Countdown to Turkey Day: Nov 4

Heather says:

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, duct tape if you must, sit down with pencil and paper and plan your menu and shopping list.  The amounts listed below assume a full Thanksgiving dinner with three or four vegetables, including sweet potatoes, to choose from.  If you prepare a limited menu it would be reasonable to expect adults to consume more than the quantities listed.  Always take your guests 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%.



1 Comment

  1. Ann at mommysecrets on November 4, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    What a helpful list! It’s always a challenge to figure out how much food to cook, so I appreciate the tips!

    Now if you could give me an estimate for how much spaghetti serves 5/10/15 people, that would be great too!! 🙂