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Cook Talk

graduation party
renee
06/02/07
I am having a graduation party for approx 100 people - about 20 of the guests are teenagers..The party starts at 4 pm till ???. I plan to make the following - will it be enough?
6 - 1/2 (catering) trays of baked ziti
4 - 1/2 (catering) trays of meatballs
4 - 1/2 (catering) trays of a (heavy) rice dish
200 pieces of fried chicken
boiled hotdogs (75 dogs)
Pulled pork (I plan on making 32 lbs of (uncooked) pork)for sandwhiches
4 lbs of pasta salad
4 large trays of lettuce and tomato salad
dinner rolls
veggie platters with dip
fruit platters with dip
cake
cookies
10 cases of water
7 cases of flavored water
35 bottles of soda
cotton candy machine
slushy machine

any advice you could give me is appreciated.
THanks, Renee

ellen
06/03/07
Renee, this is a nice varied menu, but you may have more food than you need, unless you are planning to go more than 6 hours? I would probably omit either the pork or the meatballs and also the hot dogs. If the sodas are 2 liter you only need about 20, especially with the slushy machine. You only need about 1 1/2 pounds of food per adult, 2 pounds per teen.

The size of catering trays varies, so does the depth, and the hold from 2 1/2 to 6 quarts each.

Anna
06/06/07
I have having a graduation party for about 120 people including about 15 teens, 15 kids and the rest adults.

Here's my menu:

20 pounds of italian beef for sandwiches
125 pieces of Fried Chicken
10 pounds of Mostacciolo
20 pounds of potato salad
10 pounds of pasta salad
10 pounds of baked beans

Please advise.

Thank you.

ellen
06/07/07
The teens and kids will about balance each other out, so just count it as 120 people. For this size group I would double all your salads and beans (maybe triple the beans- the are not expensive), the beef and chicken look OK if that is cooked weight on the beef. I would consider adding a veggie tray with ranch dressing, or a vegetable casserole of some kind, or maybe a fruit salad.
TINA
06/27/07
i am have a graduation party for approx 75 people. this is the menu. with all the variety, please advise on quanity. not sure on teenager attendance.

ham - shank portion
baked chicken
swedish meatballs
cheesy scalloped potatoes
potatoe salad
pasta salad
deviled eggs
veggie tray
cheese tray
baked beans
fruit salad
rolls/bread

ellen
06/27/07
It is very tough to guess just right on 3 entrees for 75 people, I would probably do 75 pieces of chicken, 3-4 meatballs per person PLUS 3-4 ounces cooked ready to eat ham per person (which is about 1 pound bone in ready to cook for each 3 persons). You will probably have some extra ham, but that is way better than running out.
All the rest of the items for quantity are covered under the various buttons at the top of the cook talk page- you want plan for 100 for themeats, salads and sides, beans and rolls, veggie trays for the veggie trays, fruit trays (for the fruit salad quantities) and the deviled eggs are a separate recipe- I use about 5 dozen whole eggs to make deviled eggs for 100.
Carol
06/29/07
I'm having a graduation party for 75 people and need to know how much mostaccoli I NEED? How many packs of noodles? how much sauce? and how many pds. of hamburger?
ellen
06/29/07
Carol, see the ltsa pasta page. The Mostaciolli and sausage for 120 recipe will give you a great amount if you make 2/3. If you have a recipe you like, just use mine for quantity guideline.
Jeanne Moroney
06/30/07
We are having a graduation party and planning on 90 people. I am having 200 pieces of fried chicken, 12 lbs of roast beef for roast beef sandwiches, 288 meatballs for meatball sandwiches, and pasta salad, fruit salad, tossed salad using your recipes for 100 people. Will also have 4lbs of coleslaw, pickles and olives, and assorted chips and snack foods. Will I have enough food? Should I add or delete anything? Thanks!
ellen
06/30/07
This should be plenty- don't forget your breads and rolls. There is a list on sandwich condiments on the sandwich event page.
ellen
06/30/07
Jeanne, the only thing you will run out of is slaw, as you would normally want at least 12-16 pounds, but as you have green salad, fruit salad and relishes, it should be fine.
Jeanne Moroney
06/30/07
Thanks Ellen! I really appreciate your help!
Barbara Buehl
08/30/07
open house
I need some idea of quantities for vegie trays for a crowd of 100.
ellen
08/30/07
Barbara, there is a whole section on veggie trays with amounts. See the button at the top right of the main cook talk page.
Sharon
11/28/07
Fruit Salad
I am making a fruit salad for 100 people. How many pounds of strawberries, banana's, grapes, oranges and apples should I get??
ellen
11/28/07
There are several recies for fruit salads for 100 on the fruit tray page, check them out.
Linda
02/13/08
I am trying to plan a graduation party we are hispanic so our menu will will be geared in that direction we already have 135 guest on the list but at hispanic functions there are always stragglers people who you dont invite. I dont know were to start I am thinking about having Pork,spanish rice,Beans,Nachos and Cheese some Hot Peppers. How many pounds of meat,how much spanish rice,beans,nachos and cheese and soft drinks would I need I am thinking about buying 2 liters there will be other things also but right now I not sure what else I am going to have. Please help me I am lost
ellen
02/13/08
Linda, if you plan for 150, will that be enough?

You can use the plan for 100 tables for quantities for your shopping list, just get 1 1/2 times the amount for 100. You can use the specific recipes, such as one of my several Spanish rice recipes for 100. For nachoos made with chips, you want about 8 pounds of chips and 2-3 gallons cheese sauce per 100 (less if you have other oppings, more if you don't). About 1 gallon of jalapenos per 100.

There is a beverage planning page and a dessert planning page for specifics about each of these areas and there is a salad planning table at the top of the plan for 100 page. If you make your list and are not confident you can post it and I will check it for you.

Elizabeth Ann
10/19/08
Homeschool Thanksgiving Feast
Hi Ellen,
I'm so glad to have found this forum! I am having a Thanksgiving Feast for approx. 60 people.How many 1/2 size catering trays of mashed potatoes and stuffing do I need?
ellen
10/19/08
You want 6-8 ounces of potato and about 4 ounces of dressing per person; get weights from your caterer.
Elizabeth Ann
10/21/08
Thanks Ellen! I appreciate your help.I have another question for you. Do you know approx. how many pounds of mashed potatos and how many pounds of dressing will fit into a half size aluminum tray.You see,everyone is working together to prepare food for this Thanksgiving dinner. I am the person in charge and this is my very first event! So I really want to do a good job. I have several ladies volunteering to make the trimmings but they want to know what size pan to put the food in. All the food will be put over sternos,so I'm asking them to put the food in either a half or whole tray.Now that you have given me the amount needed per person I'm trying to figure out how much will fill a tray.Thanks again for helping me out.I'm so thankful to have found this forum!
ellen
10/22/08
OK. The pans you use, you fill with water to the expected level and measure the water and it tells you how many servings your pan will hold.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: it is UNSAFE to try to reheat the food over sterno. You MUST bring the pans to 165 minimum in the center (180 is better)(use a thermometer) in the oven before moving them to the sterno pans.

Elizabeth Ann
10/24/08
Hi Ellen,
Thank you so much again for your help. I have a much better idea of how much food will be needed,and I feel much more confident that the dinner will be a success. Thanks!
JEANNE
12/12/08
bREAKFAST WITH SANTA
I am cooking for appox 100 people for a breakfast with santa. i will be serving scrambled eggs, sausage and french toast sticks. At least 75 will be children. How much should i cook?
ellen
12/12/08
Cook 50 peoples worth each of eggs and French toast. You will have some left over, but it allows everyone their first choice. You need juice or fruit and coffee, of course, and milk is good- you might have 2 dozen individual servings of cereals, too, inexpensive and a great backup.
Jeannine
02/01/09
boy scout blue and gold banquet
Ellen--I am planning a Blue and Gold Banquet for about 150 people--adults and children. How many pieces of fried chicken would you recommend? Also, any suggestions on amount of mashed potatoes? We will also have a veggie and rolls and butter and dessert. thank you!!
ellen
02/01/09
Covered in specific on the plan for 100 lists.
Holly
02/21/09
Wedding Reception
Hi! we are catering my daughter's wedding reception for 150 people this is our menu:

Sloppy Joes w/ rolls
Macaroni Salad
Baked Beans
Deviled Eggs
Chips
Fruit Salad

Is there anything that shouls be added to this to give more variety? I have no idea how much of what to get Thank you!

ellen
02/21/09
Hi, Holly,

This is a simple informal straightforward menu to estimate amounts and you can use the plan for 100 lists, making 1 1/2 times the amounts for 150 people. If she and the guests are late teens, early 20's, make it 1 3/4- they eat more than older folks.

I would probably make the mac salad meatless as there is no vegetarian entree offered.

I might add 2 of the relish tray for 60 at the top of the veggie tray page. I would definitely use the condiment list for sandwiches on the sandwich event page.

Fruit trays with dips keep better than fruit salad, are more usable if left over, and are prettier to display.

Carmen Coats
02/27/09
Hello,
125 people for Grad Party. I was wondering how many pounds of beans I would need for refried beans?
Do you have any good recipes for just plain refried beans, with seasonings of course?
Thanks a ton.
Carmen
ellen
02/28/09
10-12 pounds dry. Here in san Antonio we have so many great mom and pop taquerias that I just rarely make them any more, but my usual recipe is here:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/oamc/burrito.html#refried

If you want something a bit different, though, consider starting with black beans- mighty good!

Carmen Coats
03/02/09
I was thinking it might be to much work to make refried beans. So what do you think of me getting them at Cosco in bulk in can and adding some ingredients to make them taste home made. Do you have any suggestions on what I would add to them.
Thanks
ellen
03/02/09
What about borracho or charro beans? Non of the mashing and reheating. If you get canned beans they will be fine just sub them cooked pound for the home cooked beans you would have used and use the same recipe you like.
Carmen Coats
03/08/09
Hello- Where can I find Borracho or Charro Beans? I have been looking and can't find them. Also how long in advance can I make refried beans and freeze them? Do I put them in zipper bags?
Thanks again.
Carmen
ellen
03/09/09
You can freeze the beans up to 2 months in advance. Borracho beans at the bottom of this page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/beans100.html

Katie
03/22/09
Anniversary Celebration
I am having an anniversary party and feeding about 90 people. About half of these are children. I want to make a relish tray with:
cauliflower
broccoli
baby carrots
celery
grape tomatoes
How much of each do i need?
ellen
03/23/09
For the purpose of vegetables, which kids don't usually eat too much of, count his as 65 and prepare 2/3 of the amount for 100 as described on the veggie tray page. Have ranch dretssing dip.
Kelly
04/07/09
party
Hi Ellen,

I'm making a tray of meatballs, the kind that goes over as sterno. I general, how many lbs of ground beef with I need to fill the tray?

ellen
04/07/09
It depends on the size of the meatballs and whether you stack them. In general about 5-6 pounds already made and cooked fit in a tray.
Carmen
04/13/09
Hi Ellen,
Grad party for 125 people.
Will 25 pounds of Hamburger be enough for Tacos? I will have rice and beans too.
ellen
04/14/09
Yes, See the taco and baked potato bar article for lots more help on toppings of all kinds.
Linda
04/16/09
I posted this once but under wrong topic.
Grad party for 200 ppl
will 30lbs of hambuger be enough for walking and 15lbs of shedded cheese, be enough?
Also how much shedded lettuce and tomates would u say?
I will aso be having fruit salad,gaden vegtable salad and chips and salsa
ellen
04/16/09
See the recipe for 25, get 8 times the amounts:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

Lori
04/20/09
We are having a graduation party feeding about 100 people. Can you tell me how much of each we need to buy?
soft drinks
potato chips
pretzels
pasta salad
relish trays
nacho dips
meatballs
and any other suggestions you would have.
This will be mix of adults and children.
Thank you for any information.
ellen
04/20/09
Lori, you can figure this yourself using the charts on site. There is a beverage planning page, an appetizer planning page, and a plan for 100 page to help you.
The amount depends on when and how long the party is, also. Make a first estimate and post it and I will be glad to check for you.
You need some non-nacho dips- 1/4 cup per person per flavor. You need some desserts- I like to serve 3-4 choices of small bars (2 bites each) per person. You would do well to add at least one more protein/ meat item if it is over dinner time.
Fruit trays are pretty and popular, and can be made ahead.
Kathy
05/02/09
We are having a high school graduation party for my son. How much do I need to buy for 250 people? The party is from 2:00-7:00pm. Bush Beans, Charcoaled brats, broasted chicken,scallop potatoes, tuna saled, potato salad, summer salad, broccoli cauliflower salad, graduation cake, bars, veggie tray, cucumber spears,chips, sodas, water bottles, cofee
Kathy
05/02/09
We are having a high school graduation party for my son. How much do I need to buy for 250 people? The party is from 2:00-7:00pm. Bush Beans, Charcoaled brats, broasted chicken,scallop potatoes, tuna saled, potato salad, summer salad, broccoli cauliflower salad, graduation cake, bars, veggie tray, cucumber spears,chips, sodas, water bottles, cofee
ellen
05/03/09
Kathy, I don't do original estimates since I posted the tables in 2004. Make a run at an initial estimate, post it, and I will be glad to check. There is a beverage planning page, a dessert planning page, a plan for 100 page that has all the meats salads and vegetables.

However, the biggest question is, will people come and go, or will they all be there most of the party? If they are stayers, you need at least two rounds of food- appetizer/snack till about 4:30-5, then dinner. If it is come and go, you have to deal with that the food can't sit out for more than 2 hours and estimate how much to serve, when.

Basically, for quantity, you need a total of about 1 1/2 pounds of food per person, not counting beverages and desserts, including 1 gallon total of sides for each 10 people. I always allow at least 1 brat PLUS 1 piece of chicken per person, PLUS 10-20% fudge factor (if it is a high school graduation, they eat more.)

Beth
05/07/09
Ellen-

I am having a graduation brunch for 150.
Egg Casserole (serves 20-25)
Spiral ham
Fruit salad
Rolls (for ham sandwiches)
Sticky buns

CAn you advise how much of everything I will need?

Meg
05/07/09
Ellen,

Freaking out - I am not much of a cook!

We are having up to 300 guests (1/2 teenagers)

Is following enough please?!?!

Walking Tacos - 20 lbs beef + 150 chip bags?
Brisket - 10 lbs meat + 6 doz cocktail buns?
BBQ Brisket - 10 lbs meat + 6 doz cocktail buns?

Will have several sides, including cheesy potato casserole, baked beans, chips and a variety of salads?

Thank you so much!

ellen
05/07/09
Beth, see the breakfast planning page and the festive brunch for 100 article and I bet you can do this yourself. Assume everyone will eat eggs- have 2 dozen plain hard-boiled for folks who don't eat the casserole. Don't forget to plan the coffee and juice- see the beverage planning page.

Meg, this is no nearly enough food for 300 guests, specially if half are teenagers.
Walking Tacos - 20 lbs beef + 150 chip bags-- need at least 45-50 pounds plus 300 bags- everyone will take at least one bag of chips.
Brisket and BBQ Brisket - 10 lbs meat + 6 doz cocktail buns? Need at least 60 pounds of meat total and 200 buns. I would get more buns, some people will make sandwiches with the taco meat, also.
I would add at least one serious dip to go with the chips; chili con queso, maybe. 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person.
Check your amounts on the sides. You need at least 60 pounds of potato casserole plus 30 gallons of other sides.

Carmen
05/08/09
Grad party went from 125 to 180 people. Still having a Taco Bar. How much more of these items will I need? This is what I have now:
250 Hard Shells
? Soft Shells
25# Hamburger meat also Shredded chicken 10#
3 - 5# Shredded Cheese Bags
1-50 oz can Black Olives
5 Large Chip Bags at Cosco
10# tomatoes (roma)
12# Lettuce Shredded
3- 3# Container Sour Cream
2-96 oz Salsa - Mango/peach salsa 88 oz.
Rice and Beans I've got covered
2 Large Vege Trays-Cosco
How much Cilantro?
120 Deli spiral appetizers Ham/Cream cheese/Cheese/spinach- these are small
Lots of cake/bars
Please let me know what I need more of? My party is next week. Thanks so much. Carmen
ellen
05/09/09
This looks good. Don't open the third bag of cheese unless you see you need it. I would get at least enough deli spirals for 1 1/2 each for your max number of guests, don't want anyone to feel they missed something.

Cilantro, I would chop at least 1 bunch for each 10 people, but I do love cilantro.

Sherry
05/14/09
anniversary party
Having a pot luck and we are going to supply the fried chicken and sloppy joe's. I am expecting around 65 people. Have ordered 124 pieces of chicken and have cooked up 6 lbs. of hambuger..Also have a cake for 100 servings and will supply the drinks. Do you think I have ordered enough?
ellen
05/14/09
I would probaly double the burger. Everything else sounds right.
Nell
05/22/09
I am having a graduation party of approximately 60-70 people. I plan on serving chicken along with beef sandwiches. I will also have 4 types of salads, chips, veggie tray, and fruit tray. How much chicken and beef and rolls will I need? Thank you for your help. Nell
ellen
05/23/09
What I would allow is 15 pounds of beef with 60 rolls, about 80 pieces of chicken
carly
06/02/09
family reunion
I am planning a meet and greet party for about 125 people this is what I will serve but I'm just not sure about how much food to buy.

