.

Now on to the menu. You 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 (8 gallons per 100), 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. Once you decide on the items, my tables, or a note back here can help with amounts.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Dinner:
250-300 pounds pig
meatballs- 25-30 pounds, about 2 gallons sauce
You need a vegetarian entree choice as well. Field Roast makes an excellent vegetarian sausage. Boca or Morningstar make reliable patties. With 300 guests, about 20.

A roaster only holds about 20 pounds.
mashed potatoes, 40 pounds per 100
green beans, 70 pounds
Caesar salad, per 100, 8-10 pounds ready to serve lettuce, 3-4 pounds small croutons, 5 pounds shredded Parm, 2 1/2 quarts dressing
relish tray, use classic relish tray on the top of the veggie tray page, do 4
fruit dish, consider fruit trays, easier, hold better, 2 deluxe trays for 100 from the fruit tray page would be about right
With the pig, I would add about 6 gallons of slaw.

Beverages are discussed on the beverage planning page.

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

ellen
04/24/14
Hi,Ashley,
Most caters expect that if you ask 100, about 85 will show up, so I am doing you numbers for 85.

A party this size requires day-of help from people who are not in the wedding party; 1-2 people in the kitchen and 4-5 out front to set up, serve and clean up. Yes, even for buffet. Normally, none of these folks can attend the wedding, as they will be working to prepare during that time.

1oz- Meatballs-30#- 20 plenty, 5 quarts sauce
Bone in wings- 30#- OK. legs would be equally popular at about 1/3 the cost...
Pasta Salad- 1 roaster- you need 3 gallons
Potato Salad- 1 roaster- 3 gallons
Consider adding 6 pounds of baguette pieces or crusty rolls

Veggie Tray- consider doing the classic relish tray from he top of the veggie tray page and adding 1 raw veggie tray for 20-25. Much more interesting
Fruit tray- see fruit tray page. 1/2 the deluxe tray for 100 would be about right.
Maybe 2 gallons of slaw?

Chips, 1 pound per 12
dip, 1/3 cup per person, if one, or 1/4 cup each for 2 or more. Hummus and salsa, for example.

an assortment of
cookies, ,bars, brownie bites, 2-4 per person depends on size, smallish better
cheesecake, suggest mini bites, 1-2 per person
cake- full sheet cake serves 60, plenty, could be 2 layer half sheet.

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

Jean
04/28/14
We are also doing the self cater thing for my daughers wedding. We are looking at approx 140 people. I'm not sure how much to purchase of each item. I have hired servers for the night of and the pasta I will be getting from a restaurant supply and it comes in bags to warm up and put out.

hot table:
Crawfish Pasta
Chicken tenders
meatballs in red gravy
2 large pots of gumbo with rice
2 large pans of jambalaya

cold table:
trays of sandwiches (come in 100's not sure how many)
cold artichoke balls
deviled eggs
cubed cheese/crackers
fruit trays

Just not sure how much is necessary to purchase...totally new to this, but I'm newly single and am on a tight budget...friends are making the gumbo and jambalaya so thats pretty much the servings I will have for those items.

Any help that you can give would be most appreciated.

Thanks!

Jean
04/28/14
We will only be serving beer and wine, along with soft drinks and water...how much of those items do you suggest? And, how many plates, napkins, plastic cups should I have?

Again,
Thank you so much!
Jean

ellen
04/28/14
Hi, Jean,

The size of "large pots" can be anything from 6 quarts to 40 quarts, so I am going to give you some amounts for everything. 140 people.

hot table:
Crawfish Pasta- 4 full pans
add 2 pans plain sauced for non-seafood eaters
Chicken tenders- 1 per person
meatballs in red gravy- 10 pounds, 3 quarts sauce
2 large pots of gumbo with rice- about 4 gallons
2 large pans of jambalaya- about 4 gallons
Suggest you add a green salad, see the plan for 100 page and do 1 1/4 the amount for 100.

cold table:
trays of sandwiches (come in 100's not sure how many)- 1 tray
cold artichoke balls- 2 per person
deviled eggs- you can do these, there is a recipe on this site, about 6-7 dozen eggs
cubed cheese- 10 pounds assorted, some could be logs, balls, or spreads
crackers-8 pounds
fruit trays- use the fruit tray page, big savings if you do yourself, can be done day before except for rinsing berries.

beer and wine, you need to estimate approximate amounts of each drinker
keg is 160 glasses, serves 40-50
wine is discussed on the beverage planning page. An economical option is a white wine sangria such as on this site, High Wire Sangria.

soft drinks, estimate number of drinkers, use the beverage planning page guide for that number
water, 2 bottles per person
Consider buying from somewhere that will allow you to return unopened cans and bottles.

Add dinner level coffee with your dessert, see beverage planning page.

plates, napkins, plastic cups, these are detailed on the beverage planning page. Add extra bowls and spoons for the gumbo.

Anne
04/28/14
Graduation Party for 125 people
Hi Ellen! I ran across you website while trying to find out about portions for my daughter's graduation. We are having a local grocer prepare the food, but I am having some trouble with how much of the sides are needed. Here is our menu:

200 pieces (50 breast/50 wings/50 legs/50 thighs) of chicken (1/2 fried; 1/2 baked)-is this enough?
We are planing on getting the following, but I have no idea how much of each I should get:

Mashed Potatoes
Mac & Cheese
Green Beans

We also plan on adding salad (15 lbs?) and rolls (10 dozen?). What types of salad dressing should I have available and how much of each?

I also plan on having an array of soft drinks (15 2-liters?) and 3-4 cases of water bottles on hand.

I was also thinking of having chips & dip and veggie trays to serve before and after dinner. How much should I plan on buying? Any other suggestions?

Dessert will be a graduation cake and accompanying cupcakes

I am trying to make this as painless as possible for me, as the last time I did this I spent most of the day in the kitchen, and a caterer is too expensive for this many people.

What am I missing? Thanks for all your help! :)

ellen
04/29/14
OK, 125 eaters.

200 pieces (50 breast/50 wings/50 legs/50 thighs) of chicken (1/2 fried; 1/2 baked)-is this enough? Usually I do 2 pieces per person; I would at least add another 25 breast or thigh.

Assuming these are in gallons?
Mashed Potatoes-5 gallons
Mac & Cheese-4 gallons
Green Beans- 4 gallons

salad (15 lbs?)- best buy compared to deli, prepackaged ready to use, amounts about 12 pounds and dressings (amounts and flavors) as suggested in the plan for 100 salad section
rolls (10 dozen?)- OK, get good ones; 3 pounds butter

I also plan on having an array of soft drinks (15 2-liters?)- amounts and assortments are discussed on the beverage planning page, don't forget ice, about 1/2 pound per person. You could add a few jugs of iced tea.
3-4 cases of water bottles on hand, definitely 4.

chips, 1 pound per 12
dip, 1 pint per pound

veggie trays - fruit tray more popular, easy and less costly to do ahead at home, do for 100.

Congratulations on another kid starting out. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Javi
05/03/14
Hello Ellen

I'm getting married this month and i'm doing my own food well my sister is cooking it i am expecting 120 adults and 30 children now because of the amount of children i want to do a separate area for them(food station)but i'm not sure how much food to purchase and if i need to add something else for the children

adults- green beans, rice, backed chicken, meatballs and gravy, Hawaiian sweet rolls, and a garden salad

Children- corn dogs, nuggets, tender, fries/chips

drinks- tea, punch, water, wine, and beer

Javi
05/03/14
also my reception is at 6:30pm and i have 6 servers
ellen
05/04/14
Javi, there is not a reason to do so much of a different menu for the kids.

adults-
garden salad, use plan for 100 table, just do generous for 100
green beans, 28 pounds
rice, 10 pounds dry, maybe some saffron or almonds?
baked chicken,see the plan for 100 page on chicken- amount depends on what pieces you pick, do for 80
meatballs and gravy, 1 pound per 5, 3 quarts sauce/gravy per 10 pounds
Hawaiian sweet rolls-15 pounds
butter- 3-4 pounds

Children-
corn dogs, skip these- choking hazard and not very healthy- kids like meatballs!
nuggets, 3 per kid
tenders, 2 per kid
fries/chips- do chips, 1 pound per 15 kids
kid favorite veg, corn, 5 pounds or the tiny corn cobbettes, 1 per person

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

drinks- tea, punch, water, wine, and beer

ellen
05/04/14
Oh, the beverages:

tea, iced tea, 6 gallons per 100
punch, 6 gallons per 100
water, 2 bottles per person
wine and beer, use the beverage planning page; keg of beer serves 40-50

Kathleen
05/09/14
Doing my daughter'a Sweet 16. Not sure of how much of each to make.
We are expecting 150 people, early evening.
Menu is:
BBQ cocktail dogs
Meatballs
Veggie platter
Fruit platter
Cheese and crackers
Chips and dip
Baked ziti
Sausage and peppers
Chicken wings
Baked beans
Potato salad
Macaroni salad
Tossed salad
Her aunts are supposed to make
Rice and beans
Corn on cob
Chicken
Carne asada
Tamales
ellen
05/10/14
Hi,Kathleen,

This is a fairly complicated menu for 150 people. I am going to give you the top menu for 100 and assume the aunts will make enough for about 50.

BBQ cocktail dogs- tiny ones? 1 pound per 6-8
Meatballs- 10 pounds, 3 quarts sauce
Veggie platter- use veggie platter page for 100
Fruit platter- deluxe tropical tray for 100, fruit tray page, for guidance on amounts
Cheese- 10 pounds
crackers-6 pounds
Chips- 1 pound per 15
dip-1 pint per pound

Baked ziti12 pounds dry pasta
Sausage and peppers-25 pounds sausage, equal weight veggies
Chicken wings- these are expensive, you need a pound per 3; consider chicken legs instead, 1 per person

Baked beans- 3 gallons
Potato salad- 4 gallons
Macaroni salad- 3 gallons
Tossed salad- use plan for 100 page

Her aunts are supposed to make
Rice- about 6 pounds dry rice
beans- 2 gallons
Tamales- 12-14 dozen
Corn on cob- make 100 pieces, people like this

Chicken
Carne asada
As they choose, amounts are movable

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

Olive
05/18/14
Big change to my menu for my friends LOL They now have decided on mashed potatoes and coleslaw, instead of the green beans and red potatoes dish, and the pasta salad. How much of each do you think I need for 150 people, dinner service?
ellen
05/18/14
Hi, Olive, I had to go back to March to find the original post...

Mashed potatoes are much more trouble than roasted. In either case, about 40 pounds per 100. 3 gallons of slaw per 100- you could do 5 for 150 and have some left. There are really good slaw recipes on this site, see for example the Mardigras slaw.

The dill green beans would be very nice, still.

Carol
05/24/14
I would like to serve mix nuts at a wedding. How many pounds should I order for 150 guests. I would like to have the nuts served on tables and at the bar. Thanks!
ellen
05/24/14
8-10 pounds.
Katie
05/27/14
Hi, I am having a graduation party for 150 people. We are having all finger sandwich rolls so heres the menu:
Sausage peppers and onions
Meatballs and provolone/ mozzarella
chicken salad
How much of each would we need (including the rolls)
Any other ideas of easy grab and go foods? Also any recommendations on how to keep chicken salad sandwiches cold? Thank you!
ellen
05/27/14
Slider size rolls? 2 per female, 3 per male, plus 10%. Once you get the number of sandwiches, write back and I can help with amounts.

What about fruit trays, relish trays, chips and dips? I need some guidance on your general plan.

Louri
05/29/14
Hi Ellen
I'm organizing and making the food for my daughter's wedding. This is what I've come up with for 150 people. Could you please take a look and give me your opinion.

5:00 pm Cocktail Hour
2 Taco Dip & Chips
Veggie Tray & Dip- 5lbs baby carrots, 3lbs celery, 3qt cherry tomatoes, 8-10 cucumbers. 3lb broccoli, 4lbs cauliflower
4 lbs of cheese
2 lbs of crackers
12 bags of snacks

6:00 pm Dinner
50 Lbs of ham
5- 9x13 lasagna
6 dozen meatballs
45 lbs scalloped potatoes
25lbs baked Beans
15 Romaine for Caesar salad
45lbs potatoes salad
3 lbs pasta salad
13 dozen dinner rolls
Veggie Tray & Dip- same as above
Fruit Tray & Dip- 10lbs red grapes, 10lbs green grapes, 8 watermelon, 4 qt strawberries, 3 pineapple, 2 cantaloupe, 10 kiwi
10-12 lbs cheese
8 lbs crackers
2 lbs margarine
1 gallon of olives, dills, and sweet mixed pickles each
200 Squares & 60 Cupcakes

11:00pm Snack at Reception
15 lbs lunchmeat
8 dozen dinner rolls
& leftovers

ellen
05/30/14
Good menu, some items are a little light amounts.

5:00 pm Cocktail Hour
2 Taco Dip & Chips
Veggie Tray & Dip- 5lbs baby carrots, 3lbs celery, 3qt cherry tomatoes, 8-10 cucumbers. 3lb broccoli, 4lbs cauliflower, dip 3 quarts
4 lbs of cheese
2 lbs of crackers
12 bags of snacks

6:00 pm Dinner
50 Lbs of ham-40 plenty
5- 9x13 lasagna- vegetarian for entree?
6 dozen meatballs- size? need at least 16 pounds
45 lbs scalloped potatoes- none left, might go 50
25lbs baked Beans- need 4-5 gallons
15 Romaine for Caesar salad- at least 12 pounds, 5 pounds Parm 7 pounds small croutons
45 lbs potatoes salad
3 lbs pasta salad??? I would do 8 pounds dry pasta plus add ins
13 dozen dinner rolls
Veggie Tray & Dip- same as above
Fruit Tray & Dip- 10lbs red grapes, 10lbs green grapes, 8 watermelon (too much, 5 pounds melon cuts 40-50 pieces, and you only need 2 per person), 4 qt strawberries (do at least 6), 3 pineapple, 2 (double to 4) cantaloupe, 10 kiwi

2 lbs margarine- blow yourself to real butter- it's a party!
1 gallon of olives, dills, and sweet mixed pickles each, fine, plenty, some left
10-12 lbs cheese-OK- move to appies?
8 lbs crackers-OK- move to appies?
200 Squares & 60 Cupcakes

11:00pm Snack at Reception
15 lbs lunchmeat
8 dozen dinner rolls
need mayo, mustard, see sandwich planning page
& leftovers

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

katie
05/30/14
We are just beginning to put together a menu for a afternoon wedding.Lets just begin with the nibble table. Is this about right for 135 guests with about 15 small kids.Baby carrots-5lbs, celery-3lbs, grape tomatoes-3qts., cukes 8-10, broccoli-4 lbs, cauliflower-4lbs, gallon ranch dip, cheese, 4 lbs each jack, cheddar, swiss, 4 boxes ritz crackers, pkg. pretzels sticks for skewers for cheese cubes, 1 gallon each of dill & sweet pickles, 3 pounds black & green olives
Tiffany
05/31/14
Wedding for 175 people
Working on a few last minute things for my wedding and need help with amounts.

Cocktail hour

Veggie tray - carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and pickles

Assorted cheese platter

Cracker tray

Also not sure how much cole slaw, Mac salad and potatoe chips to do with meal ( goes with meat balls, pull BBQ chicken sandwiches and bean casserole but I already have that figured out)

Thanks !

Sheri
06/01/14
Ellen,

I am doing a graduation party for 160 people. Can you please review my menu and let me know if I am on the right track?

Macaroni and Cheese
4 Full Size Foil Pans

Potato Salad
40 pounds

Macaroni Salad
from 8 pounds of dry noodles

Green Beans
6 Large Cans

Chicken
250 pieces

Cake
1 Large Sheet Cake (there will also be a dessert table)

Rolls
200

Punch and Water
Not sure about amounts

Thank you for your help!

Sheri
06/01/14
I forgot meatballs. I will also be doing 600 meatballs
ellen
06/01/14
Hi, Katie,
I would count this as 125 people.

nibble table.
Baby carrots-5lbs,
celery-3lbs,
grape tomatoes-3qts., maybe 4
cukes 8-10,
broccoli-4 lbs,
cauliflower-4lbs,
gallon ranch dip,

cheese,
4 lbs each jack, cheddar, swiss, maybe add 3 pound block cream cheese with a jar of interesting jam, preserve or marmalade over- plum, sour cherry, pepper jelly, fig
4 boxes ritz crackers, 8 pounds
pkg. pretzels sticks for skewers for cheese cubes, 4 pounds
1 gallon each of dill & sweet pickles, just 3 quarts each

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

ellen
06/01/14
Hi, Tiffany,

175 guests

Cocktail hour

Veggie tray - carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, use the veggie tray page for veggies and dressing, it gives piece counts, you want about 6 items per person
pickles-about 6 quarts crisp, some sweet
add 1 gallon olives

Assorted cheese platter
18 pounds, some can be logs or spreads

Cracker tray, 10 pounds assorted

Consider adding a fruit tray or chips and dips/salsa/hummus

Also not sure how much
cole slaw, 5 1/2 gallons
Mac salad, 10-12 pounds dry pasta
Many good recipes for these items on this site

1 pound per 12, potato chips

You need to add a sandwich filling for the people who don't eat meat. A crock pot full of vegetarian sausages is an easy option (usually in the dairy case or produce department), Field Roast is a reliable brand.

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

ellen
06/01/14
Hi, Sheri, you are really coming along.

160 people

Macaroni and Cheese
4 Full Size Foil Pans- I would do at least 5, and 6 would probably be not way too much

Potato Salad
40 pounds-OK

Macaroni Salad
from 8 pounds of dry noodles-OK

Green Beans
6 Large Cans-OK

Chicken
250 pieces-OK, some left; with the meatballs, 200 might do it
600 meatballs- need about 30 pounds, 9-10 quarts sauce

Cake
1 Large Sheet Cake- will cut at most 60 pieces, if you are not sure about the amounts on the dessert table, you might consider a 2 layer
(there will also be a dessert table)

Rolls
200-plenty

Punch, or lemonade, about `12 gallons, add 4 gallons sweet and 2-3 gallons unsweet iced tea, about 80 pounds of ice
Water, if bottles, 2 per person
Not sure about amounts

Thank you for your help!
Sheri
06/01/14 I forgot meatballs. I will also be doing

Kristy
06/06/14
Wedding for 150-200 people
Doing 6 gal punch, 6 gal tea, 6 gal lemonade, have 160 bottled waters (16.9 oz size). Suggestions? Thanks! Kristy
ellen
06/06/14
Double the tea, some unsweetened, and at least 200 waters. I usually allow 2 bottles per person, especially if outside.
kath
06/15/14
Wedding for 220 people
how many half sheet cakes do we need to serve 1x2x4 slices for 220 guest. thank you
ellen
06/15/14
each full sheet would cut 60 pieces, but a half sheet only cuts about 24- it's a mystery! so you want 4 full sheets or 8 half sheets.
Kasey
06/21/14
Wedding reception for 220
Ellen,
I'm catering a 2pm reception.
They would like sweet tea and fruit tea. I will also have water available.
Chicken salad on croissant (I planned on buying the mini croissants and cutting them in half)
Ham on croissant
cheese ball with crackers
cheese cubes with crackers
fruit kabobs ( thought strawberries, red grapes, green grapes, pineapple, blueberries and cantaloupe)
How much of each should I plan on making/buying?
ellen
06/21/14
Casey, you have brought up one of my pet peeves;

I despise croissants cut in half. It looks messy and cheap.

