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Cook Talk

Main dish chicken caesar salad
Melanie
03/31/18
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)?
ellen
04/06/18
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.

Melanie
04/09/18
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.
ellen
04/09/18
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.
Melanie
04/10/18
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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