Swedish Meatballs
Wings
Pasta Salad
Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
Fresh fruit w/dip (strawberries, grapes, peaches, pineapple)
Veggie Tray (celery,carrots)w/ranch dressing
Punch/Water

ellen
06/02/09
Carly, this is primarily a DIY site, so I expect you to look up the available items in the site. For example, there is a veggie tray page, a fruit tray page and a beverage planning page which comprehensively cover each of those areas. Pasta salad is covered in the plan for 100 salad section at the top of the article.
Use these to prepare estimates, and if you are not confident, post them and I will check them for you.
If your party is over a mealtime (lunch or dinner), you will need about twice as much food compared to mid afternoon. For example, you allow 1/2 pound raw wings per person at mealtime, where you can use 1 pound for 3 or 4 mid afternoon. You want about 5 meatballs per person if they are toothpick size. For pimento cheese, it depends on how popular it is in your area; 18 pounds of cheese with 12 pounds of breads and rolls is not too much if it is very popular. But I would do it in bowls or logs and let people spread their own, since the made up sandwiches dry out very easily and can't be eaten as leftovers.
Consider doing a dinner service of coffee, people driving in will appreciate it.
Michelle
06/02/09
Ellen,

I'm so glad I found your site!! I'm planning a graduation party for Sunday at 6 PM & I'm so stressed out - I didn't plan ahead. I've got 53 pounds of frozen deer meat that I want to use to make BBQ sandwiches. I'm looking at 80 - 100 people coming (no one is RSVPing - so it's hard to say) I layed it out this morning to start thawing - My question is: I'm not sure if the weight of frozen meat is the same as thawed meat. Do you think I'll have enough?

This is what I've got planned so far: I've got 200 hamburger rolls already. I plan on having coleslaw, pork-n-beans, jello salad, potato or mac salad, nuts, crackers, chips, ice cream, cake & punch for drinks.

Thank you so much for any help you can offer!!

ellen
06/02/09
I hope it isn't all thawed, 40 pounds would be way plenty for this size crowd. Pasta salads are easier to make and store than potato and can be made ahead- 6 pounds dry pasta for 100 is what I use. For 100 I plan 3 gallons each beans and slaw. All your other items, even the nuts and mints, are covered specifically in the various tables on the site- the beverage planning page will even help with ice. Be sure to have at least 1 sugar-free beverage for diabetics and dieters.
Michelle
06/03/09
Ellen,

Thanks for you advise. Do you think oven bags will help tenderize the meat? Since I'm short on time & don't have a huge crock pot I was thinking of slow cooking it in the oven & just thought about the oven bags.

Also, can you tell me how to figure out how much cabbage to get for the slaw? The ones at the store weigh about 2 pounds each but that includes the core. Any suggestions?

ellen
06/04/09
The oven bags would be great and would allow you to season as well. Get 20 pounds of head cabbage plus your add-ins to make slaw for 100 people.
tracey
07/09/09
birthday party
hi, i am soo glad i found your site... i have a couple questions. i am having a party for my mother in law...(about 100 people) i am thinking of getting some deli spirals from Sam's... how many per person? how many frozen punch blocks will i need? do you have any other non cooking appetizer ideas- trying to make this as easy as possible... thanks for any insight you might have!!!
Cindi
07/09/09
Hi!I am planning about 120 (100 adults, 20 children) people for graduation. This is my menu, please advise if I need more/less and any suggestions you may have:

Roasted pig (serves 75-100)
Hot sausage - 25 pounds
Hot Dogs - 80
Fried Chicken - 150 pieces
Pasta - 12 pounds
Rancho beans - 4 gallons
Pasta salad - 4 gallons
Potato salad - 4 gallons
Taco salad - 4 gallons
Salad - 13 bags
Kaiser rolls - 9 dozen
Hoagie rolls - 9 dozen

Thank you for your help!

ellen
07/10/09
Hi,

Good job! You do not need the tossed salad with all the other salad choices. I would add fruit trays and sandwich condiments (see the respective articles for help on amounts)..You will have meats left over- only open the hot dogs as you need them.
You will have some breads left, they freeze, A big bowl of swirled peanut butter and jam, or even egg salad, would be good for the non-meat eaters.

Norrice
07/13/09
wedding
how much i need to buy? My menu as followed:
200 people
fried chicken
bbq ribs pork
ham
turkey
collard greens
dirty rice
mac and cheese
tossed salad
potato salad
rolls
fruit cup
and a one hour cocktail hour with hor' oedoures
ellen
07/14/09
Norrice, this is a do it yourself site and ALL these foods are listed in the planning tables. The only place you need some help is in the mixed entrees:

For each single personis, order:
chicken- 1 piece each
bbq ribs pork- 1/2 pound each
ham- 2-3 ounces each ready to eat
turkey- 3 ounces each ready to eat

You have to have more than enough so that each person can get their main choice.

john
07/15/09
I am having a outdoor graduation party for about 90 people...45 adults...45 teenagers...how many beverages do I get? needless to say the kids will not be drinking any alcohol...I'm thinking soda (coke diet coke, sprite), beer and bottled water...please help
ellen
07/16/09
Use the beverage planning page and plan for 75 non-alcohol and 40 alcohol drinkers. That way you will have enough of everything. The page talks about length of party, amount of sugar free, ice, glasses, well as the drinks themselves. You will want some bottled water and might want to add 2-3 gallons of iced tea for both teens and adults who don't do bubbly drinks.
Dawn
08/20/09
25th Anniversary
My mom & her husband 25th wedding anniversary.
40# pulled pork sandwiches
140 buns
20# mixed veggie (cooked)
20# Fruit salad
Chips
macaroni salad(a lot)
Coffee
Arnie Palmer and punch
Along with lots of cake

Im guessing about 80 people will attend it's on a sunday at 1 to 4. do I need more food

Thanks for any advice:)

ellen
08/20/09
No, you have a bit much: 35 pounds meat and 120 buns would be plenty. You need 4-5 pounds dry pasta to make enough macaroni salad- about 2 to 2 1/2 gallons.
C.C.
03/04/10
i am catering a graduation party for 125ppl. Im making baked mac and cheese green beansw/almonds tossed salad pasta salad italian sausage w/peppers and onion grilled chicken and roast beef sliders.. my question is how many pds of chicken do you think i need and how many pounds of beef for the sliders.
C.C.
03/04/10
i also would like to know how many sliders you think i should prepare. also how many italian sausage
ellen
03/04/10
For 125, I would do 4 ounces raw sausage PLUS 1 piece chicken PLUS 4 ounces raw beef; you will have some left, but everyone will get all they want.
V.C.
03/16/10
Hi first time grad party here!! We are having shredded hot beef sandwiches, chips, veg and dip trays, and an ice cream social type deal. Oh and also cake. I am totally in the dark on how much to make? I think I measured out 6lbs of chuck roast equals 9 cups of finished meat? How much punch? and plates and cups and such? Can you give me something to go by here? I am thinking of sending 100 invites out--what is the general rule for that? Is it 2.5 people per invite? I could desperately use your help!! Thanks so much! How many 12 X 18 cakes would I need? How much ice cream for sundaes with various toppings? SOrry this is so long! :)
ellen
03/16/10
Erh, VC, how many guests?
V.C.
03/16/10
HI Ellen---well I am thinking of 100 invites but that could be families of 5 or 2---do I have to go threw and count all that up or can a person do a general rule of 2 people per invite will show----except that 25%?
V.C.
03/16/10
Ok Ellen I sat down and tried to figure this out----I am thinking of about 90 - 100 invites sent out, that is about 200 people the way I figured it----so would a person be safe figuring 175 people? Sorry for such a jumbled bunch of emails here!! I am frazzled thinking about all there is to do---am sure my second graduation won't be near as bad!! :)
ellen
03/16/10
shredded hot beef sandwiches,
Teens? Plan 2 sandwiches each. Adults, 1 1/2. You can make 4 sandwiches per pound of boneless raw chuck. Make ahead and refrigerate or freeze in sauce, this bulks up the meat a little. A vinegary slaw makes a nice salad with this. Sandwich condiments are discussed per 100 on the sandwich event page.
chips, Teens 2-3 ounces, adults 1 to 1 1/2 ounces, the larger amount with dips or a longer party
veg and dip trays- fully discussed on the veggie tray page
I would add one heavy salad (pasta is much simpler than potato) or they will almost all eat two full sandwiches apiece. Also, fruit trays- they can be made ahead, look beautiful and people this age really like them.

an ice cream social type deal. Oh and also cake. How many 12 X 18 cakes would I need? How much ice cream for sundaes with various toppings?
This is answered at length on the Ice Cream Sundae bar page and the bottom of the dessert bar page. Now you can have a go at successfully estimating your party. If you need more advice than that, write back, post your estimates and ask your specific questions.

Candace
04/13/10
I am planning a graduation party for my husband with roughly 100 people. There may be more or less with no shows and stragglers. His family is hispanic and mine is not so I am trying to do a variation...might sound strange but here is my "planned" menu:
Hotdogs
Hamburgers
Grilled marinated skirt steak
potato salad
refried beans
mexican rice
pop/beer
I saw your page on planning for 100 so I am pretty confident with the quantities I need for most of the items, but not sure if I should cut back on the 1hotdog-1hamburger/person with the steak included. I am just not too sure about the skirt steak (arrachera) since most of the attendees will be my husband's family (his is MUCH larger than mine) I assume the steak will be a popular item. Just looking for some advice!!! Thanks!!
ellen
04/13/10
Congratulations to DH. When my dad got his degree, the department gave all the spouses certificates as PHT's- putting hubby through.

Yes, you will have few dogs and not too many burgers and lots of steakeaten. In fact, I might just skip the dogs and burgers and add chicken quarters- easier to cook, very popular, and the leftovers are more useful. I would do 1 pound raw skirt steak for each 3 people PLUS 1 piece of chicken per person (a quarter counts as 2 pieces, but you have to cut them apart-8 pounds is about 16 pieces). If you did the beef plus burgers, you would do the same steak plus about 50 burgers and 30 dogs.
The two things I would add are a fruit platter (preferred) or green salad and some chips and salsa as your nibbles.

Gerri
04/24/10
Ellen, I am planning a grad party next weekend. I have sent out 30 invites. Not many RSVPs as of yet. The menu is BBQ chicken and burgers, baked beans, pasta salad and possibly corn on the cob. I plan to have a veggie tray and chip & dip. Beverages: bottled water, lemonade, and sodas. I am having a problem with quantities to purchase. Please advise.
ellen
04/24/10
Estimate the numbers of guests- some invites are for 1, some for a family. Use the plan for 100 tables, using the appropriate fraction- 1/3, 1/2,etc. The tables, including the beverage planning table and the fruit tray and veggie tray pages, will cover all the items, the only calculation is the chicken/ beef mix; for this, get 1 piece of chicken plus 1 burger per person, plus about 10%, plus the fixings- see the sandwich event page for those.
If you post your estimate, and number of guests, I can check it for you.
Roxie
05/02/10
I'm planning on about 300 people, doing a taco bar,with cake and peanuts, punch do I need anything else and is 40lbs of meat enough?
ellen
05/02/10
You need side dishes of rice, such as a Spanish rice, and beans- I like whole beans, done borracho style- refried is an option. The amounts per 100 for the taco toppings are on the taco bar page. 20 pounds of meat per 100 is sort of a minimum.
Donna
05/07/10
Please help me...my granddaughter is graduating from high school and they are planning a party with about 50+/- . It is at 2:30 pm so not lunch or dinner either. My menu is WINGS...3 or 4 flavors, carrots, celery & ranch dip. Chips, sodas and Lemon poppyseed cake. Question: How many wings? Is the menu too 'little'? Cost is an extreme factor here. ALSO..in the long run, should I buy the wings from a wing place or try to do them myself(not looking forward to that but as I stated..cost is a huge factor. Help...its in 2 weeks.
ellen
05/08/10
You were smart to schedule at 2:30 as they won't be starving. WINGS...3 or 4 flavors, carrots, celery & ranch dip. Chips, sodas and Lemon poppy seed cake.

See the beverage planning page for help on the sodas. In cups with ice from 2 liter bottles is less expensive than cans. Watch for sales, including the chain drug stores.

Around here, legs (.49-.89) and thighs (.89-$1) are much less expensive than wings. They are a good choice- see this recipe- you could do this at home:
www.ifood.tv/recipe/chicken_lollipops_vibs_favorite
Wing places really are expensive. If I had to buy out, I would talk to the folks at Wendy's, they do party packs of their nuggets and they are whole meat, not ground. You want about 2 legs, 4 wing pieces or 6 nuggets per person.

You want to add a heavy dip such as 7 layer dip, queso, to fill in the empty legs of the teens- 1/4 cup plus 2 ounces corn chips or tortilla chips per person.

Tracie
05/14/10
I am having a graduation party at 2:00 for 50 or so. My menu is finger sandwiches (egg salad, chkn salad, cucumber), Shrimp w/cocktail sauce, veggie, fruit and cheese trays, hummus/pita chips, brushetta/costini, spinach dip/pretzel chips. Dessert, cream puffs, mini eclairs, bite size cheese cakes. Is this menu adequate for this time of day and how many sandwiches should I make?
ellen
05/14/10
The menu is quite adequate. The only place you will run into possible trouble is the shrimp; people are extremely greedy for shrimp and will eat all that is offered. To keep costs down, you can pre-serve into small plastic cups with the sauce in the middle, the shrimps, and maybe a celery stalk or two in the cup.

cream puffs, mini eclairs, bite size cheese cakes- allow one of each per person

veggie, fruit and cheese trays, brushetta/costini,

spinach dip/pretzel chips, hummus/pita chips,

finger sandwiches (egg salad, chicken salad, cucumber), these are also called tea sandwiches. See this page, there is a shopping list about half way down, get 1/4 the amounts. Pepperidge farm makes a very thin sliced bread that is great for this, get both the white and whole wheat and mix them up.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/recep2.html?

Vicki
05/18/10
Hi Ellen, I am thinking of making cupcakes for my daughters grad party. There is 300 actually invited. Do you know how many I should make? Also wondering if a person can make them up ahead and freeze them un-frosted? Or would the cup papers turn out nasty after freezing and then thawing them? Do you have a good frosting recipe? Thank You :)
ellen
05/18/10
Ok to freeze unfrosted. One flavor, at least 350. If you do more than one flavor, make about 200 of each of 2.
Go see the best baking teacher one the web for help:
www.baking911.com
Kristie
05/19/10
I am having a graduation party for my son and it will be an open house. Here is my menu:

BBQ Beef
Meatballs
Cheese Tray
Vegie Tray/Dip
Fruit Tray/Dip
Chip
Pretzels
Pasta Salad
Cake

We have mailed or delivered 120-125 Invitations. Should I just plan for 100 people?

Kristie
05/19/10
Should I also add Baked Beans?
Cindy
05/19/10
Hi, I am having a graduation party for approx. 75 - 100 people. This is what I am planning on buying will it be enough to feed all my guests. The party begins at 1:00 - 5:00.
10 pounds Pulled Pork
90 Rolls
10 pounds Meatballs
10 pounds Sausage & Peppers
3 pounds Chicken Riggies
3 pounds Ziti
4 pounds Potato Cassarole
2 large tomato Pies (48 pcs ea.)
6 bags Salad Mix w/ added Tomato, Olives
Fruit Salad in a Watermelon
Chips (5 bags) & dip (4)
Full Sheet Cake
Cookie Tray ( 6 kinds about 4 doz. ea)
As it is getting closer I am getting worried it is not going to be enough. I am making this all myself. Thanks.
denise
05/20/10
hi ellen, i am catering a graduation party for a 100 people and the main meat is fish, i need to know how much to fix on each item, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, fruit and veggie trays, please help
ellen
05/20/10
Kristie, yes, I would add the baked beans, it cuts down on the amount of meat you need. As to estimating the turnout on 125 invitations, this depends on if it was all his teen friends, or included families where more than one person might come, very hard to advise. I would make and freeze extra beef and meatballs, thaw and use if needed.

Cindy, 75 to 100 people- if mostly teens, you need more
10 pounds Pulled Pork- I would double
90 Rolls
10 pounds Meatballs
10 pounds Sausage & Peppers
3 pounds Chicken Riggies
3 pounds Ziti if this is 3 pounds dry pasta, OK
4 pounds Potato Cassarole- if this is the frozen potato casserole, at least 10 pounds
2 large tomato Pies (48 pcs ea.)
6 bags Salad Mix w/ added Tomato, Olives
Fruit Salad in a Watermelon- you need at least 2 times the amount of fruit listed on the fruit tray for 25- 3 would probably not be too much
Chips (5 bags) & dip (4)- at least 8 pounds chips
Full Sheet Cake-OK
Cookie Tray ( 6 kinds about 4 doz. ea)-OK

Denise, all these items are covered in exact detail on the plan for 100 page, the fruit tray page and the veggie tray page. If you want to make an estimate and list it, I will check for you.

Vicki
05/25/10
HI Ellen---my party is this coming Sunday---we have approx 300 invited....but am sure they won't all show :) Haven't found any info on quantities for the following.......bottled water, am also serving a non alcoholic punch with out ice, And then wondered how do you figure how much condiments such as BBQ sauce or ketchup and such? I made 85 pounds of shredded beef sandwiches (which is all sitting in the freezer as I type) wondered about the quantities for the above items mentioned. Thanks! Vicki
ellen
05/25/10
Punch- allow 1 quart per 3 people you plan to serve.
Bottled water- 1 per person, since you have the other drinks
BBQ sauce, allow 2 gallons per 100, but you will probably only use 1 plus.
Sandwich condiments- there is a table per 100 on the sandwich article.