If you want tiny sandwiches, get/make tiny, well made rolls; tiny biscuits; Pepperidge farm cocktail slices; or even slider buns. Allow 2 per person, a few extra if there are hungry eaters.
I allow 3 gallons chicken salad per 100 for self serve- yo will probably need about 2 1/2 gallons. It will be half chicken, half whatever you add; 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, or 2 cups whole chicken, makes 2 cups of meat. If you add 1 ounce of ham per person, allow 2 1/2 sandwiches per person, as more people will take an extra one.

cheese ball with crackers
cheese cubes with crackers
You want a total of 1 pound cheese per 10 persons, divided up among spreads and cubes as you desire. 6 pounds assorted crackers per 100.

Consider adding one of the platter dips- hummus, 7 layer, etc, about 1/4 cup per person. Pita bread, 1/2 pocket per person, cut in wedges.

fruit kabobs ( thought strawberries, red grapes, green grapes, pineapple, blueberries and cantaloupe) Nice fruit selection, still I urge you to do fruit trays. Cleaner, prettier, hold better, and the leftovers are more useful. You could do some kabobs for decoration- see the fruit tray page for help with amounts- yo want about 6 pieces per person. A web friend sent this easy attractive dip:

Cheesecake fruit dip

8 pounces cream cheese
1 cup marshmallow cream
Warm both in the microwave for a few seconds. Beat the cream cheese soft, blend in the marshmallow. At this point I add a little lemon or orange zest.

If this is a paid gig, please send a donation, a dime or quarter per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Marsha
06/26/14
guest bag of boiled peanuts
Hi! I am preparing 50 guest bags of boiled peanuts (yes, this is a very southern affair) and I need to know how many pounds of green peanuts to purchase. Thank you.
TamySmith
06/29/14
Wedding for 100 people
I am preparing for for a wedding picnic. There are 100 people. I have ordered 200 piece of chicken and 100 rolls. Someone is bring some smoked meat not sure how much. We plan on making mostacolli also. How much mostacolli should I make? There will also be potato salad and a 5 bean warm salad and varies other cold salads. Thanks.
ellen
06/29/14
10 pounds dry pasta will be plenty, takes about 1 quart sauce per pound. Make some meatless for any vegetarians in the crowd- there will be some.
Tamy Smith
06/29/14
I was going to use Italian sausage how many pounds? Should I also add ground beef? Thanks
ellen
06/29/14
20 pounds is enough meat for 120, so you could do about 16, leaving 2 pounds/quarts meatless. Straight sausage or mixed with beef is up to you.
Irene Pierce
06/30/14
My son's wedding is this weekend. Doing it at a barn 50 miles away! Kinda Shabby Chic! No kitchen there. my question is sides. Doing broccoli grape salad. I thought potato salad would be a great compliment. My husband says tacky. Meat: Chicken tenders and Roast Beef. Bun and butter. I don't think we can do anymore roasters. My next option is fresh fruit boat. Help 5 days away!
ellen
07/02/14
Yikes! So sorry I missed this earlier!

Potato salad excellent, do one of the specialty ones on this site and no-one will think it is tacky. The Russian one is pink, the Nepalese one is yellow, both delicious, several more also.

Why not do fruit trays as well? Never a mistake, see the fruit tray page. Keeps better than fruit salad.

Irene Pierce
07/02/14
Thank you Ellen! After much discussion we did come up with the "fancy" potato salad option. I also never realized that the fruit tray stays better/longer than the boat! That's a good tip.
Yikes! 3 days! Love your site!
ellen
07/02/14
Good luck.
sandy
07/04/14
Hello. I'm having a party with 150 people. We want roast beef , Chicken legs and Thighs and meatball. How much of each should I buy ? We are also having Mac Salad , Potato salad , Bake beans . How much of each of these should I get. And of course we will have the veg trays. fruit trays and cheese trays .Thank you
ellen
07/04/14
roast beef, pot roast style? 1 pound raw per 4
Chicken legs and Thighs, 1 piece per person, or 1 quarter per 2 and cut some apart after cooking.
meatball, 20 pounds, 6 quarts sauce

Mac Salad , Potato salad , Bake beans, all covered on the plan for 100 page, do 1 1/2.

veg trays. fruit trays, covered on the veggie tray page and the fruit tray page

cheese tray, 1 pound cheese per 12, 6 pounds crackers per 100.

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

Susan
07/06/14
Wedding for 300 people
Hi - we're having chicken and rice pilaf with Green beans and baby carrots on the side. How many chickens would we have to roast and how much rice and veggies?
Susan
07/06/14
Wedding for 300 people
Hi - we're having chicken and rice pilaf with Green beans and baby carrots on the side. How many chickens would we have to roast and how much rice and veggies?
ellen
07/07/14
Hope you have read the cautions about the staff needs and the need for appetizers for this size party.

If these are being cooked together,, allow 1 chicken per 5, cut up, and 12 pounds rice per 100.

Green beans, about 24 pounds per 100.

Becky
07/08/14
Family is catering my son's wedding in August for about 150 people. Main Menu is Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Potato Salad & Pasta Salad. Between the wedding and reception we will be having a "Cocktail Hour" while pictures are being taken. This menu will be Cheese Ball, Fruit Tray, Spinach Dip with chips and crackers. Because of the heat of Florida, the wedding will be later in the evening, beginning at 7:30 PM, so it will be fairly late when guests eat. Can you give me an idea of amounts?
ellen
07/09/14
Nice simple plan.

Pulled Pork, 1 pound ready to eat for every 4 people.
Consider having a crock pot of vegetarian hot dogs or sausages for any non-pork eaters; Field Roast is a reliable brand.
Rolls?, 5 for every 4 persons, get good ones!
Table sauce? 1 cup per 6
Onions, about 9 pounds sliced
Pickles, about 5 quarts
Coleslaw, 3 1/2-4 gallons
Baked Beans, 4 1/2 gallons, have some meatless for any vegetarians. For summer, you might prefer to go with a 3 or 4 bean salad? about 4 gallons
Potato Salad 5 gallons
Pasta Salad 6 pounds dry pasta

Cheese Ball, 15-18 pounds of assorted cheeses and logs/balls
Fruit Tray, use the fruit tray page
Spinach Dip, 1 cup per 4
chips, 1 pound per 12
crackers, 8 pounds

Because it is this late, many people will eat something before coming, reducing the amounts needed.

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

Jana
07/12/14
We are having a mid-afternoon reception, for around 150. There will be veggies and dip, chips and hummus, mixed nuts, and PLENTY of cake! I've got all those numbers nailed down, but still need to know:

How many pounds of small pillow mints should we allow for?

ellen
07/12/14
I figure 4-5 pounds per 100.
Me
07/15/14
Wedding for 45
Hello,
I'm trying to figure out the cost to feed a wedding party of 45. The menu is oxtails, collard greens, mac n' cheese and corn bread.
Me
07/15/14
Wedding for 45
And, how much of each food will be needed.
Thanks
ellen
07/15/14
Oxtails cost as much as steak.

Your per person cost for food alone, will be in the range of $10. Regular stew bee would bring it down to about 7.

Sue
07/15/14
We are having a late afternoon reception for 150 one week after the wedding. The party starts at 4:00 with light snacks to hold people over. I'm thinking 4 lbs. of seasoned pretzels, 6 lbs. of tortilla chips with 1 gallon of salsa, 2 large fruit trays with cream cheese dip. I think there will be late comers so I don't anticipate all 150 people there at 4:00!

Around 5:30 we are serving buffet style. I have already cooked brisket and carnitas and have 15 lbs cooked, ready to eat of each. We are also having 75 grilled chicken thighs, 75 pc of fried chicken, and 75 pc of baked chicken. Many guests are vegetarian.

We are trying to capitalize on fresh produce from the garden so our sides are numerous and varied rather than having a large quantity of 3 or 4 salads. I have planned for
-45 lbs. of Red Skinned Potato Salad (150 serv)
-10 heads of romaine & 10 iceberg for Italian Chopped Salad (100-120 serv)
-5 heads of cabbage for Ramen Noodle Slaw (60 serv)
-8 heads of broccoli for Broccoli Salad with Grapes (50 serv)
-Lebanese Tabouleh Salad using 12 c. wheat and lots of cukes, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, red onion (50 serv)
-Black Bean, Corn, Pepper Salad using 12 cans of black beans (50 serv)
-Hungarian Cauliflower Salad (50 serv)
-Tomato and Peach Salad (has cannellini beans)using 16 fresh peaches and 16 tomatoes (50 serv)
-Blueberry and Kale Grain Salad (50 serv)
-288 Fresh Corn Cakes
-8 Veggie Pizzas using crescent rolls
-Watergate Salad (80 serv)
-Cucumbers and Onions using about 20 cukes
-6 seedless watermelons
-200 Hawaiian Rolls, 4 lbs. butter

There will be 12 fruit pies, dozens of cookies, and at least 4 10x15 sheet cakes

I'll be honest -- I've done a lot of family get-togethers, but nothing like this! The amounts are staggering, but I've got great help so I'm not worried about putting it together. I'm just worried about my amounts! How are we looking?

Jenny
08/06/14
I'm doing a wedding for about 150 people at 5 pm, we are having pulled pork sandwiches. My problem is figuring out the salads and sides, nobody can agree on this stuff. Please help!

Potato salad - 20 lbs
Macaroni salad - 15 lbs
Pasta salad (Italian dressing kind) - 15 lbs (uncooked)
Baked beans - 20 lbs

ellen
08/09/14
Post-Wedding party for 150 people
Sue this will make a beautiful table, but a few things look a little light to me for 150.

4 lbs. of seasoned pretzels, 6
6 lbs. of tortilla chips, how about 1 ounce per person?
1 gallon of salsa, 1 pint per pound of chips
2 large fruit trays with cream cheese dip, at least the amounts on the deluxe tropical tray for 100 on the fruit tray page- you can swap out any fruits you don't want to use- maybe add some extra strawberries.

-45 lbs. of Red Skinned Potato Salad (150 serv)- OK with the pasta salad
-10 heads of romaine & 10 iceberg for Italian Chopped Salad (100-120 serv)- I usually only use 8-9 pounds lettuce per 100
-5 heads of cabbage for Ramen Noodle Slaw (60 serv)- you want to end up with about 2 gallons
-8 heads of broccoli for Broccoli Salad with Grapes (50 serv)-you want to end up with about 1 1/2 gallons
-Lebanese Tabouleh Salad using 12 c. wheat and lots of cukes, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, red onion (50 serv)-you want to end up with about 2 gallons
-Black Bean, Corn, Pepper Salad using 12 cans of black beans (50 serv)-you want to end up with about 2 gallons
-Hungarian Cauliflower Salad (50 serv)-you want to end up with about 2 gallons
-Tomato and Peach Salad (has cannellini beans)using 16 fresh peaches and 16 tomatoes (50 serv)-you want to end up with about 1 1/2 gallons
-Blueberry and Kale Grain Salad (50 serv)-you want to end up with about 1 1/2 gallons
-288 Fresh Corn Cakes
-8 Veggie Pizzas using crescent rolls
-Watergate Salad (80 serv)- this is very popular- might go 100
-Cucumbers and Onions using about 20 cukes
-6 seedless watermelons- plenty
-200 Hawaiian Rolls, 4 lbs. butter- probably enough unless they are big bread eaters- might go 240/5

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

ellen
08/09/14
Hi, Jenny, this is a very creative approach. For these sides with this menu, here is what I would prepare:
Potato salad - 20 lbs- way short, you want at least 5 gallons/40 pounds

Macaroni salad - 15 lbs
Pasta salad (Italian dressing kind) - 15 lbs (uncooked)
Total pasta for both salads, about 10-12 pounds,
Baked beans - 20 lbs - you want at least 5 gallons, which is 6=7 #10 cans

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

Ashley
08/25/14
I need help on how much quantity wise i need for 150 people. Dinner is at 5pm.
Appetizers:
Meatballs
Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, )
cherry tomatoes and dip)

Main course:
Pulled pork
Fresh sliced Turkey
Fresh sliced Ham

Chips and dip
two different styles of dip which are velveeta and chili and french onion

homemade mashed potato bar
instant potatoes
shredded cheese
Bacon bits
Sour cream
butter
chopped onion
chopped ham

Fruit:
strawberry
cantaloupe
honey dew
grapes
pineapple

pasta salad

Linda
08/28/14
wedding for 200
where do I find the article for amounts of chocolate for chocolate fountains? I need to know about how much chocolate to have for the reception. there will be a lot of children there. thanks
Linda
Linda
08/28/14
Wedding for 200 people
Also how many of each dipper for the chocolate fountain should I allow ? There will be marshmallows , peanut butter balls, shortbread cookies, apples, bananas, donut holes, rice crispy treats,& pretzels. It will actually be caramel that we will run through the fountain. any other suggestions for dippers would be great! Thanks again .
Linda
ellen
08/29/14
Linda, the article is here:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/chocfont.html

Should cover all your questions.

zoe
09/03/14
LATE LUNCH OF HOMEMADE PEROGIES aND SAUSAUGEs
Hi Ellen
Can you tell me how many roasters or perogies we need for a late wedding lunch of 200 people of perogies and sausages
ellen
09/04/14
Zoe, each roaster holds about 60 servings. Be aware that plugging in more than 1 roaster in a household circuit tends to blow the circuit. you need 3 serving lines, or 2 double sided serving lines for this many people.
paula
09/05/14
Wedding for 100 people
Hi Ellen,
I am cooking for my daughters wedding recep. of 100 people.
Menu:
meat/mostaccholi
pulled bbq pork 5(8lb) butts
loaded mashed potatoes
green beans
garlic bread
veggie tray/ranch
chips
would you please let me know your best est. on portion sizes that i should make of each.
Thank you for your expertise.
Paula
kim
09/05/14
I am doing the appetizers for my sons wedding can you tell me how much shrimp I need for 150? I will be having 5 other apps. Thanks! =)
Chonda
09/09/14
Hi.. I'm planning a fall wedding for aprox 175 people. Wedding is at 4pm and we are going to have a chili bar along with pinwheels, ham roll ups, fruit and veggie trays, cowboy caviar dip and a few other appetizers... My question is how much chili would you suggest? We are looking at getting the 6 oz bowls from Sams for the chili or would you recommend the 10oz?
Julie
09/09/14
I am getting married in 3 weeks we are getting down to the end and no one can agree on how much of anything I need to get on food to get this done!!! Ellen please help. There will be about 100 people. I don't know how many pounds of meat we really need, we will eat more pork than the other!!! We are planning to Smoke all the meats
pulled Pork
Beef Brisket,

Slaw 3 gallon
Potato Salad 2 gallon
Baked beans 3 gallon
pickles dill and sweet 1 gallon each
plain chips about 5-7 bags (big)
4 gallons sweet tea
3 Lemonade
verity of sodas

What if we add chicken to the menu? How much of that?

michelle
09/10/14
Wedding for 180 people
can you please help with letting know how much I need of each item and if I will have enough or may need more options for food please and thank you ..

we are doing pulled pork for main dish
sides
potato salad
baked beans
cheesy potatoes
pasta salad

veggie trays consisting of carrots celery broccoli cauliflower and dip

fresh fruit consisting of watermelon pineapple grapes strawberries ( no clue on how much of each as well)

chips, crackers and dip

ice tea
punch
lemonade
water

debating on if I need anything more for desert tables with cupcakes/cake if so do you have a simple cheaper idea that might work

thank you

ellen
09/13/14
Kim, sorry for the delay. 1 pound shrimp per 5-6 for appetizer shrimp, if there are other choices. 1 cup cocktail sauce per 4-5.

If this helps, please make a donation- even a nickel per guest- to support this site. Thanks.

ellen
09/13/14
Hi, Chonda,

These guests will be hungry. Get the 10 ounce bowls and make 1 quart per 3 guests.

Seriously consider adding a baked rice dish or pilaf- see the recipe on the recipe box. 8 pounds dry per 100.

If this helps, please make a donation- even a nickel per guest- to support this site. Thanks.

Cassie
09/24/14
Wedding for 130 people
MY menu for the wedding I'm catering is for 130 guests. I have 7 dishes for it and I'm not sure how many servings of each I should make. 4 of the dishes are salads the rest are entrees.
ellen
09/24/14
Cassie, not enough information. I need to know what the entrees and side dishes are. Also, at any wedding reception, you need an appetizer plan, and here is why:

A wedding 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.

You can write back. Start a new thread.

Mona
09/24/14
Hi Ellen - I am catering an outdoor evening wedding reception of 150 people in November. (A relative is providing the meat so I don't have to worry about that.) I am providing sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar, beans, green salad, rolls, corn on the cob, coffee and tea. I am stumped on the amount of sweet potatoes I need, as well as the salad ingredients of romaine, tomato, onion, strawberries, sliced almonds. Does 10 gallons of tea and coffee sound about right? Thanks for your help!
Eve
09/28/14
Hi Ellen, For a wedding reception at 4 p.m. self-planning for simple app type foods: Meatballs, cocktail sausages, veggies and dip, mini-fruit kabobs, petite pimento cheese ribbon sandwiches, deviled eggs, and brownies. (there will be wedding and groom cakes.) We expect 150 guests. Should I multiply the number of items and divide that number by 5 or 6 pieces per guests? Or would you plan a solid number of each item person? Or more of some and less than others? Your site is great, but I have not ran across an example like this - so,I thought I'd ask you? Thanks for your wisdom!
Emily
09/28/14
Wedding for 170 people
Hello Ellen! We are doing a reception for approx 200 guests. 1/2 baked spaghetti & 1/2 shredded pork with scallopped potatoes & tossed salad & breadsticks for the spaghetti. Suggestions on amount of bread to have, should we plan for aprox 130 of each type of meal to be sure we have plenty of each for everyone? Wedding and Recption is same site, ceremony at 4:30 & reception to begin 5:15 with salads for guests. Thank you for your suggestions!
ellen
10/01/14
First, you need an appetizer plan, see the reply just above your question for why.

