Food Planning Guide For A Crowd

Our chart takes the guesswork out of how much food you will need to serve a large group, army of family or just some friends.. Keep in mind that the number of servings does not necessarily mean the number of guests served. So, consider the appetites and eating habits of your guests when figuring the number of servings needed.

Food Item 1 Serving 12 Servings 24 Servings 48 Servings
Bacon or Sausage (strips/links/patties) 2 24 48 96
Cheese Slices 1 ounce 1 pound 2 pounds 4 pounds
Meat Cold Cuts 2 1/2 ounces 2 pounds 4 pounds 8 pounds
Meat, Poultry and Fish
(boneless)
1/4 pound 3 pounds 6 pounds 14 pounds
Meat, Poultry and Shellfish
(bone-in, unshelled)
3/4 pound 9 pounds 18 pounds 36 pounds
Potato Salad, Baked Beans
or Coleslaw
1/2 cup 1 1/2 quarts 3 quarts 1 1/2 gallons
Chicken Salad
(Main Dish)
1 cup 3 quarts 1 1/2 gallons 3 gallons
Chicken Salad
(Side Dish)
1/2 cup 1 1/2 quarts 3 quarts 1 1/2 gallons
Tossed Salad 1 1/2 cups 4 1/2 quarts 9 quarts 4 1/2 gallons
Salad Dressing 2 tablespoons 1 1/2 cups 3 cups 1 1/2 quarts
Dip 2 tablespoons 1 1/2 cups 3 cups 6 cups
Fruit or Vegetable Dippers 4 pieces 4 dozen 8 dozen 16 dozen
Chips 1 ounce 14 ounces 1 1/2 pounds 3 pounds
Crackers 4 crackers 8 ounces 1 pound 2 pounds
Rolls 1 1/2 rolls 2 dozen 3 dozen 6 dozen
Muffins 1 muffin 1 dozen 2 dozen 4 dozen
Toast 2 slices One 1 1/2- pound loaf Two 1 1/2-pound loaves Four 1 1/2 pound loaves
Cakes, 14 x 9",
14-cup Ring or 9" Layer
1/16 cake 1 cake 2 cakes 3 cakes
Cookies 2 2 dozen 4 dozen 8 dozen
Ice Cream 1/2 cup 2 quarts 1 gallon 2 gallons
Coffee, Brewed 3/4 cup 9 cups water 18 cups water 36 cups water
Ground Coffee   (1 1/2 cups) (3 cups) (5 cups)
Tea, Brewed 3/4 cup 9 cups water 18 cups water 36 cups water
Loose Tea   (1/4 cup) (1/2 cup) (1 cup)
Tea Bags   (14 bags) (24 bags) (48 bags)
Fruit Juice or Punch 1/2 cup 1 1/2 quarts 3 quarts 1 1/2 gallons
Iced Tea or Milk 1 cup 3 quarts 1 1/2 gallons 3 gallons
Mineral Water 8 ounces 3 quarts 6 quarts 14 quarts
Ice 4 ounces 3 pounds 6 pounds 14 pounds

 

Plan on one drink per hour per guest, unless it's a very hot day, then plan on two.

Fruits Approximate Yield
Cantaloupe, 4-pound 36 chunks
Grapes, 1 pound seedless 12 to 15 clusters
Honeydew melon, 2-pound 36 chunks
Pineapple, 3- to 4-pound 40 chunks
Strawberries, 1 pound large 20 to 25 berries
Watermelon wedge, 4 to 5-pound 48 chunks
Vegetables Approximate Yield
Asparagus, 1 pound 30 to 45 spears
Bell pepper, 1 large 24 strips, 3 1/2x1/2"
Broccoli or cauliflower, 2 pounds 32 flowerets, 1 1/4"
Carrots, 1 pound 65 sticks, 3x1/2"
Celery, 4 medium stalks 33 sticks, 4x1/2"
Cucumbers, 2 large 45 sticks, 4x3/4"
Mushrooms, 1 pound 20 medium
Chinese pea pods, 4 ounces 30 pea pods
Zucchini, 3 medium 35 slices, 1/2"
Salad Greens Bite-Size Pieces
Boston lettuce, 1/2-pound head 6 cups
Iceberg lettuce, 1 1/2-pound head 12 cups
Leaf lettuce, 1-pound bunch 8 cups
Romaine, 1 1/2-pound bunch 12 cups
Spinach, 3/4-pound bunch 8 cups