85 pounds of shredded beef is about 200-225 people worth of sandwiches.

emily
05/26/10
i planning a graduation party coming up on sunday. i have invited 30 people but not sure how many are coming. therefore i plan on cooking carne asada i was wondering how many pounds of meat needed? and how many pounds of rice and beans?
thanks
ellen
05/26/10
Nice size party. You want 8-10 pounds boneless meat (remember that it will freeze if tyou don't use it all). You want 2 1/2 pounds each dry rice and beans.
Liz
06/28/10
I am planning a Grad party expecting 125 - 150 guests. I have enough mostaciolli to feed an army but am unsure on quantities of everything else. I have looked at your formulas for parties of 100 and am not sure if I need to adjust or let the pasta be a buffer. Please advise on quantities. Thanks.
Fried Chicken
Submarine sandwich
Baked beans
Potato salad
Cole Slaw
Tossed Salad
Fruit platter
Rolls & bread & butter
Possibly meatballs
ellen
06/28/10
Is this a come and go party or are all the guests going to be there for most of the event? If so, how long? And is there dessert? And what are the beverages?

All these items are covered on the plan for 100 page, fruit tray page I would go low end of the estimate on the baked beans and potato salad, since you will have the pasta.

Baked beans
Potato salad
Cole Slaw
Tossed Salad
Fruit platter
Rolls & bread & butter

If you write back answering the questions, I will try an estimate on the meats based on your reply.

Nina
06/28/10
cookout
i'm having a cookout for the 4th of July and I don't know how much meat to buy - hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, steak, polish, etc.
ellen
06/29/10
Nina, you don't say how many people , what time of day, how long the party lasts, and this is way too many meat choices to make a good estimate. I plan for about 8 ounces of edible meat per person, and most of the raw boneless meats shrink 1/4 and the bone in raw meats count as 1/2 of the original weight.
Carol
07/21/10
Awards night
Each year we have a "mocked" awards night for our baseball friends. I usually make the food, but the number of attendee's have varied from between 200 and 125. How do I plan on sandwiches.
I have approx. 55 #'s of Italian beef in my freezer already cooked, and plan on having broccoli/cauliflower salad (75 serv.), cabbage salad (75 servs), and the watergate salad (90 servs.). Is this going to be enough food. I'm guessing about 135 people will attend.

Thanks for your help

ellen
07/23/10
Carol,

Is it buffet service? If so, a sandwich bar with the hot beef in a roaster (actually, you would want at least 3 lines- 3 roasters-) might be the way to go. I would add at least 1/2 more to the salads- people will take more than one. Also, Put them in front of the meats in the line.

Sandwich condiments for 100 are given on the sandwich page. Add about 12 pounds of sliced cheese per 100 for the finishing touch.

Ron
08/31/10
Party for 90 people
This is a great web page. I am having a get together for 90 people and her is the menu. Could you help with the amount for 90 adults

Shredded turkey
Hot beef
Tuna salad
baked beans
small rolls for the meat.

I am having a few other odd items such as devil eggs, relish tray and fresh veggis. I am just concerned about the food in the list.

Thanks for your help

ellen
08/31/10
Allow 2 rolls per person- you want about 12 pounds of bread.
Baked beans, see the plan for 100 list.

The mixed meats are a little tough. I would probably do 3 gallons of tuna salad, 18-20 pounds each cooked beef and turkey.

Helen
10/20/10
I'm planning a small surprise birthday party for my husband. 13 adults, 2 picky teenagers and 2 children. Can you advise if this is the right amount of food? Thanks!

1/2 Tray Stromboli Bread
1/2 Tray Chicken Fingers
1/2 Tray Mozzarella Sticks
1/2 Tray Meatballs
FullTray Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
Full Tray Chicken Marsala
Full Tray Penne with Vodka Sauce
Tossed Salad

ellen
10/21/10
You need a plain starch, either plain pasta or rice or bread for the picky children. Not sure of the size of your trays...
Laura
11/02/10
birthday party for 13 year old
I'm planning a bday party for daughter she is going to be 13. About 30 kids and 30 adults. How much would I need.

Hot dogs
sliders
chicken nuggets
lasagna for adults I am going to have other snacks but mostly for the kids.
How many sliders can I get out of each pound of meat.
Thanks

ellen
11/02/10
about 10 sliders per pound.

13 year olds eat like grownups, and quite a few will eat lasagna. I would make 5 9x13 trays.

1 hot dog per person, but only open 1/2 till you see how they are going. With the other foods, they could be omitted.

Allow 2 sliders per person, 1 pound of nuggets per 4 people.

Yolanda
12/04/10
Wedding reception
I am cooking for a 150 people an need to no how many hams I would need. And I am making two chicken dinners which is a oven baked parmesan cheese chicken, Creamy baked chicken. Greens w/turkey legs, potato salad, and a salad bar. I need to know how many pounds of chicken, potatos, salad, greens, dinners rolls I would need cause I am working on a budget. Thank You.
ellen
12/04/10
Yolanda, not clear, is this all one meal or two or 3 different meals? Also is it plated or self serve, as this makes a difference on quantities. Write back.
Shelley
04/23/11
Hello there, finding your website very helpful but would like clarification because I am reading different info in different replies (especially how much shaved ham and turkey to get). Having a graduation open house for approx 200 ppl. (There is an open invite at church so I will plan on 200 and hope for the best)
Shave Turkey 25 lbs???
Shaved Ham 25 lbs???
Buns 200-250???
BBQMeatballs 20 lbs???
Baked Beans
Pasta Salad
Chips 12-16 lbs???
Also, my baker says I only need one decorated sheet cake that serves around 75 or so since we are having 2 texas sheet cakes and some cookie trays.
Can you please tell me if these amounts sound even remotely correct?
Thanks for all your help.
ellen
04/23/11
Shave Turkey 25 lbs OK- up to 30- the remainder could freeze...
Shaved Ham 25 lbs OK- up to 30- the remainder could freeze...
Buns 200-250- at least 250
BBQMeat balls 20 lbs- people will eat all there are, up to 40 pounds
Baked Beans- need 7 gallons
Pasta Salad- made from 12 pounds dry pasta
Chips 12-16 lbs- at least 16 pounds, and you need 3-4 gallons dip

You need sandwich condiments, see the sadnwich event page.

ellen
04/23/11
The bakery stuff looks OK- don't know how many cookies- you will find they eat lots of cookie.
Shelley
04/23/11
Thanks so much :) I plan on having lots of cookies. That is what I am asking people to bring when they volunteer to bring something. So really... one decorated cake should be enough then??? I really have been struggling with that decision. Wouldn't want to run out of that.
ellen
04/23/11
If you have the 2 Texas sheet cakes, each of these 3 cakes is equivalent to 4 9x13 cakes, probably enough. If you are concerned, instead of having a second decorated cake, ask for one 2-layer sheet cake; plenty of cake and less costly.
Carol
04/24/11
How many pounds of pulled pork will fit into an 18 qt roaster? Is it feasible to make cheesy potatoes in the oven and then place into a roaster to keep warm? If so, what temp will keep the potatoes warm and not burn them?
ellen
04/24/11
About 20 pounds is the right amount for a roaster. You can make the potatoes straight in the roaster- preheat the roaster at least 20 minutes before putting in the pan of potatoes- when the temp in the middle is 185, turn the roaster down to 180 to hold.
Janessa
04/27/11
I want to do pulled pork and brisket sandwiches for a graduation party for about 100 people. There will be 3 side dishes to go along with it. About how much meat will be necessary? I want to do half and half on the meat.
ellen
04/28/11
People will eat a little more brisket than pork. I allow 2 pounds raw brisket for 5 fat sandwiches, 1 pound raw pork for 3 fat sandwiches.
karyn
05/10/11
having a grad party, around 125 people. this is what i was thinking.
chicken 175 pcs
sauge 18lbs with peppers & onions
pulled pork 25lbs
with 150 rolls
bakes beans how much
cole slaw 5lb bags how much
little white potatoes 6lbs are in a can
fruit bowl
toss salade 2 long tins

party is june 6th need help

ellen
05/10/11
Way plenty meat, probably I would cut chicken to 125 pieces.

bakes beans how much- 4 gallons
cole slaw 5lb bags how much- 4 plus dressing and add-ins
little white potatoes 6lbs are in a can- 30 pounds- probably have some left
fruit bowl-use measure on fruit tray page, trays are prettier, last better and the leftovers are more usable.

Need about 100 rolls and sandwich fixings for 100, see the sandwich page for quantities.

Michelle
05/11/11
I am having a grad party for my daughter. There are appox 75 - 100 ppl coming. I am trying to put together a menu but am unsure of how much of each item I will need. Here is what I am looking at.

Ziti
Meatballs
Sausage & Peppers
Baked Ham
Potato Salad
Tossed Salad
Bake Chicken
Roast Potatoes
Cake
Cookies
Chocolate fountain (pretzels, marshmellows,fruit)

Or should I alter this in any way & make other items instead?

ellen
05/12/11
There is a big difference in quantity from 75 to 100, so I am giving the estimates for 100. This is a lot of entrees for 100, so you will have some leftovers.

All of these:
Meatballs- 1 pound per 5
Sausage & Peppers- 1 pound raw sausage per 5
Baked Ham- 1 pound ready to eat per 5
Baked Chicken- 1 piece per person
This gives everyone their first choice

Potato Salad- see plan for 100 page
Tossed Salad- see plan for 100 page

Roast Potatoes- about 25 pounds, because you also have ziti
Ziti- meatless side dish, 1 pound dry per 10. Entree with meat? 1 pound dry per 8

Cake
Cookies
See dessert planning page for help

Chocolate fountain (pretzels, marshmellows,fruit) see chocolate fountain page for complete discussion.

Darin
05/13/11
I am taking care of supplying the beverages for my daughter's grad party. My ex is estimating about 150 people over an 8 hour period. I'm guessing about 20 youngsters and the remaining 130 people will be split between adults and teens. Any suggestions on variety and amounts of each? Thanks!
ellen
05/13/11
What time of day, Darin, and what else is being served? Do you plan alcohol for the grown ups? What about coffee in the evening? Are ypu up for concocting a punch/real lemonade, etc, or do you wantto go commercial? Write back.
Bobbi
06/09/11
I am helping a friend with her son's graduation party by making the bbq sauce for the shredded beef. She said she purchased about 50 lbs of beef that she needs to shred. Do you have any idea of how much sauce I would need to make to mix into the beef? Thanks!
ellen
06/09/11
I suggest about 1 quart per 6 pounds of meat for the dish plus 1/4 cup per person on the table.
Kelli aldrich
06/09/11
I am having a grad party for approximately 75-100 people. The food I have covered, curious how much soda (cans) and bottled water to purchase. We will be having a keg of beer. This will not be a big alcohol drinking crowd. Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!
ellen
06/10/11
Hi, Kelli,
This is discussed in some detail on the beverage planning page. If you have more questions after reading, write back.

You may want to consider getting 1/2 or quarter kegs; once a keg is tapped, it is basically done for. If they are not beer drinkers, you may waste a good bit of the whole keg.

Pam S
06/13/11
Hi Ellen - This forum is so helpful - really glad I came upon it!

Here is the menu for our son's grad party:
Pulled Pork Sliders
Marinated Boneless Grilled Chicken Tenders
Baked Ziti
Meatballs in Sauce
Macaroni Salad
Baked Beans
Salt Potatoes

1/2 Sheet Cake
150 Mini Cupcakes

We are planning to feed 100 people total. How do we figure how much pulled pork and chicken to prepare? Also - Do you think we might need more mini cupcakes and possibly another dessert?

ellen
06/13/11
You have noticed that chicken tenders come in really different sizes?

Because you are serving both ziti and mac salad and potatoes, this is a tough estimate and you will have leftovers. About 20 pounds smallish potatoes (more if larger); 8 pounds dry ziti; 4 pounds dry mac for salad.

1 pound pork per 5 plus 1 pound chicken per 4 plus 1 pound meatballs per 4-5.

Yes I would add, but a big fruit tray rather than more cake. This is a pretty heavy meal, no veggies or salad.

Pam S
06/15/11
Thanks Ellen! Now that you mention it, it IS a heavy menu - I should add a veggie and/or fruit platter!

My hubby will be grilling the marinated chicken - boneless breasts - and then cutting them into smaller "tender" size pieces.

THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Your site and forum is a huge wealth of knowledge and information! It is so nice that you take the time to answer each and every post too!

Ann
06/16/11
Hi Ellen, I am planning a graduation open house and have been using your site for guiding me with quantities. But how do I estimate the volume of storage I will need to keep food cool while it is replenished on the serving table. I am planning on food for 75. The main items I will need to store are cut veggies, fruit and pasta salad. I know I can use large "zip" bags or aluminum trays . . . but how do I estimate the size and quantity to make sure I can fit everything in my fridge or how many extra coolers/ice I will need?
Thank you!
ellen
06/16/11
I would suggest you just plan on 3 28 quart or larger coolers, 1 for each item, plus the ice.
Meghan Keding
10/23/11
Sorority Recruitment
I am planning on of our rush events and am in charge for food for that day. Girls usually only eat a little so portions should be relatively small. I am looking to make tea sandwhiches and a cheese/grape/cracker assortment for roughly 600 girls. My question to you is how many oz of cheese to slice, how many pounds of grapes, and how many crackers I should get.

THANKS :)

ellen
10/23/11
Suggest you look at the big articles on tea sandwiches which discuss issues around quantities in some detail, and include recipes. 1 ounce of crackers, 1 ounce of cheese and 2-3 ounces of grapes if you are sure they are really light eaters. My experience has been when boys are not around, they eat pretty heartily...
Ginnie
11/22/11
Birthday party
Hi, I am hosting a dance and finger foods for 150 guest. It will begin at 9 p.m. I will be serving trays of assorted deli meats, sandwiches, cheese and crackers, as well as veg. and fruit platters. There will also be cupcakes in 2 flavors. How much food should I order?

Thanks

ellen
11/23/11
Ginnie, if this is teens, order the same as you would for lunch.

assorted deli meats, sandwiches, see the sandwich page for extensive discussion about amounts. You want at least reception level; regular lunch level if they are big eaters.
cheese and crackers, 1 1/2 ounces cheese (2 if you want some for the sandwiches) per person. 6 pounds crackers per 100.
veg. trays-go light, enough for 100, veg tray page
fruit platters, fruit tray page.

I would probably add chips (8 pounds per 100)and a dip or two (1/3 cup total per person).

Make a stab at estimating, post it and I will be glad to review it for you.

Shell
12/05/11
christmas party
I'm planning on having lasagna for about 20-25 people. I just need to know what type of beverge goes well with this, it's at work, so can't have alcohol. Punch, tea or sodas?
It's lasagna (2 large lasagna pans), garlic bread, salad, 2 regular cakes, cookies and fudge. I was thinking a non-alcoholic beverage, but what..hope I'm cooking enough..no other meats.......
thanks
ellen
12/06/11
A wine-free sangria? A flavored iced tea? Punch? A million choices...

This is enough if they are really big pans, each holding 2 9x13.

Jamie
12/13/11
birthday party
Hi. We are having a cookout type meal. We were thinking of having the following menu:

BBQ Sliders
Mashed Potato Bar
Corn
Baked Beans
Various fruit and veggie trays

How much meat should i order to make the sliders? I know a lb makes around 4-6 sandwiches but I don't know how that converts when doing sliders. Or would it be easier/cheaper to just do larger sandwiches?
Thanks

Jamie
12/13/11
birthday party
Sorry..it's for around 50 people.
ellen
12/13/11
Sliders are fun, 1 pound makes about 10. Plan on 4 per person. Have one pack of veggie burgers or veggie sausages for the non-beef eaters.
Tom Goodman
03/12/12
I have a graduate with the open house on 6/9. I think I know what i'm doing but that's just silly. We got 135 on the list and we have Polish, Russian, German, English (UK)and hillbillies for guests. Can you give me a real simple menu? I'm on the hillbilly side but my son is way more reifined than I and I'd like to do it right.
ellen
03/13/12
You hve the makings of a really great party. I need to know if this is high school or college graduation; what beverages will be served, how long the party lasts; and your available cooks, freezers and kitchen arrangements (for example, home party vs. church hall). Write back.
Lisa
03/16/12
Hi, Ellen! I'm planning my fiance's college graduation party for the end of April and I really want to do a good job. It looks like the party will be from 3 to 9, with a pretty concentrated group of 20 somethings and older adults, with maybe 5 or 6 kids thrown in the mix, totaling probably 50 to 60 people. I'm trying to set up food that could be eaten as a meal, as well as provide little nibbles for people who don't want a big meal. So far on the menu is: Pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and a potato salad I make with red potatoes, green beans, bacon and sweet onion dressing. For the nibbly stuff, I'll be getting a couple party trays. For dessert I have brownies, a sheet cake, and a chocolate fountain, with probably a fruit tray. Should I have more options instead of just pulled pork? And how much of everything should I get? Thank you, Ellen, I love your website.
ellen
03/16/12
You might add some baked in the oven BBQ chicken legs or quarters cut into two pieces- good for nibbles or eaters.

Look at the veggie tray page, fruit tray page, and appetizer page- you can save a lot doing these yourself ad they are not difficult.

Be SURE to read the chocolate fountain article.

Use 2/3 of 100 for you numbers and you will have PLENTY of food.

Pulled pork only, do 2 pounds boneless raw per 5, with chicken, 2 pounds per 6 plus 1 piece (not 1 quarter) chicken per person.

Lisa
03/20/12
Okay, so this is my menu for 65 people, after looking at the other pages. Please tell me if the quantities look about right or if I am crazy. I'm basically freaking out about having the correct quantities of everything.