Now, on to dinner-

sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar, do 150, 4 pounds butter
beans, 12 pounds dry or 5 gallons, possible some left
green salad, use 1 1/2 times the amount for 100 from the plan for 100 list.
rolls, 2 small or 1 1/2 large per person, about 18-20 pounds, 4 pounds butter
corn on the cob, small, 1 per person, large about 125 and break some in half. However this is messy to eat; consider a good corn casserole or side dish, there are several recipes on this site in the Big Pots section.

coffee use reception level coffee from the beverage page
tea.about 10 gallons, about 1/3 unsweetened.

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

ellen
10/02/14
Eve, this is the best time of day for this type reception, since nobody will be eating a full meal.

Meatballs, 10 pounds per 100, 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds
cocktail sausages, same as sausages
veggies and dip, use veggie tray page
mini-fruit kabobs, suggest fruit trays instead, easier, prettier, and the leftovers are more usable. Deluxe tray for 100 with a few extra quarts strawberries would be plenty
petite pimento cheese ribbon sandwiches, for less so and simpler prep, consider doing 15 pounds assorted spreads and 10 pounds assorted crackers and tiny cocktail bread slices
deviled eggs, I do 5 dozen eggs per 100

brownies. 2 small per person, make some without nuts

(there will be wedding and groom cakes.)

Need coffee from the reception plan on the beverage planning page and something cold- could be punch, lemonade or tea, 10-12 gallons.

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

Valerie Mulherin
10/11/14
Hi, Ellen

My daughter's and I are planning a surprise party for my mom's 80th and my dad's 86th birthdays. The party is from 4pm to 8pm. and 100 people have RSVP'd. We plan on having Penne pasta and meatballs, boneless ham, au gratin potatoes, green beans almondine and mixed salad, and bread.

We bought 12 lbs of Penne noodles, 200 meatballs, 12 jars Ragu and each jar is 2 lbs 13 oz or 540 ounces total, 36 lbs boneless ham already presliced, 20 lbs of potatoes, 12 lbs mixed salad, 2 sams club green beans and 15 loaves of bread.

My question is do I have enough of pasta, sauce, ham, potatoes, salad, green beans and bread? Also, we bought 2 big containers of sherbert and will that be enough or should I buy more?

Thank you for helping us,

Valerie

ellen
10/11/14
Valerie, you are coming along well on your plan.

12 lbs of Penne noodles, ok, some left
200 meatballs, 15-18 pouds
12 jars Ragu and each jar is 2 lbs 13 oz or 54 ounces total, ok, some left

36 lbs boneless ham already presliced, ok, some left, 2 kinds mustard

20 lbs of potatoes, ok
1 quart sauce ad 1/2 to 1 pound per 2 pounds potatoes

12 lbs mixed salad, ok, dressing discussed in the plan for 100 page

2 sams club green beans- I usually do 4, but 3 would be possible. 22 pounds drained weight any green veg

15 loaves of bread, ok
3 pounds butter

for 1 scoop for 100 people, 5 gallons ice cream

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

Valerie Mulherin
10/13/14
Surprise Party for Mom
Hi, Ellen

Thank you so much for the advice! In my haste to write you, I was not explicit enough about the Sherbet. The sherbet is being used in punch. I have two 5 gallon and 1 pint containers. How much more should I get? Also, how many 2 liters of sprite will I need?

Thanks so much,

Valerie

ellen
10/14/14
You probably have enough sherbet. You want at least 12 gallons punch plus the iced tea or whatever for the meal.
Diane
10/27/14
Hi Ellen,
I am planning a wedding reception for my son in a few weeks, we are expecting 120 guess. Our menu is as follows, if you can give me any tips I would appreciate it.

Brisket 30 lbs
Pulled pork 30 lbs
BBQ chicken 30 lbs
baked beans 3 gallons
Baked red potatos
Baked french green beans
Potato salad
Pasta Salad 60 cups
130 Hawaiian rolls
Condiments, pickles (gallon), onions (6)
BBQ sauce and butter.

6 banana breads
6 punkin breads
assorted cookies about 40

Tea 12 gallons
Lemonade 10 gallons

We are planning a cocktail hour with bar mix to snack on and a buffet dinner served with tea, lemonade and water. I am a mobile food vender and have all the necessary equipment to cool and serve the event.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ellen
10/27/14
Hi Diane, it sounds like you are better equipped than most for this undertaking.

Brisket 30 lbs-OK
Pulled pork 30 lbs- 20 enough
BBQ chicken 30 lbs- bone in? OK
baked beans 3 gallons 3 1/2 to 4
Baked red potatos- 1pound per 3
Baked french green beans- casserole? 26 pounds beans to start
Potato salad- 4 gallons (about 40 pounds potatoes)
Pasta Salad 60 cups- OK
130 Hawaiian rolls- I would do at least 14 pounds
Condiments,
pickles (gallon), OK
onions (6)- 8 pounds at least
BBQ sauce- at least 2 gallons
butter.= 4 pounds
mustard, 2 kinds, 3-4 bottles
lettuce and tomato, see the sandwich planning page

6 banana breads
6 punkin breads
assorted cookies about 40

Is this in addition to a wedding cake? If so, ok; if in place of, add 6 more bread and at least 2 cookies per person

Tea 12 gallons- 1/3 unsweetened
Lemonade 10 gallons- OK

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

Ash
10/30/14
Hello Ellen:

How much pasta, cheese, butter, and milk do I need to make bake macaroni and cheese for 150 people? Thanks in advance!

ellen
10/31/14
Side dish, 1 pound pasta per 8-10, depends on other sides. Main dish, 1 pound per 6.

1 quart sauce per pound of pasta. 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound of pasta. Several excellent recipes in the Big Pots section.

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

Linda
11/06/14
Hi Ellen, Love your site. We're doing a wedding for 75-80 and serving peach cobbler for dessert. Do you have an easy suggestion for whipped cream and how much would I need. There is a wedding cake so the cobbler portions will be small. Per your suggestion 8-9 9 X 13 pans. Thanks
ellen
11/07/14
With the wedding cake, you can definitely go with 8. Squirt whip cream (the real stuff in a can), serves about 20 per can. If you whip it yourself, you would start with about 8 cups of heavy cream for whipping, see this off-site article on 5 ways to stabilize whipped cream:

www.wikihow.com/Stabilize-Whipped-Cream

Patti
11/14/14
Turkey dinner for 150+ peple
WE are having a Thanksgiving luncheon for our school and their family. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc. How much food do we need?
ellen
11/14/14
Covered in detail in the planning and shopping article in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots. If you want to post your estimates, I will check them, but please indicate the numbers and ages of children.
ROBERT
12/06/14
Punch made and kept hot in a roaster oven
need recipe for a hot punch that can be made in a roaster oven.

thanks!

ellen
12/06/14
Any hot punch can be made in a roaster, just set it at 200. This time of year, hot spiced cider, wassail, or mulled wine are popular- many recipes on the web- can't do a recipe without knowing occasion and number of guests.
sandy
12/09/14
Wedding for 200 people
i am making pecan turtles, cashew turtles, coconut cups, peanut clusters, almond clusters, toffee cups, cashew clusters, chocolate covered carmel. how many will i need of each? cookies and cake will also be displayed. thanks.
ellen
12/09/14
Total about 3-4 pieces per person, expecting you will have some left. At least 1/3 without nuts. No advice on the array of nuts except that I have noticed that peanuts usually go last when other types are available.
ellen
12/09/14
Peanut note: given how severe peanut allergies are, and you great selection, you might consider omitting the peanuts all together.
Jacque G
12/09/14
Hi Ellen,
You may have already answered this I tried scrolling through everything, but I didn't quite see our combination of food. We are getting married may of next year. The venue will be cooking up all of the food but we are buying everything the number of guest will be around 150.
we are having
appetizers
fruit tray
veggie tray
meat and cheese tray
shrimp cocktail
possibly a bread buffet with optional dips

dinner
tri tip
Chicken thighs
mashed potatoes
a sauteed veggie of some kind
alfredo pasta

Could you possibly help me with the amounts needed I want to make sure we have enough for seconds without going overboard.
Thank you in advance

AngelaBet
12/12/14
kredyty na dowód bez zaświadczeń
dutsche bank
ellen
12/12/14
Jacque,

It will take about 3 people in the kitchen and 8 out front to set up, serve and clean up day of, some will not be at the wedding as they will be prepping. 2 more for the grill if you are grilling.

2 or 3 serving lines, definitely 3 if you go over 160.

appetizers
fruit tray
veggie tray
These two items are covered in detail on the fruit tray page and the veggie tray page. You want about 20 pounds of fruit, 16 of veg and 1 1/2 quarts dip for each. However, you have plenty of appetizers and the veggies could be omitted, especially if you do the breads.
meat and cheese tray
1 pound each per 12, some cheese can be logs or spreads. 7 pounds crackers (less if you do the bread option)
shrimp cocktail- 1 pound shrimp per 6, 1 cup cocktail sauce per pound
possibly a bread buffet with optional dips
1 pound bread per 12, dips depends on what kind, oils, hummus, etc., but 1 tablespoon per type per person as a starting place- 3 tablespoons if creamy such as spinach

dinner
tri tip- this is a real challenge for a large party, and you definitely need someone to serve it! at least 1 pound raw per 6
Chicken thighs- 1 per person
mashed potatoes- about 40 pounds potatoes
a sauteed veggie of some kind 26-30 pounds
alfredo pasta- about 8 pounds dry pasta. You will have either pasta or potatoes left, but not knowing your region, I can't get closer.

ellen
12/12/14
Jacque, if this saves you time, trouble or money, a donation of a nickel or dime per guest would be a big support for this site. Thanks.
Jacque G
12/12/14
Ellen this was more help than you can imagine your site is amazing. I am in Reno Nv. I will find the fruit and veggie tray page.

I Just put in a donation to say thank you for your help and time you put into my answer.

Eric Williamd
12/27/14
Wedding for 100 People
Hey Ellen

I am making gravy for a wedding party of 100 people, so I I made it in a 12 at pot with equals to up 3 gallons. Will that be enough to serve everyone?

Thanks!!!

ellen
12/27/14
1/4 to 1/3 cup per person is the estimate, so 34 cups= 8 1/2 quarts, or just over 2 1/2 gallons. It will be a full pot.
Sha
01/07/15
Hi Ellen, I am doing a wedding for 150-200 people. Please give me some ideas for appetizers. Ice sculpture with shrimp cocktail was suggested, also shrimp grits. How would you keep the shrimp grits hot in a martini glass? Would you have them ready for the guest, or would you have them get in line and serve the the shrimp grits. Please help. Thanks!
ellen
01/07/15
Sha, unless you have LOTS of help, don't do shrimp grits for an appetizer! Besides, who wants to be handling a bowl and spoon while circulating during the appetizer hour? Or dealing with shrimp tails?

Mexican shrimp/seafood cocktail shooters, with chopped avocado, etc, are MUCH easier to manage in the hand than either of those suggestions, and can be done ahead.

This then leads into the possibility of agua fresca beverages in beautiful flavors; guacamole, exotic salsa tasters (think mango/black bean, for example), and queso flamada. Crostinis and bruschettas of all kinds. Fruit trays, of course. Not to mention that Margaritas and several of the tropical cocktails make great punch.

If your clients aren't in fiesta mode, consider a Middle Eastern theme with dolmas, feta cheese, olives, hummus, lamb, chicken or shrimp kababs, maybe spanakopita or another filo wrapped hot bite, and fruit trays.

These should be ready for the guests when they come in, and 3 stations would be better than 2.

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

ABBY
01/15/15
Hello
I am doing my wedding to serve 150
and menu is ham fried chicken mac and cheese green beans rolls
can you tell me how much I would need to have enough...
ellen
01/16/15
OK Abby, you know you need to fill out this menu. You need an 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 will serve each 100 guests, for 150, plan on 2.

Now, dinner:
ham- 1 pound boneless per 3-4
fried chicken- 1 piece per person
mac and cheese- 1 pound dry pasta per 10, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound
green beans-22 pounds per 100
Consider adding a second vegetable (same amounts), a colorful accent such as broiled tomato halves or spiced peach halves (1 PER PERSON), or at least a salad- this is a very plain menu for a party.

rolls - 18 pounds, 5 pounds butter

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

tVKeE
01/31/15
qxCcrrwYzAcfpvQSLeYWUTjNEGbJgYboDCEuHuNGObY
high dose of tramadol - buy tramadol for dogs usa
Laurie Johnson
02/02/15
Wow! I am so excited to have found your website! We are planning a wedding reception for our daughter in 4 weeks (yikes!) RSVPs are trickling in, but we will not know how many people will be attending for sure. Up to 170, but more likely 125-140 I'm guessing. This will be at 3:00 in the afternoon, so between lunch and dinner, and we will have a large dessert bar. I have a couple of friends that will be in the kitchen starting 3 hours in advance to warm up food and get ready for us once we arrive. Here's what we are planning:
*BBQ pulled pork. We bought 40 lbs. pork.
*Sweet and Sour meatballs. We haven't purchased yet, but were thinking 3 per expected guest.
*Baked Beans. The groom's mother is making these, and I need to know how much to tell her.
*Bacon Mac and Cheese. I plan to bring in 4 large (11 x 15 x x 2) roasting pans.
*Smoked Turkey Breasts. We purchased 4 large ones and plan to thin slice and serve cold.
*200 slices various cheese.
*Assorted cheese wedges and cubes. (Not sure how much to get yet).
*Dinner Rolls. I am planning to get 6 bags of 36 at Costco.
*Assorted Crackers. I have 6 lbs. purchased.
*Dinner Salad. Planning on 4 or 5 - 2 lb. containers of Spring Mix.
*Potato Salad. Groom's Mom is bringing this, and I don't know how much to tell her.
*Broccoli Salad. A friend is bringing this, and I don't know how much to tell her either!
*Fresh Fruit Platter. I will purchase several lbs. grapes, a few cantaloupe, some honeydew, and pineapples. Not really sure on how much of any of these.
*Fresh Vegetables. Peppers, carrots, snowpeas, cherry tomatoes. Again, not sure how much to buy.
*Hummus. 4 lbs.

Can you give me any tips and fill in any blanks that I have? Thanks so much! ~Laurie

ellen
02/02/15
Laurie, this is a LOT of food for a 3 PM reception- it looks like you are planning a full meal. Is that the plan?

Also, usually the turnout is about 85% of the invited guests. What is your number of guests invited (not invitations), counting all the persons on each invitation?

So, write back.

Laurie Johnson
02/02/15
Oh, good to hear! No, we didn't plan on a full meal.....just some stuff to eat and not look like we are skimping! :) Wedding is at 1:30, so I would think people would've eaten before they came. We have the reception hall until 8:00. The invited guest list is 170.

The pork we bought is RAW pork....I know it will cook down. My daughter also thinks we are planning on way too much food. We'd just like to err on the side of too much rather than too little. Thanks for any help you can lend! ~Laurie

Wendy Mayer
02/06/15
Menu looks excellent. Suggest freshly made dips for veggies such as hummus, guacamole, ranch, etc. Plenty of room for 150 people! Good luck to the young couple getting married.
Laurie Johnson
02/06/15
Thank you! :) ~Laurie
kaye
02/11/15
I am planning a wedding for about 120 people and my daughter wants fettuccini alfredo with chicken, caeser salad and French bread loaves but I don't know how much of this stuff we need and we are on a very tight budget please help thank you
ellen
02/12/15
Hi, Kaye, as mentioned above, you need top add an 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 will serve each 100 guests, one is OK for 120.

Now, dinner:

For a guide for amounts for the spaghetti dinner, see the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 at the end of the spaghetti page, and do twice the amounts indicated. Boneless, skinless chicken breast, you would do 24 pounds. A really good addition would be about 20 pounds of broccoli cuts, or broccoli/cauliflower/carrot blend- it will stretch the meat and add color to the plates.

The recipe for Alfredo style sauce on the spaghetti page holds well and is much less costly than purchased sauce. For 120, do 1 1/4 times the recipe for 100.

Remember it will take about 3 people in the kitchen and 6 out front to set up, serve, and clean up this size party.

If you like these ideas, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Donna
02/12/15
I am planning my daughter's reception in June. We cannot afford catering the reception so friends have offered to help. I am planning on 125 to 150 people. My menu is baked ziti with chicken and chicken pesto pasta. I will use ziti and bow tie pasta unless you have a different suggestion. I will be using bagged autumn salad mix mixed
with bagged iceberg lettuce. I will be offering ranch dressing along with a vingerette. I will have a cold multi colored pasta salad in case there are any vegetarians. Tea sweetened and unsweetened, water, coffee regular and decaf. For the drinks. I was debating to have appetizers since we are having a meal. Some friends have offered to bring a dessert. My questions are how much pasta (ziti and bow tie should be cooked? I am having equal amounts of each. The pasta will be held in roasters.How many pounds of chicken will be needed? How many rolls? How many gallons of tea should be made? The reception will begin 6:30 to 7 in the evening. Do I need appetizers if I am serving a meal? Are extra deserts necessary considering there is wedding cake? I appreciate any advise you may have to offer. I do have a friend in charge and will have helpers arranged.
ellen
02/17/15
OK, you are doing well on your prep. I will assume 150 people

baked ziti with chicken
chicken pesto pasta
You can expect that they will eat a little more, since folks often take some of each. Look at the spaghetti page:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/sphagetti.html
Usually, unless it is a very sophisticated crowd, they do 2/3 red and 1/3 green.
About 30 pounds dry pasta and 30 pounds chicken meat. About 1 quart sauce per pound of dry pasta, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound. Don't forget Parm on the tables.

bagged autumn salad mix with bagged iceberg lettuce. I will be offering ranch dressing along with a vinaigrette
Option 3, per 100:
Tossed Salad 12-14 pounds tossed salad mix (2 ounces per person) OR 20 12-ounce heads of lettuce
PLUS 12 8 ounce bottles or 3-4 quarts (1 gallon) salad dressing- larger amount if thick and self serve

Option 3B per 100:
Garden Salad (1 cup serving) Lettuce,leaf 8 pounds ready, 12-1/2 pounds whole
Carrots, chopped or shredded, 2 pounds ready, 1 quart 3-1/8 cups, 2-1/2 pounds whole
Celery, 2 pounds chopped, 1 quart 3-1/2 cups, 2-3/4 pounds whole
Onions, fresh chopped or green, 8 ounces, 1-3/8 cups, whole 8-7/8 ounces
Tomatoes, thin wedges or small cherry tomatoes, 4 pounds, 2 quarts 2-1/8 cups, whole 4 1/8 pounds
PLUS 12 8 ounce bottles or 3-4 quarts (1 gallon) salad dressing- larger amount used if thick and self serve

pasta salad
I strongly suggest you consider a cooked vegetable dish instead of the pasta salad, and just so 2 9x13 of either of the pasta dishes with no meat as your vegetarian entree. If cooking space is an issue, do roasted veggies and serve at room temp, Italian style. About 30 pounds ready to cook.

