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Cook Talk

Main dish chicken caesar salad
I am preparing a main dish lunch salad - chicken caesar and need help calculating quantities. How many Costco romaine hearts would I need (not the large heads) for 250 people (some children but largely adults)?
Mel, this s a tough one for several reasons-
1- are you doing plates or a salad bar? The amounts needed are very different
2-This is a difficult choice with kids, as most don't eat Caesar. If they eat salad at all, they eat Ranch dressing
3-vegans and vegetarians won' eat it, neither will people who don't eat dairy
I will suggest some work arounds; just do be sure here is plenty of bread (15 pounds per 100)and butter (3 pounds per 100) and crackers (6 pounds per 100) on the tables. Consider a plate of devilled eggs for the non-chicken eaters.

This is a sample big plate for 1 person:
6 fl oz Caesar Dressing
6 oz Chicken breast, grilled, chopped
4 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped (6 ounces)
1/4 cup Croutons (about 1/4 ounce, so 1 pound is about 50)
3 tbsp Shredded Asiago cheese

So here is a guide for 100 plated.
34 pounds romaine hearts
34 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast
5 pounds shredded Asiago cheese
2 pounds croutons- if you put these on before dressing, they get soggy

In large quantity salads, a cup of his dressing serves 5, so 20 cups=5 quarts

Consider putting the dressing in a side cup, as people are very picky about how much dressing goes on their salads. Even putting both Caesar and Ranch and low fat Ranch on the tables

For a salad bar do 3 tmes the amounts for 250 plated, 2 1/2. You could write back with more details about your crowd-

Also look at he FB post at theellenskitchen for Oct 30, 2017 about cobb salad for 50.

Thank you so much. The amounts you gave are similar to what I planned for the same crowd last year and we had a lot leftover. This year, I think I need to reduce portions. Lettuce is the hardest thing to calculate because every head or bag is different which makes it difficult to quantify.
Weigh your lettuce and you will be happier with the results. If 6 ounces was too much, go for 4- 1 pound per 4 adults. Kids under 12 basically count as 1/2 person.
We did 4 oz. meat per person last year since it's a lunch meal, even though it's a main dish salad and came out okay on that. I planned five meals last year (three lunches/two dinners) and bought enough greens (spring mix, spinach, and romaine) for the first three meals (intending to buy more) and there was enough for all five meals with leftovers. I will look more at weights for the greens to get more predictable numbers. Thank you for your advice.
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