Nibblies:
Cheese tray: Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, Pepperjack to total 6 pounds.
Veggie Tray: 18 pounds varied vegetables.
Chicken Wings: Buffalo & BBQ 24 lbs.
Mexican Tray: 1 pint salsa, 1 pint guacamole, 1 pint con queso, 4 lbs. tortilla chips
Spinach & Artichoke Dip: 8 quarts with 30 pita breads
Main Food:
Pulled Pork: 22 lbs
Black Bean Burgers: 30 burgers
100 buns total
Coleslaw 1 & 1/2 gallons
Potato Salad 2 1/2 gallons
Dessert:
Fruit Tray: 2 3-4 lb pineapple, 2 4 lb canteloupe, 2 2 lb honeydew, 8-10 lb watermelon, 4 lbs. grapes, 2 lb strawberries, 6 cups yogurt sauce
Sheet Cake: Yellow and Chocolate
Red Velvet Cupcakes: 3 dozen
Mint Cheesecake Bars: 3 dozen
Key Lime Bars: 3 dozen
Beverages:
Beer: 60 bottles
Wine: 2 boxes
Soda: 12 2 Liters
Lemonade: 2 gallons
Iced Tea: 2 gallons

Thank you & sorry for the monster post.

ellen
03/21/12
You did good, really good. Lucky fellow! Here are a few suggestions for 65 people:

Veggie Tray: 18 pounds varied vegetables, probably only need 12-13. don't forget dip/Ranch, about 3 quarts.
Chicken Wings: Buffalo & BBQ 24 lbs. Dipping sauces, 1/4 cup per person
Mexican Tray: 1 pint salsa, 1 pint guacamole, 1 pint con queso, 4 lbs. tortilla chips
I would probably do 6 pounds chips, just not opening all the bags till I see how it is going.
I would do 1 cup salsa per 5, 1 cup guac per 3-4, 1 cup queso per 4-5; People eat a LOT of dip

Pulled Pork: 22 lbs
Black Bean Burgers: 30 burgers
100 buns total

I might do the bean burgers small and get the smaller buns- slider or turkey roll size for both sandwiches, 3 buns per adult, 2 per kid; they eat easier and less waste.

Beer: Most beer drinkers drink 4-6 at a party, with younger doing the larger amount, do you have enough?

Wine: Franzia makes a drinkable "crisp white", avoid the "chillable red"; or step up a level to Black Box.

You might consider a couple of pots of coffee with those good desserts and those drinks...

Tom Goodman
04/05/12
Hi Ellen,

Sorry I didn't get back sooner. I was looking for something in my inbox and it took me a bit to find where I posted this. It's a High School graduation and I only have a side by side fridge and a small deep freezer. I do have alot of help from my sisters that can help out with the freezer stuff. My question is from 3/12 if that helps. I have at least 3 cooks, The party is from 2-6 only to give my son an out to enjoy his friends parties. I'm sure we will have people here until 10 or 11. Beverages are soft drinks, tea, water, punch and beer and wine for the adults. This is a home party with a tent in the yard and food will be served in the garage. I don't want to go overboard, but I want to have a nice selection for the varied tasts.

ellen
04/12/12
Basically, Tom, this is 2 parties, the teen fest and the adult thank heavens party, and I would do it that way.

Plan about 20 "bites" or small appetizer servings per teen, 10-12 per adult for the first half. Look at the appetizer page, dips, and the dessert bar page for some ideas. Pull out the pulled pork, roast chicken, or whatever for the second half, after the teens are gone.

For the first half, some kinds of sausages in sauce, 3-4 dips (see the 7 layer dip and the antipasto platter on this site), some of the little ethnic dumplings of various sorts, fruit trays,, sliders or mini sandwiches of some kind, which are not premade, but the eaters assemble as they pick up their food.

For the grown ups, take a look at the cold lunch under the button on the main cook talk page.

Write back.

Mary D
04/13/12
Planning a grad reception for around 250 people and going to have shredded beef sandwiches. How many pounds of beef do I need and how many buns do I order? Other food will be snicker salad, cole slaw, potato salad, veggie tray, and fruit tray. Your help would be greatly apprciated. Thanks.
ellen
04/13/12
If it is a meal, allow 1 pound per 3, 5 buns per pound. If reception, per 4.
cathy simon
04/16/12
Hi Ellen,
so happy I found your website. graduation party. 200 people, lots of kids.
wondering this will be enough food.
*dinner roll subs (10pkg of 24 count rolls)
-20lbs shaved turkey
-20lbs shaved ham
(couple lbs of pepperoni to add to a few subs)
-10 lbs of cheese (spliting in half cuz buns are small) (sides for subs lettuce, tomatoe, pickles, onions, & pepper rings)
*hardy baked beans (with hamb & sausage mixed)
*taco salad (2 large bowls)
*cabbage salad (2 large bowls)
*pasta salad (2 large bowls)
*fruit tray
*nacho bar (chips & cheeese & salsa)
* cake & cupcakes

beverages...lemonade, tea, water & sno cone machine.
any comments would be helpful..will this be enough food?

Jamie
04/28/12
Hi Ellen,
Doing a grad party and I think I can figure quanity ok but I am making alfredo, mac and cheese and spaghetti. Can i put the alfredo in a roaster and do I cook it in the roaster or cook in oven and just keep warm in roaster-same with mac and cheese. The spaghetti I plan on serving sauce in crock pot and noodles kept warm with sterno. Do you think this will work? i have never made alfredo but your recipe looks great
ellen
04/28/12
You can assemble the cooked mac and its sauce in the roaster cooking pan and cook it in the roaster, Grease and Parm cheese the pan before adding the casserole, preheat the roaster 20 minutes before inserting the cooking pan.

Alfredo does better if done and then only held in the roaster- but true Alfredo doesn't hold very well- see the Alfredo style sauce on the spaghetti page for help.

Be sure that the spaghetti noodles are well coated with oil- they would hold better in the sauce, than just over Sterno.

cathy simon
04/30/12
Hi Ellen,
so happy I found your website. graduation party. 200 people, lots of kids.
wondering this will be enough food.
*dinner roll subs (10pkg of 24 count rolls)
-20lbs shaved turkey
-20lbs shaved ham
(couple lbs of pepperoni to add to a few subs)
-10 lbs of cheese (spliting in half cuz buns are small) (sides for subs lettuce, tomatoe, pickles, onions, & pepper rings)
*hardy baked beans (with hamb & sausage mixed)
*taco salad (2 large bowls)
*cabbage salad (2 large bowls)
*pasta salad (2 large bowls)
*fruit tray
*nacho bar (chips & cheeese & salsa)
* cake & cupcakes
beverages...lemonade, tea, water & sno cone machine.
any comments would be helpful..will this be enough food?
sue
04/30/12
We are having a graduation for approximately 200 people and would like some advice on amounts of food. The menu is pulled pork sandwiches, catered deli sandwiches from favorite local restaraunt, 2 different pasta salads, fruit, chips. It will be a Sunday night from 6-9 and many of the guest will have stopped at other parties prior to ours, so will not be starving. I would love some advise for how much raw pork to purchase, how many buns(will be doing small dollar buns), how much of each pasta salad to make, and estimate on fruit. We also will have beer, lemonade and bottled water..if you have estimates for those too. Thanks SO Much!
ellen
04/30/12
Cathy this is a fne menu, but if the party is over a mealtime or more than 3 hours long, it is only enough food for about 100-120 people.

Sue, see the beverage page for help with beverages.
200 people, reception, not meal level
pork sandwiches, 1 pound raw per 4-5 (2-3 ounces cooked per person)
1 1/2 rolls per person
catered deli sandwiches from favorite local restaurant, size varies, about 1/2 per person (3 inches on a baguette)

2 different pasta salads, 12 pounds minimum pasta, you decide how to divide
fruit, see fruit tray page, do for 150
chips, 1 pound per 10 PLUS 2 1/2 -3 cups dip per pound.

Cindy
05/01/12
I am having a small graduation party for about 55 people.Time line is 4 30 until 7ish. My menu goes as follows:
chicken party wings (some hot; some not)
chicken strips
Mac and cheese
baked beans
salad
veg tray
fruit tray
dev. eggs
cake and beverages

I have purchased 12 lbs of wings; 16 of chicken breast to cut into strips; 6 lbs of macaroni and 4 lbs of cheese. How many veg/ fruit trays will I need and dev. eggs? With the sides do I have enough pounds of chicken with everything else? Also.....how many beans?
Thanks Cindy

ellen
05/02/12
You meat is OK.

baked beans 3gallons is plenty for 100, use 1/2
salad- 1/2 plan for 100
veg tray- see veg tray page
fruit tray- see fruit tray page
dev. eggs- do 2 1/2 to 3 dozen eggs
cake- 9x13 or 2 layer or 1/4 sheet serves 12

beverages- see beverage planning page

Nicole
05/02/12
Tea party
help ellen asap! i am having a afternoon tea party this saturday for 40 people. i need to know how much eggs(for egg salad), and chicken(for chicken salad), and cuccumbers(for cuccumber sandwich), and how many loaves of bread. thanks so much, nicole
ellen
05/02/12
Nicole, did you read the tea party pages? Amounts vary by double depending on what time, how long a party, and what else is being served. I need more info.

Pepperidge Farm makes a thin sliced bread n white and wheat that is perfect for this, just the right texture.

Kathy
05/03/12
Hi Ellen:

Chamber mixer at work for 200-250 people. Having Hors doeuvres served by a caterer (veggie tray, fruit tray, 3 kinds of sliders, sausage medallions, pasta salad (picnic theme). We are providing beer, soda and water. No wine.

We are purchasing the beer, soda and water. How much of each?

Kathy
05/03/12
Hi Ellen:

Sorry I forgot to tell you the mixer is for 2 hours 5pm to 7pm.

Thanks!

ellen
05/09/12
Kathy, use the beverage planning page to make an estimate and post it, and I will help. They will eat very hearty and drink about 3 drinks each, as they will be substituting for dinner.
Pam
05/18/12
Hello Ellen,
I am planning my sons high school graduation party and anticipate 150-200 people. His party will be later than the rest of his classmates so I anticipate a bigger than normal turnout. We will start at 5 and quit when people stop coming. The menu will consist of fried chicken, potatoe salad and baked beans, bottle water, iced tea and possibly soda. I plan on filling in with relishes etc. Would you give me some ideas on the quanities of each item to purchase and/or any other suggestions you have.
Thank you.
ellen
05/19/12
Pam this is not enough food- you need to add bread/ rolls, at least a slaw

fried chicken, 2 pieces per person
potato salad, 4 gallons per 100
baked beans, 3 gallons per 100
3 gallons per 100 of another side- slaw, mac and cheese, veggie casserole, something

chips. 1 1/2 pounce per person dip, 1/4 cup per person

fruit trays- see the fruit tray page

12 pounds bread and 3 pounds butter per 100

Serious dessert

For the beverages, see the beverage planning page; lemonade is a good and inexpensive alternative to soda

Ellen
05/19/12
We are having a graduation party for 200-300 people that are invites. Many of the kids from school show up for parties as well. We are having sub sandwiches, fried chicken, meatballs, potato and pasta salad, vegetable trays and mixed fruit, along with snacks as chips, pretzel and dessert. Beverages are beer, wine and bottled water. How much of each would be recommended.
Thanks
ellen
05/20/12
Ellen, it is not possible to estimate a party with no firm number of guests, no length of the party. Also, if this is a high school graduation, you do not want to serve beer at this large a party, as you are legally liable if the underage drink.

Most of these foods are availale on the plan for 100 pages:

potato and pasta salad, vegetable trays (veggie tray page)and mixed fruit (fruit tray page), along with snacks as chips, pretzel. Desserts on the dessert planning page.

Beverages on the beverage planning page.

For the sub sandwiches, fried chicken, meatballs, get:
sub sandwiches, 4 inches per person
fried chicken, 1 piece per person
meatballs, 1 pound per 5 people

Becky
05/21/12
Do you consider fruit salad and baked beans as sides? I'm planning a party to feed 150 and want to have potato and slaw salad, but am wondering if I should include the fruit salad and baked beans in the 1 gallon of side dishes per 10 people.

How about potato chips are they a side? - I'm planning 2 oz per person, is that too much?

This is a self-serve open house from 5-9 pm.

Thank you for your help! I love your website - it is fabulous for the people who only plan large parties a few times in their life!

Pollee
05/21/12
Thank you for all of the wonderful info on your site. :) I'm having a grad party for about 75 people--adult and teens, about half and half--from 1:00-4:00 pm. We're grilling burgers and chicken breasts for sandwiches. Is it possible to hold the cooked patties and chicken in separate crock pots on low setting? If so, what do you suggest I use to keep them moist?
ellen
05/21/12
Becky, I do not count the fruit or chips in the 10 gallons; I do count beans, slaw, pasta and potato salad. If I save you some trouble or money, consider a donation to support the site-

Pollee, I would not grill and hold. Instead, how about pulled chicken and either meatballs or sausage and peppers or Italian beef- all hold well and taste great.

Pollee
05/22/12
Thanks for responding so quick Ellen. :) I love the pulled chicken idea. Unfortunately I was out-voted on this one, lol, as my husband has his mind set on grilling. We may just have to grill in smaller batches rather than one big one. :P

I'm having trouble figuring out the ratio of burgers to chicken breast sandwiches. Adult women seem to go more for the chicken, but men will sometimes eat both. The head count for the 75 people between men/women and teen girls/boys is pretty evenly split. There are a few grandparents and younger kids in the mix.

For an open house/1-4 pm party, the day before graduation when there's likely to be other grad parties going on, (hungry family will arrive at noon, which is why I had thought holding in the crock pots might work--food safety is a concern) do you think 55 burgers + ~35 chicken sandwiches would be enough? (Plus pasta salad, baked beans, veggie tray/dip, watermelon, appetizers, and cake.)

Thanks much for your help. :)

ellen
05/22/12
Sounds about right.How about a box or two of veggie burgers for the non-meat eaters?
Pollee
05/22/12
Good idea...thanks! :)
Donna Levy
05/26/12
I am having a graduation party fro 5:30-9pm. 40 adults and somewhere around 60-70 kids. We were going to have salad( both Caesar and a goat cheese/nut/greens salad. I am not sure how many lbs? We will serve passed appetizers as well as a brie wheel with crackers. We are planning on 4 main courses: an Indonesian Chicken, a 4 cheeses pasta dish, Jambalaya with shrimp and sausage,, and penne pasta chicken dish. Sides of peanut noodles and a green bean/carrot glazed. Cookies/blondies/brownies for dessert. I don't know how many lbs of each to figure so we have enough but not a ton of left overs.
Thanks for your help.
ellen
05/27/12
This is a fairly adult menu for a high school graduation.

salad( both Caesar and a goat cheese/nut/greens salad.
about 60 servings of each- check your recipe

you might consider adding an interesting kid friendly salad, such as cherry tomatoes with fresh mozzarella-

an Indonesian Chicken, 4 ounces boneless, or 8 ounces whole chicken per person
Jambalaya with shrimp and sausage, about 60 servings
a 4 cheeses pasta dish, 10 pounds (10 9x13 dishes)

penne pasta chicken dish- I would skip this entirely, you have another chicken dish and 2 other pasta dishes.

peanut noodles- about 8 pounds dry noodles
green bean/carrot glazed- about 20 pounds.

Cookies/blondies/brownies- cut moderate size. 1 of each flavor per person, some extra brownies

Dora
05/28/12
Hi Ellen,

My son's high school grad party is June 9 from 4-8pm. We invited 225 (65% adults; 35% teens).

We're planning on having rigatoni, meatball sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, italian sausage sandwiches, possibly cabbage rolls, red skinned potatoes, pasta salad, taco salad, veggie tray, fruit trays, assorted cookies & pastries, cupcakes, pop, beer, water and iced tea.

Can you give me an estimate on how much of each I will need?

Thanks so much!

ellen
05/28/12
I would count as 200, teens eat more.

rigatoni, MEAT? 10 pounds dry pasta per 100

meatball sandwiches,
pulled pork sandwiches,
italian sausage sandwiches,
complicated. About 35 pounds meats per 100, no advice on the split- depends on the region/crowd.

possibly cabbage rolls, 1 per plus 10%

red skinned potatoes, 35 pounds per 100

pasta salad, 6 pounds per 100
taco salad, see out of the trash bag walking taco slad this site, do about 100

veggie tray, see veggie tray page, consider 1=2 classic relish trays as part
fruit trays, see fruit tray page

assorted cookies & pastries, cupcakes, plan on 4 pieces per person, including 1 cupcake, not large

pop, beer, water and iced tea. See beverage planning page. Watch out for beer and teens- you are legally liable personally if any are DUI after the party.