Bread/rolls, 12 pounds per 100, not all garlic

Tea sweetened and unsweetened, 6 gallons per 100, 1/2 unsweetened
water, if bottles, 2 per person, buy where you can return unopened cases
coffee regular and decaf, use dinner/reception level, see the beverage page.

Dessert
Are extra deserts necessary considering there is wedding cake?
Extra desserts are always welcome, 1-3 little pieces per person, with this menu, for example, wedding cookies of a few types would be excellent.

Do I need appetizers if I am serving a meal?
I absolutely do recommend appetizers with this party 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 (6-8 gallons per 100), 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 just right for about 100 guests.

You can use the appetizer planning page or write back about the appetizers.

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

mariah baker
03/06/15
Wedding for 150-154 people
Hi, ellen I love your site. I'm planning my wedding for next year and need help with the amounts for the food. Its and outdoor wedding. The reception will be around 5 or 6pm. We're roasting a pig. I called a butcher he said we would need about 100 lb. pig for 150 people we're also making:
potato salad
baked beans
pasta salad
deviled eggs
coleslaw
fruit cups
watermelon
mini apple pies
mini pumpkin pies
our wedding cake is a cheesecake
a punch bowl
as well as serving mimosas
and a keg
I've never cooked for that many people before and need help translating amounts. Any advice would be great. Thank you
Bekah
03/06/15
Heya there!

Thank you for having this amazing website! I was sooo happy when I stumbled upon this!

Anywho, through planning my wedding I have learned two vital things; I have an abnormally large family and catering a wedding is equivalent to highway robbery... We did not want to leave anyone out, so we decided to do a build-your-own burger and hot dog bar for the wedding! It's super fun, casual, and way less expensive! We have hired a caterer to cook/grill and prep everything on site the day of and she will have 3 staff members with her to keep everything full and ready to go. We are getting everything from Sam's Club and Costco (all being pre-ordered) the day before, and then bringing the items to her. She will store them and bring them to the site :)

I am worried that I may be ordering either not enough or too much and was hoping for some advice, input, clarity, all of the above! So here is my shopping list!

Meats
Hamburger patties = 200 1/4lb patties
Hot dogs = 240
Breaded Chicken patties = 60
Veggie burgers =16

Bread
Hamburger buns= 288
Hot dog buns = 216

Sauces
Ketchup = six 44oz bottles
Mustard= one 105oz tub
Relish= one gallon tub
Mayo = 64oz tub
Thousand Island Sauce = 1 gallon
BBQ sauce= two 40oz bottles

Burger topping options
Cheese slices = 320 slices
Tomatoes= 6lbs of roma tomatoes
Lettuce = 12 hearts of romaine lettuce
Onions = 5lb bag of red onions
Jalapenos = 1 gallon jar (sliced)
Bleu cheese crumbles (groom’s favorite) = 5lb bag
Mushrooms = 48oz (will be sautéed)
Pickle slices = 1 gallon jar

Hot Dog topping options
Shredded cheddar cheese = 5lb bag
Chili = 108oz cooked (no beans)
Sauerkraut = 1 gallon
Fritos = 52.5oz (3 bags)
Diced onions = (from the same 5lb bag for burgers)

Sides of main dish
Potato salad= Being made by caterer
Chipotle corn salad= Being made by caterer
Fruit (cantaloupe?) = 6 large canteloupes, diced

Appetizers
Tortilla Chips= 30lbs(six 5lb bags)
Salsa= being made by the caterer
Hummus = 75oz (three 25oz container)
Broccoli= 12 lbs of broccoli florets
Carrots = 15lbs of petite carrots
grape tomatoes = 64oz container
ranch dip – two 40oz bottles
watermelon or grapes? – three 8-10lb watermelon (cut up) or grapes(more convenient, but more expensive)

Desserts

The cake of course! (=
Doughnuts = 17 dozen = 153 (requested by the groom and his friends)
We are considering doing smores for the kiddos and all the kids at heart. Depends if it is allowed in May for bonfires (the reception is outside) as well as if this would be overkill with everything else.

Drinks

Ice tea powder = 200oz of Lipton iced tea powder (makes 76 quarts)
Lemonade powder = 165oz of powder mix (makes 68 quarts)
The drink dispensers are clear, so we are going to garnish the ice tea mix with sliced lemons and the lemonade with raspberries for looks. (=
Water = we will have two 9-gallon drink dispensers just for cold water.
Hot coffee and hot chocolate = for at the end of the night when it gets cold outside. We will be running a hot water machine where they can make their own hot drink.

Essentials
Dinner plates = 250 count
Dessert and appetizer plates = 320 count
Cups = 360 plastic 16oz cups
Hot cups = 300 count 12oz cups
Napkins = 3000 count
Plastic forks = 600
Plastic spoons = 600
Plastic knives = 600

Sorry about the large list! So, what do ya think? (=

Bekah
03/06/15
Oh and the wedding will begin at 4pm and we will be wrapping everything up by 9:30-10pm. Everything is outdoors, and it will be a buffet line- call up table by table, serve yourself type of deal. (=
ellen
03/06/15
Mariah, please read the article on wedding dinners, the button is on the top of the cook talk page. You have selected a menu that has a lot of disaster potential because of the pig, unless you are hiring an experienced crew to come in and roast it for you. The day of, you will need a 2-3 person roasting team, 2-3 people in the kitchen and about 10 people out front to set up, serve, and clean up the party. Most will not attend the wedding, they will be working.

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

100 lb. pig for 150 people
If this is whole, head on pig, consider doing 125-150 pounds. Or do a suckling pig and a whole lot of pork butt.

salad, do 1 1/2 the amount for 100 on the plan for 100 page

baked beans, 3 gallons per 100
pasta salad, 6 pounds dry pasta per 100

deviled eggs, about 6 dozen whole eggs
coleslaw, 2 1/2 gallons per 100

fruit cups, the deluxe fruit tray for 100 on the fruit tray page would be about the right amount of fruit for this.

watermelon, 1 pound per 4 people

mini apple pies
mini pumpkin pies
about 100 but the split depends on the region
cheesecake wedding cake, how big? It takes about 25 pounds of cheesecake to serve 100

a punch bowl, 8 gallons, would do with appetizers, see discussing below
mimosas, are you using a fountain, or a punch?
keg will serve about 40 beer drinkers
Plan to have iced tea, about 9 gallons, 1/3 unsweetened
Plam to have dinner/reception level coffee for the adults, see the beverage planning page

Also I strongly recommend an 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 easily serves 100 guests.

ellen
03/06/15
Bekah, these numbers are off for 150. How many guests are involved? Also, would you consider doing real sausages instead of hot dogs? Much tastier and more festive. Write back.
Olga
03/08/15
Baby shower need help
Hello I got lost I don't know how to get back to see if you responded back . I am so lost I wanted to thank you for your help. I wanted to know how many pans I needed for each items. I am having Chicken wings, I choose the mastaccoilii pin wheels ham, enchiladas she wanted so bad. Salad bar. Can you please help me. Also I forgot about the cupcakes pop cakes and cookies how many dozens we need for 80 peoples
ray
03/12/15
im doing a wedding for 150 people, how much potatoes do i need for garlic mashpotatoe, and chicken breast do i need to bake, and how much vegetable medley in a 3lb do i need to buy?
ellen
03/13/15
Olga your party is on a separate thread labeled "chicken wings".

Ray,

65 pounds of potatoes
2 pounds raw boneless chicken breast per 5 people
32 pounds of vegetables

But do please read the discussion about the need for a appetizer plan, three questions up from, yours, and talk to your bride and groom about expanding the offering. You need bread, and a salad or second veg would be a good addition.

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

Ericka
03/13/15
Graduation Party
Hi Ellen. I'm doing the food for my son's graduation party. It will be a buffet style dinner and indoors. On the menu we will have curry chicken, fried chicken wings, potato salad, tossed salad, fruit salad, macaroni and cheese, ham, and string beans. I'm purchasing 200 wings and the rest of the food will be made between me, some relatives and friends. How much chicken do I need to purchase for the curry chicken? I planned on purchasing 40lbs. of potatoes for the potato salad. Is that enough? To make things easier for me, I planned to purchase some pre-made salads and add tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots to it. How much do I need? How much dressing should I get? How much fruit do I need for the fruit salad? How many pounds of macaroni and cheese should I purchase? How many hams should I purchase and how many pounds should each ham be? How many pounds of string beans will I need? I appreciate your help with my situation. Thank you.
Bekah
03/14/15
Wow, way off? Dang. It is for 150 people as of now. The number may be higher or lower, but that is the number of people we are estimating. Am I way low on the number of things we need?
ellen
03/16/15
Graduation for 150 people
curry chicken, 1 pound boneless raw per 4 people
fried chicken wings, you need 3-4 wing pieces per person, 1 pound per 2-3 people. These are very expensive, due to the cost of the wings; consider legs instead, 1 1/2 per person
ham, 1 pound boneless per 6 people

Add good rolls, 2 per person

potato salad, 50 pounds raw potatoes
macaroni and cheese, 14 pounds dry pasta, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound, 1 quart sauce per pound

tossed salad, do 1 1/2 time the salad on the plan for 100 page, it has directions for dressing also

fruit salad, fruit trays are easier, store better, and more useable leftover- use the deluxe tray for 100 on the fruit tray page

string beans, 30 pounds or 6 #10 cans

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

ellen
03/16/15
Ray

wedding for 150 people,

garlic mash potato, 65 pounds raw
chicken breast, 2 pounds raw boneless per 5

vegetable medley, 3lb, 30-32 pounds

Also I strongly recommend an 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 easily serves 100 guests.

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

ellen
03/16/15
Hi, Bekah, welcome back.

Meats
Hamburger patties = 200 1/4lb patties
150 plenty
Hot dogs = 240
150 plenty, but consider bun size Polish sausage, MUCH tastier
Breaded Chicken patties = 60 fine
Veggie burgers =16 fine

Bread, just adjust to the new meat numbers

Sauces
Ketchup = six 44oz bottles, plenty
Mustard= one 105 oz tub- get squeeze bottles, mild and spicy, total 8
Relish= one gallon tub, OK
Mayo = 64oz tub, need 3-4 quarts, get squeeze bottles, total 8
Thousand Island Sauce = 1 gallon, OK
BBQ sauce= two 40oz bottles, OK

Burger topping options
Cheese slices = 320 slices, 150 fine, esp w blue cheese
Tomatoes= 6lbs of roma tomatoes- At least 15 pounds
Lettuce = 12 hearts of romaine lettuce OK
Onions = 5lb bag of red onions,10 pounds
Jalapenos = 1 gallon jar (sliced) OK
Bleu cheese crumbles (groom’s favorite) = 5lb bag OK
Mushrooms = 48oz (will be sautéed)
Pickle slices = 1 gallon jar OK

Hot Dog topping options
Shredded cheddar cheese = 5lb bag
Chili = 108oz cooked (no beans), OK, but consider using the coney sauce or hot dog chili for 100 on this site
Sauerkraut = 1 gallon, OK
Fritos = 52.5oz (3 bags)? Everyone will grab some, get 8 pounds
Diced onions = (from the same 5lb bag for burgers)use a portion of the much larger amount above

Sides of main dish
Potato salad= Being made by caterer
Chipotle corn salad= Being made by caterer
Fruit (cantaloupe?) = 6 large canteloupes, diced??? watermelon or grapes? – three 8-10lb watermelon (cut up) or grapes(more convenient, but more expensive)
Either skip, or do fruit tray for 100 from the fruit tray page, you want at least 1 pound fruit per 8

Appetizers
Tortilla Chips= 30lbs(six 5lb bags), no more than 15 pounds
Salsa= being made by the caterer, 2 gallons
Hummus = 75oz (three 25oz container)

Broccoli= 12 lbs of broccoli florets
Carrots = 15lbs of petite carrots- 10 pounds
grape tomatoes = 64oz container-
ranch dip – two 40oz bottles, need 1 cup per 10, 15 cups
Look at the veggie tray page and plan for just 6 pieces per person, there are a lot more choices (middle of the page)
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/appesalad.html

Desserts

The cake of course! (=
Doughnuts = 17 dozen = 153 (requested by the groom and his friends)
We are considering doing smores for the kiddos and all the kids at heart. Depends if it is allowed in May for bonfires (the reception is outside) as well as if this would be overkill with everything else.
Absolutely do NOT do s'mores on site, it is just plain dangerous, There are terrific s'more bar recipes on line

Drinks

Ice tea powder = 200oz of Lipton iced tea powder (makes 76 quarts)
It is so easy to make real tea, please look at the recipe on the beverage page. 12 gallon,s 1/3 not sweetened
Lemonade powder = 165oz of powder mix (makes 68 quarts), frozen concentrate is much tastier and easy to use, make 12 gallons
The drink dispensers are clear, so we are going to garnish the ice tea mix with sliced lemons and the lemonade with raspberries for looks. (=
Water = we will have two 9-gallon drink dispensers just for cold water.
Hot coffee and hot chocolate = for at the end of the night when it gets cold outside. We will be running a hot water machine where they can make their own hot drink.
For coffee, use the amounts for dinner/reception from the beverage planning page:
Regular coffee, 2 1/4 pounds
Decaffeinated 3/4 pound (may use 1 1/2 pound regular and 1 1/2 pound decaf with older guests)
Additional hot water about 40 servings
PLUS Tea bags(herb, regular, decaf) for 40, 3 pounds sugar, 3 quarts cream or milk, sweeteners, honey

Essentials
Dinner plates = 250 count, do 300
Dessert and appetizer plates = 320 count OK
Cups = 360 plastic 16oz cups, consider going w 12 ounce, 300 OK
Hot cups = 300 count 12oz cups 200 OK
box coffee stirrers
Napkins = 3000 count, 1200
Plastic forks = 600, 450
Plastic spoons = 600, 300
Plastic knives = 600, 300

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

Ericka
03/17/15
Graduation Party
Thank you so much for your help. I will make a donation. Have a great day.
Christine
03/19/15
Hi Ellen,
We are having a lunch reception. We are doing sandwiches with 20 lbs ham, 10 lbs bologna, and 10 lbs turkey. 3 different cheese. 3 gallons Pasta salad, 3 gallons potato salad, chips, vegging tray, pickle tray, and watermelon. I was wonder if this sounds like enough for 150 people.
ellen
03/19/15
It's a little tight. Take a look at my sandwich page:

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

You will run out of turkey and have ham left over.
20 lbs ham, 10
10 lbs bologna, 8 and suggest you include some salami and
10 lbs turkey, 18

3 different cheese, at least 12 pounds

3 gallons Pasta salad, 4
3 gallons potato salad, 5
chips, 1 pound per 15, 1 pint dip per pound

veggie tray, suggest slaw instead, 4 gallons, or use the veggie tray page

pickle tray, use the classic relish tray guideline on the veggie tray page, or allow 6 quarts assorted pickles

watermelon 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person.

If it is all ladies, you can reduce by 10%, if teens college, increase 10%.

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

ellen
03/19/15
Also, consider a bowl of nut butter and a pound or 2 of good jam as cheap insurance in case of vegans.

Condiments, lettuce, etc, on the sandwich page.

kay
03/25/15
We are having a wedding for 47 adults and 14 children...can you please take a look at my menu for buffet style dinner..we are having an evening dinner with cake.. I am mostly wondering how much for main meal? Because i wonder if guests will want to try a little of both (chicken & salmon)...and i have children of all ages ..how should i account for them..a full or half serving? (children aged 1-8 yrs old.)

cheese tray

bread and dipping olive & herbs (12 loaves)

House salad (15lbs)

Grilled chicken (60 breast/pieces)

grilled salmon (60 pieces)

penne pomodoro (for vegetarians or as a side) (15-20 lbs)

Garlic mashed potatoes

seasoned veggies ( broccoli or green beans?)

ellen
03/25/15
Pleasant, easy size party. Less food needed.

cheese tray 4 pounds cheeses, some could be spreads; 3 pounds crackers

bread and dipping olive & herbs (12 loaves), 6 pounds bread, 1 quart or less oil

House salad (15lbs)7 pounds

Grilled chicken (60 breast/pieces)20 pounds

grilled salmon (60 pieces)12 pounds

penne pomodoro (for vegetarians or as a side) (15-20 lbs) 5 pounds dry pasta, 5 quarts sauce, 3-5 pounds cheese

Garlic mashed potatoes 12 pounds

seasoned veggies ( broccoli or green beans?)12 pounds

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

Michelle Wright
04/09/15
Hi Ellen, I am getting married in a few months and need to know how much food we need to buy of each item. Thank you very much for your time!!!

Chicken Tenders
Mashed potatoes
Brown Gravy
Corn
Green Beans
Rolls
Fried Okra

Is this selection of food okay? I was just wanting the best southern food that most of everyone will like. Thank you!! :)

ellen
04/11/15
Chicken Tenders- 1 pound per 3 people ready to serve
You need to add a vegetarian entree choice, one option would be to do mac and cheese instead of or in addition to potatoes. Or a crock pot full of Quorn pretend chicken or another vegetarian meat replacement.

Mashed potatoes, 1 quart per 4
Brown Gravy, chicken gravy or cream gravy would be better, 1 cup per 4

Corn, 34 pounds, 6 #10 cans
Green Beans, 34 pounds, 6 #10 cans

Rolls- 2 per person, 3 pounds butter per 100

Fried Okra- this does not hold well, consider a squash casserole instead. 34 pounds

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 (8 gallons per 100) 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.

Have questions? You can write back.

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

Chloe Mosey
04/18/15
Wedding for 150 to 200 people
Hey!!!
Could you give us advice on how much we should make please?
Our venue is doing the meat but we are doing the following:
Macaroni salad:
Potato salad:
Green salad:
Ranch dressing, honey mustard, thousands island, Itailian,y
coleslaw:
Baked beans:
Macaroni and cheese:
Thank you!!
ellen
04/18/15
You are doing OK, I make a suggestion about the pastas.

