By now you should have a decent headcount of how many invasive parasites guests will be in attendance for your holiday meal. When you have a moment of peace, use duct tape if you must, sit down with pencil and paper and plan your menu and shopping list.
Listed below are general guidelines to use when estimating the amount of food to prepare. The guidelines assume a full Thanksgiving dinner with three or four vegetables, including sweet potatoes. If your menu is limited, it would be reasonable to expect adults to consume more than the quantities listed.
Always take your guests potential appetites into consideration, if you are hosting only seniors estimate on the low side while teenagers and men will generally eat you out of house and home.
- Whole turkey* – 1lb turkey for each guest up to a 14lb bird. Anything larger, estimate 3/4lb per person. (The skeleton of the turkey weighs less proportionally in large birds).
- Bone-in turkey breast – 2/3 lb per person
- Boneless turkey breast – 1/2 lb per person
- Dressing – 3/4 cup per guest
- Gravy – 1/3 cup per person
- Mashed potatoes – 1lb of potatoes for every 3 guests
- If serving two kinds (roasted and mashed) estimate 1lb for every 4 guests
- Cranberry relish / sauce – 1lb of berries for every 5 people
- Vegetables, including sweet potates – 1/2 cup per person of each type
- Dessert – 1 serving per guest
Some of the very dedicated choose to serve both turkey and ham. In that case estimate one pound of ham for every four or five people and 3/4 lb of turkey.
*If you love leftovers, as I do, increase your turkey estimate by 50%.