Kristi
05/30/12
I am having a grad party for my son. From 2pm until ?? Total invited = 65 (20 son's friends) I am making: 25lbs pulled beef for sandwhiches, 7 dozen buns, pasta salad, veggie pizza, oriental salad, some fruit, little weinies, chips and salsa, cupcakes, rootbeer floats and pop etc. Is that enough beef and buns for sandwhiches?
Kristi
05/30/12
oh...and im making 5 dozen cupcakes, is that enough?? any other advice on my menu?
ellen
05/30/12
Looks OK. With the pizza, you have enough meat for 100 buns. I would make at least 7 dozen cupcakes...
Denise
05/31/12
Ellen - my son's open house will be from noon-3pm with about 100 adults/teens attending. This is what my menu is:

80 hamburgers
80 hot dogs
80 brats
Broccoli Ramen Noodle Salad (found recipe to serve 100)
Tomato-cuke-onion-feta salad (have recipe for 100)
Chips - dip
Sliced watermelon
Punch - Pop - Water - Iced Tea

Do you think I need to add baked beans? or another side dish? Do you think we have enough burgers/dogs/brats? Thanks for your help!

ellen
06/01/12
I would suggest adding potato or pasta salad see the plan for 100 page for amounts.
Sally
06/06/12
My daughter is having her first graduation party. She is having around 250-275 people. Here is her menu: Sausage with peppers and onions, chicken, green beans, parsley potatoes, homemade mac and cheese, pasta and meatballs, veg and fruit trays, jello salad, potato salad, 1 1/2 sheet cake, cake pops, pop, water, iced tea and lemonade. Could you give us any help as to what not to have or what to add. Thanks.
Sally
06/06/12
Also could you help with how much to make. Thank You, Sally
ellen
06/07/12
Sausage with peppers and onions, 1 pound per 5 plus equal veggies
chicken, 1 piece per person
pasta and meatballs, 1 pound pasta per8 plus 1 pound meatballs per 4

green beans, 22 pounds per 100
parsley potatoes, 30 pounds per 100
homemade mac and cheese, 8 pounds dry mac per 100, 1 pound cheese per pound

veg and fruit trays, see fruit tray pages
jello salad, 17 small boxes per 100
potato salad, not needed, you have a lot of starches already

1 1/2 sheet cake, makes just 25-30 pieces
cake pops, 2 per person (or make a two layer 1/2 sheet cake and make 1 per person)

pop, water, iced tea and lemonade. see beverage planning page.

sandy
06/08/12
Graduation party for 80 people..menu
100 pieces of fried chicken....80 stuffed cabbage... sauerkraut/smoked kielbasa, ham..
noodle salad ...fruit salad...chicken wings...rolls/butter ..cake..cookies...bottled water, ice tea, lemonade, soda pop, wine, beer, coffee...serving food at 3pm.....how is my plan coming?
jerry
06/08/12
wow, great site.
grad party for 300. problem is ours is later in the day and a vast majority of attendees will have already made there way to at least one or two. how do you plan food amounts for that?
all my friends from previous years claim they had waaay too much food leftover using a caterer and actual numbers.
jerry
06/08/12
160 4oz. hamburg patties
100 brats
240 hotdogs
25 lbs baked beans
20 lbs potato salad
35 lbs mac and cheese
numerous bags chips
120 cupcakes
200 cutout cookies

how amny people can i feed with these amounts?

thanks

ellen
06/08/12
Skip the wings, expensive and not necessary with all the other food. Consider fruit tray instead of salad, keeps better, looks prettier and leftovers are more useful. Since it is a reception tme slot, count as just 3/4 of 100.
Christy
06/10/12
Bless you for this site! I've been freaking out but have found so much good advice here. My grad party for about 80 will fun 4-8pm. Can I offer something "lighter" (thinking chili and ham spirals, nibblings) from 4-6pm and then bring out pulled pork sliders, meatballs, the salads, and desserts at 6pm? Is that odd?
ellen
06/10/12
No, not odd, that is very OK. If it is a weekday, though, everyone coming will eat a dinner's worth- the early comers will eat instead of dinner and the later comers will expect a dinner's worth. So plan amounts accordingly.
robin
06/18/12
graduation party 100 adults 40 teenagers
23 pounds pulled pork? is that enough?
ziti...how many pounds?
mac N cheese...how many pounds?
also having mac salad, pasta salad, tomato pie , lunch meat tray, baked beans,
salt potatoes...how many pounds would you recommend?

Thank you.

ellen
06/19/12
Not really enough, this is the equivalent of 150 regular eaters. I do 38 pounds raw boneless meat per 100 for sandwiches, pulled pork, etc. I would do for at least 100
lunch meat tray, do for 50, see the sandwich plan page. You need rolls and condiments, see sandwich page

ziti
mac N cheese
Total 14 pounds dry pasta, you decide how to divide.
baked beans,3 gallons per 100

mac salad, pasta salad, too much pasta, how about potato salad (50 pounds raw potato) and slaw (4 1/2 gallons)

tomato pie ? no idea how you will prep this, one small piece per person
salt potatoes, about 60 pounds

blossom
06/19/12
fundraising parent/children dance party
Our PTA is planning a parent/childen dance for 100 people and we are not too sure about our menu and the quantity
3 pans of stewed chicken
3 pans of white rice
2 pans of beans and rice
2 large pans of lasagna
1 pan chicken wings
2 pans barbecue chicken
1 pan fried pork
1 pan fried fish
1 pan macaroni and cheese
pine tarts
50 2 litres botle of soda
100 bottles of water
ice cream and cake
ellen
06/19/12
Do you mean a standard 2 inch deep steam table/ chafing dish pan? You have plenty of meats, but way short on the mac and cheese- 2 pans at least, 3 would not be way too much, and cut back the plain rice to no more than 2 pans
Christina
01/06/13
Burrito sale
I am selling shredded beef burritos. I sell them by the dozen. I have to fill a order for 25 dozen. So, how much roast do I have to purchase to fill this order? How much meat should I put in each burrito. I also fill the burrito's with cheese. I don't know if you answer ?'s like this but I would appreciate your insight. Thanks, Christina
ellen
01/06/13
Christina, this is not enough info. What size tortilla? Do you use rice, beans, onions, salsa in the burrito? Is the cheese a sprinkle or a serious layer? Tell me more.
hanna
01/10/13
birthday party
I am making a party for approximately 130 people. I would count 50 of them as kids, the rest adults.
This is my menu...can u advise if u think it's enough?

8 large snapples
24 bottles of seltzer
24 bottles of 1 liter waters

two salads which will be made from 18 heads of romaine hearts and other varioius vegetables.

israeli salad (tom, cucumber and pepper) not sure how much of each to buy

300 mini eggrolls (theyre really small

300 mini borekas

12 pounds of plain french fries
8 pounds of seasoned french fries

350 falafel balls

150 whole pitas

4 pounds of tehina

6 pounds of chumus

5 pounds of babaganoush

and for dessert about 850 various homemade cookies and a party cake

Do you think it'll be enough food and drinks for a 2 hour party starting at 5 pm.

p.s. I wrote on the invitation light dinner will be served.

michelle b
01/10/13
My sons graduation party will have 150 invitees. Figuring 115 will show up. Dinner will be served for 3 hours. Here is my menu
175 pieces fried chicken
15# pasta with 3 gallons sauce & 10# meat

Nacho Bar:
20# taco meat
12# chips
4 #10 cans cheese
Salsa green onions olives etc

3 #10 cans baked beans with 5# bacon
broccoli raisin salad - 1 gallon
Coleslaw - 10#
Potato salad - 15# with 12 eggs and several green peppers
8 dozen rolls
Antipasto pasta salad - 8# with couple pounds salami and cheeses
Small tray veggies and dip
small tray of cheeses and crackers
1/2 sheet cake
10 dozen cookies
5 dozen each brownies, cream puffs, and 1" cheesecakes squares
Chocolate fountain - 20 pounds of chocolate
2 bags each pretzel sticks,marshmallows
2 pound cake
1" rice.krispy treats
4 small cans pineapple chunks
3# strawberries
1 box Graham cracker sticks

Fruit salad
1 watermelon
3# grapes
2 pineapples
1 honeydew
2 cantaloupes
2# blueberries
3# strawberries

How does my menu sound? Are the amounts of each item enough? There will be about 30 terns who like to eat

michelle b
01/10/13
My sons graduation party will have 150 invitees. Figuring 115 will show up. Dinner will be served for 3 hours. Here is my menu
175 pieces fried chicken
15# pasta with 3 gallons sauce & 10# meat

Nacho Bar:
20# taco meat
12# chips
4 #10 cans cheese
Salsa green onions olives etc

3 #10 cans baked beans with 5# bacon
broccoli raisin salad - 1 gallon
Coleslaw - 10#
Potato salad - 15# with 12 eggs and several green peppers
8 dozen rolls
Antipasto pasta salad - 8# with couple pounds salami and cheeses
Small tray veggies and dip
small tray of cheeses and crackers
1/2 sheet cake
10 dozen cookies
5 dozen each brownies, cream puffs, and 1" cheesecakes squares
Chocolate fountain - 20 pounds of chocolate
2 bags each pretzel sticks,marshmallows
2 pound cake
1" rice.krispy treats
4 small cans pineapple chunks
3# strawberries
1 box Graham cracker sticks

Fruit salad
1 watermelon
3# grapes
2 pineapples
1 honeydew
2 cantaloupes
2# blueberries
3# strawberries

How does my menu sound? Are the amounts of each item enough? There will be about 30 teens who like to eat

Thanks

ellen
01/10/13
Hi, Hanna,

8 large snapples
24 bottles of seltzer
24 bottles of 1 liter waters
Don't know how large the bottles are. You need about 15 gallons total liquids.

two salads which will be made from 18 heads of romaine hearts and other varioius vegetables. Enough. Shred some of the lettuce for the falafel. See plan for 100 for dressing amounts.

israeli salad (tom, cucumber and pepper) not sure how much of each to buy

300 mini eggrolls (they're really small) OK

300 mini borekas- OK

12 pounds of plain french fries
8 pounds of seasoned french fries
50 would be more like it.

350 falafel balls-OK.

150 whole pitas

4 pounds of tehina- this is just sesame butter. Unless your family likes it as is, do mix it into a falafel sauce,

6 pounds of chumus

5 pounds of babaganoush

You might consider some pita chips- about 8 pounds

and for dessert about 850 various homemade cookies and a party cake- plenty

Christina Allen
01/10/13
They will be shredded beef (roast) with shredded cheese. The tortilla's will be a 6 inch tortilla. The beef is made in a light gravy. Beans and rice are on the side.
ellen
01/10/13
OK, Christina. Each burrito takes, 1 tortilla, 1 ounce of cheese, 4 ounces raw beef, about 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) salsa. Taco-type seasoning for the meat. Many people add a bit of chopped green onion or a tablespoon of sour cream. So multiply by 300, price the results and be aware that most caterers charge about 3 times the food cost for drop off.

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

ellen
01/10/13
Hanna, for the Israeli salad, for 100 servings I use about 8 pounds of tomatoes, equal weight cukes and peppers. You may want more tomato...
hanna
01/10/13
birthday party
thank you! I'm amazed at how quickly you responded.
michelle
01/11/13
We are.also havining a large roasted of stuffed cabbage. How much meat and cheese should I get for the antipasto Salas? Thanks
ellen
01/11/13
Michelle, hoping that both the long post and the antipasto question are yours. You have plenty of food for 150 with just a few tweaks.

175 pieces fried chicken- fine
15# pasta with 3 gallons sauce & 10# meat- fine

Nacho Bar:
20# taco meat
12# chips
4 #10 cans cheese
Salsa green onions olives etc (you can use the taco bar page for help with amounts of toppings

3 #10 cans baked beans with 5# bacon- fine
large roaster of stuffed cabbage- OK

These are light. I would probably double all:
broccoli raisin salad - 1 gallon
Coleslaw - 10#
Potato salad - 15# with 12 eggs and several green peppers

8 dozen rolls- double- 2 pieces per person

Antipasto pasta salad - 8# with couple pounds salami and cheeses
See the antipasto platter recipe for discussion about quantity, count in the cheese platter above
Small tray veggies and dip
small tray of cheeses and crackers

1/2 sheet cake
10 dozen cookies
5 dozen each brownies, cream puffs, and 1" cheesecakes squares

Chocolate fountain - 20 pounds of chocolate
2 bags each pretzel sticks,marshmallows
2 pounds cake
1 pound rice krispy treats
4 small cans pineapple chunks
3# strawberries
1 box Graham cracker sticks

Please read the chocolate fountain page. You have a bunch of crumbly stuff, which might be better omitted in a teen situation; for example, substitute oreos for cake

Fruit salad
1 watermelon
3# grapes
2 pineapples
1 honeydew
2 cantaloupes
2# blueberries
3# strawberries

Will probably run out. Add 4-6 pounds grapes and more strawberries

Melissa
03/20/13
Picnic
Hi, I am dong a church picnic for 70 adults/ kids. I want to serve pulled pork, is 30 pounds raw enough? Want to cook it the night before, but concerned about keeping warm for 3 hours prior to lunch as there are only grills, no electric power. Is this possible?
Thanks!
ellen
03/20/13
25 is plenty, and 20 might be enough if there are quite a few kids.

Must be scalding hot and stored in preheated containers. Check into the storage/transport units called cambros.

Bonnie
04/22/13
I am having a graduation party for 200 people. There are 3 other's having parties in our small town the same night. The party goes from 5-8pm. We are only having pulled pork for our meat. We are also having cheesy hash browns, baked beans, macaroni salad and fruit fluff. How much pulled pork, small buns, hash browns, beans and macaroni salad would I need? And also how many cupcakes? Thank You!
ellen
04/22/13
Are you cooking the pork yourself? 15 pounds cooked weight (which is about 22 pounds raw boneless) plus 8 quarts sauce makes 100 moderate sandwiches; even though there are other parties, you probably want to plan on one regular sandwich per person. On small buns, about 4 buns per 3 persons.

cheesy hash browns, see recipe at the bottom of the festive family brunch page. Do for about 150
baked beans, 5 gallons (#10 can is only 3/4 gallon)
macaroni salad-, 10 pounds dry pasta plus add ins, many recipes on this site

fruit fluff- 3 gallons per 100

Most likely everyone will eat cupcakes. If only one kind, plan 1 per person.

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

evie
05/01/13
how much food do i need for 100 people
meatball sandwiches
buns
chicken
sliced ham
parsley potatoes
salad
ellen
05/01/13
Evie is this all for one meal, is this over dinner time, how long is the party and what is the rest of the menu? Please post more info, and if possible, start anew thread.
Darla
05/02/13
I'm having a grad party 300 invited should I expect 20 to 30 percent not show up?
Menu
200 pieces of fried chicken
100 1 inch sub sandwiches
Tossed salad
Fruit trays
Cheese and crackers
7 layer taco dip and chips
Sheet cake
Cookies
Brownies
Desserts
Pasta salad
Dinner rolls
Should I add other salads? It's outside at a park. It runs from 3 to 8pm. Dinner at 4:30 or 5pm.
ellen
05/03/13
Hi, Darla,

You are headed in a good direction, but not enough food-

Caterers usually figure 85% of invites, which is about 250, so you need to plan for that many. This is over dinner- you have to plan on about 1 1/2 pound foods per person.

200 pieces of fried chicken- need at least one piece per person
100 1 inch sub sandwiches- need at least 2 inches per person- or 6 foot sub serves 30+

Pasta salad 6 pounds dry pasta per 100 plus fill ins
Tossed salad- see plan for 100, 2 1/2 times the amount

Fruit trays- see fruit tray page, 2 1/2 times the amount for 100-
Cheese and crackers- 12 pounds cheese or spreads/logs per 100 cheese plus 6 pounds per 100 crackers
7 layer taco dip and chips- 1 pound chips per 10. 1/4 to 1/3 cup dip per person
Consider adding some additional chip and dip choices

Sheet cake- full sheet is 50 servings. double layer full sheet serves 100.
Cookies
Brownies
I allow 4 small pieces per person for bars and cookies
Desserts ??

Dinner rolls-1.2 per 100 plus 2 pounds butter per 100

Theresa Harris
05/07/13
Hi Ellen,I am doing a dessert/candy bar for a Graduation Party for an expected 200 guests,the meal is being catered at the event menu,but they don't provide dessert,which is alright with me,and the candy part of the bar is all set,just different candies in the school colors,what I need to know is do I need to have 200 of each pastry,tart and cupcake and mini Swiss Rolls for the guests? I am planning on mini cheesecakes,fruit tarts,dessert push up pops,probably with cake/whipped cream layers in school colors,and the mini rolls,painted in a technique using meringue,it's called Kawaii Deco Roll Decorating.Anyway,what do you think?Should I just mix and match the pastries at 200 total,with some of each,or 200 of each? The part is the end of June so I hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!
Theresa
05/07/13
Event VENUE,NOT menu! lol!
ellen
05/07/13
Nice idea.

Teens will eat one each of just about every available sweet. Here is what I would do:

mini cheesecakes, 1.2 per person
fruit tarts, 1 per (little 2 bite size)
dessert push up pops,probably with cake/whipped cream layers in school colors, 1 per
mini rolls, 1.2 per

You usually need 4 pieces per person...

You might have some left, but not too much.

Theresa
05/07/13
Event VENUE,NOT menu! lol!
Theresa
05/08/13
Thank you Ellen!Since finding your site I have looked through your many helpful sections,and I am finding them to be a tremendous help!:)
JoAnn
05/31/13
I am having a graduation party. There will be approximately 40 people. I am planning on serving ham sandwiches and want to know how many buns, pounds of shaved ham and what else I should have and how much of everything? May 5 kids the rest are adults. Thanks so much!
ellen
05/31/13
Joann, you will get good advice from the sandwich page- you want about 1/2 way between 1/3 and 1/2 the amount for 100. It also has the trimmings-

Add sliced cheese, 1 pound per 12, to your plan, so people who don't eat meat can still make a sandwich. Also, deviled eggs would be great- that would take 3 dozen eggs.

About 1/2 a classic relish tray would be nice with this- see the veggie tray page.

Kelly
06/01/13
Hi Ellen,

Your site is a blessing! I am planning my son's high school open house and am getting a little uptight about food quantities. Would you look over my estimates and tell me how far off base I am? We are estimating between 150-170 people.