Baked beans: 5 gallons or 6 #10 cans, some left

Macaroni and cheese: 15 pounds dry pasta, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound
Macaroni salad: 6 pounds dry pasta
Have a different pasta for the salad, such as rotini or bow ties, holds better

Potato salad: 45 pounds potatoes to start

Green salad:
Ranch dressing, honey mustard, thousands island, Italian, see the salad for 100 on the plan for 100 page, and do 1 1/2 times the amounts, it covers dressing assortments

coleslaw: 4 gallons

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

One appetizer service area serves about 100 guests.

Have questions? You can write back.

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

Moe
05/27/15
Planning a wedding for 160+ people
Beef Burgers
Chicken Burgers
Hot Dogs
Southwestern Chopped Salad
jeanne
05/27/15
open house for 150 - 200 people
Ellen, Please help. Open house 150-200 people we are serving baked and fried chicken how much of each would you recommend? We will have legs, thighs, breasts and wings. Also serving Mac & Cheese and Cheesy potatoes. How many pounds of DRY pasta will I need and how many pounds of potatoes? We would also like meatballs. How many pounds will I need. (This is a Fri. evening party. We figure this will be our quests dinner.) Thank you very much!
ellen
05/27/15
Moe, you do need to add an appetizer plan, see the discussion right above your post.

Beef Burgers, 150
Chicken Burgers, 60
Veggie patties, 12; Field Roast, Boca or Morningstar are good brands

Hot Dogs, consider using either the 4 ounce jumbo dogs or polish sausages, much tastier. about 80

Condiment, onions, etc are on the sandwich page. You might also like to make a pot of classic drive-in hot dog chili:

ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/43504.html

Southwestern Chopped Salad
The chopped salad or layered salad for 50 on this page will give you a starting place. Then you just swap out the ingredients to Southwestern style:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/salads1100.htm

Starchy side dishes, at least one, and a starchy salad and beans both would be even better

potato or past salad, 7-8 gallons
beans, 5-6 gallons. Consider making at least some meatless for any vegetarians. Could alternatively do Texas caviar or a many bean marinated dish.

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

Julie Ryan
06/15/15
high school graduation party
Hi Ellen,

I am doing mac and cheese for about 125-150, I know not everyone will eat it...I have a 22 quart nesco...Would 8 # of macaroni be too much? Would the nesco be too big for that amount? Thank You

ellen
06/15/15
Teens eat a lot of mac and cheese. If I were doing for 150, I would do at least 12 pounds dry mac, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound. That is 2 roasters full- a roaster does about 6 pounds easily.
Margaret
06/15/15
Vow Renewal for 100-125 people
My husband and I are renewing our vows on August 8,2015. We are doing it at 4 pm. The menu is finger foods. It will consist of the following: Chicken Salad and crackers, Lil Smokies, Chicken Drummettes, Vegetable Tray with tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, cauliflower; Fruit Tray with pineapple, strawberries, grapes (green and red), honeydew melon, watermelon; Cheese Balls, Cheese Wafers, Mints. How much of each item do I need?
Margaret
06/15/15
Vow Renewal for 100-125 people
I forgot to include above the Iced Water and Lemonade Punch.
ellen
06/15/15
So good to see you planning ahead!Would you consider a few tweaks to make it a little more festive?

Chicken Salad, 3 gallons plenty, fairly dry, and finely diced add ins. You could look at my tea sandwiches page.
crackers, 6 pounds per 100
Also, consider a bowl of nut butter (I like almond) and a pound or 2 of good jam as cheap insurance in case of vegans.

Lil Smokies, 15 pounds, 3 quarts sauce per 10 pounds

Chicken Drummettes, these are expensive because you need at least 1 pound per 3 (per 2 is common) and a little boring.
Consider a pastry or tart type bite such as spanakopita, mini quiche, stuffed mushroom, etc These can be done ahead and served room temp. At least 2 per person Maybe even 2 types, 2 each per person.

Vegetable Tray with tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, cauliflower; use the veggie tray page, plan for 5 pieces per person. Hummus, 1 cup per 6, is a very nice dip with these. Multicolor peppers and heirloom mini tomatoes, such as carried at Trader Joe's, look great here.

Fruit Tray with pineapple, strawberries, grapes (green and red), honeydew melon, watermelon;
Use the fruit tray page, plan for 6 bites per person, including 2 strawberries; for example, a standard size pineapple makes about 40 bites

Cheese Balls, 1 pound per 10
need bread or other crackers, 1 pound per 10

Cheese Wafers, people love these, 1 pound per 12.

Mints, 5-6 pounds per 100

Maybe add mixed nuts, 6 pounds per 100

I assume there will be cake or some type dessert. A2 layer full sheet cake serves about 120.

Water, 1 pint per person, ice, 1/2 pound per person,
lemonade, about 8 gallons.
Or consider 6 gallons lemonade and 6 iced tea such as one of the new green teas with fruit flavor, have 2 gallons unsweetened for any diabetics or dieters.

Congratulations, I hope this helps. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Jen
06/19/15
I am hosting a wedding of approximately 150 people. Can anyone give me a general idea of how many trays of mashed potatoes and cheesy potatoes I should make. The trays are the full size foil trays for the wire chafing rack.

The full menu includes:
Fried chicken
Mostaccioli
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy
Cheesy Potatoes
Veggies (Corn and Green Beans)
Salad (& dressings)
Dinner Rolls
Deserts (misc types.)
Wedding Cake

Thanks!

Nadine
06/19/15
Hello we are planning a backyard wedding for approx. 100 people. The caterer is taking care of most items but I need to know about drinks and desserts.

—Lemonade / Iced Tea / Bottled water (we will have beer and wine)
—Miniature (single serving) pies: we have our choice of apple, cherry, peach, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, pecan, and risen
—cupcakes (chic/vanialla) for everyone.

Thanks

ellen
06/19/15
Jen, this many starches is heavy and also requires way lots of oven and usually results in lots of leftovers. Can you consider cutting to only 2 of these three??

Mostaccioli
Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Potatoes

I would keep the mostaciolli as an alternative vegetarian entree.

Write back

ellen
06/19/15
Nadine, 150 people

—Lemonade /
Iced Tea /
Bottled water (we will have beer and wine)
re you serving an appetizer area with the lemonade as the punch?

—Miniature (single serving) pies: we have our choice of apple, cherry, peach, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, pecan, and raisin
This depends on whether it is the tiny bite size ones or the 3" size, bite size is preferable if you have a choice.

—cupcakes (chic/vanilla) for everyone. Assuming 150 people and the other desserts, about 60 of each.

Please write back with more info.

Jen
06/19/15
I would consider cutting the cheesy potatoes and just keep the mostaciolli and mashed potatoes.
ellen
06/19/15
OK Jen,

Fried chicken, 2 pieces per person
Mostaccioli 8 pounds dry pasta per 100
Mashed Potatoes, 35 pounds per 100
Gravy, 1 cup per 5

Veggies (Corn and Green Beans) about 28 pounds each
Salad (& dressings), use the plan for 100 list, do 1 1/2

Dinner Rolls, 2 per person, about 20 pounds, and 4 pounds butter

Desserts (misc types.), 2-3 bites per person
Wedding Cake

I strongly recommend an 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 easily serves 100 guests.

I hope this helps. If this is a paid gig or I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

JQUINN
06/30/15
I am planning a wedding for 150 people. Could you tell me how much of each dish I will need ?

Appetizers:
Wings
meatballs
potato salad
spinach dip
devil eggs
carrot sticks
celery
ranch dressing
blue chesses dressing
cube cheese
crackers

fruit trays:
grapes
pineapples
strawberries
blueberries
watermelon

Meats:
Ham
Turkey
Roast Beef
Chicken Quarters
Salmon (not sure)

Sides:
white rice
yellow rice
mac& cheese
roasted potatoes
ziti

Vegetables:

Cabbage
Collard Greens
String Beans
Carrots

IF YOU THINK I SHOULD SCRATCH SOMETHING I AM OPEN TO YOUR SUGGESTIONS AND IDEAS. THANK YOU.

ellen
07/03/15
JQuinn, unless you have 6 cooks in a large commercial kitchen, and want lots of leftovers, this is way too many foods for a party this size.

two or at most 3 meats, esp w the meat appetizers
2 starches

Write back after you think about it-

JQUINN
07/06/15
ok. so maybe turkey, chicken & ham for the meats.

mac& cheese & rice

i agree with you. my groom is very greedy lol.

i keep trying toi tell him there will not be enough tim to eat that much food. so i will show him this info from you, since he does not believe me.

samantha sua
07/06/15
Hi Ellen,

Im looking to find out if this is a good enough menu for a semi formal wedding at 6:00pm.how much do we need from for that menu
Garlic mashed pot

Gravy
Green bean casserole
Buttered corn
Hawaiian rolls
Green salad
Mac salad
Butter
Sweet and sour meatballs
Wild mushroom rice
Wedding cake (choc &vanilla
Cupcakes (choc & vanilla
Strawberry and lemon water
Sweet tea
Unsweetened tea
Lemonade

ellen
07/07/15
JQ, Full guidance on this type meal, turkey and ham, top of the Big Pots page; amounts and shopping. Remind the groomster that money saved on the dinner can be spent on the honeymoon or future parties.

turkey, ham for the meats.

mac& cheese= 1 pound dry pasta per 10, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound
rice= 8 pounds dry per 100

Suggest you write back starting a new thread instead of at the end of a long old one.

ellen
07/07/15
Susannah, you can do less and have a more formal meal. Assuming you mean 150 people.

Garlic mashed pot
Gravy
Skip this and go with rice only.

Green bean casserole, 30 pounds green beans to start
Buttered corn, 28 pounds

Hawaiian rolls, 2 per person
Butter, 3-4 pounds

Green salad, use plan for 100 table, do 1 1/2 times the amounts for 100
Mac salad, 9-10 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins

Sweet and sour meatballs, 30 pounds with about 2 gallons sauce/gravy
add a chicken dish, see the chicken marsala or dijon wedding chicken on this site, do for 100

Wild mushroom rice, 12 pounds dry rice

Wedding cake (choc &vanilla
Cupcakes (choc & vanilla
Take the advice of your baker on the wedding cake. do about 6 dozen each cupcake

Strawberry and lemon water, 10 gallons
Sweet tea, 8 gallons
Unsweetened tea, 3-4 gallons
Lemonade, 10 gallons
ice, 1/2 pound per person
Have a separate beverage table, or consider putting pitchers on the tables, if you don't have servers

I hope this helps. If I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

jamie slover
07/10/15
Wedding for 200 people
Hi Ellen,

I am getting married next month and am finalizing my menu. Will this menu work for an outdoor semi formal wedding dinner? If so, how much food do I need?

Sliced smoked ham
Mash potato and gravy or augratin potatoes
Asparagus or green beans
Baked chicken
Rice pilaf or wild rice
Corn or con on the cob
Ceasar salad or green salad
Macaroni or potato salad

And cake for dessert

Should I add more food?

ellen
07/11/15
This is a fine menu, and you need an appetizer plan, 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 easily serves 100 guests.

Corn on the cob is a messy eat if people are dressed up, so I suggest the loose corn.

Sliced smoked ham, 45 pounds boneless
Baked chicken, 1 piece per person; if you do quarters, cut most into 2 before serving

Mash potato and gravy or au gratin potatoes, suggest you skip these and do the potato salad only.

Asparagus or green beans
Corn
see the vegetable section of the plan for 100 page, as the asparagus depends on whether it is fresh and untrimmed or frozen.

Rice pilaf or wild rice, 10 pounds dry per 100

Ceasar salad or green salad, use the plan for 100 section, 1 1/2 times the amount for 100

Macaroni or potato salad, about 5-6 gallons

You can reduce cake costs in several ways; do a grooms cake for part; have a smaller wedding cake with "kitchen cakes", same flavor but sheet cakes, for many of the guests.

I hope this helps. If I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Nadine
07/13/15
Wedding for 100 people
Menu planned, hung up on the desserts. We are having a 100 guests. We are having cookies, cupcakes and the 3" pies individual pies.

My aunt is doing the cookies, and we were planning on getting 50 cupcakes (half cho/half van). How many pies should I get total and how many of each flavor. The lady who is making them said I could get one of each if I wanted to. Not sure how to split up the flavors and how many pies would be enough.

Flavor choices of apple, cherry, peach, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, pecan, and raisin

ellen
07/14/15
I suggest 80 pies, about 1/3 pecan, and the rest divided between apple or peach, a berry, and cherry. piefect!
Courtney
07/15/15
Wedding for 170 people
I am doing my own wedding, and i have 170 guest. We are doing an outside wedding, and i need lots and lots of help with what to serve.

How much brisket and pulled pork will i need. I was thinking 30 lbs of both.
I'm doing side dishes as well, thinking corn on the cop baked beans and loaded potatoes.
I'm also stuck on how much alcohol to serve, and what type of alcohol. Would 10 gallons be enough for people? I want people to have fun, but i want people to remember the wedding.

Thanks in advanced.

ellen
07/21/15
Wedding for 170 people
Hi, Courtney, sorry for the delay. Let's think of this as 1 3/4 times 100.

First, plan for 3 people in the kitchen and about 10 out front to set up, serve and clean up. Most of these people will NOT be at the wedding, they will be setting up the dinner.

You will plan at least 3 serving lines or 2 double-sided lines fro the buffets. The potato choices really slow down the line

Second you need an 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 easily serves 100 guests.

Corn on the cob is a messy eat if people are dressed up, so I suggest loose corn.

Now, on to the dinner.

brisket, at least 60 pounds, this is a coarse, fatty meat that will shrink to about 40 pounds when cooked, and people like it a lot. Put last in the serving line.
pulled pork, use shoulder or butt, 1 pound bone in per 4 people, or 40-50 pounds raw. This will cook up to about 30 pounds finished. Add 150 rolls or 320-360 slider rolls, 8 pounds thin sliced onion, 1 1/2 gallons pickles, about 2 quarts table sauce, about 3 gallons bbq type slaw
Add one crock/pan of vegetarian sausage or patties and label them, With 170 people, you will have some non-meat eaters

side dishes as well,
corn OFF the cob, 32 pounds, could do fiesta corn with bits of bell pepper, or one of the popular corn blends
baked beans5- 6 gallons, at least one crock/pan meatless for any vegetarians

loaded potatoes.

Consider adding a salad, see the plan for 100 table.

If you have tables for the guests, you can put a bread basket, butter and the salad on the table, gives people something to eat while they wait for their turn in line. 12 pounds good bread per 100, 3 pounds butter.

I'm also stuck on how much alcohol to serve, and what type of alcohol. Would 10 gallons be enough for people?

The simple way to keep from having too much drinking is to limit the alcohol to a sangria or punch served with the appetizers, plan on 1 pint per person. Maybe you want to add wine or sparkling wine for a toast, the amounts are given on the beverage planning page. Then have lemonade or fruit punch, about 8 gallons, iced tea, about 8 gallons sweet and 3 unsweet available, and plan on reception/dinner level coffee for the adults, see the beverage planning page.

You can reduce cake costs in several ways; do a grooms cake for part; have a smaller wedding cake with "kitchen cakes", same flavor but sheet cakes, for many of the guests. Or have a dessert buffet with a small wedding cake served just to the wedding party-

I hope this helps. If I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Deanna
07/24/15
Wedding for 200 people
Hello I am planning my wedding menu as i only have less than 1 month till i get married we have decided to have roast beef, Chicken in cream of chicken soup sauce,corn, mashed potatoes, green beans salad and roll. we are also serving beer (30 packs) and coffee soda and tea. Can you please help me with how much food and beverages i need to have i would greatly appreciate it Thank you
ellen
07/25/15
Wedding for 200 people
A party this size takes about 4 people in the kitchen and 10-12 to set up, serve, and clean up the buffet. Most will NOT attend the wedding, as they will be preparing the food and dining area. It takes 3 serving lines, or 2 double-sided lines, to serve a party this size.

As discussed above, you need an 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 easily serves 100 guests, so you would plan 2.

Dinner

roast beef, 1 pound raw boneless per 3
Chicken in cream of chicken soup sauce, 1 piece chicken per person
corn, 40 pounds
mashed potatoes, 80 pounds
gravy, 1 cup per 4
green beans, 40 pounds
salad, use plan 4 100 page, double amounts and dressings
roll, 24 pounds, get good ones, 5-6 pounds butter

beer (30 packs), this is about 50 people's worth as most beer drinkers will drink 4 beers. You might consider kegs (40 people per keg), re-thinking how many beer drinkers you expect
coffee, estimate number of coffee drinkers and use guideline for reception/dinner coffee on the beverage planning page
soda, estimate number of soda drinkers and use guideline for sodas on the beverage planning page
tea, 6 gallons per 100 2 unsweetened
1/2 pound ice per person

I hope this helps. If I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Tiffany
07/27/15
Hi!

This site is extremely helpful!!!

I am planning on a 5pm wedding with 150 people and am working on the veggie tray/ fruit tray for the pre-meal snacking along with drinks and rolls for the entire evening. The meal is being taken care of but the pre-stuff is up to us.

The dinner will be:
Sliced chicken and pulled pork w/ BBQ sauce
Macaroni & Cheese
Baked Beans
(These are taken care of by others because I didn't want to go full DIY for fear of messing up)

My question is if this is enough for the 150 people for a semi-casual affair everything is self-serve:

Fruit Tray:

2 Watermelons
4 Pineapples
12 lbs Green Grapes
12 lbs Red Grapes
5 qts Fruit Dip

Veggie Tray:

Broccoli Florets 2*1lb bags
Baby Carrots 4*1lb bags
Celery 5 heads or 2.5lbs cut
Grape Tomatoes 2pts
Ranch Dip 5qts

Drinks:

3 Gallons Unsweet Tea
6 Gallons Water
7 Gallons Sweet Tea
5 Gallons Lemonade

Rolls:

300 rolls

Also, if you have any comments on how many trays and ice would be needed that would also be extremely helpful. I've tried to scour the site and hope my amounts are correct!

Thank you!!

ellen
07/27/15
Do please consider either a salad or slaw, use the plan for 100 page. Make sure at least 1 crock pot of beans is meatless, or your vegetarian guests (with 150, there will be some) will have nothing on their plates except macaroni.

