Let’s make sure everyone is on the same page. We’ve found the dining room table, made a guest list (and invited them), we have made a soft menu plan, and if you’ve never even roasted a chicken that’s on the to-do list, right? Also, if you’re anything like me, you may need to put away all the stuff that has already found its way back to that recently cleared table.
Ok, today we’re doing another pen and paper exercise. Try to contain your excitement.
It’s time start figuring out the final Thanksgiving menu. To do this, you need to know how many people are dining and a rough idea of their usual appetite. The list below accounts for average people.
If you are serving teenagers or relatives you already know are greedy increase the estimates.
(You know who you are, quit acting innocent. I may be thin, but I can put away the food when I want to and on Thanksgiving? I want to.)
I increase the dessert estimate just because it’s a holiday for Pete’s sake. These estimates work best for a formal Thanksgiving meal where everyone sits down and eventually people get tired of passing items.
If you’re serving your Thanksgiving dinner buffet style, definitely increase the gravy. I don’t know what it is about a buffet that makes people go nuts on the gravy, but that’s life.
Serving estimates for holiday meals:
- 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 aka Stuffing aka Filling – 3/4 cup per guest, unless you serve the andouille sausage and shrimp cornbread dressing I’ll be posting today, then you might as well say 1 cup per.
- Gravy – 1/3 cup per person go 2/3rds cup per for buffet style
- Mashed potatoes – 1lb of potatoes for every 2 guests (Are you happy, I increased it from last year?)
If you are serving two kinds (roasted and mashed) estimate 1lb for every 3 – 4 guests
- Cranberry relish / sauce – 1lb of berries for every 5 people who actually like cranberry sauce.
- Vegetables, including sweet potates – 1/2 cup per person of each type, unless you’re making the brussels sprouts with bacon recipe going up later this week, go ahead and call that a cup, too. People were giving each other dirty looks when that ran out.
- Rolls – 2 per guest minimum
- Rice – 1/2 cup per person
- Dessert – 1 – 2 servings 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%.
Tell me, Home Eccers, what’s going on your Thanksgiving dinner menu?