Pulled pork sandwiches - 200 sandwiches approx. 5 oz of cooked meat on each (thinking about 70 lbs of raw loin to make it?)
**we are making the sandwiches and wrapping them up for the event**

Baked beans - about 12 gal.

Coleslaw - about 12 gal.

Mixed fruit salad - about 24 gal.

veggie trays -

carrots - 20 lbs
broccoli - 10 lbs
cherry tomatoes - 12 quarts
celery sticks - 6 lbs

we are also having chips, bread and butter pickles and dill pickles.

Cake Pops - 300

1 full sheet cake

sundae bar with hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, oreo crumbles, and whipped cream

we are also having a candy buffet with assorted treats along with favor bags to take home.

Thank you for your guidance!

Sandra
06/01/13
I am planning on going shopping at Smith Grocery store or Sam's Club.

I am having a graduation party for my daughter at my house. There will be approximately 40 people. I am planning on serving brisket with mash potatoes, mushroom brown gravy flavor, green beans and ceasar salad, dinner rolls and small torillas. How many and how much pounds for brisket should I get? also all others on the list I do not know how to figure. Also we will have some simple Luscious and creamy flourless chocolate cake graduation caps. I do not know what else to go with the list. Approx: 20 kids and the rest Adults avarage 50 people. I do not know who will show up I'm hoping at least 40 people. I think this will do good for the party. Thank you

Julie
06/10/13
I am having my daughter's graduation party from 1-5 with lunch at 2. I am thinking about 125 people. Is this enough?

60lb roast beef for sandwiches
20lb Mac salad
15lb pasta salad
20 lb potato salad
2 large serving trays Mac and cheese
2 large trays ziti

Also, what should I have out to eat before lunch is served?

ellen
06/10/13
Kelly, Sandra, I missed the posts- that's why I ask people to start a new thread- I'm sorry.

Julie, here are some suggestions for 125

60 lb roast beef for sandwiches- plenty, I would do just 50 ready to eat, deli sliced
Need- sliced cheese, about 9-10 pounds
Need rolls and fixings (lettuce, tomato, etc)- see the sandwich page, do 1 1/4 times the amount for 100
20lb Mac salad- this is just 2 1/2 gallons, I would normally do 3, but with the pasta salad it is fine
15lb pasta salad- about 2 gallons, with the mac salad, fine
20 lb potato salad- just 2 1/2 gallons, I would normally do 4

2 large serving trays Mac and cheese?
2 large trays ziti
How large? Usual "full tray" is just 24 servings- I would do at least 5, probably 3 of each

Menu cries out for fruit trays and a green or or marinated veg salad- see fruit tray page

For appetizers, I would suggest
chips and dips- 1 pound chips per 12, 1 pint dip per pound
the fruit trays

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

Kristy
06/11/13
hi Ellen- We are having a graduation party and will be serving about 200 people. How much snicker salad would I serve?
ellen
06/13/13
I had to do some searching for this one, it was new to me.

You need about 6 1/2 gallons. Here are some tips I picked up:

For easy breaking, freeze SNICKERSŪ bars overnight. Place in zipper bags and crush.
For garnishes, sprinkle chopped or grated SNICKERSŪ on top or use a drizzle of caramel ice cream topping, or garnished apple slices and some coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts.

Now amounts for 200:

The creamy part:
at least 1 funbar Snicker per person, some salads allow up to 2 ounces per person, but this is a lot of candy

14 6 ounce containers of cool whip type topping

and either pudding or cream cheese base:
13 small instant puddings with 13 to 16 cups whole milk (vanilla, French vanilla, maybe some butterscotch

OR
12 pounds cream cheese
7 pounds confectioners sugar,
beaten smooth and thinned with milk to desired thickness

Now about the apples-

about 50 pounds, most recipes recommend Granny Smith or a mixture of red and green
Some recipes add green grapes or sliced bananas

How-
Make the creamy base the day before, making each part then blending thoroughly, and refrigerate overnight so the caramel flavor can spread

Be sure that you rinse the apple slices or chunks with fruit fresh or a juice so they don't brown in the dish

That's all I could dig out, hope it helps.

AMY
06/16/13
70th birthday party
I am planning a surprise 70th birthday party for my Mom. I am figuring on about 100 people-from kid, teens to elderly. My menu so far is fried chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and a special butter bean recipe my mom loves. cheese tray, veggie pizza, pasta salad and macaroni salad, mixed fruit salad with dip, chips, and maybe a relish tray. I'll have 1/2 sheet cake-any more desserts? Coffee, iced tea and punch. How much of each would I need? Any suggestions.
ellen
06/16/13
fried chicken, 1 piece per person
pulled pork sandwiches, about 70 sandwiches
use 2/3 the amount for 100 for the fixings, see the sandwich page

baked beans and a special butter bean recipe, 8-10 pounds dry beans, you split to your taste

cheese tray, 12-20 pounds plus 6 pounds crackers
veggie pizza, 5 large? cut some into squares for appetizer type bites

pasta salad and macaroni salad, 6 pounds total dry pasta, you decide on the divide

mixed fruit salad- see the fruit tray page, I suggest fruit trays, prettier, keep better, leftovers are more useful

dip, 1 cup per 5-6
chips, 1 pound per 12-16 (estimate how chip-oriented your crowd is)

relish tray- do 1 classic relish tray, top of the veggie tray page

1/2 sheet cake- is only 25 servings. I suggest you get a 2 layer 1/2 sheet, and about 2/3 of 100 other desserts (see the dessert planning page), or get a 2 layer full sheet cake.

Coffee, use dinner level coffee from the beverage planning page
iced tea, 6 gallons, some unsweetened
punch, 6-8 gallons- lemonade?

Denise
06/24/13
I am planning a graduation party for 100 people
Chicken-200 pc
Whole ham
Lasanga -how many trays do you think
Baked beans
Fruit salad
Fresh salad
2 jellos
ellen
06/24/13
Chicken-200 pc- plenty
Whole ham- about 20 to 25 pounds
Lasanga -how many trays do you think- see the spaghetti page, do 75 servings, have a couple trays vegetarian
Baked beans- 3 gallons
Fruit salad- see the fruit tray page for amounts and recipes
Fresh salad- see the plan for 100 page
2 jellos- 17 small packs makes 100 servings, amount needed depends on the other desserts.

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

Christina Wahl
06/26/13
Having a graduation party for approx. 65 people. Menu so far is:

Pulled pork sandwiches
Frid Chicken
Pasta Salad
Potato Salad
Cous cous salad
Cole Slaw
Fruit Salad
Cake

Should I add/delete anything from this menu?

ellen
06/27/13
Pulled pork sandwiches- 1 per person
Fried Chicken- 1 piece per person

Potato Salad- 3 gallons, some left

Cous cous salad
Pasta Salad- these are both pasta salads how about do one, 4 pounds dry pasta, and add a veg salad or bean salad, about 1 1/2 gallons- see "salads that hold" for some ideas

Cole Slaw-2 gallons
Fruit Salad- consider fruit trays, prettier, hold better, can be done ahead and the leftovers are more useful. See the fruit tray page.
Cake- 1 full sheet will give small portions, 2 will give leftovers

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

JOANNE
07/13/13
I am hosting a grad party. about 100 people. I have: 8 half trays of baked ziti. (16 pounds uncooked pasta, cheese and sauce
[200 meatballs in sauce
20 pounds grilled sausage with peppers and onions (for sandwiches)
20 POUNDS OF BONELESS GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS
POTATO SALAD (RECIPE SAYS IT SERVES 75)
MACARONI SALAD(SERVES 75)
4 HALF TRAYS OF BAKED BEANS WITH BACON
AMBROSIA SALAD (RECIPE SAYS SERVES 50)
3 CUT UP SEEDLESS WATERMELONS
WHOLE SHEET CAKE
4 DOZEN CHOC CHIP COOKIES/BROWNIES
75 ROLLS (FOR SANDWICHES)
25 2 LITER BOTTLES OF SODA
COFFEE
100 BOTTLES (8 OZ) WATER
DO YOU THINK I NEED A CHEF SALAD. (I REALLY DON'T WANT IT BECAUSE OF WASTE)
ellen
07/13/13
No, you could double the ambrosia and the cookies/brownies, though, they will run short.
Jennifer
11/22/13
Church Christmas party
I am planning our church Christmas party- we supply the meat & potatoe, & have the congregation all bring a covered dish/dessert. If we serve fried chicken & it is the only meat, how many pieces should we plan for? This is mostly an adult crowd. Thank you!
Jennifer
11/22/13
Church Christmas Party
We are planning for around 115 people! Sorry I forgot to include in the first email! Thanks!
ellen
11/22/13
Plan 2 pieces per person, add 10% if any teens.
carina
01/18/14
grad party about 110 people mixed ages.

30 pounds pulled pork sandwiches (post cook weight)
10 pounds sloppy joes post cook weight
buns 130
cheese slice ~55

hot mac n cheese 40 pounds
(debating on decreasing pasta and adding potatoes )

salad 10lbs with
toppings carrots, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and croutons
ranch, Italian dressing

fruit tray 25lbs
watermelon slices, cantaloupe, grapes and strawberries

dessert 220 of a mix of
mini pies, cupcakes, cookies and cakepops

ellen
01/18/14
Hi, Carina, you are almost there.

30 pounds pulled pork sandwiches (post cook weight)OK
10 pounds sloppy joes post cook weight OK
buns 130 at least 175- or consider 2 per person of the slightly smaller one that have become available
cheese slice ~55- at least 8 pounds sliced and 11 would be better- this also has to make sandwiches for the non-meat eaters
You need condiments, such as about 8 pounds sliced onions, a gallon of pickles; see the sandwich page for more suggestions

hot mac n cheese 40 pounds
(debating on decreasing pasta and adding potatoes )- OK, none left. Dividing into potatoes and pasta is harder to estimate and results in more leftovers.

salad 10lbs with (you need ay least 14 pounds as purchased unless you are buying pre-washed ready to serve
toppings carrots, 8 pounds
tomatoes, 12 pounds, or get grape tomatoes
shredded cheese, 4 pounds
croutons, 1 1/2 pounds small, 2 if larger
ranch, Italian dressing about 5 quarts

fruit tray 25lbs- OK for ready to serve weight
watermelon slices, cantaloupe, grapes and strawberries

dessert 220 of a mix of
mini pies, cupcakes, cookies and cakepops
plan on 2 of each per person at least, a bit more of anything chocolate

See the beverage planning page for help with drinks.

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

Amie
03/27/14
100+ guest grad party
Hello! Having 100+ including friends for a grad party in the park. Will have the turkey and ham subs catered but was curious as to how much I will need of my other items.. Any suggestions for vegetarian trays?

Fruit salad
Veggie trays
Vegetarian crescent pizza
Pasta salad
Cake
Desserts

ellen
03/31/14
For the vegetarians, add hummus, 1/4 cup per person, plus 1 pound pita chip per 12-15. Everyone will have some.

Scratch recipe:
ellenskitchen.com/clearlight/chumzoe.html
1 1/2 to double the recipe. Garlic to taste.

Fruit salad- do fruit trays, prettier, easier to eat, keep better and the leftovers are more usable
Veggie trays- do veggie tray for 100, using veggie tray page, ranch dip
Vegetarian crescent pizza- almost everyone will take a piece- count plus 10%

Pasta salad- 6-8 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins, many recipes on this site

Cake Full sheet serves 60- probably enouh with other desserts. Have some one cut it for the first round-

Desserts- 4 small pieces or cookies per 100

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

April
03/31/14
Wedding Reception
Hi Ellen,
I am preparing the food for my daughters reception. There will be 250-300 guests. More towards the higher end. There will be a mixture of Adults and children. I am not sure how much to make of what. Please assist.
Menu:
Broasted Chicken
Sliced Ham
Homemade mashed potatoes (not sure how many pounds to buy fresh)
Brown Gravy
Corn
Pork and Beans
Green Beans (possible)
Rolls
Salad with dressing and cheese
Thank you for your help.
ellen
04/01/14
If you think you will have 300, you need to plan for 300. Kids under 12 count as 1/2 of an adult for count purposes.

This is a VERY big undertaking; a party this size needs at least 4-5 people in the kitchen day of and at least 15 people to set up, serve and clean up, especially if they are not pros. These folks can't attend the wedding, they will be working.

Also, 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 (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 needed for each 100 guests.

In addition, you need an entree choice for the vegetarians among the guests, with 300 guests, there will be some.

Now on to the menu.

Broasted Chicken- 1 piece per person
Sliced Ham- 1 pound ready to serve per 4 people
Mustard- about 6 jars, some spicy.
Consider a raisin or pineapple sauce, 1 cup per 6.

Homemade mashed potatoes (not sure how many pounds to buy fresh)- 120 pounds for 300
Brown Gravy 5 gallons
Pork and Beans- you need 3 gallons per 100 (4 #10 cans); but I suggest you make at least 2 gallons vegetarian style. Not everyone eats pork.

Corn- 24 pounds per 100
Green Beans (possible)- good add. Consider the Ellen's better green bean casserole on this site, you would do 4-5 times the recipe. Holds better and more interesting.

Rolls-2 good per person, 3 pounds butter per 100 (some will be put on potatoes)

Salad with dressing and cheese- use the plan for 100 page. About a gallon of cheese shreds or crumbles, but put it on the side.
Beverages are on the beverage planning page, you definitely want dinner level coffee with the cake for the adults, as well as your punch, tea, etc.

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

kelli
04/19/14
I am planning on close to 100 people for the party. How many pounds of potato salad? Fruit salad? How many pounds of ham for sandwiches also having cheesy turkey sandwiches. Liters of pop? How many buns would I need (using cocktail buns)?

Thank you

Beth
04/22/14
Im starting to stress about my son's graduation party. We are having about 100 people plus about 25 of my son's friends. I am getting some stuff from a restaurant but also making it too. Can you please tell me if this is enough food:

Fried Ravioli - 60 per tray - Im getting 3 trays
chicken wings - 70 per tray - im getting 2 trays
baked mac & cheese serves 30-35 people I was going to get 3 trays
meatballs - 80 per tray - I am getting 2 trays
cold cut tray - I am making myself. I was planning on getting 2 lbs of roast beef, turkey, ham, cheese.
Salad - Im making a big full tray
sausage peppers and onions - im making myself I have no idea how much to buy
fresh rolls for sandwiches - 8 dozen?
Do you think this is enough food or should I add something else? Also Im getting a full sheet cake and a fruit tray and my family is bringing some sweets too.

Please help!!! Thanks!!

ellen
04/24/14
Kelli, don't know where the rest of your info is, but here are my suggestions based on this little piece:

100 people for the party.
How many pounds of potato salad- 4 - 4 1/2 gallons, about 32 pounds
Fruit salad- 3 gallons, weight depends on what fruits are used, or see recipes for fruit salad for 100 on my fruit tray page
ham for sandwiches (also having cheesy turkey sandwiches)- 12 pounds boneless, deli sliced (thin)
Liters of pop? - use beverage planning page, also has ice, and info about flavor assortment
buns (using cocktail buns)? for just the ham, about 6 dozen, for all, 2 1/2-3 per person.

Mayo, mustard, pickles, etc, see the sandwich planning page on condiments

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
Beth, deep breaths and some tweaks for your menu.

See your other post and thanks for starting a new thread.

Shirley
04/26/14
I am hosting a graduation party. Although not sure how many people, but I am figuring at least 100. How much pork roasts should I buy in order to serve it as BBQ sandwiches? How much mac and cheese? We are buying cans of pop as well as bottle water. I will also make iced tea. How much pop to buy without having too much leftovers?

Thank you for your help.

ellen
04/26/14
Shirley, on the beverage planning page I discuss soda for 100, amounts and flavors. For 100 people, about 30 pounds raw boneless, and I recommend pork shoulder.

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

Angela
04/28/14
Ellen,
We are planning a graduation party. I have mailed out 150 invites. I figured an average of 2 people per invite. This is happening 4-8pm. There will be other parties in the same town. I'm just not sure on the quantity of food to serve.

This is the menu:
-shaved ham sandwiches (reg buns)
-cheesy hashbrowns
-fruit salad (made with fruit cocktail)
-noodle salad
-cup cakes
-mints
-mixed nuts
-lemonade
-ice tea
-punch (Hawaiian punch-ginger ale) (only served on cupcake table)

Any advice would be great!

ellen
04/29/14
Caterers estimate if you invite 300, about 250 will show up.

-shaved ham sandwiches (reg buns)- suggest slider buns, 2 sandwiches per person, 1 pound thin sliced ham per 6 people. 4 squeeze bottles mustard. Consider adding a gallon of egg salad for the non-ham eaters
-cheesy hashbrowns- use the recipe on the bottom of the breakfast planning page. Each roaster does about 50 people, you need 5.
-fruit salad (made with fruit cocktail), suggest you go with frozen fruits, much prettier and tastier. about 8 gallons
-noodle salad- start with about 15 pounds pasta. See the Asian noodle salad on this site for a wonderful option, bottom of the page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/salads1100.html#asiannoodle
-cupcakes 1.2 per person if one flavor, if 2, allow 2/3 the expected number for each, as many will take one of each.
-mints- 4 pounds per 100
-mixed nuts- 6 pounds per 100

-lemonade, about 12 gallons
-ice tea, 1/3 unsweetened, about 15 gallons
-punch (Hawaiian punch-ginger ale) (only served on cupcake table), about 12 gallons
10 pounds ice per 20-25

Congratulations on everyone's effort. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Debbie
05/14/14
Hello -
Can you tell me approximately how many pounds of pork I will need to fill a roaster of pulled pork?