Fruit Tray:

2 Watermelons, large
4 Pineapples, OK
12 lbs Green Grapes
12 lbs Red Grapes
I would add 8-10 quarts of strawberries
5 qts Fruit Dip

Veggie Tray:

Broccoli Florets 2*1lb bags
Baby Carrots 4*1lb bags
Celery 5 heads or 2.5lbs cut
Grape Tomatoes 2pts
Allow at least 1 pound per 10-12, especially if you have no veggies or salad on the menu. 1 cup dip per 6= about 6 quarts
Ranch Dip 5qts

Consider a cheese tray, 1 pound per 15, 9 pounds crackers

Drinks:

3 Gallons Unsweet Tea-4
6 Gallons Water- if you are where you can't refill, allow a pint per person=18-20 gallons
7 Gallons Sweet Tea-8
5 Gallons Lemonade-8-10

People like dinner level coffee with their dessert, see the beverage planning page

Rolls:
300 rolls, plenty, get good ones, 4 pounds butter

I hope this helps. If I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Lynn
07/28/15
Wedding for 100 people
Planning a wedding reception for approx. 100 people. Serving snacks only.

Veggie Tray (baby carrots, celery, cauliflower & broccoli) 4 lbs each
Veggie Dip - 6 containers (approx. 16 oz container)
Meat & Cheese tray - 10 lbs summer sausage and 10 lbs cheese
chips - 5 bags
green olives - 2 - 16 oz jars
sweet & dill pickles - 2 - 16 oz jars each

Is this going to be enough or too much?
Thanks in advance for your help.

ellen
07/28/15
Need time of day starting and length of party. This is not enough, but how much not enough depends. Write back.
Lynn
07/28/15
Wedding for 100 people
8pm-midnight. Approx.. 100 people
ellen
07/29/15
Wedding for 100 people
Veggie Tray (baby carrots, celery, cauliflower & broccoli) 4 lbs each
Plan total 1 pound per 5-6 people with this light menu.
Veggie Dip - 6 containers (approx. 16 oz container)

Meat & Cheese tray -
10 lbs summer sausage, at least 14 pounds
10 lbs cheese, at least 12
To help stretch these, add 10 pounds rolls/bread such as slider rolls, baguette slices, etc and 6 pounds crackers

chips - 5 bags. 1 pound per 10, 1 pint dip/salsa per pound
green olives - 2 - 16 oz jars, 1 gallon total
sweet & dill pickles - 2 - 16 oz jars each, 1 gallon total

If this were my party, I would add at least fruit tray, such as the deluxe tray for 100 on the fruit tray page, and consider a classic relish tray to supplement the veggies. I would definitely add interesting dip, such as the 7 layer dip on this site, and a dessert/sweet buffet. Then, at least 2 pieces per person of something unusual; mini quiche, spanakopita, dolmas, stuffed mushrooms. This is a four hour party and a wedding feast. It needs some oomph.

Lynn
07/30/15
Thank you! It is greatly appreciated.
Kelly
08/04/15
I'm having a wedding in September, Pig roast style please help me with amounts for 150 guests

Apps.
1. mashed potatoes- 40 lbs, gravy ?
2. chicken corn soup- 5 gallons
3.veggie tray- 2, 18 inch trays
4.fruit trays- 2, 18inch trays

Dinner
1.a whole pig 250 lbs- that weight is counting with the head still on
2. BBQ sauce- 8 gallons
3. rolls- 175
4. hot dogs - 96
5. rolls- 96
6.cheese for sandwich- 5 lbs
7.tossed salad- 7, 3lb bags, dressing?
8.green beans-?
9. Cole slaw- ?
10. Applesauce- ?
11. pickles & olives- 1 gallon each

beverages
cans of soda - 300 total half regular, 1/4 diet, 1/4 other
water- 72 mini bottles

alcohol
kegs 15 gallons- 2
jack daniels- 4 , 1/2 gallons
captain morgan- 3 , 1/2 gallons
vodka- 3 1/2 gallons

mixer drinks
coke cola- 10 , 2 liter bottles
sprite- 5, 2 liters
orange juice- ?
Cranberry juice- ?
Pineapple juice- ?
coffee- ?

the count is about 150 , out of the 150 there are about 35 kids. PLease help guide me
thanks!

ellen
08/08/15
Apps.
1. mashed potatoes- 40 lbs, gravy ? surely this goes with the main dishes? I would do at least 50 pounds, at least 2 gallons gravy
2. chicken corn soup- 5 gallons, OK, none left. Use shooter glasses, no spoons
3.veggie tray- 2, 18 inch trays, prob short, need at least 18 pounds fruit, gallon Ranch dip
4.fruit trays- 2, 18inch trays, prob not enough, need at least 18 pounds fruit
Consider one bready starchy or crackery or chippishaddition! Esp w the soup. Cheese 1 pound per 10 12, crackers, 6 pounds per 100, for example

Dinner
1.a whole pig 250 lbs- that weight is counting with the head still on, 160-180 plenty
2. BBQ sauce- 8 gallons
3. rolls- 200 at least, or consider French baguette pieces for both bread and sandwiches

4. hot dogs - 96
5. rolls- 96
Bad for kids, hot dogs are the #1 cause of choking deaths in people under 5. Also some people don't eat pork.
Meatballs? Big beef sausages in chunks? about 20 pounds.

One crock pot with vegetarian sausages or patties for any non-meat eaters.

6.cheese for sandwich- 5 lbs
OK, add 12 pounds thin sliced onions and 1 1/2 gallons pickles
7.tossed salad- 7, 3lb bags, dressing? Use amounts form plan for 100, amount for 100, many kids don't eat salad and with the slaw, some grown ups will skip, too.
9. Cole slaw- about 4 gallons

8.green beans- about 28 pounds

10. Applesauce- 5 #10 cans. Consider fried apples instead if you can get them, tastier.
11. pickles & olives- 1 gallon each, pickles above, olives OK

beverages
cans of soda - 300 total half regular, 1/4 diet, 1/4 other, flavor assortment discussed on beverage planning page
water- 72 mini bottles, I usually do one to 1 1/2 regular or 2 miniper person

alcohol
kegs 15 gallons- 2, full keg serves about 40 beer drinkers. Estimate your number. If you don't use 2 full kegs, consider 1/2 keg of a different flavor and 1 case of light something,

jack daniels- 4 , 1/2 gallons
captain morgan- 3 , 1/2 gallons
vodka- 3 1/2 gallons is that 3 and a half gallons? You are talking 6 gallons hard liquor and 2 kegs beer- a LOT of alcohol, more than 6 drinks per man, woman and child. Take a look at the beverage planning page. Be sure to stop serving liquor an hour before the end of the party and do have dinner level coffee for that hour- you are legally responsible in most states if a guest at your party has a DUI or accident after drinking at your party.

mixer drinks
coke cola- 10 , 2 liter bottles
sprite- 5, 2 liters
orange juice- ?
Cranberry juice- ?
Pineapple juice- ?
coffee- ?

See the beverage planning page

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

Rhonda
08/11/15
How much of the following for a 2 p.m. wedding feeding 150.
sliders (ham and turkey) (10 pounds of each?) 300 or 400 homemade slider rolls?
cheese cubes with crackers
fruit
Grapes (10 pounds?)
Pineapple (10 pineapple?)
Strawberries (whole) 10 quarts ?
ellen
08/14/15
The meat is OK, 1 pound uses 12-15 rolls, so cut back the bread, and don't forget the mustard and mayo. You do need to add some additional dishes.

For the fruit tray, look at the deluxe tray for 100 on the fruit tray page for guidance on amounts. This would be OK for this party. Anything you don't want to include, substitute a fruit you are providing

Cheese, 1 pound per 12, some can be logs or rolls; 6 pounds crackers per 100

However, the menu needs filling out, it really is not enough for this reception. With 150 people, it is better to add some dishes rather than just making more of a few items. I would add at least three additional items:

Some kind of relish tray or marinated vegetables, see the classic relish tray on the veggie tray page, do 2.

Some kind of dip such as fruited cheese dip with little ginger snaps for dippers. 1 cup per 6-8, 4 pounds ginger snaps or 6 pounds other chips or crackers per 100

Some kind of "bite" such as stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, or mini quiches, 2-3 per person

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

Jan O'Dell
08/18/15
Evening Wine and Cheese Reception after all day me
Hi Ellen,
My department is hosting a 3-day meeting for dental residents in January 2016 in Memphis. After the first day's course there is a resident's wine and cheese reception from 6-8pm. I will be in charge of the venue and catering. I am planning to do the reception myself. Last year approximately 150 residents + vendors (12-15) + speakers (15). So far from your site I have determined I will need:
12-20 lbs assorted cheeses
10 lbs crackers/breads
1/2 bottle wine/person
water
I was also planning: Amounts unknown
Shrimp/cocktail sauce
fruit
nuts
olives
2 other appetizers that I can make ahead

Any help greatly needed and appreciated

ellen
08/18/15
About 180 people, then.
Do residents get stipends for the conference? If not, they will be eating quite a bit more than if they are headed out to dinner later. There are pleasant adaptations that can be made if the bulk of food needed is larger.
I also need to know what your storage/refrigeration arrangement is- doable without, but takes extra planning.
Also check and see if you have a restaurant Depot or a good Middle Eastern market you can access in Memphis.
Write back.

Think about adding:
Coffee
Lemonade or punch

Tammy
08/19/15
We are having a wedding for 275 people adults and Children. We are having Shredded Pork and Shredded beef , cheesy potatoes, Pasta Salad cheese trays . That is all figured out but we need to know how many crackers, pickles (sweet and Dill Spears), Black Olives, Green olives and BBQ sauce. We also are having Lemonade and Coffee but have a full bar also. How much coffee and Lemonade do we make.
cindy
08/25/15
Wedding for 250 people
I am helping a friend whose daughter is getting married. Wedding is at 2pm. They are planning on 240 people at the reception. Menu: Ham and Turkey buns, potato salad, fruit salad, snicker salad, pasta salad. Mints, nuts, cheesecake, punch and coffee. I am planning on baking 270 buns, but need help with amount of each salad to make since they really want all four salads. Any help you can provide asap is sooo appreciated. Wedding is 829/15. Late to be asking questions I know, but didn't find this until today. THANKS!
ellen
08/25/15
Tammy, I am sure you found the other post.
ellen
08/25/15
Wedding afternoon reception for 240 people
Hi, Cindy, about the afternoon reception

Ham and Turkey buns, at this time of day, consider doing more smaller buns, as many people will appreciate it.

potato salad, do scant 8 gallons
pasta salad, do scant 6 gallons, about 8-9 pounds dry pasta

snicker salad, folks like it, do 1 cup per 5, about 6 gallons

fruit salad, consider fruit trays instead, prettier, keep better and the leftovers are more usable. Both tray and salad recipes on the fruit tray page

Mints, 4 pounds per 100
nuts, 6 pounds per 100

cheesecake, 24 pounds per 100 if there are NO other desserts, If also wedding cake, do cheesecake bites, no more than 300

punch, about 18 gallons, have some that is sugar free, or unsweetened iced tea for any diabetics
coffee, do dinner level coffee from the beverage planning page

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

Jen
09/02/15
Feast for at least 200
Last minute - cook cancelled and I was asked to prepare a dinner time feast for a local event. I've never attempted this!! So - this is where I'm at:

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham - 100 pounds potatoes
Spaghetti - 35 pounds dry pasta/3cans sauce (jazzed up, of course) with 30 pounds burger
7 #10 cans corn
7 #10 cans of greens beans - prepared with bacon/almonds
Pasta Salad - 10 pounds dry pasta
Veggie trays - 28 pound veggies with 20 oz dip
Coleslaw - 25 pounds cabbage
Dinner rolls - 250
Cherry fluff - enough to serve about 130
Strawberry shortcake -- 40 pounds of berries - 200 shortcakes
Prepared Brownie - 100 servings
Punch - 10 gallons

Am I at least close? This is very, very last minute - and I'm hoping that I'm close!

Kate
09/29/15
Wedding for 160 people
Hello !! I'm doing a wedding for 150 people, and I'm trying to get the right amounts planned. We are serving 10 people per table at 15 tables, family style. This is what I'm thinking so far (but still unsure!)

Three sides:
roasted brussel sprouts: 75 LBS raw sprouts
whipped sweet potatoes: 75 LBS raw potatoes
wild rice baked "risotto" :15 lbs uncooked rice

and for appetizers I have three roaming, at 200 per item. So, 600 "bites" all together. appetizers are served for one and a half hours.

Am I close to the right amounts?? Thank you so much!

Kate
09/29/15
That is a wedding for 160 people.
ellen
09/29/15
You have 1 1/2 hours for 160 people, you need close to 8 "bites" per person, even as much as 10 if they are hungry and big eaters, so you are very short there .

The yams will be OK, even if peeled. The rice is fine, you will likely have some left.

If this is a paid gig, and I saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Jan O'Dell
09/30/15
Reception question first written 8-18-2015
Hi Ellen, Thanks for the response. Sorry for the delay getting back - it took some time to double check facilities. There is a kitchen in the building we will be at. There is a large ice machine, oven and fridge. I also have an 18cubic foot fridge freezer at home just for extras that I can use. Not much in the way of specialty markets in the area (although I have just move from LA so still checking), residents do not receive a stipend for attending (Ugh!). Since it will be cold would a hot cider be better than punch? I can't believe I volunteered for this but your site has been a life saver. I'll keep you posted of developments. Thanks again.
Kate
09/30/15
Thank you Ellen!! These are friends, so not really a paid gig, but I will donate to your site for sure. I'll do it today. I had another question about the green salad that I didn't mention before. I've read that for 150 people, I should have 37 LBS of greens. This seems like a LOT. Is that correct? I would like to cut it with romaine so it stands up better to being dressed, then plated. do you have a recommendation for proportions of greens and romaine?
ellen
09/30/15
Wine and cheese for 180 people
Hi, Jan,

OK you have 180 people, at least 150 of whom will have hungry and unrestrained appetites. You need more food.

You realize you also need at least 4-6 helpers to set up and serve? Plus 4 for clean up, if you are responsible for that

Hot cider is a good idea, can be served in coffee urn (new, clean) or samovar. about 10 gallons. Dinner level coffee, with decaf and tea

I am going to suggest you head Mediterranean- trendy, many items are prepackaged in very large containers with no prep needed. In my experience, it is the simplest dressy party for minimum staff and time.

5-6 big cans dolmas/ stuffed grape leaves=300-360, open 3 to start
6 lemons to trim trays

3 gallons gardiniera
comes in jars, brined mixed veg, rinse before traying
garnish with a little olive oil (I like Al Waziri or California green) and chopped fresh parsley, basil, or cilantro
You will see brilliant pink turnip pickle near the gardiniera, makes a nice trim

6 -8 quarts humus
tray, not bowl; cover with tiny spoon presses, like fish scales, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with grated sumac (that isn't paprika)
You can make this ahead at home and freeze, if you want- can freeze on trays, thaw in fridge. Easy transport

18-20 pounds assorted ready to eat veg bites, plus at least 4 quarts of cherry or grape tomatoes,
gallon Ranch dip

48 pita, cut in 6
If the middle eastern stores have bakeries, they may also have some giant tear apart flat breads, these are fun

6 quarts olives, pitted is safer, unpitted more delicious, available in 1/2 gallon jars, again, drain, olive oil, chopped mint and lemon

1-2 classic relish trays, see the veggie tray page

Meatballs. If possible. 30 pounds, 2 gallons sauce such as a pineapple or lemon teriyaki. I use frozen cocktail size, about 18 per pound

Some kind of roll ups, 3 bites per person

2 gallons of some kind of fancy salsa such as corn/black bean, 12 pounds chips

12-20 lbs assorted cheeses- 30, can include premade spreads and logs. Consider doing additional 2 gallons of a sweet cream cheese dip with fruits, with ginger snaps for dippers, about 400 snaps

10 lbs crackers

1/2 bottle wine/person-OK

water, if bottled, 2 per person

Shrimp/cocktail sauce, I would skip this, very expensive if no one serves it since people take a lot. If anything, deli sliced ham with good mustard on tiny rolls, 2 rolls per person 1 pound ham per 10

fruit, use fruit tray page, do deluxe tray for 100 with 6 pineapples and a few extra quarts of strawberries
nuts, about 10 pounds

Suggest you add sweets selection 4 pieces per person, can be frozen items such as eclairs or cheesecake bites, small bars/brownies, and small rich cookies

Plastic tongs for every tray
Cookie sheets to carry trays, if you get the foil trays. They bend and dump stuff!

Dolmas, gardiniera , olives as well as block cheeses and lots of other items are available at restaurant depot at lower cost than the middle eastern markets, but both have the large containers you need. RD requires a business membership- any type business-you probably know someone who has or can get one

Mediterranean Market
3561 Park Ave
Memphis, TN 38111
Sherwood Forest
(901) 320-5757
www.yelp.com/biz/mediterranean-grocery-memphis

Barakat market
5782 Raleigh Lagrange Rd,
Memphis, TN 38134
(901) 377-0707

Jerusalem Market
4794 Summer Ave
Memphis, TN 38122
Berclair
(901) 767-6960

There are several other Middle Eastern Grocery stores in the area

If this does help, please make a donation to support the site!

Jan O'Dell
10/01/15
Hi Ellen,

That is fabulous, I will check out the markets this weekend. For the more critical part - I would love to donate to your site but as you might have guessed not sure how - would it be possible to put that information in a post as well.

Thanks again for the wonderful hints, especially regarding amounts and items that would go together and are easy. I'll keep you posted probably after the affair.

Jan O'Dell
10/01/15
Donation
Hi,

I found the donate on the first page - got it covered.

ellen
10/01/15
Thanks Jan, look forward to hearing after the first of the year.
Kate
10/01/15
I found the donate button too!
Joy
10/06/15
Birthday Party for 150
I am planning a surprise birthday party for my mom. My dad wants to have roast beef as the main meat. I am at a lost as to how much to get. Can you help me???? We are planning for 150 people.
ellen
10/06/15
The least expensive way to do this is to have top round, cooked low and slow to medium rare and the sliced deli thin. You are looking at at least 2 pounds raw per 5 people, so 60 pounds. And you really need a meat slicer (they can be rented) since if you do this by hand, you need 2 pounds per 4 people, 75 pounds . You also need a second entree for any non-meat/non beef eaters among the guests. Could be something as simple as a cheesy side dish.
Joy
10/06/15
Thanks a bunch for your help!!!
Kimberly
10/11/15
Wedding for 100
Christmas Eve wedding. Reception at 4pm. Plan to be done by 7pm. Planning for 100 guests. Menu is: pulled pork with sauces, buns or rolls? , macaroni and cheese , baked beans, coleslaw, vegetable tray, fruit tray. Tea and lemonade. How much do you think of each
ellen
10/12/15
Kimberly, they will be hungry, and expecting dinner. It is Christmas Eve, most people go fancy for the meal, have you considered tweaking the menu? For example, pulled pork is dangerous to dressy clothes, while pork roast with raisin or cranberry is seasonal and tidy. Unless it is an informal, backyard type event, you may want to shift the menu.

In addition, consider expanding the 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 a few attractive dips or spreads. You can go seasonal, 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.

Please think about it and write back. We can do the bbq menu if you decide to- still, since there is only one wedding, maybe more?

Kimberly
10/13/15
Wedding for 100
Yes, it will be informal and mostly close family members. The lodge for the reception does not offer a working kitchen so we have to do roasters to keep food warmed. Thank you for the tips for the appetizers. The food choices are per request from the bride and groom. Thank you for your help
Jeanette
10/14/15
25th Wedding Anniversary for about 100 people
Hi Ellen,

We are having, our 25th Anniversary Party on Saturday November 14 th from 3-6 pm. We plan on serving sandwiches (build your own), dills, cheese, fruit trays, coffee, tea, punch, 2 kinds of squares and a cake. How much of everything would I need to get? We plan on getting fruit trays already made, how many trays would I need. We are also gettng 2-3 kinds of lunch meat. How much would I need?
Any help would be awesome. Thanks

ellen
10/15/15
For the sandwich makings, you can use the reception level recommendation on the sandwich page. 1 gallon pickles per 100. Additional cheeses and spreads above the sandwiches, 1 pound per 12. Fruit trays by weight not counting dip, 1 pound per 8-10. Beverages from the beverage planning page, reception level. Cut squares small and allow 1 each flavor per person in addition to the cake. A Full sheet serves 60.
amy
10/19/15
Hi Ellen! My daughters getting married in a few weeks and they want to do a thanksgiving style dinner with all the sides - their menu includes...
ham
turkey breast
roast
mashed potatoes
yams
cranberry sauce
stuffing
green beans/green bean casserole
sweet corn
applesauce
mac & cheese
potatoe salad
maccaroni salad
fruit
side salad
broccoli & cauliflower casserole
bread/rolls
cornbread
w pies as dessert
they have no idea how much is needed for 150 guests... can you help? please!
thanks - amy
ellen
10/19/15
Amy, go to the holiday cooking section at the top of the Big Pots page. This meal is covered in detail including planning shopping and recipes. Skip the roast. When you have read over and posted a new thread with your estimates, I will be glad to check for you.
Brit
11/01/15
Hi Ellen, we are in the middle of planning a wedding for this upcoming March. Trying to find less expensive menu options outside of catering (even if it can be ordered) for an afternoon/evening reception. Set to start anywhere b/w 4-7 pm (not exact yet). So far we have thought of fried chicken, roast, ham, turkey and meatloaf (not sure how much would needed to make it or if this can be bought some place?) For sides we have come up with a green salad, roasted potatoes or mashed OR rice pilaf, and rolls. Drinks-pink lemonade, sweet tea, and water (also having a signature cocktail-probably with pineapple juice, ginger ale & whatever wine). Should an appetizer like fruit & veggie trays or spinach dip be added (for the in between filler/gap time pictures are being taken)? Any other suggestions? And what amounts would you recommend? Can you help please!?
ellen
11/01/15
If you are on a tight tight budget? Would you consider a 2PM wedding with an afternoon/tea type reception. You can do a lovely festive reception this type for about half the cost of a bargain meal.
If no, a Mexican fiesta meal, is prettier and less expensive than most other type dinners.
Write back. Think about starting a new thread, so I can find you easier.
Kindra
11/12/15
Hi Ellen. I will be having a wedding in June for 120 people. It will be a daytime wedding with reception over by 4. Ceremony between 11 or 12. So far I have:

Pulled pork - 30 lbs of shoulder
Mini Wraps - 120 (Assortment)
Buns - 15 doz
Pasta Salad -
Potatoe Salad
Cole slaw

Meat tray - Ham Turkey roast beef
Cheese tray - Cheddar Colby Swiss
Fruit Tray - Grapes Watermelon Cantaloupe Strawberry

Veggie Tray - Carrots Cauliflower Brocolli Tomatos

Bottled water
Soda
Iced tea
Lemonade
Beer
Wine

Cake with cupcakes
Cookies
Rice Krispy Treats
Candy Buffet

Is this enough variety for the event? Is this enough pork?

Kindra
11/12/15
Sorry forgot will be having olives and pickles as well
with ranch dipping for vegetables and yogurt dipping for fruit.
ellen
11/12/15
Menu needs some work, especially a festive appetizer plan, some dips, etc. See repeated note on this thread. You also will be making some provision for folks who don't eat meat. I will look at this and get back to you.

In the meantime, please look on and bbq threads over the wedding reception and BBq threads for more guidance and ideas.

People will be hungry, and will expect a festive meal.

Slider size buns are a good choice for this event, people take a bit less.

Kindra
11/13/15
Would it work better for a lighter lunch and change ceremony to 1 and reception until 5 so its after lunch but before dinner?
Kindra
11/13/15
I am going to spend the day studying your site then I will post again. I see what you mean its a little on the light side. Will come up with a few different things and repost. Thank you for the fast response!
Kindra
11/13/15
Pulled pork - 30 lbs of shoulder
Mini Wraps - 120 (Assortment)
Slider Buns - 15 doz
Pasta Salad - 15lb
Potatoe Salad - 24 lb
Cole slaw - 15lb
Macaroni Salad - 10lb
Meatballs - 10lb
Mini Quiche vegetarian - 120
Meat tray - Ham Turkey roast beef - 18lbs
Cheese tray - Cheddar Colby Swiss - 10lbs
Fruit Tray - Grapes Watermelon Cantaloupe Strawberry - 20lbs

Veggie Tray - Carrots Cauliflower Brocolli Tomatos - 18lb

Black and green Olives 1 gal each
Pickles spears and chips - 1 gal each

Is this any better?
decided not to change reception time so the time is still 12 for ceremony and reception afterwards.

Keah Beechum
01/05/16
Wedding for 175 people
We're having a wedding in Dec. of 2016 how much ground meat would we need to purchase to feed 175 people for a slider bar and a taco bar. We're trying to see if it's cheaper to do it our self or is it cheaper to have a cater!!
ellen
01/05/16
I wrote you some notes on your other post. As far as the cost, depends on the skill of the cooks and shoppers involved; self catering is quite a lot of work, and if you don't know what you are doing can end up costing as much as (or even more than) catering.

Do read the suggested articles. Think about going either fiesta or slider for your theme- simpler than a mix- fiesta has more festive options. Then write back on your new thread!

P. Thomas
02/26/16
Wedding for 200 people
I love this site! This is going to be a God send for our planning. Our wedding is in September. We're figuring between 150-200 people. To keep costs down, we are doing a buffet style with heartier appetizers. I wiuld like to do kind of an upscale Southern BBQ theme. Since the reception will be at the church, we are not serving alcohol. Thankfully my fiance has relatives that are professional cooks, as far as costs, we only have to buy the and they will cook it. My thoughts for the menu are:

Fruit, veggie and cheese trays
Mini pulled pork sliders
mini pulled chicken sliders
mini-macaroni and cheese cups
Drummettes
coleslaw
Wedding cake, cake pops and cup cakes

For the drinks, I want to do good ol' Southern sweet tea, lemonade and water.

The wedding is at 1pm and the reception is from 2 to 5 pm.
Will this be enough?

Also I'm considering having 4-6 servers and 2-3 kitchen staff people.

I would loe to know yoiur suggestions as I am shopping around for how many pounds of meat for the sliders, buns, etc.

Also, would it be tacky to have plastic dishware, cutlery and glassware? The rental prices around here seem high to me. Again, we're trying top keep costs down without sacrificing quality.

Thanks in advance.

ellen
02/26/16
Wedding for 150-200 people
Very do-able and you are lucky to have serious cooks in the family. You definitely need to decide about your numbers, as 200 is quite different from 150. There are a few things I would do, particularly expanding out of the meat tendency. Enriches the menu with very low added cost.

Fruit, deluxe tray for 100 on the fruit tray page and the watermelon salad below
veggie, how about
Veggie kabobs or marinated antipasto vegetables (recipe on site) instead of the tedious veggie tray? 1/4 cup per person (about 2 gallons per 100.)
tomato salad- grape tomatoes with either feta or other cheese cubes, 12 pounds
cukes, marinated, 12 pounds, chopped fresh dill, oil and vinegar
deviled eggs- 3 dozen eggs
corn salad or salsa, 1/4 cup per person, 8 pounds corn chips per 100
cheese trays- how about pimento cheese and other logs, balls and spreads? 8 pounds total per 100, 6 pounds crackers per 100

Mini pulled pork sliders
mini pulled chicken sliders
total 3 sliders per 2 woman, 2 per man, 1 pound shredded meat makes 10-12 sliders. usually 3/5 pork, 2/5 chicken

Drummettes; consider legs instead, cheaper, juicier, more chicken flavor, 1 per person

potato salad 30 pounds potatoes per 100, see the colorful variations on this site
mini-macaroni and cheese cups, 2 per person
coleslaw, 1 1/2 gallons per 100, many recipes on site

watermelon salad, very popular, great with this menu.
48 cups watermelon cubes
3 cups feta or gorgonzola crumbles
3 cups julienne mint
24 cups arugula or baby lettuces
Dressing
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
12 limes, zest and juice
3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
OPTIONAL 8 red onions, thinly sliced
Mix these together and let them stand while you prep the fruit, then let it all chill together

Wedding cake,
cake pops and cup cakes
Amount depend on how big the wedding cake is. Be aware that having a grooms cake, often chocolate or other exotic, lets you have a smaller wedding cake. The cake pops are VERY pricy and hard to serve nicely- nice cupcakes cost about the same. Plan 100 cupcakes per 150 plus the wedding and groom cakes.

good ol' Southern sweet tea, recipe on site; 8 gallons per 100, at least 2 unsweetened
lemonade, 8 gallons per 100
water, 1 pint per person. If bottled, buy where you can return unopened cases. If tap/ filtered, very pretty to have glass containers with spigots, float fruits in one, cukes and lime slices in the other.

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

Susan F
03/03/16
Wedding for 140 people
I've decided to cater and DIY cater my wedding for 140 people. It's in June and the start/end time is 4:30 - 8:30 (we only get the hall for 4 hours). I'm planning on a 1/2 hour for cocktails and snacks with dinner starting at 5pm. We're doing a consumption bar, so we don't have to worry about beverages. I'm not sure if I'm happy with the amount of appetizers, but I know I can pick up a few other items at Costco if needed. Can you please share with me if you thing this is enough food? Thank you so much!

Appetizers: (DIYing these)
300 pcs. mini franks (cooked in crockpot w/jelly & chili sauce)
Chips w/Salsa (I know you have the suggested amounts on your page, I just forgot the number at this time.)

Entrees:
3 full trays (30lbs) Chopped Beef Brisket
3 full trays (30lbs) Pulled Pork
3 full trays Smoked Portobello Mushrooms (for vegetarians, not sure the exact number in each tray)
375 pcs. Wegman's Chicken Bites

Sides:
2 full trays (20lbs) Cole Slaw
2 full trays (20lbs) BBQ Baked Beans
2 full trays (20lbs) Green Beans
3 full trays (30lbs) Mac & Cheese
Caesar Salad (DIYing with 12 heads of Romaine)
144 Buns for Pulled Pork & Brisket

ellen
03/03/16
OK, Susan, this is possible, and I have 2 cautions for you:

It will be TOTALLY worth your while to spend about $700 to have an experienced kitchen manager person and 4-5 experienced help to set up, serve and clean up day of. You and your family deserve to have this be your wedding day, not your OMG where did somebody put the (fill in the blank) day? Many churches have these crews; sometimes a diner that closes after lunch, or a local college cafeteria is a good source.

You will be happy if you set up the dessert table and the beverage table away from the serving line- at least one 16-18 foot double sided serving line, or two lines if you are serving from only one side.

Beverages would do well to include reception level coffee- for amounts, decaf, etc, see the beverage planning page

You are doing pretty well on your menu, and yes, it would be a good idea to expand the appetizers. Here are some notes:

300 pcs. mini franks (cooked in crockpot w/jelly & chili sauce)
Check prices- sometimes it is a better buy to do penny rounds of smoked sausage instead of mini-links- 1 pound per 12
Chips w/Salsa (I know you have the suggested amounts on your page, I just forgot the number at this time.)
6 pounds potato or 8 pounds corn per 100, 1 pint salsa or dip per pound. Consider doing 2 salsas, one of them the exotic- mango, pineapple, etc.
Suggest fruit trays here, this is a pretty heavy meal. The deluxe tray on this site would be plenty- it takes about 4 hours to prepare.
Suggest 10-12 pounds cheeses and logs/balls/spreads with 8 pounds crackers
Entrees:
3 full trays (30lbs) Chopped Beef Brisket
3 full trays (30lbs) Pulled Pork
Add 6 quarts pickle slices, 12 pounds thin sliced onions, plus 1 bottle bbq sauce per table on the tables
3 full trays Smoked Portobello Mushrooms (for vegetarians, not sure the exact number in each tray)- 2 would be plenty
375 pcs. Wegman's Chicken Bites
Mayo? Mustard? Dipping sauce? See the condiment list on the sandwich planning page.

Sides:

Usual serving on most sides is 4 ounces, so some shorts here:
2 full trays (20lbs) Cole Slaw- OK with the tossed salad
2 full trays (20lbs) BBQ Baked Beans- short, do 3, good if one at least is meatless
2 full trays (20lbs) Green Beans- short, do 3
3 full trays (30lbs) Mac & Cheese-short, do 4
Caesar Salad (DIYing with 12 heads of Romaine)-OK, see the plan for 100 page for crouton and dressing counts
144 Buns for Pulled Pork & Brisket , suggest you get slider buns and allow 2 per woman and 3 per man or teen, lets people try both, and usually they waste less.

Consider adding 3 gallons of a marinated veg salad such as corn, pea, or carrot, etc for color and texture.

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

Susan F
03/06/16
Thanks Ellen, this will help a great deal. I've sent you a donation to keep up the page. Thanks for all your hard work.
Becky
03/12/16
hi Ellen cooking for a fiend wedding for 160 people how much meat do I need Bar b beef meat pounds will need? bake beans, corn ,POTATOE, SALAD, GREEN SALAD, DINER ROLLS, THANKS BECKY
ellen
03/15/16
Wedding for 160 people
Cooking for a fiend?;-)

Becky, you need an appetizer plan as well 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. You would be better off with either 2 areas or one made of 2 tables, perhaps set in a v with the punch at one end.

For 160 people, 3 serving lines or 2 double sided serving lines are best

BBQ beef- ready to serve, 55 pounds, which is about 70 pounds raw
bottle of table sauce per each table
You MUST provide a non-meat entree for any vegetarians, such as a crock pot of vegetarian sausages, I recommend Field Roast brand
bake beans, 3 gallons (4 #10 cans) per 100, make at least some meatless
corn, 22 pounds ready to cook per 100
POTATO SALAD, start with 35 pounds raw potatoes per 100, you want to end up with 3 1/2-4 gallons per 100
GREEN SALAD, use the plan for 100 table, do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100
DINNER ROLLS, 18 pounds with 4 pounds butter

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

Heather
05/09/16
Graduation for about 160 people
Hi we are planning graduation for about 160 people.
I really need some help with our menu portions, as I have never cooked for so many. From reading other sites, this is what I have figured so far, as not everyone will eat the pork/meatballs/salads/etc due to multiple parties in a day. I tried to figure who would come hungry and who would just be there to snack on this or that. Thank you so very much for your help.

Meatballs - 300
Little Smokies (with the meatballs)
Pulled Pork 50 lbs.
Buns (100)
Watermelon Basket with watermelon, pineapple, grapes, blueberries (read that half a filled watermelon will feed 75)
Veggie Tray with carrots, celery, broccoli, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, dip
Cupcakes 192
Spaghetti salad 25 lbs.
Potato Salad 25 lbs.
Baked Beans 25 lbs.
Chips
Buckeyes 300

Kristin
05/10/16
Ellen: My daughter is planning a wedding for 150-160 people. The Reception begins at 6pm, and the buffet style dinner will be served at 7pm. So far her food menu is:

Dinner:
22 lbs Pulled Chicken
22 lbs Pulled Pork
22 lbs Beef Brisket
160 Buns
28 lbs Potatoes for Potato Salad
28 lbs Cole Slaw
6 lbs dry pasta for Baked Mac n Cheese
30 Heads of Lettuce for a simple Salad
5 gallons of Baked Beans

Can you please help me with quantities?

I also need help with the appetizers and desserts. She wants to have cheese and crackers, and grapes for appetizers. For desserts she wants smores and a wedding cake. Can you please help me with the amounts for the appetizers and the smores. Thank you!

ellen
05/12/16
I will do for 160, since you would rather have leftovers than not enough.

Dinner:
22 lbs Pulled Chicken
22 lbs Pulled Pork
22 lbs Beef Brisket
Everyone is dressed- please consider switching to baked chicken legs or quarters instead of pulled- do 120 pieces or 60 quarters, split after cooking
160 Buns
Each pound pulled meat makes 6 full buns or 12+ sliders, and is full service for 5. I strongly recommend slider buns for this type party- much less waste. If you have the other meats, the 22 pounds pulled pork will probably have leftovers.
Add 1 1/2 gallons pickles
10 pounds thin sliced onions
The brisket will disappear, because it shrinks 1/2; also, people take a lot of it. If you are doing this you will be looking at 40 pounds raw, minimum. You could skip if you increase the chicken to 180 pieces, 90 quarters

28 lbs Potatoes for Potato Salad- way short, I do 35 pounds per 100, so at least 50
28 lbs Cole Slaw- a bit short- 2 1/2 gallons per 100
6 lbs dry pasta for Baked Mac n Cheese- at least 12, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2-1 pound cheese per pound
30 Heads of Lettuce for a simple Salad- see the plan for 100 list, do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100, it also tells dressings.
5 gallons of Baked Beans- some left. Make some meatless for any non-meat eaters in the company.

cheese and crackers, 14 pounds assorted, some can be logs or spreads; 10 pounds crackers
grapes- please expand see the fruit tray page, do 1 1/2 times the delux tray for 100, or 6 times the amounts for 25 from the simple tray.
Consider adding chips, 9 pounds potato or 12 pounds corn chips, plus 1 pint dip/salsa per pound

smores- this is VERY messy eating, please look up smores bars (like brownies), there are many good recipes online, do at least 1 3-bite bar per person

wedding cake, if you do a small cake, you can do what are called "kitchen cakes, which are sheet cakes in the same flavor, much less costly, each full sheet serves 60.

You can write back. Now I need your help!
For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute. We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com and in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months. To make a gift, just click on the masthead at the top of the page- even if you can only afford $5-$10, every donation matters. Help me keep helping you!