Thank you!

ellen
05/14/14
About 20 pounds including the weight of the sauce. If you buy raw, bone in shoulder/butt, that is about 22-24 pounds meat/bone to start. This fills the roaster just under 2/3 full, which is the safest for reheating without scorching.
Tim
05/19/14
I am having a large Graduaton Party Approx 350 people
serving bbq pork and bbq chicken I know this crowd they will eat more chicken
sides are bake beans , boiled potatoes , mac and cheese
can you help me with how much to buy
ellen
05/19/14
I would allow about 1 1/2 large sandwiches per person, or 2 pounds per 7 people, or between 90-100 pounds ready to serve in sauce. If they are more chicken eaters, do about 6 pounds chicken for each 4 pork.

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

Terese
05/20/14
Help, first time grad. party planner and I am loosing my mind. The guest list is 180 can I estimate 100 showing up? I have looked at numerous sites to figure food amounts. My main question is: I am serving a pasta salad, coleslaw, and a fruit platter along with pulled pork and turkey and potato chips. Re. the salads- should I do the pasta and the coleslaw for "50" or do they need to be for "100" even if there are 2 of them or should I go somewhere in the middle? I have figured the fruit and meat amounts from your listings. Thank you
ellen
05/20/14
Terese, it depends on how many other parties there are the same afternoon, evening. If none or one, you probably want to use the caterer's 85% rule, which would be about 145 guests. If 2 or more, you could prep for 130 ( 1 1/3 times the amount for 100) and be pretty sure you won't have to send out for pizza- which is the never fail back up plan for this type party.

So you do pasta salad for the entire group (about 10 pounds dry pasta for the larger number) and slaw for the entire group, because almost everyone takes both.

I would definitely add 12 pounds rolls or good gread and sandwich condiments, for each 100- lettuce, etc, plus pickles and onions, see the sandwich planning page, as many guests will prefer sandwiches and thus the meat lasts better.

For the chips, 1 pound per 12, 1 pint dip per pound.

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

Kim
05/24/14
We are having a graduation party for our daughter, I am estimating 130-150 people to come! We have young families, older families, & teenagers. This is what my mom & I figured to make:
1 nesco of BBQ-sloppy joes, buns?? not sure how many?
8 quart slow cooker of homemade baked beans
Potato salad we are unsure of
As well as a pasta salad
Fruit salad, we were unsure of as well
We pretty much know for the veggies, with a dip,cheese & crackers, olives
If you could please help me if we will have enough of the BBQ & baked beans, & how much of the potato & pasta salad & also the fruit salad.
Thank you!!!
ellen
05/25/14
Kim it's a good menu, but not enough food. For 150 people, you need at least 2 Nescos of sandwich meat, 5 gallons/20 quarts of beans.

Potato salad, 6 gallons (about 60 pounds of potatoes)
pasta salad, 8 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins
Fruit salad, 5-6 gallons

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

Kim
05/25/14
Thank you Ellen! I am getting help from family with making the food. I just wanted to know what to tell everyone what to make. I was almost thinking a nesco of baked beans, & another of maybe sliced ham. Thank you again for your help!
Mary
06/01/14
we are having a 5 hour long graduation party for our daughter in july.
we are inviting about 200 people but expect about 150.
could really use some help determining food & drink quantities and if menu is varied enough.
our menu includes:
>fried chicken (buying readymade)
>potato salad (making ourselves)
>rigatoni (making ourselves or buying from restaurant)
>meatballs & sauce (buying frozen meatballs & preparing ourselves)
>rolls for meatball sandwiches (store bought)
>tossed salad (buying bagged or from a restaurant)
>fruit salad (making ourselves)
>premade mini sandwiches from grocery store (36 sandwiches per tray)
>relish tray(sweet pickles, dill pickles, green olives, black olives)(making ourselves)
>cookies
>cupcakes
>2 liter bottles of soda
>gallon jugs of iced tea
>gallon jugs lemonade
>coffee
>beer
ice for drinks

thank you so much in advance!

Mary
06/01/14
oops forgot bottled water too
ellen
06/01/14
OK, 150 people

>fried chicken (buying ready made) 1 piece per person
>potato salad (making ourselves) 6 gallons (about 60 pounds of potatoes)
>rigatoni (making ourselves or buying from restaurant)4 full pans or 8-10 pounds dry pasta
>meatballs & sauce (buying frozen meatballs & preparing ourselves) 30 pounds, 9-10 quarts sauce
>rolls for meatball sandwiches (store bought)about 100- some people will take as bread
Check sandwich planning for condiments for 100
>tossed salad (buying bagged or from a restaurant)- cheap to make at home from pre-washed, use the plan for 100 table, and do 1 1/2 times the amount, has dressing info also
>fruit salad (making ourselves) 5 allons, or do deluxe fruit tray for 100 on the fruit tray page
>premade mini sandwiches from grocery store (36 sandwiches per tray), not needed with above, 1 tray plenty
>relish tray(sweet pickles, dill pickles, green olives, black olives)(making ourselves)- see classic relish tray on veggie tray page
>cookies, 3 smallish per person
>cupcakes- 1 per person if one flavor, 80 each for 2

For the beverages, including the beer and ice, see the beverage planning page
>2 liter bottles of soda
>gallon jugs of iced tea
>gallon jugs lemonade
>coffee
>beer
ice for drinks
If you want to post your drinks, I will check. 2 bottles water per person, buy from a place where you can take unopened cases back.

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

Judy
06/03/14
Graduation Open House (12:00-3:00)

Estimating 50 family and friends who will be there to eat a meal

Estimating 30 high school friends (who have several parties to attend this day)

Menu:
25 lbs (raw) chuck roast for hot beef sandwiches served on slider-sized buns
140 slider-sized buns
Your cheesy potato recipe for 100
2.5 gallons Boston baked beans
2 gallons of coleslaw
1/2 sheet cake
6 pans of bars (cut small)
We have also rented a popcorn machine
Beverages

What needs tweaking?
Thank you very much

Anne
06/24/14
Graduation party for my son in July, from 6-10.
120 people half adults , half teenagers.
The recent graduation parties I have been to all have had left over cake and way too much food. I assume because there were many parties going on at the same time people were hopping around . Ours will be the only one that day. I am guessing most of the guest will show up. Being Italian I would hate to run out of food, but don't have the money to see it extra go to waste. Help!

Here is my menu.

Fried Chicken finger 2 full catering trays
Chicken ,ziti brocolli- 2 full catering trays
Large Ceasar salad- making
100 rolls
3 Party pizza squares ( approx 30pc per box)
Meatballs- 1 large catering tray
Spedini- Italian meat rolls up -(making approx 125)
Fried calamari- 1 full catering tray

Do I need cheese and crackers?
Cake or cupcakes?
There will be Italain cookies & small pastries.
Candy table.

ellen
06/28/14
Anne, it is very difficult for me to estimate based on trays. as they vary across the country, and depending on what is in them can serve anywhere from 20-40.

Fried Chicken finger 2 full catering trays
Meatballs- 1 large catering tray
Spedini- Italian meat rolls up -(making approx 125)
Fried calamari- 1 full catering tray
Chicken ,ziti broccoli- 2 full catering trays
3 Party pizza squares ( approx 30pc per box)
This looks like enough meats/ entrees

Large Caesar salad- making- use guide on the plan for 100 page for amount
100 rolls- OK

Consider adding a fruit tray, such as the deluxe tropical tray on the fruit tray page.

The advantage of adding a cheese tray is it would give any vegetarians something to eat- or you might add 1 tray of meatless pasta? 8-10 pounds cheese, 6 pounds crackers.

A half sheet cake or a 2 layer quarter sheet cake is about 30 servings.

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

Staci
07/12/14
50th bday party
How many28 oz of bushs baked beans do I need for 30-40 people
ellen
07/12/14
You need a gallon, plus one more can if there will really be 40 people; Mr. Bush says, 3 people per can, bur if there are other heavy sides, 4 people per can is doable.
Lisa
07/19/14
HELP....(LOL) Having a grad party for about 100+ I am stressing on how much of each thing to make..the party is from 4 til whenever

Chicken Riggies
Bread
toss salad
Taco/Nacho bar
Sausage,Peppers and onions
Cold meat trays
Rolls
Pasta Salad
Mac Salad
fruit salad
chips and dips
sausage roll
pepperoni roll
veggie tray

ellen
07/20/14
Lisa, this looks like a lot more items than needed for a party this size, especially a lot of pasta and more entrees than needed. Also, when you say sausage rolls and pepperoni rolls, are these like calzone? Two pasta salads, really? Please write back with more info.

Chicken Riggies
Bread
toss salad
Taco/Nacho bar
Sausage,Peppers and onions
Cold meat trays
Rolls
Pasta Salad
Mac Salad
fruit salad
chips and dips
sausage roll
pepperoni roll
veggie tray r

Lisa
07/21/14
The sausage and pepperoni rolls are made with bread dough and cut into slices....and the two salads I was thinking some like Macaroni salad with mayo...and some like the pasta salad with Italian dressing....1st timer so I am at a loss
ellen
07/23/14
OK, here is some advice from an old timer.
1) skip the chicken riggies, lot of oven space, heavy hot pans to move.
2) do the taco nacho bar as the main dish, with additions to allow for making taco salad or other salad, and skip the separate salad. Have the chips and dips choices here
3) Make more sausage and pepperoni rolls and skip the cold cuts or the sausage and peppers.
4) Choose a bread that can serve as the roll for any sandwiches such as baguettes, or Italian
5) Do fruit trays instead of fruit salad, looks better, holds better, can be done day before.
6) do just one, handsome pasta salad, no meat, lots of veg; everyone can get mac salad with mayo at the grocery store

The revised menu would look like this:

Super taco bar with nacho and salad options
Sausage and pepperoni rolls, how about marinara dipping sauce
Handsome pasta salad with lots of veg- corn, broccoli bits, chopped 3 color peppers, etc
Fruit trays
Veg trays

Excellent dessert buffet (see the dessert planning page)
A full sheet cake or 2 layer half sheet serves about 60

Would that work for you? Write back.

Lisa
07/23/14
Thank you!!!
Tina
07/27/14
I am having a graduation party for 75 people. How many pounds of each should I make?

chicken quarters
beef
salt potatoes
baked beans
pasta salad
baked ziti
veggie tray
fruit
dinner rolls
water
soda
cake

ellen
07/28/14
graduation party- 75 people
Hi, Tina

chicken quarters- 1 piece per person- a quarter is 2 pieces
beef- 1 pound raw per 3

salt potatoes- 20 pounds

pasta salad
baked ziti
Total 9-10 pounds dry pasta, split about 3/6-7

baked beans- 2 gallons

veggie tray- use the veggie tray page, or make it simple and do 3/4 the amount for 100 from the tossed salad section of plan for 100

fruit- use the fruit tray page, about 5 pieces per person

dinner rolls- get good ones, about 9 pounds, 2 pounds butter

water- 2 bottles per person
soda- see the beverage planning page. Maybe add 3 gallons iced tea, 1 unsweetened

cake-a full sheet cuts 60 pieces- maybe garnish with a dozen cupcakes?

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

Pam
09/06/14
I will be making taco in a bag for 400 plus teenagers for lunch once a week for the next two months. My question is a two parter. Firstly, what food items can I prep ahead of time. Secondly, what would be the amount size needed for each ingredient for this amount of kids.
I look forward to your reply
ellen
09/06/14
This is like a walking taco salad, look at the escape from the trash bag recipe on this site and do not expect it to serve more than 25.
Sarah
10/29/14
wedding
We are having a simple afternoon wedding (2 pm) with cupcakes and coffee, but would like to provide iced tea and water as well. How many beverages should I have per person? (cups of coffee, bottled tea and water)
ellen
10/30/14
I usually allow 2 bottles of water per person, buying where I can take back unopened cases. An inexpensive alternative would be a clear dispenser or pitchers with sliced cucumbers and mint in the water, about 1 quart per 4-5 people.
Use the reception level coffee figures on the beverage planning page. Do about 6-8 gallons punch, lemonade or tea per 100, depending on the weather. The new green teas with fruit flavors are very festive.
Randi
11/19/14
Open house engagement party
I am having an open house engagement party. There are 250 confirmed guests that will be coming from the hours of 2 - 5. Of that 250 only about 30 may stay the whole time. The rest are just going to be coming in for a short time, 20 - 30 min, some even shorter. We are catering the event. How many people do you think we should we buy food for?
ellen
11/19/14
OK. Reception timing. I would get about 10 bites of food each for the short term guests and about 24-30 for the long term guests, where a bite is about an ounce of a protein type food, one finger sandwich, 1 mini quiche, an ounce of chips with a tablespoon of dip, and so on.

With 250 confirmed guests, you could have as many as 280-300 show up, depending on custom in your community.

If you want to post a plan, I will check it, but please do start a new thread.

Randi
11/19/14
Unfortunately he isn't telling us how much we will get per person. He gave us a list of everything he is including and we are just paying per person. This is why I am having a problem.
ellen
11/19/14
I don't understand. Who do you mean by "he"? Are you the host or the caterer? The caterer should be willing to specify EXACTLY what s/he is supplying.
Randi
11/19/14
I am the host. He has specified exactly what he is giving us but not how much of each per person. This is what he gave us

Engagement Party

Multi Level Buffet Reception
Decorated with Linen Table Cloths, Skirting and Intimate Candle

Seasonal Fruit Display
A Selection of Seasonal Fresh Fruit To Include:
Honey Dew, Golden Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Watermelon & Grapes

Vegetable Display
A beautiful arrangement of vegetables decoratively arranged
Including carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas,
Cherry tomatoes, celery, peppers, string beans

Chip Display
Beautiful display of chips along with chummus and salsa
Chips to include, Terra Chips, White & Yellow Corn Chips

Cold Salad Selection (select 4)
Caesar Salad with croutons
Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Strawberry Mango Salad
Terra Stix Slaw
Israeli Salad
Hearts of Palm Salad
Quinoa Salad
Corn Salad
Chick Pea Salad
Bowties w/ Spinach
Sesame Noodles
Tri-colored Rotini

Cakes and Cookies
Assortment of Petifors, Mini Cookies & Mini Pastries

Candy
Assortment of Candy

Drink Table
Coke, Diet Coke, Water, Seltzer

Coffee Station
Regular and Decaf Coffee
Assorted Flavors: Hazel Nut French Vanilla, Caramel
Sweet & Low, Sugar & Tea

CATERER TO SUPPLY
High Grade Plasticware
Solid Linen Table Cloths (Choice of Black, White, Royal Blue, Light Blue, Navy, Brown, Gold, Grey, Lilac or Pink)

Arrangements
Based on your expecting a minimum 300 People
the cost for your Simcha will be $14 per person

Jennifer
12/13/14
Staff luncheon for 125 women (some men) it's a grab and go lunch. Chicken salad, meatballs, cheese and crackers, fruit trays, veggie trays, beverages (sweet tea, lemonade, water) and punch. No idea where to start!

25 lbs meatballs (2 kinds, BBQ and italian) so only 60 rolls
15 Lbs of chicken salad
3 veggie trays
4 fruit trays
9 lbs (3 types) cheese
4 lbs crackers
Lg sheet cake
5 gallons tea
4 cases of water
Nuts
Chips

ellen
12/13/14
25 lbs meatballs (2 kinds, BBQ and Italian) so only 60 rolls- this amount would make 100 6 inch sandwiches, Why the reduction on the rolls?
15 Lbs of chicken salad- 75 sandwiches/servings
Bread? Condiments? See sandwich planning page.
3 veggie trays
4 fruit trays
Can't comment without the weights. You want about 12-15 pounds of fruit,
9 lbs (3 types) cheese OK, some sliced for the sandwiches
4 lbs crackers- OK, could go 6
Lg sheet cake- only 60 pieces. Get a 2 layer.
5 gallons tea= at least 9-10, some 1/3 unsweetened
4 cases of water OK
Nuts- 6 pounds
Chips= about 9 pounds, 1 pint dip or salsa per pound

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

Mary Thomas
01/12/15
Church Lenton Luncheon
Need receipe for italitian beef for 125 people.
Slaw for 125
Cheese potato casserole for 125
ellen
01/13/15
Assuming this is beef on rolls, 2 pounds raw boneless for each 7 people.

You would enjoy this article:

www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/how-to-make-chicago-style-italian-beef-at-home-sandwich-recipe.html

Slaw, 3 gallons
casserole, see the recipe at the bottom of the breakfast planning page on this site. It will be 2 roaster full.

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

Sonja
03/30/15
First time graduation party planning and I am stressing! We are expecting atleat 150 people and are serving smoked pulled pork sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit with chocolate fountain, and mini cheese cakes . Just not sure if that's enough and also the quantities! Could use some advise!
ellen
03/31/15
For extensive chocolate fountain assistance, use my chocolate fountain article:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/chocfont.html

There is also plenty of fruit info on the fruit tray page.

For the rest,

smoked pulled pork sandwiches, 1 pound ready to eat per 4 people
buns, 5 buns or 12 slider buns per pound
onions, 8 pounds sliced per 100
pickles, 6 quarts
Consider adding coleslaw, easy and traditional, 4 gallons
Consider adding a pasta salad, meatless, use any on the recipes for 100 on this site, do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100; this will also give any non-pork eaters something on their plates

chips, 1 pound per 10, 1 pint dip/salsa per pound

mini cheese cakes, 2 per person (1 1/2 if you add these items below)
Add a second item such as mini eclairs, small brownies, marshmallows, etc 2 per person
Add small cookies, 3 per person
These could be with the chocolate fountain

Comprehensive beverage advice on the beverage planning page.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/bevmisc100.html

A full sheet cake serves 60; a two layer full sheet would be enough for cake.