Naomie Joseph-James
05/14/16
Please help. My mom has been asked to cater my friend's wedding for 150 people. The menu requested is roasted pork picnic shoulder, macaroni and cheese, cabbage, curry chicken, stewed chicken, potato salad, and rice and peas. Bride wants a Caribbean themed dinner menu. The only thing I've calculated so far is 40 pounds of chicken and pork. Can you offer some numbers for everything else??? Please Help!!
ellen
05/19/16
Naomie, this is an unusual mix of foods, so I am making some suggestions:

First, an 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. For a Caribbean theme party, hibiscus punch would be perfect. Typically, include a fruit tray (see fruit tray page), a cheese tray (8-10 pounds per 100, 6 pounds crackers per 100, some can be logs or spreads) and an attractive dip or spread 6 pounds potato chips or 8 pounds corn chips per 100, 1 pint salsa/dip/queso per pound); 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.

Dinner

roasted pork picnic shoulder, bone in? 2 pounds per 5 guests
curry chicken, stewed chicken, total 35 pounds boneless, 70 pounds bone in, divided according to your estimate of the crowd

macaroni and cheese, about 15 pounds dry pasta, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2 to 1 pound cheese per pound
rice and peas, about 10 pounds dry each rice and beans

cabbage, 30 pounds raw per 100
potato salad, 45 pounds raw potatoes plus add-ins

You can write back. Now I need to ask for your help in return!
We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com and in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months! For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute, and now its time for the next phase.
Usual pro fee for this type consult is $.25+ per guest. Even if you can only afford $5-$10, every gift helps.
Please click the masthead at the top of the page to visit ellensbigpots and make a donation.

Katie
05/23/16
Hello,

My mother, mother in law and family friends and myself are preparing food for my wedding. I am curious on how much of the following I would need for 150 people.

chicken salad / ham salad for martins party rolls(the small ones)-?
Meatballs-?
Pasta Salad-?
cheese & cracker-?
fruit-?
Veggies-?
Tea/Lemonade-?

thank you in advance!

Brooke
05/26/16
Hi Ellen,

I have been trying to follow through the threads on your site, and I think I am more confused now then when I started, please help...

I am self catering an event in July invited 150 people and would like to serve.

25# Pulled Chicken
25# Pulled Pork

I am lost as to am I ordering enough meat? And how many of each of the following to purchase so that I have enough?

Buns (4")
Baked Beans
Corn (frozen sweet corn)
and Chips.

Thank you! :D

Signed By:
Confused Cookie

ellen
05/27/16
Dear Brooke/cookie,

A pound of pulled meat makes 5-6 full buns. If those are ready to eat weights, you have enough for 250 sandwiches which will be plenty. What you don't have is an option for the non-meat eaters, of which there will be some. A crock pot of tofu dogs or veggie burgers would meat this need.

Buns (4"), 200 plus get a few dozen slider buns if there will be children
Baked Beans, 3 gallons (4 #10 cans) per 100, have some meatless
Corn (frozen sweet corn) 4 pieces for every 3 people,

Chips6 pounds potato or 8 pounds corn per 100, 1 pint dip/salsa/queso per pound

Strongly suggest you tweak this menu, adding
slaw, 4 gallons
condiments, 6 quarts pickles, 10 pounds sliced onions, 2 gallons table sauce
and if it is an out door event,
a pasta salad (easier than potato, 6 -8 pounds dry pasta per 100 plus add-ins).

You can write back. Now I need to ask for your help in return!
We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com and in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months! For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute, and now its time for the next phase.
Usual pro fee for this type consult is $.25+ per guest. Even if you can only afford $5-$10, every gift helps.
Please click the masthead at the top of the page to visit ellensbigpots and make a donation.

ellen
05/27/16
Katie, help, I need to know what time the reception starts, how long it lasts and if alcohol will be served. If it is over a meal time, we need to fill out the menu some. Please write back.
Katie
05/31/16
Ellen,

Reception will start roughly around 3:00pm it is a bring your own beer reception. Reception should finish up by 8 if not sooner, here is the menu well a rough one

chicken salad-20lbs on martins small potato party rolls

deli style chopped ham 26 lbs with the slices thin and cut 4 times

cheese for ham sandwiches 5 lbs of american

Cheese-10 lbs of 3 different types

meatballs 640 count of the medium size ones

pasta salad 20lbs

ellen
06/01/16
chicken salad-20lbs on martins small potato party rolls

deli style chopped ham 26 lbs with the slices thin and cut 4 times

Basically, you want to end up with 2 sandwiches per person, where 1 sandwich is 4 quarters or 2 martins

cheese for ham sandwiches 5 lbs of american (swiss would also be OK)

Cheese-10 lbs of 3 different types, cuts it close, 12 better, 6 pounds crackers

meatballs 640 count of the medium size ones, at least 15 pounds. 3 quarts sauce/gravy for each 10 pounds

pasta salad 20lbs start with at least 12 pounds dry pasta and add ins-- end up with at least 30 pounds

fruit-? use the fruit tray page, the deluxe trays for 100 with several extra quarts strawberries and grapes would be plenty, or 6 pineapple trays for 25. This takes about 4 hours to prep:
ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/fruit100.html

Veggies-use the veggie tray page, plan 6 bites per person, 1 cup Ranch dip per 6-8

Tea/Lemonade-?
Per 100 about 8 gallons tea (1/3 unsweetened) and 6 gallons punch or lemonade, so you would do 1 1/2 that. Use frozen concentrate or real lemon juice, not powder, for the lemonade.
People really like coffee with the cake, please consider doing dinner level coffee, see the beverage page.

Now it's my turn to ask a favor of you. EllensKitchen.com is remodeling and I want to provide the changes YOU (my readers) have been asking for. So after 18 years of supporting my readers as a hobby, I'm asking you for help
We're 10% of the way to our goal for the next three months. If you're able to donate even just $5, please click on the masthead at the top of the page to visit www.EllensBigPots.com and keep us cooking for another year!

Holly
06/17/16
Hello Ellen,

My fiance and I are catering our own wedding, so to speak while entrusting the help of family and friends to cook for us. Our venue has a full-sized kitchen with double stoves, sinks, and fridges.

While I am not the first in our family to get married, we will be the first to cater a wedding (even though we've done graduations).

I guess what I would like to know is the amounts of everything needed. Dinner will be served at 5-5:30PM
There are 22 children attending + 128 adults.

Appetizer/Cocktail Hour during pictures:

Fruit Tray + Dip
Veggie Tray + Dip
Cheese/Crackers Tray
Rolls + Butter

Dinner:

Roasted Pig (Pulled Pork)
BBQ Sauce (2-3 different flavors)
Buns
Chicken Drumsticks
Garden Salad (as Vegetarian Option even though I don't believe anyone we invited is vegetarian or side salad)
Ranch Dressing, French Dressing, Italian Dressing
Potato Salad
Pasta Salad
Corn-on-the-Cob
Green Beans
Baked Beans

Dessert:
Cupcakes (our "cake") (around 7pm)
Macarons
Possibly pie, undecided.

Drinks:
Lemonade
Ice Tea
Coffee
Water
Pop
Beer
Liquor
Wine

Any help is definitely appreciated!

ellen
06/20/16
The menu is doable with some tweaks, and I want to offer a word of caution; this is not graduation, it is your wedding, and day of, the bride, groom, their immediate family and wedding party have way too much to do and feel to cope with the food- so even if you do all kinds of prep ahead, PLEASE bring in folks who will not be with the wedding to set up, serve, and clean up the party. For a party this size, if the pulled pork is fully prepped ahead (not roasted day of) you are looking at 3-4 people in the kitchen and 8 or so out front to set up, serve, and clean up a buffet service. Local church kitchens and teen groups; diners that close after lunch; local culinary programs or cafeterias are all good sources. Yes, there is a cost, and it is very little compared to the preciousness of time that particular day.

Now, on to the menu.

Fruit Tray + Dip- the deluxe tray for 100 plus a few extra quarts of strawberries would be plenty, see fruit tray page
Veggie Tray + Dip- plan 1 pound ready to eat veggies per 10 (about 60 pieces), 1 pint thick or 1 1/2 cups thin dip per pound. Hummus for part of the dip is very nice. Bite counts are on the veggie tray page. Suggest you do raw veggies for 100 and one classic relish tray, same page
Cheese/Crackers Tray- 1 pound cheese per 10, some can be logs or spreads, 6-8 pounds crackers per 100
Rolls + Butter

Dinner:

Roasted Pig (Pulled Pork)
BBQ Sauce (2-3 different flavors)
Buns
Chicken Drumsticks

Garden Salad (as Vegetarian Option even though I don't believe anyone we invited is vegetarian) Nope, do a crock pot of unchicken nuggets or veggie sausages or burgers; nobody eats salad as an entree. For the actual salad, do 1 1/4 TIMES THE AMOUNT FOR 100 ON THE PLAN FOR 100 PAGE, Dressing amounts are covered there.

Potato Salad- about 50 pounds of raw potatoes. Lots of great recipes this site- you could do 2 kinds
Pasta Salad- 8 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins
Baked Beans- 3 gallons (4#10 cans), per 100. Again, 1 pot meatless, not everyone eats pork

Corn-on-the-Cob- 1 piece per person, 3-4 pounds butter
Green Beans- 24 pounds ready to cook per100

Dessert:
Cupcakes (our "cake") (around 7pm) if one flavor, with cookies, 1 per person, if 2 flavors, about 85 of each- yes people do take 2 if different flavors
Macaroons- 2 per person
Possibly pie, undecided.
Pie is finicky prep and fairly messy serving/eating. If you want to add, consider brownies, bars or additional cookies

Drinks:
Lemonade- 6 gallons per 100, use frozen concentrate or real lemon juice.
Ice Tea-6 gallons per 100, 1/3 unsweetened
Coffee- do dinner level from beverage planning page. Also, have fresh with cake before departure, since you are serving alcohol.
Water- pint per person
Pop- could skip. Otherwise, estimate number of soda drinkers and use guide on beverage planning page

Beer- one keg serves 40 beer drinkers, for choice, do same amount in half kegs or ponies
Liquor- on beverage page, estimate number of hard liquor drinkers and use guide
Wine- 1/2 bottle per wine drinker; making a sangria, such as the white wine sangria on this site is a delicious and inexpensive way to do an alcoholic punch. Beverage page shows how much just for a champagne toast.

Now I have a favor to ask of you. For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute!
We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com- in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months!
Even if you can only afford $10-$20, every penny helps! Thanks again.

ellen
06/20/16
Oops, on the meat:
1 pound whole head on pig per adult
1 chicken leg per person
6 buns per 5 people, or 12 sliders
1 gallon sliced pickles per 100
8 pounds sliced onions per 100
1 1/2 gallons slaw per 100
3-4 table quarts sauce per 100
Kathie
06/23/16
Wedding for 170 people
Ellen,
We are cooking for a wedding reception for 170.
The wedding is at 5pm.
I would love help with amounts needed for a fajita bar
Flour tortillas
corn tortillas
pulled pork
pulled chicken
onions and peppers
rice
black beans
mild salsa
hot salsa
lettuce
grated cheese
sour cream
pico de gallo
guacamole
black olives
chips
cilantro
limes
lemonaide (they are also serving wine and beer)
for dessert:
strawberries
shortcake
whipped cream
ellen
06/26/16
Wedding for 170 people
If you are doing pulled meats, these are actually soft tacos rather than fajitas. The taco bar page toppings can be relied on. You would do 1 3/4 the amount for 100.

Flour tortillas
corn tortillas
2 of each per person

pulled pork
pulled chicken
one pound ready to eat makes about 12 tacos

onions and peppers, assuming you are going to cook/grill these? start with total same weight as your raw meats, or about 4 ounces per person if the meat is ready made.

rice, 12 pounds dry per 100

black beans
mild salsa
hot salsa
lettuce
grated cheese
sour cream
pico de gallo
guacamole
black olives
All these are on the taco bar page

chips and salsa, 1 pound chips per 12, 1 pint salsa/queso/dip per pound

cilantro, about 10 cups chopped
limes, 1 per 6-8 depends on size

lemonaide (they are also serving wine and beer)
8 gallons, have 5-6 gallons of iced te, including 3 unsweetenedf, for folks who need sugar free drinks

for dessert:
strawberries, 1 quart per 8
shortcake, 1 pieces per person
whipped cream, 2 cups whipped per 8. Squirt on real cream is practical here.

Hope this helps. Now I need to ask for your help in return!
We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com and in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months! For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute, and now its time for the next phase.
Even if you can only afford $10-$20, every gift helps.
Please click the masthead at the top of the page to visit www.EllensBigPots.com and help me keep helping you.

Beth
07/21/16
I am planning a wedding reception for 130 guests and not sure if my amounts are correct. Does these amounts seem correct?

60 lbs. Pulled Pork
40 lbs. Pulled Chicken
6-#10 cans Baked Beans
40 lbs. Potatoes for Potato Salad
8 lbs. dry Pasta for Macaroni n Cheese
200 buns

6 gal Sweet Tea
3 gal Unsweet Tea
3 gal Lemonade
Water

Jodi Hinwhaw
07/25/16
Wedding for 400 people
I am making my own salads for my wedding of 400 people. We are having 3 salads and then meat and cheese platters so people can make sandwiches. Here are my estimates of what I need if you can let me know if I am in the ballpark.

Pasta salad:
20 lb dry pasta
18 cups peppers
6 cups diced red onion
6 cans of olives sliced
5 containers of feta cheese
10 cucumbers diced
10 cups of cherry tomatoes
dressing

Broccoli Salad:
28 pounds broccoli
28 pounds cauliflower
10 cups raisins
10 cups sunflower seeds
8 cups diced green onion
10 cups bacon bits
dressing

Caesar salad:
28 heads of lettuce
4 very large bags of croutons
2-3 cups bacon bits
dressing

Thanks for your help!! :)

ellen
08/01/16
Beth, sorry for the delay, hope this arrives in time to help.

60 lbs. Pulled Pork- 35 plenty
40 lbs. Pulled Chicken- 20 plenty
6-#10 cans Baked Beans- OK, make 1 pot meatless
40 lbs. Potatoes for Potato Salad-OK
8 lbs. dry Pasta for Macaroni n Cheese-12 pounds
200 buns- get 6 regular buns or 12 slider buns per pound
1 1/2 gallons pickle slices
10 pounds slice onions

6 gal Sweet Tea
3 gal Unsweet Tea plus packet aweeteners
3 gal Lemonade- 6 gal
Water

Hope this helps. Now I need to ask for your help in return!
We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com and in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months! For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute, and now its time for the next phase.
Even if you can only afford $10-$20, every gift helps.
Please click the masthead at the top of the page to visit www.EllensBigPots.com and help me keep helping you.

ellen
08/01/16
Wedding salad for 400 people
Jodi, this is what I would do:

Pasta salad:
20 lb dry pasta- 24 at least, increase everything else in proportion
18 cups peppers
6 cups diced red onion
6 cans of olives sliced
5 containers of feta cheese
10 cucumbers diced
10 cups of cherry tomatoes
dressing

Broccoli Salad: You need at least 8 gallons, go by volume
28 pounds broccoli
28 pounds cauliflower
10 cups raisins
10 cups sunflower seeds
8 cups diced green onion
10 cups bacon bits
dressing

Caesar salad: Use the plan for 100 page, do for 300, it has weights and measures for salad and dressing
28 heads of lettuce
4 very large bags of croutons
2-3 cups bacon bits
dressing

Hope this helps. Now I need to ask for your help in return!
We've got major changes in the works to remodel EllensKitchen.com and in order to fund the new website, better searches and more help for your events, we need to raise nearly $20,000 within the next three months! For years, I've been helping make weddings & other large events a success and I've loved every minute, and now its time for the next phase.
Even if you can only afford $10-$20, every gift helps.
Please click the masthead at the top of the page to visit www.EllensBigPots.com and help me keep helping you.

Beverlee Redick
10/30/16
5x2x1.5 sweet potato pies
I need the calculation for 300 5x2x1.5 sweet potato pies dough and filling for Thanksgiving for our homeless neighbors that come to our food bank. Desperate. Can you help me?
Beverlee Redick
10/30/16
5x2x1.5 sweet potato pies
I need the calculation for 300 5x2x1.5 sweet potato pies dough and filling for Thanksgiving for our homeless neighbors that come to our food bank. Desperate. Can you help me?
ellen
10/30/16
I am not familiar with 5x2x1 1/2? This looks like a little bar? Is it a special pan?

I can calculate it for you if you describe the size more specifically.

Have you considered using the impossible pumpkin pie recipe on this site? It is tasty and saves making all that separate dough-

ellenskitchen.com/recipebox/baked/imppsweet.html#pumpkin

Vickie Seigler
01/08/17
wedding for 300 people
bologna and cheese trays
veggie trays
chips
crackers and dips
pizza horderves
pumpkin rool bites
400 pieces of chicken
how many lbs of pulled pork and meatballs should i have
Vickie Seigler
01/08/17
wedding for 300 people
hit post before i was ready we have
20 lbs of cheese
20 lbs of bologna
40lbs of mac salad
30lbs of potato salad
20lbs of pasta salad
veggie trays
chips, crackers and dips
pumpkin bites pizza horderves
400 pieces of chicken
plus wedding cake
how many lbs of
soda,water,beer and wine
how many lbs of pulled pork and meatballs should i have
the bologna and cheese are for bologna and cheese trays
ellen
01/13/17
Not nearly enough food- will work on this for you.
ellen
01/27/17
300 people

20 lbs of cheese- 1 pound per 10
20 lbs of bologna- 1 pound per 10-15
chips, 8 pounds per 100
and dips, 1 pint per pound
crackers, 6 pounds per 100

40lbs of mac salad
30lbs of potato salad
20lbs of pasta salad
Need at least 1/2 pound per person, 150 pounds plus

veggie trays, use the veggie tray page

pumpkin bites
pizza hors d'ouerves
2 pieces each per person

plus wedding cake

soda,water,beer and wine, use beverage planning page

how many lbs of
400 pieces of chicken- 300 plenty
pulled pork, 1 pound makes 12 sliders, so about 28 pounds plus rolls and 8 pounds sliced onions per 100, 2 gallons sliced pickles
meatballs, 10 pounds per 100, 3 quarts sauce

You can write back after you make your estimates, do start a new thread.

Desire Croll
03/13/17
Wedding for 170 people
Hello Ellen,

I'm making a spaghetti dinner for about 170 people. However; I am unsure on how much ground beef, sauce, and noodles I will need. Can you please help me out.

Thank You

ellen
03/13/17
At the bottom of the spaghetti page there is a spaghetti dinner for 50-60. Do three times the amounts for 170 people.
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