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

sharon
04/15/15
Hi Ellen,

I am having a graduation party for 100 people and I need to know how much I should make of each item

roast beef
fried chicken
ziti pasta
meatballs
parsley potatoes
tossed salad
pasta salad
veggie tray
fruit salad
dinner rolls

ellen
04/16/15
Hi, Sharon,

This is a very extensive menu for a grad party, you might consider meatballs only instead of roast beef, ample and quite a savings for you.

roast beef (skip?)
meatballs, 20 pounds, 6 quarts sauce
fried chicken 1 piece per person
ziti pasta 1 pound dry pasta per 10, 1 quart sauce per pound, 1/2 up to 1 pound cheeses per pound of pasta

parsley potatoes
pasta salad
Consider skipping the boiled potatoes and changing the pasta salad to potato salad, since you already have ziti. 35-40 pounds potatoes to start

veggie tray use the veggie tray page, but with the tossed salad, I suggest a classic relish tray instead of a straight veggie tray

tossed salad, do for 100 from the plan for 100 page

dinner rolls, 2 per person, 3 pounds butter

If you really want to have the roast beef, just write back.

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

Sharon
04/16/15
Hi Ellen,

My husband was set on the roast beef

ellen
04/18/15
OK, then I suggest something like and Italian beef sliced for sandwiches, or a pot roast. Is that going to do it? If yes, I will post more info.
sharon
05/06/15
Hi Ellen,
We decided on the sliced beef for sandwiches.
ellen
05/06/15
For fat sandwiches, assuming this is beef on rolls, 2 pounds raw boneless for each 7 people. 5 rolls per pound.

You would enjoy this article:

www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/how-to-make-chicago-style-italian-beef-at-home-sandwich-recipe.html

Do reduce the fried chicken to 60-70 pieces with the beef.

Sheila
05/11/15
Graduation party for 100 from 9am-11am. My daughter wanted a parfait bar type buffet. Since the fresh fruit is in individual bowls,how much do I need of each? Do I need more variety?
Yogurt?
Strawberry?
Blueberries?
Pineapple?
Granola?
Coconut?
Nuts?
Also having sausage balls, cheese balls and crackers, a cookie table, coffee, juice and water.
Sheila
05/11/15
using 9 oz cups and 7" plates
Marcie
05/11/15
Hello Ellen,
Your website was so helpful to get me to this point. I think I am close but have a couple questions.
We are having a 200 Guests grad party starting at 5pm on Sunday of Memorial day weekend- will last until 11pm or longer. 25 teenagers. 175 adults.
Am I close on amounts?
I am trying to decide if I am going to make the salads myself or order them from a Foodservice company close by. It will cost me $65 for 25# of 4 different salads. Do I need that much? Can I do it cheaper myself?
I have already ordered the meat:
Shredded Roast Beef Sandwiches 50# (caterer providing)
20 dozen buns
Wings -1 roaster full (caterer providing)
Shredded Chicken 10# leftover from another event
I am making the following:
Meatballs 20# (appetizer size)
Cheesy potatoes - 1 roaster (maybe 2???)
Baked Beans -4-5 gallons (roaster full)
Pasta Salad 8# of pasta
Marinated Bean Salad 4#
4 lettuce Salads I am ordering or making 24# of:
Multi Layer Salad 9#
Greek Salad 6#
Cole Slaw 4#
Broccoli Cauliflower 5#
18 cases of beer
20 cases of bottled water
8 cases of soda (we do not drink this so do not want any left over)
lemonade or juice boxes for the children
Pies and cookies ordering from bakery. not sure on amounts yet on those.
Fruit tray
ellen
05/12/15
Suggest you use 9 ounce clear plastic cups instead of just plates for the parfaits, tidier and prettier. Also, consider adding 10 pounds sausages in slices with 3 quarts bbq sauce for any meat eaters.

If you switch to a fruit tray such as the deluxe tray for 100, you will still have your parfait fruits and also wonderful additional choices. I would double the strawberries.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/fruit100.html

You might enjoy this article;
www.nutellafoodservice.com/culinary_center/granola_fruit_parfait.asp

Yogurt, 10-12 quarts, Greek vanilla suggested
Granola, 6 pounds
Coconut, 6-7 cups
Nuts, 6 pounds, sliced/chopped

Sara
06/05/15
We are having a graduation open house from 3-7 on a Saturday. Planning on the following for 100 guests (mixed kids, teens and adults):

100 pieces of chicken (50 fried and 50 baked)
60 brats
60 hotdogs
120 buns
Pasta salad
Potato salad
Lettuce salad
Veggie tray
Chips
Cake

I'm OK with the quantities we've planned for the sides....just want your opinion on the meat quantities. Thank you!

ellen
06/08/15
This looks fine, about what I would do. For help with relish, mustard , etc, see the sandwich planning page.

Hope it goes great.

Sara
06/08/15
Thank you! I ended up ordering 150 pieces of chicken (75 of each type), which is probably too much, but I would rather have leftovers than run out.

Will definitely check out the condiment info!

Shereen
06/22/15
Hi Ellen,
I am cooking for a friends wedding, could you please help me out with the quantities I need for the following menu for 100 people?

Pulled pork sandwiches - made from scratch
Ham
Potato salad
Italian pasta salad
cucumber salad
vegetable tray w/1 dip
chips/dip
pumpkin bars
wedding cupcakes

Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it :)

ellen
06/23/15
Shereen, I would suggest you NOT do pulled pork and ham. Some people don't eat pork, and some don't eat any meat at all. If you want the ham, consider pulled chicken or beef or Italian beef. If you want the pulled pork, do some kind of chicken. In either case, do one crock pot of vegetarian sausages (I like Field Roast brand) or patties for any vegetarian guests.

Also, consider an appetizer plan, and here is why:

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 rest of the menu;

Potato salad, 3 gallons, 30-35 pounds potatoes
Italian pasta salad, 5ounds dry pasta
cucumber salad, about 12 pounds of cukes
vegetable tray w/1 dip,use veggie tray page

chips/dip 1 pound chis per 12-15, 1 pint salsa or dip per pound
pumpkin bars 1 per person if you have wedding cupcakes for all

Write back if you need to. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Lucille
09/01/15
50th Wedding Anniversary Party
We are having a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. We will only be serving different kinds of soda's and water. It will be for around 250 people for 4 hours, how many beverages will we need? If having 12 ounces cans ? or 2 liters bottles ? Thank you ! :)
Anthony
09/15/15
greek themed party
a group of friends are getting together and having a greek themed toga party of 130 expected guests. each of us is doing part of the menu
our menu and quantities are as follows:
2 full trays pastichio
2 full trays moussaka
2 full trays greek sausage and pepper(spetziofia)
130 chicken kebobs aprox 4oz chicken each
50 gyros cut in half
2 full trays rice
2 full trays lemon potatoes
1 full tray roasted vegetables
3 full trays greek salad
ellen
09/15/15
Lucille I missed yours, I hope you found the beverage planning page, which answers this question.
ellen
09/15/15
Anthony, some of these items will be short, as with multiple choices people take more, and some of each, and a full tray only serves 20-24.

2 full trays pastichio
2 full trays moussaka
These will likely run out before everyone has some, consider doing 3/3. Consider doing 1 tray vegetarian moussaka, as there are no other entrees for any vegetarians
2 full trays greek sausage and pepper(spetziofia)
At least 3
130 chicken kebobs aprox 4oz chicken each, OK, none left
50 gyros cut in half, OK but messy.

2 full trays rice
2 full trays lemon potatoes
Do at least 3 of each

1 full tray roasted vegetables
Do at least 3 (I would do 4)

3 full trays greek salad, I would do at least 4

1 1/2 gallons olives!

Write back if you need to. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, say a dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

anthony
09/15/15
Thank you so much you are a great help!!! there will be plenty of olives! and spinach pie also forgot to add that!
Jennifer
01/11/16
Good evening...I am having a highschool graduation party for my daughter. We figured the estimate if everyone shows we would have 300 guests. What is the rule if you are not doing RSVP or regrets. How many people would you suggest we plan for?
ellen
01/11/16
With graduation parties it depends on whether there are competing parties/ activities the same time; but generally, about 85% of the invited show up for local invitations.
Marcy Standinger
04/13/16
Good morning! Having a graduation party on Memorial weekend and 250 invitations will be going out. I would like to know what I would need of pulled pork for sandwiches along with how many dozen buns ( I would like to use party buns instead of hamburger buns) also how much of AuGratin potatoes and how many pails of Mac salad!
ellen
04/14/16
Since people travel, you will probably have around 200 guests.

Pulled pork is practical. 1 pound ready to serve makes 5-6 regular buns or 12 slider.party buns, and I usually count 2 dozen for each 10 people.
Add 1 1/2 gallons slaw per 100 for sandwiches, 2 1/2 as a salad, add 6-8 pounds sliced onions and 1 gallon pickles per 100

AuGratin potatoes- 35 pounds potatoes to start per 100, if also serving pasta salad

and how many pails of Mac salad- 6 pounds dry pasta per 100 to start, plus add ins, if also serving potatoes.

If this helps, now you can help me. I am doing a fundraising campaign to remodel the kitchen and provide the changes you readers have asked for- please click the masthead at the top of this page to go to www.ellensbigpots.com and make a donation. Every dollar helps! Thank you.

connie
05/09/16
We are having a grad party from 4-7, plan on about 145 adults and 15 small kids (this is on the high side). I have no clue how much of what to make. Just going to keep it basic. Here is what we are serving and the buns will be a medium size.

BBQ sandwiches
BLT macaroni salad
German Potato Salad
Chips
Carrot/Veggie dip cups

Dessert I know I have plenty so not worried on that. We are also going to have cold turkey sandwiches for those that don't like or can't handle the BBQ (or just another option). Thought I'd do about 6 dz of them (72 sandwhiches). The german will be 1 big church roaster full, when it is gone it is gone. How many pounds for burger should I make up and how many buns should I order for the BBQ. How much BLT salad would be enough?

ellen
05/12/16
I would estimate this as 150 adults..

You have one bit of difficulty with the menu, all your entrees and your sides contain meat, and some of your guests will be vegetarian- so a few suggestions as I go along.

BBQ sandwiches- assume this is a sloppy joe type sandwich; 24 pounds per 100, so 36 pounds. 6 buns per pound, or 12 slider buns per pound, these are a good choice for parties, less waste
Consider addong 1 1/2 gallons pickles.
BLT macaroni salad, 10 pounds dry pasta, and do make a gallon of non-meat type and label from part of the pasta
German Potato Salad- 1 roaster- this will only serve 60- it is very popular; Maybe do have cold also, 30 pounds potatoes, meatless
Chips, minimum 6 pounds potato or 8 pounds chips per 100, pint dip/salsa/queso per pint
Carrot/Veggie dip cups, suggest you use the veggie tray page, and plan about 6 bites per person, Ranch dip, 1 cup per 10

cold turkey sandwiches, 6 dozen, plenty

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!

Vikki
05/25/16
Hi there we are also doing a Grad Party for my twins! About 140 invited..
Here is the menu and I am unsure of quantities! Any help is appreciated!

Taco Meat (burger)
Soft shells and Hard
all the Toppings! Quantity of these items I am stumped!
Fried Chicken 50 pieces
Meatballs Crockpot??
Nacho Cheese and Chips
Pasta Salad or Potato ???
Fruit Tray
Veggie Tray
Doritos
2 liters of pop
bottled water
Ice tea
Cake
Ice cream machine
sundae toppings ???
Cones

Amy
05/28/16
Hi! I'm doing a graduation party for 100-200 people. I've listened the menu (some of my daughter's favorites) and amounts below for 100. I will adjust according to the number that RSVP as we get closer to the party. Please let me know what you think. Thank you!

Hamburgers and Rolls - 130 quarter pounders

Hotdogs and Rolls - 130 jumbo franks

Macaroni Salad - 8 lbs. macaroni

Pasta Salad - 8 lbs. rotini

Baked Beans - 6 gallons

Veggie Tray (3 lbs carrots, 2 heads celery, 6 English cukes, 2 lbs. broccoli, 2 lbs. green peppers, 7.5 quarts of ranch dip)

Chips - 8 (13.5 oz. bags)

Pickle tray - (1 gallon dill spears, .5 gallon sweet gherkins, 1 gallon green/black olives together)

Condiments - (128 ounces mayo, 40 ounces mustard, 160 ounces ketchup)

I'd like to do a taco salad as well but have not a clue what quantities would be needed for 100. Do you have any suggestions for this?

ellen
05/28/16
You are coming along,but the only thing I can figure for the unknown number is to give you for 100 and then let you multiply. Also, would you consider a full taco bar with the added nacho and taco salad options instead of all the hamburgers and hot dogs? Very popular and a lot less work during the party. Write back.
Amy
05/28/16
Yes! That is my plan for the unknown number, calculate for the 100 and multiple when I have a more firm number. The party is for the end of June.

I love the idea of a taco bar and actually suggested it to my daughter this past week but she wants a regular old cookout. I liked the idea of a lot less work.

The taco salad would be a cold salad mixture of beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chips.

ellen
05/30/16
graduation party- 140
A great deal of this information is already up on the site:

Taco Meat (burger)
Soft shells and Hard
all the Toppings!
Nacho Cheese and Chips, Doritos
See the taco/potato bar page, all is covered there. Amounts are per 100:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

Fruit Tray- fruit tray page, the deluxe tray for 100 would be plenty
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/fruit100.html
Veggie Tray- plan on 5-6 bites per person, see the veggie tray page
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/appesalad.html

Fried Chicken 50 pieces- OK
Meatballs Crockpot?? 20 pounds, 6 quarts sauce
Pasta Salad or Potato ??? Pasta is easier. With full taco bar, just 6 pounds dry pasta per 100

2 liters of pop- covered specifically on the beverage planning page
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/bevmisc100.html
bottled water- pint per person
Ice tea- with pop, 6 gallons per 100, 1/4 unsweetened

Cake- each full sheet serves 60
Ice cream machine
sundae toppings ??? See the affogato/ sundae bar page for ice cream and topping amounts
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/sundae100.html
Cones

You can make your estimates and post them and I will be glad to check for you.
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!

ellen
05/30/16
Amy, I suggest you put her to work on this party, since she could learn both how to do it and to appreciate the extra work!

This is the best I can do with the floating numbers:

Hamburgers and Rolls - 130 quarter pounders
Hotdogs and Rolls - 130 jumbo franks
I suggest 1 standard burger per person, 1/2 the number of hot dogs (because you have the meatballs), and consider 1 crock pot of tofu dogs or veggie burgers. Rolls to match

Macaroni Salad - 8 lbs. macaroni
Pasta Salad - 8 lbs. rotini
I suggest 8 pounds total dry for each 100
Baked Beans - 6 gallons 3 gallons per 100, make some meatless

Veggie Tray (3 lbs carrots, 2 heads celery, 6 English cukes, 2 lbs. broccoli, 2 lbs. green peppers, 7.5 quarts of ranch dip), very short, see veggie tray page

Chips - 8 (13.5 oz. bags) 1 pound per 8- 100 , 1 pint dip/salsa per pound

Pickle tray - (1 gallon dill spears, .5 gallon sweet gherkins, 1 gallon green/black olives together) good for up to 150

Condiments - (128 ounces mayo, 40 ounces mustard, 160 ounces ketchup)- see the sandwich page, there is a condiment list for 100 at the end of the sandwich table, lettuce, tomato, etc

I'd like to do a taco salad as well but have not a clue what quantities would be needed for 100. Do you have any suggestions for this?
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex1.html

Use this recipe, make 3 per 100, the meat on the taco bar is fine, or you can just do the expansion discussed on the taco bar page.

You can make your estimates and post them and I will be glad to check for you.
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!

laverne coats
11/25/16
adult luncheopn
Having a luncheon for 125-150 senior adults. Planning om two meats beef roast and turkey breast How much of each would I need? Also sides are beets. lima beans. mashed potatoes. gravy, cranberry salad . deviled eggs and rolls.
ellen
11/26/16
Hi, Laverne,

1 pound raw boneless beef per 4,
1 pound raw boneless turkey per 4
-have someone serve the first round

beets. lima beans
Both these are less favored veggies, usually used as the second veg to a popular one. I would make green beans as the primary, 24 pounds ready to cook per 100, with those as seconds- about 12 pounds each, or 20 pounds per 100 if you do just one

mashed potatoes, 35 pounds per 100
gravy, 1/4 cup per person, minimum, 1/3 better

cranberry salad??? jello type salad? 17 small packages. Cranberry sauce, 1 pound per 8

deviled eggs, 5 dozen whole eggs per 100

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

Mrs. G
05/01/17
I am having a Roaring 20's party for my granddaughter and I need some help with the food. My menu is 3 types of wing dings (honey barbeque, garlic parmesan, plain), she wants chicken fettuccine, mac-n-cheese, pasta salad, fruit salad, regular salad. We are expecting about 100. I was also thinking about some sandwiches. How much do I need?
Sharon mason
05/15/17
I am having a graduation party for about 70 people. I am having pulled pork barbecue sandwiches and chicken tenders and Cole slaw and potato salad and bake beans and macaroni and cheese.
Can you tell me how much i would need of each?
I ordered 60 cup cakes should i order more that that?
I am having bottle water and soft drinks (cans) can you let me know how many i should get?
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